Rossum Electro-Music Bringing Back The Classic E-Mu SP-1200 Sampler

There has not been an official announcement yet, but it looks like Rossum Electro-Music is planning to reintroduce the classic E-Mu SP-1200 drum machine and percussion sampler.

Rossum Electro-Music’s Dave Rossum was one of the founders of E-Mu, and last year introduced the 35th Anniversary SP-1200 Renovation – a limited edition of rebuilt SP-1200s, with updated software to support SD cards, along with other new features and updates.

Now, Rossum Electro-Music is teasing a Wednesday, November 3rd product announcement, with the catch phrase “Serious Repercussions”.  In the last few days, DJ Lethal has also shared images of a Rossum SP-1200.

The original SP-1200 was introduced in the ’80s and has been a favorite with producers since. Though they were made for an incredible 20 years, there’s still more demand than supply, with average used prices pushing towards $7,000 and up:

Pre-orders will open Wednesday, November 3rd at 10:00 AM PDT. See the Rossum site for details.


via Andreas Markusen

45 thoughts on “Rossum Electro-Music Bringing Back The Classic E-Mu SP-1200 Sampler

  1. was excited about this until I saw that the NEW ones are going to cost $7500~. not competitive at all, just something for the studio collectors and big production houses.

    1. Not $7500. That is for the 35th Anniversary refurb. A price for the new one hasn’t been announced yet but is rumored to be $3999 on GearSpace. Supposed to be officially announced on the 3rd.

      1. ah, I see, the price isn’t official yet. I really hope its more reasonable than the refurb. Im sure going SD rather than floppy saves a lot of production cost on its own.

  2. Just do something creative with the superb assimilator. No need for all the old suff, there is already a pretty good clone in the market.

  3. Emu was one of the most innovative synth companies, and I was gutted when they folded. Rossum Electro has entirely beautiful stuff, but with the prices and designs they’re clearly going for a very specific market. I mean, he could have made a “Fred’s lab” style implementation of the Morpheus and reached a lot more people.

    It’s up to them of course, and maybe they’re just fed up of the corner-cutting that you need to make a mass-market synth.

  4. If ever there was a classic example of synth fetishism, the 1200 is it

    $8000 for a clunky box with less than a megabyte of sampling time

    1. overpriced yeah (i wouldn’t consider one over $1200 new)…but the sp-1200 is not a clunky box at all. In my experience, it has in fact one of…if not the most, intuitive designs of any sampler. The manual is basically printed on the front panel (with nothing hidden) and it uses the bank of faders for parameter input instead of a single data encoder. Super easy and quick.

    1. Uli’s company has already cloned Dave Rossum’s chip designs (the SSM series). They don’t need to copy his old drum machine design, too.

  5. i love this so much, what a time for music gear, not saying things aren’t pricey but boy are we spoiled for options. i’m so glad Dave is doing this, he deserves in on the still strong interest in his creation.

    and i know opinions wildly differ on the value of this machine but when i finally got my hands on one a few years back i immediately understood the love for it, it’s a magic box (IMO).

  6. Notice synthopia only on puts certain viewpoints and block the rest, as I did put in something positive …thanks Dave for bringing back a dawless legend and kudos to original format.

    1. “Zoanced”

      Sorry to bust your conspiracy bubble, but comments from first-time commenters are always held for moderation, to keep spam and hate speech off the site.

      Your first comment was posted as “Johnnson”, and was held for moderation, because you were a new commenter. You commented again, using a different name, so your second comment was also held for moderation.

      You can avoid the wait for moderation by using a consistent identity and contributing constructively.

    1. Well, it would cost me more than 4k to make one from scratch, including coding time, so it depends what the size of the production run is.

    1. He has said on his IG it will be released to the market, but its a one man show so i guess its a wait and hope game for it. I like the slightly smaller format 🙂

  7. “Zoanced”

    Sorry to bust your conspiracy bubble, but comments from first-time commenters are always held for moderation, to keep spam and hate speech off the site.

    Your first comment was posted as “Johnnson”, and was held for moderation, because you were a new commenter. You commented again, using a different name, so your second comment was also held for moderation.

