Akai S900 not sampling, freezing...

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Akai S900 not sampling, freezing...

Postby Frayo » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:29 pm

I realize this is my second request, but I've had a lot of equipment up and decide to go wonky on me this week.
I've had to replace a few backup batteries, solder a few wires here and there, reseat a few ICS, get a replacemetn FDD for my DSS-1, and replace another voice on my Juno-106....


Now, the poor Akai.
He was working fine. Just fine, save for a dead floppy, but I had workarounds for that.
All of a sudden, there was a fuzzyness (like when you overdrive the input going into an amp)...to all recorded samples, no matter what volume level (sampling, input, size of signal going in etc).

Then a few weeks later, it stopped recording all together. Upon recording it just locks up, never to finish. It'll say it's "recording" or "waiting for audio" but never moves from there.

I've heard these things have backup batteries (???), but I have the service manual here, and the sampler is in about 40 pieces on my work table here....I don't see a backup battery ANYWHERE.

So, to all you wonderful synth and sampler gurus that have helped me so much in the past- what can I do to get this classic beast working again? I have cash for parts, and an intermediate comprehension of electronics repair.
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Re: Akai S900 not sampling, freezing...

Postby Frayo » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:08 am

Just took the bastard apart and reseated everything (again)...and it came back to life.
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Re: Akai S900 not sampling, freezing...

Postby HideawayStudio » Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:50 pm

Frayo wrote:I realize this is my second request, but I've had a lot of equipment up and decide to go wonky on me this week.
I've had to replace a few backup batteries, solder a few wires here and there, reseat a few ICS, get a replacemetn FDD for my DSS-1, and replace another voice on my Juno-106....


Now, the poor Akai.
He was working fine. Just fine, save for a dead floppy, but I had workarounds for that.
All of a sudden, there was a fuzzyness (like when you overdrive the input going into an amp)...to all recorded samples, no matter what volume level (sampling, input, size of signal going in etc).

Then a few weeks later, it stopped recording all together. Upon recording it just locks up, never to finish. It'll say it's "recording" or "waiting for audio" but never moves from there.

I've heard these things have backup batteries (???), but I have the service manual here, and the sampler is in about 40 pieces on my work table here....I don't see a backup battery ANYWHERE.

So, to all you wonderful synth and sampler gurus that have helped me so much in the past- what can I do to get this classic beast working again? I have cash for parts, and an intermediate comprehension of electronics repair.


I like the S900... my S-VX sample lib made use of one these old beasts in conjunction with a VX90 via the synth interface.

The S900/S950 don't have a backup battery. It's likely you have an intermittent memory fault there - either, as you suggest, due to a bad connection in an IC socket or a memory chip going temperature sensitive.

Sadly memory errors are becoming a real problem for any sampler built in the 80's. Unlike synths from the era (eg. Juno-106) which tend to use generally small reliable SRAM chips (eg. 6116) , most classic samplers use DRAM which increasingly becoming full of holes with age... classic symptoms are seemingly random clicks and pops which often stay in the same place when playing the same sample. S900's are generally pretty bomb proof (with the exception of those dodgy floppy drives!) but frustratingly my Prophet 2002 is having all sorts of sample memory issues and EII's can suffer too.
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Re: Akai S900 not sampling, freezing...

Postby Lackan110f » Tue May 14, 2013 8:24 pm

I had the same thing with my S950, but when I unplugged the additional memory cartridges inside and put them back it worked fine again. It was 6 months ago and still working.

So maybe general memory issues?
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Re: Akai S900 not sampling, freezing...

Postby sylvesteraa » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:56 pm

I'm experiencing the same with my S900. Could any of you who got yours (either 900 or 950) to work take some pictures and maybe write exactly what parts you reseated, that would be greatly appreciated? I have tried to open mine up and take out and clean all cables but i didn't help at all, and i don't know which catridges i can unplug since i'm not the greatest engineer. :D
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