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#2236420 - 10/09/10 03:00 AM Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac
Clifton Offline
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Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 452
So I ordered a Hammond XK3c + Pro Kit a while back, it still hasn't arrived, I was mad, so the distributor gave me a %10 discount, so now I'm not so mad.

So now as I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for my Hammond to arrive (next week!!!), I'm now thinking with the %10 I saved, perhaps I ought to buy the Ventilator? I keep hearing great things about it (at first it was the Dr. Lonnie Smith video, then the video by the good Jim Alfredson sold me, it sounds WAY better than the XK3c!!).

But also, I keep hearing great things (also by the good Jim Alfredson) about VB3. So the question is, ought I buy VB3 and go down the laptops-on-stage route, or should I stay hardware? Are the gains in the VB3 worth it? And is the Leslie sim comparable to the Ventilator? (cus no way I'm buying both, c'mon, imagine the setup of XK3c AND laptop AND interface AND stompbox)

Would appreciate any wisdom! I've already emailed Neo, I'm very tempted to pull the trigger here...

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#2236422 - 10/09/10 03:13 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Clifton]
Beethree Offline
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I (sort of) use both (not at the same time). I have an XK3 and a Ventilator, and I use VB3 on a Receptor with the drawbars and other functions being controlled by a Voce V5 module. I also often use a Nord Electro 3, but I will leave that out of this discussion.
While the VB3 is a great piece of software, and in terms of pure sound might rival and or surpass the XK3, there is, shall we say, an ergonomic superiority to the XK3 that is hard to argue with. Additionally, the Ventilator is a better Leslie Sim to my ears than the VB3 - although the latter is darn good as well.
I love how VB3 handles the keyclick. It just seems more organic to me somehow.
The drive is good on both - though the Vent probably has the edge.

THe plus side to the software route is that you can also run OTHER software, but if you are just looking for organ, and don't mind schlepping some gear, I'd say the hardware is a better bet for now. You also have the option of buying the lower manual, which is expensive but great to have.

But buy VB3 anyway - it is cheap, sounds great, and will be upgraded soon apparently. You WILL find a use for it.

Note that I have the XK3 and not the XK3c, which by almost all accounts has a far better Leslie sim than the XK3. You may want to try tweaking the on board sim to your satisfaction before purchasing the Vent.
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#2236423 - 10/09/10 03:52 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Beethree]
Steve Force Offline
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Plenty of good info in various threads (Beethree's post above as well), but here is my take. You really do not need a Vent with an XK-3C unless you absolutely need that slight extra the Vent brings to that combo. Check out how the cats have tweaked the XK-3C Leslie settings--you will not be disappointed.

Now for an XK1 you absolutely need a vent, IMO.
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#2236461 - 10/09/10 08:55 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Steve Force]
Jim Alfredson Offline
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The Ventilator is most useful on the XK3 and XK1. It is an improvement with the XK3c, but a fairly marginal one. Like Beethree suggested, tweak the XK3c's sim first.

I also agree with Beethree that the XK3/c's biggest advantage over VB3 is the interface. It's about as close to playing a real B3 as you'll get, especially with the lower manual and the pedals. While the VB3 sounds great, the lack of a dedicated physical interface is a drag. Plus I still don't trust laptops / computers on the road. That's just me. I do use VB3 in the studio, though and I love it. smile
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#2236471 - 10/09/10 09:58 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Jim Alfredson]
Hammonddave Offline
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Originally Posted By: B3-er
The Ventilator is most useful on the XK3 and XK1. It is an improvement with the XK3c, but a fairly marginal one. Like Beethree suggested, tweak the XK3c's sim first.

I also agree with Beethree that the XK3/c's biggest advantage over VB3 is the interface. It's about as close to playing a real B3 as you'll get, especially with the lower manual and the pedals. While the VB3 sounds great, the lack of a dedicated physical interface is a drag. Plus I still don't trust laptops / computers on the road. That's just me. I do use VB3 in the studio, though and I love it. smile


I agree with Jim... Nothing beats the authentic interface of the XK3/c. Especially with the lower manual. It's the next best thing to playing a B3 on stage.

