Kurzweil K2000

Kurzweil K2000 Image

The K2000 uses V.A.S.T. (Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology) which allows you to take any multi-sample, noise or waveform and process it using just about any synthesis technique. The source of these multi-samples are from the 8MB of ROM which hold tons of authentic and superb quality samples. The internal processing is 32-bit with 18-bit DACs. The K2000 uses 31 sound-shaping algorithms to provide a variety of resonant filters, EQs, continuous panning, amplitude modulation, crossfade, distortion, digital wrap, waveshaper, pulse width modulation, high frequency enhancement, low frequency oscillators, hard sync oscillators and mixing oscillators, all with real-time MIDI control.

It's a beautiful synth with an elegant and organized layout and very high quality pitch and mod wheels! Not to mention a 61-note velocity & aftertouch sensitive keyboard with a quality feel and response to playing. The K2000s adds a quality sampler with standard 2MB RAM that can be expanded to 64MB. Sample in stereo or mono, via analog or digital inputs and you have all the sample edit functions you'll need to create some of your own sounds. Use the built-in 3.5" disk drive or connect an external drive to the SCSI port for limitless sample storage (an internal SCSI connection also allows for a hard disk drive inside).


Other professional features include stereo multi-effects capable of four simultaneous effects including reverb, chorus, delay, multi-tap delay, flange, rotary simulation and more. Up to six polyphonic audio outputs. There's also the 32-Track sequencer, fully editable, with features like 768 ppq resolution and nondestructive track editing and groove quantizing.

The K2000rs (pictured below) is the rack-mount version of the K2000s. Offering all of the same great sounds, power and features as the keyboard version. The K2000's keyboard is excellent and feels great to play, but if you don't need the extra keys the 3-space rack-module is an excellent instrument. The K2000's have been used by Robert Miles, Pink Floyd, Jean Michel Jarre, Depeche Mode, Hardfloor, Tori Amos, Stevie Wonder, Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran), Bon Harris (Nitzer Ebb), Front Line Assembly, KMFDM, LTJ Bukem, Nine Inch Nails, Massive Attack, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Laurent Garnier, and Luther Vandross.

Kurzweil K2000RS Image

Upgrades include the Orchestral Expansion Board (8 Mb) and Contemporary Expansion Board (8 Mb). A full 16-bit sampler with analog/digital sampling options (SMP-K) and AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital I/O ports. The 2MB sampler RAM is expandable to 64 MB for upwards of 19 minutes of sampling time. Sequencer's capacity is expandable from 30,000 events to 190,000. The operating systems can easily be upgraded too.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Kurzweil K2000? 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.

76 Visitor comments
September 16, 2008 @ 4:24 pm
I just ordered a K2Vx (which is an upgraded K2000 using the same exact V.A.S.T. engine but with more samples).

I played around with a K2000 for a few days at a local music store. It is an amazing synth and beats most current synths hands down. Also don't be fooled by the 24 voice polyphony, the K2000 series can play a sample PLUS up to 3 additional oscillators, or any of the 32 V.A.S.T. algorithms. Think of the possiblities! V.A.S.T. allows you to create any sound you can imagine!

If there were a scale, I would rate this synth a 5 out of 5.
September 12, 2008 @ 11:01 pm
As a sampler, the k2000 is excellent. It is still supported on the company's website, there are still available parts (hard drives, etc), and there are many dedicated users who offer help online. As for VAST, it is unique and powerful, with a plethora of available possibilities. The factory presets leave you wanting more, but they are certainly on the better side. Tweaking or replacing them is enjoyable. There's something about the k2000 that lets you pull out some analog-ish and thicker sounds (if willing). The effects are great, unfortunately you can't smother your sounds with too many and there could be a more daring selection. It's construction while plastic, is heavy duty, and I would feel much better traveling with it, than say, a Triton. It is well designed (think of the battery compartment!) If you were to really dig deep into the k2000 today, utilizing its sampling features, you would have a powerful tool.
September 8, 2008 @ 7:10 pm
I'll defend it. It's a fabulous machine for it's age, I had one for many years thru 3 different bands (from industrial hardcore to head music) and it's done the job quite well (live sequences with a drummer), and I've since moved on to a K2500 due to lack of voices on the K2000 series (24 is pretty limiting when doing in depth sequences). Carrying all my work to the K25 series was a real plus, and all along the customer service and technical support ALWAYS responds with help (whether it be how to do something, etc.). The sounds are very nice when you get some CD-ROMs from Sweetwater or something like that, there's a wide variety of styles. It's a standard in studios of yesteryear including Pink Floyd and Nine Inch Nails. A high quality machine.
September 5, 2008 @ 12:40 am
I've owned one of these for 10 years and I have to say if you spend some time with it the editing is really easy and you can pull out some really non digital sounds out of it. The Pianos all need to be tweaked and the organ presets should be deleted, but if you look around at the amount of stuff out there for this synth it's not a supported statement to say it's "too digital". I'm not trying to defend it's presets There's nothing to love about those. The fact that you can make this synth whatever you want it to be is main reason I love this keyboard.
All the parameters are there you just have to get in there and MAKE it sound the way you want it to.

Hell, I don't know... I think I'm biased against Yamahas new stuff..I don't generally like the synths they have come out with as of late. Until I played the AN1x that is.
Beauty is always in the ear of the beholder. I don't hold anyones feet to the fire about hating a piece of equipment.
August 31, 2008 @ 2:30 pm
Oneki, you should try plugging some external FX to your Kurz to add some color. It worked for me, at least.
It's a shame not to take advantage of such a beautiful and elegant synthesis implementation
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Rated 4.1 (784 Votes)

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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 - 24 Voices
  • Oscillators - Digital V.A.S.T synthesis technology; 8MB ROM Samples (200 sound programs) expandable to 24MB
  • Effects - stereo multi-effects capable of four simultaneous effects including reverb, chorus, delay, multi-tap delay, flange, rotary simulation and more
  • Filter - Digital Filters
  • Sampler - 2 MB Sample RAM, expandable to 64 MB
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (w/ velocity & aftertouch)
  • Memory - 200 patches, 100 set-ups; SCSI port
  • Control - MIDI (16 parts)
  • Date Produced - 1991
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