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#2020882 - 12/09/08 07:13 AM Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3
Neilo Offline
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Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 19
OK...got the bug. I'm a blues keyboard player using a Hammond XK3. The Nord C1 has caught my eye. Obviously, the second manual is a plus, but I'm looking for honest opions here. Is the B3 sound, action better on the C1 than the Hammond? Don't much care about the other sounds, (Farfisa, Vox). Just don't want to jump on something if I don't need to. I like the idea of the second manual. Used to have a B3. The leslie simulator doesn't interest me too much as well. I'm running my organ and piano through a Motion Sound amp with the horn. Not really in an area where it's a convenient drive to try one out. For what it is, the XK3 does an ok job but like all musicians, always thinking the grass is greener............seen the comparison of the C1 vs. the B3 on YouTube....

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#2020885 - 12/09/08 07:25 AM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: Neilo]
Outkaster Offline
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Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 3665
Loc: Rochester, NY
Here we go again. The XK-3 and XK-3c get a bad rap and I am not sure why. It is a professional instrument and not a lot of people have them. The C-1 is not like a major upgrade or anything. Personally I can’t get not having real drawbars as good as the Nord stuff sounds. Personally I would put the Hammond up against anything out there especially through a real Leslie.


Edited by Outkaster (12/09/08 07:29 AM)
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#2020886 - 12/09/08 07:25 AM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: Neilo]
tonysounds Offline
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Registered: 08/11/05
Posts: 7729
Loc: Chicago
I think the C1 is nice, and if you were relying on the leslie sim, I'd say, it might be an upgrade for you. But if you're using a rotary horn already, no, the grass is NOT greener in this case. The action on the C1 is pretty sweet, but so is the action on the XK1 (which I preferred over the Xk3).

You're a Hammond guy: the drawbars are a big factor. The XK series has that midrange girth that is so important to the Hammond sound. If you want the double manual, get the rest of "the system".
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#2020897 - 12/09/08 08:02 AM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: tonysounds]
Neilo Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 19
thanks Tony...really really appreciate the feedback. And you're correct, I'm a Hammond guy and I know I would miss the drawbars! You know how musicians are....there's always something new & better. I miss the ole B3 but frankly, most of the gigs I play, you could even get it in the room. Don't know how I use to do it.

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#2020898 - 12/09/08 08:05 AM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: Outkaster]
Neilo Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 19
thanks so much for the feedback! You're correct, nobody in my immediate area has the Hammond and as I told Tony, I'm a Hammond guy from way back and would miss the drawbars! Thanks again. Great forum. Don't use it allot but the times I have, I've really received some good feedback.

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#2020902 - 12/09/08 08:15 AM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: tonysounds]
JMcS Offline
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Registered: 12/11/03
Posts: 2461
If you still have the original tubes in your XK-3 you can get a whole new instrument by putting in a pair of 50's/60's era tubes.More info here:
http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2020900&page=1

You might consider adding one of the System lower manuals, then a 3300 and then either the '3c or the next generation when it comes out.

Good Luck.

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#2020988 - 12/09/08 11:57 AM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: Outkaster]
JMcS Offline
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Registered: 12/11/03
Posts: 2461
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Here we go again. The XK-3 and XK-3c get a bad rap and I am not sure why. It is a professional instrument and not a lot of people have them. The C-1 is not like a major upgrade or anything. Personally I can’t get not having real drawbars as good as the Nord stuff sounds. Personally I would put the Hammond up against anything out there especially through a real Leslie.


I haven't heard many complaints about the XK-3 or '3c. There have been some about the digital Leslie and some about the trigger point of the keys and probably a few others. I think the amp that the XK-3 and '3c are played through make a big difference in how the digital Leslie comes across. The Leslie 2121 uses the same speaker and driver as the "real" Leslies so it produces a tone like a Leslie. Particularly since the crossover point is the same. Other amps or PA systems may not do it as well. The trigger point is shallower than a usual synth keyboard since it doesn't need velocity info. Some people like this and some don't. Fortunately for me I like it.

