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Behringer Facebook post

Behringer Facebook post  ·  Source: Behringer

A few days ago I reported on how Yamaha has been casually asking their users whether they would be interested in a reissued or an evolved version of their classic CS-80 analogue polysynth. The overwhelming response was “YES PLEASE!” and there were dancing and celebration in the synthesizer community. Behringer reacted slightly differently by posting some very provocative comments on social media.

Update: And now they’ve confirmed that they’ve been ” working on coming up with our own DS80 version”.

Behringer DS-80

First of all they posted an image of the back of a CS-80 showing the serial number of what must be their own one. The comment was “I’ve been thinking about this… Uli”. Presumably, this is supposed to be from Uli Behringer teasing the idea that he’s thinking about making a Behringer version of this classic Yamaha synth.

Behringer Facebook post

Behringer Facebook post

I wonder if the fact it says “Patent Pending” is relevant at all?

They followed that up with another post a little while later featuring a couple of photos of the front of a CS-80 with the comment “And then this showed up… Uli”.

Behringer Facebook post

Behringer Facebook post

This set the internet alight with comments about whether Behringer was going to clone the CS-80 and whether they had any right to do so. Making these sorts of synthesizers is hard and it would be quite an undertaking if Behringer did decide to build a homage to this classic synth. It just be Behringer having a bit of fun.

It does feel a little bit of shame though with regards to Yamaha. It’s taken Yamaha so long to wake up to the idea that the CS-80 is probably their coolest ever synthesizer and they really could capitalise on it. But if Behringer was to release something probably just as good for what is likely to be half the money then you’ve got to feel for Yamaha. On the other – fabulous polysynth for peanuts – yay!

More information

  • Article about Yamaha’s CS-80 question.
  • Behringer’s latest post on Facebook.

3 responses to “Behringer muscles in on Yamaha’s CS-80 action”

  1. Robin says:

    A Behringer clone would probably have identical feature set to the original. A Yamaha version would probably be an evolution. I’d prefer the latter. I also prefer Yamaha as a company, and their quality products over Behringer.

  2. Dikikeys says:

    I maybe trust Yamaha to make a playable instrument a hair more than Behringer, but I still feel that much of what made the CS80 the monster it was was the the weighted polyphonic aftertouch keybed and the huge ribbon, both of which are unlikely to appear on a clone from either.

    People forget (or have never experienced the original) how much the playing interface itself influences what is played on it. You played differently on a clavinet, on a Rhodes, on a B3, on a CS80, on a Polymoog. And the action itself had much to do with that. The sound itself is maybe only half the equation.

    • AgentOrrin says:

      Uli Behringer has confirmed that it’ll have both polyphonic aftertouch and a ribbon controller, so it appears he understands how the appeal of the CS-80 comes at least as much from its capabilities as a truly expressive performance instrument as it does from its (admittedly humongous) sound.

      This is something I really welcome, as mainstream electronic instrument manufacturers seem to be pretty uninterested in building instruments for performers anymore. You just have to look at the literal disappearance of polyphonic aftertouch from the market, or the increasing trend from companies like Roland & Korg to release even their supposed ‘professional’ or stage-focused synths without even basic single-channel aftertouch.

      My feeling is that if Behringer want to throw their weight behind the reintroduction of old-school performance-oriented features into the synth/keyboard market (as well as FULL-SIZE rather than mini keys!), then I think they’ll have a massively positive influence on an industry that’s frankly been orienting itself resolutely away from live players for the past couple of decades.

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