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Akai AX-73
Overall Rating
Submitted: December 19th, 2003
by Chris-K0qfa
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Sound Quality
Don't expect realism from the AX-73. It's capable of nice warm pads and screaming leads, choking industrial noise and quiet mellow tones.
Built like a tank. When I bought it for $90 at a flea market it was laying in the dirt, and it works wonderfully. Akai is the first electronics company I think I can trust--everything I've bought of theirs continues to work exactly as I bought it.
General Comments
If it were lost or stolen, I'd consider seeking out an AX-80, but only because it's got a cool digital display, but stupid membrane buttons, like on my Casio CZ-1000. I'm suprised the AX-73 doesn't sell for more on eBay; for a true analog synth equipped with MIDI brand new you'd pay thousands. Maybe it's the fact the AX-73 isn't overloaded with knobs and switches like a Juno 106, that the AX-73 is clean and pretty sparse looking, actually. But I love being able to slam down a chord and know I'll get a huge blast of sound, and yet be able to gently pluck the same keys and get a smoother, smaller tone--from the same preset. I use it, as I mentioned, with a 612 sampler, and a Yamaha DD-6 drum pad, sometimes mastering the synth onto stereo tracks in an Akai 4000DS 1/4" tape machine; sometimes I use a Fostex X-15 Multitrack. I use my Casio elsewhere--by nature, its subtractive FM synthesis is simpler, better on the road. Until I get a good case, the Akai stays home. Don't forget: there's beauty to be had in the interaction between an analog synth and analog tape!
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