Just In: RZA's SP-1200 Sells for Nearly $70,000 at Auction

Photo by Sotheby's.

The RZA’s SP-1200—responsible for creating the classic sounds of the Wu-Tang Clan's debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)—has just sold for $69,850 at a Sotheby's auction.

RZA's E-MU Systems SP-1200. Photo by Sotheby's.
RZA's E-MU Systems SP-1200. Photo by Sotheby's.

Released in 1993, 36 Chambers was a game-changing album that introduced the world to the gritty, raw sound of the Wu-Tang Clan. RZA, who was the mastermind behind the album's unique production style, made use of classic soul samples and audio clips from martial arts films, running them through this SP-1200 to create many of the album's iconic beats.

The E-Mu Systems instrument, designed by Dave Rossum, was originally released in 1987, and quickly became the go-to piece of gear for independent hip-hop artists and producers. Combining a drum machine and a sampler into a single unit, the SP-1200 allowed artists to create entire tracks on a single piece of portable gear.

RZA's SP-1200 is of course not the only one out there, though it may rank as the most valuable, after today's auction concluded. We have several original SP-1200s listed for sale, each of which is still an incredibly useful tool for today's music producers, who continue to be inspired by the raw and gritty sound of early hip-hop.

It's also worth mentioning the official remake of this iconic machine, which Rossum's Rossum Electro-Music expertly crafted. The Rossum Electro-Music SP-1200 is a faithful reproduction of the original sampling percussion system, meticulously designed to preserve its timeless essence.

comments powered by Disqus

Reverb Gives

Your purchases help youth music programs get the gear they need to make music.

Carbon-Offset Shipping

Your purchases also help protect forests, including trees traditionally used to make instruments.

Oops, looks like you forgot something. Please check the fields highlighted in red.