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Ensoniq esq1 or korg dw 8000?
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Hysplex
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#1
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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Ensoniq esq1 or korg dw 8000?

Hello sluts. I am after one of these hybrid synths and i am offered an esq1 for 400euros, and a krg dw8000 for 350 euros
First question is are the prices too high? I live in greece and these synths are not that common, but i see them go for 100 $ in the states..
Second i mostly do deep house tracks, so which of these boards you think is more appopriate for thiw kind of music?
Thanks in advance
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15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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Well you have to remember, ESQ1 was made in the states and there are a lot of them here, it was always popular. A lot of older cats or people getting out of the biz will dump them cheap. 400euro is way too much, I know they are cool again but thats robbery.

DW8000 also a great board, I think I prefer it actually to the ESQ1, classic sounds, easy to work with, hook it up to a BCR2000 and you are in knob tweaking heaven. Arp sounds great, delay is dope, overall I think this board is still underrated. If you were to overpay for one of them, this would be it (although some people dont like the keybed, it doesnt bother me). Still, 350 euros is too high. In these deals, ALWAYS make a lower offer 1st, like 250. See what he says.
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#3
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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Thanks cdog
That was my thoughts too, but i wanted a second opinion. If i will pick one up i think it will be the korg dw8000. I guess i ll make an offer of 250 euros and see what happens. Does the dw 8000 have any known issues (battery leakage etc) i should be aware of?
#4
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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Based on the limited time I've spent with each, I'd go with the DW. I got more immediate results from it, and in this case it's cheaper as well!
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15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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I owned both back in the day. Sold DW-8000 to purchase an ESQ-1. Regretted it for I sold the ESQ to Purchase a Roland D-20 which was a decent rompler/LA synth at the time but would have love the 8000 back as top synth. Settled on a DX-21 but did not like the combo nearly as well.
#6
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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You should know that the DW 8000 battery cannot be swapped out easily and will involve some soldering when you go to replace it. I followed instructions online to replace the power cable with a universal power supply and the battery with a battery holder. It was my first real electronic soldering job and it worked fine, but just know that this may be in the future with the Korg. Took about 2 hours or so to do both (mainly due to careful desoldering and all the documenting and photographing of what wires go where).
#7
15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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I have owned a DW-8000 and now own two ESQ-1's.
I'd go for the ESQ-1, which in my opinion is a much more powerful synth.
The ESQ has 3 oscillators per voice, nice Curtis filter, 4 envelopes, 3 lfos, flexible routing and a sequencer. And it's multitimbral.

Check out demos on youtube for both synths.

Good luck,
Peter
Hysplex
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15th February 2013
Old 15th February 2013
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The guy who is seling the korg dw8000 bought is the second owner, says is in very good shape but it seems he doesnt kown if the battery is new. Is there any test mode for the battery?
#9
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
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I have the SQ-80 (pretty much an ESQ-1) and the DW8000 and I find myself reaching for the Korg 9 times out of 10.

I do use a Patch Editor which does not support the SQ-80 but even using parameter access, I find the DW slightly easier to program. I thought the dedicated buttons on the SQ would be easier but with the paging system, it isn't since you're pressing a parameter button in one place and then going to the edit page and hitting another button there. Works out easier on the DW just typing in the parameter you want and the tendency is to memorize commonly used ones without even thinking about it.

Another thing is that data is not real time in real time on the SQ, updates only occur on the next key press. So no holding down a pad and sweeping the cutoff manually...
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#10
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
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$400 is double an ESQ-1 but it's really a lovely synth. For the short time I had mine it was a real joy.
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#11
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
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You guys are great
Networkacid that was a really good info about the esq and that non real time thing puts me of the esq1
So i guess the winner for me is the dw8000 which is cheaper. I will get back with the seller and see if he will accept an offer for 300 euros...
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16th February 2013
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It's weird.. the ESQ-1 is a far more capable and IMO far better sounding synth.. and that the worst to program.
But the DW8000,, even without any programmer.. is far more fun to use.

I'd take a Kawai K3 and a "slap bass" sample for attack.. over both of em.
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16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
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The kawai k3 is pretty rare in my country. A few months back it was one for sale for 150 euros , but back then i thought it was just a cheepo digital synth and i passed.. then i watched some youtube videos of it and cry...but it was late, the board was sold.
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16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
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I definitely would try out a K3. I love me some SSM filters.

