Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

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Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby iphoenix » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:05 pm

Hi, as per subject above.

I would prefer the ASR10 but it lacks SCSI . The EPS16+ has SCSI .

Are they really almost identical ? ..apart from the EPS16+ , having 8 tracks in its sequencer & the ASR10 has 16 tracks ?
- the EPS16+ needing a Waveboy disc to enable using the internal fx live with external sources , while the ASR10 works like that without any discs.

Also the EPS16+ only has one input as opposed to the ASRs stereo (2) inputs.

The EPS16+ maxes out @ 2 or 4 mb , while the ASR10 can hold 16 mb.

Another Waveboy disc is needed to access the 'voder' (vocoder) fx on the EPS16+ while the ASR10 has it standard.

Im hearing from research of these instruments that apart from the exceptions mentioned above they are more or less identical in parameters programming & synthesis features.

Are the fx the same apart from that stated?

Im aware that the EPS16+ can downsample to much lower bit depths than the ASR10.

I can get the ASR10 keyboard including full manual & os. disc for @ E 150 more than the EPS16+ which has SCSI & just the o.s. disc.
Are there any particular advantages to the ASR10 keyboard (no scsi) over the EPS16 rack (yes scsi) ? apart from the obvious.

Personally Im not even sure scsi would be that important to me, sure it would be nice, but I dont need to load any sound libraries etc, Im more interested in using it for sound design, transwave synthesis & sampling anything I need directly into the inputs.

Are the keyboards more prone to failure? Is the rack more reliable?

I hear a lot of complaints @ the ASR10s especially & problems / errors & faults/ keyboards not calibrating etc

Im aware they are getting on & nearly 30 years old now & that unfortunately there is no Ensoniq etc

Ideally I would go with the ASR10 keyboard , but would it be worth 150-200 e more to an experienced user of both than the EPS16+ rack?

They are very rare & usually expensive in Europe as opposed to 'the States' ,where they seem to be available everywhere & much cheaper.

Opinions welcome from experienced Ensoniq users, Thanks
Last edited by iphoenix on Fri May 11, 2018 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby Ashe37 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:31 pm

Get an ASR-10 with SCSI.

or this:

http://www.straylightengineering.com/pr ... iq-asr-10/

Yes, thats the SCSI add-on for the ASR-10
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby Ashe37 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:34 pm

The keyboard calibration issue is largely with the earlier VFX, and the reputation of it has mysteeeeriously spread to all Ensoniq products. There has been a known fix for the VFX keyboard problem for two decades.
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby iphoenix » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:48 am

ok, advice noted & that is what I would prefer Ashe37, thanks for that.

Its just that I would have to get one shipped from the U.S. & that would at least double the price over the slim pickings locally ( within 150 miles) & import tax on top, probably tripling the original U.S. used market price.

edit later:
Thanks for the link, great to know that Tom is making scsi expansion boards & possibly makes the decision easier.
Last edited by iphoenix on Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby Ashe37 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:52 am

then buy the new scsi module...
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby iphoenix » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:19 am

I just took in the link info & realised the same , thanks!
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby Rasputin » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:54 pm

All I can say is... I'm very content with the EPS16+ Turbo rack and have never felt the need to upgrade to an ASR10. But I do have all the Waveboy disks, so the only thing I feel I'm possibly lacking is being able to sample in true stereo, but I've never had any compulsion to ever do that on any device, so it's a non-issue.

I feel like the ASR10 was better in the "I need a box that can load multiple realistic orchestra libraries and be the center of my studio" mid-to-late '90s era and that the EPS16+ is better in the "I just need this for mojo and quirky things" era of 2018 (because--let's be real--we're all using computers for the heavy lifting).

Also, unlike the EPS16+, the ASR10 cannot import Ensoniq Mirage disks.

For your usage needs, I would say if you don't go SCSI then you should at least go with a floppy emulator.
Last edited by Rasputin on Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby Ashe37 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:18 pm

As I told him via pm, the ASR is actually better synthesis-wise than the EPS. Also has more voices and more RAM.
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby Rasputin » Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:52 pm

Ashe37 wrote:As I told him via pm, the ASR is actually better synthesis-wise than the EPS. Also has more voices and more RAM.


The ASR is more powerful according to the specs, obviously. It is newer and was intended to be an upgrade, so...

Plus, if it's an ASR keyboard then it doesn't necessarily have more RAM than an EPS16+ rack, only if the ASR has been upgraded. So the ASR is going to cost more, you're going to have to fit SCSI, and possibly upgrade the RAM and add an output expansion. The EPS16+ rack is full expanded already. These are all just considerations.

I'd personally choose (and have chosen) an EPS16+ rack over an ASR10 keyboard, but that's just my opinion, storage space, usage needs, and budget considerations.
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby Ashe37 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:05 pm

The maximum RAM an EPS16+ can take is 2 mb. The ASR-10 comes with 2 MB as a base. The ASR-10 uses, essentially, old computer ram that can be picked up off ebay for next to nothing, and can be upgraded. The EPS... if it isn't already maxed out, forget it.
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby iphoenix » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:56 pm

Rasputin wrote:All I can say is... I'm very content with the EPS16+ Turbo rack and have never felt the need to upgrade to an ASR10. But I do have all the Waveboy disks, so the only thing I feel I'm possibly lacking is being able to sample in true stereo, but I've never had any compulsion to ever do that on any device, so it's a non-issue.