The Guitar Center near me carries the XK-1 and the single manual Nord. I've only seen them connected to monitor amps hanging on the wall or a beat up old Roland amp (are beat up old Roland amps the required amplification for all keyboard demo rooms?) The Nord stuff I've fooled around with at the stores didn't sound that great to me but through those amps the XK-1 didn't sound like my stuff at home either. The chain stores don't stock the XK-3/3c and they don't get discounted much if at all from the online shops. Hammond has a network of dealers and I think they want those dealers to be able to survive against the chain and online stores. While the "B3" sound is a niche market, it is my understanding that Hammond is selling every one they make as fast as they can make them. The popularity and success of the XK series is causing Hammond to keep improving them and the Leslies to go with them. Staying ahead of the competition is probably also an incentive.

Luckily, there are lots of choices so everyone can find the "one" that fits them.

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#2020993 - 12/09/08 12:10 PM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: JMcS]
bhodaway10 Offline
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Registered: 08/04/06
Posts: 1144
Loc: San Francisco, CA
I stumbled upon an XK3 in a consignment store last week. I played on it for about 30 minutes connected to a small mediocre Peavey amp. It sounded good and playing with the drawbars was nice.

The only I didn't like was the action - it felt a little choppy to me. Also, I was missing the lower manual because playing bass and comping, playing, etc got a little crowded for my taste.

The guy wanted $1300 for it - a pretty good price in my book. However, I already have my C1 and if I bought the XK3, I'd want the lower manual which is another $1300 plus I still want a new portable leslie and it would require a lot more room in my car.

Have you guys heard anything about the new leslie 21 that's supposedly coming out in a few months?

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#2021003 - 12/09/08 12:36 PM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: bhodaway10]
JMcS Offline
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Registered: 12/11/03
Posts: 2461
I've heard it will have deeper bass capability but I don't know for certain how.

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#2021017 - 12/09/08 12:54 PM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: JMcS]
Outkaster Offline
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Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 3665
Loc: Rochester, NY
Also you have to realize there are brokers undercutting Hammond dealers also. One is in LI NY. I blew them in. Chain stores don’t want clones carrying them increases dead inventory because they are niche instruments. The one GC had an XK-3 in 2005 but that was the only time I saw one. I said people complaining because on some boards I felt the need to defend it. I did it with the Korg CX-3 also because I never felt it gets a fair shake.


Edited by Outkaster (12/10/08 07:21 AM)
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#2021035 - 12/09/08 01:35 PM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: Outkaster]
retrokeys Offline
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Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 1473
I am an XK3 and 21 system user and also own an Electro. I love the Nord stuff and if the C1 had B3 style drawbars (2 per manual) and presets, I would get one in a heartbeat. My real reason for this post, however, is to find out what's up with the leslie 21 system. Where is this news coming from? I know some users like B3er use a subwoofer for extra bass kick but have heard nothing from Ham Suz. I don't know how you would get much more bass out of the 2121. The crossover can be adjusted and it has a 15" in it just like the leslies of yore. Are they going to pack an 18" in there. Will this mod be retrofittable? Much curiousity.

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#2021074 - 12/09/08 02:37 PM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: retrokeys]
bhodaway10 Offline
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Registered: 08/04/06
Posts: 1144
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Retrokeys, is your preference - XK3 and the 21 or the Electro and the 21? And why?

With the Electro 61 prices (saw one on CL for $800 last week) that coupled w/ an XK3 would be a pretty cool setup.

I would like to know more about the 21 as well - I just heard a rumor from the yahoo forums that it was coming. Naam show? smile


Edited by bhodaway10 (12/09/08 02:39 PM)

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#2021086 - 12/09/08 03:09 PM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: bhodaway10]
JMcS Offline
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Registered: 12/11/03
Posts: 2461
From what I've heard, the 2101 will be changed to increase its low end ability. I don't know if they are increasing its overall size and putting bigger speakers in it or adding a single speaker for the lower frequencies. Adding the 2121 to make the 21System will probably still increase its total power and deep low end. I think the upcoming NAMM is going to be pretty interesting.

