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CS-5 Sounds Better Than CS-10?
Old 28th January 2020
  #1
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CS-5 Sounds Better Than CS-10?

Ok....so is it all in my head or does the CS-5 sound better than the CS-10?


This is only based on hearing online demos plus a few owners of both have told me this.


I want to pick one up, I can get a 5 or a 10 for basically the same price. Thoughts? Yes, I know the 10 has the extra envelope and more while the 5 just has sample and hold as its special feature.

Anyone who has/had both? Please chime in.
Old 28th January 2020
  #2
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No, they are identical internally.
Old 28th January 2020 | Show parent
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Ruff View Post
No, they are identical internally.
People say the 5 is more "ballsy" and has more "heft"

While they are the same....I heard someone say the filter is slightly different in the 5 or the different signal path effects it differently.

Does this have any merit? Because I still notice more "power" behind the sound of the 5 in all demos compared to the 10.
Old 28th January 2020
  #4
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It could be how people program differently with one vs two envelopes.

Side note; I always wanted a CS-15/30.
Old 28th January 2020 | Show parent
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rezisehtnys View Post
It could be how people program differently with one vs two envelopes.

Side note; I always wanted a CS-15/30.
Yea I was thinking it was down to how it shares the envelope settings on the 5.

I can get a CS-5 for $415 total (including shipping)
or
I can get a CS-10 for $458 total (including shipping)

Both of them are the japanese model needing a converter, but I have 1 already.

Also....portamento > sample and hold

I really want the CS-10 for the features...but I still notice a slight sonic edge to the 5.
Old 28th January 2020
  #6
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It’s easy to know, compare the schematics. If they’re the same then differences are down to calibration. I’ve heard many times the MS-10 is heftier sounding than the 20. This is wrong in my experience. The 20 can get less ballsier than it should if the cutoff is offset wrong. On the other hand, similar synths like the MC-202 and the SH-101 use the same components in slightly different arrangements than make the 202 more bass heavy and the 101 a sharper synth lead. In short: you’re only able to compare synths by looking at the schematics and performing the calibration routine, then listening at what happens.
Old 28th January 2020
  #7
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I made this same choice several years back and went with the CS-10, as it is much better featured.


One major difference is the envelopes.

CS-5 is A - 0.007 to 7 sec: D - 0.018 to 18 sec: S 0 to 10 volts: R - 0.018 to 18 sec

CS-10 has the cool filter envelope Initial Level 0 to -5 volts: Attack Level 0 to +5 volts: AT - 0.001 to 1 sec: DT - 0.010 to 10 sec: RT - 0.010 to 10 sec

VCA is same minus the initial, and attack level but adding the 0 to 10 volt sustain.


CS-10 also has x5 switches for both envelopes to make them way longer and the VCA has a hold switch for drones.

Also CS-10 has PW switchable to PWM, where the CS-5 only does PWM with no manual control.


Some minor things too, like CS-5 LFO has s/h setting while CS-10 does not. CS-10 has a slider for portamento amount and the amount can go 1/2 second longer than the CS-5.

A side note, the Kord SQ-1 sequencer works very well with these, since they use linear CVs, ie Hz/volt.

Another note is that these are dead simple to convert to US voltages. You just have to swap around a few transformer wires internally, as both countries used the same transformer. The service manual tells you how, though you should have a tech do it if you are not good with that sort of work.
Old 28th January 2020
  #8
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Ossicle's Avatar
Never tried a CS-10 but I love my CS-5. I often just use the external input and use its gorgeous filter with a eurorack VCO like the AFG. Can't wait for the CXM 1978, hopefully it does the Lexicon 224 well enough for some Blade Runner vibes
Old 28th January 2020 | Show parent
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DegenerateElite View Post
I made this same choice several years back and went with the CS-10, as it is much better featured.


One major difference is the envelopes.

CS-5 is A - 0.007 to 7 sec: D - 0.018 to 18 sec: S 0 to 10 volts: R - 0.018 to 18 sec

CS-10 has the cool filter envelope Initial Level 0 to -5 volts: Attack Level 0 to +5 volts: AT - 0.001 to 1 sec: DT - 0.010 to 10 sec: RT - 0.010 to 10 sec

VCA is same minus the initial, and attack level but adding the 0 to 10 volt sustain.


