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
Ruben Espinoza
September 27, 2012 @ 1:30 pm
MOBITH messed up with email its espinoza.ruben47@yahoo.com
Ruben Espinoza
September 27, 2012 @ 1:28 pm
Mobith whats going on really would love to discuss thee ax80let me know espinoza.rufuben47@yahoo.com
September 26, 2012 @ 6:57 pm
If anyone has one they're willing to sell or trade contact me at saibot216 [AT] gmail [DOT] com.
September 20, 2012 @ 10:53 am
Bought one of these recently. So rare I thought i'd never find one. So, was it worth the wait...? OH YES! This thing is quite incredible.

The combination of great looks and sound is inspirational. The Curtis chips give this synth some quite familiar sounds if you want them, but also a warm sound of its own.

Having owned various Roland/Korg/Yamaha analogs this is a keeper, along with my Matrix 6. Just wish it could do sysex dumps etc... but hey nor could a Prophet 5 or Juno 60!!

The best 'all round' Vintage Analog synth ever made IMO - without knobs and sliders.
Ruben Espinoza
September 18, 2012 @ 5:23 pm
MOBITH hey let me know through email man ax80 was one of my first synth and did I love tat thing but let me know price and well take it from there but this synth is really fat and would to use it in all of my projects thanx
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.54 (708 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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