Synth Site: Ensoniq: SQ1 Workstation: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Harry Ebbeson III a professional user from Cedar Rapids, IA (USA) writes:
I do not own the SQ1+, but rather the SQ2 32-voice. I chose it over the SQ1+ because I wanted more keys on the keybaor itself. Operationally, the two are identical to one another. I have owned mine since new back in the early 90's. I paid $1,400 for it new at Leo's music in Oakland, CA. I was so excited that I drove the 4 hours to pick it up myself, to find that in the box, it would not fit in the back of my Cougar. I had to drive all the way home with the thing outside of the box! It did get home fine and I was impressed with most of the sounds. I had a VFX-SD for about 1.5 years before the SQ2, so I knew what to expect out of Ensoniq's sounds. The pianos were clearer but lacked sustain in the upper ranges, even with the foot pedal depressed. The drums were not good at all and the basses lacked punch for me. What caught my attention were the classical and ethnic sounds. Add a little more reverb to the violin, you have a very believable instrument. I still use the synth to this day for the classical sounds. They are very real to me and very expressive (which means that I use the mod and pitch wheel a lot for those types of sounds). I also like the synth lead sounds, they sound really good to me. I also have a couple of RAM cards for it and they have neat sounds on them too. The battery has since died (about 3 years ago) and I never bothered to correctly replace it. To me, its no biggie, because I mainly use it as a controller, and I have the sounds I use on a custom RAM card.

I have many synths in my studio, but always find myself using the SQ at least for the controller portion of everything. I then multi-track the lead voices onto my recorder from the SQ. It works well and I truly have gotten my money out of the synth.

I would love to have an SQ1+ though so I could play live with an SQ. I love the SQ2 for the extrqa keys, but it is much heavier than the SQ1+ as a result. It is much larger and since it is all encased in metal (except for the bottom, which is plywood), it is heavy.

I also have the following in my studio:

Alesis QS6 E-Mu PK6 Ensoniq SQ2 (reviewed here) Ensoniq VFX-SD Korg X5 Roland JV880 Roland XP60 Yamaha DJX Yamaha TG-33

Overall, the SQ2 is my 2nd favorite synth, with the VFX-SD being the first. I kow the unit inside and out and have made up some great sounds on it over the years, not to mention that it has been on every album since 1993 that I have played on. I am attached to it and there is not another feeling than having an instrument that you feel 'one' with. This is certainly the one for me.....

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Nov-04-2004 at 17:12
chris a part-time user from USA writes:
I learned to sequence (well, sort of) on this keyboard. I still have mine and like alot of the sounds on it. Programming sounds is a mystery to me at the best of times, and the tiny display on the SQ1+ didn't help much-however, thru trial (and mostly) error I was able to take the "distorted guitar" sound and somehow make it SCREAM with distortion-I can't even mimic this with my Triton LE!

Alot of the sounds are very nice, there are some great pads, strings, organs that are pleasing and set ok in a mix. As I said, I learned ALOT about sequencing on this board-very easy to use, and I loved the ability to layer the voices by hitting a couple buttons. I did whole songs with this keyboard alone and was pretty happy.

Of course technology has moved on (as it always seems to) but if you are looking for a decent keyboard to give something extra to a mix, check it out. The sequencer is easy to use and is a nice little sketchpad for working out the basic format of a song.


Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Mar-18-2004 at 12:58
Rab a professional user from USA writes:
ESQ-1 is one FINE keyboard. Sounds are limited but very high quality. This board feels good under your fingers. For the price you will find better than this. Buy one before they start going up again. Actually, they are already just starting to rise again after hitting their rock bottom in about 2001. Awesome synth and heavy duty construction! Indesctructable but you may need to check your lithium battery. Dont let it go bad.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jan-17-2004 at 01:24
Young a hobbyist user from San Francisco writes:
Hi, all First, I replace the battery myself. As you know the Ensoniq company is gone but Emu is still keeping some people who can fix it (Emu) in the bay area. The technician was nice but would charge $80 for the battery changing. So, I went to radioshack and bought myself a soldering kit. The manual says it will restore its factory memory (Sound etc) but you will have to do something for your stuffs (seq, song, sound...). I opened the machine, the battery looked like a coin. Basically I tried to make the new battery look like the old battery...half a year ago. My beloved SQ-1 is working greatly so far. I feel I will live forever with this lovely machine (I love its minimalistic/dark appearance too!). Good luck (again, you change the battery very easy. Just store YOUR data somehow).

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Dec-03-2003 at 19:45
Joe from Philly a hobbyist user from USA writes:
First, this site is awesome.

Second, I am revisiting the world of composition since a friend turned me on to Spock's Beard which this group's music has inspired me to write music once again. I have had my sq1+ for over 10 years. The first 3 years I used it as my main board on stage in addition to using it to compose "thoughts" from my head. I then would use it as a 20-minute daily therapy session as I would play.

When writing, I found the sequencer priceless. Very powerful. Great sounds...which brings me to my issue...

I would like to know where I can pick up more sounds for it. In addition, after a number of years of not playing it, like everyone on the board, by battery is nixed! I must replace it.

any help on these 2 issues would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! - Joe

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-18-2003 at 15:20
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