MATRIXSYNTH: Vintage Kawai R-7 Stereophonic Rhythm Machine

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Vintage Kawai R-7 Stereophonic Rhythm Machine


via this auction

This one was spotted and sent in via M Me.

It appears to be the first one to be featured on the site. It looks more like home stereo equipment than synth gear.  Rhythms for lounge parties....

"Kawai R-7, a drumcomputer that due to its look was probably built in the 70s.

It´s obviously an extremely rare species as even long time consuming searches on the internet were unsuccessful.

The R-7 is in a beautiful shape as easily seen on the pics with only minor imperfections on the tolex and the veneer side panels. And the original "Stereo Selector" knob is missing.

After my tests I got the impression that everything works. You can choose between the different rhythms with the white switches or you could simultaneously press several switches for complex rhythms. Individual instruments or instrument groups can be activated or deactivated by the round black switches.

A nice effect is the changing colored backlight (kind of animation) while the rhythms are playing. I have never seen this feature on any other rhythm machine.

Another unusual if not unique feature is the possibility to adjust the left and right volume channel and to switch between mono and stereo - whatever it does."

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