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Kawai KS 11 XL

Kawai F-V
Kawai KS10

The Kawai KS-11

To my mind, this was actually the “top” of the range, and not the KS-12.

Why?  Because the KS-11 had a thick carved maple top, giving it a more quality appearance than the KS-12.  It also adds quite a lot of weight (a thick maple cap will do that), so you’d know you had this on your shoulder.  Very similar in construction, materials (and weight) to the much more famous Yamaha SG range of the same period.


Body:    Solid mahogany with a carved maple top
Neck:    3-piece mahogany
PickUps:    2 humbuckers, often branded “Mighty Mite”
Controls:    2 vol, 2 tone, 3-way selector
Finish:    natural (shown), violin sunburst
Other:    the mini-toggle coil splits the HBs

And here’s mine.

This is the Kawai that I didn’t buy - originally.  It is the guitar that really started my Kawai search, which has (a few years later) yielded a few guitars from all over the world.

Why?  When I bought my first Kawai (KS-12), I had a choice of that one, or this one.  For years, I wondered what the KS-11 would have been like, and after many years of searching, I eventually found out.   I received an email through this site, telling me that a second-hand guitar shop in Carlisle (where else!) had this guitar tucked away in a corner.  The email included a phone number and, after a very excited phone call, I finally got my hands on this, a natural finish KS-11-XL.

If only that had been the end of my search ...

Kawai Guitars KS 11

It’s quite non-original.  The guitar had already had some replacement pickups and a non-original bridge.  I replaced both items again, using some PRS Dragons (which give the bite and power that a guitar like this needs!).

The guitar still has the original “Tim Gentle Music” sticker on the back of the headstock, meaning that it probably came from the same batch of guitars as my original KS-12, and from the same period of time too.

Who knows, if I’d decided to get the KS-11 originally, it might have been this actual guitar!

This is a personal hobby site and has no connection with the Kawai company