ESQ-1, SQ80, and Ensoniq were registered trademarks of EMU Ensoniq/Creative Labs

ESQ1 Hacker Site

Last Known Ensoniq O.S. Versions  

ESQ-1 Operating System History  

Schematics and Drawings  

Cassette data information

I recently discovered on eBay some website harvesters are selling CDs with copyright information and pictures which are available nowhere but here or originated from here.

This website was set up to provide information for free. Not only me but numerous people who contributed to this website by offering information and documents.

In accord with other major contributors to this website I hereby interdict any re-selling of information found on this site, especially as some sort of "collector CD" on eBay.

If you run across such a rip-off, drop me a note.

Start here if you have a problem with your ESQ-1

  ESQ1 F. A. Q.

A. Do you own an ESQ1 Keyboard? How many program cartridges do you have? Ever try to order another? Wish you could have all the patches you desire in the keyboard at the same time? After studying the guts of a cartridge, I have come up with a special adapter that will allow you to access 1280 patches all at the touch of a button. No modification to the keyboard is required for the basic unit and it draws its power from the socket. You can also write to each patch or bank just as you do now. This can also be expanded to 2560 patches with a little change. I haven't decided how this should be packaged, but a typical module would just plug into the existing socket and would protrude just above the keyboard top. It would have only one button and a single led hex display to show all 16 cart banks.


More recently, 2019, some people that I explained how to design the Monster Cart have taken it upon their own to make the Monster Cart available on Ebay. Do an ebay search on "Ensoniq 1280 Cart expander". They are available from time to time on Ebay.

Click here for a discussion of the modification.

(Obsolete) If you're interested in this module, contact me and I'll put you on a list for the latest information when I have it complete. This web page will display all the instructions and pictures if you want to built it yourself. If you're not a tekkie, I will try and make completed units available. The unit contains only three chips and a few components. (Obsolete)

B. Do you have strange problems with your ESQ1? Does it randomly change parameters? Does the display read weird patches and are the sound patches strange and abnormal with distortion or level changes? Does the ESQ1 perform any other illogical or inconsistent functions? Check out the link below.

Power supply lecture

Modifications, documentation and instructions:

Note: Some of the processes and instructions on this website require skill and knowledge in electronics. Inadvertent touching of some components and boards could permanently damage the keyboard. I assume no responsibility should you damage your unit. Also, please don't ask me to help you "learn" basic electronic skills. I have created this web site to provide informational data only. - webmaster

1. User replaceable lithium battery

2. Headphone amplifier and output jack. (under construction)

3. Power off mute on output. (under construction)

4. Stock cartridge

5. After market cartridge(s) (under construction)

6. Software upgrade of ESQ1 to version 3.5

7. Alternate method of saving patches  

8. ESQ-1 User Manual  

9. Schematics and Drawings

10. ESQ-1 Service Manual in PDF


This page, still under construction will, contain all the modifications and improvements I have made to the ESQ1.


Link to the Transoniq Hacker newsletter archive.

Email Rick with any questions

Link to Rainer Buchty Ensoniq page

Margus's ESQ1 Website 

Sonic State  

Sonic State Links  


Link to new Transoniq Hacker website. (broken link)

Syntaur: Support parts and documentation

Giebler Enterprises - Software interfaces to the ESQ1

Sound Quest - High end interfacing to the ESQ1

Mirage Techie Page  

Mirage Starters Guide  

This site has been providing free information for over ten years. We ask for no monetary remuneration. However the cost of keeping this domain and server running has increased substantially. If you are so inclined, you can make a donation no matter how small to keep this site always available. You can click on the Paypal button to donate. You don't need a Paypal account to contribute. Thanks for your support.

All files, information, pictures, and documentation on this and all sub pages on this website Copyright 2014 Rick C.

Last updated Feb 12, 2020