Akai S1000 / S1100

Akai S1000

I have S1100 unit. This is my favorite sampler because it has very good, bright, clear sound and very nice 18db filter. It has good fx board based on motorola dsp 56000 chip. I like S1100 even more than S3000XL. Unfortunately midi implementation is very limited, there is no resonance and it has only 16 voices of polyphony.
If you want to get S1000, buy S1100 instead. Digital output, fx unit, scsi ports are onboard. Additionally S1100 is faster and it has louder outputs due to 20bit converters (while samples are still 16bit)

some infos: vintagesynth.com sonicstate.com Mike Collins S1100 review

more related links: dancetech.com akai scsi faq S1000/S1100 memory jumper settings

s1000 manual: akai s1000 v2 pdf
s1100 manual: a1.pdf a2.pdf a3.pdf a4.pdf a5.pdf a6.pdf
s1100 service manual: s1100service.zip
sysex implementation: S1000SysEx.pdf
addidtional manuals: S1000HD.pdf IB-104.pdf

latest os for s1000: s1000v440.zip and for s11000: s11k_430.zip
You can write it to floppy disk only if you have internal floppy drive. It works only with old DOS system, it won’t work on windows. But i have few instruction how to save it on floppy. First of all download win 98 boot disk from http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm. Save it to blank floppy by executing downloaded file. Next unzip akai os exe file, move to boot disk. Restart computer and boot from disk, and run by typing os exe file name.

visit akai tools for useful software

Update 17 Dec 2013:
I just found similar tutorial how to put cf inside akai s1100 at Mike Bass Page: http://mikebaas.org

Update 20 April 2014:
This sampler still amazes me :) I was preparing library of old-skool 8bit samples from fairlight cmi, amiga, atari etc and i just can’t believe how these old 10-20khz samples are beautiful played on this sampler! When comparing sound from computer programs to this beast, difference is huge!
I wondered what secret is behind this sampler, and i ask uncle google what special this piece of old hardware has.
After many hours of browsing and reading i got the answer. It’s ‘eight-point windowed sinc interpolation’ Only s1000 and s1100 samplers use this method. Next Akai units, like s3000 use simple linear interpolation and samples, especially with lower frequency than native (44,1khz) sounds dull, and you get stronger antialiasing. This eight-point windowed sinc interpolation needs cpu power, that’s why s1000 have only 16 channels of audio and needs more huge expanders like this:

This was very expensive, so because of economy reasons this was the last sampler with such beautiful sound.

And the last thing…

I discovered something interesting. When you play distorted sample (saturated, squashed or clipped ) this interpolation tires to reproduce lost signal! It produces even more hi-tones from lo-fi saturated sample. This is just incredible.
How i noticed this? I loaded some old lofi snares, hihats samples with maxed level, and i noticed unnatural high clipping.

I wondered why it badly clips hi-tone samples with low frequency when they are maxed…

Now i know why, because of its unique interpolation!
It tires to reproduce lost tones! Signal is just interpolated beyond 16bit scale and it clips.
In this situation samples need some headroom. This is independent of gain, volume settings. Sampler just need such samples to be 0.5-1 db quieter from the max level because it generates, adds hi tones that normally this sample does not have.
20khz sample is interpolated and sounds like 30kz sample!!! I don’t know how it works, but it sounds amazing!

If you want to use low-frequency samples in modern daws, or software samplers you needs exciters, EQ and other processing for good sound.
But your Akai S1000 plays it better without additional tweaking!

S1000/S1100 are worth every penny! I’m sure its the best sampler in the world for playing samples! I’m going to buy some more units because servicing costs much more than working unit :-)

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20 Responses to Akai S1000 / S1100

  1. peter says:

    thanks for the info

  2. Greetings !
    I had purchased earlier an Akai s1000HD , and was just about to try it out for the first time , when I realized that the OM is almost 200 kilometers away from where I am !!
    Then I decided to check the Internet for possible OM -downloads , and from thy pages , I could download infact a few of manuals for the gadget , and now I can happily proceed with my test drive !!! Much Love and happpines , flowers and peace to there ! , with wintery warmth from Finland !!

  3. xlm says:

    Hi. Did you use 1.44mb Floppy diskettes or 700 kb or 800kb diskettes? After I install OS on diskette it become not usable any more(pc cant’t read it any more). Thanks

  4. Martin78 says:

    I use only 1.44 diskettes (normal disks for ms-dos), latest s1000/1100 OS formats disk of capacity 1600kb
    old OS formats disk to 1400kb but can reads 1600 disks as well

    What software do you use for reading akai disks?

