The EPS (Ensoniq Performance Sampler) was one of the first few affordable samplers on the market. It was manufactured fron 1988 to 1991 by Ensoniq in Malvern, Pennsylvania, USA.
The user interface was a simple menu displayed on a vacuum fluorescent display. The EPS also used an integrated floppy disk drive (sourced from Sony or Matsushita), and an expansion bay that could be used to add a SCSI controller supporting SCSI hard disk and CD-ROM drive units. The the EPS uses MIDI and can be used as a controller of other instruments, or linked to a PC or Macintosh. Various accessories can be added to the EPS through the expansion bay. An example is a Memory Expansion device, which adds RAM to the unit for longer or higher quality samples. The EPS is also able to have up to eight instruments on reserve, and is able to play all instruments simultaneously.
The keyboard is of thick plastic construction of a dark gray color with 61 weighted keys. There are assignable pitch, modulation dials, and patch select buttons. Accessing the unit is simplified by a swinging control panel secured by four hex screws.
The EPS had a straightforward interface that was easy to use and its controls were highly configurable. Problems with the cold solder connections can disable the vacuum fluorescent display; this is remedied by resoldering the display. Key calibration (tuning) errors are usually fixed by reconnecting the cable or reminding one not heeding the "hands off" warning during startup. The key limitations of the EPS were its proprietary disk format, software faults in some operating system releases and a lack of support from Creative Technology, the current owner of Ensoniq.
This model was supersceded by the EPS-16, released in 1992. Accessories can be difficult to find and tend to be priced higher than equivalent devices for other synthesizers.