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Yamaha CS30. What would You Pay and Why
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verve92
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#1
16th March 2013
Old 16th March 2013
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Yamaha CS30. What would You Pay and Why

Hey all,
I came across a CS30 for $1400. The owner says its in great shape and the pix show it, but don't want to make my brother who lives quite far from me drive out and pick it up for me without running it by you guys since you have been so good to advise me on other purchases.
I have heard great things about the CS series such as the filter, but how is the rest of it?
I would love to have it if not just as a collectors piece and a mono with different character. Love the knobs and sliders as well. Would be real cool hooked up with the MS20 Mini when I get it.
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#2
16th March 2013
Old 16th March 2013
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Is it a CS-30 or a CS-30L?

They are very different instruments. I would pay 1400 for a good CS-30, but not as much for the CS-30L


rachel
verve92
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16th March 2013
Old 16th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel View Post
Is it a CS-30 or a CS-30L?

They are very different instruments. I would pay 1400 for a good CS-30, but not as much for the CS-30L


rachel
Nothing about the "L."
Is there any cosmetic distinctions to look for? What is the difference besides? Just curious.
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16th March 2013
Old 16th March 2013
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If I had a good income Id probably pay 1400 for a CS30.
Seems about right, would offcourse try to haggle a little, but for one thats been kept well, serviced and such thats a fair price.
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16th March 2013
Old 16th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verve92 View Post
Nothing about the "L."
Is there any cosmetic distinctions to look for? What is the difference besides? Just curious.
I think one has a basic built-in step sequencer, but not sure which.
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16th March 2013
Old 16th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuckoo.old View Post
I think one has a basic built-in step sequencer, but not sure which.
Mentioned in the ad it does have a step sequencer, which makes it that much more intriguing. There seems to be room to wiggle as it is his asking price.
How low should I go? I am not the best negotiator, that I admit.
Should I have my brother show up with $1200 cashola?
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16th March 2013
Old 16th March 2013
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i traded something for mine and paid cash for the remaining bits, i think it would have come to around $1100-1200ish total though. I like it. It's an interesting synth. I keep it next to my MS-20 so I can pair them up (since they both use HZ/v)
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16th March 2013
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My personal experience with high dollar local sales is that its hard to find someone local with "all" the money you are asking...so my gut says there is wiggle room.

A quick browsing of sold listings on eBay for a CS 30 shows prices between $1000 and $1500 for serviced models...most of which also have the case. Keep in mind that a seller on eBay would also pay 12% in fees, and have to offer some kind of guarantee on the item..and have to deal with shipping hassle. So if it were me and I had cash to burn, I'd pay no more than $750-1000.
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16th March 2013
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$1400 is a good price for it, it is very flexible. Similar to the CS15 but with added keyfollow for the filter amongst other small improvements.

Even the CS30L is a good synth, I've played both in the same room together and the L actually sounded better than the 30... not sure why but the basic oscillator tone was more ballsy and had more character in the L.
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16th March 2013
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16th March 2013
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$1400 seems a bit pricy for a local sale on an unserviced unit. $1200 seems entirely fair. The main difference between the CS30 and the CS30L is that the "L" doesn't have a sequencer and it also has built in legs.

A word of warning about the CS30. It's a very confusing synth with a knob layout that just doesn't make sense. If you're accustomed to normal analog synths, you're probably in the habit of reaching out without even thinking, twisting a knob and getting exactly the result you wanted. Not gonna happen with the CS30!

I bought a pack of multi-colored small sticker dots and have used them to color code my CS30 knobs. This has helped a lot with ease of use. But I still find myself getting frustrated with the routing of the oscillators, filters and amplifiers.

But beyond that, it sounds awfully cool! I'm often amazed at the complexity of sound it can produce.
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16th March 2013
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I think Ko occasionally has these at Modeless Factory for about 1375 with a sequencer mod so you can step it with an external trigger.
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17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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Still waiting to hear back from the guy with my questions. My doubts that it was serviced.
Any other quirks or aspects that commonly don't work?
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17th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by networkacid View Post
I think Ko occasionally has these at Modeless Factory for about 1375 with a sequencer mod so you can step it with an external trigger.

yep that's where I got mine. I have the sequencer mod too. I don't think it was until I asked for it that he started offering it regularly!
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17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verve92 View Post
Bob

Just buy this crazy machine and start spewing out analogue bits. It's a one totally sick and crazy design. Takes a while to get actual sound out of it but once you get used to the internal routing, it's not that bad.

Don't wait, someone else will pick it up and you'll most likely never find another one at that price. Issues with this machines are practically none. Perhaps only to recap the unit.

Now listen to this filter - almost an instrument on its own:

Won't computers produce a convincing analog sound someday?

More audio:
YAMAHA CS-30 SYNTHESIZER
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17th March 2013
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Excuse me, this is off topic but, is the CS 30 similar to CS 80?

Thanks!
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17th March 2013
Old 17th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Lau View Post
Excuse me, this is off topic but, is the CS 30 similar to CS 80?

Thanks!
Only the filter is similar character and it contains also pure sinewave oscillator bypassing filter section which greatly enchances sounds like when using highpass or bandpass filter, which is feature of all CS synths.
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18th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Lau View Post
Excuse me, this is off topic but, is the CS 30 similar to CS 80?

