SP-1200 Reissue Now Available To Pre-Order

E-MU co-founder Dave Rossum has announced an official reissue of the SP-1200 sampler, described as ‘an authentic reissue of the iconic classic SP-1200 sampling percussion system’.


The Rossum SP-1200 reissue is engineered by the original designer and built and tested in the United States to his standards.


The Rossum SP-1200 sampling percussion system is a faithful reproduction of the sampler it’s based on, with a few key enhancements made “where they were compatible with the original design.” Rossum has replicated the electronics – analog and digital – as accurately as possible, retaining many authentic components and creating a sampler that authentically reproduces the sound and feel of the vintage instrument.


The original SP-1200 had an unmistakeable sound, characterized by audible aliasing and imaging artifacts produced by pitch-shifting samples. In an effort to preserve the gritty sonic character of the original, Rossum has retained the 12-bit linear data format and 26 kHz sampling rate found in the 1987 version.


As for the updates, Rossum has integrated a new memory card storage system that expands sampling memory to the maximum limit that the original sound engine can handle. Users can now work with samples of up to 20 seconds, twice the 10-second limit of the original unit.


The SP-1200 comes packaged with a 3.5′ floppy disk that’s loaded with modified software that allows users to import vintage SP-1200 disk images in the .HFE format, transferring sounds and sequences from the original units to the reissue through a standard MIDI cable.


In addition, Rossum has added sample monitoring capabilities. Users can now monitor the output of the machine’s input filter and amplifier through dedicated monitor output TRS jacks. Rossum has also redesigned the power supply, adding a power brick with an XLR-style, locking connector that, in conjunction with the four-layer circuit boards, brings down the noise floor and reduces the chance of unwanted interference and hum.


One component that the designers could not replicate was the original SSM2044 analog filter. Rossum has produced a new SSI2144 IC filter in partnership with Sound Semiconductor, which reprises the same analogue circuit in order to maintain the sound of the SP-1200 original filter.


Dave Rossum discussing his approach to creating the SP-1200 reissue:



Other updates:


Users can now monitor the input to sampling (the output of the SP-1200’s input filter and amplifier) at the mix output, or it can be switched out of the mix output by plugging a cable into its new dedicated monitor output jack, just like SP-1200’s individual channel outputs removes them from the mix output.


Rather than the fluorescent-illuminated backlight included with the first original SP-12 units, the classic 2-line, 16-character display is backlit using RGB LEDs, inspired by the LED-lit backlight displays equipped in later SP-1200 units. A new Set-up Special Function (#26) integrated into the Rossum SP-1200 reissue’s operating system allows users to adjust the brightness and color of the backlight.


SP-1200’s black play buttons use custom replica button caps and durable, low-resistance switches, chosen for their ideal travel and rated to keep their same feel for years. Dynamics can be performed using exactly the same classic technology invented specifically for SP-12 in 1984, and is faithfully maintained in the reissue.


As with all SP-12 instruments, the dynamics can be optionally disabled (Set-up 14) and Multi-Level mode is featured, allowing any dynamics to be performed with a lighter touch.


The SP-1200 reissue also features a new power supply and newly-constructed, four-layer circuit boards that lower the noise floor and avoid undesirable hums, without compromising the unique artifacts and dynamics of original SP-12 series instruments. The rear panel runs cool to the touch, and no vents are necessary in the rear panel.


Visit Rossum website to pre-order the Rossum SP-1200, with units expected to ship in January 2022.






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