Akai AX60

Akai AX60 Image

The AX60 is among some of the last true analog polysynths of the mid-eighties. It was Akai's answer to the hugely successful Roland Juno series and Yamaha's new digital DX-series. The AX60 is a programmable six-voice synth with a nice LFO, lowpass (VCF) filter, envelope sections, and more. An eight-voice version, the AX80, was already available.

Akai AX60 Image

Programming this synth is easy using dedicated sliders, knobs and/or buttons for its parameters. It also has a useful noise generator and some other cool functions that include auto-tuning, chorus, a multi-mode arpeggiator and a keyboard that can be split into two key-zones, making it somewhat bi-timbral. All six voices can be stacked in unison mode for a powerful and thick lead sound. Its features and sound make the AX60 a worthy alternative to Roland's Juno 106. The AX60 may have been used by Bjork.

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58 Visitor comments
January 12, 2010 @ 5:14 pm
As far as I know, the picture above came from the official Akai website as it was online about 10 years ago. It was featured in a Akai company history timeline. Since it was a clear, high res picture it is the picture you see often in articles like this.
However, I've never seen this AX60 in any other photo nor in any real life studio, so I reckon the picture came from the Akai prototype archives or something like that. Of course I can not be 100% sure, but I doubt this particular pictured AX60 ever went into production.
November 13, 2009 @ 10:08 pm
in 1985 ..i bought one of these because i could not afford the esq 1 which both had just come out from Easy Music in Honolulu Hi...and i never knew that there was another model..i loved that board
Daniel A. McCullough
September 17, 2009 @ 1:56 pm
There were two different models with slightly different layouts. I have one that does not look like the one pictured above. I believe that the US model was different. The one above is the Japan model, which is extremely rare!
August 26, 2009 @ 1:09 am
I have seen the akai ax60 with 2 very different layouts with varying amount of sliders and buttons? I.E. Look at the image above and look at this image from an old ad http://www.Sonicamigos.Com/etejkowski/images/midres-ax60.jpg and you will see they have 2 different layouts, will someone please explain this?
A. Hubert
August 3, 2009 @ 4:44 pm
This synth uses the same Curtis CEM3394 (synth-on-a-chip) as the Sequential Circuit SixTrak and Max synths. There are 6 of them for 6 voices polyphony. This is the very last VCO chip created by Curtis. The next chip was the CEM3396 which introduced DCO concept, (still an analog oscillator, but digitally controlled so drifting was eliminated).
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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 6 Voices
  • Oscillators - 6 VCOs
  • Memory - 64 Patches
  • Filter - Lowpass analog filter
  • VCA - Standard ADSR
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - Arpeggiator
  • Control - MIDI (2 parts)
  • Date Produced - 1986

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