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what happened to ensoniq Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 18th October 2014
  #1
what happened to ensoniq

do you think ensoniq will ever be back. between the esq 1, eps 16, mirage, asr 10, gizmo etc.. they were the mother fvcking coolest.
Old 18th October 2014
  #2
unique quality affordable futuristic products as far as I'm concerned.

i mean theres still some juice in that name 36 chambers was made on eps 16 kanye uses asr 10 etc..
Old 18th October 2014
  #3
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EvilDragon's Avatar
What happened to them? They couldn't keep up with competition, got bought out by Creative in 1998 and that was essentially their burial.
Old 18th October 2014
  #4
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Bought by Creative Labs for their PCI soundcard tech, and killed off.

Doubt they will be back.
Old 18th October 2014
  #5
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harness's Avatar
no chance
Old 18th October 2014
  #6
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Dpro's Avatar
Ah they are long gone company sold to Emu who got gobbled up by Creative Technologies pretty much sealing both Emu and Ensoniqs fate.

From great to gone for both companies because creativ did not really belong in the synth business and actually did not want it outside of the sound card tech.Failed synths did not help like the Fizmo which fizzled hard.
What do you get when you get a synth company started by engineers from Commadore Computer who like Music? Ensoniq a truly unique synth/sampler company.
Old 18th October 2014
  #7
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NEXUS-6's Avatar
 

I remember trying to sell my Fizmo 10 years ago for $400.00 on CL all I got was some troll telling me I was stupid for buying one & making fun of me..

Now I see them going for around $1,500.00 on Ebay

Life is funny..
Old 18th October 2014
  #8
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xanax's Avatar
ensoniq buy out & kill was one of the saddest things to happen to musical company imo... man i would kill for an ASR-10 follow up, those [DP4] FX were stellar..

Quote:
Originally Posted by FRANZ KAFKA View Post
i mean theres still some juice in that name 36 chambers was made on eps 16 kanye uses asr 10 etc..
FYI 36 chambers was made on ASR-10, EPS 16+ & SP-1200: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/3926467-post23.html
Old 18th October 2014
  #9
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Grimbog's Avatar
 

I think Ensoniq had a bit of a hard sell moment during their lifetime. It's only for the past few years that people regard their gear with a certain level of respect, but if I remember at the time they were always considered 'budget' keyboards.

Loved the fact is had some quirky features - you can actually stack/chain ESQ-1's and SQ80's together... grab 4 units, chain them together, and you have 32 notes of polyphony.
Old 18th October 2014
  #10
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There was a rumor in 2011 of a come back. But that was either fake or never panned out.
Old 18th October 2014
  #11
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xanax's Avatar
i disagree... they definitely had a different approach, especially with synths.. i would certainly call their designs quirky but not 'cheap' neither in price, build quality or sound. their sampler range was very popular in the 90's hip-hop & house music scene, and again not because of budget.. there is a reason why they were used (and are still being used) by such big names as Timbaland, Kanye, Neptunes & Daft Punk.. Ensoniq's achilles heel was OS builds & internal power supplies which caused overheating.. these did lead to a bad rep with many pros favouring the more reliable Akais, Emu's etc..
Old 18th October 2014
  #12
ozy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEXUS-6 View Post
all I got was some troll telling me I was stupid for buying one ... Now I see them going for around $1,500.00 on Ebay
Life is funny..
and, whenever one meets a sneering troll,

one should remember that they seldom are rich and savvy people with a sexual life.
Old 18th October 2014
  #13
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 

Creative gobbled up a complete era of legacy sampler pioneers. But they F**) it up. I'm not up on what Ensoniq did other than I was right there when the Mirage was the entry level 8 bit machine ( I had an E2 at the time). When E-mu systems sold to Creative, that was a sad day. Quite honestly, E-mu in my opinion had achieved so much and was at the top of their game. But who can know why these things end the way they do. I'm still a huge E-mu fan, and I feel pretty confident about the build quality of that stuff. Not so confident about anything that Creative cranks out.
Old 18th October 2014
  #14
Gear Addict
 

