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New Hamichord, new VB-3


mate stubb

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I am very interested in getting the M-C3 controller only, as I already have VB3 running on my laptop, but at $2,700.00 + shipping, I feel it is far too expensive for most players. Hopefully, BGMI will find a US distributor and the price will come down some.
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Looks very nice but would be an extravagance for the likes of me. I notice how closely it resembles the "real thing", which kind of got me thinking, does the classic B3 design not have some sort of copyright all over it, albeit perhaps passed to Hammond-Suzuki from the original company?

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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Looks very nice but would be an extravagance for the likes of me. I notice how closely it resembles the "real thing", which kind of got me thinking, does the classic B3 design not have some sort of copyright all over it, albeit perhaps passed to Hammond-Suzuki from the original company?

 

I don't know if you can copyright a physical layout, but if you could, it would have long since run out. That layout was invented over 70 years ago!

Moe

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New Hamichord model, running a new (as yet unreleased) pro version of VB-3.

 

I have the original Hamichord I have used extensively. I am actually quite happy with it with no desire to upgrade to the new one. I could really get close to the same look just by cladding it with hardwood that I know would *be* hardwood (wood is much more expensive in Europe and have no idea if the new unit is veneer or not over chipped core or fiberboard and may be indeed hardwood) and fairly easy to do. Side panels come right off in fact all the panels come off easily as it is bottom/frame base (mine) not the casing being the superstructure. Not doing that though for now. Still has all the main features. It upgrades with new software and I would consider better sounds of new software a bigger upgrade than going to the new release. That VB3 Pro sounds real sweet in the video. The computer in it will be good for quite a while with modeling bandwidth. Perhaps a very long time.

Having said the above the unit looks great. Hamichords use a B3 interface though future models may change but all Hamichords now and the future are principally updated with the organ emulation modeling software (that use the computer with the new one a module) as they all are the famous B3 interface that has no age. Additional amenities are nice though, but certainly not worth selling the previous model for the next one. Maybe in a few more models in 10 years. New firmware works with the old one too like the presets being programmable. In fact, that is the whole 'schtick' of the Hamichord. It really doesn't get old as the B3 interface doesn't BUT it IS nice to have the latest version when you do buy it.

 

 

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all Hamichords now and the future are principally updated with the organ emulation modeling software

 

Contacted Guido who is always a fine gentleman to contact I may add. If I am understanding him correctly this is the VB3II or version 2 that is in limited edition on the new Hamichords. The limited edition is only changeable and/or tweak-able from the Hamichord interface. It seems obvious there is an upgrade from the limited edition. The limited edition is said to be available to all previous Hamichord owners. It is still not clear whether you pay for the limited edition update or the full version when finished or both for the previous vintage owner. The version 2 uses an all new sound engine. This is brilliant considering previously the B4II was first in the original that is now discontinued. Exciting news.

 

I look forward to loading the new version VB3II or whatever it is called in my ax. Sounds amazing in those videos. I love this guy! (not that way) Really!!

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That sounds really good. Interesting that they used one of the short 11-pin Rotosonic Leslies (of the shorty 315/415/HL-422 family, or a 615 more likely, I think I saw the later motor above the horn shelf)...I hope not too many notice that...I'd love those to stay a publicly pooh-poohed secret. :D (he said, quickly throwing a sheet over the HL-722 sitting next to his B-3 and whistling innocently...)

 

Great playing...I wonder if that guy has a group or records...

---

Todd A. Phipps

"...no, I'm not a Hammondoholic...I can stop anytime..."

http://www.facebook.com/b3nut ** http://www.blueolives.com

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Salut mes amis ;) Guido here... I am the eye in the sky looking at youuuu, I can read your mind... (APP)

 

Well, that's my 415 I keep in the studio where we recorded the demos. I have my 147 at home next to my A100, it's a bit hard to move since I'm in an apartment at the 4th floor so we decided to use the little 415, but hey it sounds pretty good for a small-sized solid state.

 

The guy mostly works in the italian TV and also has a CD with his drummer friend, but I don't know where you can find it online... Try searching MaxDuo - Alter Ego 2.1.

