Synth Site: Akai: VX600: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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William a hobbyist user from U.S. writes:
This unit is very special to me since it takes up less space than my minimoog and when it hits the mix it really wakes things up with style.

The EL-backlight display gives an immediate visibility to several parameters yet nothing is too cryptic. Knobs would be great but that doesn't keep me from loving this synth. I've got it to where I can program faster with one hand since everything is centrally located yet not cluttered. The unit came to me with a bunch of wind patches programmed into it. I guess these were the stock patches since the VX600 was made for the EWI wind controller market. The sounds that I have made have all been very pleasingly analog.

The filters are crisp. They almost sizzle. They resonate with almost a liquid quality kind of like Roland's MKS-80 but not quite that colorful. They have a color more like a Prophet 5 but the bottom is strong with a bit of bounce like a milder version of Yamaha's CS80. Nothing about this synth is like an Oberheim(the afore mentioned breath). The matrix programming is deep enough to consider this unit very flexible(Patch cables would be good..or would it?). Some matrix settings can cause the auto-tune to miscalibrate so choose a patch that has a basic program to auto-tune. Multi-timbral mode has all that is to be desired for me. The VX600 has this neat chord feature where you can assign up to 6 notes in any fashion you choose to be a chord that you can play with 1 note. You can do this for every note in the octave(12). Use a foot controller and then your totally flying solo! My only gripes about this synth are that the only knobs on this keyboard pertain to the would be EWI player. That's not likely you nor I so what a teaser that is! The other is that the keyboard (37-note)itself is squishy and I mean squishy though it does have a mono pressure controller in it(squish...woohoo!). Use your favorite controller when you can. Overall the "strength-to-weight" ratio for this synth makes it better than any keyboard of its size. It almost makes me wish that all of my other big keyboards were this size!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Aug-11-2006 at 10:22
Expanded a hobbyist user from england writes:
The Vx600 is a nice warm sounding analog synth, I own an expander also.Its not as nice as the expander but still sounds good and more snappy than expander for bass sounds for some reason. Ive had no problems at all with reliability. just have to let the synth warm up then use auto-tune.Maybe some people want to slag these synths off but For around £500 they are well worth it for the price and the power/space they take up. No chance of getting one of these synths really cheap as they are pretty rare(Most people who own one of these tend to keep them),6 part multi timbral Vc0 synth with expander ish sounds.it looks pretty nice too.An underated synth in my eyes/ nothing like ax80 etc which dont sound that good to my ears.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Jul-24-2006 at 06:55
writes:
pros

modulation matrix , curtiss vco's, small portable, nice display, ins outs (1 for each vco with splitter cable, easy to make yourself)

Cons Very unreliable, i had 3 (even when they were new in 1988) all 3 packed up in the end, always same problem, calibration errors) HORRIBLE software envellope generators, Cpu can't handle decent attack speed. So no percussive sounds, The sound of the synth is also quite squashed, the strings dont breathe like on other Curtiss vco based machines (ie prophet 600, roland jupiter6 etc)

conclusion Only if you can buy it very cheap (+- 180 euro) then have a go, but be prepared to pay maintenance bills reguraly.

the original price was 2000 euro and i bought my first one in early 89 when they were phased out after only 1 year production.

Rating: 0 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-02-2005 at 04:11
Timbo a hobbyist user from Belgium writes:
I see here this synth is popular in the European lowlands. And rightly so!

Tip: in order not to loose your patches when changing batteries, simply leave the power on when changing them, so... duh ... with the card inserted, no magic here :).

I wouldn't try this with the battery inside the machine as currents are 220/110V in some parts of the machine.

Allez, créez!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Dec-19-2003 at 14:20
ernst a hobbyist user from holland writes:
very usefull is the optional memory card...i think Roland has a few models wich can be used because the one made by Akai is rare.I just got mine returned from the repair shop.A freq chip on one voice card broke down and it took al long time plus 150$ to repair...It is back in to top condition now...As for MIDI you can hook up a MIDI controller like a Phatboy,then program the matrix to send MIDI control numbers to any of the destinations it is not as sophisticated as you would like it to be but at least it works.A good thing for the modders out there is to add 6 outputs on the back side to get individual outputs.can anyone tell me more about the history and design of the voice cards???every web source or info is more than welcome....

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Dec-10-2002 at 08:33
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