Kawai K1ii

Kawai K1II Image

The K1ii was the first major update to Kawai's popular K1 digital PCM-waveform synthesizers. The K1ii has the same synthesis architecture as the original K1. There are 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. They are capable of very good acoustic recreation, excellent unique synth sounds, or at times completely noisy walls of complex sound.

Kawai K1ii-rack Image

The new and improved K1ii added on-board reverb effects and better drum sounds to the original K1. The multitimbrality is up to 8 parts, which is great for sequencing in the studio since you can have (up to 8) multiple patches playing simultaneously. The K1ii is also available in a rackmount module, known as the K1iir. The rack version is identical to the keyboard version except for the effects. The K1iir has no effects processor built-in as does the keyboard version.

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21 Visitor comments
September 26, 2011 @ 4:26 am
Lame! Not the synth. That's pretty good. But they just recycled the K1 video. Is there no showcase for the K1 II with its reverb and better drums? Too lazy to look, were we, chappies? Pfah, what a pough.

Well, I found a simply stunning video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdx8aFv6Vyk. The musician used an MS-DOS sequencer and all sounds came from the K1 II. All the reverb and new percussion you could want. Really marvelous. Come on, SysOp. Swap out that tired old video link for this one. There's a good chap.
January 20, 2011 @ 2:41 am
I have always used it as a master keyboard. I think is pretty descent (at least for my needs) and definitely best value for money if you buy it today. I stack some older hardware to use as external sound sources (normaly I use VSTs). I knew that K1 was an 8-bit synth, so outdated even compared to some other h/w synths I use, but when I plugged its audio out in my patchbay to play with its sounds I was amazed how good it sounded considering. I had totally forgotten. What is indisputable though, I believe is its construction. KAWAI did a great job on that area for sure!
December 30, 2010 @ 5:59 pm
I had the k1m originally that I bought at goodwill for $5 because it was untested and didn't have the ac adapter. I got it home, it worked, and I loved it. Then I picked up a K1 ii from CL for $50 with an anvil case and really love it. The keyboard is top notch and has beem my primary midi controller ever since. I use the sounds on the synth itself allot as well. It's well made, looks cool, and for very little money is an awesome piece of gear
October 8, 2010 @ 8:48 am
Thank you for that information. have you worked with that parameter in particular, either through midi or through checking if that "feature" is implemented on the synth? Specially on this model?
The manual refers to the parameters which are editable by the user on each patch, this doesnt mean the equipment's software / operative system does not implement that parameter from another one. That is actually something very common regarding this particular parameter, in which the paramater's value is copied from the velocity touch value, so the way the sound acts when we release the keys is influenced by the way we touched the keys in the first place.
And a synth doesnt really need to be expensive in order to implement that.
The complexity arrives when the value of a key's "release velocity" influences further keys parameters, as in Oberheim Matrix, for example.
Anyway, this is not really of much importance in my opinion :)
October 3, 2010 @ 7:24 pm
No, "release velocity" is feature found from some of those better keyboards. Pretty rare, though.
Especially in synths at this price tag.

Only few of the best keys support release velocity, there is no even point to think that this could have it.
Aftertouch is allready big plus as not all boards have even that.
And then there is forever going topic about initial action and keyboard feel.
That's matter of taste and there is no single keyboard in this world thats action everybody would like... .. .
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Rated 3.41 (218 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
  • Date Produced - 1989
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Joseph Baksay, found at Synth Site.

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