Experiment with the Leslie sim on the XK3c. Also change out the tubes for some old (1950's and 60's) RCA's or Hammonds. Like the others mention above, you may decide that the slight improvement is not worth the $500+ cost of the Vent. But that is just a personal choice.
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#2236576 - 10/09/10 08:08 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Hammonddave]
Clifton Offline
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Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 452
Thanks for the input guys, some good discussion here.

Originally Posted By: B3-er
The Ventilator is most useful on the XK3 and XK1. It is an improvement with the XK3c, but a fairly marginal one. Like Beethree suggested, tweak the XK3c's sim first.


Alright then, am I correct in thinking the XM2s leslie sim is the same as the XK3c's? Because the difference between the XM2 and the Vent in your comparison video was pretty big.

Originally Posted By: B3-er
I also agree with Beethree that the XK3/c's biggest advantage over VB3 is the interface. It's about as close to playing a real B3 as you'll get, especially with the lower manual and the pedals. While the VB3 sounds great, the lack of a dedicated physical interface is a drag.


I agree, that's why I ordered the Pro Kit (lower & stand) as well as the XK3c. You'll notice I was talking about an XK3c + VB3 on my Mac, that is to say, MIDIed into my laptop, so that (in theory) the drawbars and switches on the XK3c can control VB3, giving the best of both worlds.
I s'pose thats a seperate question though, is that actually possible? I know it was with NI B4.

Originally Posted By: Hammonddave
Also change out the tubes for some old (1950's and 60's) RCA's or Hammonds.


I am an idiot when it comes to tubes and whatnot...what difference will they make? Are the stock tubes in the Xk3c no good?

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#2236580 - 10/09/10 08:30 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Clifton]
JMcS Offline
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Originally Posted By: Clifton
Thanks for the input guys, some good discussion here.

Alright then, am I correct in thinking the XM2s leslie sim is the same as the XK3c's? Because the difference between the XM2 and the Vent in your comparison video was pretty big.


The XM-2 and the XK-1 are the same. The XK-3c is a new digital Leslie along with a new "organ" sound engine. It also benefits from several years worth of advances in computing and DSP power.


Originally Posted By: Clifton
I am an idiot when it comes to tubes and whatnot...what difference will they make? Are the stock tubes in the Xk3c no good?


The stock tubes in the XK-3c are as good as any made today. The ones that came in mine were Electro Harmonix. The old tubes from the 50's/60's just sound better. They tend to have a more full range tone - both clean and overdriven. The tubes made today seem to roll off highs and lows when pushed and the distortion tends to sound kind of fizzy when overdriven.

It will take a while to go through it all but there is a lot of information regarding tubes here:

XK-3 Tips

The preamps in the XK-3 and '3c are very different but the general information regarding the various brands and types of tubes is useful.



Edited by JMcS (10/10/10 07:01 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#2236583 - 10/09/10 09:36 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Clifton]
Sven Ghoulie Offline
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Originally Posted By: Clifton
Alright then, am I correct in thinking the XM2s leslie sim is the same as the XK3c's?


No.
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#2236605 - 10/10/10 06:04 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Jim Alfredson]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
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Originally Posted By: B3-er
I still don't trust laptops / computers on the road. That's just me. I do use VB3 in the studio, though and I love it. smile

Has anyone tried running VB3 on a V Machine? That could be more "trustworthy" then using a laptop for live use...?

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#2236623 - 10/10/10 08:37 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: AnotherScott]
b3boy Offline
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Registered: 12/04/03
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It works fine on Receptor and people are using it with V-Machine apparently.

I need a single manual setup and it's a choice between the Numa Organ or buy a cheap XK2 and map it to VB3 with a hardware event processor, a better and cheaper option given my existing equipment.
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#2236628 - 10/10/10 09:33 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: b3boy]
Jim Alfredson Offline
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There's a free plug-in that maps the drawbars of the XK series to the VB3 but I don't think it maps the buttons (for chorus/vibrato, percussion, etc.) nor am I sure that the buttons actually transmit MIDI data at all.

