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
March 2, 2010 @ 3:53 pm
Manuals for these, including the Wave definitions and MIDI Data Format are currently still available at:

February 28, 2010 @ 8:46 am
A surprisingly useful synth if a little fiddly to programme, definitely worth the effort though as it is great for textures and background stuff. Its also great for strings and with a bit of programming you can get some very PPG WAVE style pads and at a fraction of the cost of a PPG, I just wish it had a filter and a few realtime controls!
February 6, 2010 @ 11:05 am
K1 user group:
January 10, 2010 @ 6:06 pm
Picked up a k1 module on ebay-it was dirt cheap. I'm not much of a programmer, so the person who had it before has a lot of sound effects programmed. Not so useful for me. The progamming does not seem intuitive. It's noisey too-kind of MT-32ish.
January 8, 2010 @ 3:30 pm
Its well built. I needed a Midi key controller but was not happy with new Midi Controllers like CME, M-Audio or Edirol 61 key controller. Just bought a K1 mk2 from an online auction....Wow...it has Aftertouch, initial touch, velocity mulitmode and you even can split. For 140 bucks it was well spent....the Kawai K1II is great....and nice addition....it can produce nice synth sounds with rough edge (8bit). I am happy...with this 20 yo gem!
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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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