Synth Site: Akai: S5000: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Giorgos a professional user from Greece writes:
Hello everyone,

I've read all of the above comments and I think I can agree with all of them, positive and negative! Yes, this is a great machine. Big, solid, With an impressive screen. But shouldn't it be? Have we ever consider in which YEAR we live? I mean, it is almost 2000 and we still are EXPECTED to buy HUGELY EXPENSIVE RAM for our samplers, work with little screens and pay a fortune for instruments that not always work, and some times stop working when we need them most. When data streaming from hard disk is already something so common for computer Midi+Audio sequencers, why is it so difficult to implement it in samplers , ha? 256 Mb of RAM if very impressive, and sure it was more impressive when the machine came out last year. That night I read about it I stayed awake all night, I was so excited!!! But do you know that the S5000 has only 4 ram slots, so if you want 256 mb of ram you HAVE to buy the VERY expensive 64mb RAM chips, so prepare to pay around $1500 US for RAM alone!!! So I would say for real life, 256 is simply not something that many users would dare to install...

What about the OS? Well I check almost daily AKAI web site to see if something new has arrived. I 've installed every new OS, but the machine is still unstable. I'm sorry to say, but it's true. So many times it stopped responding full of samples that I made and didn't have the time to save, or while saving to HD, and you know this is something everyone hates... The screen is big, comparing to the other samplers in the market, but still I wouldn't say it is huge! Come on, it is almost 2000. All machines OUGHT to have a few things BIG and STANDARD. When you can do everything with a damn consumer computer and plug to it a 21'' or 19'' monitor for not that much money and use shareware of even cheap audio software, should we still be awed from a "huge" screen? I'm very demanding from my hardware, I pay a lot for it and I'm expecting a lot from it. And please note that when looping the waveform only occupies a little window at the bottom of the screen and not all of it, so what you actually see when looping is not a nice waveform but a small' what a waste! My S-50 might not have any real time filters or much else, but it has a MONITOR output and I can use it much easier than any 1999 "advanced" sampler. And you really can see the waveform when looping. And it came out almost 15 years ago... So, should we celebrate because they decided to give us some power? Couldn't they give it more slots so we could use 32, or even 16 MB chips of RAM? And did I mention that 2 times already I've bought RAM for it it didn;t like and finnally found a 7 years old 32mb RAM chip that it likes and works "perfectly"?

Other than all these, it has clean sound, if you know what you're doing it can sound powerful and nasty, and that 128 multi thing is great, really. I hope that after some time , when the OS will be rock solid, and will be stable as in any 20 years old synthesizer, that never freezes on you, it will be finnally usable. It is also VERY VERY expensive, yes, it is! It might be cheap comparing to other models, but if you think that it has all these drawbacks, and I repeat, what an average computer can do these days, it is VERY expensive. I bought mine for 1/3 of the normal European price from Asia, so it didn't hurt so much, but think a little bit about it and you 'll see I'm right. Effects? Good but not THAT great. They only costed me around $250 US that's why I got the fx board, but today you can buy a Lexicon MPX100 for much less that the normal European price for the EB-20 fx board.

I really enjoy it can save and read WAV files and that I can have it hooked to my computer all the time, but you really have to be VERY carefull to use it that way; it might be useful but it is also very dangerous.

I know you can do now everything in software, cheap and fast. But still software has a lot of way to go, so have hardware drivers, communication between programs etc. But I hate computers. They are usefull, very usefull, but I still prefer dedicated hardware. But please be carefull, don;t be fooled by smart ads and see the thing from close before deciding if it really works for you. I'm thinking to buy a E5000 now to complement my S5000, but if I will , this time I know what to look for BEFORE spending my cash. Or maybe I should just wait and buy the new generation of samplers that I's sure someone is cooking somewhere (probably E-MU since they need a new range soon). A sampler that is stable, with no crashes, uses big nice quiet IDE Hard Disks instead of RAM or SCSI and has a big colour tft screen+monitor output, mouse and keyboard.

And please, if we all want more hardware for our cash, we REALLY SHOULD expect more from manufacters because, what we pay is really a lot. And we are not living in the 80's!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Nov-25-1999 at 18:14
rick a professional user from usa writes:
I can't believe all of the negative comments about the s5000. The studio I work in has had one since they were released and, aside from bugs in the early versions of the o.s. (they have been FIXED), we have had no problems. 256mb of ram is huge. You E-mu users can keep your pathetic small screens.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Aug-28-1999 at 04:55
Ricardo Gomez a part-timer user from Spain writes:
I have an akai s-6000 fully expanded with 256meg-ram,an internal 2gigabytes jaz unit,and all options since akai launched his last update at the software this machine has converted in a monster you can now create 128 parts in a multi!! thats great for orchestral sounds .the transfer speed now is much faster,saving and loading is quick,the efects are superb,finally we got THE SAMPLER that lack of bass is fixed with more gain! you now can perfectly convert old akai files from 900,1000,1100,etc... to new ones excepting the effects(obviously)as an example as s-3000 uses the eb-16 efects board at new s-5000 or 6000 is the eb -20 with new logaritsms,they will not work also you can convert new samples in dirty sonds with poor quality at 8 bits ,for me its superb i love it!!! good luck!!!

posted Wednesday-Aug-25-1999 at 05:05
jason popejoy a hobbyist user from alchemy writes:
I purchased an s5000 right when they were put on the shelves. What a mistake!!! The thing is full of bugs. Not professional at all Akai! If I am going to shell out a large sum of money for a *monster sampler* I would hope it could be stable. The floppy crapped out on me after a month or so of use. After 2 months of sitting in the shop (we are not allowed to repair a floppy drive without voiding the warranty... bollocks!!) I decided to get rid of the damn thing. It was a huge thorn in my side. Thank you Akai, I now know how you treat your customers... AS BETA TESTERS!!

Peace and Love, Jasonp

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Aug-24-1999 at 02:18
Jim B-Reay a part-timer user from USA writes:
I've been helping a studio friend use his S5000 for a few weeks now, and our combined evaluation is that this is an amazing sampler: Very clean, spot-on timing, very flexible. Everybody's 1.0 complaints have been long since fixed.

I use an S3000xl at home, and am looking to upgrade, if for no other reason than the Adat output options and big screen. And the ability to recognize multiple sCSI devices...

A fantastic machine that has been 100% reliable on all of our sessions - even loaded with 256 meg of samples (really - you MUST try the ProSonus 128 meg piano sometime)

I can't find any faults with it. Sorry! Jim

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jul-06-1999 at 16:22
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