Behringer says it’s made a development breakthrough as it aims for a “100% authentic” Yamaha CS-80 analogue synth clone

Behringer DS-80
(Image credit: Behringer)

Replicating Yamaha’s classic CS-80 synthesizer was never going to be easy, and Behringer has just offered some fresh insight into the scale of the challenge with an update on the progress of its clone, the DS-80.

In a Facebook post, company says that, after painstaking development, it’s now got its VCF and envelopes performing “100% identically”. The cloning process has been made particularly difficult because all of the chips used in the original CS-80 are no longer available, as is any related documentation.

So, Manchester-based “analogue guru” John Price has been forced to measure every function of the CS-80 voice board and then redesign the circuitry with current components. 

This has been no easy task, partly because the CS-80 has an unusual VCO, VCF and waveshaper design, which is one of the key factors behind its unique sound.

The next step, says Behringer, is to complete the VCO and waveshaper circuitry and build a voice board for final testing and comparison.

This suggests that the release of the DS-80 is still some way off; let’s hope it’s worth waiting for.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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