MPC owners are definitely aficionados of their gear — but, be warned, Akai, they can be just as exacting with their MPC grievances as they are with their MPC love. The Cynic writes us with this news from the MPC community:

Not sure if you guys are aware, but Akai has done a really shady thing with the MPC1000.

If you didn’t know the MPC1000 uses individual pad sensors, unlike every other MPC in the range – which use interlink sensors.

The MPC1000 has had multiple problems with the pads, from them going out, double triggering while sequencing, to just not working.

Akai is now offering a $199 “upgrade” kit for owners of the original MPC. They no longer offer replacement parts for the individual pads to my knowledge.

The killer is this though – new MPCs are shipping with the “upgrade” at the same price.

MPC1k owners are going nuts, and have started an online petition to send to Akai.

You can find the petition here:
http://www.petitiononline.com/mpc1000/

…And more information here:
http://mpc-forums.com/viewtopic.php?t=61159
http://mpc-forums.com/viewtopic.php?t=45209
http://mpc-forums.com/viewtopic.php?t=84272
http://mpc-forums.com/viewtopic.php?t=84741
GearSlutz thread

MPC1000 (or other MPC) owners with any opinions of your own on this matter, we’re happy to hear from you here, as well.

  • dead_red_eyes

    I've wanted an MPC1000 for the longest time now, but the pad thing has always freaked me out a bit, as I've read TONS of crap about it on many different forums. Now that I know they've fixed the problem, I'll gladly buy one.

    But I must say that this whole $200 "upgrade" thing is complete bullshit. Akai's going to make people pay for their own manufacturing/design flaw? They surely have the money to fix all of them for free.

    That's fucked.

    Plain and simple.

    Fucked.

  • Damon

    Professor Obvious Says – "Unethical business practices do not pay, eventually."

  • http://rekkerd.org ronnie

    I understand where they are coming from, but didn't every single MPC1000 buyer have the chance to say "these pads are just crappy, i'm taking my MPC back to the store" a bit earlier on in the game?

    Products get improvements (small and big) all the time, and a lot of the time you don't even get a chance to upgrade your v1.0 model.

  • http://robotskirts.com Eliot

    Oh, so they're pissed because Akai didn't bother to change the model number? I don't get mad every time Sabaru releases a new station wagon that improves on my 10 year old model even though they offer it at the same MSRP.

  • http://robotskirts.com Eliot

    Better example: Apple isn't sending me a new bigger harddrive with every new iPod generation.

  • dead_red_eyes

    Terrible example Eliot. Sorry to say.

  • dead_red_eyes

    Let me tell you about this awesome company "ProCo", who recently repaired my 1983 ProCo RAT distorition pedal, FOR FREE.

    They cleaned the pots up, fixed my wall plug-in (wallwart?) jack, made sure everything was in tip top shape (soldering and such), and even put on a new battery cover for me because mine has been missing for some years now.

    All I had to do was pay for the shipping there, and they fixed it up and mailed it back to me … no charge.

    Truly, we need more companies to stand by their products, like ProCo does.

  • Proof

    Akai/Alesis/Numark – one big corporation now. Not a music comapny. They are just out to make money.

  • jah

    This makes me worried. I've been considering the new MPC 500. How are the pads on this model?

  • Mark

    @Eliot

    Both examples are flawed.

    First if I purchase a Subaru, and the brakes don't work, they issue a recall and fix the problem. (Hopefully next year's model won't have the same problem).

    If I purchase an iPod, and a feature, oh say CoverFlow bogs down the hardware to the point of being unusable, Apple should upgrade the software FREE OF CHARGE, to correct the problem. (And hopefully their next model won't have the same problem).

    A know problem/design flaw, is not the same as an upgrade, enhancement, or new feature. They sold a defective product. Numerous people complained about that problem, and hoped there would be a forth coming fix, that fix came in the form of an "upgrade".

    How many people would have chose a different product had they know the cost was actually $200 more than what they paid?

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I understand the frustration here, but I'm curious — has anyone just swallowed the $200 upgrade fee and tried that upgrade kit? Does it work? I'd kind of be inclined to just do that and make the thing work.

