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.

Lookup Kawai K1 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 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
Tim Ponk
August 6, 2014 @ 5:04 pm
My first synth! Back in the day I couldn't afford an M1 I got this little ronky ponky puppy and it fit the bill just fine.
Paul [beep] son
March 17, 2014 @ 3:34 am
A must have Synthesizer.
February 21, 2014 @ 1:21 am
The K1 (I have the K1m desktop version) is a wonderfully gritty little synth with a sound that sits somewhere between late-80s Yamaha FM synths and early-90s romplers. It features a number of PCM samples of real instruments but also over 200 VM waves which are stripped-down waveforms meant to be layered with/thicken the PCMs. It's not a machine for lush pads but perfect for adding texture to a track. With a layer of four patches and by using the joystick, you can make really cool moving soundscapes and the ADSR options give you almost wavetable-ish possibilites. Underrated machine.
November 20, 2013 @ 7:20 pm
Also widely used by LFO....
November 11, 2013 @ 4:24 pm
I've now had 3 of these synths over time, and the K1 is one of my all time favorite synths. I'd like to post some corrections on this site. I've owned the K1m, K1ii and now a regular K1. VSE states that the K1ii had the improvment of 8 part multitimbral, but the regular K1 already has this, as well as velocity sensitivity and aftertouch. The only main difference I have noticed is the fx section. I could be wrong about this, but the regular K1 I know is 8bit, the K1ii may be 12 bit, because it sounds a little less gritty. Either way, both are awesome synths and well worth the street price.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.32 (943 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
  • Resources & Credits
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