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CD of the Month

Yamaha CS2X

Yamaha CS2X
Manufacturer: Yamaha

Model: CS2X

Website: Yamaha

1996 saw the introduction of the Yamaha CS1x, one of Yamaha's most successful keyboards since the height of the 80's, and one which totally re-defined the entry-level synth market.
CS1x brought back something special to the keyboard player in a world that was crammed with hard to use, menu driven keyboards... 'Full-on' real-time control.

During its life span the CS1x won critical acclaim from both professionals and beginners alike. With its easy to use interface and high quality voicing it rapidly became a bench-mark against which competitors' products were measured.

The hardware of the CS2x features a 61 note, velocity sensitive keyboard and Yamaha's tried and tested clear panel layout. The switching matrix on the right hand side allows for easy, yet detailed, parameter editing and synth setup control while the central numeric keypad allows rapid data entry. The backlit LCD (Yes, backlit - something the competition often forgot when trying to defeat the original CS1x) clearly displays the operational status of the instrument whether you are on stage or in a gloomy studio.

Visually, the most eye-catching element of the CS2x is its 8 blue real-time control knobs, but then people don't see your tunes, they hear them!

The interface of an instrument is important, however the most important element has to be the sound. Because the CS2x uses the same physical casing as CS1x and AN1x it means that the development team's resources and energy have been directed towards making the CS2x sound engine a class leader. Rather than spending money on putting nasty little speakers on the synth (like certain groovy toys!) Yamaha has opted to focus on the most important element of a musical instrument - the sound.

The new CS2x AWM2 tone engine is 64 note polyphonic allowing for big, layered sounds. With a whopping 16 Mb of waverom, yet again, the CS2x becomes a class leader.

Combine this engine with 256 preset and 256 user performance memories, 779 instrumental voices and 30 drum kits, 3 blocks of 24 bit resolution effects processors (delivering a selection of 88 fully editable effects) and the sonic power of the new CS2x starts to become apparent.

Being backward compatible with the CS1x also means that a ton of sounds are freely available for download.

Yamaha CS2X Specifications:

Synthesizer Section
Keyboard :61-key, velocity sensitive
Tone Generator :AWM2
Maximum Polyphony :64 notes
Arpeggiator :40 arpeggio types
Wave ROM :16MB
Effects :88 fully editable effects
Normal Voices :779 (XG)
Drum Voices :30 kits (XG)
Performances :256 Preset, 256 User
Display :Custom LCD with LED backlight; LED x 2 (red; for Scenes)
Connectors :Headphones, Stereo Output (L/ Mono, R), Stereo Input (stereo mini jack), Foot Controller (assignable), Foot Volume (assignable), Footswitch (assignable), MIDI In/Out/Thru, To Host
Controllers :Pitch Bend Wheel, Modulation Wheel (assignable), Sound Control knobs x 6, Volume Knob, Performance Edit Parameter Rotary Switch, Host Select Switch (rear)
Dimensions :976(W) x 285(D) x 103(H) mm
(38-3/8" x 11-1/4" x 4")
Weight :5.7 kg (12 lbs., 9 oz.)

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