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.

Related forum topics


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
dj skrewdriver
April 29, 2013 @ 5:13 pm
could anybody email me an unzipped copy of a s20 user manual spent ages trying to find a copy both mine have been mislaid i think i put them in the original boxes email charleybembridge@gmail.com thanks
dj skrewdriver
April 29, 2013 @ 4:33 pm
i own 2 akai s20 samplers and was wondering if the floppy drive is a standard pc floppy both my drives have jumper settings not sure if a pc drive has its a while since ive fitted one to a pc ive forgotten anybody advise thanks the s20 is brilliant as a simple sampler i run 2 with a mixer in between them each sampler has its own audio input ideal for getting samples to sound the same and sorting levels out as i use the lo mid hi knobs on mixer
December 1, 2012 @ 3:19 pm
I successfully reversed the polarity of a SNES power supply today and the sampler seems to be working good as new. Lots of fun to be had.
October 31, 2012 @ 7:46 am
Ye, the GameGear PSU works just fine.
Actually, it's what I'm using to power it up. There's only one PSU for the Gamegear, and it's at 10V DC, 800mA, center positive.
You can use an SNES adapter as well, but bear in mind it's center negative, so you'll have to reverse the polarity.
October 26, 2012 @ 12:22 pm
Anyone know if the Game Gear power supply works with this? I've heard there are two different versions of the power supply for the Game Gear.
Post Comment!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 2.87 (157 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

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.