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
March 7, 2012 @ 12:08 pm
The presets are very "late 80's standard rompler stuff" all trying to emulate real instruments basically (as most synths at that time) but start programming and it will sound anything from very soft to pure evil!! I've made some great patches on this machine, maybe it's time to upload a demo.
February 23, 2012 @ 6:56 am
Hi I wanted to share with everyone that great feeling when you open the K1r box for the first time.

I bought one when they first came out, sold it a few years later (to my regret) and re-bought one Christmas 2011 for next to nothing.

I've been able to (almost) put together the entire package in near mint condition. I think I only miss the sticker you got with the thing.

Part 1 - Box and instrument - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCidPmBYrEw
Part 2- Manuals and Waveforms - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYCavnaKlJo
August 20, 2011 @ 4:23 am
I have a K1 keyboard and a K1r I want to transfer the voices from the K1 to the rack, tried the Blok dump but only the patch names have changed not voices, any ideas on how to do this.
August 18, 2011 @ 11:48 am
Why is there no Kawai K-2 synthesizer? There is a K-2 upright piano. No K-2 synth. I don't think the K-1 II counts. Another one of those mysteries, methinks. Has anyone ever seen one? I'm going to have to ask the guys at Kawai tech support.
August 8, 2011 @ 5:57 pm
With 256 source sounds, being able to use 1 to 4 in a performance, yields 4,195,023,360 separate soundscapes before modulation. For such a simple synthesizer, that is more than a lifetime of experimentation. It really sounds much better than one would think. I was surprised when I first started using it. If you just remember that you are after the sound, not the hype, this can do as well as a Motif or other high powered workstation.
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  • 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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