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Akai EX-90R


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Akai EX-90R

Category:  Products / fx & processors / reverb

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New price: £199.00 on release  |   S/H price: £100-£150

Akai EX-90R

Around the mid to late 80's the 'new-digital' boom was well underway; and the plethora of new budget gear was flooding the market as the home studio boom really took off after the release of the early fostex 8 tracks etc. Quite a few manufacturers responded to the call bringing to the table a whole bunch of cheap plastic-cased tabletop 1/2 size effect units - Companies such as Roland got in there with their BOSS 'mini-rack' series which appeared in two releases... the early grey plastic mini-rack series and the later 'posher' black metal cased series around the early 90's... Accesit were there already with their popular mini series, and others like rebis & Studiomaster had rack slot-in case type racks reminiscent of the famous rack set makes like Neve etc... Then to seal this type of series Alesis brought out their well known 'Micro' series including the famous groundbreaking Microverb 1 & 2... yup.. there certainly was a ton of cheap fx to get your paws on...

Akai entered the fray around 1988 with their 'mini-series of FX units... and this is the EX-690R Digital Reverb unit -

The EX-90R is pretty primative by even today's common recent budget s/h reverb unit standard if you go on spec's alone, having a bandwidth of 50hz to 15Khz & a sampling rate of 39.026khz, 12bit - But they can be had VERY cheap, and they have a sound & are actualy quite versatile compared to other well know cheapies like the microverb which incidently goes up to only 10khz bandwidth !!... 15Khz is PLENTY to get a crispy sparkling reverb.. we don't hear much at all of high frequency sound above 10k which is why alesis used it with great effect in the famous microverb...

Ok... on the EX-90R you get a selector with various reverb 'Types' like 'Room', 'hall' & 'Gated' reverb types etc & a Pre-delay setting control to go from: 0.01MS - 200MS pre-delay - There is then a further ability to set the decay time from 1-15 seconds for longer 'verbs & also this is very useful for gated and room verbs for drum FX...

There's a nice little Hi-pass filter too!!... and then the usual DRY & WET controls to fine tune the balance between the reverb and the original signal - for mixer where the reverb is placed on an Aux' send/return setup this should be set to fully WET with no DRY cos you belnd the amounts using the mixer Aux Send/Return controls -

Finaly there is an Input gain & an IN/OUT switch... These old Akai mini-racks run off a 9V or 12V wall-wart as far as I know...

Well, no Lexicon that's for sure, but a nice Akai 12 bit reverb, probably or possibly it could even by the same reverb as found in the MPC series samplers of the time I wouldn't mind betting - but for sure you get a unique gritty sound that could really add something to your drums & more !! (especially the decay & filter etc can really 'tune' the sound well for the measly price you'll pay for one of these babies...

So... the Akai EX-90R reverb... another cheap studio FX, 'blast from the past' unit well worth a look-see if one appears in your local papers s/h section - They are so cheap you can dedicated one of these just top your kik drums etc to get some banging italian/euro style techno kiks etc or wang it on your hard-house bassline or synhthline etc to really make it honk!!.... user comments please !!...

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Last added comment

Product:  Akai - EX-90R
Name: Ady
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 13-Apr-20

Not seeing much info on these out there so figured I'd share my experiences for posterity. Truly an awesome little box for its simplicity and low fi but lush spacious sound. Also does not compete with source material unless you want to feature it. The pre-delay and long decays are stand out features for sure. If you like the reverbs on their early samplers this will scratch the itch.
Tried opening mine up to do a little cleaning and check out the internals, the metal case is actually attached to the circuit board with a diode - very delicate and easy to break so dont recomend opening it all! Some kind of crude grounding circuit I would guess, or possibly mine was modded at some point in its life? Would snatch another one if it turned up, and would love to try the delay in the same series, not sure why these are so hard to find...

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