Akai Head Rush E1

Akai Head Rush E1

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An amazing 23.8 seconds of delay! It's a tape delay, a tape echo simulator, and a loop recorder -- all in one! It has a delay length of up to 23.8 seconds, adjustable by 2 controls: Time Coarse and Time Fine, and Feedback for number of repeats. Also has controls for level and output mix, and an HF Damp for simulating analog delay. In each Mode, 2 foot switches provide control to turn effects on or off, set delay time, function as Record/Overdub switches, or as Play/Stop controls.


Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $279.95

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User Reviews of the Akai Head Rush E1

  • Submitted by Benjamin from Spencerport, NY (20 points) on Jan 26, 2010
  • Like most of the other reviews say, the option of having four outputs for the delay/echo is probably the coolest feature. Everything is really customizable, including the way the signal bounces between your outputs. The review below is correct, adjusting settings during a delay does not give a zipper effect, but rather a bizzarre stutter. I rather like it though, it can bee used to make some weirdly asymetrical delays. Includes a nice short looping feature, not for serious loopers, but I think loop stations should be expunged from experimental music anyway.
  • Good Points: -Three-in-one -Multihead outputs -Great versatility -Sturdy
  • Bad Points: -Takes a little playing around with to get use to
  • Price Paid: US$75.00
  • Purchased At: flea market
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  • Submitted by series_ from Portland, OR (172 points) on Nov 9, 2005
  • The Headrush pedals offer one thing that no other delay that I know of does and that's it's strongest feature. Tape Mode. You have four individual outputs on the rear of the panel. You can set the (virtual) tape heads to different places along the signal. You can route these to four channels on your mixer and pan them all differently, so you can get very spacial flying delays. This is one of those effects that you can pull out midway thru a set and be sure you'll get some results from. The loop mode not as strong as cheaper pedals on the market. The e2 model has the option of 35 second long delay which is pretty insane, but again there's cheaper LONG delays available (Boss dd-20). It's really all about the tape mode here... But in my opinion it's well worth it, as is any pedal that does something truly unique.
  • Good Points:
  • Bad Points:
  • Price Paid: US$190.00
  • Purchased At: Craigslist
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  • Submitted by Ed from Malverne, NY (104 points) on Nov 1, 2005
  • I actually have the new E2 Headrush, which is basically the same with a few upgrades (most notably, a much longer max delay time). In any case, this is a great pedal, not least because in normal delay mode you get 35 seconds of delay. Which is cool enough, and almost enough reason to get it just for that mode if it weren't for all the other cool stuff this thing does in its other two modes. The tape echo is certainly a great feature. I can't really compare to a real tape echo unit, but that's immaterial as far as I'm concerned; the Headrush's Tape Echo mode has a great sound, somewhat rougher than the normal delay, and even though the delay time is much shorter I often wind up using this mode. You can also make use of the 4 extra outputs, one for each tape head, so you can get weird ping-ponging effects as each delay gets routed somewhere different. And there's also a hi-freq rolloff for simulating tape effects or just for concentrating on the bass. The other tape echo controls, for head gap and delay ratio, work really well and can alter the sound in very interesting ways. Finally, there's a sampling mode with a nice long sample time (though it's shorter with overdubs, which I'm sure you'll want to use). Sampling is really quick and intuitive once you get the hang of it. The only complaint I'd have is that changing the delay time with the knob causes skips and stutters rather than the smooth pitch-shift effects of some other delay pedals, which makes changing the delay time mid-performance a problem. Of course, you can also set delay time with tap tempo, which is a pretty cool idea but not great when you want to change delay times quickly.
  • Good Points: -different features & effects in every mode -four extra outputs in tape echo mode for unique routing options
  • Bad Points: -delay time problems -can't use extra outputs except in tape echo mode
  • Price Paid: US$249.00
  • Purchased At: Musician's Friend
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  • Submitted by Howard from Jamaica Plain, MA (2 points) on Aug 26, 2005
  • Though I do use this pedal permanently in my rig, one feature on if disappoints me. In loop mode, all of the controls and multiple outs don't work. I assumed that because the delay and tape echo functions allow multiple outs and various dial controls to change the parameters of the effect, that a loop would also come out of all five 1/4" outs on the back of the pedal. But, no. Other than that, it sounds terrific and is intuitive to use.
  • Good Points: The tape echo sound is amazing, similar perhaps to the Electro-Harmonix Memory Man.
  • Bad Points: My one disappointment as described above. But it's minor...
  • Price Paid: US$160.00
  • Purchased At: used on Craigslist
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  • Submitted by Ben from United States (234 points) on Oct 1, 2003
