Kawai K4

Kawai K4 Image

The K4 from Kawai can be thought of as a warm and fuzzy digital synthesizer. A sample-based digital synth, its sounds are those typically weird industrial type sounds that can still be useful in lo-fi, big-beat and trip hop music styles. The sounds are 16-bit preset PCM samples of acoustic instruments. However, unlike its predecessor the K1, the K4 adds a welcomed digital filter section. This truly makes the K4 more flexible, fun and useful for today's filter tweaking music effects!

Kawai K4r Image

The K4r is the eight output rackmount version which has all the same features except for the effects processor. Both feature 8-part multitimbrality which is great for stacking, splitting and layering sounds. The K4 will give you strange, new and unique sounds with plenty of flexibility and analog-style sound shaping and control at an affordable price. It is used by The Chemical Brothers and ATB.

Lookup Kawai K4 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 K4? 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.

53 Visitor comments
December 13, 2009 @ 11:50 am
I just got one kawai k4, but unfortunately without a volume pot, so I can't hear any sound coming from it, as the volume is on 0. I would like to fit a new pot in there, but I can't seem to find where the wires of the old one went to the circuit board. Can anyone give me some info, or maybe a schematic on what type of pot and where it goes on the circuit? It would be really appreciated, as I really want to repair and play this beautiful piece of gear. Thank you very much!
August 28, 2009 @ 5:56 am
I own one...I find it very useful due to its particular and "metallic" sound.. Highly intuitive programming (somewhat similar to Roland D series). I could create my best synth-bass patch ever! So, in my opinion, exciting for noisy and cutting sounds, as well as reso pads, and so on. Less effective for natural instruments, pianos, organs (i hear a trend to mid-frequency overload...do you ?)
August 19, 2009 @ 4:52 pm
After several decades, I've managed to put together several vintage synths into a small personal studio. My first bet was my everloved Kawai K4, which I still have since 1994 and refuse to let go. I've also bought my gear in rack versions: a Roland JV-1020 module with 4 expansions (classic, tecno, r&b and pianos), a Korg M1R and a Emu ESI-4000 sampler. Boy, do they sound nice! And all connected thru a audio digitalizer via usb port to a computer, add some after effects... Really, no need for those expensive new keyboards and modules after a bit of tweaking.
Cyber Y Music Tech
July 27, 2009 @ 11:18 pm
I love my Kawai K4 Synth and Q80 Sequencer. Had 'em since 1987. There is NOTHING out there like these machines. No KORG/ KARMA/ TRITON/ M3 doo-hickey , no software reproduction can come close to it's otherworldly analog/fm/digital hybrid sound.

By the way, if you want to hear the K4 in ALL it's glory, you need to check out a guy named Louis Haiman. Apparently, his entire first release from 1997 ish was done ENTIRELY on the K4. So check it out here:


Obsolete K4 4Ever!
Marcus The Pianist
June 30, 2009 @ 4:38 pm
This was the first "real Keyboard" I've ever owned. This keyboard was good for some of those deep bass patches as well as some of the fat synth patches. I was 18 when I brought this board. And I had some good times on it!! This board made me famous in the mid 90's in high school. I use to play for a few local up and coming funk bands in D.C. using only this keyboard. Although I have a Roland Fanton-X6, a Korg Triton Extreme, Two Motif ES's and a V-Synth GT...I will never forget this keyboard.
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User Rating

Rated 4.45 (853 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, 8-part multitimbral
  • Oscillators - 16-Bit PCM digital synthesizer
  • Filter - Digital Dynamic Filter
  • Effects - Yes
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with velocity and aftertouch
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1989
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Synthony and

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