91 comments on “EPS-16 Plus

  1. I have a EPS 16 plus
    What is the best way to improve this unit?
    What about the combination boards on the drawing table?
    I am interested in the preforming side so increasing the memory would seem to be the direction to go
    I am also interested in selling the keyboard
    your thoughts and thank you for your time


    • Hi Bob,
      Currently there are three options, the 2X memory expansion, the SCSI interface, and the FB-2 flash bank. I currently manufacture only the SCSI interface, and can refer you to another person who makes the FB-2 interface. The combination board has not been built or tested, and would only be useful for EPS-16’s that don’t have any memory expansion. Currently there is no way to make a memory board bigger that 2X. The flash bank is good for live performance since it’s very fast.

  2. Might you know where I could get (or have) a FlashBank FP-2 installation guide? Or is it so straightforward that I would be able to intuit on my own?

    • I don’t have that manual. However it’s pretty easy, the board mounts on the upper lid with nylon PCB mounts, and there is a 50 or 60 pin ribbon cable that goes to the main CPU board.

  3. hey there. i had an ensoniq esq1 and eps classic back in the early 1990s but was no need for any real upgrades back then. I just bought an ensoniq eps 16 plus and it came with about 120 disks and the 2 times memory cartridge in the back as well as the output expander. So far shes a beauty and works great how ever id really like to upgrade the old and soon to die floppy drive to either a scsi hard drive or an sd emulator for more storage and peice of mind. the board i have dosent seem to have even the scsi retro fit for a scsi drive to be hooked up how much am i looking at to have this upgrade done and also would love to have the o.s. permanetly installed into internal ram instead of floppy disk any info would be great thanks Tim mississauga ont. Canada

    • If you open up the memory cartridge, there should be a 10 pin socket for the SCSI board. The SCSI board plugs into the memory board and also to the CPU board via a 34 pin cable. To have the OS permanently installed you need the Flash Bank option. I don’t make these (at the moment) but there is someone that does. His name is Juha Forsten Juha Forsten

  4. Ok so in my current memory card is the scsi socket?? and if so i need the scsi board that plugs or mounts in i assume?? lol sorry for all the questions im happy you answered so fast thanks for that!

  5. i noticed at the back of the memory card is the shape of the scsi connector but its filled in with black plastic? so i assume i open the mem card then install the scsi adapter port or board$ so how much will a scsi board run me from you tom? and also since these are made by you what scsi drives will work with the keyboard once shes all hooked up and ready for scsi? thanks

    • The board is $149 plus shipping (approx. $20 to Toronto). I have someone that can do the installation for you or any music shop like Steve’s or Long & McQuade can do it for you.

      • hey tom! yes i do really want to buy the scsi upgrade board from you! however my eps 16 is acting bizzar? its booting up just fine every single time i turn it on but!!! it will only let me load the instruments(if any, on the o.s disk to boot the sampler with?? if i load the synth then put a new disk in the drive with other instruments it flashes the load word in the disply screen but wont let me load anything?? not even will it pull up the disks sample directory of instruments?? is it broken or is the floppy dying or could it just be a bug inside the current o.s i am using?? as i said everything else is workjing just fine, it loads up and tunes everytime and all outputs and keys work fine its just the issue of inserting an instrument disk and its like the keyboard dosent seem to notice that a new disk has been inserted to the drive??? anyways will scsi and using the iomega 100mb zip drive fix this? or am i needing a newer o.s version?? please let me know what you think thanks tom…..oh and the o.s versions are ram 1.10 rom 1.00 keyboard 233?? if that helps any? but its semms like the drives fine it still formatts and copys o.s disks just as it should with out pausing or acting funny its just the whole not loading instruments thats weird, sampling works fine???