    I'll say this: making hardware mistakes is pretty easy. Just about anyone who makes hardware has made some sort of design / engineering / manufacture mistake of this sort. I think the question is how you resolve the situation, which is clearly the source of tension here. (Beware an MPC user scorned, Akai!)

  • bliss

    Sounds like enough of a problem that a class action lawsuit would be appropriate to pursue. Only need one person to do that.

    Apple has had several class action lawsuits brought against it over the years for manufacturers defects and have appropriately settled out of court. Free software and hardware upgrades and replacements. Of course, they've also taken steps to avoid such lawsuits by taking responsibility right up front. Noisy power supplies, faulty monitors, faulty laptop monitors, noisy and faulty OEM video cards, faulty motherboards, iTunes software problems, etc. You name it, and Apple has had to deal with it. They're a big company covering a lot of bases, so it's expected that they would face endless mountains of complaints and lawsuits. As far as I can tell, they done their jobs really well considering the breadth of product that they are offering consumers.

    Anyway, Akai/Numark/Alesis should replace the faulty pads for free! No question about that. $200 is $200, which is why they are forcing customers to pay the money in the first place. If I were one of those customers in that situation, I'd pay the money to get the MPC1k working AND file suit against the company on behalf of everyone including myself. There are lawyers who would take this case.

  • Scrabblor

    I've been thinking about buying an mpc1000 for a while. This thread is good, because itll keep me from buying an old one, but does anyone know how recently they started including the interlink system on the factory models? A year ago? Six months ago? Yesterday?

  • Peter Kearney

    if you think this is bad, then you really don't want to know what goes on with design flaws in the automotive industry.

    I have an mpc1000. Nym's padfix is no longer available, so it's nice to know there's an official upgrade option available. It is slightly irritating that you need to get the hardware kit, ram, a harddrive, jj os and a bigger cf card to make the thing truly useful. Add the upgrade and you've probably doubled the cost.

    If a one man operation decides to fix up a couple of their customers units for free, then it's no big deal.. it's usually a labour of love anyway. If a larger company recalls to thousands of products, they get horrible press, it eats away at whatever profits they had (probably less than you think) and they go out of business. See Arp or Moog in the seventies.

    Two hundreds bucks for moulded parts, a metal stamping and a pcb is not unreasonable.

    -Peter

  • bliss

    Last time I checked, Apple was still in business. What about the gazillions of Lithium ion batteries that Sony had to recall recently? Yep, sure that was a mighty hurting thing for them, but they are still around. And high profile recalls can be be easily spun so that customer relations improve instead of suffer. I found out a few class action lawsuits against Apple be receiving letters in the mail from the law firms representing the plaintiff that decided to file on my and others behalf. No press at all, as far as I could tell. So nothing has be get blown out of proportion, but Akai/Numark/Alesis should take care of the portion of responsibility. The MPC 1000 flaws seems to be entirely their fault. Why else would they change the design on newer models, if the old one was workable?

  • Peter Kearney

    Apple and Sony are on an entirely different scale. Sony owns half the planet, Apple sales are in the billions. 90% of all the companies in the world have one employee.

    Numark probably has sales in the tens of millions, otherwise they wouldn't be getting federal loans for a million (http://www.fedspending.org/faads/faads.php?reptype=r&detail=-1&datype=T&sortby=t&recip_cat_type=i&database=faads&recip_id=637151&fiscal_year=2001&record_num=f500)

    I work for a company that is probably bigger than Numark, and a single recall would sink us, without a doubt.

    Akai Pro isn't doing so well as it is.. who needs samplers anymore? Everyone uses computers. If it weren't for the hip-hop guys and their mpcs, they'd be long gone. Alesis hasve never been exactly profitable (they filed for bankruptcy and were purchased by Numark) and Numark itself has struggled for years.

    Apple and Sony had to replace batteries because a) they lied and said that they performed better than they did or b) it was a safety issue.

    All designs are a trade-off between performance and price. Akai probably thought the pads would be fine, but didn't anticipate the extent to which people whack the crap out of the pads. They're not trying to lie or cheat or bilk their customers. The product works fine if you don't abuse it.. mine does. It's their perogative to change it or improve it whenever they want. How many other bits of hardware or software come with useless/buggy operating systems? Sometimes they fix them for free, sometimes they wait till version 2.0 with a 199 upgrade fee.

