Who needs a Blofeld? Grab a K1m on eBay.

This week saw the release of the new Waldorf Blofeld keyboard synthesizer. I was thinking about posting the info here but since all the other music tech blogs have it up I thought why bother. I do like that it has sample playback and a nice German white/steel design but something in my mind whispered “booooring!”. I know the synth is well capable in the hands of a good songwriter but I want something in my studio that’s a bit more unique.

This morning I did my usual coffee and troll through the mighty Matrixsynth blog and saw the photo above. The Kawai K1M is a 16 voice digital sound module from 1988. I pretty much like any record released that year so this thing has to sound good. Of course this is completly subjective but I bet if you made a song using only K1M sounds it would very interesting.

I have a Yamaha TX81Z hooked up in my studio and even though I have several FM soft synths when I use the real thing people pick out the sounds it made and ask about them. So even if you have the software Wavestation or FM8 you will get a different color by recording something like the K1M into your DAW.

There is always a risk when buying used gear but if it works out you’ll never have to pay for a software update. The best thing? It’s got a $75 USD Buy it Now price! Check out the auction: click here

Check out some user reviews of the K1M at Harmony-Central: click here

via Matrixsynth


  1. I was lucky enough to spend some time with a Kawai K1 at our local youth centre when I was young. It was a long time ago, but I remember that it sounded great and was fairly intuitive to noodle with. $75 is a bargain !


  2. Hi. If I remember, it was sort of like the poor man’s D-50. Was pretty noisy too…


  3. I recently picked up a Kawai K3m+2 carts at a guitar center for $25. Probably the best 25 bucks I’ve spent in a while. Love some of the sounds I can get out of it.


  4. Too bad I just picked up a Blofeld desktop synth!


  5. Same. I picked up the Blofeld and have been loving it… I’m considering selling my MicrowaveXT 30 voice just to “offset” the purchase. Long live Waldorf!


  6. k1 sucks. The only sunth I own that I’d consider selling (I have tons of crap). It’s way too noisy and not many good samples on it, except for the strings. It’s just a crappy little rompler. :(


  7. You want a K1r really. Identical machine but rackmount. I just gave the I owned since 1988 away! I can’t remember what the vector stick does on the k1m though.. possibly fades between the four samples. I worked in a music shop when these beasties were current and don’t remember the “m” version being any better than the “r” so the vector stick is probably a fairly minor addition.

    Some really nice sounds, including a preset called “Arrangement” used on one of them early LFO tunes. I made a few nice (i.e. pleasantly shit) kicks, snares. It’s also very good for pads. Range of sounds it can produce is very limited though. I could spot one a mile off. I loved mine for many years but, ultimately, I just sampled all the sounds in it and gave it away :)


  8. And not like many ppl will care; the Blofeld is going back to the store today. I think I’m going to give the Virus TI Snow a rent. The MicrowaveXT has been spared this round.


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