Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Akai AX80

Click here for shots via this auction. "This is a vintage AKAI AX80 programmable polyphonic (analog) synthesizer, the first keyboard manufactured by AKAI (1984-87). It has a 5-octave, 61 note velocity- sensitive keyboard; 8 voice with 2 DCO per voice, 96 memory locations (32 pre-set, 64 user-writable). Other features include pitch bend, modulation, hold and chord memory."

Check out the OSC graph. Click the image for a bigger shot.


  1. I like the text on this one. It should read something like this for better effect, though:

    The sound has been described as ‘bird flu’, ‘robocop’; ‘muy bueno’, ‘I'd hit it’; ‘teh ownz0r’. This is an excellent example of a desirable keyboard.

  2. Looks great, apparently trying to do a one up on Yamaha. That said, as analogs go it's one of the more bland ones and the nice looks don't make up for what one can do with a full set of knobs.

  3. Not the first keyboard by Akai. That was the AX-60.

  4. Wow. I have one of these sitting under my bed.

    The way this guy is talking it up, maybe i'll dust mine off and try to get a decent sound out of it.

    Maybe not. It really is kind of bland sounding and the novelty of all those little fluorescent bars wears off when you're actually trying to program the thing.

    It reallly must be vintage gear though, because the thing weighs a metric ton.

  5. I'm pretty sure it beat the AX60. VSE has the AX60 at 1986 and the AX80 at 1984. If true, funny how they went from no knobs to knobs.

  6. This was the first "big" synth I lusted after, ever since it was a competition prize in the first ever keyboard magazine I bought back when I was 11...

  7. I am the person that won the auction. the synth is indeed in as new condition. not a scratch or blemish anywhere. its like it was never even used. unfortunately when i got it, i noticed one of the curtis filter/vca chips was
    blown. Needless to say, I am not returning this to the seller.
    its a preserved GEM. no biggie, I found a supplier for the cem7732 chip and i have a full new set of 8 on their way. cool thing about
    this synth is that all 8 are socketed! easy easy replacement.

    even with 7 voices i still midied
    it up to my studio an made a simple tune with it that can be heard at my myspace music page:

    to those that say this synth sounds thin or whatever? you are smoking crack ir just dont know how to program sounds. The bass
    on the song is the AX80 all by itself.

  8. Hey Dave, which track is it? I'll put up a new post on it.

  9. its the one that automatically starts under the "sounds like" section of my profile. you know what i really love about this synth? its an underdog. its a programmers synth. the presets are all useless except for 1 or 2 that are just ok. i will add a download link under the player for those who cant hear it with the embeded windows media player.

  10. Thanks. Cool tune. Before I put a post up, is the AX80 doing more than just the bass? What are the other synths on the track and what are they doing? My posts are about the synths, so the more info the better. Also if you have any other notes on the synths used for the other tracks that would be great as well. You can reply here or email me directly. My contact info is on the right frame of the site under contact.

  11. proof that the Akai AX80 is bland and soulless

  12. oops. heres the link.


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