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
April 12, 2010 @ 8:06 am
This might be the first digital synthesizer with the capability of driving rom-samples (not just simple, digital waveforms like the D-50) through a resonant (unlike the M1), digital filter.
March 1, 2010 @ 10:58 am
Just bought one and a friend said "its crap". I sat down and played around.....the realistic preset sounds are not very usable but the synthetic preset are good. Then I got a 3,5" Disk from a german sound patch company and I was blown away...my K4 makes the greatest electronic sounds. I started to program own sounds....the double mode allows to switch 2 Osc in serial to achieve nasty fat sounds. The best 90 Euro I spent for music gear. Dont listen to m*r*ns which say that this synth [beep] s. It does not....if you program sounds yourself or use great sound patches from 3rd party...you will be astonished. ROM Version Update 1.4 is needed....helps to speed up the OS and lower distortions in doube mode pataches.
February 1, 2010 @ 5:33 am
I owned an Kawai k4 since the 1990s, time has taken its toll on this unique synth, the keys are beginning to break and the volume pot conks out sometimes....i try to use it as little as possible these days.

in its heyday however it was my number *1* synth, it made the most beautiful strings sounds i had ever heard and are still one my favourite...and it was sooooo loud too!

Nowdays I've moved on to VSTs and proper ProTools, but I still use my limited Kawai K4 for all my strings and I don't think that will change - listen for the "Hammer On!" Patch for analog goodness in a digital synth.

if u own a kawai k4 dont sell it, keep it, and if you see one on Ebay for under a 150 grab it, dont pay anymore than that though because these synths are aging badly and will probably be totally unusable before the current decade is out.

an amazing relic from an era long past.
January 10, 2010 @ 6:04 pm
K4... Bought one brand new. My favorite synth of the late 80s/early 90s. It did it all-beautiful pads, brass, metallic sounds, some drum kits (a little weak), and nice d50ish sounds. Plus the keyboard had a nice feel if you were raised on synths. I am going to buy another one of these-the only reason I sold it was I got REALLY broke in grad school. Great synth!!!!
December 25, 2009 @ 9:49 am
Hello Bazi in kawaius. com there is a schematic of kawai k4. You need to register like a technician.
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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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