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Akai AX80




akai ax-80 synthesizer

audio demo Country: Japan
Weight: 15,2 kg
Dimensions: 1080 (w) x 102 (h) x 392 (d) mm
audio demo trend price : 1000€
manual demo comments

AKAI AX-80 (1984)
Programmable Polyphonic Synthesizer


Analog synthesizer from the mid-eighties, produced by the famous sampler company in the Akai Music Studio System series.

A good analog polysynth, especially appreciated for the impressive VDF display so 80'.

ax80 display
tech data

info KEYBOARD 61 velocity keys. Main panel features 56 buttons, 4 knobs, a large rotary encoder for values enter; all parameters values are displayed on a special glowing bars fluorescent display.

Back panel terminal connectors:
- mono signal out
- headphones
- Midi interface
- tape interface
- sustain pedalswitch input
- program change pedalswitch input.

info Power supply internal with underneath 110/220 Voltage selector.

edit VOICE Main CPU based on 8 bits D7811G (part of Zilog Nec 7811) manages 8 voices polyphony based on subtractive synthesis. Each voice is composed by 2 DCO oscillators (with soft or hard sync mode) + 1 sub which features a variable pulse width linked to DCO1 value.


demo Hear cross mode 1
demo Hear cross mode 2
demo Hear detune range

edit OSCILLATOR DCO1 and DCO2 are similar (note: "mix" is a mix sawtooh + pulse waves):

Octave range 16' 8' 4' 16' 8' 4' 2'
Waveforms saw / pulse / mix as as DCO1
Detune no yes
Pulse Width yes no
Sub oscillator yes (1 octave lower) no
Mix volume yes yes

demo HEAR OSC raw waves
demo HEAR sub osc
demo HEAR pulse width

PERFORMANCE monotimbric with no special functions.


<--- The AX80 interface is a candy-eye pleasure for surehowever the 1 parameter edit per time may results a bit intricate for quick edit adsr


adsrthere is NO AX80 editor as the machine cannot handle Midi Sysex.


filter based on 8 X CEM 3372 (acts also as EG) with Key follow function tracks the cutoff notes with variable range from 0 to 150%. VFC features 2 filter modes:

cem curtis 3372

- lowpass at 4 poles also
- static highpass.

demo HEAR lowpass

demo HEAR highpass

adsr Tip : Unlike the others AX-VX series machines, the Ax80 does not feature the VOICE IN connector that processes signal from hardware samplers like Akai S-900.


2 EGs both are 4-stages ADSR:

EGeg -vca

- EG1: amplitude for both DCO

- EG2: filter (only lowpass)

The keyfollower function features 99 different scaling levels.

lfo LFO
3 delayed modulators (shapes: saw up, saw down, triangle and pulse) sharing same frequency (relative range from 0,1 to 20 Hz). Modulators destinations are:


- LFO to OSC1 pitch
- LFO to OSC2 pitch
- LFO to filter VCF cutoff.
TIP: The modulation wheel triggers the LFO using either MWHEEL OSC or MWHEEL VCF.

demo HEAR all lfo waves

MIDI quite
basic implementation: pitch bender, modulation, sustain, key velocity, program change. NO SYSEX.

- 32 ROM preset
- 64 RAM slots
Sounds can be saved only using tape interface.


- LEFT - Internal RAM system uses a BR-2330 lithium battery: basic soldering skills are needed for replacement

- click to enlarge picture -



midi MAINTENANCE keyboard panel part lacks a good spacer system: after many presses underneath membrane contacts could break. Nothing too complicated to fix, that's usually the most common repair.

inside the akai ax80
Left - membrane repair point - Right- EPROM d2764d with OS.




AX-60 (1986) 6 voice 6 1keys synth, 6 VCO oscillators
AX 80 vs 60:
2 DCO per voice / 1 VCO
8 voice / 6 voice
no arpeggiator / arpeggiator


akai ax73

AX-73 (1986) 6 voices 73 keys synth also 6 oscillators. The rackmount version is the VX-90



VX-600 (1988) 6 voices, 37 keys, 6 oscillators.





effet VST PLUGIN / SAMPLED VERSION free and commercial samples set:

no vst none Sadly there is no reliable sample sources nor VST plugin. We will make some free Ax80 sounds soon or later.
In the meantime if you want to share some WRITE US





zoom picture high tech
original scan hires brochure  

Company: Akai
Model: AX-80
Class: Synthesizer
Keyboard: 61 keys
Dates: 1984
Display: VDF
Synthesis: analog sub
Polyphony: 8 voices
Oscillator: 2 DCO
Suboscillator: yes
Crossmod: 2 modes
Multitimbric: 1 part
Filter: analog LP +HP
LFO: 3 modulators
Memory: 64 slots
Effect: none
Storage : tape
Midi: IN / OUT / THRU
CPU: Zilog PD7811
IC: CEM 3372



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demo Synth: raw sound

demohave some ax80



service schematics


edit Sample SHOP
edit Report Error


- FREE sample set

AX80 for sale

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akai ax80 side view ax80 behind view synthesizer


solid solid
eye candy display edit interface


REVIEW "Honest polysynth, with a one of a kind display. Edit is awful and no sysex won't help the tastk. I hope someone will write a new OS soon or later"

manual manual
-display - storage
- rare
- edit
-Midi - no Sysex

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Akai AX80 Akai AX80
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