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.

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.

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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.

20 Visitor comments
July 24, 2012 @ 1:03 am
wow i got this for bout $100 and i love it. i figured out how to use it quickly everything is is at your fingertips just use sum sense.the sampling quality is phenomenal. i dont think ill get rid of this ever.u can tune all your samples with quite a nice range up or down.the sequencer is better than mentioned by vse. all samples made sound better than most samplers ive owned.for the price u pay its too good to be true. i would pay 250 its worth it.
January 1, 2012 @ 9:18 pm
I've owned one of these since 98 and wouldn't part with it for anything. Love the "crunchiness" and ease of use. I even check ebay now and then to pick up a spare (just in case; maybe try switching out the floppy drive for a card reader) but they're getting harder to find. I'm guessing most owners like it as much as I do.
December 12, 2011 @ 1:42 pm
I'm looking to buy one of these sexy machines, but I can't find any on eBay that are working or aren't over-priced.
If any of you are interested in selling me one, please, send me a mail @ mooseheadmoosic [at] gmail [dot] com
October 7, 2011 @ 6:36 am
What mixing outboard effects box/filter i should use with this??
February 17, 2011 @ 11:55 am
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 2.88 (160 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.
  • 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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