Synth Site: Yamaha: CS-2x: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.0 out of 5
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Rick a hobbyist user from England writes:
I don't know why people rate the accoustic sounds poorly - I think most of them are more than useable, even if not up to the standards of something like the Motif. After all, many of the sounds come from the EX5 (and some others sound like they may originate from the SY85) - both well-respected workstations. Some patches seem a bit 'bright' sounding (in typical Yamaha style) but can easily be altered with a tweak of the (excellent) filter knobs. And to quote the review in 'Sound On Sound' magazine : "where the CS2x really surprises is in its imitation of acoustic instruments. For example, there are half-a-dozen brilliant piano patches...". And these people don't just play around with synths in music stores ;-)

My main gripes are with the build quality (spongy keyboard, paint scratches easily, knobs are a bit wobbly, wall-wart power supply), though I guess its whats to be expected at the price. I don't play it live but would recommend a decent flightcase if you intend to. The plus side to this is that its small and light (unlike my SY85...) Also, too much ROM is wasted on crappy techno special effects and vocals that would never find their way into a decent track. Oh, and the manual is lousy - download the 'silver book' if you want a decent tutorial. And why can't the arpeggiator work in XG multi mode - surely it wouldn't have been too difficult?

You really need a PC to get the most from it though - editing is too fiddly using the knobs and buttons, performance mode needs a sequencer to access all 16 channels, and you can't modify the EQ without one. Also its a great playback device for GM MIDI files - especially XG ones, which blow away any claims that GM has to be dull! And there's no background noise, unlike most PC soundcards.

I've had mine nearly a year now and still think it's the best synth at the price (especially with the current discounting) - certainly better than the Roland XP-10 or Korg X5D which are somewhat older designs (and it shows in their sounds & features). Alternatively get an ancient Juno 106, SH101 or similar (but don't blame me when something goes wrong with it) - though these won't offer such a diverse range of sounds, and won't make a decent master keyboard for PC softsynths in the way the CS2x can.

I'll give it 4 out of 5 (on account of the spongy keyboard).

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Jan-04-2002 at 10:00
Lord D a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I don't know why do people complain about this synth. This is the great unit for life gigs or for studio jamin, lot's of interesting sounds, editable effects (3 blocks), filters, great polyphony, drums are cool, especialy when it comes to price. Don't even compare it to the Roland XP30 or eny other synth in that price range, CS2X would blow them all away. Some said that all sounds in it are to Techno-ish, switch it to the multy mode and you'll get a 100 times enhanced GM tunes (in XG or TG300B mode) with lots of instrumental sounds, plus none of the Rolland and Korg synth will let you applay effects to the audio line in, this is doable in CS2X and CS2X tends to be most controllable synth (via MIDI) and it's true. And also beleave you me, this synth is not all about pads, it's all about everything, yes yes i agree it's no Access Virus B, nor Novation Supernova, but for the price you'll pay for it , you won't be disapointed unless you're reall deaf and moron. SO don't give me a crap like it's worthless or something, i've made serious pices on it and people cried while they were listening. BTW samash is blowing them for $499.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Dec-20-2001 at 11:36
BERT a hobbyist user from EARTH writes:
This synths only good point is PADS , but if you read other poor synths reviews on this site (poly800,SX1000, etc,etc..)the people say that the pads are the synths strong point!

So i imagine that when a synth doesnt have the bass for basslines , the top end for sparkle sounds , the filter for acidlines , the midrange for in your face leads , all that is left to say about it is it has nice pads :)

nice colour tho

nuff said

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Friday-Nov-30-2001 at 13:22
Stefan Mühleck a hobbyist user from Germany writes:
Hi everybody,

I'm sorry but I must say that this synth doesn't sound well at all. Everytime i want to create something new i get an another trance/techno sound. Ok - it's especailly mode for that - ok. But the sound is very cold and thin two. I sold it and bought a Roland XP-30. Ok the Roland is more expensive but - you hear every buck that you spent more - believe me!

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Friday-Nov-02-2001 at 12:30
Olov Johansson a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
I just want to comment a thing about this machine that nobody else has mentioned. It's filterenvelope is really strange. I don't like it at all. I behaves different depending on which program you're using. Besides the "decay phase" doesn't start immedeately after the "attack phase". There's a short "hold time" between. Annoying! Another backdraw is that you cannot change the EQ for each voice one the machine itself. You have to use software such as "Tune'em up" in order to do this. Why? Else it's a very good solo instrument. You can make powerful leads, warm pads and fat basses if you just put some effort to it. If somebody knows if it's possible to create your own programs on this machine please e-mail me.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Oct-31-2001 at 10:06
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