Kawai K5000

Kawai K5000S Image

The K5000 was Kawai's top of the line music workstation digital synthesizer when it was released back in 1996. It's a bold and elegantly designed synth with a large LCD display, realtime controls and incredible sounds! The look and functionality is rivals the competition from the time...the Korg Trinity and Kurzweil K2500.

Programming sounds with the K5000 can be a breeze (once you learn how) although it has over 1,000 parameters per patch! That's plenty to play with. It combines additive synthesis and PCM sampled waveforms for you to layer and combine to design a whole range of sounds. Plenty of LFO modulation, filters and envelope controls allow you to shape and morph your sounds further. On-board multi-effects add the final touch of life to your sounds.

Once you've created some sounds, there's the on-board sequencer (K5000W only) for creating songs or loading Standard Midi File sequences (via disk-drive). It has a 40,000 note capacity and 40 tracks. Real-time record and step-edit modes are available and the sequencer is pretty straight forward.

The K5000S (pictured above) adds 12 dedicated knobs for hands-on control of filter, LFO and envelope parameters. There are 4 user-definable knobs and 2 assignable switches. The K5000S also has a 40-pattern arpeggiator on-board with 8 user-definable patterns too! K5000's have been used by Kraftwerk.

Kawai K5000-Rack Image

In 1997 a rack-module version of the K5000 was released. The rack version shipped with Kawai's more stable OS 3.0 software. The latest is 4.03 and is free to upgrade via download from Kawai. The rack offers all the same power and flexibility as its keyboard counterparts. To get a more hands-on-knobs control of the K5000 (like the K5000S) there is a Knobs Macro box. But other controllers such as Encore Knobby or Keyfax Phatboy can also do the trick.

Lookup Kawai K5000 Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Kawai K5000? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

63 Visitor comments
February 6, 2013 @ 11:17 pm
I used to have a K5000 S. I got it because it was very cheap back in 1998, about $500. It was beyond me. I had some other synths like a K2500RS, Nord Lead, a few Rolands. I had gear overload and the K5000 S had me and my friends scratching our head because it was beyond us, the sound was way too nice, clean, way too many parameters, the navigation was strange. I sold it because I was not spending as much time as it needed. But I can say it an awesome machine, way better than the Kurzweil K2500RS I had.
December 21, 2012 @ 5:29 am
One of the best synths ever made. If you want quick and easy editing you should go for a sample player and not for a K5000. It has tons of parameters so it takes tons of time but it is not hard. Love it.
November 17, 2012 @ 5:28 pm
I am only just now listening to Kawai keyboards on Youtube. I have to say that Kawai products were very underrated. I don't even know anyone who ever owned a Kawai. It's always "The Big 3" Korg, Roland & Yamaha) that have dominated the industry. When I was a kid back in the 80's, my friends & I had a Honda ATCs. At the places we rode you'd always see Honda, Yamaha Suzuki & Kawasaki. Every once in awhile some dude would pull up on a Husqvarna dirt-bike. That's what kind of Kawai reminds me of. I'm looking at 2 K5000 now on ebay for $600 & $750 (but it now) & thinking about making a bid.
November 7, 2012 @ 10:49 am
Although these synths are quite old now and at the point where many are suffering backlight failures, it is really really easy to get hold of compatible replacement LCDs from ebay/electronics suppliers and also there are usb flash stick/floppy drive emulators so you don't have to worry about fragile floppy disks any more either. If you can get your hands on one of these, with very little work you can update it and get it going again good as new. Just look for Toshiba T6963 compatible, 240x64 screens and LED is available instead of CCFL backlighting.
October 11, 2012 @ 4:05 am
got one off ebay some weeks ago.
so far I can state that the thing represents a very interesting addition to my (mainly) analogue set-up. very complex and subtle. think of it as a big oberheim on acid. good value too.
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Rated 4.2 (556 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 32 voices
  • Oscillators - Digital Additive Synthesis plus PCM samples; Harmonics: 64 per source; Waveforms: 689 (123 synth, 341 GM, 225 drums). Note: only K5000W features GM sounds
  • Effects - 4 effects algorithms with 32 different effects
  • Filter - 128-band formant filter, 24dB/oct low-pass and high-pass
  • LFO - 2 (one for formant filter, one can be freely routed to other destinations)
  • VCA - 1 ASDR per part, with key scale and velocity
  • Arpeg/Seq - Sequencer: 40 tracks, 40,000 note capacity (K5000W only)
    Arpeggiator: 40 patterns, 8 user (K5000S and K5000R only)
  • Keyboard - 61 Keys with velocity and aftertouch
  • Memory - 200 patches, 64 performances
  • Control - MIDI (K5000S, K5000R: 4-part multi-timbral; K5000W: 32-part multi-timbral)
  • Date Produced - 1996

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