Synth Site: Ensoniq: ESQ1 Workstation: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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Mark a part-time user from United States writes:
I bought my ESQ-1 in '88 or '89. It was made in '87. I knew the guy who had it before me (saw him play it in a gig once)...so it was in pretty good shape (one key's cracked) when I got it.

For the time, it was a great board. The sequencer is only 8 track which seems a bit small by today's standards but it was easy to operate. The factory sounds are only there to demo the abilities of the instrument (I hope everyone understands that?). The REAL beauty of the ESQ-1 comes from its synthesis abilities. I have found this board to be superior to several knewer boards out there (and I really like KORG...but it synthesizes better than the X2, for example). The synthesis mimics the approach one would use on an analog synth (e.g. like a Moog). This is the only "affordable" synth that I have messed with that can actually make a good Hammond B-3 sound. I have used this board for 17 years. I have gigged extensively with this board in 2 different bands and have never had a problem with it. If anyone out there is tired of their ESQ-1, email me...I would like a chance to buy it from you!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-11-2004 at 19:06
Randy a part-time user from Michigan writes:
The ESQ-1 is a great synth. Its intuitive interface makes it a great first synth and its fat sound keeps it a staple instrument in any studio. If you master the basics of sound design on this synth (perhaps the most straightforward platform on which to do so), you will easily grasp most other synth and soft-synth sound design processes.

I noticed the ratings were mixed for the keyboard action but having played hundreds and owned a handful, I like it's action better than any synth I've ever played; this, after spending over 3 years selling pro synths.

I bought my ESQ-1 in 1987 with a consumer loan and have owned it ever since. If you're looking for a synth's synth, this one will do handely.

Enjoy, Randy

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Nov-30-2003 at 00:42
Slink a part-time user from UK writes:
Don't worry about the lack of filter knobs - just learn to use the MOD WHEEL properly! I've had mine for 2 weeks and every time I set aside half an hour to THINK about the sound I want (rather than random knob twiddling) the results are EXCELLENT. I bought mine for UK£130 - $200 to use with my MPC2. Same filter as Prophet VS (Curtis) with although not a screamer goes deep in a lovely 80's way - very much like a SIDStation. If you find one cheap, buy it! - as long as you have enough space (it's a big synth that you may have to move stuff around for). Great MIDI spec although my MPC doesn't do SYS EX so more limited. Heres the key - 8 VOICES - each voice can be played from any part! So Poly Pads on CH1, 303 style bass on CH2, vibes on CH3... Since I got it, Yama DX200 has just sat there...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-21-2003 at 14:08
Kevin Bush a part-time user from US writes:
This is an awesome synth. It can sound very digital or very analog, thanks to it's brutal resonant filters. I have had the unit for about 2 days. I already have the internal sequencer sync'd to acid, and I am working on new track. This is the most user friendly piece of pro musical equipment I have ever laid my hands on. Every fuction is laid out intuitively on the paging interface. I highly recommended this synth for any type of moody electronic music. It's just sounds serios and dark. Programming sounds couldn't be easier, and in my two days of ownership I have programm 20 great patches.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-11-2002 at 22:52
Ya Boi B a professional user from U.S.A. writes:
Thanx 2 Michael for tha info on replacing the battery... As for my esq1, I won it off of Ebay for a real good price (about $140 total)... With the exception of a missing hex screw for the top of the board and a couple minor scratches, my esq1 is in excellent shape. I was worried that I might receive my esq1 with a "low battery" indication, but I guess the battery in mine is either new or hasn't "drained out" yet. Anyhow, to sum it up, the esq1 is off tha chain!!!! Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that you can get the contemporary sounds of today out of it as you would with say a Korg Triton or a Roland Fantom.. But for warm analog PADS and phat analog BASSES, this thing is just off tha hook! Yeah, eventually i'd like to get tha real thing (a Moog Minimoog/Memorymoog for basses and say a Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 for the pads) but why spend over $1000.00 for either of those when you can get an esq1 for a FRACTION of that amount??? Plus you can edit/save 40 patches on board and another 80 on sound cartridges that can still be purchased today!! Case-in-point: Unless you are a knob fanatic and have money to burn, go for the esq1 if you are looking for tight (and very programmable) analog PAD & BASS sounds... And btw, the key action is LOVELY too (semi-weighted/bouncy like a 73 or 61-key Korg Triton).

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jun-30-2002 at 02:23
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