Ensoniq TS-10 Plus?

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matamoris
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Ensoniq TS-10 Plus?

Post by matamoris » Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:53 pm

This Wikipedia article claims that there is a TS-10 Plus that uses an LCD instead of the vacuum fluorescent display. Has anyone ever seen one of these?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ensoniq_TS_10

And why on earth does the TS-10 still fetch >$1000 these days when all other synths of its day are going for less than half that?
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Post by VanSonik » Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:34 pm

All keyboards with polyphonic aftertouch sell at a premium because they are hard to come by.
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Post by Don Solaris » Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:32 pm

VanSonik wrote:All keyboards with polyphonic aftertouch sell at a premium because they are hard to come by.
Well... maybe, or maybe not.... SQ-80 has poly aftertouch yet it is in regular $200 price range for the past few years.

I'd say the major factor about TS-10 is the sound quality. It is simply magnificent. Recently i played Korg Triton and couldn't believe the muffled sound that goes out of those heavy compressed waveforms (almost if they used 128kb mp3), specially once you disable all the effects. On TS-10 when you turn off the efx, the sound still has the balls.

It also offers a lot of synthesis capabilities - custom transwave / wavetable import (Fizmo can't do that), modulation mixer / scaler (similar to Kurzweil FUNs) and the wave sequencing but with high quality 44.1/16bit waveforms (not the lo/fi Wavestation style).

Anyone else interested in more info about TS-10 and some sound examples can check here:
http://homepage.mac.com/synth_seal/html/ds_ts10.html


matamoris wrote:This Wikipedia article claims that there is a TS-10 Plus that uses an LCD instead of the vacuum fluorescent display. Has anyone ever seen one of these?
I did. But trust me, the "old school" vacuum display is way way cooler! You have standard LCD on every other synth. Also the "new" LCD does not use any benefits (of its pixel size). Instead it just displays what original one does. For that job they could use the half of the size of this one.

EDIT: turned out TS-10 is not true 44.1 kHz engine. See second page for explanation.
Last edited by Don Solaris on Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by portland » Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:58 pm

Don Solaris wrote:the lo/fi Wavestation style
That's the problem with the wavestation. Good idea, terrible sound.

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Post by seamonkey » Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:49 am

I wouldn't exactly say the Wavestation has a terrible sound.
It's capable of some beautiful ethereal sounds, I've created some beautiful choir sounds, as well as some haunting beautiful pads.
Are you talking about isolating the samples? or listening without effects?

I do fault Korg for their faulty keyboard which results in sticky keys, the LCD display which burns out easily and the design much like the Prophecy that puts pressure on the main output jacks causing them to become intermittent.
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Post by portland » Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:55 am

The samples are thin. I don't think the effect unit can disguise that, it just early-nineties-gloss-ifies the sound. It's just interesting to compare the wavestation to the M1, because to my ears the M1 actually has a lot better sound quality, but is considered so limited. I don't know the data, but I wonder if the samples in the wavestation are at 44.1 khz or what. Anyway, the TS10 sounds a lot better than the wavestation, I think.

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Post by Don Solaris » Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:17 am

Judging by my ear, to me it sounded like Wavestation had 8 bit samples and a low sampling rate, something like 22kHz or so. Unfortunately i don't know its specs.

But this doesn't bother me at all - Wavestation A/D is still one of my favorite digitals. TS-10 comes as a high quality (waveforms) wavesequencing synth. I think only other option for wavesequencing with 44.1 @ 16bit waves is Oasys.

