letter from Akai Pro USA sales manager

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by RyanHelms, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    While surfing for any hint of an SB1 out there, something made me go to the AKAI Pro website and drop a line to John Terry, head sales manager. Here's the original e-mail, and John's immediate reply from this morning.

    (I altered the on-screen addys so he won't get spammed)

    Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 9:27 PM
    To: jterry_at_akaiproamerica_dot_com
    Subject: SB-1 revisited?

    I have to ask, what's the possibility of an SB-1 Deep
    Impact re-issue, or the G-drive or any other pedal
    from that line for that matter?

    The SB1 is (was) the best analog synth engine for bass
    guitarists on the market, hands down. I'm baffled that
    a product with the SB1's appeal and functionality
    would be pulled.

    Having missed the retail blowout at the major dealers
    (Guitar Center's $99 for example) I can't find an SB1
    anywhere, but yet I keep on looking. And from cruising
    online forums, *many* others feel the same way.

    Just wanted to drop a line and vent, thanks in advance
    for any reply! I've been an AKAI fan for a while and
    want to stick to the product line, but it's fairly
    disheartening when fantastic acessories are

    Ryan Helms

    From: "John Terry" <jterry_at_akaiproamerica_dot_com>
    To: "'Ryan'"
    Subject: RE: SB-1 revisited?
    Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 21:54:52 -0400


    There have been others expressing similar views. I have been passing it onto the R and D people. Akai is very in tune with it's customer's wishes so maybe....


    John Terry
    Akai Pro America


    Sounds kinda iffy, maybe if more folks write in they would give it more consideration. I for one would love to see them bust it out again. Man, even the G-Drive I had was top shelf stuff! C'mon, fuzz with two 7 band EQ's, one each for the input and output!?!? And built like a tank!?! That pedal was supah tasty.

    This about the Deep impact and Unibass though, :rolleyes:
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    As was mentioned on the website of another Talkbass brethren, Akai has a curious habit of introducing great effects and just dropping them from their product line for no apparent reason.

    Fortunately, I have an amp/electronics guru who could work on my Deep Impact if it ever fails me....since, apparently, Akai doesn't have product support for discontinued products, that I know of.
  3. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    "Akai doesn't have product support for discontinued products, that I know of"

    My guess would be "no", but that was something I didn't think to ask John. I gotta say, though, him getting back to me the very next morning after my e-mail was pretty impressive. Giving them the benifit of the doubt, for him to mention getting mail from other folks along the same lines and passing it along to R&D is somewhat encouraging, unless it's strictly lip service................... :/
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    How about the usual reason: noone is buying them.
  5. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Couldn't be that $300 a pop pricetag...
  6. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    If a pedal is good and usable, $300 a pop is about average. Look at the vintage and booootique pedal market.

  7. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Except the difference is that Akai doesn't want to be in the bootique market. Akai prefers to stick with high volume products. Let's face it. A $300 bass-specific pedal isn't going to be a high volume product. If they could manufacture the same pedal for less, than it could turn out to be high volume.
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    How about the real reason??? - Another TB'
    er, who has probably tried more pedals than you & me combined, said Akai is out of touch with the USA customer base. They introduce products and stop production for no apparent reason.

    Talk to anyone in a decent music store that sells Akai.........they'll tell you the company is much more interested in keyboards and recording gadgets.

    "Bass Player" put the heat on the supply of these when they did their review that went crazy over them - http://archive.bassplayer.com/z2001/0102/akai.shtml

    "Bass" is a relatively puny market, compare to guitar, and our gadgets don't get much attention or production longetivity.
  9. Akai has a long history of making the coolest stuff and discontinuing it and moving on to something new. I for one am happy to have both a UniBass and a Deep Impact, efx I use a lot.
  10. ffrex


    Aug 27, 2004
    I sent a similar letter to him recently expressing my dissapointment. He responded with this

    We're working on a new version. I have made the R and D people aware of
    continued interest.

    John Terry
    Akai Pro America
  11. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Who was selling them for that?
    I bought my SB1 a few years ago (before the "blowouts") for $140 shipped, and that seemed to be pretty close to what many were selling it for.:confused:
  12. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Sorry, maybe I'm thinking of the MSRP. It just seemed to me that when I first saw the SB1 in MF's catalog, the price made me go
    :eek: but I honestly don't remember now.

    BTW, I couldn't agree with xyllion more. AKAI's not boutique, and definately not manufacturing *new* vintage.

    I'm just bummed that I didn't get one :rolleyes:
  13. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    When my Hexacomp died in a power surge I brought it to an authorized Akai service center for warranty repair. They waited a looong time to get parts from Akai (I forget exacly how long, but at least 9 months and probably over a year). They finally gave up waiting and just fixed it w/ a non-OEM part. At least they didn't charge me.

    That entire line of pedals is awesome. I own the SB1, UB, and Hexacomp, and would like to find a Gdrive.
  14. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    I don't know if I'ld have the stones to open any of those pedals ;)
    Grab the first G-Drive you see. Period.
  15. donut


    Jan 27, 2004
    For any UK\European people - unfortunately I don't think they ship outside Europe, but there's no harm in asking.

    EDIT: They've also got the Unibass under the bass effects section.

    Please note I'm nothing to do with the shop, just trying to help people out. :)

  16. RyanHelms


    Sep 20, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    I didn't see the SB-1 listed under bass fx :(
  17. donut


    Jan 27, 2004
    No, they sold out of them a while ago - I was referring to the G-Drive. The price for the SB-1 was initially £75 (when I got mine), then went up to £99 when they seemed to realise they'd got something quite popular, and then they sold out completely.
  18. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I agree that it certainly is rather baffling that a company that had the foresight to could come up with such killer products in the first place, seems to lack the vision necessary to follow through on delivering them to the market in adequate quantities over a sustained period of time. I own both the Deep Impact (scored on the $99 deal, yeah!) and the Unibass (recently acquired used), and I'm just amazed at how good they are. Akai did some things with these two pedals that no one else is doing (or isn't doing in such a convenient package), and they work so well. It really is a shame that they aren't on the market anymore.

    Oh well. Perhaps they will reissue them someday. At any rate, I'm glad I got my paws on my Deep Impact and Unibass!

  19. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    How about this for "Drool Factor":

    Akai should come out with a multi-effect board that contains all the sounds and functions of the Deep Impact, Uni-Bass, Intelliphase, G-Drive, Head-Rush, and some kind of Modulation effect for Chorusing, Flanging and such...... for (street price) $350 or less.

    I could be wrong, but I think such a unit would crush everybody elses multi-effect unit and make Akai a ton of $$$.

    Hell, I'd buy two!
  20. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I'd buy that, assuming it was up to the standards of the pedals it incorporated.