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
March 14, 2012 @ 12:18 am
There are few synths I've had as long as this because I really wanted them. Usually I get rid of what isn't useful pretty quick. I LOVE this synth. The sound is like a cross between a Virus and a Kurzweil in depth and resolution. It doesn't do acoustic sounds. It's a pure synth and relies mostly on synthesis not sampling. It utilizes PCM waves in the attacks much like an old D50. This polishes up alot of the sounds but isn't overly neccessary. Organs, bells and basses are nice. It also does some really great funky, scratchy, plunky sounds. Some of the EP's are great. The key action rules!
January 11, 2012 @ 1:49 pm
I bought the K5000S about 2 years ago and this synth was still a riddle for me. I could change the presets a bit but I couldn't build a good sound from scratch. Last week I red a post in a forum, where someone wrote about the "Wizoo Introducion to Additive Synthesis, Advanced Sound Design, Tips and Tricks" and this book just blow my brain! After reading the "user manual" for about 50 times, now I can build up a desired sound just in a few miinutes. Just check out this site for PDF-Download: http://www.deepsonic.ch/deep/manuals/kawai_k5000_wizoo_1_of_2.pdf
November 29, 2011 @ 11:13 am
K5000s For SALE - Mint condition.
All manuals and original box included.
I am a drummer and bought this brand new, used it a few times for recording.
It is like new!!
November 9, 2011 @ 5:52 am
About 6 months ago,Guitar Center's website had a K5000S for $400 in their Manhattan store so I ran to the bank which was only 100 feet away & grabbed my cash.

When I entered the store and went downstairs to the buy it...my bottom lip dropped.

To my stark amazement,they had actually lowered the price just for that day to $300 with all the disks & updates but no manual.

It had a few nicks on the dark blue plastic panels but with a good cleaning the unit looks like it just came out of the box.

Anyway I'm going to paint the panel sections and main knob bright yellow orange.
November 2, 2011 @ 2:05 pm
A fellow in Germany is or will be making new memory expansion cards for the K5000. He is working on design and with the blessing of Kawai De. The web page is http://www.marjorie.de/kawai/kawai20.htm along with a lot of other interesting info and his rock band (named after a Fraggle Rock character, if my ponsy German is to be trusted!) Send him an inquiry. The more people who want to order, the better chance of him actually doing it! Additive fiends unite!
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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
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from
    and LoungeLizard via Synth Site.

    Thanks to Jesse Farmer for providing some information.

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