    At least they are offering the upgrade instead of a new mpc1100 with the new pads and a different colour.

  • StirHouse

    jah –

    the MPC 500 uses the traditional one-sheet pad design that all of the other MPC models used, so pad issues have never been a problem for the 500.

  • Angstrom

    Akai/Alesis/Numark is a pretty terrible company, I can draw on a parallel situation from them

    I had a pair of their awful active monitors () and the amps power supply bust, leaving me with a flashing blue light . A search of the net showed a lot of customers with the same issue and a design flaw in the amp.
    I rang Akai/Alesis/Newmark and was quoted £240 to send me two replacement power supplies so I could fix it myself. *cough*

    Serves me right for buying trash Alesis monitors, I bought me some real monitors instead.

  • bliss

    So what — I've been reading reports of faulty pad sensors for the MPC 1000 for at least 2 years. 2 years! And during that time I've seen where Akai's users of the MPC 1000 have come up with their own solutions to fix the problem. A problem that was, in the first place, not theirs to fix. It is not the consumers fault that Akai didn't find a way to tap the software market until about fifteen years after computer music took off. They could have had rhythm midi controllers on market before any other company. AND they could have owned that market for quite awhile if they had done so; making money to grow the company into other areas of home music production. MPC's were a feature of nearly every professional studio for years and years, and, so, Akai had a very good reputation for reliability too build upon. Anyway, the problem has nothing to do with Akai's lack of market savvy and everything to do with their faulty product that is the MPC 1000. A recall wasn't needed. A fix is what was needed. Instead Akai just kept on selling units despite negative customer feedback. Negative customer feedback for a company is something that even the worst media coverage can't touch.

    The MPC 1000 is made to be used in the same manner as every MPC before it. Therefore, given Akai's experience with such products, they should have repeated the steps necessary to ensure that they were releasing a robust product into every level of the marketplace that the company decided to address. Apparently they did not. At the very least, evidence strongly suggests that they did not. And I agree with you, Akai can make or break their own products at their own choosing. It is, however, the consumer's prerogative to seek recompense for losses that Akai are responsible for. Akai, charging customers $200 to replace pad sensors that have worn out due to normal use is unacceptable. Really, how does one "whack the crap" out of an MPC's pad sensors? Every model preceding the MPC 1000 benefited from nearly unanimous consensus of great build quality. Clearly the MPC 1000 is a different beast. I've owned the MPC 2000. Bought version 1.0 the day it was delivered to the music store, in 1997, and it never gave me a problem. When I sold 8 years later it performed like it was in mint condition. For three years straight it was the only thing I used. I didn't get a computer until 2000. The MPC 1000 will not go down in history as one the better MPCs to own. Anyway, Akai is fully responsible for having sold and continuing to sell a flawed design to its customers.

  • bliss

    Sounds like enough of a problem that a class action lawsuit should be filed. Only takes one person to do that.

    Apple have had several brought against it, all of which, to my knowledge, have been appropriately settled. Noisy power supplies, faulty monitors, faulty laptop monitor screens, motherboards, iTunes software, noisy OEM video cards, etc. One would expect that Apple would have to face mountains of complaints and lawsuits given the breadth of products that they offer consumers. Nonetheless, Apple generally will take responsibility for manufacturing flaws without customers resorting to lawsuits.

    Akai/Numark/Alesis should replace the faulty pads for free! $200 is $200, which is why they are charging for the “upgrades” in the first place. I would pay the $200 to get my MPC 1000 working, and I would also get a lawyer to file a lawsuit against the company on behalf everyone, including myself, who have experienced the manufacturing flaws that MPC 1000 seems to be crippled with. A lawsuit that would entitle affected users to a free upgrade or refund of the upgrade price. There are lawyers who would take this case.

  • bliss

    Correction: ^^^Nonetheless, Apple generally will take responsibility for manufacturing and design flaws without customers resorting to lawsuits.^^^

  • dead_red_eyes

    @ Scrabblor.

    I'm not sure when they started including the interlink system on the MPC1000s. Maybe look around in the MPC-Forums and see. There's got to be an SKU or something that you should be able to check to make sure that it's not the broken/flawed model. I'm a bit curious as well, as I really need a hardware sampler/sequencer. It's great having my Macbook Pro for all things sequencing, but you never know. An MPC1000 could be a great backup tool me.

