D-Collector wrote:Not a bad price I think.
If you paid with bank transfer it can take a day or two depending on your bank. Give him a few more days, or contact him about it.
space6oy wrote:$230 for an AX-60 is a great price, congrats! hope it does show up... i've had one before, great synth. kind of wish i hadn't let mine go...
balma wrote:Man that's an EXCELLENT price, and also the price for the shipping is unfair, this thing weights a ton.
I love mine more than the JUNO 106. just check that all the sliders are OK , this synth has extensive controllers for all the paramenters, 6 voice that can be stack on UNISON. Great dirty sounds, specially some pads.
kaeth wrote:From what I've been told, the VSE picture is a mock-up of the prototype AX60.
The Akai AX60 was a budget competitor to the more popular Roland Juno series when it was released for $899 in 1986, and the same holds true today. The obvious comparison is to a Juno 60, as it has an almost identical feature set. But the synth actually shares it's CEM 3394 voice chip with several Sequential Circuits synthesizers.
The front panel has similar controls to the Juno series - vertical sliders are used instead of knobs, and the digital display is limited to 2 characters. Where there is more than one parameter per control, (for example a single set of sliders for the 2 VCF/VCA envelopes), the AX60 uses a bank of LEDs to indicate which parameter is being edited.
The front panel uses tactile switches to register button presses. Although this keyboard is solidly built and most of its components stand up very well to age, one or more of the tact switches will more than likely be the first part to lose sensitivity and possibly fail altogether. Fortunately the replacement part itself is cheap and easily available, and the replacement procedure is not difficult for DIY-ers. Another potential issue is that the various LED panel housings may show their age by coming unglued from the synth's outer case. This is a purely cosmetic issue. Overall I'd prefer these minor issues over chronically failing voice chips.
Instead of a more common Envelope Generator illustration, Akai helpfully included a map of the signal path, and some advertising copy. The text reads "VCO/Exclusive Sampler Input/Arpeggiator/4 Split Mode/Stereo Chorus/2 Independent EG." "VCO" is highlighted in much larger font than the other text, as if to emphasize the advantage over DCO-based synthesizers.
The keybed itself can be considered a mark against this polysynth. It is not velocity sensitive, and the performance controls are limited to a pitch bend/filter cutoff wheel and a modulation intensity wheel - no portamento/glide. In addition, the polyphony is limited to 6 voices. The keyboard can be split bitimbrally at an arbitrary location, and each side of the split can be set to send/recieve MIDI on a unique channel. The MIDI implementation is limited to note on/off, pitch bend, (mod depth?) and volume.
Basic MIDI and performance controls aside, the sound engine is where this synth shines. The VCO output is bass-heavy and powerful across the entire octave range. Unlike the Juno series, there is no sub-oscillator, but the basic sound of the AX60 is heavy enough that the feature won't be missed. The Unison mode stacks all 6 voices, resulting in a thick and very animated sound, as the 6 VCOs' phase relationships constantly change.
Aside from the typical meat n' potatoes single-oscillator subtractive synthesis controls, the AX60 adds a couple of unique twists. One of which is VCO->VCF filter modulation, the other is Pulse Width/PWM controls that affect all waveforms, not only the square wave. Pulse Width modulation of waveforms other than Square appears to have the effect of adding a square wave to the signal in varying amounts (rather than actually controlling the width of the other waveforms), so you can obtain saw+square, triangle + square, etc.
Overall, the AX60 is a fairly basic analog polysynth. But the VCOs, uncommon synthesis features, bitimbral split, and very active filter all render it surprisingly flexible despite it's lack of multiple oscillators or multiple LFOs. And it's solid construction makes it a fairly safe purchase despite its age.
-Powerful VCO sound, great Unison mode
-Unique sounds via filter modulation and pulse width control
-Relatively low cost
- Single oscillator; relatively simple sound architecture compared to modern gear
- Limited performance controls
- Limited MIDI implementation
- Lowpass filter is extremely resonant; a Pro or Con depending on taste
- Build quality; the circuitry is typically solid after 3+ decades, but the front panel buttons and LEDs can show their age
- Not a classic: despite the many similarities, this is not a Juno, and for whatever reason hasn't developed a cult following like the one formed around the Juno series. If you're looking for that Juno sound, this is a Con; if you're looking for a basic analog polysynth and don't want to pay extra for a collector's item it's a Pro.