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Akai AX-80
Overall Rating
Submitted: June 16th, 2001
by John Hefter
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Sound Quality
Forget realism. This is a synthesizer, not a sampler. People cannot believe the sounds I've "programmed" on that thing and I'm not a tech/programming type of person. If you want to get creative, play a keyboard that feels nice and are into retro analog keyboard sounds, it's a beautiful musical instrument.
I've gigged and practiced with this thing for 16 years. The only problems I've had have been with the main 1-32 buttons, which are used for all parameters and to call up all 96 patches. I did drop it from a stand once and I think most of those problems stemmed from the resulting hairline fracture of a circuit board. Key and button contacts needed to be cleaned several times.
General Comments
I do use other modern sounds, but this is my analog baby. It's the poor man's Oberheim. I woudln't sell it if I was homeless. It's a great tool for learning analog synthesis basics and for inspiring composition as well as expressive playing. I chose it over the Juno 60 back then. (Not an easy decision, but there was something about the AX80.)
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