Synth Site: Casio: CZ3000 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.6 out of 5
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K Middlemass a hobbyist user from Hawick, Scotland writes:
Bought one of these new around 1987. At the time it had some great sounds compared to many of the bigger names. Probably the best looking in the range. I must admit it took some time for me to figure out how to work the synth engine for PD like TRAPEZOIDS (I'm used to analogues) but once mastered it's easy! Once into the guts of the O/S you realise the factory presets aren't worthy and can be improved upon vastly. PD has an unique ambience compared to FM and great for dance orientated music. Supposed to be a poor mans DX and a lot of the time this is true but PD can sound a lot warmer. It's claimed to be multi timbral but I could never find out how? Its a great synth albeit exactly the same engine as all the CZ range. Worth buying if your into retro. Sold mine and bought a CZ1 which is quite frankly leaps n bounds superior due to the extra features. Jean M Jarre used a CZ5000 so they're worthy of note. I'm not a CASIO fan but I'll raise me glass to the CZ /VZ / FZ ranges. Top marks!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Aug-16-2002 at 06:19
Cor a professional user from The Netherlands writes:
I recently bought this synth from a colleague who had this synth sitting at her attic. She never used it because it has no internal speakers. So I offered her 100,- Eur for it and she agreed. I did not have a clue what to expect sonically. I had good hopes reading the reviews. Though it has no LFO it does have wicked waveforms. Whit this you can mold sounds into almost any shape/color you want it. The fact that it has no filters is a small minor, but run it through an external filter if you like. I've been toying whit it through Sounddiver and in just one day I have created some of the weirdest sounds possible. What I especially like is the tone mix feature. Whit it you can layer your sounds, the synthetic basses you create with it are just awesome and raw like you'd never believe possible from a digital synth like this.

This is an extreme synth, classic in the making. I say heavely underrated/underestimated synth. Can be made to sound like dx-synths, but the techno sounds with this baby are wicked. GO FIND ONE NOW!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-12-2002 at 05:16
Ironsides a part-time user from USA writes:
yeah the only thing that really sucks about this machine is that you have to have fresh batteries in it for it to sound good. and it drains the batteries real fast. its easy to synthesize. it actually has some good presets. you can create the rawest sub basses with this unit. its i cool additive to any studio. and its a classic. 1:30

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Monday-Jul-22-2002 at 13:54
Sašo Podobnik a part-time user from Slovenia writes:
The CZ-3000 must have been seen as quite a competitor by Korg and Roland, and in a smaller degree Yamaha, as well, when it was released in 1986. Featuring an accessible new synthesis technique and build quality that was better not only than mid-80's Korg (which isn't that difficult), but in my opinion also than Roland - indeed, my experience tells me that Casio was right up there with Yamaha and Akai.

The Phase Distortion synthesis was an excellent compromise between flexibility, ease of use and the sound. Certainly, FM synthesis offers you more ways to nuance your sound, but it's less intuitive than PD and the sound tends to be less warm. By laying out the controls similarly to traditional subtractive and at the same time adding various features that the digital realm can easily provide - such as the 8-stage envelopes - Casio created a powerful synthesiser with unique sonic possibilities.

In use, the synth possesses somewhat steep learning curve at first, but once you get round to it (preferably with a manual in your hand), the results are predictable, which I can really appreciate. And how do they sound? Well, with a little bit of work, they can sound great. The CZ-3000 can produce a filthily distorted, electric-guitar like sounds, rich brass sounds which hint at analogue, and mellow pads and stabs. As a reviewer before me noted, there is not powerful electronic percussion to be had, except for kick drums, which can shred your speaker - I'm speaking from first-hand experience here - and various rim-shot and woodblock sounds, if that's your thing.

In use, the CZ-3000 is extremely versatile and the sounds, despite their relative fatness sit well in a mix (to hear the CZ-3000 in action, e-mail me at They are by no means realistic, but the 1980's were a decade of synthetic sounds and I love them all the more for it. I have to agree that the presets were somewhat poorly chosen by Casio: not that they're particularly bad, they just don't do the synth justice. The A-1 preset is, for instance, probably the obligatory "Jump!" brass. This sound can be immensely improved upon, up to the point that a few fellow synth-heads mistook it for an analogue synth. That's not the point, though - the CZ-3000 is a versatile digital synth that can be made to sound seriously great - if you can't do it yourself, there's an entire network of enthusioastic users on the web who'll be glad to give you a hand.

If I like the CZ-3000 so much, why did I sell it just yesterday, I hear you ask (how did you know that, anyway?). Well, to buy the CZ-1, of course, the flagship model that offers more user memories and, more importantly, a velocity- and aftertouch-sensitive keyboard. Yes, I like the keyboard action of the CZ-3000 so much that I'm actually use my CZ-1 as a MIDI controller. It's one synth for which I know will deliver on stage, both as a reliable keyboard and an indispensable sound source.

As an afterthought, kudos to Casio to have chanced their arm in the professional market a good 15 years ago. The CZ series should have cut them a bigger slice of the pie, but the failure to make their name among the big ones eventually dragged them down. Still, we were left with an excellent line of products who should be bought off from kids trying to learn to play the piano and put to some serious studio and live use. Excuse me while I go and buy me the CZ-1!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jul-09-2002 at 04:25
xbc235 a hobbyist user from UK writes:
Got one yesterday and I'm well impressed so far. Identical to the CZ5000 except minus the sequencer, which is pretty limited anyway. I've got a CZ1000 too and it's got all the same presets plus 16 others, which makes for a good starting point for most kinds of sound. Excellent for pads, synth basses, e.p.s, percussion sounds a bit ropey though. Zero points for aesthetics, the CZ1000 looks much nicer, but for a good all-rounder 16-voice keyboard that's easy to program, a definite five points.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Feb-15-2002 at 07:39
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