Hysplex I should mention you can assign cutoff to modwheel or aftertouch and have realtime control that way on the SQ. Plus with 3 Envelopes and 4 LFO (or is it the other way? I forget), modulation is way more flexible with the SQ. They are a good synth in and of themselves Sorry to confuse things more
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16th February 2013
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I had the K3, have played an ESQ-1 and currently own an EX-8000.

The K3 was good but limited, both architecture-wise and in sound. It's good for 80's hybrid ambient pads and bells a la MKS-70. The Microwave can handle those sounds too though and many more and it's a much better synth imo.

The DW is a very good synth with a more aggressive and good sounding filter and a very vintage (as in 70s) sound but can also handle 80's stuff with ease. A bit limited architecture too but much better sounding oscillators than the K3. Killer unison. Excellent at leads, arp stuff, pads, strings and brass, very good bass too. Overall much more flexible sound than the K3 imo.

The Ensoniqs are good too, much more complex architecture and the sound is very nice but the filter isn't all that great, sounds weird and no self-oscillation. The oscillators although capable of sync, are very low-fi sounding compared to the Korg, I like them better than the K3's oscillators but still not that great. The sound is fantastic for low-fi hybrid stuff but not so good in analog impersonations as the Korg. So in the end, it all depends on what sound you want to achieve...
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#16
16th February 2013
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I own the ESQm and the K3m, but since a relatively short time, so my comments may well be shallow.
For some reason I go more towards slower attack, filter modulated tones than percussive sounds. In short I find the modulation possibilities of the ESQ to be amazing, and using it along with my trusted Xpander, which I have owned for 27 years (!), I do believe it holds its own quite well: there is certainly that CEM filter sound character that they have in common- it shows. That said, the Xpander is, besides being obviously more advanced in the modulations department, a more weightful beast and has a deeper bass. However, if you work on the Ensoniq you can come close for certain sounds, and the ESQ of course can do things the Obie cannot easily do in the razor-blade, metallic-sounding, bell-like department.
The K3 is far more limited in the programming department, although what you can do is a joy to do since every control is physically in the front panel. But the sonic signature is strong, and the SSM filters evidently have more "balls", in the sense that they are less sizzly and more bass-heavy.
Unfortunately I have no experience with the Microwave or the Korg.

best regards
Massimo
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Last edited by massimo; 16th February 2013 at 04:00 PM.. Reason: typo
#17
16th February 2013
Old 16th February 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by networkacid View Post
I have the SQ-80 (pretty much an ESQ-1) and the DW8000 and I find myself reaching for the Korg 9 times out of 10.

I do use a Patch Editor which does not support the SQ-80 but even using parameter access, I find the DW slightly easier to program. I thought the dedicated buttons on the SQ would be easier but with the paging system, it isn't since you're pressing a parameter button in one place and then going to the edit page and hitting another button there. Works out easier on the DW just typing in the parameter you want and the tendency is to memorize commonly used ones without even thinking about it.

Another thing is that data is not real time in real time on the SQ, updates only occur on the next key press. So no holding down a pad and sweeping the cutoff manually...
Now I have even more love for the SQ80 noisy keybed and all. The VFXSD even better. ALL three ensoniq synths run about the same price.
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#18
18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
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My new korg dw8000 is on the way! thank you all for your help and info, i cant wait for friday, when it comes to my hands!!!
#19
18th February 2013
Old 18th February 2013
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Good choice! I think it's kinda crazy how cheap these are, definitely should cost more...
#20
4th March 2013
Old 4th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_The_Rodent View Post
You should know that the DW 8000 battery cannot be swapped out easily and will involve some soldering when you go to replace it. I followed instructions online to replace the power cable with a universal power supply and the battery with a battery holder. It was my first real electronic soldering job and it worked fine, but just know that this may be in the future with the Korg. Took about 2 hours or so to do both (mainly due to careful desoldering and all the documenting and photographing of what wires go where).
Can you share the links to those instructions? Thank you!!
#21
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2010 View Post
Can you share the links to those instructions? Thank you!!
Yep yep.

They were here:
HOWTO: Korg DW-8000 Battery Replacement

I did put in the new clip, so the battery is easily replaceable in the future.

Note that when I got my unit, the internal memory had become corrupt, so there was all sorts of random sounds. I restored the factory defaults using SysEx and the banks found on that page.
http://www.pallium.com/bryan/dw8000.php

I recall downloading other banks, but I'm sure you can google for them.
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