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
December 26, 2010 @ 2:52 pm
to all folks complaining about cheesy presets - did you try to program your own? in no time (15 minutes) i got the most lush synth pads available under 100 EUR :-) - the recipe is simple - program a single patch (you have 4 generators available), then go to "multi" mode and layer this single patch triple, with some detuning applied... and voila. you have Matrix6 sound for nothing. try it, if you don't believe me. :-D
November 27, 2010 @ 8:42 pm
The best thing about this is its usefulness as a budget 61 key controller. Its sturdy and roadworthy and the keyboard feels good.
The sounds: MULTI mode is the most useful, you get only 4 voices but the sounds are big enough to 'throw in the mix' solo , whatever and the Polysynth patch (JUMP!) is OK. I use K1 goes LA as a blending tone for piano and M1 orchestral. Smooth combination. K1 with M1 and/or Korg DW8000 is a very smooth, big sound.
November 17, 2010 @ 3:48 pm
I have one and I think it sounds bad. But I think m1s sound pretty bad too. the presets are bad in a cold 80s way. it is capable of bizarre cold scary sounds like 'visitors' and 'terminator' and some bizarre noizy metalic stuff with some editing. the ringmod feature is the only cool thing about it. But it just sounds cold no matter what - it needs filters.
November 10, 2010 @ 10:25 am
How does one change the Lithium battery? Is it easy or does it require soldering?
October 12, 2010 @ 5:32 pm
With some external fx, you can do some CS-80-like sounds as well on the K1.

What do you think about this?

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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
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