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This page displays the information available for the Ems-Sequencer 256 (Sphere item # 8433).
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Detailed description, from the owner or the reseller, prices and supported shipment are displayed. Question and answers as well as reserving or bidding for the item are also available on dedicated pages by using the links on the menu.

Detail    top
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 Make Ems
 Model Sequencer 256
 Description One of the rarest pieces of equipment from EMS or any other manufacturer: the massive Sequencer 256. Not just a very important part of electronic music history (probably the first commercially available digital sequencer, and unrivalled for a decade or more). It is also a thoroughly viable piece of equipment in today's electronic studio, with some elements which would be very difficult to re-create with a state-of-the-art computer system. This particular machine has been owned throughout its life by Dartington College in Devon, the arts college. Funds from the sale will go to the world-famous summer school. It was loaned out by Dartington in the late 70s for the cult film 'The Shout' - see one of the pics which has a still from the DVD behind this actual machine. It has been thoroughly serviced by EMS experts Lucid Sound, as usual with the kind help of Robin Wood at EMS. Lucid's service notes tell the story of the thoroughness of this work:- Replaced Nestra PSU capacitors ­12V supply has ripple, swapped +/­12V cards, now OK, possible diode blown in 12V rectifier, checked, re­swapped, no fault found. Cleaned Nestra edge connectors, now OK. Tested sequencer, functions basically work but control voltages are unstable. Traced to bad trimmer resistors. Replaced all trimmers on C card, +2.5V reference out of range of adjuster, traced to faulty 741 op­amp, replaced. +/­2.5V now calibrated correctly. Replaced trimmers on B card, recalibrated internal clock. Slew rate processor calibrated – note slew rate CV in is hard­wired to Channel B dynamic out. Set Channel B vernier to 5 if you want to disable this facility. Replaced trimmers on A card, keyboard output voltage still unstable. Traced to noisy resistors in output circuit and FET’s loose in sockets. Soldered FET’s in place, added 10k multi­turn trimmer in place of existing 1k pot and 4k7 padding resistors, octaves now stable and calibrated. Adjusted so that middle ‘F’ is reference note at zero volts. Adjusted trimmer so that Zero Store = full scale on meter when indicating free memory. Some keyboard contacts intermittent, cleaned Calibrated verniers so that 5 = zero volts out. Scaling adjustable on verniers to +/­1.2V/Octave. Layer 1 key circuit has been previously modified for +/­10V output, layers 2 – 4 are standard at +/­5V, but can be modified on request. Clock rate vernier sometimes slips, replaced vernier (retained original knob and cap) and calibrated for zero volt on meter and 4Hz clock frequency when vernier set to 5. Cleaned panels, tolex top and keyboard. EMS Keyboard lead included, tested and cleaned pins. Mains lead missing, manufactured new one. Sourced manual. Final test of all functions with Synthi A and SH­09. Cosmetically the end cheeks are not good - they have lost quite a lot of veneer on the corners and edges; but the important bits - the control panel, etc - are very good indeed. Packing at VEMIA will be 25GBP; personal delivery may be possible at economic rates in UK and north-western Europe
 Age n/a
 Weight 16 kg
 Condition Good
 Location Uk (Item is at Vemia Uk)
 Vat Not from a VAT-registered business. But VAT / duty may be due if importing from outside your trade bloc.
 Quantity 1 item is available from the owner
 Options User manual : Yes
  Service manual : No
  First owner : No
  Original boxes : No
 Plug type United Kingdom standard plug
 Voltage type Internal 220-240V power supply
 Status Item has been sold or not sold in a previous auction
 Sale type The item is on the auction rooms
 Ending on 14/05/2011
 Category Hardware Sequencer 
 Serial number 6004
 Sphere reference # 8433
 Statistics Created on : 22/04/2011 
Changed on : 22/04/2011 
  Published on : 22/04/2011
  Displayed : 3091 time(s) by members and guests  
Safety All electrical items sold in VEMIA are deemed to be trade sales. No warranty of electrical safety is given or implied. Many items are vintage and would not pass current electrical safety standards. It is the responsibility of the buyer to ensure that items are safe to use in their future environment - if necessary by using the services of a professional.


Prices and conditions    top
The following section gives you the prices as well as shipment and payment conditions associated with the item. Payment is always requested in GBP. Converted price is shown for information and converted with Sphere standard currency rate.

Shipment and Payment links gives you access to an extended description of our rating :
 Start price 2980 GBP
 Converted price (1) 2980 GBP
 Shipment International or local shipment to pay
 Packing costs n/a
 Payment Full pre payment needed
 Auction bid step 50 GBP
 Auction highest bid 3000 GBP
 Converted highest bid 3000 GBP
 Leader or winner screenery
 (1) Currency conversion Note that conversion rates were last adjusted on 21th October 2021 at 15:20 CET. They are there to give you a rough guide to the bid price in your currency. Please check for a more up-to-date conversion at The bid price will be the actual price in pounds (GBP) at the moment the auction closes. This will be roughly converted to your currency for your information.

For technical reasons, we are unable to update the conversion from GBP to Euro during the auction, although it has changed by well over 10%. If you are in the euro zone please check the current rate at

Payments from UK and non-Euro currency regions must always be in GBP. Payments to and from Euro currency regions can be in Euros via our French bank.The applicable Euro amount will be the exact amount specified on your invoice or credit note. For more info please see the FAQ about exchange rates.

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