  • This is a perfect example of how I often end up using one of the many available features of the pedal, but I almost always use this in tape delay mode to use the four outputs to create panning effects -- output 1 and 3 to one channel left and right and output 2 and 4 to another channel left and right. The sampler feature is nice and the standard delay mode has some super-long delay times if that's your bag. A very flexible, feature-rich delay.
  • Good Points: Good construction. Clean sound.
  • Bad Points: None.
  • Price Paid: US$150.00
  • Purchased At: i forget
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  • Submitted by Shawn from Montreal (8 points) on Mar 2, 2003
  • I use this mainly for the Tape Echo simulator. There's 4 outputs that re-create the 4 heads of a tape echo. I plug them into 4 different amps that are set in different places on the stage. This is a dreamy pedal(especially with my Violinlike guitar). The delay is pretty spacey too. I love the Loop Recorder, because if your loop is under 15 seconds long, you can create unlimited amounts of loops. Great for crescendo soundscapes
  • Good Points: -Unlimited Loops -4 outputs act as tape head simulator -Long delay
  • Bad Points: -Slight volume drop on the loops.
  • Price Paid: US$80.00
  • Purchased At: Used
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  • Submitted by nic from Madison, WI (4 points) on Dec 31, 2002
  • one thing that nobody mentioned about this pedal is the fact that it has seperate outputs for the differenet delay taps. i always like pedals that provide these kind of routing options. the first delay hit can be sent to a distortion, the second to another delay, etc.
  • Good Points: whats been mentioned: tons of delay time, extreemley versatile layering looping control. what hadn't been mentioned: the outputs for each delay tap.
  • Bad Points: expensive? i would say its worth it.
  • Price Paid: US$0.00
  • Purchased At:
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  • Submitted by maarten from Twello (64 points) on Apr 15, 2002
  • The akai is a delay pedal with loop function. Its easy to use. All functions for a cool looping device are here, but i resold mine within 2 days cuz the low frequenty play back is very poor!
  • Good Points: its a looping device, it can overdub and is very easy to use.
  • Bad Points: Bad recording quality, esspecialy for the ultra low frequenties. Must be desinged for guitar only. looping time is too short. Try Boss RC-20 its much better
  • Price Paid: US$200.00
  • Purchased At: internet
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  • Submitted by stk from melbourne (8 points) on Nov 28, 2001
  • The Headrush is a combo delay / loop recorder with up to 28s of dly. In standard delay mode the HR behaves / sounds like most any other dig dly - tap tempo is useful, and the Hf Damp does a good job of warming up the sound by rolling off the higher freq. One thing I don't like is that adjusting the dly time does not result in the delayed audio slowing down / speeding up, as with some other delays (Boss DD3). The tape echo simulation is adequate - it doesn't stand up to a Space Echo, but beats lugging around a big heavy box. I haven't had a chance to try out the 4 separate outputs. The real power of the HR is the loop recording mode, offering a total recording time of some 28s. In overdub mode, this shrinks to about 15 seconds, but an infinite amount of overdubs are possible, allowing you to build many-layered textures. After the initial confusion of the 2 button system (click right to begin recording, click left to stop recording / begin looping, click right again to overdub) the controls are very straightforward. Overall, the HR is worth getting for the Looping / overdubbing features alone. While lacking a few features, its damn fine for the price.
  • Good Points: LOTS of delay time.
  • Bad Points:
  • Price Paid: US$200.00
  • Purchased At:
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  • Submitted by Nick from United Kingdom (14 points) on Sep 18, 2001
  • For home use the looping function is awesome. Start with an initial loop, then just overdub as many times as you want, or simply play over the top. I'm not an expert on analog delay, but the modelled tape echo on this sounds pretty fantastic. I haven't heard the Line 6, but I've heard mixed reports, and this is a lot cheaper. I haven't yet found a use for the digital delay, though i'm told it's as good as any - to be honest it's just not my thing. two stomps - in delay mode one is tap-tempo and one is on/off. There are countless delay options - feedback, HF damp, time, head gap (there are four simulated tape heads) and ratio - giving you infinite tape echo possibilities. In loop mode the right one acts as a "record" button, the left as a "save" button. Tap the right button to begin recording, tap the right to save and loop. then tap the left again to start overdubbing, and the right after that to save the overdub. Tapping the left button twice returns you to your original loop.
  • Good Points: The looping function is very useful and VERY fun. The tape echo simulator is very, very good, and very versatile.
  • Bad Points: One of the switches got stuck, but i gave it a good stomp and it seemed to fix itself - it could do with a nice heavy metal enclosure, but that's just a matter of aesthetics.
  • Price Paid: US$170.00
  • Purchased At: Turnkey, London, UK
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