Why Kawai guitars?
I bought my first Kawai guitar - a KS-12XL - sometime in the late 1980s. It was my first real electric guitar. Even back then I didn't really count my actual first electric guitar (a black Les Paul copy marketed under the Columbus brand) as a “real” guitar!
As a spotty teenager, I soon realised that the Kawai was a huge improvement over the Columbus in terms of the feel of the guitar, the quality of the materials, and the sounds that it produced. But it's only in the years since, and after playing many other guitars, that I've come to appreciate just how good the Kawai actually was - and still is. In my experience, It's easily a match for many better known branded guitars from the US from the same era - easily a match and quite possibly a big improvement.
At the time I bought the KS-12XL, the same retailer (Tim Gentle Music in Southend, Essex) was also selling the KS-11XL. I chose the KS-12, but always wondered what the KS-11 would have been like.
Without eBay and Google a search for other Kawais would have been difficult or impossible. But with those tools, I started to search for a KS-11-XL a few years ago. I think I found 2 links on the internet, and both of those turned out to be dead-ends.
A few years later, a Kawai KS-11-XL appeared on eBay. That was probably c2003/4). The guitar looked to be in absolutely mint original condition, with an original case too. I put the guitar on my watchlist and checked it at least daily. There seemed to be little interest in the guitar, and with just a few seconds to go, I placed my bid - comfortably higher than the current price. I was winning! But with perhaps 2-3 seconds to go, I was outbid.
I still kick myself for missing out on that guitar. If you bought it, drop me an email (I promise not to kick you too!).
After that near miss, I intensified my hunt and I eventually managed to find not one, but two KS-11XLs, 1 in each finish option, as well as another KS-12XL (the second colour option again) and a KS-10Jr to complete the whole KS range.
But of course, it didn’t stop there, and I’ve since found one or two other Kawai Guitars to add to my little collection ...