As mentioned, the XM2 Leslie is not the same as the XK3c. I think I said that in my video, but I was in error.
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#2236660 - 10/10/10 11:53 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Jim Alfredson]
b3boy Offline
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Yeah, I know the software your referring to, unfortunately it does not work on a Receptor.
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#2236712 - 10/10/10 06:54 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Jim Alfredson]
Clifton Offline
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Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 452
Originally Posted By: B3-er

As mentioned, the XM2 Leslie is not the same as the XK3c. I think I said that in my video, but I was in error.


Ah ok, thanks for clearing that up! My XK3c & the pro kit are arriving this AFTERNOON, shall let ya'll know what I think ;-)

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#2236801 - 10/11/10 08:00 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Clifton]
Clifton Offline
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Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 452
Originally Posted By: Clifton
Originally Posted By: B3-er

As mentioned, the XM2 Leslie is not the same as the XK3c. I think I said that in my video, but I was in error.


Ah ok, thanks for clearing that up! My XK3c & the pro kit are arriving this AFTERNOON, shall let ya'll know what I think ;-)


Good lord it sounds & looks badass, and is (almost) entirely intuitive to use. Haven't tried the leslie sim in stereo yet so can't give a proper evaluation but even in mono it sounds pretty good. Cheers fellas, off the to woodshed for me!

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#2236837 - 10/11/10 10:08 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Clifton]
JMcS Offline
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Registered: 12/11/03
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Originally Posted By: Clifton

Good lord it sounds & looks badass, and is (almost) entirely intuitive to use. Haven't tried the leslie sim in stereo yet so can't give a proper evaluation but even in mono it sounds pretty good. Cheers fellas, off the to woodshed for me!


Congratulations and welcome to the club. You might try some combinations of the farther and wider mic settings for the digital Leslie.

Have Fun.

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#2236842 - 10/11/10 10:19 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: JMcS]
kanker. Offline
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Alternately, for better mono compatibility narrow the mic setting
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#2236848 - 10/11/10 10:33 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: kanker.]
JMcS Offline
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Or if you have two channels available, leave the mics far and wide and run both channels into the amp. This reduces the effect of the horn and low rotor suddenly popping to the front and going. This is a theory on my part, but I think those who are used to having the Leslie positioned right behind or at least very near to them get used to that pop-here - pop-gone tone and the smoother coming and going provided by some distance doesn't sound right. For those used to the Leslie being farther away or in front of them the opposite is true. The horn being too close to one of my ears really makes it buzz so I prefer the distance. YMMV, Yada Yada Yada.

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#2238440 - 10/18/10 12:07 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: JMcS]
David Loving Offline
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Well the XK3 is officially upgraded as much as it can be. I pulled the trigger on a Ventilator. If it gets here in time I can use Saturday - we'll see - I figure this saves the $2500 or so for an XK3c (with the extra stuff I never use), and another $2500 for the 3300. Spend $500.00 - don't spend $5,000. Great country ain't it?
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#2238585 - 10/18/10 11:09 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: David Loving]
Jim Alfredson Offline
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Except that as good as the Ventilator is (and it is very good), it does not replace a 3300 on stage. There's a presence that a real Leslie gives you that is not duplicable. BUT... I love my Ventilator and have been using it in tandem with my Leslie 21 System on the road. It sounds great and the sound guys just take a direct off the Ventilator, no mic'ing. Makes things easier for everyone.
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#2238614 - 10/19/10 05:39 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Jim Alfredson]
David Loving Offline
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Oh, I agree that the real thing is the best - I was just trying to justify spending $500.00 on an effects box, that's all! How do you hook up the tandem? Left channel to one and right channel to the other? I could use a splitter to the line out jack of the 122ama I guess.
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#2238650 - 10/19/10 07:46 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: David Loving]
Jim Alfredson Offline
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No, I use a custom 11pin cable I made so I can switch the speeds on both from the XK3.
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#2238654 - 10/19/10 08:03 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Jim Alfredson]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
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Originally Posted By: B3-er
Except that as good as the Ventilator is (and it is very good), it does not replace a 3300 on stage. There's a presence that a real Leslie gives you that is not duplicable. BUT... I love my Ventilator and have been using it in tandem with my Leslie 21 System on the road. It sounds great and the sound guys just take a direct off the Ventilator, no mic'ing. Makes things easier for everyone.

