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Brett

Owner of old Casio's

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HI There all

 

I am interested if anyone has old Casio synth's.

 

I own the following

Casio XW-P1

 

Casio CZ5000

Casio CZ1 and a Casio VZ1.

(Missed out on an FZ1 recently)

 

Anybody got any good patches, mods, circuit diagrams , in fact anythiing relating to these...

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I only have a VL-1. I bought it to rekindle memories and as keep sake of good old days. I am still mulling over the XW-G1. In the meantime would you suggest a CZ-101, SK-8 or some other classic?

 

Percivale, a lot depends on what you want to use your classic Casio for. Casio produced many models from virtual 'toy' instruments (VL1) right up to serious pro-equipment such as the big CZ's, FZ's, VZ, MZ2000 etc. and now the XW range.

 

Many of the older Casios did not come with MIDI, so everything has to be done manually. A real gem of a Casio that comes under this category is the MT400V/ CT410V. This has a genuine onboard analogue filter, with real time slider controls for envelope and cut off/ resonance controls. A similar model (minus the filter) is the MT65/ 68 - you can have a LOT of fun with these, and the drum/ rhythm section is excellent.

 

The CZ101 is a great synth, BUT, out of all the CZ's it is usually the most expensive despite having the least amount of features in the range. If size is not an issue then the CZ3000/ 5000/ 1 are more powerful/ flexible and thus a better bargain. I think the 101 is the most expensive because of it's cute size that gives monster sounds!

 

Another Casio very worthy of consideration is the HT range. They are a digital/ analogue hybrid, using PCM tones but with a fully editable analogue filter and amp. HT's can sound VERY analogue at times, plus have those digital bell like sounds also. The filter doesn't quite go into self oscillation as standard, though there are mods that can up the resonance and allow it to scream. The HT's also have MIDI, which is a big plus point, though sadly no SYSEX. All the programming has to be done on the keyboard, and saved in the onboard memory (which is only backed up by big D cell batteries installed) or via the rare RA100 ram cards. The models to look for are the HT700 (mini keys) and HT3000 (the same as the 700, except with full size keys and mod wheel). There's also a 'pro' model called the HZ600, which is basically an HT3000 minus the accompaniment section and speakers. It looks like a clone of the Roland Alpha Juno, and isn't worth it unless you get it cheap as some of the rhythm sections on the 3000/ 700 are quite usable. The model to go for is the HT6000, though these are rare. The 6000 has FOUR PCM DCO's (!), 8 filters (one per voice) and a velocity sensitive keyboard. For the prices HT's go for, they are somewhat a bargain.

 

Two other models worth looking at as they're such bargains are the VZ1 and the MZ2000. VZ's generally go for LESS than CZ's (except the rack VZ10m/ VZ8M versions) despite being a more powerful and advanced synth. They're not as easy to program as the CZ's, which might have something to do with their lesser popularity. The MZ2000 meanwhile can often be had for the same price as a CZ, and it is a VERY powerful workstation/ arranger keyboard with some impressive sounds. The MZ also has a synth section with a resonant filter, plus a velocity and aftertouch sensitive keyboard that is fully programmable with all parameters. They are are on the rarer side, and some sellers know their value, but some don't and not many people know about them. As such, potential bargains can often be had.

 

Thus for some classic Casio fun at bargain prices I would suggest:

 

MT400V/ CT410V

MT65/ 68

All the CZ range

HT700/ 3000/ 6000

VZ1

MZ2000

 

I have at least one of all those listed synths, and only two cost me more than £100 (CZ-1 = £125) and MZ2000 = £105)! Hope this helps find you a classic Casio to play with until you get your XW.  :)

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Thanks Chas for your detailed assessment.  Most appreciated  ;)

 

Thus for some classic Casio fun at bargain prices I would suggest:

 

MT400V/ CT410V

MT65/ 68

All the CZ range

HT700/ 3000/ 6000

VZ1

MZ2000

 

I have at least one of all those listed synths, and only two cost me more than £100 (CZ-1 = £125) and MZ2000 = £105)! Hope this helps find you a classic Casio to play with until you get your XW.  :)

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Just seeing this thread! :P

 

OK, so I found a M I N T Casiotone 202 with a Casio hardcase last year and grabbed that.  This past weekend I got a Casio MT-18 for free from Craigslist. The ROM cover and battery cover are missing, but the keyboard works flawlessly. And........... this weekend I also won an ebay auction for (DRUM ROLL).........

