AKAI Professional MPK 261
$429
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A
Good controller, but lackluster quality control
Anonymous 06.12.2021
Some people warned about keybed quality control (either received broken product or keybed failing far too soon after buying). I still wanted to give it a try, because of the good features/layout, my former good experience with Akai, and especially because I like the feel of the pads on Akai products in general.

Sadly the product I got had a broken keybed on arrival that made proper playing impossible.
I have now read enough horror stories of dead keys and broken velocity detection after very limited time of use, while trying to troubleshoot my unit right out of the box for way too long. Such a trust I had in Akai, that I was confident about user error and not a dysfunctional unit, even when it was already obvious.

Knobs, sliders and pads felt solid. "Feel" of the keybed was good, better than excepted. Springs have quite a lot of resistance, so coming from very light touch keyboard or proper hammer-action piano might be weird for you, obviously. But any way, it felt solid and consistent on the keys that worked on my product.

If you don't mind possible warranty-return hassle and have the luck to get working and long lasting unit, it is still a very nice controller for the price.
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B
Faulty keybed
BoVe 28.01.2020
This controller has excellent reputation and I totally agree with it based on its feature set. It has (almost) everything a keyboard player could need for one’s live duties. Unfortunately, the unpleasant personal experience I have with this controller is related to a faulty keybed. The first unit I received from Thomann was faulty on delivery, so Thomann kindly replaced it with another one. Sadly, that unit showed the same design weakness after relatively short period. I am quite disappointed.
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E
Poor excuse for a MIDI keyboard
Eph-Jay 10.12.2022
The drum pads are amazing and fun to use.
Nice Mod/Pitch wheels.
The Keyboard has been manufactured with appallingly low standards and quality regarding the most essential aspect of any keyboard instrument.

Cosmetically, the AKAI looked perfectly fine with no visual damage and no damage to the inner packaging.
After connecting the keyboard and trying it for the first time, I was disappointed to see and hear that the keyboard has a serious technical flaw.
The MPK261 is suffering from a number of serious velocity and sensitivity issues. Certain keys when pressed gently will output maximum or erratic velocities while others respond more normally.
The notes D1 and G#4 in particular will trigger themselves multiple times at maximum values after only being pressed once. This renders the keyboard completely unplayable since it is impossible to play with any dynamic control.
I recently had very similar problems with a brand new Novation keyboard and more interestingly it was the same key too.
I decided that Akai would be a better replacement, but now I feel that my money has been wasted again.
I am extremely disappointed as I expected so much more from Akai and a keyboard of this caliber.
The Thomann technical department advised me to reset the keyboard to the factory default again, and to test with separate MIDI cables. This unfortunately made no difference.

Demonstration of the techincal issue - https://www.mediafire.com/file/t5wgqgsyaaarle4/MPK261_Fault_2022-12-01_17-39-25.mkv/file
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A
Perfect!
Anonymous 22.02.2022
It is very good product. Just a bit heavy, so locate it on a strong and stable desk or stand.
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A
Great MIDI Keyboard Controller for home studio
Anonymous 05.05.2016
Using this keyboard for producing music in my home studio, very comfortable, good-looking, solid instrument. Keys feel very pleasant when you touch it, similar to the real piano keys.

Comes with powerful software: Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid 3 by AIR Music Tech, SONiVOX Twist 2.0, SONiVOX Eighty-Eight Ensemble and the Akai Pro MPC Essentials, but I'm using it with Logic Pro.

Special thanks to Thomann GmbH, Your delivery and notification services work great, it took only 5 days to deliver parcel to Estonia, You did it with real German precision, quality and responsibility. It was my first experience of using Your store, and I can say, that this is the best service among online stores I've ever met.
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4
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TD
Heavy, sturdy and well built!
Tyler Duggan 01.01.2021
Excellent Quality keyboard. Have it plugged into my Macbook Pro and the keys and nobs feel great. Satisfying to play with the nobs and buttons as well as the keys.

I have no problem with this keyboard and will get many hours of stage and studio time with it for sure!
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M
SO MANY BUTTONS
McEvoy 29.04.2019
I bought this already knowing it would be amazing but I didn't realize just how amazing!
every sound known to man with constant updates and ways to manipulate every sound there!
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A
Excellent Controller missing one small feature
Anonymous 24.08.2015
I have used many brands controllers over the last 20 odd years and this is my favourite so far. SO easy to configure and plenty of controller types To be able to configured! The keys have a decent "feel"; not ideal for "piano" playing but a good compormise for a smooth synth action. The only feature missing for me is on-screen visibility of the controller value as you're moving it. I do a lot of "live mixing" and tweaking and when sweeping mids, I cannot see where the frequency and/or gain levels are as these are endless rotary encoders. A small issue for me as I have my laptop offstage (don't like the look of seeing computers on stage) so really miss this BUT I would take all the functions and configuration possibilities over that feature (which you see in Axiom type controllers. A solid 9/10 from me
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A
A great controller keyboard
AP2019 10.09.2019
I use this in a studio with Logic X, but I can imagine this is well suited (and reliable enough) to live use too. The keys and pads have a nice feel to them and the whole unit feels very sturdy. I found it took a little while to set up in Logic X and I still come across some issues now and then, but that's due to quirks of Logic rather than the Akai.
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S
The keys
Steve-22 21.08.2017
This would be the perfect controller if it wasn't for the keys. Very springy and very stiff (and not the good kind). It is built like a tank and has all the bells and whistles.
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AKAI Professional MPK 261