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
John Rock
October 18, 2013 @ 2:00 pm
One of the Greatest Synthesizers of all time.
Classic and real analog !!
October 11, 2013 @ 4:03 pm
@haley - no, it only has the basics (note on off/pitch bend etc) you can't program it via midi - neither CC nor Sysex.

Had one, Sold it. It's ok but nothing amazing. Nice looks though.
September 15, 2013 @ 2:56 pm
does this synth have parameter control through midi?
September 7, 2013 @ 5:46 pm
Would like to know how to use some of the special features of my vintage Akai synth - need owner's manual - even if not for my particular model, it would give me some leads. I'm an oldie-but-goodie in later years, home is small (not big enough for piano) so synth is perfect for my relaxation.
Jason Dougret
September 5, 2013 @ 9:52 am
AKAI AX-80 is a fat sweet synth. I own an OB-X and a Jupiter 6 from analogs and I believe it is better from both. You have to buy it in full working order and start creating sounds to understand the sound quality of this Synth. Really, it is an amazing Synth.
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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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