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Checking Akai S950 ram

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Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Mud on the road » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:50 pm

Hi forum,
half of the ram in my fully expanded Akai S950 is no longer work. I have been moving the unit around a bit so I am hoping its just come unseated or the contacts need cleaning. As I did not install the added ram myself I have no idea which screws etc,to undo, and where the ram is located. I have been searching the internet for a PDF or info on how to install ram in this unit but could find nothing. As the S950 is a later version of the S900,any info about doing this should be the same as for both units. Can anybody help.

Regards

Peter
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Richie Royale » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:18 pm

This shows the inside of an S950, but I cannot see where the memory is!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/equaliser/4004500334/in/set-72157622567849036/

This shows the ram expansion on its own.

http://www.mpchunter.com/s950/akai-s950-memory-expansion/
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby ken long » Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:40 pm

On start up, the 900 will display available memory. However, this will be in kilo words.

So, for example, on start up, my 950 displays 1536KW.

hth
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Mud on the road » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:31 pm

Thanks for the info and pictures.
I bought the unit new from a shop and they installed the extra ram. Therefore I do not know the best way to get in the unit to check the ram. Any suggestions.


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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Richie Royale » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:32 am

It will be simple to open up. Just unscrew the screws around the case and lift of the grey top cover. As Ken has pointed out, what Kwords are available?

1536Kwords = 2.25MB
1024Kwords = 1.5MB
512Kwords = 0.72MB
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby ken long » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:02 am

Mud on the road wrote:Thanks for the info and pictures.
I bought the unit new from a shop and they installed the extra ram. Therefore I do not know the best way to get in the unit to check the ram. Any suggestions.


Well, my suggestion was to check the RAM at start up. That way you'll know how much is being accessed. Then you can physically inspect. Here's a thread from another forum with more info about locating the RAM:

http://www.mpc-forums.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=152812

The RAM is circled in Red

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa18/Petepipe/RAM.jpg Image

AS you can see, there are many points to check for Bad RAM. I don't think this is a seatign issue as they are all soldered to the board.
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Richie Royale » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:40 am

That is the S900 though isn't it, which has fixed memory. I've never opened my S950 and it sits at the bottom of a pile of other racks, so I can't exactly get into mine easily. Mine has 1024Kwords, so there is a presumably an expansion card in it, but having looked at the Flikr set above, it seems that one has the same amount of RAM, but no obvious expansion in it.
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Chaconne » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:21 pm

I remember installing the RAM myself - but that was a long time ago. I am pretty sure that there was a panel that could be removed from the bottom on the machine, and the RAM was on cards that stood up like the cards you put in a P.C. I cant see the bottom of mine, (being on the bottom!) but this is what I can remember...

( I found the manual - type written with hand drawn diagrams ! - was it that long ago?)

Mine has been known to have hissy fits, and loose its memory, but checking the start up it always seams to return.
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby vinyl_junkie » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:33 pm

I'm not very familiar with the S-950 but I have found a picture of the RAM expansion if that helps, to me it looks very very similar to the one fitted into the MPC-60

Image
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby ken long » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:29 pm

Richie Royale wrote:That is the S900 though isn't it, which has fixed memory..

Yes, that's right. I misread OP's post. I thought he was talking about a 900. VJ, don't think they are the same though look similar.

OP, check the KW on startup. If it's 1536, you have max RAM. if it's less and you've got the expansion (will be separate board like VJ's picture), then try reseating the card is all I can suggest. If you're in there take some pics and post them up, it might help. I'm replacing displays on both of mine in April. So I can take pictures then
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Mud on the road » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:47 pm

Thanks everybody for the help.
I have looked on the bottom of the unit and they is a massive plate you can unscrew.
I tested the ram on starting up the unit and got the message Bad ICL1. Showing only 512 Kwords when starting the unit instead of the full amount. I will open the unit over the weekend and see how I get on. Will post some pictures.

Regards

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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram. Pictures of ram

Postby Mud on the road » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:14 pm

Hi All,
sorted out the S950. The ram had come unseated. Got all the 1536Kwords back. Pictures show the bottom of the S950 with the plate in place and removed. Ram is at the upper right hand side. Thanks everybody for the help.

Regards


Peter

OK. How do I attach the pictures to the post.
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:54 am

I'm glad you got it sorted out.

You can upload pictures to photobucket and then link here using the img code.
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Chaconne » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:24 pm

So ya'all - whatcha still using old akais' for?

Just curious - cant decide if I'm keeping mine for sentimental reasons, I mean 1.5 meg - woohoo - and thats fully stuffed!
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:36 pm

I tend to stick drums or anything that I want to dirty up through my old samplers. It is a huge effects processor! I tend to just sample and then record the samples back into Cubase, cut it up and then import into Battery. It isn't the same sound as a bit crusher/sample rate reduction plug in. I have a dodgy Cheetah sampler which gives the most crunchy aliasing at low sample rates and does something even more destructive if you use the built in reverse option.
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby ken long » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:35 pm

Chaconne wrote:So ya'all - whatcha still using old akais' for?

Just curious - cant decide if I'm keeping mine for sentimental reasons, I mean 1.5 meg - woohoo - and thats fully stuffed!

Cause they're fun as hell.
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby DGL. » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:04 pm

1.5MB?? my Roland s-330 has 750k (un-expandable) Ram! (and only a maximum of half that can be used per sample). But then again it does have the D-50's TVF's One of the best filters every do endow a sampler.
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby ken long » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:16 pm

750K? luxury. My SP has 384Kbytes ahahahha!!!
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby vinyl_junkie » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:28 pm

Chaconne wrote:So ya'all - whatcha still using old akais' for?

