Kurzweil K2061 and K2088, the new K20 series revives the classic K2000 Synthesizer

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Kurzweil has announced the K2061 and K2088 in the new K20 series, reviving the popular K2000 Synthesizer from the 90s.

NAMM 2024 is done. Everything that has been announced is announced. Well, not everything. Many things, like prototypes, were showcased behind closed doors.

Although not yet officially announced, Kurzweil showed off two new synthesizers at NAMM. However, details were missing. Good news: Kurzweil has corrected this and previewed the new K20 series this week. There are still no official pictures, but I have the first details for you. 

Kurzweil K2061 K2088
©musicplayer

Kurzweil K2061 and K2088

The K20 series will be launched soon and feature two models: the K2061 with a 61-note synth action and the K2088 with an 88-key full-weighted hammer action keybed with aftertouch. Kurzweil say they come with a new industrial design with an alumiumn and steel enclosure. 

According to Kurzweil, the goal has been to rebuild the legendary K2000 V.A.S.T Synthesizer from 1991 using today’s technology. Looking at the first revealed features, the built-in V.A.S.T engine features 32 layers per program and customizable algorithms.

This was and is one of the strengths of the V.A.S.T Engine. It allows you to dive deeply and build custom signal paths with various synthesis types. In the new K2061 and 2088, you will find flashback sample playback, virtual analog, 6-operator FM, and KB3 here.

Plus, there are versatile FX chains and a master FX section. All this with up to 256 voice polyphony. So these are features also available in the K2700 and PC4 workstation series that also rely on a modern version of the V.A.S.T engine.

Kurzweil K2061 K2088
©musicplayer

Compatibility With Vintage Sounds

However, there is an important difference. Kurzweil says they will feature a new resculpted K2000 synth library and offer full compatibility with K2 era libraries. To my research, this is not possible in the other current workstations. Correct me if I’m wrong here.

So, you get an upgraded K2000 V.A.S.T engine with the original sounds. That would be great for all lovers of the original instrument. 

Kurzweil K2088
©musicplayer

Then, it comes with 2GB of factory sounds and 2GB of user memory. So less than the workstations K2700 and PC4.  They also host 16 arpeggiators, MIDI CC sequencers, and RIFF generators. 

Further, Kurzweil also announced details about the interface. It offers a 480×272 color screen, over 30 physical controllers per zone, and a ribbon controller.

First Impression

I’m looking forward to the official presentation with all the information. If it’s true that they remade the K2000 for the modern world, then NAMM had some big synth news that wasn’t reported on. Except a few feature guess games and pictures.

The full details of the new Kurzweil K20 series with the K2061 and K2088 synths will be announced soon. Stay tuned

More information here: Kurzweil 

Hardware Synthesizer News

16 Comments

  1. Nice article! Thanks! I’m a long time K-series owner user (since the early 90s). And currently have a K2661 & PC3K7.

    Yes, lots of unanswered questions with this one. Some of the veteran Kurzweil users on another forum have made skattershot comparisons between the PC4, K2700, and this 20-something series. I’m sort of bothered by their reductive “it’s just a PC4 with a metal body” type of assumptions. But I suppose depending on what you are looking at and looking for, the differences might not be significant for some kinds of users.

    I’m admittedly a fanboy of my K2661. It is both a versatile wonder machine, and a workhorse. The RAM limitations and low polyphony affect how I have to think it work, but I manage. If I had 2 GB of user flash, and 2 GB of factory ROM to work with, I suspect I’d be quite delighted.

    As with all things new, I’d have to learn what precious features I use would go away. There are too many unanswered questions, like will there be a graphic editor for samples. (Hope so!!).

    I truly hope there will be a bigger announcement rollout soon, and that this ultimately a big winner for Kurzweil.

    Fred, I suppose those comments about the 2061 being a K2700 but without the audio interface might be comforting to you! Enjoy your K2700. That is a drool worthy instrument!!

