Make / Model: Akai S20
Purchased: American Musical Supply, 1998
Solid, but hard to use
This was one of my favorite pieces of gear. It was poor man’s MPC. Just the sampler part. No sequencer. Want to program it? Buy a sequencer, which I did.
The pads on this thing were hard plastic, terrible. You had to push them very hard.
The sound quality, 16-bit, or 8-bit (so you could save space!). Sounds recorded to a floppy drive, and the highest sample rate? 32kHz.
But it was great. Loading it up sucked, as many times loading the full pads required multiple disks. But there was something satisfying about editing a sample, creating a sample, and saving it to the disc, and knowing it’s yours now.
I made A LOT of beats with this thing in the late 90s.