The leak becomes reality as Dave Rossum, the original designer of the E-mu SP-1200, announces it’s time for a reissue.
The possibility of a reissue of the SP-1200 has been on the cards since Rossum Electro-Music released some reconditioned models at the beginning of the year. Dave Rossum says that it was during the analysis of these old machines that they decided they could replicate the circuitry of the original using the exact same components (with a few exceptions) in order to reproduce the sound as authentically as possible. This is as faithful to the original as anyone is ever going to get.
There are a few adjustments but Rossum was very careful in not doing anything that would compromise the sound of the machine. The memory has been expanded to double the recording time from 10 to 20 seconds. Apparently the original was always capable of handling 20 seconds worth of sampling but the cost of memory was too prohibitive at the time of production in 1984. The 3.5″ floppy drive has been replaced with an SD card slot. If you have an original SP-1200 and want to transfer your samples across then you’ll find a floppy disk in the box which will update the OS to allow for transfer from your original SP-1200 to the new one over a MIDI cable – that’s pretty epic!
On the back of the SP-1200, we find some new channel outputs, filtered and unfiltered, and a sample input monitoring feature. The filter controls that we saw added to the reconditioned models that give you slider control over the cutoff and resonance on channels 1 and 2 are there. And a note about the filter: The parts for the original SMM2044 filter are no longer available and so Dave has designed the SSI2144 IC which models the analog circuit using contemporary IC processing and packaging, preserving its unique character.
It’s amazing really how much excitement can be generated over the reissue of a 1980s 12-bit sampler with 20 seconds of sampling time. It’s a testament to how some machines simply have a vibe, a sound and a life beyond their specifications. The website has not been live for a day yet and already it is taking preorders for production run number 3 which Rossum expect to deliver in the Spring of 2022. They cost an alarming $3999 and the fact that Rossum is having to limit it to 2 per customer is just extraordinary.