Akai AX80

Akai AX-80 Image

The AX80 has the privilege of being the first pro-keyboard produced by Akai, released in 1984. It's an eight-voice programmable analog synthesizer with a full 61-note keyboard and a series of techno-looking LCD bar-graph displays running across the top of the keyboard. Two analog oscillators per voice plus a sub oscillator provide the basis of its punchy analog sounds that can be described as similar to a Chroma Polaris or Roland Juno 106. Very good bass, brass, synth sounds, and effects are possible. However its strings are average at best.

The blue and orange florescent LCD displays use a simple and intuitive bar-graph format to show all its parameters and values, making for one of the best on-board displays ever! You have to wonder, however, with such a cool display, why couldn't they have included dedicated sliders and knobs for each parameter (see the AX60). A decent amount of patch storage and nice enough sounds make the AX80 a useable synth to have around, but it probably won't replace your Roland Juno. Other notable features of the AX80 include an angled rear panel for easy cable connections, chord memory, MIDI control, and pitch/mod wheels. It's been used by Mark Bell (LFO) on Bjork's Homogenic.

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78 Visitor comments
September 16, 2012 @ 4:11 pm
I've got an ax80 for sale in excellent condition - uk only cos it's heavy! :)

fantastic sounding synth. i'm selling all my keyboards after years of never playing them
Ruben Espinoza
September 14, 2012 @ 9:35 pm
been looking for ax80 does anybody have one for sale
July 29, 2012 @ 12:12 pm
@ bilal:
i think you might have suffered from the same brain problem as myself: if you activate the "m.wheel vcf" button, you obviously can modluate the cutoff in realtime. just make sure depth and speed of lfo 3 is 0, and speed comes to rest when the filter is open. best to set lfo wave to 1 as well.
anyway i had the thing for a year now and stupidly never realised this. now it's ten times the fun!!
if anyone has tried to solve the panel-knobs-not-working-issue by re-soldering the panels together and accidentaly fried the display, and if you managed to solve this, please write me somethin
June 12, 2012 @ 10:06 am
ive been looking for an ax 80
what country are you in boris ?
June 5, 2012 @ 3:11 pm
I have one of these for sale if interested? Beautiful sounding synth but I need to sell my studio :(
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Rated 4.53 (701 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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 - 8 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 per voice + Sub Osc. (sawtooth or variable pulse width)
  • Filter - 8 VCFs (1 per voice)
  • VCA - 8 ADSRs (1 per voice)
  • LFO - 3 LFOs controlling OSC 1, OSC 2, VCF
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity sensitive)
  • Memory - 96 patches (64 user, 32 preset)
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1984

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