ESQ-1 Pitch Wheel and Key Issues

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chordmemories
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ESQ-1 Pitch Wheel and Key Issues

Post by chordmemories » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:26 pm

Hi -

I am having some issues with my metal-body ESQ-1 and am looking for help. I live in NYC.

First off, the pitch wheel is sending random values out. Obviously I can disable the transmission of pitch wheel data in the MIDI section but I would like to fix the problem, as this is my controller. I bought a new pitch/mod wheel assembly from Syntaur but, for some reason, it doesn't quite fit. It really seems to be a few mm off, no more.

When I put the ESQ-1 back together after attempting to install the new pitch/mod assembly and turned it back on, I noticed that some keys now felt a little tight and that some were occasionally playing the right note but on the wrong octave.

Any advice? Anyone know of anyone who can help? I am trying to avoid paying $150/hr for repair. Rogue is cheaper at $72/hr, but they don't touch Ensoniq, or so they say. Armen - well - no...

I am trying to avoid just replacing this thing with another. It's in great shape, on OS 3.5, has the seq cart, etc.

Random FYI - I have a copy of the service manual printed.

Thanks!

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Re: ESQ-1 Pitch Wheel and Key Issues

Post by rhino » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:47 pm

The metal and plastic case models have many small differences. You may need to remove the pots from the new wheels and put them on the old bracket and base.

If you had the keyboard out of the case, check that you didn't catch the ribbon cable under it when you put it back in.
Even if not, clean and re-seat both ends of the keyboard-to-mainborad cable, the mainboard-to-display, and wheels-to-mainboard cables

Try playing another synth via MIDI. If the slave does NOT have the wrong octive problem, then you may have mainboard problems. Perhaps the DOC chip. If the problem is occuring one-of-eight, then maybe some strange glitch in a voice chip is causing it to act like a divide-by-two. Maybe try a hard re-set?
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chordmemories
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Re: ESQ-1 Pitch Wheel and Key Issues

Post by chordmemories » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:06 pm

Awesome. Thanks.

I will try removing the pots and reinstalling, as well as making sure the cables are out of the way, a hard reset, etc.

As for cleaning and re-seating the cable terminations, what is your recommended cleaning method? I have some DeOxit. Just spray a bit on? Or should I grab some pressurized air?

Thanks again.

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Re: ESQ-1 Pitch Wheel and Key Issues

Post by rhino » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:32 am

The cables are rather tight, so often just unpluggin and replacing them is enough. I'm partial to the red DeOxit in the little bottle with a brush - like fingernail polish - You only need a very thin coat.
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Re: ESQ-1 Pitch Wheel and Key Issues

Post by rakk95 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:42 am

Me and rhino have been messing with ESQs for a while. I've gotten two old metal-case units up and running in the last two months, and I agree with rhino that you might want to try to spray some contact cleaner on the pitch and mod wheel pots and re-mount them in the old housing so it fits the original case. I've got one unit that is probably from the original run of ESQs in 1986 (S/N 10XXX), because the pitch/mod housing has an additional tab and screw that hold it to the case (as well as no silk-screening).

The keys can be fiddly. I have one "C" sticking like yours. Haven't messed with it yet, but I've had problems before with the case lid sitting on top of the keys causing stuck notes and all sorts of random things.

I also like the red Deoxit in the little bottle with brush.

Keep at it - the ESQ-1 is a great synth. I love mine. I'm going to sell the second one, but before I do I want to put version 3.5 OS EPROMs in it (it's still got 1.70 OS - that's old!)

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Re: ESQ-1 Pitch Wheel and Key Issues

Post by chordmemories » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:38 pm

You guys rock! Thanks.

I have a DeOxit that is the same formula that you guys like but in the standard bottle without the cool applicator. I am going to dig up some foam and use that to apply.

I definitely have an earlier ESQ-1 with the non-silk-screened wheel housing.

I love the ESQ-1 too and will be sticking with it as long as it keeps working, and then I'll buy another one. It's amazing how this thing still stays cheap even though this board and GS keeps hyping it. It's cool with me, though!

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Re: ESQ-1 Pitch Wheel and Key Issues

Post by chordmemories » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:57 pm

Just following up. I ended up just "pushing" a little harder and getting the new pots on the new brackets in the new housing into the old case. When I was doing the work last night I forgot that I had to actually take the pots off the brackets and so I tried to install the new pots and brackets into the old housing, which didn't work, of course. The end result is that my pitch wheel is now a little angled and rubs up against the side of the housing slightly. The travel is still good, though. I may go back and try and do it the right way but that was already a lot of work for me last night.

Hard reset took care of the triggering issues and taking the keyboard out and putting it back in, necessary for the pitch/mod wheel repairs, solved whatever tightness issues I had.

Thanks again.

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Re: ESQ-1 Pitch Wheel and Key Issues

Post by chordmemories » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:06 pm

I ended up taking the thing into a repair shop and getting everything taken care of.

There's still one issue. Sometimes, I am only getting four voices. I mentioned this to the tech and he said he couldn't find that problem. I didn't either when I tested the board in the shop before paying for the repair. I got it home, turned it on, and... four voices. Later the same night, I turned it on again and the problem went away. It seems like 1/2 or 1/3 of the time, the synth is not playing all its voices. But it's not a constant issue. The tech did check all the connections, etc.

Any ideas? Thanks.

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Re: ESQ-1 Pitch Wheel and Key Issues

Post by rhino » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:23 pm

You said your ESQ was your controler... so that means you have a MIDI set-up/ Anu chance you've got a MIDI loop going on???
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chordmemories
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Re: ESQ-1 Pitch Wheel and Key Issues

Post by chordmemories » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:05 pm

There is. Usually I am set up to avoid such things but between the hard reset on the ESQ-1 and the fact that my sequencer wasn't set up properly (as I wasn't planning on recording) there is a good chance that that is what is going on. I guess I just wasn't thinking of it as I was just sitting around re-entering my patches...

I'll check tonight and let you know.

Thanks.

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Re: ESQ-1 Pitch Wheel and Key Issues

Post by chordmemories » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:48 pm

Yup. MIDI loop! Oops.

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