It would put the prog in prog rock. Inspire decades of iconic riffs. And create the soundtrack of the future. The legendary Yamaha CS-80 was a giant leap for synth kind. Revered to this day by players of every generation.
CS-80. A Legend is Born.
Introduced in 1977, the CS-80 is considered one of the greatest analog synthesizers in history. One of the first polyphonic synths, its revolutionary features included 8 note polyphony, Polyphonic Aftertouch, Ribbon Controller and, for ultra synth nerds, a Ring Modulator. The world’s most acclaimed artists of the late 70s and 80s would use it to craft award-winning soundtracks, explore sonic boundaries and usher in a new era in music.
The CS-80 contained over a mile of internal wiring. But it was also packed with innovations that can be traced to the groundbreaking Yamaha Synths that came before it.
SY-1. THE REVOLUTION BEGINS.
The very first Yamaha Synth was way ahead of its time with features like pre-sets, aftertouch, and real time control that would become must-haves on the most sought-after synths for decades.
GX-1. THE NEXT BIG THING.
As an instrument that was essentially two CS-80s and one SY-1, the GX-1, at 660 lbs., was destined to be huge. Literally. What it lacked in mobility it made up for in pioneering tech and unmatched sound. It featured tone boards that could be inserted and removed to change sounds – a pre-cursor to ROM cartridges. Its nickname? The Dream Machine.
A NEW GENERATION OF CS.
The new CS-10 (single oscillator mono polyphony) and CS-30 (dual oscillator mono polyphony) were updated to give musicians more control at a lower cost.
CS-20M. DIAL “M” FOR MEMORY.
The third generation CS-20M combined analog sound with digital technology for saving sounds. While having access to hundreds if not thousands of saved sounds is common today, this was a relatively new concept for synthesizers in the 70s.