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korg dss1 vs casio fz1
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

korg dss1 vs casio fz1

Thinking of buying one of these guys, mostly interested in the synth part of them, what would it be the best one?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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If you are more interested in the synthesis aspect, I would go for either a DW/EX-8000 or one of the Casio CZ line. Yes, you can draw your own waveforms in both, but that aspect is so buried under a plethora of sample-focused screens that it would be a real headache for just this type of use.

If you are also interested in them as samplers... I'm not sure which one is really preferable. The DSS-1 has the nice filter and delays, but is massive... the FZ-1 has the nice screen (and interesting filter), but is just very obtuse to use.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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Assuming you really are limiting yourself to choose between the two...
The DSS-1 has nice sounding filters (considerably better than the EX/DW IMO), and a useful delay section. But truly, the FZ-1 is far more powerful as a synthesizer. The catch is that the FZ-1 is a lot trickier to navigate, but if you put in the time with it, you can catch on.

The envelopes are much more powerful, the filter is really just as good. What puts it over the edge is that because the FZ-1 architecture is based on 64 layers you can program patches were any parameter is velocity sensitive to 64 levels. You could spend hours programming wild patch morphs. Or you can do something simpler, but still far more capable than what is possible on a DSS-1.
Essentially with the multi loop envelopes and the layers you can create something like four dimensional wavetables.

The inherent tone of the FZ1 sampling is more interesting to me than the DSS-1. The sound tends to come out a bit more dreamy whispy while the DSS-1 is "warm."

The FZ1 with effort can compete with a microwave I, but it takes a lot of effort. Very few parameters are accessible for external editing. You can setup a sysex slider box to control a DSS1 with good response.

I think the FZ1 is a fantastic low fi sampler and sound mangler with great, but hard to tap synthesis potential. If you're only interested in it as a synth I'd maybe save up longer for one of the microwaves or an ensoniq sampler. Similar potential (of course not *the same*) but a lot more accessible.

If you want to prove how much of an obtuse programming champion you can be though, or are also interesting in the sampling side I do highly recommend the casio.

Beyond the very nice liquid filters in the DSS1 it doesn't really offer great synthesis parameters. The sample sync is kinda unique but in practice it just sounds like your sample is corrupted.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Head
 

I already have a cz5000, I was thinking to get rid of it and buy the fz1 or e korg dss1 to have a wider sound palette, analog filtes and more versatile instrument. The idea of sampling also fascinates me. I found some videos about the dss1 and it sounds massive, didn't find so many about the casio fz1. Would be nice to have an hybrid synth that could sound massive and warm and add it to my old analog ones. Ensoniq sq80 was another option, but it costs two or three times more than the Casio or the Korg...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Head
 

Update... I have the chance to get for 500 euro a Korg DSS1 or an Ensoniq ESQ1. Casio Fz1 for 400. What is the best for this price? I know the esq1 is not a sampler, but still it is a pretty good hybrid
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
I didn’t know FZ1’s had gone up that much...I paid like £80 for mine just 3-4 years ago.

Anyhow, I did want to chime in.

The DSS has what is perhaps a better library (lots of proto M1 sounds) and the filter is spectacular...I owned a DW8000 in the past which I believe shares it, stunning long sweeps, and the delays are fun.

Samples with sync gives you all sorts of chaos, if you want an idea of what can happen, grab the xfadelooper VST which lets you loop a short chunk of your sample and then sync it against an oscillator with a defineable wavecycle length. It’s kind of killed my DSS gas for now, as I can take those samples and make wavetables for my EPS16+

I love my FZ1, the multiple loops are so much fun and give you quite unpredictable moving sounds. I use a HXC drive with it. The filter is good, resonant and dirty, a bit MS20-like.

You can also set the first loop incredibly short and that halves the sample rate, lots of grunge there.

So both are great and capable of a range of unique timbres.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I didn’t know FZ1’s had gone up that much...I paid like £80 for mine just 3-4 years ago.

