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.

Related forum topics


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
Larry Fowler
March 22, 2011 @ 5:42 pm
I purchased a used K1 because I wanted to learn to play this summer. The "friend" that sold it to me didn't have the ac cord, so I ordered it. it came yeseterday. Everything lit up but no sound. Do I need something else tomake this work like speakers or an amp or one of these cards i am reading about? I just downloaded the manual, but it dosent really help. Oh yeah, my friend "former co-worker" can't be reached. I appreciate any help I can get
February 27, 2011 @ 5:42 pm
Never Tried the Keyboard i've got the K1r. funny I have a K3 too and the keyboard is very good on that. Mine has been in a rack all its life and mostly played by a sequencer. Not used it for years or any of the other hardware gear I have. its too easy to use the virtual stuff on the computer even if its not as good as having all the hardware actually there in my opinion.
January 6, 2011 @ 2:37 am
Baron: I assume you mean earlier last year. ;) You should have gotten a K1m and used your own keyboard of choice with it. I just got one in and will be putting it through its paces tomorrow. I love new toys. Especially a tabletop synth with a joystick built in. They need a picture of the K1m here. I'll have to see where I can upload one.
Baron von Case
January 3, 2011 @ 4:28 am
I briefly had my hands on a K1 earlier this year which I got for $89 used (obviously). It was an amazing experience for an '80 nerd like myself going through all the presets. This thing is definitely capable of some inspiring sounds (see "Kawai K1 synthesizer 80th, Sound - Demo" on YouTube).

Sadly, the key action was spongey. A little too weighted & not rebounding quickly enough. I returned it (but should've been paid for how well I cleaned the thing). It's definitely keeping someone who's less of a stickler for key action happy.

It's pretty much a lower quality M1 with a DX11's build.
December 29, 2010 @ 9:42 pm
Back in the 90s I owned two K1s and a K4 on a 3 tier stand. They all were fantasic-all I needed...was doing Dream Theater , Yes , Van Halen ,Supertramp, mostly progressive stuff. It was all there even for standard sounds. Wish I still had that live performance setup to this day.Kawais are great but you have to do your homework ! Its all there though for the editing. You can make it all happen, even with the bottom of the line K1...
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.32 (942 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
  • Images from

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.