CS-10 also has x5 switches for both envelopes to make them way longer and the VCA has a hold switch for drones.

Also CS-10 has PW switchable to PWM, where the CS-5 only does PWM with no manual control.


Some minor things too, like CS-5 LFO has s/h setting while CS-10 does not. CS-10 has a slider for portamento amount and the amount can go 1/2 second longer than the CS-5.

A side note, the Kord SQ-1 sequencer works very well with these, since they use linear CVs, ie Hz/volt.

Another note is that these are dead simple to convert to US voltages. You just have to swap around a few transformer wires internally, as both countries used the same transformer. The service manual tells you how, though you should have a tech do it if you are not good with that sort of work.
all good info as far as why 10 is better, thanks for posting.

I am REALLY surprised how slow the CS-5's envelope is! They are almost 3 x slower than already "slow" CS-15 (2.5 mS attack time). I almost wonder if it's a typo--I've never come across an early analog mono with that slow of an envelope.
Old 28th January 2020
  #10
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I don't know if the CS-5 is actually that slow but I do know that both it and the 15 use 4558 dual op amps for their envelope outputs and buffers.. Maybe the values of components around them are different in the two circuits? The service manauls match the owners manuals in specs.


The CS-5 and 15 were earlier models, with the 10 and 30 following.
Old 28th January 2020 | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DegenerateElite View Post
I don't know if the CS-5 is actually that slow but I do know that both it and the 15 use 4558 dual op amps for their envelope outputs and buffers.. Maybe the values of components around them are different in the two circuits? The service manauls match the owners manuals in specs.


The CS-5 and 15 were earlier models, with the 10 and 30 following.

I think you have that backwards.

10 and 30 came first.
Old 28th January 2020 | Show parent
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebodyperson View Post
I think you have that backwards.

10 and 30 came first.
Yeah, that's what I meant.

The CS-5 and 15 were cheaper variants that dropped features and components to bring the price down.

That said they were mostly all available around the same time. My service manuals for the 5 are date stamped 1978 - which is a year earlier than official release.
Old 28th January 2020 | Show parent
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DegenerateElite View Post
Yeah, that's what I meant.

The CS-5 and 15 were cheaper variants that dropped features and components to bring the price down.

That said they were mostly all available around the same time. My service manuals for the 5 are date stamped 1978 - which is a year earlier than official release.
Also, I believe the 10 was never available to the US market....and maybe not even outside of Japan.
Old 28th January 2020 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
[...]similar synths like the MC-202 and the SH-101 use the same components in slightly different arrangements that make the 202 more bass heavy and the 101 a sharper synth lead.
Hi, just to point out they use different opamps in the output stages.
TL022 in the 202 vs M5218 in the 101. The 022 being low-power is noisier and six times slower than the 5218.

EDIT - FORGET THE ABOVE STATEMENT, IT'S FALSE AND I APOLOGISE.

Last edited by Lector; 29th January 2020 at 09:25 PM.. Reason: crap
Old 29th January 2020 | Show parent
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lector View Post
Hi, just to point out they use different opamps in the output stages.
TL022 in the 202 vs M5218 in the 101. The 022 being low-power is noisier and six times slower than the 5218.
This is not the case. M5218L is also used in the output stage in the MC-202, just after the BA662A. There's a slight difference in the OP amp used for the envelope generator but it doesn't matter in practice.
Old 29th January 2020 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lector View Post
Hi, just to point out they use different opamps in the output stages.
TL022 in the 202 vs M5218 in the 101. The 022 being low-power is noisier and six times slower than the 5218.
Huh, interesting. Is the 202 actually noisier IRL? I never noticed that it was. But this and above comment does support why people think they sound ever so slightly different.
Old 29th January 2020 | Show parent
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Ruff View Post
Huh, interesting. Is the 202 actually noisier IRL? I never noticed that it was. But this and above comment does support why people think they sound ever so slightly different.
No, same exact thing as the 101.



MC-202 and SH-101 don't sound ever so slightly different. There's actually a huge difference in how each handles bass. I'll post examples soon.
Old 29th January 2020 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
No, same exact thing as the 101.



