Kawai Active Bass Guitar - Anyone ever played one?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MusicIsLife, Mar 16, 2002.

  1. MusicIsLife


    Feb 26, 2002
  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Wow MIL... I go for years and hear virtually nothing about Kawai basses, then buy one and see this thread. My first ever bass, back in the mists of time, was a Kawai that was stolen from me on the night of my first gig. I recently saw an exact duplicate on ebay and won it and another that were in the same auction. Unfortunately, both have serious neck problems and I am in the process of repairing them...


    All I can say is good luck either finding any information on the web, or receiving a response from Kawai!

  3. MusicIsLife


    Feb 26, 2002
    Wow, I didn't think I would get a response from anyone. Thanks for the info, and good luck with the repairs.

  4. Perhaps the seller is referring to one like this:


    I am very pleased to own this one! I call it my "poor man's Alembic" and it's pretty much all that. Maple body with zebrawood front and back, 5 piece neck through, 9v preamp, Gotoh tuners, heavy brass bridge, string thru, and very, very heavy. But you won't find another production bass around that has the harmonic overtones that this one has. I can play it unplugged (with new strings of course!) and hear 2 distinct harmonic tones above the primary note...and that's just fretting the damn thing!! Very bright but takes some twiddling to find the right tone. Very well made. You can see my review on Harmony Central. There were several wood choices available during the years of production. I've personally seen these:

    Maple core/flame maple top
    Maple core/koa top
    Maple core/mahogany top
    Mahogany core/maple top
    Solid maple
    Painted versions in black/red/and white

    However, these basses are out of production so I doubt that the seller has a new one. Kawai also made another active bass - a bolt on neck - but they aren't near the style and construction of the F2-B's. You can see more about them on the Kawai
  5. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    Kawai made some very nice basses in the 1980's. They made the "Alembic" knock off and also a series of basses with bolt on necks, Schaller bridges and PUs, very nice preamp and Gotoh tuners. They were available with a number of options including a graphite neck. These were very good basses with great tone.

    I've owned 2 of the bolt on models. One is still in use at my church. It has a maple neck, rosewood fingerboard and a koa body. Sounds and plays great.

    The second Kawai that I owned was the same model that seems to be NOS in that ad. It was the bolt on bass but had a very pretty pearlescent white finish which was on the neck and headstock as well as the body. The headstock on these basses has the tuners arranged in a 3/1 configuration sort of like a MusicMan.

  6. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Brendan (yes, he happens to share a name with me) of Tripleswift (in WA) plays a nice Kawai bass. Walnut over mahogony, with a rosewood/maple neck. Nice bass. I only tried ot for a bit, but it played well, and I know that live, it sounded pretty darned good. I'd buy one if I could find the right one.
  7. Keep yer eyes on ebay for sure. They come up there regularly and fall into the $350 - $450 range. I got mine that way but I went to the high end of the scale cuz I got in a pissin' match with another bidder. But I HAD to have THIS one and it all worked out in the end.
  8. I have owned 2 F11B's .Great basses !! Sorry I sold them.
  9. picture.jpg
  10. fredralphs


    Jan 22, 2013
    I don't know how long ago you posted your original question about active Kawai Basses, but I have some info for you.
    In about 1984/5 I was the manager of a music shop in London called Maurice Placquet and playing in a band called the Willies. I was approached by the rep for Kawai trying to launch the new range of Kawai guitars and Basses. As part of deal they agreed to sponsor me and the rep came back with a beautiful Kawai Aquarius AQB 500 bass for me for free. This was a passive bass as at that time they did not make any active models for the UK market. I pointed out to the rep that I played an active bass and he agreed to take it away and sent it off to Japan to have active electronics fitted to it in the factory. The bass was returned to me and was my main instrument for over 20 years. I still own it and have recently started playing again. Sadly the active electronics went wrong over the years and I have just had it returned to its original passive mode only. The bass is black with a precision and single jazz pick up. Has a neck to die for and is dream to play. If anyone is ever offered one then break the persons arm off to get it. They are extremely rare and I would never part with mine regardless of price offered.
    hope this is of help to you.

  11. nomadh


    Feb 6, 2008
    Well I wasn't going to raise this thread from the dead but as long as its up for a bathroom break and a sandwich.....
    I love mine. Its black w gold hardware. Not fond of painted guitars and would have loved to had the Koa but this was my first. The push pull electronics are so versatile I had to open it up to make sure it wasnt active in there.
    heres the info I found. http://www.kawaius-tsd.com/pages/kawai_bass.html
    This is my model.
    KRB105 - Schaller PJ-Type pickups with passive electronics and push-pull (Series/Parallel) tone controls. Koa and Ash (Black finish only) bodies, graphite neck with 24 fret phenolic fingerboard. Hardware: Gold. Finishes: Gloss Koa, Black.
    We should start a club.
  12. Funkee1

    Funkee1 Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2002
    Guitar Center
    O had a KRB69 back in the day!
  13. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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