Kawai K3 - Opinions?

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Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by GameChanger » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:42 pm

So I bought a K3 on Ebay the Other day for $100. I am a fan of digtal analog hybrids, so I am excited to get this mammoth of a keyboard, but in the meantime looking around I have been getting mixed reviews. 8-bit digital w/ analog filter: some say its harshly cold, others say unexpressive, and some people say warm and emulated analog boards well.

Ive listened to the limited demos online, but until I get this beast, I was wondering what opinions were out there.

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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:34 pm

You already bought it. For $100. Too late to ask our opinion, ey? ;)

Seriously though, for $100, if shipping wasn't outrageously expensive, I'd keep it. They don't pop up often and Kawai still supports their old stuff. I got two K5's and they're pretty nice sounding. They are however a b***h to program!
bonne chance

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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by rhino » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:49 pm

you outbid me. I got the first one for $44.23

Reminds me of an improved Korg DW-6000:

KAWAI K3:
6 voices, 12 "oscs"
31 waves + 1 mkae-your-own additive
6 flavors of chorus
cartridge slot
velocity
aftertouch

DW-6000
6 voices, 12 "oscs"
8 waves
chorus off-on

If the membrane button panel on the front is FUBARed, they still have replacements.
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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by Ashe37 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:24 am

I missed out on a k3m on craigslist the other day for $50 :(

it looks interesting, examples i have found sound more PPG-ish... maybe that's the SSM filters.

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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by GameChanger » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:09 am

rhino wrote:you outbid me. I got the first one for $44.23

Reminds me of an improved Korg DW-6000:

KAWAI K3:
6 voices, 12 "oscs"
31 waves + 1 mkae-your-own additive
6 flavors of chorus
cartridge slot
velocity
aftertouch

DW-6000
6 voices, 12 "oscs"
8 waves
chorus off-on

If the membrane button panel on the front is FUBARed, they still have replacements.
Oh cool, you got the one that daddys was selling with the sustain issue? I was thinking about that esp cause there is a daddys a mile away from me which woulda saved me on shipping. I'm decent at soldering, but was unsure what I would have been getting. Have you got it yet? Daddys repair dpt does suck pretty bad, so it may be a simple fix.

Surprised these go for so low, crazy prices. Amazing that kawai still supports these too

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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by rhino » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:11 pm

Arrived Friday 8th.
SUPER CLEAN (very dirty -oxymoron- but no wear or damage to the outside. The button membrane is torn, but looks like damage from "trauma", not wear.

One of the dual op-amps that drive one notes VCA is bad...causing the sustain. It -and a new membrane- are on order.

Go to the Kawai K3 page on VSEs homepage to download lots of patches.

Manual here:
http://soundprogramming.net/manuals/Kawai_K3_Manual.pdf

keep us up to date.

EDIT
As an dabbeler in repair myself, I will side with Daddys: Tracking down a problem is often so time-consuming that
the simplest repair on some old piece of gear can quickly run more that the value of the piece.
Last edited by rhino on Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by StepLogik » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:14 pm

its a good synth, had one for a couple of years and used it quite a bit. it can sound very warm with a bit of sweetening. programming is slightly tedious - similar to JX-8p. built like a tank.

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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by Snarecrash » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:23 pm

My brother recently got a K3 from ebay. When i was at his home i instantly fell in love with it while playing and making some patches. The analog filters really make it sound good.
The very similar looks to the JX8P only strengthened my fascination. I even think that the K3 is cooler than the JX8P in things of appearance. I really love that big edit wheel.
Also in comparsion to the JX8P with it's tiny edit slider, thanks to the big wheel of the K3 i doesn't found it tedious to program at all. I very quickly came up with a bunch of pretty cool patches.

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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by Computer Controlled » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:10 am

They are nice sounding synths, a bit limited, but nice sounding.
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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by ItsMeOnly » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:34 am

Three words: poor man's Fairlight ;). Plus: the deepest bass I've ever encountered

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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by D-Collector » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:14 am

StepLogik wrote:built like a tank.
Yes, I've read many places that the K3 has great build quality and is a very sturdy synth. The JX-8p however warps and bends and is all plastic and wood. That was one of the things I was really disappointed with in the JX.

Hope you will have great fun with the Kawai.
Btw. how is the keyboard action? Good?

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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by GameChanger » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:09 pm

Kawai is usually pretty good in the keyboard action dept, so hopefully its cool. Its set to arrive tomorrow, so I will find out soon enough. Glad to hear you guys like its sound. Seems like it will be interesting, digital but should be able to get some deep bass out of it. Weird that Kawai eventually named a stage Piano they put out K3, messing w/ my online searches. haha

thanks for the links rhino. I agree w/ daddys as well with you on your K3, but having things repaired & dealing with them on other pieces of gear, have made me somewhat bitter i guess. Need to keep my anger at bay, because they do have good deals sometimes.

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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by D-Collector » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:32 pm

A thorough review with nice pictures and sound workshop can be found over at Robert Wittek's:

http://www.synthesizer.at/synthesizer/k ... awaik3.htm



It sure is capable of great sounds !

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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by mao » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:42 pm

I had a K3M for a year... this synth have a GREAT low end and can do some nice PPG alike sounds. Nice the user additive waveform. I changed it with a korg EX8000, it's quite similar... but I miss that full low end, really.

If you like it, next move is a Waldorf Microwave 1

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Re: Kawai K3 - Opinions?

Post by GameChanger » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:55 pm

So I got the K3 yesterday. Been having bad luck with gear latly, two keys (middle F, G) are non-functional (even via MIDI) & the internal battery is a goner, even when i do factory reset all the internal sounds are the same. Lucky II have a cartridge to store sounds until I replace battery.

As far as the board itself, I am really enjoying it, as much as I can. I was skeptical of the touch board matrx, but its actually super simple to edit patches, very quick and effortless. I made an awesome bass patch, and a sweet megaman sound effect in only a couple minutes. Filter & Chorus choices are pretty cool The keys are a little heavier then I anticipated, but very good. Also the board looks bigger in photo's then in person. Still big but not a ridiculous as i thought, hopefully I can fix the keys and be on my way.

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