So then, the benefit of the real Leslie is strictly for the player, and maybe people very close to the stage... the bulk of the audience is hearing the band mostly/entirely from the mains, which means all they get is the Ventilator sound (rather than the real Leslie sound).

It seems like there are two groups of keyboard players in a lot of these discussions (leslie and stereo come to mind)... ones who say, essentially, "I don't need to have the world's best sound on stage, let's focus on getting the best possible sound out front, and as long as I can hear myself, I'm not too worried about the on-stage sound" vs. "as long as the sound out front is decent, I want to focus on a no-compromise great sound on stage for my own playing pleasure." I don't think there's a right-wrong answer there, but I think that split explains some of the different opinions you get on these things.

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#2238765 - 10/19/10 04:16 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: AnotherScott]
David Loving Offline
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"It seems like there are two groups of keyboard players in a lot of these discussions (leslie and stereo come to mind)... ones who say, essentially, "I don't need to have the world's best sound on stage, let's focus on getting the best possible sound out front, and as long as I can hear myself, I'm not too worried about the on-stage sound" vs. "as long as the sound out front is decent, I want to focus on a no-compromise great sound on stage for my own playing pleasure." I don't think there's a right-wrong answer there, but I think that split explains some of the different opinions you get on these things."

Good insight. I am of the first group. I just care about what the audience hears. I need to hear a monitor just enough as a reference to play well.
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#2238776 - 10/19/10 05:26 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: David Loving]
theGman Offline
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Another of the first group; the audience is why bands play. You can get pleasure on your own at the studio.

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#2239133 - 10/20/10 09:07 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: theGman]
David Loving Offline
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UPS delivered the Vent. today and I hooked it up to a Nord Electro 2/61 at practice tonight. Guido has no worries about truth in advertising - it is unbelievable.
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#2239146 - 10/20/10 10:15 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Jim Alfredson]
rocket man Offline
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Originally Posted By: B3-er

I also agree with Beethree that the XK3/c's biggest advantage over VB3 is the interface. It's about as close to playing a real B3 as you'll get, especially with the lower manual and the pedals.


Regarding the lower manual: Is it possible to use another controller as the lower manual? Often-times there is just not enough real-estate available on-stage, and it would be wonderful to use the keybed of, ie., an XS-8, as the lower manual. Can it be done? ...easily?

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#2239151 - 10/20/10 10:56 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: rocket man]
Jim Alfredson Offline
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Yeah, it's pretty simple. The advantage of using the XK lower manual is that it puts the XK3c at the correct height as compared to a real b3. But you can certainly use whatever keyboard you want, as long as it has a MIDI out.
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#2239163 - 10/20/10 11:54 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Jim Alfredson]
Oyarsa Offline
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I am wrestling around with improving my organ sound. Right now I use an NE3 to a mixer to a QSC K12 in a mono setup.

Will the Ventilator significantly improve the sound? I am also considering a 3300 but would like to get by for less as cash is very tight these days.
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#2239330 - 10/21/10 11:52 AM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Oyarsa]
Mitch Towne Offline
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Originally Posted By: Oyarsa
I am wrestling around with improving my organ sound. Right now I use an NE3 to a mixer to a QSC K12 in a mono setup.

Will the Ventilator significantly improve the sound? I am also considering a 3300 but would like to get by for less as cash is very tight these days.


I can give you an unqualified "yes." It is that much better than the internal simulator in the E3. I heard about the Ventilator for a long time before I popped for it. I was regularly gigging with my E3 and 147. Once I got the Vent, I added a speaker to my rig so I could run stereo and the 147 hasn't left the house. And through studio monitors, it sounds even better.

Don't hesitate.

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#2239408 - 10/21/10 02:35 PM Re: Hammond XK3c + Neo Ventilator VS. XK3c + VB3 on my Mac [Re: Mitch Towne]
Jon May Offline
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+1 I've been gigging with NE2 and Vent for a few months now. At first I thought the tone:cost ratio was a bit low. However I recently forgot to pack the Vent for a gig and had to revert to the NE2 sim, which sounded VERY blah in comparison. While playing solo at home I've also come to appreciate the incredible detail imparted by the Ventilator.
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