The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Synths for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Poor man's version of a Yamaha CS-80? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 14th February 2019
  #1
Poor man's version of a Yamaha CS-80?

I've been pondering the idea of a Deckard's Dream or a Studio Electronics' CODE/Omega-8 for a while now, in search of that, yes, Vangelis-ey CS-80 sound. But an Omega-8 with the CS80 filter pack is approaching $7,000, and when I auditioned a DD, I wasn't all that impressed (I think The River is the ultimate vintage-sounding poly, but it's just too big, and also a bit pricey). So now, I'm surveying lower-cost alternatives.

I own a Yamaha Montage 7 (as well as an FS1R), but of course it lacks a VA-engine. Yamaha's 8-voice Reface CS is probably close enough for my needs, but I despise mini-keys. So, other than the Reface, what are my options? The physical-modeling Yamahas of yore? Not being too familiar with older Yamaha gear, I could use a little road map:

• Looking for CS80-ish sounds.
• Physical modeling okay.
• No mini-keys.
• Polyphonic (e.g., 4-8 voices).
• Prefer a rackmount unit.
NO softsynths.

I read in another thread here which claimed the Reface CS "has the same engine as the AN1x." So, looking at the AN1x and its cousins, I stumbled across the Yamaha CS6x and its rackmount version, the CS6R. Does this get me where I'm looking to go? If the CS6R is a possibility, which are the must-have PLG boards?
Old 14th February 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Moonwhistle's Avatar
I know you said no soft synths, but if you have an iphone you can get Yamaha Synth Book for free.

It's the reface CS/AN1x synth engine in an app. You can always rack your iphone if you like it.
Old 14th February 2019
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

One of the presets on the Minilogue xd sounded a lot like CS-80 to me.
Can u tell I am hot for xd? lol
Old 14th February 2019
  #4
A bit more research . . . looks like a Yamaha AN200 is what I may be looking for (essentially a desktop version of the AN1x, I believe). The AN200's five-voice polyphony is fine. Another member here said he thought the AN1x sounds better than the CS6x/CS6R. Are the AN1x' sounds a super-set of the CS6, or is it the other way around? Also, does the PLG150-AN board come with the CS6R or is it usually an option?
Old 14th February 2019
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

The CS6 uses samples, the AN200 is modelling and the AN can be installed into the CS6. I had the AN200 and was not impressed, I do not think it will sound like CS-80.
Old 14th February 2019
  #6
Thanks for your replies! Honestly, never having played a CS-80, I don't really know what they actually sound like. So I'm completely open to non-Yamaha solutions. I'm sure many other modern analogs can come close to the CS-80's timbres with the right person at the controls. I have a Moog Slim Phatty polychain set-up, and I'm not sure which vintage-ey poly it resembles (Voyager/Minimoog/MemoryMoog?), but it sounds damned good.
Old 14th February 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Yeah, I would think hard and try to find some examples of exactly what you’re looking for that is specific to a CS-80. The Vangelis sound on say the Bladerunner soundtrack depends heavily on the triple ring mod and poly aftertouch features that are pretty unique to the CS-80. Not much will get you close to that exact sound these days I think.

If you’re just looking for a good poly sound, that’s different. I have a Reface CS and its sounds are ace, the hands-on control is great, and even the minikeys are really good for minikeys (plus you can MIDI it up and it’s not that big, so I wouldn’t let minikeys be a dealbreaker). 8 voices is a big improvement over 4 voices on something like a Microkorg.

That said, I wouldn’t describe the sound as CS-80-like (although it can do some good ring mod sounds) and it’s barely velocity-sensitive, let alone responsive to aftertouch. I really like mine, but it’s not what I would turn to for woolly, drifty ‘70s or ‘80s VCO poly sounds.
Old 14th February 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
Find a Yamaha E70 and build this:

http://www.brassee.com/files/How_to_...X_complete.pdf

YouTube
YouTube
YouTube

You'll have 2xCS80s and a mono synth on the pedals. There's one on CL right now for $1,200. Or you can use it as is like a preset only CS80.
Old 14th February 2019
  #9
Here for the gear
 

YouTube

Get a Yamaha CS50 or CS60. That is as close to the CS80 as you can get. The E70 isn’t really two CS80s in an organ case. It uses digital wavetable oscillators , so it is quite a different beast.

The CS80 has always been my dream synth, but the prices just keep shooting up. I own both the CS50 and the E70 though.
Old 14th February 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electromancer View Post
YouTube

Get a Yamaha CS50 or CS60. That is as close to the CS80 as you can get. The E70 isn’t really two CS80s in an organ case. It uses digital wavetable oscillators , so it is quite a different beast.

