Akai Denki K. K. (Japanese赤 井 电机 株式会社, Akai Denki Kabushiki - gaisha, Eng. Akai Electric Co., Ltd.). was named after its founder Masukichi Akai Japanese electronics company, outside Japan in the 1960s and 1970s primarily through his tape machines awareness obtained.

The company was founded in 1929 and initially produced electric motors for film projectors, later for turntables. The further history of the company contributed significantly to the introduction and market penetration of various innovations in magnetic tape bound audio technology. By 1980, the music division " Akai Professional" with production and stage equipment for modern music originated. In 2000, the company Akai went into bankruptcy ( which now hived Akai Professional in 2005). Under the brand Akai other brands are now marketed.


Through the sales activities in the United States comes in the 1950s you get in touch with the American tape recorders Manufacturer Roberts, who entrusted Akai with production of electric motors for his equipment. A little later, Akai, inspired starts by an approved emitted as a visual piece Roberts device, even the production of tape recorders, whereupon Roberts adjusts its own production and from then sells in the United States Akai tape recorders under their own name. From the mid- 1960s, identical devices were driven in parallel under the brand names Akai and Roberts on the North American market. Some years later, the Roberts brand will disappear from the market, the device will only be available under the name Akai.

In the following years, Akai developed with sales success in Europe and the U.S. into one of the largest manufacturers of tape recorders world and enriches the mass market for these devices to many technical achievements, all of which are indeed not inventions of the company, but only through the initiative of Akai broad impact be marketed. These include above all the Crossfield bias that virtually wear-free Glasferrit - heads ( called by Akai GX Heads ), and auto-reverse, ie, the automatic change of direction of play at the end of the tape.

In the 1970s, Akai increasingly positioned with amplifiers, receivers, tape decks, turntables and speakers as a full-range supplier in the Hi- Fi range and also goes into the fledgling market for video devices.

1984, the company is restructured by financial difficulties. Like many other companies provide Akai at this time the production of tape recorders and reinforced its commitment to the higher profits promising areas of cassette decks, VCRs, and the new CD player. In addition, a division of Electronic Music Instruments is founded, the Akai Electronic Musical Instruments Corporation, which celebrated its premiere with the audio sampler S612. This is one of the first affordable device of its kind

In the second half of the 1980s, sales of Akai break in North America dramatically. The company is responding to this development in 1988 with a retreat of the relevant markets. Persistent financial difficulties in 1998 eventually lead to a takeover by the Akais The Grande Holdings Ltd. from Hong Kong, which marks the end of Akai as an independent manufacturer. The holding company also holds the brands Nakamichi and Sansui.

On 2 November 2000, the company applied for insolvency proceedings under the law on the civil reactivation (民事 再生 法, minji - Saisei - hō ), which led to the delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange in February of the following year.


The Akai brand is now part of the Singapore-based Akai Sales Pte Ltd, whose products marketed today are all purchased from other companies, such as video devices from Samsung and television from Turkish producers Profilo - Telra.

Akai Professional

In 1999, the division for electronic musical instruments as Akai professional MI K. K. ( AKAI professional MI株式会社) hived off. The term " Akai professional" was with a slightly different logo used previously for the products of the division ( see photos). The music division with their samplers of S / Z- series was known ( S1000, S3000, Z4, Z8 and others), the MPCs used by many artists (MPC 3000, MPC 2000, MPC 1000, MPC 500, MPC 2500), controllers for computer-based music production ( MPD16, MPD24, MPK49 ) and other products.

This company got into financial difficulties and initiated in 2005 after a failed restructuring after a debt of about 1.1 billion yen insolvency proceedings. The trademark rights as well as the customer service today from Pro Audio Japan KK exercised.

Akai is working closely with Ableton; together they developed the program on the Ableton Live 8 and APC40 APC20 controller tuned.