Just curious - cant decide if I'm keeping mine for sentimental reasons, I mean 1.5 meg - woohoo - and thats fully stuffed!


I'll take it off your hands

Nah I'm stuck on using old Akai's for everything, I'm very comfortable with using these old dinosaurs and quicker with them than their software equivalents oh and fun.

Still use the 3200XL and MPC-2000XL oh and a Ensoniq EPS-16+. I'd love a MPC-60, borrowed my mates for a while which made my lust for wanting one even more... So I want this sampling drum machine right? And don't have a lot of money.. So I then went out and blew close to £1k on a vintage dj mixer from 1976 and that's before I service it hahaha I'm a tit Mind most of the cash came from selling my Urei that I had before this Bozak..

But it sounds really nice lol
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby ken long » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:23 pm

yeah, but a Bozak is a Bozak and I'd love to own one.
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Chaconne » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:26 pm

Yeah it can toughen up a riff if its a bit 'soft synthy', and err...

I guess one or two elements find there way into some tracks, but I'm not sure its vital. On the other hand its a nice looking machine, and worth nothing really so it stays. I think if I did the mod to replace the drive with a card reader, and it had a good selection of kits ready to go it would feel like it was earning its keep - but floppies - it seams a bit embarrasing now!
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:54 am

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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby vinyl_junkie » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:24 am



Image

Image
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:55 am

Very nice. You had the Urei 1620 before didn't you? An original or re-issue? Presumably you prefer the Bozak?
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby hollowsun » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:01 am

Chaconne wrote:( I found the manual - type written with hand drawn diagrams ! - was it that long ago?)
Yep.

I wrote that on an Amstrad PCW8256...

Image

And had to hand draw the diagrams!!!

This was after the S900 was released - Akai UK were embarrassed by the four-page (ahem) 'manual' that shipped with the 900 so asked me to do something a bit more comprehensive. They sent it to customers who asked for more details on sampling and operation.

Then Akai Japan got wind of it and (I think) shipped it with subsequent production runs and as the S900 and S950 were essentially identical, it was (I think) used for the S950 as well with an addendum, errrmmm, added to describe the extra features (higher sampling rates and expanded memory).

This was 26 years or so ago!! There are probably people here raving about a 12-bit, 8-voice (at best) sampler that's actually older than they are!

Happy days!
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby chris... » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:05 am

Richie Royale wrote: does something even more destructive if you use the built in reverse option.

Blimey. It's trivial to implement the perfect reverse function - just write the sample values out back to front. This is clearly not destructive in any way. Not exactly rocket surgery.

Amazing if the early samplers managed to f*** this up!


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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:19 am

chris... wrote:
Richie Royale wrote: does something even more destructive if you use the built in reverse option.
Blimey. It's trivial to implement the perfect reverse function - just write the sample values out back to front. This is clearly not destructive in any way. Not exactly rocket surgery.

Amazing if the early samplers managed to f*** this up!



Indeed, this is what one would expect, however the Cheetah really does something weird. It seems to change the pitch as well as add more aliasing noise. I guess the guys at Cheetah were more adept at making joysticks than samplers (and a good synth apparently, the MS6). I also have their MS800! What a bizarre product.

I'll post up a clip if I can (and if it is still working, not been powered on in a while! )
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby vinyl_junkie » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:19 am

Richie Royale wrote:Very nice. You had the Urei 1620 before didn't you? An original or re-issue? Presumably you prefer the Bozak?


I prev had the re-issue 1620 which I brought new, not all that compared to the original imo... Really noisy too, I know the original is a bit hissy but this was taking the p*ss. The sound was very hard in the mids too, top end not that nice either.

The Bozak is lovely, all class a discrete circuitry. It's a lot quieter than the Urei and the sound with music (especially music with real instruments and propper production) has a very nice quality to it.
It has quite a big musical bottom end, not sure if that's just the eq out of calibration though.
The mic pre's totally wipe the floor with my studio desk (32ch Mackie VLZ pro thing) they also have nice BeyerDynamic transformers on the inputs which also give a bit of gain.

I got 8 sets of NOS ALPS RK-40's to fit to it as it still has the horrible Allen & Bradley pots fitted like all early Bozak's. I'm having it fully re-capped with ELNA caps and fitting one of these to it which will bring the SNR of the phono inputs to a nice 83 dB
http://www.isonoe.com/custom-equipment.html

Not really the best example but here is a quick clip of it playing a old disco record
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vEJYo12Dh0&list=UU0ysg8Om_zET-YzX9lUZhZQ&index=1&feature=plcp

Can't wait to have it serviced
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:07 pm

The Urei sounds a bit crap for a grand mixer then! I bought the cheap two channel Urei DJ mixer which I think is alright, but has very little gain on the channel gains.

I'm sure the Bozak wil be amazing once the pots and caps are sorted out.
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Re: Checking Akai S950 ram

Postby Chaconne » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:59 pm

@ Hollowsun

Thats really interesting. My S950 with 8 mono outs into a mixer and some alesis outboard is all I had at first, so I knew the Akai inside out - and it was a good manual - it seamed written for the 'power user'! I squeezed every drop out of it and it kick started what modest success I have had with music.

Thats the reason really I cant ditch it - it wold seam so undignified, to get what - £150? A plug in? I'll probably keep it until I cant lift it!!!
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