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.

Lookup Akai S5000 / S6000 Prices

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Akai S5000 / S6000? 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.

41 Visitor comments
May 15, 2011 @ 12:10 am
Also, for those who are interested in adding internal devices to a S5000.

There is a power cable leading to the floppy that supplies 5V. But on the PSU board it comes from there is 12V that is unused. You can add a wire from an old computer PSU which would give you a standard HD Molex connector.

Also, on the mainboard is a 50 pin SCSI connector which is fully functional and I was able to mount a 2G SCSI HD internally. The IDE port does *NOT* work

But the drive was far too noisy and I went back to the old USB transfer method.
I just need to find a HD that doesn't sound like a 747.
May 15, 2011 @ 12:02 am
I have had a S5000 now for a few years and had considered selling it many, many times.

I am glad I didn't. I've recently had a bit of refound love for this machine.
I have the Studio model with full expansions...and software doesn't even compare.

I have done some A/B tests with patches converted and built in Kontakt and i've tried every which possible way to reproduce the punch this thing has over software. Failure.
juan andres
May 6, 2011 @ 11:12 pm
I changed the floppy by an internal 2 GB Jazz drive since it's very dificult to found a scsi hard drive fully working. I have a dual start on my pc so when I need to load samples I just start in Win XP and use another zip to save my samples and then load them into ths S5000 with the internal Jazz. Great for me since I only trigger my drum sets and some multi pads :)
April 15, 2011 @ 9:21 pm
I sold my S5000 a few years ago, since you could do everything you needed sampling-wise with software. yeah... well I just bought one again. looking forward to its arrival. This one doesn't have the USB, but that was always really buggy for me, so I'll use floppys to transfer to it. Last one didn't have an internal HD, this one has 20 gig so that should work out pretty good. Anyone else find the USB is buggy for them? the aksys would often just not see the sampler - after a bunch of un-reinstalls it would work ok for a bit, but i don't know if it's worth it. anyway great units.
April 11, 2011 @ 8:50 am
I bought S6000 recently with the usb expansion included for a very low price and I must say that this piece of hardware is much less outdated than everyone says... Work with this machine is so intuitive, fast and comfortable that it really fun to use it. I was also surprised by the sound quality which is perfect and samples sounds so real and colorful...
I love this device.....
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.92 (314 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
  • 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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