    You can avoid the wait for moderation by using a consistent identity and contributing constructively.

      1. in addition to the price difference there is definitely room for Isla’s S2400 and the SP1200 the way there is room for vintage and modern electric guitars in a musicians arsenal. to quote the late great, “one won’t do and two is not enough for me no, i need another one”.

  8. We should all take a pause and realize these are comments based off no knowledge of the actual price. So when that gets posted, lets see how the commenters fare then. Then we’ll come back to this and laugh at how much we loved this thing with no price.

  9. The smart thing to do would have been to team up with Isla Instruments to make an official collaboration model with maybe some extra Rossum magic applied för maybe around 2000 bucks. That would have been a win win for all parties!

    1. Can you imagine how long it would take for Rossum to make any money out of a deal like that, with Isla making a niche product in limited quantities? Every time they sold a batch of 100, they could split 50k, which is peanuts for developing & supporting a product like this.

      The smart thing for Rossum to do is to compete with prices of vintage devices, so he can sell products with a decent margin and keep the profits.

      This is why reissues like the Prophet-5, the Moog modulars, the miniKORG 700, etc are viable and why a company like Behringer generally has to make a lot of design changes when they create a mass-market knockoff.

      1. Rossum would probably make more money that way as there are far more people willing to spend 2000 than there are people willing to spend 7500 on what is in most ways an inferior producr,And of course my thinking was that with Eossum onboard production of the Isla would be ramped uop and streamlined to lower production costs.

        1. You’re imagining that $2000 sp-1200 would somehow be a mass-market product, when you can get a brand-new MPC One for a third of that.

          Second-guessing industry veterans is easy when you have no skin in the game.

          1. I am not second guessing industry veterans. I am a realist. Islas improved clone is selling really well in fact faster than they can make them! I have a hard time thinking Dave can sell as many at the price he wants. So them both joining forces would have been a win win for all. Including the skin..

            1. @Tabusco
              Remember that was because he was using your money to build them so they didn’t actually get built before money was paid.
              He just got to the point where you could actually order one that is pre-existing, which was a welcome event.

    2. @Tabusco i would say that what you described is exactly what you get with Isla’s machine even though Rossum was not involved. Isla knows the original 1200 inside and out and kept much of the workflow the same with lots of new features and a very beautiful modern take on the physical design. i have the original 1200 and spent some time with the 2400, both fantastic and have something the other doesn’t.

  10. $4000 for a drum machine in 2021. Hilarious! Dave Rossum is a genius in my book, but It’s hard not to laugh at that price.

      1. I’m stoked about the extra 10 seconds. Extra 10 seconds opens up a new world of possibility 🙂 If only there was a stereo sampling mod. But then if there was I guess it would no longer be an SP1200.

  11. The SP1200 is my favorite drum machine/sampler I’ve ever used. I’ve owned and used a bunch of classic samplers including the Sp1200, Mpc 60ii, Mpc 2000xl, Mpc 4000, ASR10, Ensoniq Mirage, EPS, S950, EMU e6400 to name a few, but the SP1200 is king in my book. There is something I find really unique and enjoyable about programming on the SP1200, using it’s user-friendly interface, and trying to create while dealing with the machine’s limitations. It’s a beautiful machine aesthetically to look at and sit in front of. It draws me in and I can get lost for hours creating music on it. It’s more than a sampler – it is an instrument that produces an unrivaled gritty sound which always seems to work for lofi Hip Hop and Dance music. IMHO, it’s the holy grail of classic samplers. I ‘m so happy Dave Rossum resurrected the legendary SP1200. It’s literally a dream come true for me and I think priced fair at $4000. I can’t wait to get my hands on one! Cheers 🙂

  12. The real problem with the Isla is that it isn’t a sp1200.
    I ave said it a million times a will continue to say it, he missed out by not making tow models.
    One that could be the product he is currently selling and the other one that is the equivalent the original SP1200 without all the added nonsense.
    I can fully understand someone liking the S2400 but I would never want it instead of a SP1200 or even a SP12T for that matter.
    It feels similar but not quite the same.
    With the current price of the S2400 a variant that stuck wit the standard SP1200 aspects would be beyond cost effective.

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