Have you tried running both of the 2101's low rotor outputs into the 2121 along with the mono Stationary Bass channel? I think that increases the amount of time/distance the "low rotor" is facing front on each revolution.

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#2021110 - 12/09/08 04:19 PM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: JMcS]
B3_borne Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/26/08
Posts: 242
Loc: Merritt BC
I guess it comes down to whether you played a real B3 for anytime in your life. I bought the Xk3 pro system and run it through a 142 Leslie. I played a chopped B3 for 20+ years

IMHO I can't tell the difference between the two, after Jim (B3-er) email me his XK3 tweaks and I loaded them in. The key bed may not feel exactly the same but it's not that much different that it affects my playing at all.

Personally I can’t play a Hammond clone that doesn’t have drawbars or the real B3 vibrato and chorus, which Hammond finally got right with the XK3.

As for playing through a Leslie sim … I haven’t heard one including the XK3c that I would use on stage, there is nothing out there that can replace a real Leslie as far as I’m concerned. I have more people comments on “the sound of that thing”, “what is it …it sound soooo cool”. Yes it’s cool to watch but it also move sound in away that no sim will ever be able to replicate

To me playing a Hammond is like operating a machine as well as playing it and operating the machine; pulling on drawbars, hitting presets keys (inverse keys), playing on both the upper & lower manuals with right hand as well as comp’ing with the left, changing vibrato and chorus variables or turning it off and working the swell petal and Leslie speed are all just as important as playing it.

If you’re a B3 player there is nothing out there that can do all this the same way as you would with the real thing (B3) at the price and weight. If you just want a Hammond clone sound then there are cheaper ways to go.

JMHO

Ron
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#2021121 - 12/09/08 04:52 PM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: B3_borne]
Doc Tonewheel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/04/06
Posts: 271
Loc: West Chester, PA
I did a side by side at Manny's in NYC, and I think the keybed feel on the XK-3c is better than the C1. Not exactly like a real tonewheel, but very close. Throw in the real drawabars, real tubes, and customizable tonewheel sets, and for me, it's the XK-3c hands down. I can get it to sound almost exactly like my vintage A105. The ability to switch between 1 and 2 manuals is also a plus based upon the gig you're playing.
Support the certified dealers like Tonewheel General Hospital, Goff Organ, BB Organ, B3Guys, Tom Petro, etc.


Edited by Doc Tonewheel (12/09/08 04:53 PM)
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#2021152 - 12/09/08 07:54 PM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: Outkaster]
eric Offline
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Registered: 01/25/02
Posts: 5544
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Here we go again. The XK-3 and XK-3c get a bad rap and I am not sure why. It is a professional instrument and not a lot of people have them. The C-1 is not like a major upgrade or anything.



Originally Posted By: Outkaster
I said people complaining because on some boards I felt the need to defend it. I did it with the Korg CX-3 also because I never felt it gets a fair shake.


I'm intrigued with Outkaster's pervasive internet conspiracy theories about the XK3 and CX3. grin

