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Vintage Sampler: DSS-1 or FZ-1?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:35 am
by bjoerngiesler
Hi,

I'm hunting for a vintage sampler that can be had for cheap and has good filters. So far, I guess this means either the Korg DSS-1 or the Casio FZ-1. Which would you advise me to get?

As far as I can see it, the only thing the DSS-1 has going for it is the digital delay, while the FZ-1 has more memory, graphical display, less weight and a faster disk drive (?). In the end, it probably all boils down to the filters. Does anyone have both and can comment on them?

Thanks a lot in advance,
Björn

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:29 am
by Mr. Black
the DSS-1 sounds much better than the FZ-1,(noise generator sync, 12 and 24 db filter's Resonance, two envelope generator's per voice, DSS-1 sounds very lush and rich.if your looking for a sampler and the ability to load sample libraries you might want to look at somthing like Akai S series samplers, they can be had very cheap depending on which module,unless your looking for a sampling keyboard,anyway i would choose a DSS-1 over FZ-1 you might want to check out Roland S50 those sell for dirt cheap and sound pretty nice great string sounds.

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:21 am
by nathanscribe
Or an Ensoniq Mirage. 8-bit, 128k, and full of analogue filters. They sound great, but you have to like programming in hexadecimal and live with one output. Not something to rely on for everything, but a good box for sitting alongside others.

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 12:25 pm
by bjoerngiesler
OK, I should have detailed: My focus is not realistic sounds (obvious from the choice above) but weird noises, so the focus is definitely on the filters. So from your excellent advice, sounds like I should go with the DSS-1, even with the minuscule memory? The FZ-1 filters are supposed to sound very good, too.

I forgot to mention that I'm looking for a DS/EX-8000 too. Does that have the same filters as the DSS? If so, maybe the FZ-1 offers more variety?

Thanks a lot.

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 1:24 pm
by tom Cadillac
I'd recommend the Ensoniq EPS - this is the thing I'm using most at the moment. The keyboard is wonderfully expressive, with aftertouch control of the filters. It has a lot of possibilities for making wierd noises - the looping % parameters get really warped sounds and theres a lot of envelope parameters i havn't explored. So the filters are just part of the available warp factors. And mine was an absolute bargain.
I think old hardware samplers are the way to go for sound creation. :D

PS- I'v also got a DW8000 - but don't know if the filter is the same as the DSS-1. I wouldn't recommend this for wierd sounds - though it does have that lovely rich analogue tone. I think of it more as a classic keyboard and sort of tailor my playing to its range and what its good at.

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:35 pm
by calyx93
tom Cadillac wrote:I'd recommend the Ensoniq EPS - this is the thing I'm using most at the moment. The keyboard is wonderfully expressive, with aftertouch control of the filters. It has a lot of possibilities for making wierd noises - the looping % parameters get really warped sounds and theres a lot of envelope parameters i havn't explored. So the filters are just part of the available warp factors. And mine was an absolute bargain.
I think old hardware samplers are the way to go for sound creation. :D
If you're at all concerned/interested about filters, the EPS and its family of samplers feature NO resonance on their filters. A serious omission IMO, despite the fact that they're incredible digital manglers. The only way to add this is via Waveboy disks for the EPS-16+ and ASR models - there was a resonant filter emulation available.

Go for the DSS-1 if you want to go the analog filter route - or you could try the other samplers of that era that feature it (but could be more expensive, hard to maintain or difficult-to-use - take your pick). However, if you don't mind a fully digital solution - there are always the latter-year E-mu samplers (ESI-4000, E4x, E6400, E500, etc.) that feature TONS of interesting filter types - enough to keep you busy forever.

Just my two cents worth.

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 2:40 pm
by gs
The FZ-1 and EPS have digital filters, not analog ones like the DSS-1. They both have more memory than the DSS, but the DSS has the best overall sound for synthesized sounds, tones and noises. DSS-1 has a very feature-rich synth engine with sync, but-crushing, and other cool things missing on the other samplers.

Yes, the DSS-1 shares the same filter as DW-6000/8000 and EX-8000. It's also found on Poly800. It is NJM-2069 Korg custom VCF. It's one of their very best analog filters. Very creamy and warm, very Moog-ish in fact. I would rate it as a top class filter along with Roland's IR-3109 (found in Jupiter/Juno), SSM-2044 (Polysix/MonoPoly/SX-240) and early Curtis CEM-3040 (Prophet5 rev3, OB-Xa).

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:28 pm
by tallowwaters
please post future sampler questions in the sampler forum.

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:28 pm
by tallowwaters
please post future sampler questions in the sampler forum.

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:39 pm
by donaldm
just some things to think about.

The EPS is simple to work with, its like walking in the park on a spring day. The EPS is your friend, your sampling companion. It imparts no magical sound and the lack of a resonant filter sucks. But it does what is meant to do very well.

The DSS-1 on the other hand is an absolute beast to work with. It operates almost nothing like a sampler (whereas the EPS is a textbook definition of one) it is a DW-8000 with a highly flexable osc scheme. And based on presets alone, it is a special instrument. I just got my DSS yesterday and its left me scratching my chin. Whereas the EPS doesnt even require a manual to get up and running.

I guess what I'm getting at, if your planning on doing the generation of new and strange sounds, if you go the DSS route be prepared to work.

some other things

the DSS-1 is roughly twice the size of the EPS
The DSS-1 can only play one sound vs. 8 on the EPS
The EPS has a sequencer
The EPS is expandable to waaaaaay more ram then the DSS


I can forsee using the DSS when i feel like going to the lab trying to create something new. It is the sampler/synth equivalent of a mythos.

The EPS is for the woodshed its there to get work done, and it does it well.

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:11 pm
by intercorni
gs wrote:The FZ-1 and EPS have digital filters, not analog ones like the DSS-1.
That is not true, the FZ-1 has pure analogue filter!!! Ese sound extremely good.

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:50 pm
by gs
intercorni wrote:
gs wrote:The FZ-1 and EPS have digital filters, not analog ones like the DSS-1.
That is not true, the FZ-1 has pure analogue filter!!! Ese sound extremely good.
Hmmm....

http://www.vintagesynth.com/casio/fz1.shtml

That page, and all other research done, points to digital filter. Could they ALL be wrong? BTW they say it's a pretty good digital filter, though.

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:51 pm
by intercorni
Digital contrl. analogue filter!

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:20 pm
by gs
intercorni wrote:Digital contrl. analogue filter!
This is strange... Does anyone know the essential difference between VCF and DCF, and don't just say "it's digitally controlled". It's not like the same thing with VCO/DCO, where you need an actual "oscillation" that is created either by voltage fluctuations or by a digital counter. But what is the "digital control process" for an analog filter, though? You just pipe sound thru it, right?

Maybe it's just a labeling thing with Casio, it's essentially VCF though?

Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 9:49 pm
by intercorni
The filter is controlled not by CV, but digitally by microprozessor.