        • The latest version of the OS is 1.30. I think I have a disk image that you could use with OmniFlop and a PC. It’s also possible that you have a bad floppy drive that is not producing the ‘disk change’ signal, or it could be a problem with the floppy circuitry. I’ll send you the image and links to OmniFlop

          • thanks so much! quick thought i once switched out an ensoniq vfx sd floppy drive into an emu emax 1 after the emax was dead(drive that is for three yrs and when the vfx started going strange i just thought hey lets see and the emu emax booted like normal?? i have an emulator 4 rack that seems to read and formatt dsdd disks fine do you think that the floppy drive will work in the eps 16???? even though the e4 is newer from 1994???? sorry off topic but thought it worth a shot to ask? and lastly how do i order your scsi board upgrade?? pay for etc? also i have an old blue ommega 100mb drive from 1997 do you think that scsi drive will work once i update it to scsi???

          • The VFX and Emax are very specific as to what types of floppy drive they require, jumper settings on the drive, etc. I can’t say whether an e4 drive will work. The only way to find out is to try it. You can order the SCSI kit by sending me your PayPal information. I don’t know whether the Omega drive will work, once again you’d have to test it. In the future, if you want to send me a private message, use the contact form on the main page instead of posting in comments (where everyone else can see it).

        • You need a 3.5 inch floppy drive cleaning kit so the heads are cleaned and the unit can successfully load from the disk. These are available from different suppliers and are about 20 USD.

  6. I would like to buy a SCSI interface because recently my ensoniq buy 16 + and this does not have this port .. and also not able to save files to disk … and read that with this port so I can connect to an external reader makes me all …. I would like to have one

  7. Hi
    Have and Ensoniq EPS 16 Plus with the memory Upgrade cartridge thingymajig that mounts to the rear of the keyboard and has a DB-25 SCSI connector integrated into it. Anyway, Using a SCSI zip drive with this thing is sketchy at best. Tried a Syquest Syjet drive and it sometimes sees the drive, sometimes doesn’t. Hardly something you want when You are three hours into a sampling session so not gonna risk it.
    Has anyone tried or successfully upgraded their EPS 16 Plus with a SCSI PCS50 or 60B multicard reader/writer setup like this

    If so, is it’plug and play’ or are there some extra details I am missing here
    Any help on this possibility greatly appreciated

    • the scsi zip drives on eps16+ need active termination. This means you need to have another scsi device on the chain (w. termination) or an active termination plug. Or it could be modded.. (google)

      • The SCSI board that I am selling has a schottky diode to supply termination power to devices like the ZIP. The board is otherwise identical to the original EPS16+ SCSI board

        • And if I understand correctly the SCSI board you’re selling fits inside the mem expander “cartridge”? If so, then we might have to do some business 🙂

          • The board I’m selling is a 99% exact clone of the original Ensoniq SCSI board for the EPS16 which does fit inside the cartridge, although the top of the cartridge must be removed (as Ensoniq originally intended).

  8. my eps16+ recently began to show random characters in the display and refuses OS reboot. my esq1 had a reinitialize routine that was very simple and i was wondering if the eps has a similar reboot routine. the manual is less than helpful as usual. i use this in the studio and to have it sitting silent is a shame. thanks.

    • The EPS16 doesn’t have any battery backed or flash parameters to reinitialize. You may want to check the connectors on the motherboard, KPC board (which also handles the display). Reseating and cleaning all connectors with contact cleaner may help.

  9. Tom, do you have an external hard drive for sale or know who has one for sale with at least 500,000 or more blocks of memory for an ensoniq 16 plus? I have one already but I want to buy another one for back up. I have of coarse the memory expander with SCSI.

  10. HI Tom,
    Could let me know how to reach Juha Forsten? I am Interested in getting the Flash memory for my Eps 16+ rack.


  11. Hi Tom i’m probably intrested ato buy a scsi interface for my eps 16+ with expansion memory already installed,my question is
    how much the scsi board with expedition in italy?
    thanks in advance
    and regards from italy

  12. Hi!

    I second marcos’ query.
    I also have the EPS-16+ with the 1mb expansion.
    Is it possible to order the scsi expansion from you?

