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June 2017 Giveaway


Tipping the scales at a back-breaking 220 pounds, the Yamaha CS-80 must certainly take the prize for heaviest analog (or any other type) synthesizer. Its price tag of $6,900 in 1976 guaranteed that only the rich and famous could reasonably afford one! Just a few of the big name owners included Stevie Wonder, Vangelis, Hans Zimmer, Herbie Hancock, and Michael McDonald. Beyond its weight, the thing that set the CS-80 apart was the fact that it was one of the very first polyphonic synthesizers, with two audio channels, each with eight analog oscillators. It was also one of the very first synths with a velocity-sensitive keyboard and polyphonic aftertouch, not to mention its use of the ribbon controller in place of a more traditional pitch bend wheel. What else did players get for their money? Why four programmable user presets, of course! The last CS-80 unit rumbled off the assembly line in 1979, just three years after its debut.

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