 

Someone asked about the "VB3 Pro". I'm actually working on it, but nothing was decided yet, not even the name! For the moment, what's inside the new Hamichord is a special version of the new VB3 engine which only runs on that instrument and has no GUI, no parameters to tweak other than the ones you can control by the organ console.

 

The final version will be split in two parts: the "PLAY" screen will be the same as the Hamichord / Hammond console, with just those few more controls that you might want to adjust during a performance, but if you have a look to the backyard you'll find the "Organ Lab" where you can practically build your own organ, starting from the generator (adjust it wheel by wheel) through all other little bits of a real B3 (percussion normal and soft levels, long and short decay, keyclick amount, length, color, randomness, vibrato depth, chorus mix, etc.) same for the rotary speaker. Finally you can save your custom organ in a file and recall it at any time, store, share with other users.

The most exciting thing is that you'll be able to use real world values like mVpp for the waveform amplitudes and ohms for the resistor wires, so if you have an oscilloscope and measure your Hammond's generator outputs, you can dial the values in the software and hear what comes out.

 

This is what's currently inside the Hamichord you've seen in the videos.

 

Just give me the time to write the interface and it'll be yours. ;-)

 

 

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That little 415 sounds nice recorded, those Rotosonic+horn Leslies are overlooked and underrated and often dismissed...I really like them. Most of the time they end up being harvested for horn drivers, horns, and motors, or converted to a standard lower rotor.

 

The software sounds really interesting, especially the Organ Lab function. It sounds like a lot of fun!

 

Good work!

 

Todd in Cheesecurdistan

---

Todd A. Phipps

"...no, I'm not a Hammondoholic...I can stop anytime..."

http://www.facebook.com/b3nut ** http://www.blueolives.com

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Yep, the little 415 has the same driver (Jensen V21) as the bigger brothers, and a similar horn. There are DC motors driven by a tacho-controlled circuit and the rest of the circuitry is of course all solid state, including the xover.

 

It's 2-channel split in 4 amps, one for the horn, one for the rotosonic speaker, one for the stationary channel (there are 3 more speakers) and one for the bass 12" woofer. What's interesting is that it can produce enough low end almost like a 122/147 even with a 12" woofer, you can actually hear the first 7 notes of the 16' drawbar! This must be due to the quality of the woods and the width of the cabinet, it's all well proportioned. And it's quite powerfull too! It's 120W but I think it produces more SPL than a 40W valve Leslie.

 

I've heard many wanna-be Leslies with 12" bass speakers and none of them sounded any cloose to a real Leslie, including the Motion Sound Pro-145 which I used to own (and luckily got to sell out!)... especially in the bottom end, unless you add a sub-woofer with a 15" speaker.

 

I my very humble opinion, only a Leslie sounds like a Leslie :)

 

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I'm with you there...the other Leslie clones seem to miss the mark, especially the tone of the horn. The Speakeasy cabs sound good, but they stuck to basically Leslie-type horn designs rather than trying to reinvent the horn and making one with the wrong shape like Motion Sound. And yes, these solid-state Leslies can put out a big sound...my HL-722 can really bark (I did replace its later 8-ohm ceramic-magnet driver with a V21, so I do have to be more careful with the gain. I don't know when Leslie stopped using V21's, it was somewhere in the early 80's IIRC. I did find a lot of interesting info on these cabs in the Hamtech archives.) I want to add a 415 to my little herd now! :D I've been finding I almost prefer the Rotosonic with stationary bass to the standard scoop rotor, in fact...at least part of the time...though I realize I'm in the minority with that. But, as a veteran tech once told me, (1) there's no accounting for taste and (2) if you like the sound and it doesn't set the house on fire, it's good. :) Funny thing, I used to pooh-pooh Rotosonic Leslies, insisting that they were only good for parts, until I got one and hooked it up out of curiosity. Once I put in a new Mercotac and got the gains dialed in, I found I liked it and would like a couple more of 'em. I can see where some might not like the extra "throb" of the lower rotor...but it's all in the ear of the beholder, as they say...

