Ensoniq ESQ1 out of tune

Hi everyone,

My Ensoniq ESQ1 has somehow gone very out of tune all of a sudden… I need to move the ‘Master Tune’ setting to around -25 to get it to sound A = 440.

Is there any way of fixing the tuning?

Also there are a row of keys that are not working from the high C up to G, I was wondering what may be causing them to not work and if it is possible to fix this?

Thanks for your help!

My first guess on the tuning issue is that perhaps the pitch wheel potentiometer is not centering correctly, or maybe the pot itself is dirty. Since it’s a digital-based synth, the tuning - as far as the electronics go - should be spot on. So it must be something beyond that changing it. You can certainly program an individual sound to be out of tune, but for this to happen to all sounds at once, it must be something that applies globally. I can’t think of anything else that would do this, other than the pitch wheel.

I’m presuming the tuning is off when nothing is plugged into MIDI, right? Incoming MIDI info could also affect the global tuning.

The dead key issue sounds like a broken trace on the key contact board, or perhaps a bad wire or faulty connection with the ribbon cable to the keybed. Try unplugging and replugging that cable, on both ends, and if the connector pins have become oxidized, replugging it can help. It could be that one of the wires of the ribbon cable got cut or broken, so check that - it’s a much easier and cheaper fix than going after the contact board!