Synth Site: Casio: CZ5000 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.9 out of 5
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Richard Wintle a hobbyist user from Sunny beautiful Toronto, Canada writes:
What a lovely piece of 80's synth-paraphernalia! Its preset sounds are pure electro-pop, but the ring and noise modulation turn dull patches into tremendous noises. I echo the other sentiments on this page - the sequencer seems awkward and lacking in features, and a velocity-sensitive keyboard (as on the CZ-1) would be nice. The envelopes are much more flexible than standard ADSRs though. All in all, I'm pleased with this beast and love the obnoxious sweeps, burbles and honks that it makes. The presets have to go, though...

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-02-1998 at 11:27
dave a 0 user from america writes:
Being that i got it as a gift, it was nice to have. But as i turned proffesional, i found it to not have the sounds i wanted, and it was a burden to carry around. I couldn't find any software to go along with it, and when it needed repair after a fall, they couldn't fix it because they couldn't find the part. It's a good starting off board to have but i just had to get rid of it. It's a dinosour and i couldn't get any money for it.

Rating: 0 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:38
T.G.NOYES a professional user from USA writes:
I've owned my CZ-5000 since 1989. At the time I owned just it and a Poly 800. The Casio seemed great with it's multi-timbral midi and it's cool digital FM-ish type sounds. Over the years I have used it for a number of projects and it has served me well. The bell metallic/wood percussive sounds have stood the test of time nicely, but a large percentage of the sounds are way too cheezy for my taste. I recently samples all of the coolest patches I have aquired over the years into my Casio FZ-1, and have put the 5000 up for sale. I would still highly recomend it to someone just starting out with a midi setup, or advanced users who have the extra space for it. BTW Check out the "Temple of CZ" website for thousands of patches and computer librarian.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:38
Tim Conneen a hobbyist user from US writes:
My Casio CZ-5000 came into my hands in 1986, second-hand, and has endured over 11 years of daily use/abuse. The patches I use 90% of the time are electric piano and clavinet-type sounds; you can come fairly close to virtually any e-piano tone you hear using the detune control and adding ring modulation when appropriate. The very pure clavinet-like sounds you can achieve are especially nice (no bass deficit there). Of course, the lack of velocity sensitivity in the keyboard seriously limits the sound of its e-piano tones. The CZ-1, the CZ-5000's sequencerless performance-oriented cousin, does have a velocity-sensitive keyboard (with same ultralight keys), so its e-piano would be that much better... but I'm not sure whether velocity can be linked to waveform modulation - might be velocity-volume only on CZ-1. The keyboard is indeed extremely light, crappy from a certain point of view, but it doesn't bother me; its feel is not unlike that of many church-type organs. The action has always been very quick, and it has turned out to be very durable. Mine even survived having its 4th-octave F shattered though a freak accident (it was repaired with clear epoxy and patches cut from a 2-liter bottle). Some of the control buttons have become a little flakey, however. The small 2-line LCD display is recessed and shadowy and could really use to be lit. Mine has also been haunted for 10 years by the dried-up corpse of a tiny jumping spider which somehow managed to get inside the sealed display (seemed impossible), where it crawled around for more than a week before finally expiring. So, besides backlighting I'd say the LCD is also lacking in emergency exits. The review of the CZ-5000 on this site seems to suggest that the synth will only output MIDI during playback from the sequencer. This is not the case... I use my CZ-5000 as a master for the general midi-compliant wavetable synth on my Turtle Beach Tropez sound card, and I'd just like to clarify that it does indeed send notes played live to the midi out port, on any of 16 channels as a matter of fact. But with little other control over what is sent to the midi out, and no velocity, it is poorly suited for use as a master... those sampled acoustic instruments can sound so terrible played at uniform velocity... but it's what I've got for now. I have a huge amount of affection for this keyboard, but it ends abruptly at the sequencer. The 8-track sequencer is beyond limited - it's an electronic psychological torchure device. Illogical design choices and the absence of some primordial editing functions make it extremely difficult to do anything with the sequencer at all. For instance, there's no way to jump to a point in the song - you have to FF and REW everywhere as though it were a tape machine, at a rather slow rate to boot. And it has a one- button looping feature, but the undefeatable 4-beat pause it inserts between repeats makes it all but useless for generating loops (only step-by-step programmed tracks can be looped without this pause). So, it has a sequencer, but the sequencer really doesn't count; I wish I'd looked for a used CZ-1 instead, in 11 years' hindsite. You can indeed make some first-rate weird noises with this synth's fairly powerful patch editing features. Some of the strangest come when you detune and/or pitch shift to the very high frequencies the synth allows you to attain. For instance, so-so electric guitar patch can be made to say things like "wow!", "woah!", and "ahh!", and moan woefully, in a remarkably lifelike (albeit cartoonish) voice using the pitch bend wheel on the highest notes, due to the bizarre effects of the ring modulation at very high pitches (the patch detunes its second channel up more than 3 octaves). It can store 32 user-defined patches and has 32 read-only presets. Patches and sequencer (sic) programs can be written to a watch-battery powered cartridge (battery in mine has lasted 10 years!) or to a cassette tape or other audio recording device (I have been using my computer sound card to record the data lately). I'll be moaning woefully myself when my CZ-5000 finally breaks down. If you're reading this you may well already own a CZ-5000 yourself; I hope you share my affinity for this old synth. My experience with other keyboards is minimal, but to me, the CZ-5000 is a great breed of digital synthesizer. Within its range, its can make some terrific instrument sounds, and its weird noises are among the weirest. And, hey, what other synth says "Cosmo Synthesizer" on the cover of the manual?

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:38
David Hill a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I just acquired a CZ-5000 for the 2nd time, got it in a trade from my ex-wife.

The first time I got it, she was the musician and I was the programmer (I

program computers, the same mind-set carries over to creating patches). I

wanted the CZ again because there are some really cool sounds that you can

create that you just cannot find elsewhere. I'd rather have a CZ-1 (for the

velocity sensitive keyboard), but I have had trouble finding one. The CZ really benefits from the use of an effects module like the Alesis

Midi-Verb. The combination of these two pieces of equipment gives you very

useful and unique sounds. The sequencer is okay, maybe, but I'm looking forward to learning the sequencer on the

Ensoniq SQ-1+ I acquired in the same trade.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:38
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