    Kind Regards,

  13. Hi Tom
    Im not sure if you can help me with some advice?
    My Ensoniq 16+ won’t load up the OS Floppy Disk.

    I have tried several OS Disks and I have replaced the drive and unplugged/plugged
    all the ribbon cables I could see inside.

    The drive ‘chugs’ 6 times then 3 times rapid as it appears to read the disk then stops.
    The LED says SYSTEM LOADING but nothing happens – just freezes…

    any ideas ?


    • Try a new Floppy ribbon cable. I have had the original Ensoniq cables go bad. Check the power supply if you can, make sure it’s 5V on the drive, anything less than about 4.8V will cause problems. The floppy controller IC could be bad as well as its associated circuitry. Or, perhaps bad system RAM….

  14. Just got an EPS 16+ for free.
    Found the OS floppies and it came with 50+ sound floppies.
    Two questions
    1)Is it possible to save sound data to ram even after powerdown
    (or do you have to save to floppy)
    2) The aftertouch is inconsistent, and on some notes does not work.
    I know it is Poly AT, as my Blofeld responds to it set to PolyAT rather than
    Channel. Is there a method to fix the AT?


  15. Hi Tom,
    my name is Paolo and I live in Italy. Recently, I purchased a used Ensoniq EPS16 Plus and I expanded the sampler with a memory card and a (never used) IoMega SCSI zip 100 but… I can format a disk, copy OS and create directories. I managed to save some sounds from floppy to zip disk but after that is always a “”Disk not responding” saga. Tried everything: changed cables, used a second zip drive to terminate SCSI chain, used a SCSI terminator (active and passive with same results) but nothing is going to work.
    Questions: is there some SCSI removable disk which work (I don’t want to buy all existing models) out of IoMega which seems not to be so good for this machine?
    Is there a way to check if my SCSI card really works and if so, how?
    I am almost putting my EPS16 Plus in a case, close it and let it there trying to forget all this SCSI nightmares…

    Kind regards,

  16. Awesome work Tom 🙂 damn i pray to god everyday you will make more scsi interfaces soon, cause i can not find them on the whole web 🙁 without scsi im lost. greetings and much respect from germany. 🙂

  17. Hi Tom. My EPS 16+ is alive and kicking in original state after 25 years +. I would love to integrate it into my current setup with SCSI + USB option. I see several posts on here of people hoping you will create some more of your wonderful products to help the EPS community. Put me on that list and let me know when you have something for me to purchase and support your respected work. Thank you kindly! Jose Conde – Brooklyn.

  18. Hello Tom

    Just wanted to inquire if you had any of the SCSI units left for the 16+?
    And that it would work with a ZIP100 drive?

    thank you


    • ed,

      A genuine Iomega ZIP100 should work just fine on Your EPS 16+. I know I use mine just about every day and it works just as well as I´d expect. 🙂

      There is (possibly) someone on Youtube who has managed to connect a SCSI2SD adapter to the EPS 16+. Maybe something to try out if you feel adventurous / have a lot of time on your hands. Hehe.

      I´ve managed to connect a Quantum Atlas II 4GB HVD (high voltage differential SCSI) using 68-to-50 pin adapter as well as a SEHVD bridge and format it on my EPS 16+, so there are always hope!
      I use the disk to do d2d recordings using the two audio-tracks on my ASR10 (in case you were wondering why I would need such a beast for the EPS 16+). 😀

      Happy sampling,

  19. I would like to know if you are aware of a VST emulation of the classic EPS. I have efe files that I can’t get on my EPS. I have tried to find a sysex file to load the OS but I’m not sure that it even responds to sysex. That’s why I love my ESQ-1! I have a USB emulator installed on the EPS but I don’t have a floppy drive in my computer! I have the 4x expander so I don’t know if the scsi would help! Thanks

