Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

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Jexus
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Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by Jexus » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:57 pm

"The main problem with the VFX line was its reliability. Because of the Poly-Key pressure and keybed design (which was in three pieces), it was prone to bending and breaking at the solder points, causing the keyboard not to calibrate when turned on. It took Ensoniq quite a long time to remedy this problem in the future models (VFX-SD II and SD-1) and they created a very disappointed customer base. Another problem with the synth was its ability to get very warm and cause heat-related issues. The heat sink itself would get hot to the touch and cause other problems with heating up the internals of the board, causing 'meltdown' issues. These problems were corrected in future versions and other lines within the company."

" future versions" ? how can I find them ? serial number ?
I might be buying a VFX but not directly. A friend of mine would pick it up. So I won't be the one to test it. So I'm looking for any ways of determining the condition of the unit we come across. thanks

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esqoner
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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by esqoner » Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:00 pm

i believe the sd-1 was pretty much a better more solid vfx...


went something like

vfx
vfx-sd
sd-1

i think the vfx-sd was a lot more solid than the first version...


ps. esq-1 videos are wonderful.

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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by Sir Ruff » Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:01 pm

Jexus wrote: I might be buying a VFX but not directly. A friend of mine would pick it up. So I won't be the one to test it. So I'm looking for any ways of determining the condition of the unit we come across. thanks
So we have no chance of an entertaining "synth pick up" video with Polish sluts to boot? :lol:

(If you're worried about reliability, perhaps consider the VXF-SD, or the SD-1)
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by portland » Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:18 pm

Sir Ruff wrote:
Jexus wrote: I might be buying a VFX but not directly. A friend of mine would pick it up. So I won't be the one to test it. So I'm looking for any ways of determining the condition of the unit we come across. thanks
So we have no chance of an entertaining "synth pick up" video with Polish sluts to boot? :lol:
I really enjoyed that video

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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by Big Gnome » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:28 pm

The construction is a little cheap, to be honest, and I started getting the keyboard calibration error on mine a few weeks ago; I haven't had time for repairs. That said, I've never noticed any issues at all with overheating. Might be a good idea to look for one of the later revisions, but if you find a Mk. I with the keyboard thing solidly fixed, I'd go for it.
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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by EmptySet » Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:51 pm

I have a VFX-SD and it too started in with the keyboard calibration issues. I popped it open and did the recommended fix on the circuit boards beneath the keybed and it's worked fine ever since. You just have to remove the ribbon cable that connects the two boards beneath the keys and hardwire your own wires there instead. It's a pain, but not horribly difficult. pretty easy to access too.

As for heat, the fins on the heatsink in the back get very HOT. But, I keep it on a stand so it has air circulating and it hasn't really been a problem for me yet. Probably not a good idea to run it with the synth laying on a bed or something.

It's not the most stable synth in my experience, but it can make some very interesting sounds.

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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by braincandy » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:19 am

From what I've read, the main condition that leads to issues with the two circuit boards underneath the keybed is the use of Apex stands. It causes stress where the two boards meet. You're better off using a conventional X-stand, flat surface, h**l, an ironing board, as long as it's not an Apex stand.

http://ensoniq.jrwhitesel.com/faq.html#kbd_fix

I had a stack of papers laying on top of the keys when I booted up once and that brought up the error, but all I had to do was move the papers off, hit the soft button to reboot, and I was good to go. You can't have anything touching the keys during the time it's booting up or else it will show a calibration error.
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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by Ashe37 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:25 am

The keybed issue can be fixed and in many of the used VFXes out there has been fixed. If you get a VFX that has a keybed problem there is a *permanent* fix. From what I've been told, they keybeds were made by another manufacturer (I was told Fairlight) and the bridge between the two sections may become disconnected, which causes the calibration issues. Ensoniq came up with a 'fix' and any local shop that used to work on them will still know how to do it. The next 'standard' fix on any VFX is gonna be battery replacement, which i have to do on mine (I was considering selling it but roomate/bandmate wants us to keep it). I can't find any reference on doing the replacement, so when i do mine I plan on documenting it and posting it to Help.

A member on here has a VFX-SD for sale for $200 which is a good price for it. If we had someone to put one my roomate was considering getting it to use as a controller because they make great controller synths for the price.

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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by Jexus » Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:53 pm

thanks all

I think I'm gonna wait a little to buy at once SD1 and AX60 from UK.

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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by seamonkey » Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:08 pm

good choice. I have the VFX-SD with the SD-1 board upgrade in it and I think you'll love it. I can't wait to hear what you do with those fantastic programming chops of yours. The ability to stack programs, create sounds within a preset and changes sounds with the patch buttons gives you a wide palette of interesting textures to choose from while playing in real time.
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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by carbon111 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:44 pm

I have a VFX and love it!

I still get unique sounds out of it I just can't get from other gear.

...the first thing I did to mine was the hardwireing mod for the keybed. Never have any problems.

Here's my little "love letter" to the Ensoniq VFX: :love10: :love10: :love10: http://www.carbon111.com/vfx.html :love10: :love10: :love10:

Image
Best Regards, James
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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by Ashe37 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:22 pm

Wow that one's in really good shape too...

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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by Jexus » Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:09 am

carbon111 wrote:I have a VFX and love it!

I still get unique sounds out of it I just can't get from other gear.

...the first thing I did to mine was the hardwireing mod for the keybed. Never have any problems.

Here's my little "love letter" to the Ensoniq VFX: :love10: :love10: :love10: http://www.carbon111.com/vfx.html :love10: :love10: :love10:

Image


wow. you think you might trade it for a crate of good Polish beer that will melt your tongue?

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Re: Ensoniq VFX reliability. Thinking of buying one.

Post by carbon111 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:31 pm

Tempting...but no. :D
Best Regards, James
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