Synth Site: Ensoniq: SQ-80 Synth Workstation: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Brian a part-time user from USA writes:
Not much to add here. I bought my SQ-80 around 1989 and it's been the core of my setup until now when I decided to get a yamaha Motif ES.

That said, I am keeping the SQ-80 on (but selling all my OTHER synths) for a few reasons:

1. Better analog sounds than ANY modern VA machines not to mention more voices and better multitimbral mode than has real analog filtering.

2. Stupidly simple programming, no nested menus and all parameters for a given block are accessible at one time

3. Incredibly flexible voice architecture, only thing it really lacks is multimode filters and the ability to modulate resonance (by going into voice edit mode and using the data slider you CAN control it as the voice is playing...just can't sequence it)

4. It's worth less to sell it than it would cost to buy a VA plug-in board for the Motif

5. Poly aftertouch keys come in handy now and then

Guess it'll be around forever

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jan-30-2005 at 13:43
e-geek a hobbyist user from midwest writes:
I love the modulation options on this board. My favorite thing to do with it is to set each of the three oscillators to contrasting waveforms, assign each OSC to a diff LFO wave and rate, then sync the oscillators. This results in a one key, pseudo, wacked arpeggiator, blip-stream pattern. Fiddle with LFO rates for timing of the notes.

To finish it off, assign DCA 4 to one or more of the LFOs and the sounds will pan all over the place! IMHO, this synth is perfect for those spikey, wirey sounds of glitch type electronic and Boards of Canada-esque stuff.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jul-18-2004 at 09:07
Mark a part-time user from Los Angeles writes:
I've had this keyboard since it was introduced. It is ABSOLUTELY IRREPLACABLE to me. I have created tons and tons of sounds for it over the years and it is my main synth/controller. I just wish I could by a spare as my floppy drive has been having problems making it difficult for me to re-load my song libraries, system exclusive data (yes, I use it to store sysex data too) and some sounds.

Email me if you have questions or need info on the SQ-80.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jun-01-2003 at 05:21
Has the same filterchips as found on the Prophet VS, 4 analogue env, 3 lfo´s, 3 vca´s, etc. In short very programmable. Ok, I agree, it isn´t much of a looker, it doesn´t have a lot of real-time controllers, and it weights quite a bit, but da sound.....................da sound,... is simply amazing. One truly great synth.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-May-13-2003 at 14:56
elektrogeek a part-time user from space over midwest writes:
Great synth. I want to talk about the sound. This sweetheart is a cameleon when you start programming. At first I thought it sounded fizzy and slim until I found it's beauty and balls.

Oh it can do thick, buzzy, and deep analog type stuff alright but not as window shakingly deep as true analog oscillators. You can request the LFOs (there are three of them((!)), routeable to everything) to do beautiful things to pads.

It can get very spiky or raspy in a digital sorta way. Breathy is no problem. The noise waveforms are interesting and can grind out some loopy type sustained notes. Atonal, industrial and spacey effects at the drop of a hat. I summonsed up a real punchy brass sounds that surprises people too.

Also in order are funky, dirty organ sounds and glassy EPs. All in all a very versatile machine soundwise. The envelopes are where the sweet spots are but they're somewhat complex and take time to get used to. As far as the polyphony...depressing.

This synth makes me want to always own one.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-01-2003 at 22:48
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