Synth Site: Kawai: K1 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.7 out of 5
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Martin Tauchen a part-time user from Germany writes:
The K1 is a typical late 80ths synth.To understand the K1 you must know the history of the K5. The K5 was a masterpiece in Fouriersynthesis in 1987.But it was a commercial flop for Kawai. With the K1 Kawai walked the "fashion" way of synthesis of the late 80ths.So the K1 is another clone of the D50 way of synthesis. Besides the samples and multisamples(wich are few) you find a big library of Waveforms wich were created by Fouriersynthesis,called VM-Tonegenerator and wich are simply Preset/snapshots of the K5. The K1 has one interesing feature.Ringmodulation ! With it,you can make really dirty and weird sounds. Also the LFO in extreme Values can produce unique sounds. Kawai designed this device very well,with a good library of sounds and easy handling. It can sound really special.A try worth. If you find,that a Filter is missing,then choose the K4,the K4 has a Filter and better DACs. But it is missing "Murphy´s Law" sounds.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Dec-08-2002 at 15:06
Tom B a part-time user from NYC writes:
Just got my K1 for 180$. First I thought I will use it just as a midi controller - since it has decent key response, but I see some of you guys are really excited about the sounds. Unfortunately, the previous owner of this keyboard made a mess in the patch memory, and K1 doesn't seem to be very least not a begining-user-friendly. I would really like to make my K1 sound like a keyboard. Can you give me any hints on the menus and other stuff? Is there any command to return to the default patches? Do I have to reinstall the default patches. What about the card slot at the back of the unit. Any cool sounds I can get in? I rate it 4 as the midi stuff works, the keys are fine, but the menu is not intuitive. Manuals, anybody? I'm especially concerned about midi controller sends from this board. Hopefully more than just ctrl 1 - modulation!...any clues here? Thanks! Tom.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Nov-02-2002 at 09:52
Tom Becker a hobbyist user from Arizona writes:
I own a Kawai K1 that has been in the closet gathering dust for several years. A thing or two went out on it and finally the battery went dead. I have never had the opportunity to have it repaired, which is a shame, because basically it is in good shape and was a great synth while it lasted. I was never wild about the keyboard. The keys aren't that smooth and they make too much noise when depressed. But many of the sounds are nice and it was easy to program, which I enjoyed doing very much. Combining the K1 with a Yamaha FM synth for spacier sounds, I achieved some very pleasing musical moments. I particularly liked the string sounds, the pianos, and the flute sounds on the K1. And of course there were many other synthesized sounds that were quite appealing. It didn't have quite the impact of the Roland D10 or Korg M1, also available at that time, but it was much cheaper and a better synth value, at least for my non-performance needs. I understand they are going for almost nothing these days. If the synth works, meaning all the edit functions and everything else, then it is definitely a good board to own. I don't think it is purely a beginner's synth at all, but then again, I am not some flakey musician who spouts all kinds of trendy bs about this or that and simply must have the latest new wrinkle in every little thing. It sounded good and played pretty well and was fun to program. If you coupled it with the Kawai stereo speakers, it really made an impression. I used it with a Fender Bass Amp to reasonably satisfactory effect.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-06-2002 at 06:56
Aphex triplet a part-time user from Devore Heights Ca. USA writes:
It is one of the quirkiest synths i have. I absolutely love it and it is so easy to programme. This to me is the king of detroit techno textures.Some of my best stabs come from this machine. You have to be very creative when programming it though otherwise you will feel let down by pretty much most of the patches available on the market. This synth carves its' own niche in every track I produce. It is an absolutely cheap gem,however,keep in mind this is coming from someone who has a large E-MU Analogue modular system so I do not have a deficiency in sounds.

My only complaint: NO filter! but I guess that is what the Modular system is for! hehe!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Aug-16-2002 at 21:38
Keith Middlemass a hobbyist user from Hawick, Scotland writes:
K1r: Got mine in 1990 boxed with manual £100. My opinion, a poor mans D50. The presets are a mixed bagged. As so often the case you always seem to resort to the same ones in a mix. Best sound, ORCHESTRA. Programming it is more bother than its worth. The 'partials / PCM samples' are pretty limited. Bought sysex sounds instead, which were awefully similar to the presets. Since all my other sizers are more user friendly I never tried to progam it to any degree. Another menu driven module with tiny buttons and a less functions than my TX81z. To be honest I bought it because I could (cheap n nasty) but have never been convinced about its so-called ground breaking features. It is useful though, as a coaster for a canny cup of char! Unimpressed....

posted Tuesday-Aug-13-2002 at 17:25
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