  • ...agree w/ xanax. I was an EPS and ASR user and they were not budget, they were the real deal. I remember spending something like $600 for a 2MB memory upgrade for the EPS...and being in heaven when I finally got the output expander. FWIW it wasn't really about the sound with the Ensoniq stuff (artifacts of EPS sampling was not desirable and ASR was clean) but the workflow and features were great.
  • I also agree about reliability.. I don't think I ever had the cover permanently screwed down on any of my ensoniq synths.. they all got hot, they all bugged out, etc.. I was never able to sell them as working because they never did work 100% of the time!
  • as for what happened to them it's kind of obvious. Shame.
Old 18th October 2014
  #15
Deleted b598644
Guest
buried? so just like MTV was buried by Viacom
Old 18th October 2014
  #16
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xanax's Avatar
yup.. but to be clear many hardware sampler manufacturers (namely ensoniq, e-mu & akai) were looking for exit strategies around 1999 because of the DAW/VST take over. sadly e-mu/ensoniq went for creative & akai sold to numark. both pretty shady companies although at least nukai still produces (software based) MPC's ...
Old 18th October 2014
  #17
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ensoniq's fate was sealed when they were bought by emulator systems, emu were a company that made great gear but had the business savvy of a brain damaged Labrador.
Old 18th October 2014
  #18
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EvilDragon's Avatar
Ensoniq was not bought out by E-MU. Both Ensoniq and E-MU were bought out by Creative.
Old 18th October 2014
  #19
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Teknobeam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax View Post
yup.. but to be clear many hardware sampler manufacturers (namely ensoniq, e-mu & akai) were looking for exit strategies around 1999 because of the DAW/VST take over. sadly e-mu/ensoniq went for creative & akai sold to numark. both pretty shady companies although at least nukai still produces (software based) MPC's ...
Yes..sadly I agree with your evaluation of what happened. Total "exit strategy" They saw what they thought was the writing on the wall,, negotiated an offer and made a deal.

They wouldn't be the first to do that, and guaranteed........won't be the last.

I don't have any animosity towards E-mu for their busines decisions. We all know that in this music hardware / software world that we live in,, nothing (let me repeat) NOTHING is forever.
Old 18th October 2014
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Ensoniq was not bought out by E-MU. Both Ensoniq and E-MU were bought out by Creative.

are you sure about that, my command station which I assumed is pre creative product described on its faceplate as being made by emu/ensoniq.


I could be wrong of course..it wouldn't be the first time
Old 18th October 2014
  #21
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nah command stations were released in 2001.. at that point creative had fully merged e-mu & ensoniq products..

doing a bit more research it seems e-mu was sold to creative as early as 1993 (i thought it was much later)

command stations & their key versions were the final hardware musical products after which creative turned e-mu into a prosumer sound card / controller company (more like rebranded creative products)

you can find out more about this on the company section of the current e-mu website: http://www.creative.com/emu/
Old 18th October 2014
  #22
Gear Nut
 

I would not foster any hope for the return of either Ensonique or E-MU, they're gone.
When I consider the amazing sounds E-MU came up and their crop of instruments it's a crying shame.
But that's the way it is...
Old 18th October 2014
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottdavidson View Post
are you sure about that, my command station which I assumed is pre creative product described on its faceplate as being made by emu/ensoniq.


I could be wrong of course..it wouldn't be the first time
Emu were still a separate entity/department when they bought out Ensoniq although under the shell of creative, they were merged (hence the faceplate)
then finally creative zapped them all,
and threw away years of goodwill, respect and market penetration
in a disgusting display of a huge consumer 'garbage' company's predatory business practices. (I was around then and not pleased as you can see. haha)

*garbage as in low level soundcards in huge amounts of the massively booming home computer market.

funnily, you may know this, one of the guys who put together the CS was still helping users on the yahoo group up until recently, that's worth noting.
Old 18th October 2014
  #24
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

They made great stuff back in the 90's - I bought my ASR10 in 1993, I loved that thing and used it heavily for almost ten years. Along the way, there were other ensoniq products I purchased, the DP2 and DP Pro, namely - all long sold now, but all great stuff.

They had good hardware and intellectual property and design, but all went awry in the late 90's.

Too bad :(
Old 18th October 2014
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FRANZ KAFKA View Post
do you think ensoniq will ever be back.
Only if it becomes 1985 again.
Old 18th October 2014
  #26
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Probably not coming back...and anyone that in love with ensoniq (guilty) can buy most of their products for very little on the used market with a small amount of effort...still waiting for that $200 Fizmo to show up though...
Old 18th October 2014
  #27
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Hazmatic's Avatar
Loved their hybrid synths. Good stuff, especially the SQ80.
Old 18th October 2014
  #28
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NEXUS-6's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozy View Post
and, whenever one meets a sneering troll,

one should remember that they seldom are rich and savvy people with a sexual life.
Haha true! & I'm glad it never sold because now years latter I really appreciate it uniqueness & wont sell even at today's price's..
Old 18th October 2014
  #29
Ah the days of waiting for the Transoniq Hacker to arrive in the mail

Had and EPS then an ASR10, still want an ESQ-1 at some point. They made some duds though too, SQ range, lots of problems with the ASRX as I recall. Was looking at one of those SQ2's on ebay last week, just to use as a master controller, think it sold for less <100€.

.
Old 18th October 2014
  #30
Gear Nut
 

The brief version o/t Ensoniq demise is that they invested a LOT of money in developing a PC h/w recording platform a la Protools that basically broke the company. When they released it in the mid-late 90s it wasn't fully debugged/working and it crashed and took the company with it. I forget its name but maybe another GS geezer can supply it.

Little chance of a resurrection. My guess is that some of their best guys are working at DSI (same w/ Emu's best) since they all work located south of Silicon Valley near Santa Cruz.

Cheers,

d
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