Akai S20

Akai S20 Image

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.

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  • 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.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - Demo track produced on the S20, from the Future Music CD, issue 56.

    Manual - Click this link to download the Akai owner's manual.

  • Specifications
  • 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
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Akai Pro

    Additional info provided by Sean Caron

    Reviewed November 2007

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