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Akai SS-1 Universal Synthesizer

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jsrstereo

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I scored this unit from ebay last week for $9.99 (thanks for the heads-up Quad-8). I went for it because I have a respect for Akai in general; never knew they ever produced an outboard decoder. Also, two front-panel controls caught my eye: separate front and rear channel matrix adjustment controls (both are rotary).

Is anyone familiar with the unit, its year of make, what matrix system does the unit employ, etc??

Thanks from John
 

JonUrban

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Wow! That's a long bump.

To celebrate, I looked through the few stereo review equipment catalogs that I have from the mid '70s, and can't find a thing on this unit. Sorry.
 

John Svensson

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It sounds like you are the only one with any experience, or an actual sighting, of one of these. Have you been using it all this time? How does it sound? In general, and as in the changes as you adjust the pots..... maybe someone could identify the matrix type from a description if you are using it. John S.
 

ndiamone

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Take the Popular Science SQ and QS Test Disc and see which one plays it's test material spins in a circle instead of lopsided.
If they BOTH have their test signals spin in a circle, then it could be a simple 90-plus 90-minus degree phaseout.

This would therefore pick the matrices of QS and SQ up equally well, as well as picking up EV and DY,
because the matrices are all equidistant from 90-degrees, either 67.5 or 112.5 left or right.
 

jsrstereo

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The Akai unit is silver-face in a wood cabinet, measures appx. 11.5" W x 5" H.

FRONT PANEL CONTROLS:

- master volume
- front/rear balance
- 4-input selector switch
- 3-position Mode switch:
1) 4CH Discrete (pass-thru from 4-ch source, controlled by master vol.)

2) 2CH Stereo (pass-thru stereo from source selected by the input switch, also controlled by master vol)

3 4CH Matrix (in conjunction with the 2 "Matrix" controls described below, processes the stereo source seleted by the input switch)

- 2 rotary "Matrix" controls, one for front, one for rear. When the front control is set max CCW, the front signal is maximum separation (as determined by whatever matrix the unit employs); when at max CW, the signal is basically mono, center detent is somewhere in-between.
When the rear control is set max CCW, the rear signal is max separation (again, as determined by the unit's matrix); at max CW the signal is basically mono, center detent somewhere in-between).

I suspect that the matrix employed is a simple, basic "Regular Matrix", and that there is no logic steering going on. Given that the unit probably was built in '71 or '72, I think this would pre-date any serious logic steering schemes then extant. However, all I can say is that the unit really sounds good and affords a huge amount of fun with the abiliity to adjust any sound field to taste with those rotary front/real "Matrix" controls.

I own two units, one bought on ebay ($10) in very good shape; another for about $30 in orig box (new old stock), virgin.

My 4.2 channel system employs one of the Akai units and my QSD-1000, switchable via a Zektor switch, and routed thru an Outlaw ICBM-1 Bass Manager, for stereo subs. Great sound, lotta fun. Depending upon what I'm listenting to, it can be hard to say which unit (Akai or Sansui) I like better - they each provide a different quad sound field (which is one reason I like the remote-controllable Zektor).
 

MidiMagic

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I don't know that unit, but I have been building passive speaker matrix devices with width and depth controls for years. They behave the same, except the depth control give maximum rear separation all the way counterclockwise, and maximum separation of the rear from the front channels at clockwise. I would bet they behave the same as your Akai, except for the knob rotation direction.
 

jsrstereo

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oklahoma city
Here's a QQ link to more info on this unit:

 

abby normal

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washington state
I don't know that unit, but I have been building passive speaker matrix devices with width and depth controls for years. They behave the same, except the depth control give maximum rear separation all the way counterclockwise, and maximum separation of the rear from the front channels at clockwise. I would bet they behave the same as your Akai, except for the knob rotation direction.
do you make them fancier than the dynaco unit?
 

abby normal

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washington state
i have one, it has shorts in it and no local repairman knows how to fix it. so far i've been able to rapidly turn knobs back and forth and massage out the pots. i'm hopeless as a fix-it person. anyways, listening to a spacious 2-channel stereo recording through it, such as "Oxygene" is a swirly surround sound revelation. :)
 

chucky3042

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Akai did some great stuff, pity they have been destroyed by the Grande group. Here is a picture of the insides of this decoder, it looks like a basic non " logic" I think:
1598187869461.png
 
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