Synth Site: GeneralMusic: Equinox: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.9 out of 5
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dorje a hobbyist user from seattle writes:
This is a pretty good machine. I really bought it for four reasons (which set it apart from its competitors). First off it has a selection of very good organ sounds in the performance preset sounds as well as a drawbar mode which converts the faders on the machine to electronic drawbars ala a the VK-7 or XK-2 - there are also rotating speaker and percussive option settings and more. Second it is a versatile sample player. Keep in mind here that you cannot create/record samples on this keyboard - you must create them elsewhere and then import them via the floppy, midi or optional scsi. The great news here is that you can import samples of any popular sampler format - even wav files from dos diskettes. This is great as one can perfectly edit the wav file on the computer and then save it to a floppy and seconds later be using it on the Equinox. The next cool feature are the sheer number of preset sounds and waveforms. There are close to 1000 if not more including 256 drum sounds. Also the sheer number of features (just read the other posts)and the spec sheet. The price is also right and the expansions are a bargain compared to other manufacturers. Since General Music is now distributed by Peavey, availability, accessories and support should now be less of a problem.

posted Wednesday-Apr-12-2000 at 04:03
Paul Daniels a part-time user from US writes:
I just purchased an Equinox 76 yesterday after spending just a few days getting brought up to speed on keyboard technology since I left music performance a couple of years ago. My last board was a General Music SX3 back in 1996. I worked at a music store at the time and had my choice of boards ranging from Roland, Kurzweil, Alesis and others. The brand, General Music, meant nothing to me at the time but after playing through the ROM sounds and performances coupled with a on board sequencer, the choice was easy. I spent the next couple of years fine tuning the live performance settings and ended up with a 30 pound piece of equipment that duplicated my old Hammond B3/Leslie Speaker set up at a fraction of the weight. In addition, I was able to program a LH acoustic piano split with all of my RH instrument settings like trumpets, saxes, etc and not have to find something else to do with my left hand. I got out of the performance business in 1997 and sold my equipment including the SX3. My only complaint was in the construction of it. It had a metal casing that scratched easily. Plus, for some reason, when placed on a metal stand, portions of the upper keyboard would cut out. Also, the start/stop for the sequencer broke and, after investigating and attempting to repair it myself, the switch was revealed to be constructed of plastic where it connects within the guts of the keyboard--bad engineering decision. Recently, I was invited to join a party band and began looking at keyboards again. Friends in the business recommended the Roland EX series and Yamaha. Of course, Kurzweil was always out there as well as the Alesis and the Korg Triton, purported to be the cutting edge of synths. Well, GM came through again, reaching a pinnacle of most bang for the buck. The Equinox, with over 1000 sounds plus the sequencer plus the drawbar feature for my beloved Hammond sounds caused me to leave the store with keyboard in tote. Although I've only had a couple of hours on it, I can tell it retained many of the sound qualities of my SX3 plus some improvements. One thing I noticed that might be an issue with me is the inaccessibility of user-programmed banks. On my old board, there were 8 assigned buttons on the board itself that I could engage easily. Each button opened a programmed sound bank that I had created by layering, spliting or simply assigning sounds for live performance. Unless there is a way that I have not discovered, I'm going to have to punch in some series of numbers to access the user banks or spin the wheel for a few minutes until it comes up. Either way, the song that I would have performed during that time will probably be over by then.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-08-2000 at 19:03
Nuada a part-timer user from USA writes:
The synth workstation market has been really inendated. Keeping up with improvements is a real hastle now of days. I remember starting with my first Moog in the mid seventies. Planned obselencence had me down big time. Taking serious consideration of the Korg Trinity and the Kerzwiels I was about to make a purchasing decission when I remembered a flyer I had on the General Music 'S' series. I played one and thought that they were nice for the price. Then I found the flyer on the Equinox that the sales person had stuffed in with the other flyer. It wasn't out at that time. It was pre-release info. Hitting the internet I couldn't believe the price vs the features of the Equinox (check out their web site but it doesn't do it justice). It was a hard job finding one to play but I did and I was blown away! For the price their is absolutely nothing that comes close to this puppy! It has features that are on units costing 2 to 3 times as much plus some! If you are a composer and love to create then this most definately the machine for you. The designers did a wonderful job on serving to people with various preferrences. For instance... you can either use the 8 sliders to control wave, filter, etc. shape or reeeealllly get in there and work the sound to it's most minute level. Being from the analog days I really appreciated being able to shape from the front panel. Now for the real cool features: You can edit EVERY drum sound, create/edit any and all drum pads and go crazy. But the really neat thing is the 'groove machine'. This baby will blow you away! The creative possibilities are endless and so inspiring. There is even a random 'groove' generator that lets you set parameters (if you wish) and let it create grooves for you! Keep what you like throw out what you don't and keep on building. You will spend endless nights creating and saving your own grooves and patches. Navigation is accomplished through either cursors or a dial. The back lite display is flush with the front panal. Boy how I love this because the display doesn't collect 'gunk and goop' like other's who have their displays recessed. You can program the 8 sliders and two wheel controllers if you want. I reeeaaallly love that they made the pitch and mod wheels out of hard rubber. Fingers don't slip when you are sweating while jamming your head off in front of an audience under the hot lights! (Thanks guys!) The unit is totally complete. You can compose, mix, etc. all within the unit. The sequencer is 16 track AND you can play up to 16 more live ON TOP of those! It is like having two synths in one! While performing live, I had to put the other keyboards on stage so it looked like I was playing more because people could't believe I was getting everything out of that particular keyboard. Also, if you want, if you touch the sliders it will throw you into organ mode. Pretty cool. It lets you work your samples, has a solo button so you can concentrait on 'one' sound if you are getting confused as well as shut the EFX off for the same purpose. The space for saving user libraries of sounds, drums kits, grooves is extensive at best. It has a programable appeggiator, notepad for self notes (like sets, etc.), touch sensitive keyboard and nearly EVERY feature is editable on this thing. All the features are just far to numerous to mention. For the price you just can't beat it. There are a ton of features that the literature/advertising does not cover which are pleasent suprises when you come across them in the manual or by working.

The voices are good. That kind of thing is individually asthetic anyway. The manual is so-so but has the Korg beat hands down. There is practically NO customer support from the main company in Italy but the gentelman in the US office was very friendly and helpful. The internal disk drive is kind of loud sometimes but, that is par for the coarse on all keyboards that I have worked with. It is a little heavy weight wise but appears to be built solidly. The buttons are a little unsensitive or/and slow to respond on the front panal. As I said the biggest problem you are going to have is to find one to play. They don't have a huge part of the market over here. But you legally have 30 days to return it anyway. Believe me, you won't want to! I can honestly say that I haven't felt like money was this well spent in a very very long time. They will be releasing a SCSI kit, Vocal Processor kit too. If you want to work with a PC, not only do they have two MIDI - in, out, thru but a computer port if you don't have a midi card. They really designed the machine for the person who wants it all, for a great price and a good product. They really seemed to know what users wanted and delivered. I can't say that from Roland and Korg who markets products to appear 'cool' to their customers. General Music put together a machine that is very simply... practical.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-09-1999 at 01:38
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