EM-U Proteus Keys PK6 / Proteus 2000 worth it?

I found an EM-U proteus keys pk-6 and also a Proteus 2000 rackmount unit for sale in my area. I’m curious if these are good units hardware wise, I’m interested because I don’t have a rompler unit, so I’m lacking certain sounds such as piano, strings, violin etc…

I’m trying to justify a purchase because I have some new equipment I bought recently that I’m not using as much as I should be. On the other hand I have a nice spot for the rack mount unit right above my Alesis quadraverb.

The prices are $90 proteus keys pk-6 or $120 for proteus 2000. Any thoughts? I make idm , ambient, techno style music. I was thinking of using my digitone as a sequencer for the Proteus 2000 also.


Dig around YouTube , it’ll be full of vids probably
There are probably synth review sites around , gearslutz etc might have reviews.

Both seem quite cheap to me so it depends if money is tight or not.

The PK-6 is a really good keyboard.Lots of vintage sounds/retro digital.If you can get your head around how it works its a keyboard groovebox.Ive been sampling sounds into the mpc and they sound legit.Basic parameters can be controlled with the 4x4 knobs on the front.50 different filter types/FX/arps ect ect ect…


Both quite capable machines for a ROMplers. Modulation routings and various filter types make it interesting enough.
Check out this GS thread:

Also Balma’s music reveals what E-MU gear can do.


I have the Proteus 2000 & MoPhatt.
The Proteus comes with 1,000 presets and a lot of sound shaping features plus you can buy roms to add more sounds.
You can assign what you want to the knobs on the front for less menu diving (effects, filters, decay, ect, ect).
I admit that there are a lot of presets I’m not fond of, but there are a lot I AM fond of & for the price I think it’s totally worth it especially since there are a lot of options to shape the sounds. You can also save your own sounds over the presets.
The presets/sounds are organized by category (drums, keys, vocals, ect) & you can also organize them how you want, like putting all your favorites together.


I’ve recently bought a p2000. I’ve owned lots of E-MU gear over the decades and have serious fondness for them. Last Proteus I owned was a p2500 with extra roms which I loved but it took up a bit too much room in the end, although I always regretted selling it. The p2000 is basically identical apart from the Sequencer and extra 4 control knob functions and is just a single rack.

My Digitakt is dedicated to sequencing the p2k and it pairs up well apart from bank changes are a bit awkward due to DT only having MSB. You have to create an LSB (cc32) and p-lock it. The Proteus uses both, MSB (bank on the DT) selects the ROM ID and LSB selects the bank of that ROM. User Presets are MSB 0 and the Composer is 4. The great thing about this combination is that the DT allows p-locking Program changes and the Proteus responds instantaneously which leads to very interesting Sequences! I’ve been doing that a lot lately.

Elektron have just added LSB to the DN (although it’s currently broken) so I’m hopeful that it will make it to the DT soon, which would make life much easier.

As for sound, there are so many instruments it’s hard to imagine not getting something you like, plus with the 12 knob assignments you can use them with the DT CCs to p-lock them. If you are into editing, the E-MU architecture is extremely deep and sophisticated. There is a free editor called Prodatum which works well, but it’s not too bad to do from the front considering the complexity. I find the sound quality to be excellent, emu had superb repitching algorithms in their hardware and plenty of very good sounding filters. The p2k also has an advanced arpeggiator per midi channel (32) which can be the usual type or a programmable type with 100 storage locations. Prodatum makes editing these much easier though.

The one downside is the FX which aren’t great and the routing is not what you would expect, basically you assign effect amounts to the physical outputs. I prefer to disable them and currently route the 3 output pairs directly into other gear. There’s a setting to disable them at the global level.

The hardware is well built but the data encoders are the weak point and often end up skipping values, but they are pretty simple to replace, just 5 solder points and good as new. You can get the encoders for a few dollars/pounds. I’ve also replaced the display in mine which had faded quite a bit.

For $90 it’s an absolute bargain! I wouldn’t be interested in the keyboard personally, it’s half the polyphony of the p2k if I remember correctly.