Kawai K1

Kawai K1 Image

The K1 is one of Kawai's most economic digital synthesizers in the K-series. The K1 has 256 digital samples of waveforms, 50 of which are from acoustic instruments. You combine up to four wave shapes to create very new and unique sounds. The K1 is capable of very good acoustic recreation, excellent unique synth sounds or at times, completely noisy walls of complex sound.

Kawai K1-rack Image

The K1 comes in many options: the K1m module/desktop version and the rackmount K1r (pictured above). It makes a great entry-level or back-up synth. Budget digital D-50-like synthesis doesn't get much better than this! It is used by Cirrus and Lab-4.

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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 K1? 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.

57 Visitor comments
March 7, 2009 @ 2:28 pm
I agree, noise is a problem, but will not be that disturbing in the overall mix. Given that you get the K1r for around 80 Euros today, this one is a very nice synth. Even some of the preset sounds are very good, eg stringpad, kickbass, visitors (!). Fans of german rock band BAP should listen to the album"Da Capo", where nearly all synth sounds are presets from the K1. With some programming effort, you will get cools sounds out of it that fit good in the mix with other synths.
September 1, 2008 @ 9:43 pm
The K1 has a lot of potential for sounding as old as it is. That being said, it also is capable of further possibilities. The sample set is rough and grainy, but that could just be your bag. When played, it also creates a lot of additional noise, especially when stacking sounds. It's basic waveform (sine, triangle, etc) sounds aren't bad, and it's percussion and metallic sounds could fit well into a brash, perhaps industrial setting. This synthesizer can really benefit from additional synth/effect processing. It may not be highly desired today, but worth stumbling upon.
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Rated 4.32 (945 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 - 16 voices
  • Oscillators - 256 PCM waveforms (4 per sound)
  • LFO - Standard LFO
  • Filter - No filter!
  • VCA - Standard ADSR
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (velocity & aftertouch)
  • Memory - 64 single-patches or 32 combo-patches
  • Control - MIDI (8-part multitimbral)
  • Date Produced - 1988
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