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Post by guitarsandsynths » Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:21 am

The ts 10 has also a great easy to use sequencer. They fetch around 1,300 on ebay. And, yeah, it does sound great. I did a lot of recording with a ts 12 on my first cd, basicaly the whole thing is ts 12 and guitars. The ts 12 sells for much less. Go figure!
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Post by Mr. Black » Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:19 am

Wavestation I'm sure was using a sample rate of 32KHz, just like the O1w did , the Wavestation SR has a much brighter sound i don't know if it's becaus it use's different converters, i doubt it has a higher sampling rate.Korg's 48khz machines these day's don't do it for me, i know compressing the sounds is mostly responsible for that though.
Last edited by Mr. Black on Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by seamonkey » Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:54 pm

I came across this bit of info on the Hollowsun site.
many of the on-board waveforms weren't as multi-sampled as they could (or should) have been and many waveforms had just a single sample that covered the entire keyboard range. Those that were 'multi-sampled', only had two or three samples to cover the range. When transposed, these waveforms exhibited unpleasant aliasing noises - they sounded 'crunchy' down low and almost ring modulated up high.
I doubt they were 8bit samples, that would put them in Mirage territory, maybe John Bowen would know since he was involved in it's development.
Going back to the D50 for a moment were those 8 or 12bit samples?
I always thought they were 12 but now I can't remember.

I remember hearing your TS10 demos some months back and I have to say they are excellent. Many years ago I almost upgraded to the TS10 from my VFX-SD even tho I had the factory upgrade which included the 16bit pianos.
I love that old Ensoniq stuff like the EPS, ASR and the TS10, it's too bad they went under. :(

Thank you Don for the info you post on your site, it's helped me more than once when I was considering buying a new keyboard.
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Post by etcetera » Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:07 pm

Wavestation I'm sure was using a sample rate of 32KHz,
The TS-10/12 uses a 32 kHz'ish sample rate too, not 44.1 kHz. I have built waveforms to load, and the sample rate and the weird Ensoniq disk format is quite a nuissance to work with, as you have to use an old DOS command prompt interface to format disks and add files. (Furthermore, all the floppy drives I have are broken now). If you get past that, though, it's very rewarding to load your own custom waves and built patches from there. There's a lot of cool trickery you can do modulating wave lists and start end points of loops. And the effects unit is a close relative to the great DP/2 and DP/4.

Funny thing is that just yesterday I re-read the original Keyboard review of the TS-10, and they didn't like it back then, as they found its sounded muffled and did tests on the pure waveform sound that showed a lot of aliasing.
Personally I was kind of surprised with this conclusion. I am happy with the sound and versatility of my own TS-12, and I am not surprised that these synths are still fetching a higher price than many other synths.

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Post by seamonkey » Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:39 pm

If I remember correctly they(Keyboard) came to the same conclusion about the VFX(about it sounding muffled) and I admit for a long time I had the same impression, it reminded me of a thin wall stopping the full sound from getting through. Mind you I was used to playing my D50 and the sonic difference was quite present at least to my ears. It also seemed to lack punch and stereo separation.
Over the years I came to accept it for what it is and to embrace it's unique sound.
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Post by PolarAC » Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:13 am

seamonkey wrote: I love that old Ensoniq stuff like the EPS, ASR and the TS10, it's too bad they went under. :(
:thumbright:

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Post by Don Solaris » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:47 am

etcetera wrote:The TS-10/12 uses a 32 kHz'ish sample rate too, not 44.1 kHz.
TS-10 loads and plays 44.1kHz / 16bit.



EDIT: turned out TS-10 is not true 44.1 kHz engine. See second page for explanation.
Last edited by Don Solaris on Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by etcetera » Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:10 pm

etcetera wrote:
The TS-10/12 uses a 32 kHz'ish sample rate too, not 44.1 kHz.
TS-10 loads and plays 44.1kHz / 16bit.
Hmmm. This is kind of relative. Basically it just loads a block of bytes. You could probably also load a block of jpeg.

The native disk format certainly is this weird 33+ kHz format. But in any case that doesn't stop anyone from loading a block of data which is really a 44.1 kHz sample. I am just not aware whether the TS will be able to reckognize it as a 44.1 kHz file, if that's what you mean.

The sample rate really is up to the engine playing the file, and not the file itself. As the engine adjusts the playback sample rate according to key position anyway, sample rate is a relative thing to the key, and it makes no real difference - except of course a 44.1 kHz sample is expected to give an overall better resolution.

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