5 - Ultra E6400

Author: sgeorge, Posted on: 22 April 2020 21:05

I got one! Yaaaas finally. Its been a long hunt to get something in my price range with a very important feature!

My E6400 Ultra came with;

  • 64mb sample ram
  • 4mb cpu + preset ram
  • 4mb flash (EOS 4)
  • EOS v4.02
  • D-WAM board installed

No optional output modules (sigh) but it has the hard to get D-WAM module which has an AT keyboard connector, extra MIDI, Word clock and AES/EBU digital.

The AT keyboard connector makes using these so much easier! Now to find an old style 5-pin DIN AT keyboard.

I have to be on the hunt now for some extra modules (analog outputs).

If you have read my entries on my ESI-4000, this is the second over iteration. From the ESI, E-MU advanced to Emulator IV, with several models known as the 'classic', so 6400 Classic. From the classics we got the Ultra's.

In the Ultra lineup we basically have the E5000, E6400 and E4XT. There are some variants such as ESynth and one or two others but these are the 3 basic models.

Lets do a quick breakdown between the E500, E6400, E4XT.. Like the ESI models it comes down to polyphony. The E5000 Ultra E6400 Ultra have 64 note polyphony and the E4XT has 128 note polyphony.

The E6400 Ultra can be upgraded to 128 note polyphony, the motherboard has the requisite parts, but the E5000 Ultra does not have those by default.

They all have the same motherboard so all RAM limitations etc apply across the range.

One nice thing all the RAM is off the shellf 72 pin SIMMs.

First and easiest upgrade is, lets boost sample ram from 64mb to 128mb. I had 2x 64mb EDO sticks laying around so I pulled the one stick and put the matched pair in.

With the leftover stick, I pulled the 4mb CPU ram stick and swapped it. Now it can only see 16mb of that 64mb stick, but thats fine. This ram is used by the OS, prets and bank info.

EOS 4.02 is.. ancient. I believe its the first bugfix release... and we are quite behind functionality compared to the latest beta, 4.70. But upgrading to 4.70 from 4.02 is very hard.

The big problem is versions below 4.10 cant 'boot over midi', and cant boot compressed OS disk images (aka EOS 4.62 + 4.70), and most links and sites are not longer existant with important files.

EOS was originally provided as a file you ran in MS-DOS that wrote to a 3.5" 1.44mb DOS floppy disk. All these are is a small program with the floppy image attached to them so I have provided the plain images here.


This contains;

  • flashprep.img
  • eos462.img
  • eos470.img
  • eos410classic.img
  • eos410ultra.img

I upgraded directly from EOS v4.02 to EOS 4.70, all with my trusty GOTEK floppy drive that is flashed with HxC firmware.

1 - Boot the flashprep.img, this I think writes itself back to disk so you boot from it twice.

2 - Reset the machine and make sure you have the eos470.img selected

3 - Write it to flash!

Actually quite simple. The hard part was finding the correct flashprep image as the one that comes with EOS 4.62 (c_flashprep) does not work.

So, after all that...

We have maxed ram, latest EOS and were set to go!

Our next task is to add a SCSI2SD into it with plenty of storage space... and something a bit more ambitious, which we can discuss in the next post!

tags: Audio, E-MU, E6400 Ultra, EOS4, Sampler


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