E-mu Emulator III

E-mu Emulator III Image

The Emulator III was E-mu's biggest classic "Digital Sound Production System". Also called the "EIII", it was E-mu's biggest and most professional sampler-synthesizer prior to the 1990's. It was the first sampler to offer 16-bit CD-quality specs with stereo or mono sampling at 44.1kHz or 33kHz. RAM memory is 4 MB expandable to 8 MB. There are extensive and modern sample editing features (from looping to rate conversions). The on-board 16-track sequencer and arpeggiator are also superb. Equipped with MIDI, SMPTE, SCSI, built-in disk-drive and multiple outputs, the EIII is comfortable in any studio. A Macintosh can also be hooked up to the EIII for easier graphical editing which was very useful since the LED screen on the synth is so tiny.

As a sampler workstation the EIII was at one time the dominating force. Although modern machines far exceed it today, the EIII is still a quality instrument with controls and functions that would be familiar to anyone who uses samplers. A very classic machine that can still stand strong among a generation of sampler workstations 10 years later, the EIII is still in use and will continue to be used for many more years. It has been used by Depeche Mode, Genesis, and JellyFish.

Lookup E-mu Emulator III Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a E-mu Emulator III? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

17 Visitor comments
October 3, 2012 @ 3:46 pm
Can someone please explain the difference between the original EIII and the EIII xs and the EIIIxp? The xp and xs look identical, so what isn't identical about them? I've found general statements that the original EIII is much better than the xs or xp, but no real details on why. So, anybody got the dish on these machines? What's the deal with the three versions of the same model?
David Lortsher
August 31, 2012 @ 4:13 pm
I am SO excited! I just picked up a rack unit. No media at all.... OS or samples, floppy or HD. But I had an EmaxII way back when they were new and loved it before I had to liquidate everything to move out of the country. Can't wait to bring this thing to life!
August 20, 2012 @ 1:02 pm
Can any post reputable USA repair service centers for the E-Mu Emulator Three? I love my EIII (had it since 1987) but finding an experienced E3 tech is getting harder to find now that the original eMu Team has scattered acros the universe. Despite its age, there are features and a sounds unique to a real EIII that simply can't be duplicated anywhere else.
January 26, 2012 @ 11:40 am
I like the EII better....
August 23, 2010 @ 2:52 pm
Owned one. Loved it! The primary board used by Code Industry for most of their recordings.The EIII was the most coveted board by the group. Although, the size of the board made it a pain to use in live performances. Toting the beast around wasn't easy. Plus, it was expensive.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.94 (310 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 16 voices
  • Sampler - 16-bit, 44.1kHz (67 seconds)
  • Sequencer - 16 tracks, 100 patterns, 100 songs
  • Filter - Yes there is a filter and it is FAT!
  • VCA - ADSR envelope control
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity and aftertouch)
  • Memory - 4Mb expandable to 8Mb
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1987

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.