Synth Site: Ensoniq: SQ-80 Synth Workstation: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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JB a professional user from UK writes:
Regarding the formatting od DS-HD diskettes, just put a sticker over the hole (opposite the "write protection tab") and the disk will be recognised as a DS-DD disk.

Yes, the SQ-80 rocks, just a shame that it was not expandable to more than 8 voices, plus a a multi-mode LP, HP, BP, BR filter would be nice and also "real" DCO's for standard waveforms (ramp/saw/square) would be handy as this would allow PWM. On the plus side the keyboard is responsive (if a little "clacky"), the ROM waveforms have a nice tinge of aliasing and the filters are warm. Oh yes, another pair of outputs wouldn't go amiss!

When I bought my first one in 1988 the competition was a Korg M1, needless to say that the Korg sold bucket-loads and the Ensoniq didn't. The Ensoniq still destroys the M1 for programmability and is a very good (and cheap) alternative to a modern VA - why have "virtual analogue filters" when you can have the real thing??

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jun-28-2000 at 05:07
slim a part-time user from statess writes:
man this thing is great and here is why i love it...

1) Modulation routability. you can route damn near everything to everything. all 3 osc's, 4 amps, and the filter can be modulated by each other or themselves or the envelopes or the velocity/aftertouch/modwheel. That said, you will never get bored programming it.

2) Sequencer + Disk Drive. for the price ($300-$400) this sequencer is really nice as a 10 year old workstation. 8 tracks can send 8 notes each externally to control anything else in your midi arsenal. Quantize/StepEdit/PunchIN-OUT. Each disk can hold 10 sequencer blocks and a block is either 1 sequence or the ENTIRE sequence memory.. therefore you can potentially save 600 sequences on a disk (taking into consideration just how complex your sequences are). I've managed to initialize a few normal 1.44MB HD disks so i can tell you it CAN be done.

3) as a Master Controller. polyphonic aftertouch was god's gift to ensoniq. i absolutely love it. where else are you going to find this feature on a 61 note keyboard with full midi capabilities for under $400 ?

i think if you are looking for ANY sort of keyboard in the $300-$400 range you should most definitely check out the SQ-80. especially in place of such boards as the juno series or any of the old korgs (dw's, poly's). It has a sequencer, poly-aftertouch, analogue filters, a button for every parameter, and a disk drive... what more could you ask for?

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jun-28-2000 at 02:58
adam a part-time user from indianapolis USA writes:
hey to all you people bitching about the keys being clanky... well you see polyphonic aftertouch means that EACH KEY has a metal sensor beneath it to transmit the polyphonic aftertouch, when you start pounding away, that is what you are hearing. so yea its clanky, but thats because of the awesome control feature that you all love about this synth. so with that said, quit yer bitchin.

now, about this synth it rocks, i just got one for $300 =P

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jun-08-2000 at 22:51
Dvize a hobbyist user from Australia writes:
hi, thanks to those who gave me advice when i asked about this synth. i have since bought one and am very pleased with it. i'm a novice user and have had fun with this. the sequencer is ok and is easy to make some nice layered sounds...and yes, i agree the keys are rather bad. i don't have an effects unit yet, but i think the synth will be a killer with one. bbbbbbbbbye dvize

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-May-14-2000 at 17:18
Daniel T a hobbyist user from Sweden writes:
Man, this machine is great. Dont know what to type, its so obvious, look at the specs. I mean damn. Find it for under $400 and buy it. Kind of noisy keys though, but hey..

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-04-2000 at 18:55
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