Vangelis’s favorite synth could be making a comeback.
Yamaha may be planning to bring back its classic CS-80 synthesizer, if a recent forum post is anything to go by.
As Synthtopia reports, in a post on the YamahaSynth IdeaScale forum, Yamaha R&D Planning Manager Ben Israel asked fans what they might like to see from a new CS-80, specifically whether users would want “a vintage reissue or a modern evolution”.
“We would like to understand your analog synthesizer requests a bit more clearly,” Israel wrote, though he stopped short of confirming that a new CS-80 was in active development. “Please note we move in a very deliberate manner; this is just an initial focusing of the Ideas offered so far and not a commitment to build a product.”
Yamaha’s original CS-80 synth, which was released in 1976, is probably the company’s most revered synthesizer behind the DX7. Most notably, it was used by Vangelis on the scores to both Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner, the second of which has given the synth near-mythical status among electronic musicians.
A straight reissue of the CS-80 would be fairly out of character for Yamaha. Although it revisited classic synths like the DX and CS ranges as part of its affordable Reface range in 2015, these were synths inspired by vintage models rather than reissues of specific instruments like Roland’s Boutique range. While the DX line has a spiritual successor in last year’s MODX family, that too is more of an evolution of FM synthesis than an attempt to revisit the past.
However, the CS-80 was recently given an unofficial remake by a boutique company called Black Corporation called Deckard’s Dream. Behringer has also been busy cloning classic synths and drum machines from several companies, so it could be that Yamaha is looking to protect its legacy.