Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yamaha CS01, MA10, MH10 and MM10 Producer Series "Before. After. Rolling Sound..." ad, Keyboard 1982

Yamaha CS01 Synthesizer, MA10 Headphone Amplifier, MH10 Stereo Headphones and MM10 Stereo Mic/Line Mixer "Before. After. Rolling sound..." Producer Series two-page colour advertisement from page 36 and 37 in the August 1982 issue of Keyboard Magazine.

Yamaha must have known they were on to a good thing with the artistic direction taken for the Producer Series of advertisements, and decided to keep the ball rolling after the first ad appeared in the June 1982 issue of Keyboard Magazine - ---see right  --->

In that first advertisement, Yamaha focused on the theme of "Private practice", where using only Yamaha Producer Series equipment, a band could practice without annoying the neighbours, or apparently, the pet dog.

In this second advertisement, again appearing only once, this time in the August 1982 issue of Keyboard, the theme switches to "Rolling sound", aka the ability to take your music on the road. And not on now-fasionable inline skates, but old-skool roller skates - toe-brakes and all. Whether we are talking about the skates or the... ahem... cleavage... it is truly all in the details.  Hubba!  The point is, this battery-operated gear is light and easy to take on the road.

Both this ad and the previous one follow the same "Before/After" layout, with only two splashes of colour to be found. In the "Producer Series" name and the gear itself. Those splashes of colour save the ad in some ways, allowing the readers' eyes to find a focal point. Something that could be rather difficult without the colour in a two page advertisement this busy.

I have to give Yamaha credit. They went to great lengths to make these ads unique. And not just the imagery, but the ad-copy as well. The story pulls each piece of gear from the Producer Series into the ad, even if it is not part of the artwork. Nice.

At some point I'll pick up all these pieces just to fiddle with, but as can be seen in my previous blog post, my obsession is really all about the CS01 synthesizer.

Side note: I went through a period where I was really fascinated with mini-synthesizers and at one point was ignoring all my other gear and creating music based only around my CZ101, DX100, MC202 and Prophecy. Kind of concept album. Never went anywhere, and probably a good thing since that last one I mentioned, the Korg Prophecy, may not be a true mini. Someone would have called me out on that. But it is monophonic. And great sounding. And adorable - just like the rest in this group. :)

Anyways, my obsession is really about the CS01. But the others were definitely along for the ride. For example, all four pieces appeared in the same Spec Sheet promo in the May 1982 issue of Keyboard (a month before the ads started to appear). The promo focuses on the most important aspects of each piece - the size and weight. Plus, us historical freaks get some retail pricing info too!
"Yamaha products. Four new miniaturized sound reinforcement components have been introduced by Yamaha. The portable battery-operated CS01 Monophonic Synthesizer, is 19 3/4" wide by 6-3/8" deep, with a 32-note keyboard, pitch and mod wheels, LFO, variable glissando, pitch, and waveform controls, pulse width modulation, full VCF, VCA, and envelope generator controls, an octave selector for adjusting keyboard range, and an interface allowing modulation of both VCF and VCA functions by breath. A build-in amp and speaker system is also included. Price is $249.95. The MH10 Headphone Amplifier, weighing 17 ounces and measuring 8-3/4" by 5" by 2-1/16", features four line inputs and outputs, separate volume controls, bass and treble controls, and input and master volume controls that permit intentional distortion effects. A built-in analog delay line can create a stereo-like effect. The MA10 sells for $124.95. The MH10 Stereo Headphones weigh two ounces, and feature adjustable headband and a 9' cable. Price is $29.95. Finally, the MM10 Mic/Line Stereo Portable Mixer weighs 17 ounces, measures 98-3/4" by 5" by 2-1/16", with capability of mixing up to four signals. Each powered product runs on either AC or battery. Yamaha, Boxx 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622."
$249.95?!?! That's an amazing price for what the portable CS01 can do. And the timing couldn't have been better either. In this May issue alone, we have advertisements for the Roland TB303/TR606 and SCI Remote Prophet. And the article on Jonathan Cain (Ex-Babys Keyboardist touring with Journey) features a large photo of him with an ARP Odyssey strapped around his neck (and looking like he's experiencing severe back problems). Technology was getting to the point where the luxury of portability was starting to kick in. Yamaha was catching the wave.

I'm curious though... can I really get a power generator harness for my dog? I could see how that could come in handy.

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