Ensoniq SQ-80 vs Roland D50

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.
Post Reply
rickyd
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:35 pm

Ensoniq SQ-80 vs Roland D50

Post by rickyd » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:29 am

I havent seen a comparison on this site about these 2 synths, if there is one, then I just didn't catch it. The SQ-80 seems to be a pretty warm synth, sounding like a D50. Wat are your thoughts about both of these synths compared to each other?

solderguy
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:15 pm

Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 vs Roland D50

Post by solderguy » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:49 am

Owned both an ESQ-1 and a D50. When I decided to sell one to fund another purchase, the D50 was the one the one to go ( after much thought... ). D50 more complex and in-depth, but the ESQ-1 was more "live" and "organic" sounding ( and without need for built-in fx ), and more fun to work with. Both synths are severely compromised in various ways ( as most synths are... ), yet each can sound great doing the things they do best. They each have their own very distinct character.

User avatar
meatballfulton
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6049
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:29 pm
Gear: Logic Pro X

Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 vs Roland D50

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:34 pm

D-50 can play up to 16 note poly (more complex patches limited to 8 notes) and has onboard FX (reverb and chorus). Can do splits and layers but otherwise not multitimbral.

SQ-80 is limited to 8 voices but is fully multitimbral, has a very user-friendly sequencer, real analog filters and has poly aftertouch. More/better modulation options than D-50.

D-50 sounds smoother (12 bit digital), SQ-80 is a bit raw (8 bit digital).

SQ-80 is also cheaper these days.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

rickyd
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:35 pm

Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 vs Roland D50

Post by rickyd » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:47 am

Interesting comparisons and contrasts between these 2 synths. I wonder why the SQ-80 doesn't have the classic appeal like the D-50 does though, it does have an amazing sound in it's own right, giving the fact that (IMO) sounds similar to the D-50, but with it's own charm as well.

User avatar
braincandy
Retired Moderator
Retired Moderator
Posts: 940
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:35 pm
Location: Dallas, Texas

Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 vs Roland D50

Post by braincandy » Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:18 am

It's because the D-50 was considered a landmark, ground-breaking synth whereas the SQ-80 was seen as an improvement upon the ESQ-1. It's partially a matter of prestige. It also helped that the D-50 was much more popular in its day among bigger acts than the SQ-80 was.
Fender Blacktop Jazzmaster | Squier CV Duo-Sonic | e6400 Ultra | Blofeld | a bunch of effects

User avatar
Pro5
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1001
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:30 pm
Gear: OB-6 | SH-2 | JX-3P | JD-800 | Performer
Location: U.K

Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 vs Roland D50

Post by Pro5 » Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:56 am

There's so many pros to the D-50 I don't even have time to start listing them. Get both synths if you like what the SQ-80 can do, yes I heard it was a good 'un too. Takes a lot to compete with the 'classic' status of a D-50 though, and it's not just a classic cos of it's presets but because it is a very powerful, beautiful looking/sounding and warm synth.

0e0
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:00 am
Gear: Roland MKS-50, Juno-106, JV-1080
Yamaha A4000, SU700, S80 (w/PLG150-VL), SY 77, SY 22
Oberheim Matrix-1000
Kawai K3m, K4
Zoom ST-224
Band: 0=0
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 vs Roland D50

Post by 0e0 » Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:05 am

Pro5 wrote: and it's not just a classic cos of it's presets
I beg to differ...i think it's definitely a classic because of the presets (especially considering that several of those presets have been incorporated into the general midi standard). Roland generally has more playable preset patches in their gear than other manufacturers even if the fidelity and synthesis architecture is not as good.

j

0=0

User avatar
Pro5
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1001
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:30 pm
Gear: OB-6 | SH-2 | JX-3P | JD-800 | Performer
Location: U.K

Re: Ensoniq SQ-80 vs Roland D50

Post by Pro5 » Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:40 pm

0e0 wrote:
Pro5 wrote: and it's not just a classic cos of it's presets
I beg to differ...i think it's definitely a classic because of the presets (especially considering that several of those presets have been incorporated into the general midi standard). Roland generally has more playable preset patches in their gear than other manufacturers even if the fidelity and synthesis architecture is not as good.

j

0=0
Differ away, you're wrong. D-50 isn't a preset machine it's a very powerful synth and is NOW a classic because of it's power and architecture not because of 'digital native dance' and 'pizzagogo' :mrgreen: I can't think of many D-50 owners who even leave the presets on it and USE it with those seriously. They are wiped and lots use it in 'virtual analog mode'.

I think it's presets ARE classic presets, and obviously helped make it a widely used synth in the first place, but it would have been tossed aside and forgotten about as a one-sound-wonder machine in 1990 if not for it's real depth and programmability. It's the combination of the PRESETS *AND* the power/architecture that make it a classic because without the latter the former wouldn't have been possible..

so as I said it's not *JUST* a classic because of it's presets - 'just' implying the presets are also a big part of the story. The only 'classic' I can think of that is due to it's presets is the M1 cos you sure as s**t can't make that sound like much more than the factory waves it comes with (or on expansion cards) it's synthesis is so shallow.

of course I do understand what you are saying, it was pretty much ONLY used as a preset machine during it's hey-day and they were used on classic records and it became a classic because of them. It was a classic because of that, but NOW it's a classic because of it's power and warmth which is unlike most other digital synths in existance!

Post Reply