MATRIXSYNTH: Ensoniq ESQ-1 Workstation Synth Synthesizer w/ Sqx-20 Sequencer Expander

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Ensoniq ESQ-1 Workstation Synth Synthesizer w/ Sqx-20 Sequencer Expander

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"Ensoniq Esq-1 Synthesizer with a pre-installed SQX-20 Sequencer Expander Complete w/ Program Cartridge. This synth is in excellent condition and has had several modifications already done to it to promote its life and longevity.

The 3-volt Lithium battery is brand new and was soldered in last year by a professional. This is important; most ESQ-1's require this upgrade because this synth is 34 years old by now and the Lithium battery only lasts for 10-15 years. The lithium battery is what allows you to save patches and sequences on the ESQ-1 internal memory. It will display a warning message on the LED when it is nearing the end of its lifespan.

Another modification is that all three capacitors on the LED display have been replaced with new ones. In 2019, a failing capacitor caused the display to flicker, which brought me to a professional who replaced them all. The display has worked perfectly since, and is very clear, bright, and easy to read.

The SQX-20 upgrade expands the available amount of midi events for the sequencer from the stock 2400 to a sizable 20,000. This is valuable for recording automation because even one sequenced move of the mod-wheel or expression pedal can take hundreds of midi events at a time. With an 8 track internal sequencer these moves add up quick and they compete with midi note data for space.

Finally, the firmware is 3.20, which was the second to last firmware released for the synth (3.50 is the last update). Another last detail is that this is the plastic case version of the synth. The ESQ-1 had two official versions released, both the initial, metal case version and a follow-up plastic case one. The metal case had problems with overheating that the plastic case looked to correct. Again, this synth also comes with one program cartridge. Everything on this synth is tested, works as it should, and is a joy to play and program."

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