Ensoniq EPS-16+

Ensoniq EPS-16+ Image

The EPS-16+ was an innovative early sampler workstation designed for the 90's. Its sampler specs are impressive: 16-bit, variable sampling rates from 11.2kHz to 44.6kHz. With a slim 1Mb of memory this gives just about 11.5 seconds of sampling time in mono at 44.6kHz. Editing functions are quite nice: normalizing, sample splicing, merging, phase switching, auto-looping, auto-truncating, sample rate conversion and more.

On the synthesizer side it has two great filters with switchable hi, low and band pass, 6dB to 24dB cutoffs. BUT, they aren't resonant. The keyboard is velocity and pressure sensitive and it has full MIDI implementation. There is also a sophisticated 8-track sequencer that can really be fun in a live performance situation. A wildly flexible and variable LFO with seven shapes always adds a new twist to your samples! Topping it off is a full suite of on-board effects like reverb, delay, chorus, flange, phaser, Leslie sim, distortion and wah-wah and these effects can be re-sampled to become a part of the sample! It can even be played while it is loading samples!

Ensoniq EPS-16+ Image

In its time, the EPS-16+ was a revolutionary machine. It brought a lot of power and musicality to sampling. These days, the EPS-16+ is still useful. It brings back the early crunchy sampler sound but with a lot of features that make it really fun to play with. Even with its non-resonant filters you can still find yourself filtering a 'garage-beat' drum loop for hours while muting and un-muting other loops on the 8-track sequencer!

Ensoniq EPS-16+ Rack Image

The EPS-16+ was also made available in a rack-mount version. All EPS-16+ synths can be upgraded via non-volatile flash ROM (available on-line from Chicken Systems, Inc.) to expand your EPS's memory, effects algorithms and creative potential! It has been used by Autechre, LFO, Massive Attack and Slam.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Ensoniq EPS-16+? 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.

41 Visitor comments
June 3, 2011 @ 12:50 pm
(cont) I still have two spare keyboards at home, so whenever a broken EPS16/SD1/VFX shows up on ebay, I'm covered.
BTW this problem got solved with the ASR10 and TS10s. We never had a problem with their keyboards. The early ASR models you had to swap the ADconverterchips, if a certain issue showed up (crackled sound after sampling)
The ASR10r is still my favorite hardware sampler..
June 3, 2011 @ 12:46 pm
When the EPS16 came out I have been working at a musicshop in my hometown in germany and we've been the local Ensoniq partner. According to our technician who had to deal with EPS flaws in those days it all ws a problem of the connection of the boards underneath the keyboard and the OSchipVersion of the keyboard. During usage some connections get interrupted due to heat and mechanical influences, so the EPS thought it lost its keyboard.
To keep customers content we stored upgraded keyboards in the shop and were able to fix incoming EPSs on the fly while the players had a coffee and a chat.
stan kinzler
April 4, 2011 @ 1:50 pm
i have owned the eps 16 for about 6 years. i love the warm sound of the organs, the beauty of the steinway sample, the built in efx processor, the ability to change sounds on the fly with the touch of a single button, its ability to stack sounds, pretty much everything. i did have a problem with it locking up. i used a cooling fan out of a computer spliced on an ac adapter and mounted it so it blows on the heat sink on the back panel. no more problems.
January 10, 2011 @ 1:30 pm
I had a EPS-16+ rackmount back in the 1990's. Great sound and quality. Very slow load time (even with a external hard drive) but the sound was worth every second of it. The samples available from Ensoniq were one of the best in the industry. This was one great sampler that I will never forget.
September 25, 2010 @ 9:05 am
This board was the only gear NRG used to make the classic rave track "I Need Your Lovin'".
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  • 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 - 7 to 20 voices
  • Sampler - 16-bit mono, 11.2kHz to 44.6kHz; (up to 11.5 seconds sample-time at 44.6kHz)
  • LFO - 7 shapes
  • Filter - 2 high, low, band pass 6dB to 24dB filters
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity & pressure sensitive)
  • Memory - 1 MB (expandable to 2 MB)
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1990
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