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I have joined the Hammond club :-)


Mark Schmieder

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I just got home a few hours ago from a long, gruelling, drive from South San Jose, where I picked up my new Hammond XK-1!

 

It was a long debate about whether I needed the extra flexibility of the XK-3c and the associated system, but after downloading the XK-1 manual, I realised it is enough for my purposes. And if I outgrow it later, I'll simply trade up. :-)

 

I normally wouldn't post a new topic about this, but it seems to be a Keyboard Corner tradition to announce when you have joined the Hammond Club. ;-)

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Well, my friend who sold me the XK-1 (only used it once -- he has a real B3 and intended this for gigs, but his band broke up), had me play it through his modern digital leslie system, and my jaw dropped to the floor!

 

I am not an organist though, so can't justify the extra cost (he is also selling his leslie system -- times are hard and he has a mortgage to meet). I play organ in lots of songs, but for fills, solos, etc. -- not as the featured instrument. I am primarily a bassist and/or synthesist at gigs. So I doubt I would ever need a second manual or a leslie system. Maybe a Ventilator though. :-)

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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I've got an XK-1 as well, and I actually had a chance to compare a real Leslie 122 with the XK-1's simulator last month over two different gigs with one of my bands. It wasn't really a scientific test, but I was inclined to believe the results nonetheless.

 

For a little context, this is a rock band with just a few exposed hammond parts; the organ usually supplements the band instead of leading it. We had these two gigs a couple weeks apart in different venues but with the same sound guy. I played through the 122 and a sturdy preamp for the first show and through a bedraggled 1980's Fender keyboard amp for the second. The 122 was borrowed, the Fender amp is mine.

 

After the first show I got lots of positive feedback about the Leslie. "Sounded awesome!" and whatnot. After the second show, three of the four people I talked to said the Leslie sounded great again (audience members who were at the first show as well). I told them it was actually the the simulator in my XK-1. They were shocked and swore they could hear the real Leslie. The fourth guy was the 122 owner from the first show- he couldn't be fooled but said the sound was indistinguishable! Lastly, the Hammond player from one of the other bands that night (who played an old CX-3) pointed to the XK-1 and said "I've got to get one of those!"

 

Based on this entirely non-scientific data, I'm glad I haven't forked over the cash and sacrificed my back for a real Leslie. If I start playing in an organ trio or something more exposed I might reconsider. As long as the rest of the band is covering up that insignificant difference in sound between the sim and real thing, and as long as audience members and Leslie owners can't tell the difference, I'm happy with the XK-1's digital Leslie. Just thought I'd share that anecdote. Oh, and congrats! :)

Keen
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Nah, just the XK1. He said the XK3 wasn't much different from the XK2, which I didn't realise. I think they mostly continued on improving the effects, distortion, and leslie simulation.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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The XK-1 has the same sound engine as the XK-3 minus the extra hardware and some programing features. The XK-3 has the sound engine that was developed for the New B3. Light years from the XK-2. The sound engine in the XK-3c is newer/more advanced/more powerful than the one in the XK-3 etc. and the sound engine in the New B3 MkII is based on that.
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Welcome to the fold! It's a slippery slope from here and I'm sure one day you'll be writing about scoring that console alphabet (B, C, A, RT or D) Hammond and leslie for a song!!

 

Enjoy the XK-1

Yamaha C7 Grand, My Hammonds: '57 B3, '54 C2, '42 BC, '40 D, '05 XK3 Pro System, Kawai MP9000, Fender Rhodes Mk I 73, Yamaha CP33, Motif ES6, Nord Electro 2, Minimoog Voyager & Model D, Korg MS10
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Hah, that's funny! It was working in Santa Clara while living in Emeryville that drove me out of the computer industry. Often the final two hours of the three hour commute would be the last few miles from Milpitas to Santa Clara. Even on a good day, I was lucky if it took under 90 minutes to traverse the 42 miles.

 

I have my back to the XK-1 as I write this. I was going to start recording with it this weekend, but ended up having a flash of inspiration yesterday for a deadline-dictated piece for the comedy show I am supporting, so whipped that one out (no organ; all orchestral instruments). I'm hoping to put it through its paces by this evening. Just trying to decide whether to record it in mono or stereo!

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Well, I feel pretty stupid now, as I downloaded the manual in advance but didn't read the MIDI chapter since I had already taken note that there are two MIDI input connectors on the back.

 

Somehow, it didn't occur to me that these are strictly for hooking up Hammond pedals and a second manual, and not for MIDI playback.

 

This means I'll need to play any parts over again from scratch, rather than simply re-tracking legacy material via MIDI to the XK-1.

 

I guess that's better anyway, since I'll probably phrase differently than I did no whatever faux organ posers I was using before.

 

It's still a big surprise to me though, that they didn't implement standard MIDI In on this keyboard. Now I'm curious to download the XK-3c manual to see if it too is missing this functionality.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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