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.

56 Visitor comments
July 14, 2009 @ 11:48 pm
To Bill: I believe that the factory internal sounds need to be reloaded via a data card in the front slot or via MIDI. If you need the factory sounds....or any others for the K1...just email me at marc.anglin@yahoo.com. I have every one of the Kawai Factory RAM cards, plus a dozen or so sets of banks from aftermarket support comapnies like Valhalla. Also, check the Web as there are Kawai support sites that have downloads of the factory presets and multiple other banks of sounds.
July 13, 2009 @ 10:44 am
The K1's 'Arrangement' patch was famously used in LFO by LFO.
May 15, 2009 @ 3:42 pm
Nice even if you use it just as a controller. The sounds are interestingly digital, a shame it has no filter, but you can get some really nice weedling 80s digital lead sounds out of it with perseverance.
April 21, 2009 @ 10:20 pm
i have the k1r...perfect for backing FM synthesis...thin and cheesy sounds that are like no other
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.
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Rated 4.32 (938 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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