Akai's s900 or s2000

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Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby roon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:14 pm

I got stuck between choosing an AKAI s900 or s2000. They're different machines, I know, s900 is 12 bit which is very good, but has serious memory limitations and s2000 got some extras such as LFO and FX processor, yet isn't 12 bit, which isn't that good. I found both of them for exact same money. Both got their own pros and cons obviously, most of which I'm not aware of. Whichever I choose, it will be working mainly with my pc via midi, but I plan to combine it with korg emx1 also. I haven't been using any of those samplers before, I don't know them, so I ask You which one You would suggest? Since they're for the same money and stuff. As for the sound I'm leaning to s900 for it's 12 bit resolution, but extended polyphony, memory fx and LFOs of s2000 are lots of nice things to have. But I think I would manage without them if decided to go with sound of s900. So the thing boilds down to the ease of use, intuitivity and reliability. About all of which I do not know nothing, so any suggestions in that matter would be really appreciated.
Thanks in advance :)
Cheers :)
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby GameChanger » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:15 pm

i think this all depends on what your using it for. If you are trying to add some thump and grit to your drums, then definitely get the S900. But if you are trying to sample keyboards, vinyl, your girlfiend yelling, etc... then I would grab the s2000, since it has more memory, fx, modulation capabilities. One thing I would check if you can on both these units are the backlights. Kinda a pain in the neck to replace, but if one of these units has a nice bright one, it may be a deal breaker. Both are good pieces though
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby roon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:00 pm

GameChanger wrote:i think this all depends on what your using it for. If you are trying to add some thump and grit to your drums, then definitely get the S900. But if you are trying to sample keyboards, vinyl, your girlfiend yelling, etc... then I would grab the s2000, since it has more memory, fx, modulation capabilities. One thing I would check if you can on both these units are the backlights. Kinda a pain in the neck to replace, but if one of these units has a nice bright one, it may be a deal breaker. Both are good pieces though


I make sample based, dark, moody pieces. DNB and Dubstep mostly. Sampler in question would be used as an all-around tool, for drums and melodic stuff also. Sound of s900, that grittines you mentioned is what apeal to me the most. But you're right - all the capabilities of s2000 - the LFOs, polyphony, memory and modulation will come in handy. But yet again, the sound of s900 is something that i really want to incoroporate in my music. The thing is I'm not sure if is it worth sacrifising all the s2000 capabilities. My samples anyways are often proccessed by tape machines, so in the end 12 bit resolution may not be the best way to go. But I feel that it could be a blast, combining the both 12 bits and a tape.
There would be no problem if I could afford both samplers, but since this is not an option right now, I need to decide on one, and it's nightmare come true for me xD
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby roon » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:57 pm

Oh, I found an E-mu ESI 4000 for the same prise as both AKAIs. By the description it seems that E-mu could be s2000 replacement, but still it lacks few features. Yet I heard a lot of good things about these samplers. Shit, this is going to be a hard decision :lol: Just when I finaly thought I decided which one I should get, this one came along :lol:
So if You got any thoughts on comparision between s2000 and ESI4000 I'll be very gratefull for sharing :)
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby novielo » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:50 pm

roon wrote:So if You got any thoughts on comparision between s2000 and ESI4000 I'll be very gratefull for sharing :)


i haven't tried the s2000 but i have some experience with the esi4000. i dumped it because i could hear noise in the output that was coming from the midi input. effects are nice but nothing that thrown me away. i didn't go for the s2000 because of the display, it's so small! i would go for the s900 or maybe a mpc500. same small display but at least in the s900 you have sound character. the big advantage of the mpc500 is that it can communicate without any frills with modern computer. with the s900 you will need scsi.

i went for a s6000 and i don't regret it. but i'm thinking of changing it and my mpc1000 for a mpc5000, to have device in the same machine.
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby Hair » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:19 pm

If you're working with a computer, I'd say you can do the full quality sampling stuff using a software sampler or similar, no? What software do you use? You might not get much more out of a hardware unit unless it's got mojo like the s900 (also worth mentioning that if you can find one, the s950 has the same sound but adds some other stuff I believe)
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby novielo » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:49 pm

Hair wrote:If you're working with a computer, I'd say you can do the full quality sampling stuff using a software sampler or similar, no? What software do you use? You might not get much more out of a hardware unit unless it's got mojo like the s900 (also worth mentioning that if you can find one, the s950 has the same sound but adds some other stuff I believe)


or go cheaper and find a s612 for the grit? it's very usefull also as a preamp for guitar.
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby roon » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:30 pm

novielo wrote: i didn't go for the s2000 because of the display, it's so small! i would go for the s900 or maybe a mpc500. same small display but at least in the s900 you have sound character. the big advantage of the mpc500 is that it can communicate without any frills with modern computer. with the s900 you will need scsi.

i went for a s6000 and i don't regret it. but i'm thinking of changing it and my mpc1000 for a mpc5000, to have device in the same machine.


