Synth Site: Ensoniq: ESQ1 Workstation: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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Ger Dik a hobbyist user from Holland writes:
The ESQ-1 sounds very powerfull. This is a real great advantage if you play in a live situation, together with e.g. a noisy guitarist. I bought my ESQ-1 in '87. All the digital synths I tried since, got buried under the rest of the band's sound. This is one of the main reasons I still haven't replaced it. When you try the ESQ-1 at first, it might sound a bit dull, but remember it hasn't got a built-in effects processor, and the default sounds are crap. If you play it through a multi-effects processor (I use an Alesis Quadraverb) the ESQ-1 really comes alive. Because of the flexible way you can route modulation sources (4 LFO's, 3 EG's, Velocity, etc.) you can create very dynamic and lively sounds. Once you get used to the ESQ-1, it is not difficult to create just the synthesizer sound you need. Especially usefull for dance/house etc. However, if you are looking for a device which provides good imitations of acoustic instruments, you should buy a GM box, which will approximately cost as much as a 2nd hand ESQ-1.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:39
matthew a hobbyist user from tulsa, ok writes:
Got this little gem 4 years after graduating school, where I took a class where

we were given an ESQ, a VFX, and some crap Roland and told to muck

about with them. The ESQ is less refined than the VFX (obviously), but way

cheaper. Its sequencer (8 track) outshines anything available in 86-87, and

is IMHO better than any sequencer on any KORG until just this year. The battery is a 3-volt lithium. Have it replaced by a techie unless you know

how to solder on a circuit without burning any resistors, etc. as the battery is

hardwired to the motherboard. I have nothing but respect for the VFXsd, but damn I love my ESQ-1.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:39
Neil Elkins a hobbyist user from England writes:
All in all a rather fantastic machine with some stuff you don't see very often like oscillator sync and loads of modulation routes. The sequencer's good for your classic mute/unmute/switch-pattern live thing.

One problem - it crashes like a bastard. If it ever crashes and tells you to press a key, DONT! just swich it off and on again, otherwise the the little beggar will wipe all the sequencer memory.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:39
Pete Moulton a part time user from United Kingdom writes:
The ESQ-1 was my first proper Polysynth. I first heard one in 1987 and was amazed at the strings, organs and piano sounds. The sound creation and modulation routing capabilities smacked of Oberheim Matrix 6 yet you got more of everything plus a sequencer for £100 less than the Matrix 6. Generally I found the ESQ better suited for pad sounds. Having a third Oscillator tended to make lead or bass sounds muddier rather than fatter like a moog. The filter was thin and weedy compared with Oberheims, Moogs and Prophets. Despite these minor shortcomings, I preferred the sounds and the friendlier user interface over the Roland D50/D110 and Yamaha DX11/TX81Z synths. A major plus for those analog converts who hate going thru pages of parameters.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:39
Prole a part time user from Canada writes:
Ah yes, the ESQ-1. In my opinion an excellent synth for it's day, and

for the price (if you could find one now used) competitive today.

I'll admit some of the sounds pale in comparison to newer models

(ESQ-1 is 1986) it is still a classic machine and I still prefer

to use the built in sequencer over computer software. It makes

everything seem more raw and welfare...

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:39
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