Anyhow, I did want to chime in.

The DSS has what is perhaps a better library (lots of proto M1 sounds) and the filter is spectacular...I owned a DW8000 in the past which I believe shares it, stunning long sweeps, and the delays are fun.

Samples with sync gives you all sorts of chaos, if you want an idea of what can happen, grab the xfadelooper VST which lets you loop a short chunk of your sample and then sync it against an oscillator with a defineable wavecycle length. It’s kind of killed my DSS gas for now, as I can take those samples and make wavetables for my EPS16+

I love my FZ1, the multiple loops are so much fun and give you quite unpredictable moving sounds. I use a HXC drive with it. The filter is good, resonant and dirty, a bit MS20-like.

You can also set the first loop incredibly short and that halves the sample rate, lots of grunge there.

So both are great and capable of a range of unique timbres.
The Casio FZ1 I found is 300, but I need to pay the shipping costs
...so apparently both the Korg and the Casio great machines!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by paseppa View Post
The Casio FZ1 I found is 300, but I need to pay the shipping costs
...so apparently both the Korg and the Casio great machines!
Both are somewhat difficult to use though.

FZ1 is quite menu divey, but you can learn it in time, but the file system is easy.

DSS1 is easy to load samples or presets in and mess with the filter etc, but hard to make and save your own samples, with various different hierarchies in it’s filing system. I haven’t used one though, I imagine it’s learnable.

Remember, the FZ1 unexpanded has 4x the memory of the DSS, which might be important to you if you want longer samples.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Head
 

So, if we exclude the sample session, between the Korg the Casio and the Ensoniq esq1, which one could be a more powerful synth? I like the idea of having a machine that could have analog vibe but still be capable like a digital one
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
The ESQ1 has more powerful modulation per patch layer and sync/ringmod. It is an undoubtedly powerful synth.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
DSS1 is easy to load samples or presets in and mess with the filter etc, but hard to make and save your own samples, with various different hierarchies in it’s filing system. I haven’t used one though, I imagine it’s learnable.
I've got to quash the idea that the DSS1 is somehow hard to use. It has perhaps a should be unnecessary intermediate filesystem bank step that you have to use when creating samples, but that's it. It's hardly even a trifle.
Everything about using a DSS1 is simpler than the FZ1. Soundwise the Korg is more big and warm. It also has a killer unison. However, I think the sound of the casio is very special and evocative.

I would go for the ESQ1 over the DSS1 and the FZ over either, but it really depends on what your looking for, but that's because I highly value the FZ1 uniqueness. The ESQ is probably the wisest choice if you just want a good hybrid.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegreengold View Post
The ESQ is probably the wisest choice if you just want a good hybrid.
Is the ESQ1 multi output when sequenced?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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raffor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paseppa View Post
Thinking of buying one of these guys, mostly interested in the synth part of them, what would it be the best one?
The DSS-1 is the better synth and some of the drawbacks don’t weight as much when you see it from this perspective, e.g. limited sample ram, lack of midi mono mode, single outs, etc.

I had a FZ-1 as my first sampler and it is a workhorse. But the synth section was not that impressive, to be honest. Single oscillator, somewhat rough filter, very static sounding. I have two DSS-1s right now and they do sound stunning. Much better filter, dual oscillator, sync, effects, etc. Manuvering through the menues is not worse than on a DW-8000, actually you have more info in one screen but therefore there are more parameter as well. Take a midi box, like BCR-1000 or I have a Kiwi Controller and it becomes a knobby synth.

Sampling is ok on both synths, setting loop points is better on the FZ. Neverhteless, the wafeforms are only the beginning with the DSS while on the FZ they more often conclude the sound.

A little more $$$, there is the Emax that shares the advantages of both. Nevertheless, I personally prefer the DSS-1 over all of them. But that is my personal choice.

