Synth Site: Kawai: K5 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.4 out of 5
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Martin Tauchen a part-time user from Weischwurschtborder writes:
From todays Spotlight the K5 seems to be a very sick patient.But let us go back in time. In 1987 Kawai offered for a low price the Fouriersynthesis to a fair price,with a lot of gimmicks inside.At this time the "Blitzkrieg" of the ROMplers started.(Korg M1/Roland U110..etc..) Real synthesis was not asked for,all wanted "natural" sounds.The DX heaven went also to decay.

The K5/K5m was-and is-still great.No better synth outside,for a low price with such superb additive synthesis.Only the rebirth of K5000 can top it. K5 does not offer a HIFI sound.It has its limitations in sound,wich make it at least unique.

A thin sound ? Not at all ! Weak in the bass ? Of course.Noise to Sound ratio is in Singlemode high(depends on how many harmonics you use). In 15thMultitimbral Mode/the beast gets alive,then the THD is an accepptable relation.A noise gate can help to eliminate the basical noise. The K5 is the optimum for Midiguitarists.A perfect beast in Multimode. The DCF controled by realtime(over EV5) gives you a fine WahWah to your feet. The Multimode lets you stack sveral sounds by Volume. Use the K5 as "harmonic" adder(expander) to your guitarsound.

The K5 is maybe not the highly wished Synth for the keyboarder,but it can be the perfect beast for a Midi-guitarist.

Negative aspects:The low quality of the entry buttons.After some time they will give up the function.Like in K1/K4 and XD5.

Marty

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Sunday-Oct-01-2000 at 14:30
alex a hobbyist user from Berlin writes:
I bought a K5 in 1988 and still have it. The sounds are still unique and what was really good at that time were its MIDI-capabilities and its big backlit LCD. Unfortunatelly it has low-fidelity audio outputs. I was quite surprised that there is actually a free K5 software editor for Powermacs on the internet, programmed by John Williams.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Jul-02-2000 at 18:17
il_budha a hobbyist user from The Netherlands writes:
This was my first digital synth. I loved its remote and cold look, the display (no backlight, alas) and its choir-preset.

Now, years later, I wouldn't mind adding the module to my rack. The programming on it is deep, although there's lots of work to be done, and with the elusive software (Atari I think), you can import single-cycle samples into it as additive waves, which is great for experimental stuff.

If I run into the module for $200, I'm probably taking it home.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Apr-14-2000 at 07:30
Rene Armenta a part-timer user from USA writes:
I've had one a few years now. It's sooo unique. Not for the faint-of-heart if you wish to do your own programming. Takes a decent knowledge of what ADDITIVE Sythesis is about before knowing what you're doing. It has the best BELL and CLANGorous sounds out of digital. With all the harmonics you can definately get some digital-ethereal pads going. And it's pretty intuitve as a multi-timbral synth. I don't use it alot, but I WILL NEVER SELL IT. I'm a wee bit of a collector and there is nothing else like it, especially at the price. range

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Nov-05-1999 at 21:35
Nick Varley a part-timer user from UK writes:
I bought a K5 when they came out years ago. I still use it and have programed some cool sounds. This however does require some patience. Compared with more modern sample-based synths it could be described as thin, but it remains useful nevertheless. It proved very reliable on the road too as my master keyboard driving several modules.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-May-16-1999 at 01:40
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