Akai S5000 / S6000

Akai S5000 Image


The Akai S5000 and S6000 feature DOS (FAT32) disk format and .WAV files as the native sample format. Stereo WAV files are treated as a single sample (instead of two mono L/R samples) allowing easier sample editing and program creation. Any standard PC WAV file can be loaded directly for instant playback from any PC formatted hard drive attached to the S5000 or S6000 - including downloaded samples available on the Internet.

Both models feature a 64-voice system, and both are upgradable to 128-voices (U.S. Version). Improved programming options allow for up to 128 multi programs to be loaded into RAM at any one time, a 'QUICKLOAD' function to load programs directly into parts, and Akai's APM (Assignable Program Modulation) which offers a comprehensive range of new filters, flexible envelope generators, LFOs and more. The S6000 also offers programmable "user keys" which can be assigned to any page for rapid access to commonly used functions.

The S5000 features eight individual analog outputs (upgradable to 16) and a stereo master analog output, while the S6000 comes equipped with 16 + 2 analog outputs. The S6000 also includes balanced stereo input jacks which are accessible by either the rear panel connectors or via the convenient jacks located on the S6000's front panel.

Akai S6000 Image


The front panel of the S6000 features a removable, full-function remote control panel allowing operation from a convenient location within a 30 meter range.

Samples can be recorded into RAM or directly to hard disk. Playback from either is transparent, allowing playback of long samples directly from disk without having to load them into memory. RAM is expandable to 256 MBytes and the operating system runs from easily upgradable flash ROM. Stereo digital I/0 is standard and both models are capable of handling up to 16 individual analog outputs which can be configured as stereo pairs. The S5000 and S6000 also include two SCSI ports. The Wordclock connector insures easy integration into an all-digital studio and an optional ADAT interface provides sixteen digital outputs.

Both models feature a large 320 x 240 LCD graphic display, with eight dedicated function keys running down both sides of the screen -- placing 16 of the most commonly used programming functions at the user's fingertips.

Akai S5000 Rear Image

S5000 Rear

The Akai S5000 and S6000 offer a wide variety of storage options, including the ability to replace the standard 3.5" floppy drive with an optional, internal Zip(TM) drive. The S6000 also offers an expansion slot on the front panel for an additional 3.5" drive. The S5000/S6000 has been used by Underworld, Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran), Max Graham and ATB.

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41 Visitor comments
December 16, 2009 @ 9:31 am
I forgot to tell you that the scsi connector into the sampler is black,while the power connector for the HD is white...
December 16, 2009 @ 4:08 am
How to install an internal drive into an Akai S 6000 sampler;
first,you need the scsi internal cable and the 4 poles power cable.Then,you will find the scsi connector under the MIDI card n 1;(you need to dismount the card to access this connector).Plug the scsi cable into this scsi connector (there is only one).Then,dismount the metal plate that keep the floppy drive in position.You will find the 4 poles power connector at the right of the floppy reader.You can be shure,because there is only one free.Plug the hard disk in this connector;then,remount the metal plate in the way that keep the hd in position too.It works perfectly.I did it.
When you start the sampler with the new hd,keep the others hd off,to avoid scsi id conflict.You probably need to restart the sampler three or four times,before it see the new HD.When you will see the new Hd on the display,format it.Good work!
Daniel A. McCullough
September 17, 2009 @ 2:02 pm
The S5000 is the best Hardware Sampler ever made. I have two of them, fully loaded with all options. The key to success with these is having the USB card installed. This allows you to drag and drop sounds from your computer to the S5K. The free Akaisys software allows you to edit sounds with a graphic interface that is really well done. I use it to sample vintage synths with great success. Try going to www.hollowsun.com for the absolute best sounds available for it. Remember that bad samples sound bad no matter how good the machine is.
Dr Bobby Love
June 5, 2009 @ 8:22 am
Yeah, My S5000 (long gone now) had a V2 on the screen when you booted it, If I remember correctly it was pay for upgrade. I think, if that is the case your prob stuck with what you've got I'm afraid.
April 10, 2009 @ 2:38 am
I just changed my old S2000 for an S5000 with 256Mb RAM, CD-ROM and a 4Gb hard drive. The difference is huge! The large display with the function buttons works like a charm and editing has become a breeze. The system is extremely user-friendly and I immediately found my way around it without even having read the manual. The use of DOS formatted disks and the WAV format also is a great improvement. Just burn your WAV samples on a standard CD-ROM and the S5000 (when a SCSI CD drive is attached) will read it without any problem.

To me the S5000/S6000 is easily the best hardware sampler you can buy.
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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
  • Manual - Click this link to download the owner's manual from Akai.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 64 voices (expandable to 128 with the VOX64 Voice Expansion Board)
  • Sampler - 18-bit A-D converters with 64 x oversampling 5th order Delta Sigma.
  • Memory - Up to 256MB of RAM using standard off-the-shelf SIMMs. Reads Akai S1000 and S3000 series sound library.
  • Filter - Extensive filtering functions offer 26 types of resonant 4-pole and 2- pole lowpass, bandpass and highpass filters and many more.
  • Effects - 3-band digital off-line EQ with variable gain. SampleVerbII (EB20) 20-bit 4-Channel Multi-effects Processor (available as an upgrade)
  • Keyboard - None
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1998/99
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from
    and Akai Pro

    Info from Akai Press Release, July 1998

    Reviewed November 2007

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