Update:
Maybe I add my 2 cents to the ESQ-1 debate as well. I had one of the older, metal cover, ESQ-1s and I thought it was a wonderful synth. Later in life I bought a SQ-80 and I could not do anything with it. It just did not sound exciting at all. So, either my taste changed or there is a significant different between ESQ/SQ models.

I still would prefer a DSS-1 over the ESQ, even the ESQ can do much more on paper. The DSS-1 will blow it away from the sonic aspect and you can load these oscillator with whatever you want.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raffor View Post
I still would prefer a DSS-1 over the ESQ, even the ESQ can do much more on paper. The DSS-1 will blow it away from the sonic aspect and you can load these oscillator with whatever you want.
So, from your experience, you think the DSS1 is a better synth than the ESQ1? From what I saw on youtube the ESQ1 is very versatile, can the DSS1 be as well? I didn't find as many videos as for the ESQ1
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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raffor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paseppa View Post
So, from your experience, you think the DSS1 is a better synth than the ESQ1? From what I saw on youtube the ESQ1 is very versatile, can the DSS1 be as well? I didn't find as many videos as for the ESQ1
On paper the ESQ can do more, or? 3 Oscillators, 3 ENVs, 3 LFOs, AM, etc. The DSS-1 is structured more in regard of the classic poly, 8 voices, dual oscillator, Sync, 2 ENVs, 1 LFO. Definetely lsess modulations. But the devil is in the detail. ON the ESQ you are fixed for your waveforms and some are just drum sounds, whereas the DSS offers you sampling. Filter is totally different with the Korg filter being one of the best sounding there is, and you get them in 2 and 4 pole. Love the dual modulation delay as well, stereo chorus instantly.

Not sure what you want to do, but the DSS-1 would be much more expensive and much more desirable if it would not have been such a big keyboard. The ESQ is an ok synth. I personally am not the biggest fan of its sound but that should not discourage you to follow up on it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raffor View Post
the DSS-1 would be much more expensive and much more desirable if it would not have been such a big keyboard. The ESQ is an ok synth. I personally am not the biggest fan of its sound but that should not discourage you to follow up on it.
I fell in love with the DSS1 even if I could only see few videos, so you are not discouraging me. So, same question as for the ESQ1. I think it is possible to sequence the DSS1 with an external sequencer, is it multi output when sequenced?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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raffor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paseppa View Post
I fell in love with the DSS1 even if I could only see few videos, so you are not discouraging me. So, same question as for the ESQ1. I think it is possible to sequence the DSS1 with an external sequencer, is it multi output when sequenced?
No and yes. You can multisample but you have to run it through one patch. Using it as a synth consider it more or less monotimbral.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raffor View Post
No and yes. You can multisample but you have to run it through one patch. Using it as a synth consider it more or less monotimbral.
OK that wouldn't e a problem. The ESQ as been sold yesterday anyway, so I think I'll try to get the DSS.
And if with something like bcr2000 I can control it, probably it will be not so crazy to program
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
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jbuonacc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by paseppa View Post
Is the ESQ1 multi output when sequenced?
multi-timbral? yes, up to eight (or is it nine?) parts. only one set of stereo audio outputs though.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
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3rdpath's Avatar
You'll dig the DSS-1 ( as long as you don't need to physically move it...). I've never hooked an external sysex controller to mine but I do use a Novation SL MKII with my DW8000, so I'm fairly certain it would work. The disk drives usually break at some point but it's an easy $50 swap to put a new one in. Straylight engineering in Los Angeles has said they'll have a new USB upgrade for the DSS-1 in June ( hopefully...)...that's something I'm definitely going to jump on.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rdpath View Post
You'll dig the DSS-1 ( as long as you don't need to physically move it...). I've never hooked an external sysex controller to mine but I do use a Novation SL MKII with my DW8000, so I'm fairly certain it would work. The disk drives usually break at some point but it's an easy $50 swap to put a new one in. Straylight engineering in Los Angeles has said they'll have a new USB upgrade for the DSS-1 in June ( hopefully...)...that's something I'm definitely going to jump on.
I already feel my back broken
The seller would give me the DSS1 with the usb stick mod installed for 600 euro. Is it a good price?
I would definitely try to get some kind of controller for it, I have a passion for knobs
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
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600 euro sounds kind of high to me, but they are becoming less common, and they're hard to physically move around, so you're likely to see fewer and fewer as time goes by. It's also already got the USB stick installed. If it were me and I really wanted it and had the cash to spare, I'd probably go for it on the theory that my time is ultimately more valuable than continuing to hunt around for one that may or may not be cheaper at some point in the future. YMMV.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
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3rdpath's Avatar
Considering the USB kit was $250, plus installation would be another $100 ( at least ) and a nice used DSS is $250 ( plus an enormous amount for shipping ), the seller is asking pretty much what it's worth. Compared to what $600 buys today, that's a lot of cash but if that sound is what you seek, then it's worth it. Plus the USB kit added extra memory so your programming and storage possibilities are way beyond a stock DSS-1 ( which was it's main drawback, in my opinion. ).

