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Hammond B3 clone
#2956324 11/04/18 02:00 PM
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Hey all,

New here but I'm looking for a decent and reasonably priced Hammond B3 clone. I'm not a tech guy and have played acoustic piano most of my life but I'm joining a band and I have a need. Anything between 2-4 grand with minimal need for programming. Also what about a decent amp to capture the bass? Thanks!

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Re: Hammond B3 clone
radee #2956326 11/04/18 02:11 PM
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In no particular order, there are lots of great sounding options:

Crumar Mojo and Mojo61 are very popular on this forum.
Viscount Legend and Legend Live, as well as Legend Solo are great boards.
Hammond XK5, SKX
Nord C2D
GSI DMC122 with Gemini built in
Other boutique stuff

Most people on the forum land with either Crumar, Viscount or Hammond when talking about dedicated clone wheels. Even more users here use the organs in multi purpose boards like Nord and Roland.

You should consider the following differences:

- Single or dual manual style?
- Tone and editing capabilities
- Will you add pedals?
- Will you need a real Leslie connection, a pedal like Vent or an onboard simulator?
- Key action
- Number of drawbar sets
- Organ only or other sounds built in

You are in a price range with great choices.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
jeffinpghpa #2956340 11/04/18 04:51 PM
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There are many different degrees of "decent" clone, somewhat dependent on just how much organ will be used and how exposed it is (solo instrument or small jazz group versus hard rock as an example).
I am well pleased with my Hammond SK1 73 key version. It gives me some very good Hammond, a reasonably good Leslie emulation, plus some added sounds which are not as good as my Kurzweil PC3 series, but adequate for a lot of the time. It is single-manual (although that can be split into upper and lower, or a separate MIDI keyboard can be used as the lower).
Someone more particular in really duplicating the original Hammond/Leslie combination would likely add a Neo Ventilator pedal for the Leslie emulation and warm distortion with increase in volume that it adds. BTW, don't forget to add some form of compatible expression pedal (kind of like a volume pedal, but it also affects tone and compression). SK1's come in 61, 73, and 88 key versions. Bass pedals can be added, but you won't likely want to do this unless you really get heavily into it (they are not inexpensive, and one has to learn how to simultaneously play keys with both ands and with feet).

The SK2 is a similar instrument, with two manuals instead of 1 (and not as lightweight). There are numerous other manufacturers, each has their own ideas on the instrument. I wasn't really satisfied with the Kurzweil's built-in KB3 organ Leslie effect. Also tried a Nord Electro 3 73 key for about a year, and sold it to buy the SK1.

There are many different techniques in playing Hammond styles, different genres of music have significantly different requirements. What makes it even more of a moving target is that original tonewheel Hammonds don't all sound the same (especially when some of them are 60+ years old with component changes and wear), also many different models over the years, so one person's ideal "Hammond" may be a lot different from another's.

I agree with Jeff, there are a number of great choices.
Something else that will considerably affect your choice is whether or not you will be playing just organ, organ with a separate acoustic piano (less likely), or need to cover both organ and other types of sounds like acoustic piano, electric piano, orchestral instruments, clavichords, etc.

There are endless arguments / spirited discussions on this forum about choices of different Hammond clones.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
MoodyBluesKeys #2956345 11/04/18 05:28 PM
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Perfect reply Jeff! Let’s leave it there.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
Mitch Towne #2956348 11/04/18 06:18 PM
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Depends on the player .... Is the player a Hammond organist? Do you have O.C.D. ? I get anal over interface things. I hate change. The control layout is often more important to me than the tone. They all sort of sound decent. 80% of the sound is from the Leslie. If you never played the real thing then no sense sweating the small things. Develop your own style. Some of our styles depend on dual manuals, pulling multiple registrations. Preset key tricks. Ect.... I take all my Leslie switching and audio output to my vent from the Leslie socket so I can use the normal half moon, kick switch and organ controls... No extra Vent foot switches. I do everything to make it like my 58. You don't need to do this. Most people probably don't even need a Leslie socket.

It's an individual player driven thing.

Last edited by CEB; 11/04/18 06:32 PM.

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Re: Hammond B3 clone
radee #2956350 11/04/18 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted By: radee
I'm joining a band and I have a need.


Welcome to the forum! Can you tell us more about the band/style of music? Does it require a "full-on" Hammond (two manuals, pedals, half-moon switch etc.)? You say you're mostly a pianist - are you going to retain a "focus" on piano in this band?

Related question: what other equipment do you already have (that you intend to use with this band)?

Cheers Mike.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
stoken6 #2956351 11/04/18 06:38 PM
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Man... I'm a Hammond Suzuki guy but if you aren't an organist the 2 manual Mojo is a nice combination of great tones/ Modern features/ and giving you the things I( emphasis on I) think you need. Two sets of drawbars to be able to pull your next registration, and dual manuals .... If you are aa organ heavy rocker.

