MATRIXSYNTH: Akai AX-80

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Akai AX-80


via this auction

"The AX-80 was their top end 8-voice analog keyboard, and it has a very similar architecture to more common 80s polys like the Juno 106, Chroma Polaris, Prophet etc, and so on. Two oscillators per voice, plus sub, all put through a classic Curtis CEM filter which gives it a bit of an Oberheim flavor -- the filter is, to my ears, most comparable to a Matrix 12 type sound (which is natural, as it uses the same Filter/VCA chip).

As to the condition, I've restored the power section and replaced the membrane buttons (which often go bad over the first 20-30 years of life) and the sound is absolutely gorgeous. Low noise floor, bright and punchy, warm and lush. The playability of this is a 9/10, or maybe a 10/10 depending on how generous you are. However, it seems that the screens were not completely salvageable so be notified that I am decreasing the price to just 650 as replacement screens are not easy to find. (If you do find some later on, feel welcome to bring it back to me and I'll install them for you).

However, the synth is perfectly well playable without the screens, and editing parameters is virtually unaffected by their absence. (The screens are really just there to look cool, in my opinion)."

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