MC-202 and SH-101 don't sound ever so slightly different. There's actually a huge difference in how each handles bass. I'll post examples soon.
You're right! My mistake, sorry
But they do sound different. The 101 is sharper, for lack of a better word.
Old 29th January 2020 | Show parent
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Ruff View Post
Huh, interesting. Is the 202 actually noisier IRL? I never noticed that it was. But this and above comment does support why people think they sound ever so slightly different.
Not noisy in the sense of having noticeable noisefloor. It just sounds muddy in comparision. At least mine did.
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lector View Post
Not noisy in the sense of having noticeable noisefloor. It just sounds muddy in comparision. At least mine did.
That is gonna be subjective though, I got lo listen and calibrate to 2x SH-101 units and 3x MC-202 and I would classify the latter to be more hefty with more low end and body. Listened with a couple of friends and they'd prefer the 202 every time, sonically (although functionally they're way different). I still can't find a technical reason that causes the difference but I feel like Roland voiced these like that on purpose: bass and lead synth. But we've gone too far off topic, I will make a few recordings and open a new thread so you guys can compare.
Old 30th January 2020
  #21
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I'll have a look at the rest of their schematics, but so far I can see the vcas and output buffers are different.
They both use single supplies, but the 101 is +9v, and the 202 is only 5.
With virtual grounds at +4.5 and +2.5 respectively, you can see how the 101 has more headroom to play with and the 202 rails are also more susceptible to ground noise.
Old 30th January 2020
  #22
LWG
Gear Nut
 

Hello!

The CS-5 and 10 use the same basic chipset, but the supporting circuitry for the oscillator is not the same.
The outputs of the saw and pulse wave on the CS-5 have an odd phase relationship. Particularly when the saw is fully on and the square approaches three quarters in volume, the fundamental frequency begins to attenuate and the second harmonic becomes more prominent. Set just right, it almost sounds like two tone generators tuned an octave apart, but phase locked. (Or a one-oscillator machine with simultaneous octave footage outputs).* When this sweet spot is dialed in the bass isn't as heavy as on the Roland sh-101 or the Yammy CS-10 at the same mix proportions, but outside of this not a huge difference in bass. The odd interaction between the CS-5's two wave ouputs produces a some subtle tone coloration that the CS-10 or sh-101won't do.
You can distinctly hear this effect at the 1:45 mark:

https://youtu.be/XDvnNeCDDi8

p.s. iirc, CS-5 was released at the same time as the CS-15, CS-20M and CS-40M All four were one product group and I remember playing the 5 and 15 in a local music shop in late 78.

-L
Old 30th January 2020
  #23
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Interesting. This might explain why someone on another forum kept insisting the CS10 was the best of the mono CS line for bass.
So the CS5 came later? Did they consider it an improvement over the 10?

I guess you could mod the 5 to behave like the 10 as an option by adding a slide switch that would flip the saw and the pw cv routing to the comparator. This way the duty cycle would start at same time as the falling crest

Last edited by Lector; 30th January 2020 at 08:50 PM.. Reason: phrasing
Old 30th January 2020 | Show parent
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LWG View Post
Hello!

The CS-5 and 10 use the same basic chipset, but the supporting circuitry for the oscillator is not the same.
The outputs of the saw and pulse wave on the CS-5 have an odd phase relationship. Particularly when the saw is fully on and the square approaches three quarters in volume, the fundamental frequency begins to attenuate and the second harmonic becomes more prominent. Set just right, it almost sounds like two tone generators tuned an octave apart, but phase locked. (Or a one-oscillator machine with simultaneous octave footage outputs).* When this sweet spot is dialed in the bass isn't as heavy as on the Roland sh-101 or the Yammy CS-10 at the same mix proportions, but outside of this not a huge difference in bass. The odd interaction between the CS-5's two wave ouputs produces a some subtle tone coloration that the CS-10 or sh-101won't do.
You can distinctly hear this effect at the 1:45 mark:

https://youtu.be/XDvnNeCDDi8

p.s. iirc, CS-5 was released at the same time as the CS-15, CS-20M and CS-40M All four were one product group and I remember playing the 5 and 15 in a local music shop in late 78.