The CS80 has always been my dream synth, but the prices just keep shooting up. I own both the CS50 and the E70 though.
You would know better than I. The seller of the E70 listed it's features as this:

Features:
- Built-in Leslie rotating speaker. So, it can sound like a Hammond organ
- Regarded as the "poor man's CS-80" because it uses the same circuit boards and preset voice architecture as used on the CS80. So basically, you're getting a preset CS80
- PASS (Pulse Analog Synthesis System)
- Pete Townshend of The Who used this model organ extensively between 1979 and 1982. It can be heard on Eminence Front, You Better You Bet, Another Tricky Day, Let My Love Open The Door, Don't Let Go The Coat, A Little Is Enough, Cache Cache and others
- Drum machine and arpeggiator
- Full, detachable pedalboard
- Walnut-finished cabinet

Thought it was a worthwhile project for someone.
Old 14th February 2019
  #11
Gear Head
If you fall in love with the CS-80 architecture and sound, the CS-50 or CS-60 is the only thing that will do. There’s not a lot of amazingly convincing Vangelis style demos for the 50 posted online. However the sound and expression is unmatched.
Old 14th February 2019
  #12
Thanks for everyone's input–much appreciated! There's an excellent-condition Yamaha CS50 on Reverb selling for a whopping $4,200, plus $900 shipping, so I'll probably return to my DD/CODE dilemma. At those prices, I think The River would be a much better buy.
Old 14th February 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Lady Gaia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by studio460 View Post
Honestly, never having played a CS-80, I don't really know what they actually sound like. So I'm completely open to non-Yamaha solutions. I'm sure many other modern analogs can come close to the CS-80's timbres with the right person at the controls.
I’m not as convinced. What the CS-80 lacks in features it makes up in character and performance controls. My favorite modern demo of what it’s capable of is tucked away in this video:



It’s well worth watching the whole thing, but Eric talks about and shows off his CS-80 starting after the main performance. Cue to 22:30 if you’re feeling impatient - THEN go back and watch the whole thing.

The CODE-8 has blown me away in a few demos because it’s very capable of being it’s own thing. I’m sure the CS-80 filters are nice, but IIRC the beast doesn’t even respond to poly aftertouch from an external source, which is a shame. If I stumbled over one at the right price I’m not sure I could resist, but for now I’m clinging to the rumors their own people started about collaborating with Roland to make the CODE-8 architecture more widely accessible. Fingers crossed!
Old 14th February 2019
  #14
Here for the gear
 

I recently picked up a used Omega 8 and had it updated to an Omega 8 OD by Studio Electronics, with 8 CS80 filters installed. Having never even seen a CS80 in person, let alone having played one, I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the filters but I can say that they sound fantastic and it’s an amazing synth overall. A bit clunky for programming, but the sound is huge.

Last I checked, there was a used one on Reverb for $4200, with the CS80 filters. The seller has it listed as an Omega 8, but it was clearly upgraded to the CODE OD spec with a limited faceplate as well. Good luck with whatever you choose.
Old 14th February 2019
  #15
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
What you need is a Roli Rise and a 002... maybe the 008, though I’m not sure if the 008 has an MPE mode. I wasn’t quite taken by the sound of the 008, but you might love it. Inversely, my 002r sounds fantastic. It can sound very analog when it wants to, or very digital, or some combination of the two. The Rise will give you the expresssion, which is really what is needed for getting CS80 style sounds. You could probably get a used Rise 49 for $800-1000 and a 002r for $2000.
Old 14th February 2019
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Maybe demo the DD with the Paul Schilling presets ... it gets very close to CS-80.
Old 14th February 2019
  #17
Gear Addict
 
REwire's Avatar
I had many of the synths mentioned here and now with a CS-50 and a Deckard Dream as far as CS-80 sounding things.

Being 1/2 of a CS-80 the CS-50 can't really reproduce any familiar CS80 sounds but does have those great filters. No midi ability limits my use of it.

As for the CODE, had with the CS filters and a great synth but also 1/2 a CS-80 filter wise and not in the slightest sounding like a real CS but was a big synth nevertheless.

As for the Deckard Dream, I demo'd one at Big City Music and was like, Meh, not so much. Then after a few youtube vids that sounded cool I went back and tried actually programming what I wanted to hear and had to have it. The Deckard has so many combos of settings that you can go from plain to WOW with a slight move of a slider. There really is no other poly in existence save the real thing that has 2 LP and 2 HP filters per patch (not even the CODE with CS) so you can't win any other way for under $15,000.