I feel like the ASR10 was better in the "I need a box that can load multiple realistic orchestra libraries and be the center of my studio" mid-to-late '90s era and that the EPS16+ is better in the "I just need this for mojo and quirky things" era of 2018 (because--let's be real--we're all using computers for the heavy lifting).

Also, unlike the EPS16+, I don't believe the ASR10 can import Ensoniq Mirage disks.

For your usage needs, I would say if you don't go SCSI then you should at least go with a floppy emulator.


Thanks Rasputin , thats a useful perspective for me. The EPS16+ Ive been considering has SCSI, but to quote you " mojo and quirky " ,synthesis ,transwaves & general inspiration is what Im after.

Ive no interest in pedestrian use of samplers, or orchestral libraries etc.

Im also interested in its sequencer & using it, as I like hardware sequencers & the quirks & limitations of early ones.

I would get the ASR10 for its expanded sequencing memory & 16 tracks & the stereo inputs, as I would be using the inputs for sampling rather than discs / scsi etc, but Im more likely to forgo those extras to manage budget , ie..EPS16 + being €200 cheaper than the ASR10.

Are the Waveboy discs very hard to find & how many are there? Im presuming they are floppies.
Last edited by iphoenix on Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby iphoenix » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:57 pm

Thanks guys, Im hanging on to every word!
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby Rasputin » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:33 am

@Ashe37

Just to make you happy, I'll admit that the ASR10 is superior if for no other reason than because it uses HD floppies and will also import Akai S1000 and Roland S700 sounds whereas the EPS16 is SD 800K floppy and can't import Akai/Roland.

There you go. You win. No one intelligent would ever consider getting an EPS over ASR even if they were broke. ;)

As a blanket statement, if we're comparing a fully upgraded ASR-10 to a fully upgraded EPS16+ (rack vs. rack, for example) then the ASR-10 has more features and is significantly more powerful. Yes, absolutely. However, here are the few quirks I can think of that the EPS16 has that the ASR10 just cannot reproduce:

MIRAGE IMPORT -- nothing else can do this other than the Oberheim DPX-1, but DPX-1 is playback only and cannot edit. EPS series (EPS/EPS-m/EPS16) is the only way to export Mirage properly to EFE (and therefore WAV/AIFF/SF2/Kontakt, etc.)

ROTATE OUTPUTS -- rotates a voice between BUS 1, BUS 2, and BUS 3 each time the voice is played

SAMPLE RATE -- seven ADC rates from 11.2 to 44.6 (both higher and lower than ASR10's 44.1kHz and 29.7kHz)

FILTER CUTOFF -- ADC adjustment which can used to select different anti-aliasing filter behaviors (varies digital artifacts -- add grunge, ringing, etc.)

While the ASR/EPS16 DACs are the same,the EPS16 has a different input stage to the ASR10. Not necessarily better or worse, but different. This could be both sonically positive and/or negative.

This is kind of off-topic, but as a sidenote, it is possible to sample in stereo with the EPS16, just not in realtime (which rules out using it as a stereo FX box even via Waveboy). Admittedly, this is a workaround and a total pain in the neck because it almost always requires manual time-aligning, but it's actually possible if you're hellbent.

Just sample the left channel first, sample the right channel next, time align, and then pan left/right. You'd have to be pretty desperate to do this, but can be done in special cases. It's easier with material with strong transients and as also if you export the samples from EPS16 to computer**, use a wave editor to time align, and then import back to the EPS16. Oh the hoops to jump through!!!! Ridiculous!

:lol:

Transients help because if the stereo sample has a strong transient in the center channel (kick drum on the 1 beat?) then both left/right can be easily aligned by ear, perhaps even automatically by adjusting the sample input threshold properly.

I'm slightly tempted to go make this a video tutorial on YouTube because it's so masochistic.

** This can be done losslessly via MIDI SDS using Epsilon or SCSI with ChickenSys Translator.
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby iphoenix » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:26 am

Not at all off topic , quite the contrary. Thanks for all that info.

I m the one that would go to the trouble of sampling twice to get the stereo sample, or run the live audio through the single input twice to get a stereo recording with the FX etc.

Its all about sound for me. Workflow is important but comes way down the line from sound & inspiration from that sound.

btw the ASR10 Ive been considering only has 2 mb ram ,so it would work out a lot more expensive to get it expanded with SCSi & 32 mb I still want it though but wouldnt see the EPS16 as inferior ,just different, but what do I know about either?

Epsilon looks really handy & Tranzilion, Ive heard a lot about that, thanks for the link Rasputin..

Ive studied so much @ Ensoniq samplers, I really aught to get one.

Thanks again to you both
Last edited by iphoenix on Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ensoniq ASR10 (keyb)no SCSI or EPS16+ rack with SCSI

Postby Ashe37 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:50 am

doent the kb max out at 8mb?
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