    I'll check the forums too, and let you know if I find anything. Please do the same for me as well.

    Peter, is there anyway that you might be able to check up on the new MPC1000s? I'd hate to order one from Musicians Friend and have it be the old model.

  • dead_red_eyes

    Also, I HOPE that Akai recalled the broken/flawed MPC1000s before releasing the new ones out … but my guess is that they didn't.

  • wtrwlkr

    i have an mpc 500 and it just stopped working so if pads are your only problems then you're lucky. & after doing some digging i'm not alone with the 500 problems, so if you're considering one take my advice and stay away.

  • dead_red_eyes

    Yeah, I've been wondering about the MPC500. I really like how it's battery powered and super portable, that's pretty much it's strongest selling point to me.

    You're now the 3rd person I've seen that's had their MPC500 die on them out of nowhere.

    Do companies even have Quality Control anymore?

  • http://nymantics.com nym

    what's up everybody.

    i've written about this subject exhaustively since 2005. i built my own fix and used that for the last half of the year, up until the last month, when i aquired the akai pad FIX.

    i say FIX, and not upgrade.

    the new fix uses Sensitronics sensors, as does the newer 500s and 2500s. Akai no longer uses Interlink Electronics. Replacement sensor sheets for the 2500, 500s and now 1000s all come from the new company of Roger Eventoff (the creator of the FSR)

    set with the proper code (akai os 2.11 or better yet jj os 4.89, these pads finally feel good. however, they could still use some end user fine tuning (which i posted at mpc-forums.com)

    regarding the user who advised not to "abuse one's pads." this issue occurred not due to abuse but rather due to a complete and utter design flaw. i have seen the inside of these pads, which akai purchased from Inaba (makers of the robot dog). let me briefly describe it.

    layer 1 – pcb on which a copper coil is laid

    layer 2 – pressure transducing rubber

    layer 3 – pad.

    the pressure transducing rubber (henceforth PTR) is laid overto of the copper coil. pushing the pad pushes the rubber, which gets squashed against the coil. the more the rubber is pushed, the more it conducts. the copper coil reads and responds.

    problem: moving part. the PTR is attached above the copper coil with 4 dots of silicon glue – think of what comes out of a hot glue gun, it's basically the same stuff.

    this PTR material is rubber filled with carbon particles – hence the conductivity. Rubber, like skin, sloughs – that is, loses its top layer of cells when rubber, touched, brushed, etc.

    so, what do you think happened to the contact between the silicon glue and the PTR? that's right, predictably, it broke and the rubber drifts off the sensor surface. broken pad.

    every engineer i have shown acknowledges that this is a flawed design. hell, the sheer numbers of mpc1000 users whose pads broke acknowledged the flaw.

  • http://nymantics.com nym

    correction: FRANKLIN eventoff, sorry. i juggle the names Franklin Eventoff and Roger Linn, who i believe collaborated on the 60 and the Linn Drum, a precursor of mpcs

  • http://music.damaged.us Cynic

    @dead_red_eyes

    No – Akai has not recalled the old machines. People on the mpc forum have reported buying boxes that still have the individual sensors.

    The older machines have a metal plate on the back. I believe the newer ones (with the pad "upgrade") have a black back panel.

  • jay hughes

    TO Cynic, NO – my brother has an mpc 1000 with the black back panel but it has old pads factory installed. The black back panel does NOT mean new pads. I also have one with a black back panel with NEW pads so i know the difference.

  • KaiserSosa

    All i got to say is this:

    I fixed my MPC 1000 pad sensor system with scotch tape and it works better then that 4 dots of glue bullshit that akai pulled on everyone that bought an MPC before last month. That company will not get $200.00 from me. Since the design is flawed, there should be a recall. Its a shame that a company that was supposed to be spoken in the same breath as hip-hop has produced one of the most TRIFLING beatboxes on the planet. Can't make beats with no pads. What the fuck? NOT TO MENTION the horrid o.s. with DIRECTORY ERRORS!!! Can't save beats. What the fuck? All im saying is that they already have $1000.00 from me and thats all they should have. All MPC 1000 owners were under the impression that we would be purchasing a high quality, long lasting product like all the other models and it was advertised as such! However this isn't the case.

