Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yamaha CS-30

My first CV/Gate synthesizer, and a beast at that! Yamaha CS-30!

I was checking the instrument ads on a webpage and saw a Yamaha CS-30! I immediately picked up the phone and called the guy. He laughed at me because it had only been 7 minutes since he posted the ad and he asked if I was just sitting scanning the internet for ads. I sort of avoided to answer him :)
Anyway, I managed to buy it even if he got other offer from buyers offering more money, but he had promised to keep it for me for a couple of days. Nice of him!

The CS-30 hadn't been used for a while he said.
The keyboard is working fine. Just a few rare cases of double triggering, but I guess that will go away after some use.
Basically all of the rotary potentiometers are scratchy. All the sliders are scratchy and some even seem to lose contact with the carbon track if I wiggle the slider ever so slightly. All the switches, rotary and slide, also seem to need a good work-out. Sometimes it's enough that I just tap the front panel to make something strange happen...

The oscillators track well over the keyboard and when controlled by the sequencer in "normal" mode, that is when the pots control the pitch.
In sequencer KBD-mode however, the first pitch is set by a keypress, and then the rest of the pots change pitch relative to that, so in other words you can transpose the sequence using the keyboard.
There is a problem with the pitch and tracking there however.
To jump a full octave from the lowest key (F) I have to go to the F# one octave up, so the tracking in THAT mode is wrong. I can't really find any specific info in the service manual about calibrating that mode but perhaps if I do the calibratation procedure for everything related to the VCOs and sequencer pitch it might help... or make it worse :) I hope my crappy digital multimeter and USB Oscilloscope are good enough for this or I most certainly will make it worse. Not sue what to do.

But hey! At least I have it and, if desperate, I could always ask a professional service shop to do an overhaul on it :)

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