Dan
Old 14th February 2019
  #18
Wow, REwire, that was a very interesting post! That's EXACTLY what I did a few months ago—I demo'd the DD at Big City Music for a few minutes and was like, "Meh?" I guess I need to complete the "second part" of the evaluation to become "converted." So if I understand you correctly, the DD gets you into CS80 territory much more successfully than the CODE/Omega-8?
Old 14th February 2019
  #19
Lives for gear
 
matt pinchin's Avatar
You could try a roland integra 7, rackmountable and has a VA engine based on their supernatural technology.
Old 14th February 2019
  #20
Lives for gear
 
depulse's Avatar
Or buy a Yamaha Montage or MODX, Yamaha has a CS80 expansion that you can load into. It's sample based, but it will give you the classic sounds.
Old 14th February 2019
  #21
Gear Nut
 

I think the Korg Prologue can sound like the CS80 albeit a bit less weighty and of course without aftertouch
Old 14th February 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt pinchin View Post
You could try a roland integra 7, rackmountable and has a VA engine based on their supernatural technology.
really poor man's version, get a jv1080 and fake it.
Old 14th February 2019
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by depulse View Post
Or buy a Yamaha Montage or MODX, Yamaha has a CS80 expansion that you can load into. It's sample based, but it will give you the classic sounds.
Yes, I own a Montage 7 and downloaded the CS80 pack a while back. Didn't knock me off my chair or anything. However, I'll give it another go!
Old 14th February 2019
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatever17 View Post
really poor man's version, get a jv1080 and fake it.
Yes, as I've alluded to in other threads, I'm sure I own a TON of stuff already which can get me close. And at this point, I already own so much analog gear, I don't mind getting there via ROMpler or VA if need be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt pinchin View Post
You could try a roland integra 7, rackmountable and has a VA engine based on their supernatural technology.
I always wanted an Integra-7 and finally nabbed a B-stock unit last year—LOTS of potential in that little box (it has half a Jupiter-80 inside!). Unfortunately, I'm still re-racking all of my gear and the I7 isn't hooked up right now (plus my iPad just died). Absolutely love the Roland iPad app for the Integra-7!
Old 14th February 2019
  #25
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by studio460 View Post
Thanks for everyone's input–much appreciated! There's an excellent-condition Yamaha CS50 on Reverb selling for a whopping $4,200, plus $900 shipping, so I'll probably return to my DD/CODE dilemma. At those prices, I think The River would be a much better buy.
Nearing $5k seems a bit excessive, you just missed out then because a Japanese seller had just dropped their mint condition model down to $2k + $200 shipping. They seem to go for under $3k typically.


You’ll find people to argue all day for and against Deckard’s Dream and the Omega 8 and if it truly shares the CS-80’s sound lineage. However, there’s little question as to who this guy’s related to...and there’s a ton of other sound capabilities typically not well showcased on YouTube.
Old 14th February 2019
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studio460 View Post
Thanks for your replies! Honestly, never having played a CS-80, I don't really know what they actually sound like.
+1000
Once upon a time i went on a quest for a good demo of the CS-80.
I failed and gave up.

And we even have at least 1 GS member here who has the synth, but like every other demoer, he keeps desecrating it with reverb and/or bad recording technique (hmm was it a smartphone mic ?) - otherwise a very nice guy.
Just remembered the other CS-80 owner here, a nice guy too, but 90% of his synth demos are full songs.

The video linked few posts up, same thing with that huge Vangelis style reverb.
Old 14th February 2019
  #27
Lives for gear
 

BTW a funny thing.
I noticed that there are about 10 or even not even 10 sounds for which most people love CS-80 and which can't be easily or (at all) replicated by anything else.
Old 14th February 2019
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viceman88 View Post
Nearing $5k seems a bit excessive, you just missed out then because a Japanese seller had just dropped their mint condition model down to $2k + $200 shipping . . .
Damn! Mint-condition? I would've dropped $2K on that easily!
Old 14th February 2019
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Also just an idea if you don't mind it to be monophonic: Research the structure, then try to replicate it with Eurorack.

Maybe this:
Studio Electronics Boomstar SE88 CS-80 Style Filter | Reverb
Old 14th February 2019
  #30
Lives for gear
 

And my favorite BR style without the CS-80 video:
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
sitter / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
98
GLuke / Low End Theory
0
pacorro / So much gear, so little time
15
sound_forward / So much gear, so little time
45
bodega. / Music Computers
6

Forum Jump
Forum Jump