Thanks!
The CS80 is a polyphonic monster that will run you $20k. This family of CS's we are discussing are monophonic.
Every time I watch Blade Runner, I listen to the CS80 (most of the strk done on it) and nearly weep when I hear it.

Thanks Don Solaris for the audio. Quite like that filter. Very unique indeed. Always open to filter education.
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18th March 2013
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Poly Aftertouch!
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18th March 2013
Old 18th March 2013
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So did you get it?
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18th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuckoo.old View Post
So did you get it?
Brother taking a peek at it tomorrow. Awaiting report.
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25th March 2013
Old 25th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogGuy View Post
Only the filter is similar character and it contains also pure sinewave oscillator bypassing filter section which greatly enchances sounds like when using highpass or bandpass filter, which is feature of all CS synths.
The CS-30 is actually the closest CS-series monosynth to the polyphonic CS synths in terms of architecture. It allows you to send the first filter's highpass into the second filter, which allows you to get "that" CS-50/60/80 sound. Further, you can have two oscillators going into that filter at the same time, thus getting you even closer to the 80. No other yamaha monosynth can do this.

If you use only one oscillator in that config, you basically have a monophonic CS-50/60. They don't sound identical--the 50/60/80 have more overall resonance overall, and so sound more rubbery (although I suspect the 30's rez can be boosted)--but they sound extremely similar.

p.s. I would add to the OP: it sounds like you can haggle a bit, but I would settle on a price beforehand. To not discuss the price beforehand, and then not even come with the total amount of cash being asked is a good way to piss off the seller, or lead to disappointment on your end when he won't budge.
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25th March 2013
Old 25th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Ruff View Post
The CS-30 is actually the closest CS-series monosynth to the polyphonic CS synths in terms of architecture. It allows you to send the first filter's highpass into the second filter, which allows you to get "that" CS-50/60/80 sound. Further, you can have two oscillators going into that filter at the same time, thus getting you even closer to the 80. No other yamaha monosynth can do this.

If you use only one oscillator in that config, you basically have a monophonic CS-50/60. They don't sound identical--the 50/60/80 have more overall resonance overall, and so sound more rubbery (although I suspect the 30's rez can be boosted)--but they sound extremely similar.

p.s. I would add to the OP: it sounds like you can haggle a bit, but I would settle on a price beforehand. To not discuss the price beforehand, and then not even come with the total amount of cash being asked is a good way to piss off the seller, or lead to disappointment on your end when he won't budge.
Actually the later M -series gets the closest sound of polyphonic CS althought I don't know actually why. I mean CS-20M and CS-40M. Used to own CS-40M but then sold it and I own now CS-50.
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25th March 2013
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CS30 I would pay 1k tops!

I really dislike the yamaha analog sound sans cs80...
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25th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogGuy View Post
Actually the later M -series gets the closest sound of polyphonic CS althought I don't know actually why. I mean CS-20M and CS-40M. Used to own CS-40M but then sold it and I own now CS-50.
?? How could they? I just listed why the CS-30 is the closest in terms of sound to the CS-50/60/80. The CS-20/40/70m sound different from the rest of the CS-line; they are more aggressive and biting, and none have dual filters.
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25th March 2013
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IMO The Yamaha's all sound identical within groups...

The wooden M series (20M,40M,70M) sound similar
The black ones (5,10,15,30) sound similar amongst themselves
and the Poly (50,60,80) sound exactly the same.

I have a 15, a 40M and a 50, but none of them sound alike at all even though they use the same chips.
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25th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adhmzaiusz View Post
IMO The Yamaha's all sound identical within groups...

The wooden M series (20M,40M,70M) sound similar
The black ones (5,10,15,30) sound similar amongst themselves
and the Poly (50,60,80) sound exactly the same.

I have a 15, a 40M and a 50, but none of them sound alike at all even though they use the same chips.
How could they all have the same chips, and now sound the same "at all"? If you compare a yamaha CS-60 to a Yamaha CS-30, they sound incredibly similar. The 20/40 and 70 are the outliers, and even they only sound moderately different to the rest. It's not like the difference between yamaha and roland.
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25th March 2013
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First word as in above: IMO

What I'm saying is the wood ones sound alike, the black ones sound alike, and the colourful ones sound alike, but they don't sound like from the other groups. They can use the same chips and sound completely different, its easy... does a memory moog sound like an OB8?

I don't think the poly CS 50, 60 or 80 sound like anything else except each other. My ears totally disagree on a CS60 sounding like a 30.... but thats all IMO
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25th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adhmzaiusz View Post
First word as in above: IMO
And we should probably leave it at that

But my comment about the chips stands--we are comparing synths from the same era, using the same custom made chips, made by the same company. Comparing them to a Moog and an Oberheim using the same chips is not germane to what we talking about here.
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25th March 2013
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The CS synths are all built from a large family of chips. But they don't all use the same chips. The Yamaha IC handbook for CS synths can be found online. It shows which chips are used in each synth.

It's interesting to note that there isn't a black and white dividing line between the three classes of CS synths (mono black, M series, poly).

The one thing that the IC handbook doesn't show is how common each chip design is when compared to another in the family. That is, it's not clear how much commonality in design there is between a CS-30 VCO chip and one for a CS-50.
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