-L
I am gonna get crucified for using these words but maybe that is why I think the CS-5 sounds more "in your face" and the CS-10 sounds more "woolly"


While I am still deciding (and hearing points of view and arguments), I decided to pick up the other "old" (not nearly as old) affordable synth on my list that I wanted (the rest being very pricey). Funny enough, I sent an offer out to someone and then went to check Youtube....and Synthmania made a new video on that synth. Maybe that was a sign (if such a thing even exists ). Anyways, I did not expect the seller to even respond to my offer, but they countered at just 10 bucks more so I went for it.

This will be my birthday present to myself.

Some of you will hate it with a passion
Some of you will love it
Some will just think "meh"


Introducing:
Old 30th January 2020
  #25
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So where does my favourite CS (CS 15D) stand in these statistics ?

Whilst all the other CS range are more controllable in general I find the timbre range of the 15D to be much more dynamic (not speaking of the CS 50/60/80 of course)
Old 31st January 2020 | Show parent
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LWG View Post
Hello!

The CS-5 and 10 use the same basic chipset, but the supporting circuitry for the oscillator is not the same.
The outputs of the saw and pulse wave on the CS-5 have an odd phase relationship. Particularly when the saw is fully on and the square approaches three quarters in volume, the fundamental frequency begins to attenuate and the second harmonic becomes more prominent. -L
That's cool, thanks for sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebodyperson View Post
I am gonna get crucified for using these words but maybe that is why I think the CS-5 sounds more "in your face" and the CS-10 sounds more "woolly"
Short of an A/B demo, I just really can't imagine that anything in these would be different enough to actually produce a genuine (rather than perceived) difference in tone (side from the difference in phase relationship described above).
Old 31st January 2020 | Show parent
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORCHESTRION View Post
So where does my favourite CS (CS 15D) stand in these statistics ?

Whilst all the other CS range are more controllable in general I find the timbre range of the 15D to be much more dynamic (not speaking of the CS 50/60/80 of course)
Don't think it's a fair comparison since it's a different architecture. I WOULD be quite curious to know where the innards fall though (i.e., closer to 5/10/15/30 or the M versions?). I suspect it's an M synth in disguise.
Old 31st January 2020 | Show parent
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebodyperson View Post
I am gonna get crucified for using these words but maybe that is why I think the CS-5 sounds more "in your face" and the CS-10 sounds more "woolly"


While I am still deciding (and hearing points of view and arguments), I decided to pick up the other "old" (not nearly as old) affordable synth on my list that I wanted (the rest being very pricey). Funny enough, I sent an offer out to someone and then went to check Youtube....and Synthmania made a new video on that synth. Maybe that was a sign (if such a thing even exists ). Anyways, I did not expect the seller to even respond to my offer, but they countered at just 10 bucks more so I went for it.

This will be my birthday present to myself.

Some of you will hate it with a passion
Some of you will love it
Some will just think "meh"


Introducing:
I had one, meh...

Just kidding, congrats! I'll join you in trance nation soon enough with a Virus TI 61. ALL THE SUPERSAW AND HYPERSAW!!!
Old 31st January 2020 | Show parent
  #29
LWG
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebodyperson View Post
I am gonna get crucified for using these words but maybe that is why I think the CS-5 sounds more "in your face" and the CS-10 sounds more "woolly"
In a blind listen, most couldn't tell the difference, but
the CS-5 probably sounds a little more direct because
it's signal path is shorter.
The CS-10 has a master volume control whereas the 5 does not. The CS--5 has the final master volume omitted (presumably to cut costs).
The 5 has only one transistor stage after the vca, but the 10 has two, with the final one being for the master volume.

Cheers,

-L
Old 31st January 2020 | Show parent
  #30
LWG
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Ruff View Post
Don't think it's a fair comparison since it's a different architecture. I WOULD be quite curious to know where the innards fall though (i.e., closer to 5/10/15/30 or the M versions?). I suspect it's an M synth in disguise.
Its a two-channel preset machine in the tradition of the Roland sh-2000, etc., that's mated to a CS-10 styled monosynth that's output from the second channel.
The preset section is more in the 70's mold, using resistor networks to do formant-shaping for the instrument presets. Probably more expressive than the CS-5,10,15, and 30, as it has pitch and mod wheels.

Several of Yamaha's SK series of combo machines (SK-50D, etc.) have a solo synth section. The solo synth in the SK series is also based on the CS-5; same architecture/chipset, but sounds more raw and bassy.

https://youtu.be/3DR8W5w2tAk

Cheers,

-L
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