 

A VL-1!   

There is ONE more Classic Casio on my list. The first person to guess what it is gets a special prize.  :www.MessenTools.com-Frutas-pianodance:

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8 hours ago, Chas said:

 

There are so many! SK-1?

 

BAM! Winner right off!  Yes the SK-1 - it was my very first keyboard and I foolishly sold it.

And for your prize, a copy of:

 

51URTQQpqJL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

 

Just come to the concierge desk at the Atrium Level and Serge will take care of you. And yes, we do validate parking!

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Hello guys! I own Casio CZ-101, in full activity. I love their 80's vintage sounds, which use in ambient music and chill out. Usually use it with a Boss DD-20 delay to record (do not use MIDI in this case).
Also I have a CTK-6200 where I teach to my son. Is a good keyboard.
I've had a CZ-5000, at that time also had a Yamaha DX-100 which was part of the setup along with a Korg Poly-800 II. Good times!
Edited by AP1976
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I think Casio did very well with most of their instruments between the early 80's and mid-90's. I've been collecting and playing toy/home keyboards from these days and I always find something interesting to use even in the (originally) cheaper ones. I know this is the Casio forum, but I feel the same about Yamaha toy/home keyboards from back in the day - the quality standards for both companies apparently were set very high. Some people (music elitists, usually) may be fast to dismiss such instruments, but in all honesty I believe that they're gems, and in the right hand they hold the secret to some very special musical textures.

 

Although we Brazilians are not as lucky as you good people from other places like North America and Europe and have to pay way more for our used instruments (seriously, our prices are usually about 3 times what you pay and consider fair), I'm very grateful that I have around 25 or so Casio keyboards/synths. Chas' post sums it up nicely, and I would add that the thing with the CZ-101 is because it's been gathering an online following as a cult/alternative instrument. Sort of like with the Korg Poly 800, which is a nice analogue synth but limited (8 note polyphony which even cuts to 4 notes if you layer stuff). I've been collecting vinyl records for more than 10 years and it's the same with those: once a record gains an online following as a "cult record", prices get insanely inflated, even when it's not worth it. Most of the time it is more about status/having something hailed as "cool" than actually having something unique and/or special. I think that the CZ-101 is a very cute instrument indeed (and, of course, who wouldn't like to have one), and yes, it has wonderful CZ sounds, but the CZ-1 has it all plus velocity and aftertouch. Don't underestimate those features, they're valuable resources to expression when present. As far as the HT models go, I don't want to sound crazy, but I think that there are subtle differences in the sound texture between the three of them. For instance, I'm under the impression that the HT-700 can do these "old Casiotone sounds" better (not perfect, but better) than the 3000 and 6000. The 3000 always sounds cold/"wet", and because of its options and parameters, the 6000 ends up sounding more complex (and cold). Nevertheless, if you absolutely have to pick one of them, go with the HT-6000. Same synthesis but it has more options overall speaking, synth parameters and its keyboard is touch responsive (velocity, which you can also edit according to the patch so it'll do different things). The HT-700 will probably be the most expensive of the three in a few years, though, as it seems to be gaining the same following as the CZ-101 because of its size.

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MitsuharuSan, I think you and I must be twins separated at birth! We both have large Casio collections (mostly 80's to mid 90's), AND vinyl records! If you see my other post here:

 

 

You can see most of my collection of gear (still packed from shipping).

 

I agree with you on nearly all of your points above. However, the 700 and 3000 are identical internally, have the same preset and internal sounds, and will even read the exact same patches from the 700/ 3000 formatted RA100 Ram cards because they use the same parameters. The 6000 parameters are in a different order (e.g. the filter cut off and filter resonance are parameters 10 and 11 on the 700/ 3000, but are 14 and 15 on the 6000), plus the 6000 has more options so its RA100 cards are formatted differently. Basically you can interchange and read an RA100 between a 700 and 3000, regardless of which machine formatted it, but it will not work with the 6000. The reverse applies with the 6000, as a 6000 formatted RA100 will only work with a 6000 (unless reformatted to work with a 700/ 3000). The HZ600 I'm not sure, but that might also have its own format (as it loses the drums, rhythms and accompaniment section). This is one of the reasons why I'm lucky enough to have four RA100 Ram cards (yes I know, FOUR!) Two are for my 700, and two are for my 6000. They are rare and often expensive when they turn up for sale, and I was lucky to get mine for very reasonable prices.