  20. I would like to know if you are aware of a VST emulation of the classic EPS. I have some efe files
    that I can’t load on my EPS. I have tried to find a sysex file to load the OS but I’m not sure that it even responds to sysex. That’s why I love my ESQ-1. I can load programs and sequences and banks with sysex. I installed a USB emulator on my EPS from Nalbantov and it works great. I don’t have a floppy drive to put the other efe files on the USB. I would love a flashbank but I guess there is no way to make it work on a classic EPS! Thanks

    • Can you fill me in on your experience with the Nalbantov UBS unit that replaces the floppy drive? I have an ASR10 rack. I’d love to start using it again, but loading the floppies to audition sounds is painfully slow, and even loading from CD via SCSI is still just to slow. Is there a MB limit on the size of USB stick you can use? Any info you have is appreciated.

      • I haven’t had any experience with that unit (Nalbantov). However I have used the HxC Rev F. with a FZ-10m. It works fine but bear in mind that any floppy emulator won’t be any faster than a floppy drive, since the transfer speed is limited by the floppy controller. Your best bet is a SCSI interface with a SCSI2SD drive.

      • James
        I’ve got an HXC drive on an original EPS.
        The load time is the same as floppy I think the drive supports up to 32GB sd card.
        Cheaper alternative is get a Gotek drive off ebay and reflash it with HXC firmware.
        To be honest its slower than floppy because you have to search through the drive to find the image then load it then load it to the EPS it was quicker to rumage through a box of disks.
        The only good thing is SD card is more reliable than floppy and its not much more than a replacement floppy if yours has died. and of course it save carrying 2 boxes of disks round with you.
        if you have SCSI fitted try looking at one of these SCSI sd card drives they will more likely be faster than a drive or a zip

  21. I would like to know if you are aware of a VST emulation of the classic EPS. I have efe files that I can’t get on my EPS. I have tried to find a sysex file to load the OS but I’m not sure that it even responds to sysex. That’s why I love my ESQ-1! I have a USB emulator installed on the EPS but I don’t have a floppy drive in my computer! I have the 4x expander so I don’t know if the scsi would help! Thanks

  22. Ciao a tutti,
    mi è stato regalato un Ensoniq EPS 16 PLUS, purtroppo, con il lettore Floppy Disk guasto.
    C’è qualche anima buona che ne ha uno da vendere?
    Floppy Disk Drive Panasonic JU-257A-303P.
    Aspetto con ansia. Grazie.

    • Damiano
      È possibile utilizzare qualsiasi unità se si sa come modificarlo.
      Ho anche almeno 2 unità floppy per ensoniq.
      E almeno 20-30 che possono essere modificati per funzionare.
      Le unità devono essere cambiate da track0 a trk1 e essere configurate come unità shugart devi spostare i ponticelli o il link di saldatura per ottenere ciò a seconda di quale unità ottieni

      You can use any drive if you know how to modify it.
      I also have at least 2 floppy drives for ensoniq.
      And at least 20-30 that can be modified to work.
      The drives have to be changed from track0 to trk1 and get configured as a shugart drive you have to move jumpers or solder link to achieve this depending on what drive you get

      • Buongiorno Lamster,
        Grazie per i consigli.
        Ho modificato collegamenti e spostato i link di saldatura su due floppy drive diversi, ho trovato suggerimenti su un sito internet, ma ancora non riesco a caricare il sistema operativo (all’inserimento del floppy si sente dentro il lettore un tac, tac, tac, tac, tututu e si brocca). Ringrazio anticipatamente per eventuali altri consigli e suggerimenti. A presto Damiano.

        • Ciao Damiano.
          Quando si modifica un’unità floppy da 1,44 per l’uso in un EPS Ensoniq
          Assicurati che i dischi che hai siano DDtype e non tipo HD.
          Se sono hanno buchi su entrambi i lati e l’unità pensa che sia formattata 1.44.
          Se questo è il caso, coprire il foro che non è protetto da scrittura e riprovare.
          Cosa dice sul display?
          Disco non pronto?
          Disco non formattato o qualcos’altro?

