Synth Site: Kawai: K5 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.4 out of 5
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Coconut a hobbyist user from Singapore writes:
I liked someone's comment about the K5 - handle with caution, it might just turn you into a synth nerd! So true...

I bought the synth without knowing much background of it from a studio, as a cheap board to start trying out midi and other things

i could not figure out anything about how to program it, all sounds sounded the same. in desperation, i got hold of the manual and painstakingly tried to create a patch as described. Slowly I realized that K5 IS A BEAST.

I also figured out that it would be very very difficult to program it without a computer interface. Actually, even with software, one should have some knowledge of how harmonics work to actually make any sense of it...

if you get bored not being able to get nice sounds from it i recommend get the sounds that were sold on card when the synth was launched. Those are now downloadable from Kawai site as .SMF files. Those would give you some brief idea about the TREMENDOUS capabilities of the synth.

I was planning to sell mine for S$250. I have changed my mind and planning to keep it. Come on, you all have seen, heard, used, played all the Korgs, Moogs, Rolands, etc... I think you'd not find any other hardware synth with such capabilities...

5 for uniqeness and potential

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Nov-11-2008 at 08:27 a professional user from Boston writes:
I am using the K5m as a sound design tool, rather than a traditional instrument. With the amount of harmonic variations it really can create some deep and oddly resonating sounds. Any 'coldness' that is perceived is part of the charm for me. It is nothing like a VA or Analogue synth, so it is not worth comparing them. For very experimental sounds it is a great palette to work with, except for the odd interface. I did replace the backlight with some LED's and replaced a few OpAmps to clean up some noise, but I am kind of nerdy about synths. :)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-31-2007 at 22:18
Bryn a professional user from UK writes:
This is a complex beast. It is a sod to program. It always seems to sound the same..flutes/strings etc. I'm sure that there is's just that you really haven't the time to find out. There are better synths out there for less money...that are reliable. Buy a cost the same and sounds 10x better. It's like a dull DX7 ...worse sounding and harder to extract decent sounds from. All that harminics stuff is a waste of all sounds the same. The filter is also tame. The crazy sounds sound like you're trying to tune a radio. The build is great. The display backlite always fails. It often starts by flashing on and off..then dies. Keyboard contacts can be cleaned. I spent ages reading the book and trying to realise the potential people spoke about. It didn't happen for me. I swapped mine for a DX7 which sounded better and was easier to program. I'm sure that, with patience, there are good sounds to be had...accoustic stuff mostly. Don't expect analogue or 'Ice Castles'. More so, a decent French horn. Yes, it's that type of synth. It has its place.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Feb-02-2007 at 04:29
Gastón Ruggero a part-time user from Argentina writes:
Hard to beat, I think it´s the more abstract-sounding vintage synth in market. It can´t sound even as a flute; awful pianos and ripped strings, it´s the best synth to bring to life strange and noisy patches to your arsenal... Erratic editing (only if you were a rocket scientist you´d know what are you doing with those harmonics). I love it. The five separated outputs bring more possibilities to add FX to the signal and collapse!!!. If you don´t have one yet, don´t buy it, it´s a hell of time-demanding learning. Ideal for Radioheaded electric pianos and Wakemaned cheap-trumpet-pads

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Nov-08-2005 at 07:59
This may be the coolest synth ever. Not for anything useable. But possibly because if one can learn to understand it, you could actually get it to do things no other available synth can. It is not like a DX7 imo. Its more like a strange living organism. One word of advise, use with caution, it may turn you into a synth nerd.

Rating: 0 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-08-2005 at 09:29
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