MAN CAVE, or a grotesque of mid life crisis
Kawai S100F: behold the King
There are two kinds of people – those who know that the Kawai S100F is the greatest synthesiser of all time, and mindless peasantry. You can take your Moogs and go dump them in the lake. Party starts here.
I don’t think Kawai themselves knew the power and majesty they were brewing up in 1977. Actually I don’t think they knew what the hell they were doing. When you try to use this like a normal keyboard it’s tepid, a little under the weather. Perfectly usable of course but still, get a Roland for that. No, the Kawai is only good for one thing – losing its shit.
Underneath the filter are three sliders which feed the sound of the oscillator to modulate the filter. OK, that’s something also found in the Prophet 5 of the same time period, and you can find it in the Mopho still. But in trying the rip off the Prophet, the Kawai doesn’t just start to make FM noise – it goes through periods of intense ecstasy and agony as if a hallucinogenic journey is under way. With the tiniest adjustments of the filter and modulation sources a thousand flowers bloom, if by flowers you mean anti-matter can openers.
It also has a stupidly large pitch range from Geiger counter to dogs howling all about the area. At the top, modulating the filter tears something apart – at the bottom you get short wave radio. Basically it discourages making normal music and encourages what the fuck.
In the photo at the top of the page, which is from Synth Museum, the white knobs are on the filters, and volume. On Vintage Synth Explorer they are on the three modulator sliders. My current one has them elsewhere. They move around. I like to think that Kawai placed them randomly depending on the psychic orders coming from Hello Kitty Zeppelins.
There is also a S110F but don’t be fooled – there’s no oscillator to filter modulation. They ‘fixed’ it.
I bought my first one from Richard in 1979, when it was quite new. I sold that on to Garry when I had had enough. My current one is a little battered and bruised, but makes the same familiar and horrible noise. The fountain of youth.
Kawai Lemon: I'd hate to see the G&T that went with it
No son, you're doing it all wrong.
THIS TOY IS EASY TO MISUSE
IT MAKES HORRIBLE NOISES
THE SOUND QUALITY IS HORRIBLE
IT WAS MEDIUM PRICED AND IS RARE
ITS RATING IS OOH LA LA
It was either this or a red car and I think I chose wisely.