Synth Site: Casio: FZ1 Sampler: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Huh. a part-time user from USA writes:
Never buy one of these. Especially on E-Bay. They have a short life span, if the harddrive hasn't gone yet it will and most likely sooner than later. I purchased one off E-Bay and even though it came with a return policy the seller wouldn't honor it and after the second day of owning it I had problems getting it to record and save samples and the hard drive wouldn't save my samples. Just an FYI...if you file a claim through Pay-Pal or E-Bay to get reimbursed for an item that was not as described or mechanically screwed up you need to provide an estimate on repair from a qualified technician on letterhead. Unfortunately with old heavy tanks like this keyboard you will have to shell out at least $150 with shipping to even find someone in the world who can service it, or you won't be refunded. Even if the E-Bay ad clearly states that there is a return policy you'll still need to shell out even more money to get the estimate and Pay-Pal and E-Bay cannot even guarantee reimbursement, nor can they provide reimbursement for the estimates and shipping you need to get!

My advice to anyone looking to purchase this board or an old Emu board or any huge, old, heavy, piece of sampling gear that does very little but "colors" the sound is to put that money into some old effect and filter pedals and run your samples through that to get the grungy lo-fi effect (sorry for the run-on sentence) They take up much less space in your studio and many of them can be purchased dirt cheap on E-Bay and Craigslist.

Do yourself a favor. Save the money and space and sample via software; Battery, Intact, Sampletank, whatever. Then run your samples through some old outboard gear if you want that sound.

Don't make the mistake I've made!!!!

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-07-2005 at 13:31
Mensch Maier a professional user from Wetzlar / Germany writes:
Hi, I bought the Hohner HS1 (the German Version of the Casio FZ1 with a great looking white design) I use it for HipHop and it sounds fantastic crunchy (try a Jazzloop with Piano, set the filter at 95-110 and the resonance at 100-127 an you´ll understand what i mean)!!! I guess that sound is the reason why many HipHop Groups used it (Salt´n´Peppa,Digital Underground etc.). If you like crunchy samples like EMU SP12 Samples then buy one!!!

Dirk

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Apr-26-2002 at 00:43
writes:
actually electroluminescent panels have a pretty limited lifespan anyway.

posted Wednesday-Nov-14-2001 at 20:25
Graham Meredith a hobbyist user from Australia writes:
****** Design fault info ******

Read this all you FZ-1 owners who are having mysterious crashes of your sampler, or corrupted or or glitching samples, I figured it out a long time ago, here's your fix:

I bet there must be very few FZ-1 and FZ-10M's still around by now, that still have the screen backlight working. I replaced mine twice. This is a hardware design fault in the fluorescent backlight panel behind the display screen. The backlight is cheap ($15) but I doubt if you can get them from Casio now. Maybe someone can find an alternative supplier. They're faulty, any way. Or perhaps the circuit that drives them.

What happens is that over a period of time (about a year) the backlight gradually fades. Eventually it doesn't work at all. What is happening at this point, or sometime after, is it begins to increase in its internal electrical resistance.

The circuit that powers it is a 90 volt DC supply, that is created by using one of the 12V supply rails on the main circuit board, which is passed through an oscillating transistor, then a small step-up transformer from 12V AC to 100V AC. A regulator circuit then converts this to about 90V DC. This powers the backlight.

What happens is that as the backlight fades, its internal resistance rises. The oscillating transistor that boosts the voltage to 100V AC is designed to operate with a specific load from the backlight attached to it. If the resistance increases it, it basically becomes an open circuit, and causes the oscillating transistor to oscillate out of control. This is heard as a high pitched audio buzz coming from the display (not through the audio outs of the sampler). At this point the screen goes all blurry and the sampler crashes, and the noise will continue. The machine needs to be switched off.

My suspicion is that this type of backlight has a design fault, or the power supply voltage has been designed too high for this particular brand or type of backlight.

**** The Remedy ****

You have to do 2 things:

1) disconnect the backlight and remove it (easy).

2) Unsolder and remove the oscillation transistor and also the small transformer associated with it from the circuit board. (a bit more difficult, but any friend with good soldering and electronic kit building skills can do it).

I have the electrical schematics for the FZ-1, anyone who wants them can email me and I'll scan them and email them for you, to help with fixing the circuit.

Comments:

A fantastic retro sampler, really easy to use. I bought mine back in 1992, and I was a complete novice to sampling. But when I bought it, it was a whole week before I needed to open the user manual! And that was to to complex cross-fade stuff. It was that easy. I love this thing, except for the display issue, which isn't a problem now that I disabled the backlight.

Graham

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Nov-14-2001 at 19:32
bob a part-time user from UK writes:
I got mine for £80 with manual in perfect condition : )

What can I say, FZ-1's are the dogs bollocks in terms of sound output, I use mine live and I love it , however........

Its too bloody heavy. I give myself a hernia every time I lift the bugger.

If anyone from the UK reads this and they have an unwanted 1mg memory upgrade card I would love to hear from you............ C.madden@bton.ac.uk

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-08-2001 at 11:03
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