Sadly, MPC500 is well out of my price range at the moment (I'm from Poland, a place where used MPC500 cost $500 minimum, and the new one about $800-$900. As a matter of fact, s2000, s900 and ESI4000 cost $250 each, which is like 2-3 times more than in the US, as far as I know.) And if I would have that sort of money on me, I would get s900 *and* s2000. The other thing speaking against MPC is that I've just bought KORG EMX1 and adding MPC to the mix seems to me a little, I don't know, wrong somehow. Plus, all the bad things I heard about MPC500... Nah.

Hair wrote:If you're working with a computer, I'd say you can do the full quality sampling stuff using a software sampler or similar, no? What software do you use? You might not get much more out of a hardware unit unless it's got mojo like the s900 (also worth mentioning that if you can find one, the s950 has the same sound but adds some other stuff I believe)


The thing is, I want to get out from software sampling - I am bored to death with it. And also that sampler in question will be put to work with EMX1 in a computerless environment to the some extend. Those are the two reasons why I want to get a hardware sampler. Originaly, I was looking specifically for the s950, but it's quite rare piece in Poland (in which I do live), practically unavilable. And ordering from the states it's not an option unfortunatelly, cause shipping will cost me close or even more than hardware itself (over $120) plus customs etc...:/
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby Sir Ruff » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:49 am

roon wrote:The thing is, I want to get out from software sampling - I am bored to death with it. And also that sampler in question will be put to work with EMX1 in a computerless environment to the some extend. Those are the two reasons why I want to get a hardware sampler. Originaly, I was looking specifically for the s950, but it's quite rare piece in Poland (in which I do live), practically unavilable. And ordering from the states it's not an option unfortunatelly, cause shipping will cost me close or even more than hardware itself (over $120) plus customs etc...:/


If you're bored to death of computer sampling, get ready to be cremated by the S2000... I can see no reason to pick one of these up if you have even a vaguely decent computer nearby. But if you're determined to be computerless, I would go for the s900. Much easier to use, and it makes more sense if you're just going to be triggering stuff from the emx1. Also sounds better! Having a memory limitation just makes you make better use of your samples.
Do you even post on vse bro?
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby tallowwaters » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:38 am

Yeah, if I wanted an easy, intuitive sampler, I wouldn't be looking at the Sx000 series.
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby roon » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:59 am

tallowwaters wrote:Yeah, if I wanted an easy, intuitive sampler, I wouldn't be looking at the Sx000 series.


Is it *that* bad really? After additional research and your replies here I was fairly decided to get s900/950 anyways, but that seems to be a deal breaker...
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby tallowwaters » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:03 pm

No, the S900 is fine, it's just when the 1000 range is breached is when they become annoying.
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby hollandturbine » Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:14 pm

I have the ESI4000, S2000 and S950.

Sonic differences aside the ESI4000 has twice the polyphony, stock outputs and memory expansion capacity of the S2000 and you don't have to boot it from a floppy disk, I don't think the external control capabilities of the ESI4000 is as good as the S2000 but that's not really that big of a deal. You need to consider what expansion options (if any) the samplers have included in the price, as this could potentially make one instantly more attractive than the other. I like both these machines about the same.

The S900/S950 has polyphony and memory limitations that narrow it's amount of usage in a track compared with something like the ESI4000 or S2000 that can run bigger samples and more of them, but the S900/S950 is revered for it's sound rather than how it's memory can fit on a single floppy disk.

If you are planing to save for second sampler latter on but have an opportunity to pick up an S900/S950 in person it would work out cheaper than having one shipped to you latter (shipping an ESI4000 or S2000 is cheaper than the S900/S950 due to how incredibly heavy they are).
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby madtheory » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:55 pm

Just to second what's been said- the S950 is the one with character. The S2000 is a pain to use, the ESI4000 is a breeze and sounds nice, but not as coloured as the S950. I've owned an S2000, ESI4000 and TX16W in my time. Even the Yamaha is easier to use than the S2000. It's true that the ESI has a noise problem, I always used the S/Pdif output to get around it.

Actually, a TX16W would be a good alternative. It has a good sound colour. These never competed with the S950 because of Yamaha's awful OS. The much later Typhoon OS makes it lovely to use.
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Re: Akai's s900 or s2000

Postby GameChanger » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:03 pm

No sure why some people try to push sampling on there computer. Just like synths, for alot of us, samplers are better to be used as hardware. I hate computer for music production period, so much more natural and organic using hardware. The Akai S series, even the s2000 are really not that tough to use. Spend a day or two with it and you will be fine. Another option, which I use is an EPS 16+ rack, talk about simple. Its easier then any akai in my opinion, and besides the s900/s950, it sounds awesome better then s1000 & up. Has incredible effects unit inside and it the only ensoniq rack that you can sample in 5 or 6 different bit rates. I think Ensoniq's might be more expensive thou in Poland then here in the states were they were made.
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