Synth Site: Kawai: K5000s: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.7 out of 5
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manaay a hobbyist user from Slovenia writes:
The sounds are not so dark, they could also be fresh. I would sugesst it for ambiental and new age, music with slow tempo and a lot of morphing pads.. I was looking for Ensoniq Fizmo but I end up with K5000s because it sounds more digital and fresh to me.. There is a lot of patches on the net that can be downloaded to K5000s using midi..

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Sep-16-2002 at 08:21
Wizard a part-time user writes:
I took a chance and bought kawai K 5000... excellent synth, it has original sounds like no other. It also covers all kinds of styles & sounds. Sonic quality is wonderful, same standard as korg triton and trinity (I have had both of them and lots of other stuff to compare). Kawai has much better build quality and keyboard than korg synths.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Sep-06-2002 at 11:48
Plastic Pulse a part-time user from Alpha Centauri writes:
I have owned my K5000s for about a year now. I did a lot of research before buying it, and new the pros and cons before I got it. The K5000 can only be found second hand, because it was taken off the market shortly after it was released. Since then it has become a cult item, and hence harder to find. I would imagine the second hand price for this is going to climb up. First of all, it looks really cool, sitting there with that silver metal finish, and all those knobs. It's a great machine for atmospheric and ambient stuff, like Steve Roach or something similar. It does get unique sounds, as everyone claims, which is why I had to have it. I heard that one guy made a patch on it where you held a key down for 30 minutes and the sound just evolves and doesn't repeat. My main complaint is that the interface doesn't really allow you to edit ona large enough scale (in my opinion). There are literally 999 paramters *per layer(!)* that can be adjusted. Imagine fully editing a 6 layer patch, that's about 6,000 parameters you can tweak!!! Yes you can edit sections of parameters at a time, but I can sit and adjust 47 parameters and still have basically the same sound. I have no control over this thing. Even with Soundiver things don't get much easier. But that seems to be part of the appeal, the complexity and depth of programming. It only seems to be 4-part multitimbral (unless I'm wrong), which is limiting to say the least. One more thing, the resonance could have been implemented better, as some have mentioned already.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-26-2002 at 22:45
Matt a professional user from Warrenton, VA writes:
So I've had this thing for about 3 weeks, and because of it I've only gotten 4 hours of sleep per night due to Tweek-and-Edit addiction. Whereas a lot of the synths out there are finished paintings that you can change the tint and shading on...the K5000 allows you to start that painting from ground zero. The K5000 is the color palatte that synth enthusiasts should worship. I am still trying to zone in on what 'additive synthesis' is definition wise, but as far as what it's a miracle. Additive programming allows infinite possiblilties, and the PCM engine on board is also phat.

Bottomline, you get everything with the K5000. It's a monster to program, but go for it. Dive in.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-25-2002 at 17:54
Kraig a part-time user from US writes:
Throw out the old notion that Kawai can build a professional synth! This one will be sought after for a long time! For those of us who enjoy working with synths, nothing is more pleasing than firing up the K5000 and hearing a "breath of fresh air." Sounds that you wont find on your average synth...seriously.

Dont buy this guy just for its looks, or because you need some bread and butter sounds. It's a fine looking board, I'll say...but bread and butter sounds it has not. Piano, guitars, organs...poor emulations...but thats not what this puppy is designed for. Analog purists can achieve some familiar sounds with a bit of effort. What this synth shines most of all for is interesting obviously digital sounds. This synth achieves, with musical tonality, shattering glass-like timbres....dark, evolving moodscapes, and wicked leads.

You will certainly need to make use of the loaded internal effects processor (or use your favorite outboard gear) to mkae this synth fit in your mix - because it cuts through one like butter. Very cool if you need something to steal the show, but you need to tame this beast if you are using it to color a mix.

And, lastly, for those VA purists...well, this puppy has all the knobs right there for you to twist and tweak. A bit of a necessity, since programming this thing like its intended can be more like a calculus course. Maybe there is a newer OS that solves this problem - but the knobs seem to like to go to zero before it effects the sound. And also, it seems as though you need to retrigger the sound when tweaking in real time to hear the progress of your editing. It may just be me, though.

One drawback is that they held back on the wave and patch memory on this, whereas the K5000W has the full waveset. I think the K5000S is expandable to include the whole set. Kind of silly when you run out of patch space with half the numbers unassigned.

Who needs a synth like this? Well, if you are considering this to be your first synth, pass it up.

But if you have an arsenal of synths with all the bread and butter sounds and fat analog sounds you need, this synth could really change your music. It will be a unique synth in your studio thats for sure. Hell, its so much fun to play with I find myself wasting hours tweaking sounds just to see how far out a sound I can get...only to find that Ive created some monster that has no practicality at all in my music. If you can find one in good shape, jump on it. Where they were once blowing them out at Sam Ash a couple of years, they are creeping up in price as people are discovering the potential...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-07-2002 at 09:48
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