I will say this, I've had my DSS-1 since I bought it new in 1986 and though many of my synths have come and gone, the DSS will never be sold. I don't use it on everything but nothing else sounds like it and I don't think anything ever will again. It's a very easily programmed synth/sampler despite the lack of knobs. The layout is very logical and all the parameters are clearly labelled on the face of the synth and can be directly accessed by key number from the keypad. The actual keyboard is clackity crap and the weights that are glued to the underside of the keys eventually fall off so it's best to actually play it from a controller keyboard...but most of my vintage synths are in that same camp. But get those two DDLs swinging on a sound and all is forgiven.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
Gear Head
 

My idea is to get ONE hybrid synth to mix with my old analog machines, just to have something versatile to create some cool patches or going more cinematographic, and I think the DSS will be the one, it really looks like a beast of machine, not only for its dimensions...
So, about the usb mod, obviously it will allow me to save patches on the stick, but what about the time needed to load them? I read it takes like 40 secs to load a disk or a patch from disk, will it be the same time with the stick?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
I like to listen to all these mp3s when I’m feeling blue, lots of nostalgic sounds:

http://www.synthmania.com/DSS-1%20Sound%20Library.htm
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
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flat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I like to listen to all these mp3s when I’m feeling blue, lots of nostalgic sounds:

http://www.synthmania.com/DSS-1%20Sound%20Library.htm
Its has always puzzled me why the master himself, the mighty Solaris, has shown little interest in this synth/sampler. It ticks all the right boxes (apart from its size) It exudes character and power. Don't get it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paseppa View Post
I read it takes like 40 secs to load a disk or a patch from disk, will it be the same time with the stick?
I'm not familiar with that specific USB device but in general, yes, the floppy emulators take the same amount of time to load as the original disks. There's really no way to emulate the floppy disk drive behavior so the DSS-1 will accept it without also emulating the timing.

It's still way worth it though -- my Mirage with USB emulator takes the same time to load a sample as the floppy, but I can easily flip through tons of sample images on one USB stick with no physical wear and tear or the annoying noise of the disk.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
Gear Head
 

I don't think the seller has any of the original disks. In case I will be able to find the samples on internet, would it be possible to save them on the usb stick straight away?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
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Maffez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by paseppa View Post
I don't think the seller has any of the original disks. In case I will be able to find the samples on internet, would it be possible to save them on the usb stick straight away?
http://www.glenstegner.com/dss1/disk.htm

(btw also think the 600 price tag is a tad steep, even if the usb floppy is a gotek, but, of course also, if it's in good hsape and you have to have it, go...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #30
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maffez View Post
http://www.glenstegner.com/dss1/disk.htm

(btw also think the 600 price tag is a tad steep, even if the usb floppy is a gotek, but, of course also, if it's in good hsape and you have to have it, go...
is it too much? It would be 500 without, but the guy said he has one of this usb floppy and he could install for me and sell everything for 600. But I really don't know how much is worth
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