Two ways to go, only money for one... ESQ-1 or CS-20M?

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aXL
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Two ways to go, only money for one... ESQ-1 or CS-20M?

Post by aXL » Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:58 pm

Here's the latest on my current GASing...

I'm getting approx. 2700 NOK in a few weeks time. This equals about $450 (US) or £226. For that purpose, I have recently found out about an Ensoniq ESQ-1 in great cosmetic condition and in a suitable price class. Having a JP-8080, I think the sonic capabilities of the ESQ-1 are different enough to create a good contrast. If anyone can tell me anything about how it would fit in and what it can do well, that would be great. I play lots of different stuff, but usually tailor the music around what I have, since I'm just jamming with myself and improving my abilities.

But, if I save up some cash (about 1.5 times the amount I'm recieving), I can get a Yamaha CS-20M. As opposed to the ESQ-1, which was posted on an auction site, I've seen and tested the CS in real life. It seems to be in OK condish, but it looks slightly beat, it lacks a headphone output, and the high-note priority annoys me. But decent cheap monos are hard to find in Norway. Anyone who knows how much it would be to fix the headphone socket and the cosmetics, and perhaps even to have it modded for last-note priority if at all possible?

In short, I'm leaning more towards the ESQ-1, since I'm moving to a musical boarding school in the middle of nowhere in autumn, but where I will actually be using my own instruments. The ESQ-1 is something which seems more practical in the long run, but the CS-20M would add a bit of X-factor to the music. Any suggestions?
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Post by OriginalJambo » Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:11 am

The ESQ-1 is a fantastic synth and is much more capable than the CS-20M. It excels at strings (they are fantastic, much better than other analogue polys like the Juno for examples), pads and soft leads.

The filters are analogue so it still has a dark warmth to it and it can sound pretty big for a polysynth. It also has hard sync, AM modulation (ring mod), portamento, a mono mode, 3 LFOs, 4 (!) envelopes so when it comes to sounds effects and modulation it's a force to be reckoned with.

The only downsides are the 8-bit waveforms which are pretty low-fi and therefore lack high end. It can snug into a mix very easily though as a result of this.

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Post by Alex E » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:19 am

Well, the ESQ-1 is not the most reliable synth, but if you find one that works, definitely consider. You shouldn't have to spend more than $250 on a working one, though.

The ESQ-1 has many modulation capabilities, and editing is really easy and fun.

Great Minimoog-type sounds thanks to 3 oscs.

The curtis filter sounds very nice, and I don't know why.



Make note that the ESQ-1 doesn't have MIDI thru or a headphone jack.

With your budget you could probably get your hands on the enhanced ESQ-1, an SQ-80, which has everything I think the ESQ-1 lacks, and that includes a floppy disk drive, 75 total waveforms, MIDI thru, a headphone jack, and probably better reliability.


I don't really have much of an opinion on the CS-20m, because I never played one.
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Post by clusterchord » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:51 am

get xtremely rare CS-20M. it belongs to the less-known late CS range (20M/40M/70M). i had 70M so judging by that it should sound gorgeous.



otoh, there will always be ESQ-1s floating arround for peanuts. even if, down the lne, it means shipping it from somewhere else. when you do, get the module ESQ-M anyway, no space vaste with yet another keyboard, which aint realy reliable anymore anyway..
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Post by Alex E » Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:50 am

clusterchord wrote:get xtremely rare CS-20M. it belongs to the less-known late CS range (20M/40M/70M). i had 70M so judging by that it should sound gorgeous...
He's got a point. If it's rare, you should get it while you still can as an ESQ-1 is relatively common and cheap.
And if it sounds that good that is the most important thing.

clusterchord wrote: otoh, there will always be ESQ-1s floating arround for peanuts. even if, down the lne, it means shipping it from somewhere else. when you do, get the module ESQ-M anyway, no space vaste with yet another keyboard, which aint realy reliable anymore anyway..
But the ESQ-m is not nice to program at all, unlike the keyboard version...
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Post by mpa1104 » Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:21 am

Christ, I'm glad I'm not faced with that choice :D Well, having said that, as a happy ESQ-1 owner, the decision would be taken away there so I would probably lean towards the CS since they are rarer. I agree with the above comments in that the ESQ-1 is still relatively accessible.

Tough choice - don't envy you there. Good luck with it.
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Post by crystalmsc » Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:14 am

for the money, I'd get the CS-20m. the ESQ-1 can be had for way cheaper, opt for the SQ-80 which also can be had for cheaper than that.
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Post by joerg721 » Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:39 am

Did you like the CS20M?
If yes: get it!

Many people do not like the CS-M series, well it´s not a Moog. :wink:
I like mine a lot! :)

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Btw., there is a headphone output, but it is not on the back, but on the left side of the front.

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Post by JJQ » Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:00 pm

Get the CS-20m. A cheap way to get at least a bit of the best analog sound.
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Post by clueless » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:46 pm

I have only had hands on with the CS20m and it's a fine synth. Very capable of all the oldie sounds. Looks cool too. :D

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Post by aXL » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:59 pm

joerg721 wrote:Btw., there is a headphone output, but it is not on the back, but on the left side of the front.
I know where the headphone jack is. It's busted.

The trick is, it seems way too unruly in its current state, and I'm not sure if I could ever muster the cash needed for good repairs and cosmetic fix-up. But it sure is tempting, no doubts there. And the sound is great.

I need to be practical, though. If I go for the CS-20M, I'll have to save up for a while, but if I go for the ESQ-1, I can get that almost the second I get my cash in hand. Besides, the direction I seem to be taking musically as of late seems more compatible with an ESQ-1.
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Post by tspit74 » Tue Jun 19, 2007 2:13 pm

joerg721 wrote:Did you like the CS20M?
If yes: get it!

Many people do not like the CS-M series, well it´s not a Moog. :wink:
I like mine a lot! :)

Image

Btw., there is a headphone output, but it is not on the back, but on the left side of the front.
Wow! What a nice looking synth. Never seen one before. I know which way I'd be leaning...

I'll be getting an ESQ-1 soon. My brother's obsessed with them and has multiples. Once he figures out which one/ones are the keepers, I'll get the overspill.
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Post by joerg721 » Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:09 pm

aXL wrote:The trick is, it seems way too unruly in its current state, and I'm not sure if I could ever muster the cash needed for good repairs and cosmetic fix-up. But it sure is tempting, no doubts there. And the sound is great.

I need to be practical, though. If I go for the CS-20M, I'll have to save up for a while, but if I go for the ESQ-1, I can get that almost the second I get my cash in hand. Besides, the direction I seem to be taking musically as of late seems more compatible with an ESQ-1.
I see.
Go for the Ensoniq then... it is certainly a fine synthesizer.
Depending on which part breaks down, repairing these CS models can become expensive... if you find somebody who is able to do it, btw.

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Re: Two ways to go, only money for one... ESQ-1 or CS-20M?

Post by 3vcos » Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:14 pm

I've got 2 esq1s and an sq80 and I'd trade all of them for a cs20. The old CS series are classics are classic mono and poly synths. I'm not sure where you are but an esq1 or rack esq1 usually sells for about $100. The ensoniqs are interesting but I'd rather take a modern softsynth over one.

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Post by premieklovn » Tue Jun 19, 2007 5:19 pm

Yamaha CS20M fo sho.

Where and how much? I haven't seen any ads lately.

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