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songboy 08/15/2008

Akai Professional Head Rush : songboy's user review


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This thing has two types of delay (digital delay and a tape echo simulator)with tap tempo and doubles as a phrase sampler. This is a digital effect.
There is no editing except with the knobs and buttons on the device. As for connections, its all 1/4". There is one in, and five out. It is not set up to be rackmounted.


It did not take me long to figure this guy out, but I did reference the manual to be sure of everythings purpose. Some of the labeling didn't make sense at first, like "time coarse". I had never seen that on a delay pedal, but it really is just means the delay time. The nice thing is that they label every knob for each of its purpose in the delay mode you selected (normal delay is in red, tape echo is in blue). The sampling section did throw me a little, but once you figure it out, its not to bad.
-Start recording by hitting the right switch.
-Stop recording and start looping the phrase by hitting the left switch.
-To overdub, hit the right switch again.
-And to stop playback, hit the left again.
May sound confusing, and it does screw me up sometimes. In reality, I rarely use this section of the pedal.
As for editing, the delay side, its 6 knobs and 1 switch, pretty easy. I explained the loop side above.
The manual will guide you through most if not all your questions.


I use the normal delay the most and I love it. Nice and clear delay. It sounds great and with the tap tempo, its all I could ask for. I don't use the tape echo as often, but it sounds good also. They did a good job capturing the analog feel. The loop function i use only when I am practicing and come up with a quick idea. I have a roland rc-50 for all my live looping needs. I use this as the last effect in my Rhodes Piano/guitar effect chain. The normal delay is what I prefer.
My biggest complaint is you cannot use the delay feature when you use the looping side. Its my only delay pedal in my chain so If you wanted to loop at all, no delay. That, in my opinion, is a dumb move by akai. How awesome if it was always a delay pedal that you could loop with. I hope they changed that in the E2 version.


I have been using this pedal for 6 months. The best thing for me is the built in tap tempo feature. Every digital delay pedal should have one. I own a Boss dd5. This thing sounds way better, and I got mine for only $100. They usually go around $125, which is still not bad. In the end, I am saving up for Diamonds Memory lane analog delay with tap tempo, which is probably the greatest delay pedal of all time. Its just like $500, so I will happily hang on to my Headrush....even when I do get the Diamond. Because most people like myself can't afford $500 on a delay pedal, I would totally buy this again.