 

TP

 

 

---

Todd A. Phipps

"...no, I'm not a Hammondoholic...I can stop anytime..."

http://www.facebook.com/b3nut ** http://www.blueolives.com

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And you can find them cheap too!

 

Here in Italy, and generally in Europe, where Hammonds and Leslies cost almost as much as cars, finding a good Rotosonic can be a pretty good deal sometimes. I paid my 415 700,00 euros. Just for comparison, I can say that I paid my 147 1800,00 euros.

 

Actually, I bought the 415 twice, at first I had to sell it because I needed cash to buy the 147, but after 2 years the new owner called me to say he was selling it again, and I bought it for the second time. :)

 

I just found an HL-822 (road version of the HL-722) for 780 euros and I'd like to buy it...

 

 

 

 

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That sounds like a good deal for Europe...I know how pricy this equipment can get over there. You'll love that HL-822 if you get it. The amp boards/crossover are actually the same as in the 415, but running at higher rail voltages, though the increase in power to each driver only amounts to a couple dB or so. Still, they're nice loud Leslies with (I think) wonderful bass. Hopefully their bad reputation will hang around long enough for me to find 2 or 3 more in the next year or so cheap... :D

 

Tip: if you have to replace a Mercotac, you can send the bad Mercotac back to the Mercotac company for recycling. If you it www.mercotac.com you can email them for shipping instructions. I have a dead one I need to send. You don't want to toss them in the trash since they contain mercury.

---

Todd A. Phipps

"...no, I'm not a Hammondoholic...I can stop anytime..."

http://www.facebook.com/b3nut ** http://www.blueolives.com

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So Guido, just so I understand this correctly, if I try the current VB3 VST software from you (via GSi website), other than the GUI, does that give me the representative sound of the current model of Hamichord?

 

Tom F.

"It is what it is."

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No Tom, not exactly, but this doesn't mean that the new one sounds better than the old one, they're just different.

 

When the new one will be completed, it will probably be better than the old one, not only soundwise. :)

 

In other words, the new sound engine inherits part of the code (i.e. my previous research and development) of the current VB3 version 1.2.2, but modified with the result of my most recent studies. The result is a different organ sound, maybe better than the previous one, but enough better to disqualify my previous work.

 

What's been enormously improved is the overall balance in the sound, in fact the new program sounds good either with its internal Leslie simulation or with a real Leslie, while the old program gives its best when used with its own sim. Many other things have been improved, such as the keyclick, the Leslie sim, and the criteria used to scale all internal values (what I was saying about mVpp and ohms).

 

 

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Guido:

 

See my post above. I did contact them. $2,700.00 + shipping for the controller and case only is very expensive, especially considering my Numa Nero was only $1,275.00 shipped! Hopefully, they will be able to sell it at a somewhat lower price in the future.

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What's been enormously improved is the overall balance in the sound, in fact the new program sounds good either with its internal Leslie simulation or with a real Leslie, while the old program gives its best when used with its own sim.

 

This is great to hear! I had noticed also that VB3 sounded better with its internal sim than with my elaborate Speakeasy rig. And that's just WRONG! (no disrespect to internal sims intended). :D

Moe

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What's been enormously improved is the overall balance in the sound, in fact the new program sounds good either with its internal Leslie simulation or with a real Leslie, while the old program gives its best when used with its own sim.

 

This is great to hear! I had noticed also that VB3 sounded better with its internal sim than with my elaborate Speakeasy rig. And that's just WRONG! (no disrespect to internal sims intended). :D

 

Agreed. I'm looking forward to using VB3 Pro (or whatever it is called) through my real Leslie!

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$2,700.00 + shipping for the controller and case only is very expensive

 

Well... if that amount is really US Dollars and you're not confusing with Euros, I don't know if it's really expensive for the US market, because it costs exactly the same amount in Euros, 2700.00 Euros which at the current exchange rate is $3800.00, so I suppose they're applying a huge discount for the American customers.

 

Also consider that a single manual Hammond XK3c costs $2295.00 and you have to add other $1675.00 if you also want the optional lower manual...