    • Hi mr Stub. So I had (have) the same position. Owned the 2661 and still owner of pc3k and an sp6. I was really unhappy when I found out that (after selling the 2661) actually the 2661 is the one you should have. A proper 61-key machine with usersample intergration. The PC3K is now at the end of its lifetime and I am very excited that a K2061 will come soon. I think , to be honest, the K2061 will be a K2661 on steroids and without a sampling option. The PC4 is not alike (at all) comparing the build quality, external power etc etc. The 2700 is just like a very big beast that you can only use on television shows and big stage performances. Taking it into a crowded club with a lot of people already inside, will be a challenge with a big beast like that. So let’s pray that the K2061 will be actually a 2661 without sampling but with lots more user sample storage and more polyphony. I have already requested with the distributer to get me one …… hahahaha. Kurzweil rules, and will rule also in the future, when I dig up the old r&b samples back from my good old K2000….. Greetz

  2. yum! i have a ton of CD’s for my K2500R that just look useable again. this and KSP/RSP are my favorite Kurzweil products. watching the price on this..

  3. I think the K-2000VP was ment to be called K-2061 – If I not remember wrong it said so on the motherboard.

  4. …gonna still stick with my 0rig V.A.S.T. K2kSv3 like i have for many moons now¡! Envisioning pairing it with this new one when it hits the market, whenever that comes tooo fruition. To me this will be the ultimate Kurz rig;more so than ever before¡ Used tooo use the K2600r paired with the old battleaxe(K2kSv.3) and for years that was all I needed & used for my setup to do an infinite amount thing’s that i couldn’t of done anyway else. This new board i believe will breathe life into this venerable brand like never before. Since i have yet tooo pull the trigger on the K2700 (bcos i really don’t need an 88keyer) this 2061 will be for me, a bigger persuasion tooo do so, Getting the perfect combination of blending & molding the old with the new. thanx dude(s)

    • As an owner of a K2000S since it was released, I will not be upgrading unless Kurzweil finally gives us a real sequencer, and ensures no compromises. Why would I downgrade to a synth action that lacks aftertouch?

  5. Question for Kurz users: For whatever reason, Kurzweil is about the only brand of synth I’ve never owned. What would the K20 give me that I don’t already have with the Montage and Kronos. I produce all types of music so I’m interested in all types of sounds. What do you think would really outshine Yamaha and Korg in the K20 series?

    • the VAST synthesis engine, if you are a programmer, is a dream. The KDFS were very good in their time, but I haven’t had one around to see if they still stand up. They have a lot to offer that’s just different.

  6. ..and I just found a bunch of ZIP disks in storage from my days touring with a K2000. This could be fun. I’ve been trolling eBay and Reverb for a 2600RS with a price that wasn’t absolutely ridiculous…this might be rectification of that.

  7. In my dreams, Kurzweil and Pioneer DJ (or AlphaZeta or whatever) team up for a successor to the Toraiz workstation sampler. This time, however, PDJ won’t forget to market to synth enthusiasts.

  8. I too am a long time Kurzweil user. I currently have a PC3K8 which replaced my K2500xs. The issue I have is the sample program loading times. I had fully expected the PC3K8 USB Drive to be superior. As we all know, it is excruciatingly slow. I do hope that situation has been remedied with this new model. If so, put me down for one.

    • Load time wil be same as on PC4/K2700 and it is fast. Loading 10 MB sample based program was long time on PC3K. Now it is very fast.

  9. Perfect!
    Please into K2061 put Fatar TP9S keyboard (light semiweighted synth action same as in PC3K6).

  10. I love my K2700 and am eagerly anticipating more info on the K20 series. Obviously, the biggest downside to the 2700 is that schlepping it to gigs really sucks! I really wanted to like the PC4-7 but I couldn’t get over my hatred of plastic body shells. If the K2061 comes in under any 15kg and has reasonable feature parity (very pleased Kurzweil are including the ribbon!) and sound quality, I’ll be very interested to buy. I know this is too much to hope for, but if it’s got sampling capability there’s no question I’m picking one up! Or, reasonable compromise, if you can load samples (and actually work with them, which I’ve found to be rather problematic on the 2700), that would also work.

    I’ve frequently considered getting a K2661 – I agree this is arguably the most “perfect” synth/sampler keyboard Kurzweil ever released! – but would really rather purchase new

  11. I came from a k2000 when first released and played out with it for years. I then replaced with a K2500, and now have that, the Yamaha Montage 8, and a Roland XV5080. I want to upgrade the Kurzweil, but the 2700 is a beast weight wise and duplication wise of the Montage features and benefits (weighted action, full keyboard, interface built in of which I own an Apollo,don’t need drum pads etc.). So, the appeal is the 20 series from NAMM, and waiting for it to be announced and available hopefully this spring. That determines which way I go…, and hopefully save money as well. Love my Kurzweil synths since day 1 when I first purchased mine in 1991.

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