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.

Check Kawai K5000 Prices on eBay

The link above will take you to a 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.

60 Visitor comments
December 28, 2009 @ 2:48 pm
Like I said, take your time to explore it, this is a jewell ignored or unknown for the grand mass.
For more resources, visit too.
December 16, 2009 @ 4:42 pm
Added one of these to my collection this year. Haven't really got my head into the programming side as of yet. I've got the S model (the one with extra knobs!) and that makes tweeking the currently loaded patches a tad easier. Quality build and keyboard. The sounds are pretty impressive and can be complex with all manner of things tinkly firing off all over the place. Its a pity it didn't seem to take off as Kawai created a true beast of a machine here.
I doubt I'll ever really get into the programming - way too busy playing the thing, but If you come across one try it maybe buy it! Mine was minter at £300 odds.
Neven Dayvid
October 25, 2009 @ 9:32 pm
Absolutely agree! For me, the best digital synth since the DX7. And the hardware, knobs, finish, keyboard are among the best.
A joy to behold, a joy to play and a joy to.... well let´s just say a fascinating challenge to program.
October 11, 2009 @ 4:30 am
The k5000s is one of the most exquisite synthesizers that can be found in the place, totally different to anything known. is undoubtedly the masterpiece of Kawai, I purchased it six months ago after a long search to find one in perfect condition, I have over 10 synthesizers specially selected to achieve the most formidable combinations of sound and functions that you could imagine, between modern and vintage, and is undoubtedly one of my favorites, and a key to everyone looking for different sounds.
February 12, 2009 @ 1:43 pm
The K5000s is one of my two favourite synths (the other is the Andromeda). IMO it's at it's best when you let it do it's own thing... Let it do sounds that you can't find anywhere else and you won't go far wrong.

For those who are interested, I've found a link to a replica memory expansion... http://www.marjorie.de/kawai/kawai20.htm
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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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