  5. belzrebuth says:

    I just got a S1100 to compliment my S2800.!The floppy drive is broken i’m afraid ; it can’t read the disk with 4.3 OS and it can’t format diskettes..Can i modify a S3000 floppy to work with it?!

  6. Dan says:

    I have an internal jaz drive installed in my s1100. works fairly well. great site, i definitely learned a lot here. thanks for interesting info, especially about the unique s11000 interpolation. i have ordered a gotek usb-floppy emulator (as they are extremely cheap) and am going to be testing it out with the s1100 soon! if it works it would be an extremely cost effective way of updating the storage capacity of these old beauties

  7. Nikolas says:

    Hello Martin,

    Im absolutely sad. I bought an S1100 and had running for maybe 3 times (neither sampling or doing anything nearly challenging for the machine… The second time I started it, the machine couldnt load anymore floppys. Also it overheated i think (some noise appeared after few minutes) . The third time i started it my whole room started to smell insanely aggressive ( no smoke) . I had to put the sampler out of the house. Im so sad about all this… do you have any advice what i could do ?

    • Martin78 says:

      I’m afraid that you can’t do anything yourself. Try to find repair service or another unit. Mine s1100 starts buzzing after few minutes, but this sound comes from inverter. This is not audible on audio channels, its just from inside of sampler. Try to plug it off (power supply cable) and check sampler one more time (check internal wavs, sine pulse, etc) Maybe its just floppy drive fault?

  8. Dan says:

    I noticed something odd with my S1100 (OS 4.3): If I load samples from an S3000 disk (For example, Akai Sound Library volume 1) all of my reverbs stop working on the FX section. I thought my FX card was broken, as whenever I engaged any reverb it would give weird digital noise and distortion. Only the delays and pitch (chorus/pitch) effects worked. However, once I reset the unit the revebs were fine.. and this problem does not occur if I load sounds from CD’s in S1000 format..
    Just curious if you have ever noticed this.. My guess is something being loaded from the S3000 cd is changing a parameter on the FX card causing it to malfunction..

    • Martin78 says:

      I have s3000xl with fx board, but i never loaded samples from s3000 to my s1100 unit. So i cant confirm this issue. But in my opinion this is rather bug than adefect. FX unit on the s1100 is completely different and this is impossible to translate effect data from s3000 to s1100. You have to edit or disable fx on s1100.

      • Dan says:

        Disabling FX on the s1100 is not an option! The reverb sounds too good :)
        Thanks. Yes, I believe it has something to do with the data stored on the S3000 cd’s..
        I think they may contain the OS which, when loaded into the s1100, is causing the problem. The S1100 has options when loading to load all samples, programs, OS, etc. individually.. If choose “load volume” then my FX messes up. However, if I select “load programs & samples only” then my FX continues to work fine.
        Something on the CD (not the programs or samples) is causing the s1100 to use the FX dsp differently.. My guess is OS stored on s3000 cd’s..

        • Martin78 says:

          I know that s1100 reverb is much better :) Don’t import whole volumes, but individual programs :)
          or just add (modify) reverb yourself.

  9. belzrebuth says:

    does the S1100 has a normalise function ?Sending samples thru midi (elektron tool) makes them very quiet idk why.
    It’d be a nice to find a workaround for that.

  10. Terje says:


    I just bought an old S1100, already got an S1000, but cannot get the S1100
    to read the S1000 discs. Just unreadable format.
    Is this know to you and do you have a cure for it?

  11. Sam says:

    Dos says :
    Image file/target drive conflict./r/n
    Copy this file to another drive and try again.

    what’s wrong?

  12. Kevin Red says:

    Does anyone have any experience using a gotek floppy emulator in an S1100? I have an s950 with an HXC flashed gotek in it that works great so now I’ve got one installed in my S1100 and I’m not having much luck getting it to work. I’ve been getting the “Unreadable Format! or unformatted?” error. Thoughts anyone?

  13. Kevin Red says:

    Does anyone have any experience using a gotek floppy emulator in an S1100? I have an s950 with an HXC flashed gotek in it that works great so now I’ve got one installed in my S1100 and I’m not having much luck getting it to work. I’ve either been getting the “Unreadable Format! or unformatted?” error or the “Write Protected” Error. Thoughts anyone?

  14. Hi Martin, got a s1100, and expander that is working but the analogue input on the master s1100 is completely dead, it’s got the IB104 so can still use it, but was wondering if you know this is a common problem, if you think it might be the op-amps or other?, Be great to hear your thoughts on this

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