Ensoniq SQ-80 keybed kit

Knobtwiddler wrote:
“I’m one of an online group of Ensoniq SQ-80 players and was wondering if it is possible at this point that the “SQ-80 Keyboard Rebuild Kit” might ever be back in stock. I still have clackey keys. Although I did read somewhere where one guy replaced a strip under the key bushings and got a quiet action. So maybe not all hope is lost.”

We get so many requests for these kits - unfortunately, the demand far exceeds the supply. It’s hard to find the correct parts to put these together. We get enough to put one or two together every now and then, and they go onto our site and sell immediately. I keep hoping that one day, we’ll be able to get a good stock of these - or maybe we’ll throw down for the tooling costs and manufacture them ourselves. (We are starting to do that with some other products - but it’s a pretty steep price of admission.) If that ever happens, we’ll sure post about it here!


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Would definitely be interested in this kit x3 if possible.
Just wanted to register my interest in advance so that there is some incentive for the machining and tooling.

+1 on interest in the kit.

Are these plastic parts one could bribe someone into 3D printing, or are they a different version of the rubber replacement bushings?

Since this kit is unavailable, is there perhaps some kind of DIY solution to this problem?

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I’ve read once of someone on another forum shaving off the tops of the bushings and applying a thin layer of piano felt on them to quiet the action. That might be a bit more labor and risk than is acceptable though, since it’s a destructive, non-reversible mod.

I took apart my SQ 80 keybed apart since my last post and came up with something to mitigate the clackiness. I noticed that some keys were clackier than others, so I compared them and noticed that the metal piece that holds that bushing is slightly looser on the louder keys. Apparently the metal piece vibrates whenever you hit the bushing and is the main contributor to the clacking sound. I decided to hot glue gun the metal pieces to the plastic part of the key to dampen the vibrations. It made a big improvement, but it is still louder than your average keybed.

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Even if they are rubbery, you can get 3D printer filament that is rubbery. But no idea how long it would last, depends if you are a firm player or not.


We finally have a couple of these kits available:

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Which would be great but I’ve missed them yet again someone needs to get on this and produce a modern mass produced kit or key bed replacement for these ageing synths :slight_smile: pretty please :pray:t4:

Just some details on how the kit resolves the issue would be good. It’s removal of the felt pads and adding bigger rubber bushes right?

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I already contacted Syntaur and asked.

Basically, the view seemed to be that’s proprietary!

So why would Syntar help the community, since they are a business not a charity… that makes sense and since they have been a good company in terms of being honourable about handling sales and the rest of it I have no gripe with that…


I’m going to make it my personal mission to find out exactly how all of this works and post it online for everyone to get for free!

Because, this has gone on for long enough and I’m completely sick of really good synthesisers not being of any use to increasing numbers of people.

I am not interested in exploiting the situation for money or personal gain and I will get to the bottom of it and help everybody I can for free!

I’m going to make it my personal mission to find out exactly how all of this works and post it online for everyone to get for free because I’m sick of really good synthesisers not being of any use to increasing numbers of people.

Anyone who wants to help me is welcome to contact me.

I think community spirit is more important than commercial interests, proprietary knowledge and basically being mean, to me that’s completely antithetical to the entire synthesiser online community spirit and the right to repair movement!

As soon as I work out how to make this work I will post schematics on open source… For people to print their own.

On top of that I will sell kits strictly at cost price to those who don’t have printers :slight_smile:

If Syntaur want to beat me to it, help me, collaborate, compete or just let me get on with it those are all ultimately positive actions that I welcome.

Come on Syntaur, please do something really cool and collaborate with Fatar to create a new poly aftertouch 61 keybed—- you will get all the money back because so many people need one and the R&D will easily be worth it.

Long live the SQ-80’s Poly AT


Well I asked them for this information and they repeatedly evaded answering me, which I thought was pretty poor really but I do understand Syntaur are a business so that does make sense I guess they put the R&D into seeing how to do it and they deserve the credit for that.

However my understanding is with the Syntaur kit that one simply removed the dryed up and hardened foam pads and then there is a specific bushing from a certain keyboard (which I would really like to know the manufacture of) that has already been produced Syntaur reused and that gave the extra distance necessary to activate the polyphonic after touch.

The keypad itself is a coil-based affair, PolyAT is activated by proximity… The whole thing is pretty much genius on Ensoniq’s part, I guess they just didn’t count on the demand being so sustained or perhaps they didn’t count on going out of business and not being able to offer parts…

Even replacing the phone pads would help if I could find the exact same pads, but I will say that the kits produced by Syntaur or a remarkably intelligent and far more long-term solution.

There are several complications in the form of the fact that Fatar did not uniformly produce these keybeds, this discrepancy in uniformity of production came up whilst the kits were being distributed and has been documented elsewhere.

The solution was simply to offer replacement keys that included the capability of being modified.

Information is here, but I warn you, : ) do not get your hopes up, these items are permanently out of stock.


My plan is for an innovative new solution, however I am also interested in possibly custom producing the bushings and following the Syntaur route depends if they want to be involved?

If anyone wants to share the apparently secret exact dimensions or manufacturer details of the bushings I would be happy to get them reproduced in large numbers, this still would not solve the black key problem though but that is not insurmountable with modern 3-D printing techniques.

A much more beautiful solution, though not as cheap, might be to get the parts custom manufactured from new.

Believe I may have designed a previously unconsidered concept that could actually solve the problem in an elegant unique and affectively permanent way.

Sorry we haven’t been responsive about this - it is something we have been working on. We should have test runs of new bushings within the next few weeks. These are custom designed, and we are having them manufactured, which is not a trivial thing for a small company like ours. Once we approve the design and the material (we have to settle on a hardness), then the bushings themselves will be available on our site, and at least some SQ-80’s can be upgraded.

We are also working on a solution for the black keys, which I think will be easier to solve than the bushings themselves, and once that is done, we will have kits available for one and all. Thanks, everyone, for being patient and supportive of our endeavors!

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Cool news - Yeah I totally understand about the manufacturing, if done right manufacturing indeed seems to be “not a trivial thing” I’ve looked into it and concure, not impossible although hardly an easy undertaking. That challange is why I don’t have a problem with anyone eles solving the issue. : )

So… credit where it is due!

Good one Syntaur and thanks for the wonderful news Sam.

I don’t suppose I can place a pre-order for 8 sets can I? Yes I own 8 SQ-80’s : ) - I run them in overflow mode for the polyphony, what do you mean why… :slight_smile: becuase Kirk Slinkard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dEzF7QSgQE

I would be happy to distribute these in the UK if that might be of help.

I will continue with my product development (just in case) and eagerly look forward to these products. <3 nice one Chaps!

Can I just ask Sam, do you know if all of the SQ-80 Fatar key bed revisions had foam pads present?

Some of my key beds have them and others don’t, I wonder if this is because some other person removed them before I got the keyboard or if some of them came from the factory with different bushing arrangements?

Literally any information you’ve got on this would be of great use to the community…

I just got done stripping my 5th board down— and unless the person who removed them was very thorough it looks like this bed never had any pads…??

Have you guys encountered this? Given that you have much more experience I thought it would be worth asking…

Also do you sell fresh bushings if you do sell them can you sell them in packs of 61? If I want to replace all of them at once?

Great news by the way I’m so happy you’re doing something :slight_smile: please count me near the top of your list and let me know the ETA. I’ve missed them three times now in total…