Last edited by CEB; 11/04/18 06:39 PM.

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Re: Hammond B3 clone
radee #2956371 11/04/18 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: radee
Hey all,

New here but I'm looking for a decent and reasonably priced Hammond B3 clone. I'm not a tech guy and have played acoustic piano most of my life but I'm joining a band and I have a need. Anything between 2-4 grand with minimal need for programming. Also what about a decent amp to capture the bass? Thanks!


If you want a great piano sound as well as some interesting organ features, and you can deal with 73 keys, check out the Dexibell J7. You can split the keyboard with two different organ sounds.

Last edited by Radagast; 11/04/18 09:01 PM.
Re: Hammond B3 clone
Radagast #2956379 11/04/18 10:43 PM
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I'm under the impression that the original Mojo dual-manual, though having the advantage of two sets of drawbars, isn't quite as up-to-date as the 61? I know it's a Unix box instead of DSP with the 61, do they get updated and have feature revisions at the same time? I just don't hear about the older ones as much. It seems most seem to prefer the 61 with the add-on manual, rather than the dual.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
EricBarker #2956383 11/04/18 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted By: EricBarker
I'm under the impression that the original Mojo dual-manual, though having the advantage of two sets of drawbars, isn't quite as up-to-date as the 61?


Not quite. I have an original Dual manual and a 61. The Dual runs on a PC with Windows Embedded. The Mojo 61 runs on DSP. Up until this very last update, it is my belief that Guido has managed to keep his core organ code intact across all platforms, rolling out updates to each platform as he has time to update the shim code that has to be different for each set of hardware.

With this very last update to Mojo 61, Guido has hinted that he may be bumping up against hardware or computational limitations on the Windows platform, so things might be diverging.

I think the Mojo software sounds head and shoulders above the rest for matching what I like organs to sound like. I do own a Viscount and it has a new update I have not done, so it is supposed to be improved recently also.

Disclaimer - not speaking for Guido, he can speak for himself!

Last edited by matted stump; 11/04/18 11:04 PM.

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Re: Hammond B3 clone
mate stubb #2956389 11/04/18 11:51 PM
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I'll add this to the earlier good responses...

You might consider a Nord C1 - for well under your budget. Granted it's an older model, but if you can deal with the electronic drawbars it's a great board. I played out with one for about 5 years and loved it. Slap a Lester K or Ventilator on it and you'd probably be quite happy.

Re: Hammond B3 clone
mate stubb #2956428 11/05/18 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted By: matted stump
The Dual runs on a PC with Windows Embedded. The Mojo 61 runs on DSP. Up until this very last update, it is my belief that Guido has managed to keep his core organ code intact across all platforms, rolling out updates to each platform as he has time to update the shim code that has to be different for each set of hardware.

With this very last update to Mojo 61, Guido has hinted that he may be bumping up against hardware or computational limitations on the Windows platform, so things might be diverging.

I think the Mojo software sounds head and shoulders above the rest for matching what I like organs to sound like. I do own a Viscount and it has a new update I have not done, so it is supposed to be improved recently also.

Disclaimer - not speaking for Guido, he can speak for himself!


So is the newest Mojo XT using this exact same "PC with Windows Embedded" (sounds like 'dead-end road' to me) engine that you mention ? I have been looking at dual-manual clonewheels and am now hoping that Mojo XT is DSP not embedded windows...

Re: Hammond B3 clone
snarksoup #2956587 11/06/18 12:50 AM
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The MojoXT is embedded Windows, not DSP.


"I would, but I don't want to."
Re: Hammond B3 clone
Mitch Towne #2956593 11/06/18 02:21 AM
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Originally Posted By: Mitch Towne
The MojoXT is embedded Windows, not DSP.


Oh well, I'm sure it's a great instrument, but,,,

Thanks for your reply.

Re: Hammond B3 clone
snarksoup #2956601 11/06/18 05:33 AM
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That's ridiculous they are still using Windows embedded. Still using off the shelf PC sound cards inside as well? KeyB switched to DSP at the turn of the decade, and even then, the Mk1 Duo was Linux based.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
Gary75 #2956602 11/06/18 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted By: Gary75
That's ridiculous they are still using Windows embedded. Still using off the shelf PC sound cards inside as well? KeyB switched to DSP at the turn of the decade, and even then, the Mk1 Duo was Linux based.


So I guess you never use an ATM?


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
Markay #2956605 11/06/18 07:51 AM
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What's that got to do with anything? That's a bizarre response.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
Gary75 #2956606 11/06/18 08:26 AM
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ATM's run windows embedded, another example - the Kronos is an Atom powered custom board with an SSD running Linux, is that similarly so "ridiculous" that it should also have been replaced by a DSP many years ago?


