Synth Site: Casio: CZ101 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.1 out of 5
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Kelly a hobbyist user from United States writes:
A very cheap synthesizer with power to burn. Although editing it a pain, you can get some pretty neat stuff (Including very, very, very cheap TB-303 sounds). To most people it will look as if it has little power... This is what I thought until I started to mess around with it. Once you dig deeper, it gets very nice. I'm not sure how to explain the bottom end of the sounds... they are big, but not. Most sounds will give you weird phased flickering noises at the bottom registers that are large sounding, but turn of and on. This makes it so that the bottom isnt nearly as large as it could be. It seems to fake at being large sounding - I get a fat sound out of my speakers, but very little out of the sub-woofer. I'm not saying that the bass isnt large... it is, only it doesnt come out the sub, which is odd. This thing is best used when run through effects proccessors (I find a mix of chorus, pole, delay, and overdrive/disortion works the best with it). Bottom line: Can make nice sounds and has a pseudo low end which makes it so that small speakers can sound big. Hey at this cost... what can you lose (Well $100, but that is beside the point)?

Oh... the wistle sounds DO make the sub work.

I like it.

- Kelly

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Oct-25-2000 at 22:52
Arp a hobbyist user from England writes:
The CZ101 is a great little portable synth, toy-like in appearance but professional in execution. It has a four-octave keyboard with tiny keys, and uses Casio's 'Phase Distortion' synthesis, which, apart from some confusing terminology, seems to be a bit like FM, but easier to use. It doesn't have a proper filter, but of the waveforms you have to play with a couple have built-in resonance which can simulate a filter sweep. There's a little screen and some chunky switches, and editing involves selecting a parameter and hitting 'up' or 'down' to cycle through options (annoyingly, the pedantic eight-stage volume and filter envelopes have values from 0-99 which take ages to move through - bring on the alpha dial). The sound itself is surprisingly big - in monophonic mode it can do some effectively unearthly phasing strings, and the preset electric DX-style piano is excellent. It doesn't really have much bottom-end (bass just turns into fuzz), but it's great for lead-lines and bizarre noises. There's a ring modulator for atonal clangs, and a noise generator which you can only turn on and off. It has MIDI, too, and with a big of juggling with 'Tone Mix' you can make it four-part multitimbral. It's amazingly cheap, too, as lots were sold. Also look out for the CZ1000, a CZ101 with large keys, membrance switches, and a repositioned pitch-wheel.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Sep-05-2000 at 06:13
Mark a part-time user from USA writes:
Great little beast! I dunno what you guys are smoking, but I got some HUGE, FAT, MONSTER BASS from this synth (which is the size of my shoe!).

This synth has Lords of Acid (LUST album) written all over it. I was at their site and saw an old pic from 1991 (studio shot for the song Hey Ho!) and sure enough, there was a CZ101. I cannot believe how powerful this synth is for its size and intended market.

It truly fits like a glove if you have vintage Roland gear. Sounds great next to my Alpha Juno 1.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-28-2000 at 04:08
giovanni alexi a hobbyist user from usa writes:
I got one at a pawnshop for $50 with original ata sty hard case,casio adapter and brochure from back then.I repawned it and lost the pawn.I loved its two line LCD display versus yamaha dx100 one line display.Its 4 part multitimbral,but monophonic in this mode.great if you build your own sound.I preffer the CT360 for making my own digianalog sounds though.(such keyboard is not synthable,I tinker with the CT360 dsp/tone chips to creat a thousand sounds via many knobs and sliders i got a radio shack.).

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Aug-26-2000 at 15:52
Philip a part-time user from Dalas, TX USA writes:
I picked it up for $30 in a local pawnshop and feel it's a great value for what I paid. Ignore the presets and program your own sounds. This isn't a powerhouse synth, but I've gotten some nice timbres which remind me of 80's synthpop (esp. early DM or Yaz). There's more to this machine than what I've explored so far, so I feel like there's even more I can do with it. I've made some nice filter sweeps, pads, basses, strings, and comps that have a more digital edge, but are not necessarily ultra-thin like an original DX or TX synth. Sure, the display sucks and it would be nice to have more memory locations as well as 8 notes of usable polyphony, but for $30, I really can't complain. I've always kind of wanted one since I was a teen in the late 80's (CZ's were on several popular albums at the time) and it is a nice piece of 80's nostalgia. I don't understand why some owners here are embarrassed to be seen with it, unless they can't program their own sounds.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-23-2000 at 09:45
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