Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

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Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by goober » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:15 pm

Ok, so I've been wanting an analog synth, and missed out on a Roland JX-8P for $150. So I've been looking through some ads and I'm debating between a Kawai K4 for $150, Ensoniq TS-12 for $300 with stand (I can barely afford this) or the Ensoniq ESQ-1 for $100. The ESQ-1 is really attractive cause its the cheapest but does the Kawaii K4 have more potential? I'd like something that can produce Boards of Canada type sounds. Also which would have more potential to make analogish type sounds.

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by steveman » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:40 pm

Of those you've listed, only the ESQ-1 has analogue filters. Good modulation possibilities, very easy to get around programming wise. 3 DIg. oscillators with a selection of waveforms, think it'd be good for BoC style & being early digital has a lo-fi quality to it.

For $100 it's a steal plus you'll have some cash left over for some effects (essential for BoC).

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by goober » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:55 pm

Right now I have an Alesis Micron, should I expect a big departure in sound when playing the Ensoniq ESQ-1? Hoping to have a more organic sound if that makes sense. I'm kind of worried about the polyphony though the ESQ-1 only has 8 polyphony correct?

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by OriginalJambo » Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:31 am

The Alesis ION (which the Micron's engine is derived from) sounds nothing like the ESQ-1 in my experience. At $100 it's a steal.

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by goober » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:21 am

OriginalJambo wrote:The Alesis ION (which the Micron's engine is derived from) sounds nothing like the ESQ-1 in my experience. At $100 it's a steal.
This is good to know. Is the ESQ-1 a reliable synth? Or does it have a history of problems? And if there are any problems is it relatively easy to fix?

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by schmidtc » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:49 am

you'll need to replace the back up memory battery, otherwise they're generally solid. buy it. i did. then i sold it for $350. now i miss it and want it back

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by rockmanrock » Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:43 am

IMO they can be flaky but they're well supported on the net, check out http://www.buchty.net/ensoniq/. As for sound, they're extremely dirty and lo-fi compared to modern stuff. The VSTi on that page is worth a go to get a feel for it.

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by OriginalJambo » Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:37 pm

goober wrote:This is good to know. Is the ESQ-1 a reliable synth? Or does it have a history of problems? And if there are any problems is it relatively easy to fix?
Aside from the internal battery needing replaced and one loose keyboard spring (that was a straightforward fix I may add) it's been perfect. Bear in mind there are two versions though - mine is the earlier metal cased one which is likely to be a tad more durable than the later plastic revision.

Also it's definitely what not I'd call a very bright or cutting synth, but neither was the ION in my experience.

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:22 pm

rockmanrock wrote:As for sound, they're extremely dirty and lo-fi compared to modern stuff. The VSTi on that page is worth a go to get a feel for it.
You'd think so wouldn't you? I was fixing one for an ex's dad and started having some GASeous thoughts about it but I found whenever I was programming it I couldn't get the dirty lofi sounds I wanted, sounds that came so easily from the Evolver. Maybe I just have a dirtier standard of dirty though. :)

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by Sir Ruff » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:57 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:
rockmanrock wrote:As for sound, they're extremely dirty and lo-fi compared to modern stuff. The VSTi on that page is worth a go to get a feel for it.
You'd think so wouldn't you? I was fixing one for an ex's dad and started having some GASeous thoughts about it but I found whenever I was programming it I couldn't get the dirty lofi sounds I wanted, sounds that came so easily from the Evolver. Maybe I just have a dirtier standard of dirty though. :)
The key to "dirty" is AM... get that going on osc 1 and 2 with a little modulation-it really adds all these gritty aliasing overtones-while osc 3 is still producing a clean "tonal" sound. good for cutting leads and really nasty bass.
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by rockmanrock » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:17 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
rockmanrock wrote:As for sound, they're extremely dirty and lo-fi compared to modern stuff. The VSTi on that page is worth a go to get a feel for it.
You'd think so wouldn't you? I was fixing one for an ex's dad and started having some GASeous thoughts about it but I found whenever I was programming it I couldn't get the dirty lofi sounds I wanted, sounds that came so easily from the Evolver. Maybe I just have a dirtier standard of dirty though. :)
Well as they say, YMMV! I think it's very dirty compared to more modern synths like my AN1X (sounds "like a record" to me), and dirty even compared to other analogues of its era such as the Matrix 1k and the Junos or digitals such as the D series or DXs. It was dirty enough for Skinny Puppy!

To be clear, I'm talking more of the general tone of it, smooth "well produced" sounds do not fall out of it, the 8 bit waves and slightly overdriven filters give every sound on it a bit of grit. I've got a Microwave 1 and DW8000, you'd think they would be similar but even they sound more hi-fi next to the ESQ1. I suppose for really dirty sounds, like Merzbow or the more extreme SP stuff, just put whatever you have through a stomp box, that'd do the job!

I've not used an Evolver, the Input/Output Hack must open the door to lots of digi-distorted sounds the ESQ1 can't do. I wouldn't mind one but they've gone up in price quite a bit now sterling is worth diddly squat.

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:50 am

Sir Ruff wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:
rockmanrock wrote:As for sound, they're extremely dirty and lo-fi compared to modern stuff. The VSTi on that page is worth a go to get a feel for it.
You'd think so wouldn't you? I was fixing one for an ex's dad and started having some GASeous thoughts about it but I found whenever I was programming it I couldn't get the dirty lofi sounds I wanted, sounds that came so easily from the Evolver. Maybe I just have a dirtier standard of dirty though. :)
The key to "dirty" is AM... get that going on osc 1 and 2 with a little modulation-it really adds all these gritty aliasing overtones-while osc 3 is still producing a clean "tonal" sound. good for cutting leads and really nasty bass.
Evolver has AM and FM on the digital oscs. :thumbleft:

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by JayEm » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:55 am

If you can buy an ESQ-1 for 100 dollars get it.
Even if you don't like it you should be able to resell at a profit.
w00t

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by goober » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:40 am

Yeah, I've searched for a lot of demos on the ESQ-1 seems to have a lot of cheesy 80 type sounds, some good, some bad, but I've seen some other demos that showed that it has a lot of potential. So, definitely going to go for it (unless I happen to find a better deal), thanks for all the replies and links.

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Re: Ensoniq ESQ-1 $100 jump on it?

Post by OriginalJambo » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:48 am

goober wrote:Yeah, I've searched for a lot of demos on the ESQ-1 seems to have a lot of cheesy 80 type sounds, some good, some bad, but I've seen some other demos that showed that it has a lot of potential. So, definitely going to go for it (unless I happen to find a better deal), thanks for all the replies and links.
That I can help with, I have quite a few ESQ-1 demos:




ESQ-1 Sounds 1




ESQ-1 Sounds 2




ESQ-1 Strings (Pachelbel's Canon in D)




"Pad Pad"




"Soundtrack" (one of my own creations - sorry about the clicking)




"Nu Carz"




"Jump" ;)


I apologise for my apparent lack of chops (and taste) and noisy/imperfect recordings. Should give you an idea though.

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