  23. Hi Tom,

    great work 🙂
    i am also looking for a eps16+ SCSI card.
    Can you let me know if/when some are available?


  24. Peace quick question what scsi adapter and software can I use to read/write ensoniq efe files to usb zip usb to 50 pin adapter on macbook or do I need this gear rigged to a pc only with ensoniq disk tools etc or translator software? Cant find my asr scsi raid card so how I do this in 2018

  25. Thanks to Tom and his great job. With its new SCSI card connected to the memory expansion card, my EPS has regained its youth! A pack very well packaged, a great after sales service. Thanks for everything Tom! 790 sounds to back up! I just have to get to work! 🙂

  26. hello, has anyone ever tried fitting this SCSI upgrade to the original EPS ?

    will it work?

    i’d kill for any option that is faster than the .. sigh.. HxC floppy speed.

    PS did Ensoniq ever release a factory SCSI option for the original EPS?

  27. Hi,

    Does anyone know where to download both the os and the Instrument Banks ?

    Just got the instrument without any disks 🙁

    Kind regards, Loren

  28. You might find some 3rd party sounds or libraries online.
    Most people’s libraries are self created over many years for specific projects.mine is several 100s of floppy disks. Which was either craftily sampled from peoples synths that I was either fixing or borrowing, copying other peoples disks, or generally sampling stuff off Records and CDs.
    Most people are pretty protective over their sounds. So won’t give then to you.
    I have given my library out for my old EPS which will load on an EPS16 as an HXC file for a couple of people that have fitted an HXC drive in place of the floppy drive.
    Its meaningless to an ensoniq without such a drive
    Other than that its pretty difficult to image disks to upload due to Ensoniq using a different format on the disks and on a different track to a PC floppy.
    Even if you find images you will need an old PC running either Win98 or XP
    So it can run the now obsolete conversion software and a modified floppy drive.
    The other alternative is look for audio files of multi samples of synths and sample those and edit them yourself and save them.

  29. Hi Tom,

    Just more or less inquiring about the Eps 16 plus scsi board and the flash bank.
    wondering if you might have either in stock for sale.

    Thanks, Cody

  30. Just installed a gotek floppy emulator in my eps 16+ as my old drive died. I can find the OS, but not the original instrument images. I still have the original floppies but no drive to read them. Anyone know where I can download the original instruments, or any instruments?

  31. Hi. I made a terrible mistake last night. I plugged the SCSI expansion wrong, and something related to the SCSI part prevents the EPS fromm booting. Removing the SCSI board alleviates the problem.
    I either connected
    RES to EXTCS1 and EXTCS0 to DTAK and some others to GND, or
    RW to ACK1 and some others to GND (and also some to GND)
    but in no case, +5V.
    How screwed am I? Did I kill any custom ICs?

  32. Do you still have this product? I’d like to give my original EPS a rebirth, but I think it would be great if it had more memory and a way to have faster load times than floppy or floppy emulator.

  33. Any chance of getting the FB-2 back into production or the contact info of the other person who sells it. Thanks.

  34. Hi I am having an extremely hard time finding the output expander for my EPS 16 plus. Is there one of these in the works?

  35. Hi. I just found this site for the first time.
    I’ve owned an EPS-16Plus since 1993 but haven’t used it much since 1998 – mainly do to a major career change and financial constraints following divorces, etc… I am now seeking how to resume from where I left off with my keyboard, however, I’d like to replace the floppy drive with an SD card emulator – which I’m working to address already – but I would also love to expand beyond that and also have it doing SCSI-to-SD or SCSI-to-SSD, if possible. I’m not hardware-illiterate but I’m not sure I’m ready to do all of this entirely on my own.

    Where do I begin?
    Thanks in advance.


  36. P.S. Probably my greatest question at this point is – pretending I had the floppy emulator installed right now (which I don’t) – how do I convert all of my pre-existing physical floppies from the 1990s to virtual disks?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.