Akai's S20 Stereo Phrase Sampler starts out looking like a table-top version of the lackluster S01. Major improvements include STEREO input and outputs and far greater memory expansion (up to 17 MB) and of course, the sequencer. The standard 1 MB can sample between 7 to 56 seconds. Upgrading to 17 MB lets you sample from 131 seconds (Stereo 32kHz) to 1048 seconds (Mono 8kHz)! The S20 is a budget desktop phrase sampler targeted towards DJs and home project studios; and the S20 offers excellent value for the price.
An onboard 3.5 inch high density floppy disk drive allows for samples to be interchanged with higher-end Akai samplers or loaded onto a computer for further editing. There are some caveats, however, and these include absolutely no onboard effects whatsoever and a rather poor built-in sequencer. It is also worth noting that the unit uses RCA jacks instead of 1/4 inch stereo plugs, which may be useful to some and irritating to others. Nonetheless, pair the S20 up with a decent sequencer and an outboard effects box or filter (if desired) and you've got a nice, cheap, and functional little sampler.
Lookup Akai S20 Prices
The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.
Related Forum Topics
User Comments & Reviews
Are you looking to buy or sell a Akai S20? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.
- Polyphony - 8 voices
- Sampler - 16 bit, 32 kHz, 16 kHz, 8 kHz. 4th order delta/sigma 64 times oversampling.
- Memory - 1MB memory (STEREO, MONO), expandable to 5MB or 17MB by 72-pin SIMM.
- LFO - None
- VCF - None
- VCA - level and release are controllable
- Effects - None
- Arpeg/Seq - sequencer: 4 tracks, 30,000 notes
- Keyboard - 16 pads
- Control - MIDI (16-channels, 2x IN, 1x OUT, 1x THRU)
- Date Produced - 1997
- Shop for Keyboards, MIDI & Gear
- Resources & Credits
Images from Akai Pro
Additional info provided by Sean Caron
Reviewed November 2007
Errors or Corrections? Send them here.