    I waited long without sample editing features, saving errors, and pad malfunctions.

    I'm a very paitent man that isn't scared to open up his MPC 1000.

    Or use 3rd party O.S.'s

    Thank you JJ for giving MPC 1000 owners an alternative to akai's mockery. for just $30.00!

    I say no more. I refuse to purchase anything else from akai/alesis/numark. unless its on ebay. and i feel that everyone else should do the same until this problem is rectified.

    I don't like being lied to.

    Do you?

  • King Vitamin

    Boycott in full effect!!

    I think that class action lawsuit somebody mentioned is the way to go.

    This company has been screwing their customers over for way to long.

  • boxtones

    some of you beatmakers out there gotta be lawyers or somehow involved in law. Help us out!!! i'll give you my drum disks

  • Aaron Flav

    I got my mpc 1000 in august of 2006. Almost all of my pads died on me so I had to replace them with the same faulty pads. Which barely even work now. There's no way I'm spending 200 dollars on something that should have been replaced along time ago.

  • Dr. BS

    I don't care about the MPC 1000, but I wish Akai would Open Source the OS for the 2000xl, so someone could write a new OS a la JJ OS for the 1000…

    the 2kxl is perfect, but what it need is a switchable filter (hipass, lopass, bandpass instead of just lp), higher resolution tuning/beatmatching of samples and auto-sync of delaytimes to BPM (for the effects-board).

    and one more thing Akai/Alesis/Numark: I'm still waiting on a rackmount version of the micron with more outs…

  • 4lefts

    i'd love an mpc, but, well, i'd love to boycott akai too. so what's the alternative? anyone tried the sp-555? i heard the sp-606 was a bit shit, but i've never used one.

    the thing about getting a 1k is the worry that you'll get old stock…

    me:"is this one of the new ones with the pad upgrade?"

    salesbloke: "oh, yeah, definitely."

    what are you going to do? void your warranty by opening it up?

    and from what i've heard, the 500 has all kinds of software bugs…

  • King Vitamin

    Ableton and a pad controller will run laps around any mpc if you're looking for an alternative 4lefts.

  • http://nymantics.com nym

    "what are you going to do? void your warranty by opening it up?"

    nobody can tell if you open it up. plus, there are other ways of telling whether or not the pads are new.

    i love my mpc1000, and i recommend it to a strange breed of producer like me.

    however, if it wasn't being continuously coded by jj, i would have outgrown it by fall 2006. jj is the reason why this machine is waaaaay worth it. people say "oh, there are softwares that are X more capable" but to an extent that is not true. a machine is only as capable as the space in between it and its user.

  • dead_red_eyes

    @ King Vitamin,

    You're missing the point tho. They have needs for a hardware sampler/sequencer. Not running a program on a laptop and using a pad controller, which you will need an interface for as well. That's a lot of cash right there, while the MPC1000 is just $1000.

  • dinerdog

    I wish Roger Linn would just make another machine of high quality. This pisses me off cause I wasted so much time trying to get the 1000 to feel "just right" and it never did. I returned 2 @ GC before I found one where the pads were a little more even touch-wise. The guys at GC were looking at me like I was imaging it. I wish I didn't sell my 200xl for this. I'm just gonna have to pay for the upgrade or I won't use the 1000 at all till it's right. It's been in the box for a while. It's all those hours we've wasted just to get it working the way all the other MPs did that bothers me. F%$@ Akai

  • filterthing

    for the post above about returning the machine when it was first purchased, as NYM said it is a problem that gets worse over time. In other words by the time the pads die, the warranty is over. NYM is the expert, he has put a lot of time into it. I go by what he says.

  • LB

    Er, hang on a moment … are you all forgeting sellers obligations under the Sale of Goods Act/Legislation – u know, where a product must be 'fit for purpose' and of 'merchantable quality'. These are not just talk but legal requirements placed on the sellers of consumer products. If you ask me, Akai, thus far have been very succesful in ducking any legal accountablity for putting out MPC1000 with obvious and serious design flaws that leave the product in breach of statutory requirements. Someone needs to take the arse to court and sue the bas.ards – then you will see how quickly they change their approach !!

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