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Akai S1100EX 16 Voice Expansion Unit for the S1100 (part 7)

A Sound Buy? Of course it is if you’re running out of voices and/or outputs. If I wanted to be really cynical I would say that Akai should have made the S1100 thirty-two voice polyphonic and given it sixteen outputs in the first place, but it would have cost a lot more and it’s a hell of a machine even without that, and it’s good to have a reasonably priced expander in the form of the S1100EX available.

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A Sound Buy?

Of course it is if you’re running out of voices and/or outputs. If I wanted to be really cynical I would say that Akai should have made the S1100 thirty-two voice polyphonic and given it sixteen outputs in the first place, but it would have cost a lot more and it’s a hell of a machine even without that, and it’s good to have a reasonably priced expander in the form of the S1100EX available. I am advised that it’s best to have the same amount of memory in both machines, so if you have a 10 Meg S1100 (the original 2 Meg card plus an 8 Meg expansion) then you should budget for a 10 Meg S1100EX too. The S1100EX isn’t going to make millions for Akai since of all the people who bought an S1100 only a few will want another one. It does show however that they are thinking of the end user, and when it comes to choosing equipment for your studio it pays to look at the manufacturer as well as the product.

One last thing - If anyone ever manages to build a system with an S1100 and six S1100EXs, let me know. I want to see it!

Possibilities

Akai have big things in mind for their S1100EX. This is from the manual: “...this system allows you to add up to six S1100EXs by using SCSI connections. This will give you, including the S1100 itself, a maximum of 112 voice polyphony over the same number of MIDI channels, 70 audio outputs, 7 multieffects processors and a potential memory expansion of up to 224 Megabytes of internal memory.”

Tempting?


About the Akai S1100

The Akai S1100 is a sixteen bit stereo sampler with analogue and digital stereo outputs and eight polyphonic individual outputs. The sample rate is selectable between 44.1kHz and 22.05kHz and there is a resampling function so that other rates can be achieved. The standard memory is 2 Megabytes which may be raised to 32 Megabytes with optional cards. A SCSI interface comes as standard as does a SMPTE timecode reader/generator. Options include internal hard disk, and optical and electrical digital inputs and outputs for hard disk or memory backup on DAT. The S1100 has a digital multieffects unit with functions which include reverb, delay, chorus and pitch changing.

By David Mellor Thursday January 1, 2004
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