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
August 24, 2013 @ 11:58 am
I have an ax80 for sale.It has 4 non-working keys,a few scratches,otherwise it is in great shape.I am in southwest tennessee.Shipping will be pricy.
Email me at jktnrockhound@gmail.com.
Jason Douget
August 21, 2013 @ 2:14 am
AKAI AX-80 costs more than $800 in good condition and full working.
It is one of the biggest and fatter analog sounding synth ever released. It is rare.

It is a hard/rock analog synth, like korg polysix, ella synthex or some early oberheims and do not mess it with other analogs which are mainly for electronica.

First class synth.
My opinion, don't sell it unless you know what you are doing.
Steve J.
August 10, 2013 @ 6:35 pm
aaron - Unfortunately they aren't worth much compared to other vintage analog synths. If it's in nearly perfect shape (like only a few case blemishes), you might get upwards of US$400 for, but most only sell for between US$200-300.
Aaron Morgan
July 31, 2013 @ 9:52 am
I have one of these AX80's I would like to sell, in great working order anyone know what they are worth?
June 11, 2013 @ 5:53 pm
I got my AX80 last night and HOLY CRAP do I love this thing to pieces. Fantastic sound, amazing display, some people say the presets [beep] , but I think they are pretty good. I keep having these moments of squealing glee with this synth.
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User Rating

Rated 4.54 (710 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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