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
Markay #2956608 11/06/18 08:29 AM
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I prefer to judge things by how the work instead of what tools the builder used to make them. Anybody judging a keyboard by its operating system is foolish IMNSHO.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
WesG #2956609 11/06/18 08:36 AM
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+1


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
Markay #2956611 11/06/18 08:46 AM
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The ATM has been around since 1967, you don't think they are still running the same operating system do you?

I might as well have said I drive a car and a response of "I guess you don't use your legs"

Who wants to have a failure mid gig and wait for it to boot up when the competition has already improved hugely in that respect.

So yes, I do find it ridiculous they are still using the same system from ten years ago.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
Gary75 #2956612 11/06/18 08:49 AM
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.... and they already have the new DSP in their Mojo61!


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
M_G #2956622 11/06/18 10:23 AM
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If you don't need a dual manual:

If you have need for other sounds (piano, electric piano, clav, synth etc) then I'd look at a Nord electro or maybe the Hammond sk1 or sk2. I'm not a huge fan of the springy action on these compared to a couple others. The Nord is probably going to be my choice due to midi capabilities and the nice pianos, plus being able to use some synth sounds.

The other competitor for me at least is the Mojo 61, which (by most accounts) would be a somewhat better organ experience coupled with a smaller selection of extra sounds.

I used to own a Roland VR700, and while likely the organ isn't quite as good as those two above, it certainly sounded just fine in my classic rock band. It had a very easy interface, no programming needed, you had all the organ controls handy and could pick a non-organ sound easily...and GREAT action and nice drawbars. So the Roland line(s) might work for you as well.

Last edited by Stokely; 11/06/18 10:23 AM.
Re: Hammond B3 clone
Stokely #2956628 11/06/18 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted By: Stokely
Nord electro or maybe the Hammond sk1 or sk2. I'm not a huge fan of the springy action on these compared to a couple others. The Nord is probably going to be my choice due to midi capabilities and the nice pianos, plus being able to use some synth sounds.

The Hammond is less springy than the Electro (i.e. doesn't push back as much), and the Hammond has stronger MIDI capabilities than the Electro. Both have some synth sounds... the Electro has more, but if you're looking at doing MIDI stuff anyway, it's easy to add more synth sounds to a Hammond (from an iOS device, for example), much better than the Nord in that respect. No pitch or mod wheel on either of them, unfortunately, though the Hammond does at least let you bend pitch on its internal synth sounds using a pedal. But the Electro still has lots of advantages over the Hammond... better overdrive on the organ, better acoustic pianos, low release point on the clavs that make them feel snappier, more extensive library of downloadable sounds (esp. other vintage keys), ability to load custom samples, some basic envelope controls on its sample/synth sounds, and (with the newest model) seamless sound switching and more split/layer flexibility (including the ability to split/layer two sounds without one of them having to be organ, as on the Hammond).


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
AnotherScott #2956639 11/06/18 11:28 AM
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I think the criteria I posted earlier above still stands. Nord, Roland and Kurzweil are good sounding jack-of-all-trades boards that have modeled organs, drawbar controls and Leslie simulation. They're not going to function the same as a dedicated dual manual clone or provide a playing experience for many of the styles and techniques you would do on a vintage tonewheel Hammond.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
jeffinpghpa #2956642 11/06/18 11:45 AM
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Roland and Kurzweil aren't major players in the conversation and I have a Forte. Could you get by with them in a pinch? yes probably. If you want a good organ emulation you really have to pay for it. Unless you are doing 90% organ on your gig I wouldn't carry a full rig either. That is a whole other thing requiring finances, logistical concerns and a lot of dedication.

Last edited by Outkaster; 11/06/18 11:48 AM.

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Re: Hammond B3 clone
Outkaster #2956643 11/06/18 12:03 PM
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That's what makes the Gemini module so appealing to me. Not only do you get the Mojo in a box, you get at least 25 other sounds that are just as phenomenal in their own right (EP's, brass, strings, VA synth, horns, CP80, a rather large list). This is all done without having to lug around yet another keyboard; the downside is the midi hookup of cables and power supplies into the existing rig. If it is pre-hooked up in a rack then it isn't nearly as bad.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
Delaware Dave #2956648 11/06/18 12:18 PM
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Another thread where the OP vanishes without trace...

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
jeffinpghpa #2956655 11/06/18 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted By: jeffinpghpa
I think the criteria I posted earlier above still stands.

Yup, it was perfect, which is why I had nothing to add to the thread, until stokely was comparing the Electro and SK1/2 for himself. As for the OP, as Mike pointed out, he hasn't yet been back to answer any of your good questions.


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Re: Hammond B3 clone
Gary75 #2956659 11/06/18 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: Gary75
That's ridiculous they are still using Windows embedded. Still using off the shelf PC sound cards inside as well?

My freshly renovated SY77 still runs the same operating system and DACs it used in 1990.

Sounds great, works like a Yamaha.

Why change something that works great and reliably? Hackers?

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