Yamaha CS-5 37-key analog monophonic synthesizer. Euro voltage but includes a power transformer so is ready to rip here in North America! $999!

The Yamaha CS-5 is a monophonic analog synthesizer produced by Yamaha in the late 1970s. Known for its straightforward design and robust analog sound, the CS-5 offers a range of features that make it suitable for both beginners and experienced synthesists. Its compact size, warm tone, and hands-on control layout have made it a popular choice among vintage synth enthusiasts.

Key Features:

Synthesis and Sound Generation:

  • Monophonic Synthesizer: Capable of producing one note at a time, making it ideal for bass lines, leads, and sound effects.
  • VCO (Voltage-Controlled Oscillator):
    • Waveforms: Offers sawtooth, square, and pulse waveforms for a variety of tonal options.
    • Tuning: Fine-tuning control for precise pitch adjustment.

Filters and Modulation:

  • VCF (Voltage-Controlled Filter):
    • Filter Types: Low-pass filter with resonance control, allowing for the creation of rich and dynamic tones.
    • Cutoff and Resonance: Adjustable cutoff frequency and resonance, enabling detailed sound shaping.
  • LFO (Low-Frequency Oscillator):
    • Waveforms: Provides triangle and square waveforms.
    • Modulation Destinations: Can modulate the pitch (vibrato) or filter (wah) for dynamic sound effects.
    • Speed and Depth: Adjustable speed and depth controls for the LFO.


  • Envelope Generator: Single ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release) envelope for shaping the amplitude of the sound.
  • Modulation: The envelope can modulate the VCF for dynamic filter effects.


  • Inputs/Outputs:
    • CV/Gate: Control Voltage and Gate inputs for integration with other analog gear.
    • Audio Output: 1/4″ mono output for connecting to mixers, amplifiers, or recording equipment.
    • Headphone Output: 1/4″ headphone jack for private practice and monitoring.

Build and Design:

  • Compact Size: Portable and lightweight design, making it easy to transport and integrate into various setups.
  • Hands-On Controls: Intuitive layout with knobs and sliders for real-time control over sound parameters.

Sound Characteristics:

  • Warm Analog Tone: Delivers classic analog warmth and richness, suitable for a variety of musical styles.
  • Versatile Sound Shaping: Capable of producing a wide range of sounds, from deep basses and cutting leads to complex effects.
  • Expressive Modulation: The combination of VCF, LFO, and envelope modulation allows for expressive and dynamic sound design.


  • Studio Recording: Ideal for studio use, offering a wide range of classic analog sounds that can add depth and character to recordings.
  • Live Performance: Suitable for live performances, especially in genres like electronic, synthwave, and experimental music.
  • Sound Design: Excellent for sound designers and producers looking to create unique and distinctive analog textures.

Country of Manufacture:

  • Japan: The Yamaha CS-5 was manufactured in Japan, ensuring high-quality construction and reliability.

Notable Features:

  • Monophonic analog synthesizer with VCO
  • Low-pass filter with resonance control
  • Single ADSR envelope generator
  • LFO with triangle and square waveforms
  • CV/Gate inputs for external control
  • Compact and portable design
  • Classic analog sound with hands-on controls

Notable Users:

  • Vince Clarke: A founding member of Depeche Mode, Yazoo, and Erasure, Vince Clarke is known for his extensive use of analog synthesizers. The Yamaha CS-5 has been part of his collection, contributing to his iconic synth-pop sound.
  • John Foxx: An influential electronic music artist and former member of Ultravox, John Foxx has utilized a range of Yamaha synths in his work. The CS-5’s simple yet powerful design fits well into his electronic music palette.
  • David Harrow: A versatile producer and artist known for his work in the electronic and dub genres, David Harrow has used the Yamaha CS-5 to create unique and textured sounds in his productions.
  • Frederik Schikowski: An electronic musician known for his experimental sounds, Frederik Schikowski has incorporated the Yamaha CS-5 into his setups to explore its rich analog tones.

The Yamaha CS-5 is a versatile and powerful monophonic analog synthesizer that delivers rich, warm tones and hands-on control. Its straightforward design makes it accessible for beginners, while its robust sound-shaping capabilities appeal to experienced synthesists. Whether used in the studio, on stage, or for sound design, the CS-5 offers the classic analog sound and reliability that Yamaha is known for.

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