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Generalmusic S3 turbo and Equinox 88 pro! I am in Italian pro heaven!

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  • Generalmusic S3 turbo and Equinox 88 pro! I am in Italian pro heaven!

    I am now a proud owner of these first class Italian pro synthesizers. Previously I had very limited amount of money and it was a hard time choosing only one of these and ended up to Polyphonic aftertouch of S3 turbo... But the seller, however, was not so called "active seller"... she's an old lady and the Equinox belonged to her husband that passed away... and she, very kindly reserved Equinox for me for a "unknown time" and I simply cannot tell you by words, how grateful I am to her because later I managed to afford Equinox too and now I own both!!! Maybe the Synthex is only one missing... but this is digital domain anyway I am talking about. By the way, both these synths cost about 500 euros and Equinox was in fact relatively cheap when considering it cost about 2000 euros as a new in 2001 so after all it isn't really "that" old in terms of used gear. With S3 Turbo, I got even a softened wooden hardcase which the previous S3 Turbo owner had made by himself and it is very very nice.

    Here's some important features listed below... there's simply too much to mention all!!!

    S3 Turbo (it's S2 Turbo in the pic but there's nothing differences to the S3 except longer keyboard):


    (just take a very careful look of this picture. Can you see how carefully it is placed and how the owner really had a sense of art? That synthesizer fits perfectly to the background!)

    - 76 semi-weighted keys (the most expressive keyboard action ever) with polyphonic aftertouch!!!

    - 7 freely programmable realtime sliders for any parameter

    - 2 independent midi busses with midi merge fuction (midi in sends signal to midi out)

    - 6 Mb ROM with more than 500 waveforms!

    - "The enormous, deeply sunken aquamarine LCD!"

    - 2 OSCs (single, Dual or Crossfade) sounds in solo mode, but in performance mode, up to 16-part multitimbral sounds can be used as a one patch!!! Performance mode can be either as one huge sound or 16 different solo sounds or anything between!

    - The sounds really can sound very warm analogue

    - 16x Multitimbral Sequencer (even GeneralMidi compatible too)...

    - ability to load wav and akai sample files

    - Factory installed turbo expansion for even better capabilities (twice polyphony from 16 to 32!)

    - Everything have so PROFESSIONAL feeling... both the construction and synth itself


    GEM Equinox 88 pro:



    - Pro version with full factory installed 8Mb of RAM (like S3, can load wav and akai samples but also AIFF, Kurzweil, SMP and SND files too), SCSI port and internal 2 Gb hard disk as standard with PRO piano samples from GEM Realpiano with emulations of string resonance and GEM patented Damper Physical Model.

    - 88 Fully weighted (fatar?) keyboard action with aftertouch!

    - 8 freely programmable realtime sliders for any parameter.

    - Polyphony 64 notes max

    - 16 Mb ROM Sounds with 1.200 PCM sounds + 16 piano sounds (PRO2 library)

    - 2 OSCs with a single sound, but consist 3 layers! Similar to Roland JD philosophy of tones but unlike in Roland with only 1 waveform per tone, these can have dual oscillator per each layer! With even 4 different pre-settings how oscs are behaving with filters and amps! So basically you can have up to 6 OSCs with each having different envelope and filter!

    - 128 digital filters with resonance, up to 6 oscillators per voice, 3 LFOs and up to 21 independent Envelopes with 10 segment resolution.

    - Same 16-part Multitimbral Performance mode!!! With all of those layers it's simply outstanding!

    - Similar Sequencer as S-series but even with more advanced features

    - Plus the most impressive thing: This is in fact 32-multitimbral machine! You have Sequencer and performance mode separated so you can still use full performance mode while sequencer is playing!!!

    - Much more compatible with GM standard than S-series.

    - Groove mode with more than 1.000 pre-programmed editable presets. (Groove mode is like 8-part multitimbral little midi sequencer independently per each key(!) and everything is syncable to the internal sequencer or external midi clock!!! And again, everything is fully programmable, whether you want simple sequences in an style of analog step sequencer transposing to the keyboard, or full-blown complete and/or complex loops, repeating or not. I know groove is about the most overused term regarding to synths but I can tell you, this feature is very easy and complex too, but most of the all, very very advanced and ultimately very unique)

    - Arpeggiator with directions of UP, DOWN, UP/DOWN, DOWN/UP, RANDOM and INPUT(!!!), everything are fully programmable like beat, velocity(!!!) (How many synths have arpeggiator that works with VELOCITY?), octave, lenght, crescendo, transpose, delay(!), repeat and so on.

    - Unique Drawbar mode for instant access to vintage electronic organ sounds using the 8 panel sliders as drawbars with key-click, percussion, overdrive, etc..

    Also, with this Equinox I got original manual which features this outstandingly cool (ring-bound?) folder!!! It's so DELUXE!


    and the most important about these machines: You have very quick access to all important things although these are also very complex and deep machines... almost everything is programmable! You think about a something feature you would like to have... and these synths have it! Also these machines sounds very different when comparing to leader companies! These have character of their own! These machines are also true workhouses because they are far more flexible than any other similar workstations from current leaders of keyboard market... you can do so much at the same time, for example, didn't I mention that in both synths you can still load new songs while previous is playing the sequencer?

