Is Yamaha considering making a new CS-80?

It is, by common consent, one of the greatest synthesizers of all time, but unlike many other classic instruments, Yamaha’s CS-80 has so far been consigned to the hardware history books. However, we do now have the merest of indications that Yamaha might consider bringing it back.

Derek Cook, a moderator of the forum, has revealed that Yamaha has been in touch with him to gain feedback on what he’d like to see in a new analogue synth. While stressing that “this is just an initial focusing of the Ideas offered so far and not a commitment to build a product,” the company does confirm that one question on an IdeaScale thread that’s been set up regards “basic conceptual direction if we were to make a new CS-80”.

Although this is far from a firm commitment to build such an instrument, synth fans will no doubt seize on this revelation in the hope that it could mean something significant. Yamaha, of course, has been more reluctant to revisit its synth back catalogue than Roland and Korg, its two great rivals.

While we have seen nods to the past with the Reface range, a straight-up reboot has so far been conspicuous by its absence from Yamaha’s product lineup. Our hunch was that, if it was to bring a synth back, the DX7 would have been the company’s prime contender, but a CS-80 would be more than acceptable, too.

Of course, there are other CS-80 options out there - Black Corporation’s Deckard’s Dream hardware and Arturia’s CS-80 V plugin, to name just a couple - but a Yamaha-badged version of the synth would be something else. Here’s hoping...

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

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.