 

As to why the 700 and 3000 sound different to you, I wonder if it's because of the physical size of the 3000 compared with the 700? Maybe it has bigger speakers, and corresponding bigger enclosures behind them. That might make a difference, though larger speakers would sound more warm I would have thought. Hard to tell without having them both in front of me for a side by side comparison. 

 

I agree totally with regards to the 6000 sounding more 'complex', and also I felt it sounded more digital at first. Having four "lines" (aka Digital Oscillators) gives it four times as many oscillators compared with the 700/ 3000, though all four can only share one selected waveform at any one time. It also has ring modulation (that the lesser models lack), plus I think it has double the number of wave forms. It also has 8 filters, one per voice, whereas the 700/ 3000 has just one (paraphonic) that is shared between all voices. The 6000 is also the only HT with velocity sensitivity. All these extra features, plus the fact that the standard presets are different on the 6000 compared with the 700/ 3000, makes the 6000 sound quite different. Also worth remembering that upon it's release in the late 80's, digital sounds were all the rage and I suspect that the 6000's presets where designed to sound more bell-like, with lots of ringing tones (Casio probably overused the ring modulation feature in the 6000), and also equipped it with more digital type sounds to try and compete (or at least keep up) with other digital synths of that era.

 

As you can see from the link above, I've JUST received all my gear after having it shipped from the UK. I am slowly unpacking them all and testing them, and so far all keyboards I've tried have worked, albeit one had slight cosmetic damage (my CT1000P), one doesn't have any of its LED's working (CT7000) and one, my CT403, was working fine then started billowing out smoke before shutting down! I opened it up and it appears one the capacitors has blown, along with its fuse, so hopefully once I replace those I will get it working again.

 

Anyhow, once I've got everything unpacked, tested and sorted, one thing I'd like to try is to program one of the 700's standard patches into the 6000. That way, I can see how different, or not, the two sound. I'm trying to remember if it's possible to turn off the oscillators in the 6000 so that it's only using one, which will make it much closer to the 700/ 3000. If not, then as long as all four oscillators are in the same tuning, it should, in theory, sound similar to the 700. I can then play them side by side and see if they are indeed that much different when using the same selected waveforms and parameters. The results could be interesting!

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Hey Chas, I'm glad that you finally received your gear/stuff! My wife's of Japanese descent (Okinawan, specifically) and she's always talking about moving to Japan - and while I love good ol' Japan, I simply can't imagine how it would be to move all my keyboards and records, haha! It must have made you feel afflicted, no? I've moved from places over the years, but never outside the country, and even when we moved to places nearby I always had to make sure that everything was OK with my things. I can only imagine how it must have been for you! Two years and seven months? Ouch. I hope that you manage to fix the gear that was damaged (and I'm sure you will, thankfully those old instruments are easier to fix).

 

As for the HT series, I'm not sure what I'm hearing, but your theory about the speakers kinda makes sense. Some of the Yamaha PSS keyboards with similar presets between them also have differences in sound when their speakers are different or the plastic grids on the case above the speakers are in a different format (am I making sense? since English's not my main language, I may be not expressing myself correctly - let me know if that's the case). I always felt that the PSS-480/580/680/780 keyboards had muffled sounds compared to some earlier models, for instance, when it's clear that this is not true once you record them directly through line out outputs. But that's the impression I get once I listen to the sound coming from their speakers. Possibly that's also what happens with the Casio HT models, as I always had the impression that my HT-3000 (which I ended up selling after getting the 6000) didn't sound like a HT-700. It felt colder, while the 700 sort of have that old Casiotone feel to it (comparable to a SK-200 or a MT-520, for example). Go figure! My ears surely must be playing tricks on me. And, whoa, you're very lucky to have those RAM cards. I never, ever saw one of them around here, which makes me think that they weren't sold in Brazil back in the day! Surely at least one of them would have popped up by now. I love Casio, but I think it was a huge mistake to make such nice synth-keyboards like the HT models and make them depend on (rare) RAM cards or keeping them powered all the time. If it only had a couple of synth-like parameters, ok, it would be simple enough to recreate sounds every time, but the SD synthesis is deep enough to deserve an internal battery to save the patches, in my opinion. At the very least the HT-6000 deserved it! Sort of cuts the fun by half when you finally manage to find a sound you like and have to "save" it via paper and pen and recreate it all over again the next time you turn power on. :/



 

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