midiplus AK490 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

85
GEARANK

85 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$69
midiplus AK490 49-Key MIDI Keyboard Controller

Meta Analysis Overview

Our rating of 85/100 is based on analysis of 200+ sources comprised of online reviews and discussions. Under the Pros and Cons headings below you'll find a condensed analysis of what those owners and users have been saying. Feel free to ask questions or add your thoughts in the comments section.

Taiwanese manufacturer Midiplus has surprised the synth community with the AK490.

Featuring a 5-pin DIN MIDI out, the AK490 can be used to control older analog synths in addition to being used with a computer using its USB MIDI connection.

Specifications:

  • Keys: 49 Velocity Sensitive, Synth Action keys
  • Pads: None
  • Controls:Pitch, Mod, Octave
  • Octaves: -4 to +4
  • Bundled Software: None
  • Power: USB bus power
  • Connectivity: 1 x USB Type B, 1 x 5-pin MIDI out, 1 x Sustain Pedal Input
  • Control Hardware Directly: Yes
  • Compatibility: Windows and Mac (Version not Specified0
  • Dimensions: 21.9" x 5.4" x 1.6"
  • Weight: 3 lbs.

Pros
Although there are other MIDI Controllers at this price with a few more features, the AK490 has grown a cult following from analog synth enthusiasts because of the 5-Pin MIDI I/O. One user mentioned that he was able to use an old vintage synth with busted keys by plugging it into the AK490.

Cons
Key action leaves a lot to be desired and is described by users as "cheap" and "mushy".

Overall
At first glance, the AK490 may not offer much. Under the hood, it may seem underwhelming but what makes it great is an often forgotten option at this price-point which is the 5-Pin MIDI I/O. Get it if you want an affordable MIDI Controller for both your software and hardware synths.

Although this was previously on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in these guides:

About the Author

Raphael PulgarRaphael Pulgar

An audio engineer of 20 years who specializes in rock and metal recordings, he also plays guitar and produces original music for his band and other content creators.