I like them all.
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#2021268 - 12/10/08 07:24 AM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: eric]
Outkaster Offline
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Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 3665
Loc: Rochester, NY
Eric that stuff went on over at HC for years. I may have fueled some of it with the Korg CX-3 but a lot of it was from people with no real Hammond experience.
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#2021288 - 12/10/08 08:39 AM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: Outkaster]
retrokeys Offline
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Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 1473
Bhodaway-sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Work (drat) got in the way. To address your question I'll start with the 21 system. It is essentially a rotary unit, like the Motion Sound Pro T but with a few more bells and whistles, which can be run into a more or less standard keyboard amp, the 2121, for extra power. The 2101 has a horn, a stationary channel and an electronically created bass rotor channel which is what is fed to the 2121 unit. Crossover for this signal can be adjusted on the top unit before it is sent to the bottom and the bottom unit itself has an adjustable crossover for how much signal gets to the bass and how much to the tweeter in that box. This was why I was curious about potentially "enhancing" the bass response of the system because there are already two ways of doing it. I would make sense to put bigger speakers in the top unit only if one didn't want to use the bottom. As to Electro vs. XK?.. two different things. I run the XK through the both parts of the 21 system. An 11 pin cable takes the signal to the top unit where the bass rotor signal is sent to the bottom. I use the Electro for pianos and clav and even occasionally second organ manual. This last is rare. In any case the signal is sent solely to the bottom of the 21 system which works like a keyboard amp. I do set it up to maximize the XK's sound but there is enough EQ on the Electro to give the other voices good sound as well. A tip of the hat here to Kanker's suggestion of using the presence control on the acoustic piano. The whole set up is is relatively compact and is double redundant. I have two keyboard which are essentially run into two amps. As to the organ voice of the Electro..the leslie sim is so good that running it straight into the stationary peakers of the 2121 is no problem. Hope this helps.

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#2021346 - 12/10/08 10:24 AM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: retrokeys]
bhodaway10 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/04/06
Posts: 1144
Loc: San Francisco, CA
So Retro - Do you own the 2121 or do you use a regular keyboard amp like a Roland KC550, etc?

The leslie 2121 is like 85 lbs which seems pretty heavy to move in/out of a car. It doesn't seem like too much of a difference between the 3303 I'd like to get at some point.

I wonder if maybe Hammond/Leslie will change the lower portion of the 21 system into a more portable setup.....

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#2021364 - 12/10/08 10:44 AM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: bhodaway10]
retrokeys Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 1473
I bought the two units separately so for a while I used the 2101 top and a Roland KC 500 (pity me, I didn't know better) before I bought the 2121. You are right, it is a bit weighty, but I've managed to single handedly get it in and out of a Ford Escort and later a PT Cruiser. For my use, the 21 system works best given the two types of boards I run and the security of redundant system. If I were just running organ I'd sure try out a 3300. As to the 3301 stationary box, at 300 watts I'd worry that it would overpower the 2101 top unit which is only 150

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#2021382 - 12/10/08 11:10 AM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: retrokeys]
bhodaway10 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/04/06
Posts: 1144
Loc: San Francisco, CA
How do you get it inside your car? Do you just tilt it into the car?

I meant to say the 3300 as well. I purchased a good PA system because I use it when I don't just play organ. However, I play mostly w/ jazz organ trios so I'd like to get a good portable leslie.

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#2021388 - 12/10/08 11:26 AM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: bhodaway10]
retrokeys Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 1473
There are recessed handles on the sides so I just pick it up and tilt it in. There are casters on the bottom as well so it rolls most places. If you can get a hand, two people can manhandle the thing with ease. Still, if you lift with your legs (in proper UPS approved fashion) you should have no trouble. I actually found the Roland to be far more ungainly since it only has a strap handle on the top. If weight and back problems are an issue for you and, if you are an old C3 hauler like I am, it's likely, you might want to also look into Motion Sound and or Speakeasy's road box series for the lightest portable leslie solution.

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#2021498 - 12/10/08 01:50 PM Re: Nord C1 vs. Hammond XK3 [Re: retrokeys]
Jim Alfredson Offline
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Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4967
Loc: Lansing, MI
To the original poster: Here's a video I made comparing my 1958 B3 to the XK3 (I really need to get this up on YouTube).

http://www.organissimo.org/media/video/hammond2.mp4

Here is my band performing live with the XK3 / XK System running through a Leslie 3300 and subwoofer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfx8RsipHUg

There is room for improvement with the instrument... but I think it's the best clone on the market, by far.
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