    Great article about this "Precious GEM":

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may99/articles/gemequin.htm


    Listen sound examples here:

    http://www.synthmania.com/equinox_61.htm

    http://www.synthmania.com/s2r.htm


    And my regards to Paolo Di Nicolantonio... I can bet he's jealous now
    "I'm totally opposed to all these expensive bull**************** computers (sequencers). They can do whatever you want but not in the time you want. People have lost the essence of time. One said to me: 'With this new computer I can create something in one or two minutes'. This is an eternity. I can do that in a split second. But the split second doesn't come into account because the previous computer could do it in 10 minutes - so for them, 10 minutes to two minutes is really great progress!" - Vangelis

  • #2


    Indeed I am jealous!!

    Seriously, congratulations, that's a really good setup

    I've had both at the same time and miss them, but especially the S2!! That was a fantastic-sounding machine.

    In fact, I've often considered starting an Italian collection, like Daniele Marziali's www.vsmi.it

    The Synthex would be great as well... and the Bit series is underrated also imho... and the Opera-6... and the Syntorchestra... and... up until today's magic software box, SAMPLETANK.... (great unit)
    SynthMania.com
    SynthManiaYouTube

    Comment


    • #3
      I had an S3 and loved it- probably the best synth-weighted master controller ever, those things are well built, and it sounded very nice and analog-ish. The only downside was that you had to use the floppy drive to save your set-up (including setting up polyAT) so that you didn't have to menu-dive on power-up each time. The only reason I sold it was because I replaced it with a Kurzweil MIDIBoard.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bump

        Please someone make a comment and tell me your opinions. Are these so rare that only a very few owns them and can make an opinion

        One thing what pisses me off is that there seems to be so many S2/S3 owners who didn't even notice Polyphonic aftertouch and eventually sold it away... without knowing what they really lost
        "I'm totally opposed to all these expensive bull**************** computers (sequencers). They can do whatever you want but not in the time you want. People have lost the essence of time. One said to me: 'With this new computer I can create something in one or two minutes'. This is an eternity. I can do that in a split second. But the split second doesn't come into account because the previous computer could do it in 10 minutes - so for them, 10 minutes to two minutes is really great progress!" - Vangelis

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi i am just getting the GEM Equinox 88 pro would it be possible to tell me
          how to upgrade the operating system, i have the file( equinox88pro_111000 )
          from the gem site but i can not see how to use it in the manual.
          Hope anyone can help thanks steve.

          Comment


          • #6
            This procedure is explained in manual already:


            Step 1: With the instrument turned OFF, insert the operating system disk. After the disk is inserted, turn the instrument ON.

            Step 2: You will see message in the display that says "Loading OS Disk clears all memory!!". Press enter and wait about 3 mins to load new operating system. When the system have finished loading, you will see the message "loading succesful!!". Press Enter to continue and instrument will load normally and then press instrument OFF and remove the disk!

            Final step: As you turn instrument ON, KEEP ROTATING THE DIAL until the following message appears: "!!WARNING!! Dial on power-up requests memory clear!!". Press enter to continue and system loads normally and then the update process is completed.


            It's pretty clear information... what's there you don't understand?
            "I'm totally opposed to all these expensive bull**************** computers (sequencers). They can do whatever you want but not in the time you want. People have lost the essence of time. One said to me: 'With this new computer I can create something in one or two minutes'. This is an eternity. I can do that in a split second. But the split second doesn't come into account because the previous computer could do it in 10 minutes - so for them, 10 minutes to two minutes is really great progress!" - Vangelis

            Comment


            • #7
              Those are actually pretty cool synths. I wouldn't mind either of them.
              Selected Gearlist: Yamaha PSR-760, 3 meter long Hosa stereo cable (jack to phono).

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi,
                can anybody tell me please: what is the real weight of the Equinox 88 Pro ? Different sites offer different info (22, 29, 34 kg). But what is the true weight?
                Thanks.

                Comment


                • #9




                  Synths on frozen ground ... ??? No, no no, Tesla Girls ...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman were big users of General Music equipment

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      LOVED my S3 Turbo. Best controller I have ever had and wish I still did. Nothing comes close today and this was built, what 15 years ago? Heavy Beast but incredible.
                      PJ Early
                      www.freezeframeband.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi,
                        can anybody tell me please: what is the real weight of the Equinox 88 Pro ? Different sites offer different info (22, 29, 34 kg). But what is the true weight?
                        Thanks.


                        The true weight is 22,5 kg / 49,5 lbs. It's just so large you can't simply lift it by grabbing the end panels and so it makes it feeling heavier than it is really and people have estimated weight wrongly. I can barely move it by myself using specific method of grabbing.

                        To my knowledge S3 weight is 18 kilos but because it's shorter, I can grab the end panels and move it much more easily.
                        "I'm totally opposed to all these expensive bull**************** computers (sequencers). They can do whatever you want but not in the time you want. People have lost the essence of time. One said to me: 'With this new computer I can create something in one or two minutes'. This is an eternity. I can do that in a split second. But the split second doesn't come into account because the previous computer could do it in 10 minutes - so for them, 10 minutes to two minutes is really great progress!" - Vangelis

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Those Italians have made some pretty damn cool gear over the years. I mean, um, Synthex anyone???
                          Selected Gearlist: Yamaha PSR-760, 3 meter long Hosa stereo cable (jack to phono).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, as a long time Farfisa enthusiast, I have a soft spot in my heart of Italian keyboards. Those are damn beautiful.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sorry for troubling you again
                              I heared that Equinox, beside his own patches has also a number of great piano sounds from Pro2 library on Hard Disk. Are all 4 technologies implemented on the Pro2 available on the Equinox too ? I mean: "Damper physical model, natural string resonance, FFT merge, advanced release technology".
                              P.S.
                              Can you also give me please a list of those PRO sounds?
                              Thanks.

                              Comment

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