Synth Site: Kawai: K1 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.7 out of 5
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neven dayvid a professional user from berlin, germany writes:
very easy to program for a menu operated engine. its breathy and breathing / alive quality is mentioned in many reviews, i would like to add that you can spice up those shimmering pads with some acidic ring-mod. i recommend to replace the joystick - or stick a bigger on it, and use it for performing ANY of the parameters dialled up in the menu - that way, you get more expression beyond the usual partial balance. requires some practice but is fun and helps to get more unusual weird sound fx. i have always loved this synth for its cheesy but deep sounds, much nicer than a mock-realistic yamaha sy-35 or a brassy nasal d-110. its very low-fi sound saves it from coming across kitschy like many s+s synths of that period (or any period for that matter...)

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Apr-08-2005 at 10:31
Sealed writes:
The additive VM waves sound fat and alive, and Ring Modulation and 8bit PCM adds both crude noise and delicate texture - it's still one of the best synth for me.

I uploaded KAWAI K1 sound examples, information and links on my site. Please take a look and tell me what you think.

Deep Synthesis Page

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jan-01-2005 at 04:54
Celestrium72 a part-time user from USA writes:
The Kawai K1 is a cheesy and breathy synth. It has a decent polyphony and a strange parametric format. If you enjoy warm breathy and cheesy sounds and have an external effects processor, then the K1 is for you. If you're into breath and strings and the old analog filter decays, then get a K4. Either way Kawai has spontaneously bumped into the idea that synths should "breath" and I must give them credit for that. Kawai is a strange group, their synth inventions always seem to work around the "mainstream syths" and there are new possibilities that come in their packages. If you have a Kawai with a stuck key(s), clean them; a display light out? Order a new one. There seems to be a ghost in these machines, its you job to unleash it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Feb-29-2004 at 04:38
Luis from usa writes:
i have a kawai k1. a speaker fell on it while playing an outside gig that was a little windy. the speaker crushed the bottom 1/4 of the keyboard but it still plays from about g below middle c. i still use the keyboard. i set it up permanently at home mainly for the piano and the strings and some specialty sounds. i have it set up for practice purposes to avoid having to bring home my gigging keyboards. i still enjoy playing it. it has been a workhorse as far as durabilty. on a side note, if anyone has a k1 that is not working internally but still looks good, i would be happy to buy it for parts to perform a little reconstructive surgery on my always fathful kawai k1. thanks.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-28-2003 at 15:41
Henry Thaler a part-time user from Canada writes:
As many of the reviews indicate, there's something about the Kawai K1 that endears it to most owners. I purchased the K1R new, and still love the intuitive simplicity of tweaking the multi patches as needed.

I'm keyboardist in a DOORS tribute band, and use two bass sounds one octave apart and the higher one detuned in order to get a very punchy bass guitar simulation (I can split the keyboard and modules for the different patches). I also love the way you can designate the different sounds in the multipatch output as L, R, or both. The bass sounds output is L only, so I can use a dedicated bass amp, and also send the DI XLR output to it's own channel in the house PA's. For the remaining sounds in each multipatch, I simply use an organ or electric piano sound to mix both with my KORG X5DR module and selected sounds on my YAMAHA DX7 (with E-Grey Matter installed).

I have purchased a used K1M module, and would like to purchase another K1R as backup if I spot one. A friend had the K1 keyboard, but I found that needed additional tweaking to make the sound outputs consistent, and really prefer the sound modules, especially as the velocity can be controlled by the DX7 Grey Matter. Live, I can switch sounds on the DX7, and midi automatically program changes both modules.

Even so, the K1 is very limited in what it can do well, and I would not consider the K1 keyboard strong enough as a solitary synthesizer. But, as I said, I can't tire of my K1R and K1M, and will continue to use them forever.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-03-2003 at 11:38
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