The S5000 and S6000 have crippling
problems. The two dealbreakers for most prospective buyers are:
(1) you are limited to 32 active programs, which would have been bad
enough on the 3000 series but is ludicrous given 256mb of ram, 128 voice
polyphony and 32 midi channels.
(2) the software that will enable the S5000/S6000 to read Roland samples
and those in other formats is not available yet. The dealers are talking
in terms of months, but experience suggests that this, coming from Akai, is
wishful thinking. To bring out a sampler in 1998 that purports to be the
next move for professionals, without the capacity to read multiple formats
-- when all serious samples have been doing so for many years -- is
moronic. Apparently, Akai rushed this thing to market in an attempt to
beat Roland to the punch.
These two major issues aren't all. There are about two dozen other
software problems we've found to date; for the most part we're not talking
about bugs, but rather bad design decisions. About 30 New York-area
professionals who have used Akai samplers for many years have convened to
pressure the company to rectify these problems. If you'd like to
participate and read the details, please contact me.