 

 

 

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$2,700.00 + shipping for the controller and case only is very expensive

 

Well... if that amount is really US Dollars and you're not confusing with Euros, I don't know if it's really expensive for the US market, because it costs exactly the same amount in Euros, 2700.00 Euros which at the current exchange rate is $3800.00, so I suppose they're applying a huge discount for the American customers.

 

Also consider that a single manual Hammond XK3c costs $2295.00 and you have to add other $1675.00 if you also want the optional lower manual...

 

 

 

That price quote is for the M-C3 and case only, no Exp-Edition, thus, no tone generator.

 

Even though the M-C3 is arguably the greatest organ MIDI controller ever made, it is still only a controller, and $2,700.00 is a lot to spend on a MIDI controller.

 

They gave me a $3,800.00 quote for the M-C3, Exp-Edition, and case.

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Right, my mistake. I thought it was for the whole thing. You should try to contact them again in a couple of weeks... I heard they're working something on the US prices.

 

Btw, $3800.00+s/h vs. $3950.00 for the dual manual XK3-c is still a good price IMO.

 

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Right, my mistake. I thought it was for the whole thing. You should try to contact them again in a couple of weeks... I heard they're working something on the US prices.

 

Cool - I'll definitely give them another shot!

 

Btw, $3800.00+s/h vs. $3950.00 for the dual manual XK3-c is still a good price IMO.

 

Agreed - I know that an XK-3c can be had for less than $2,295.00; however, it is tough to find a good deal on the XLK-3!

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Btw, $3800.00+s/h vs. $3950.00 for the dual manual XK3-c is still a good price IMO.

 

It might be good to mention that the Hamichord has 4 sets of drawbars, while the XK3c only has 2 as far as I know. That makes a pretty big difference IMO.

 

"Show me all the blueprints. I'm serious now, show me all the blueprints."

My homemade instruments

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It might be good to mention that the Hamichord has 4 sets of drawbars, while the XK3c only has 2 as far as I know. That makes a pretty big difference IMO.

 

Yeah. I have the first HC shipped to the US the first edition. Had it for quite a while. Totally satisfied with it. This has the computer in it. I kind of dig it like that actually. I can upgrade it myself in a few years perhaps with a higher bandwidth board. You can also play just about any software clone with it. I play the Apple EVB3 with it too along with the VB3 and B4II.

 

It can also be used as a controller. (first version). No intention of updating. You don't have to update these except software though nice to get the latest vintage when you get one. Though the newer ones will always have a couple of extras on them, how can you update a B3 interface? The interface itself is vintage, though nothing wrong with the notion of continually getting the latest version.

 

4 sets of drawbars, like you said, makes a BIG! difference and I use them but there is another feature very important a couple of the boutique clones do not have, being, the programmable reverse-colored keys. I use them all the time too as many others do playing the vintage.

 

I have to have presets. (this is not to be confused with the HS organs that DO have presets - though no 4 sets of drawbars unless you go to the very expensive B3P that can be $15 to $20K). If you know how to play a B3 there is no learning curve.

 

I wrote before: for B3 or vintage console Hammond players, the Hamichord gives the illusion you are playing a B3 and you forget when you are playing it. It is a weird thing. You could be in the middle of a tune and get the epiphany of "whoa! that's right this is not my B3!!" You forget because it is the same interface.

 

W

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especially considering my Numa Nero was only $1,275.00 shipped! Hopefully, they will be able to sell it at a somewhat lower price in the future.

 

I ordered a Numa Nero for $929 and free shipping on a Christmas day sale at one of the large box-store MI companies. Playing the Garritan Steinway (just updated last month to 1.04) that is the t**s. Pro version. (I also have Ivory that is *nice*, True Pianos and a demo version of Pianoteq I am reveiwing)

 

Running the Garritan since the update on my Macbook Pro *internal* 7200 Momentus hard drive at 128 polyphony believe it or not.

 

W

 

 

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especially considering my Numa Nero was only $1,275.00 shipped! Hopefully, they will be able to sell it at a somewhat lower price in the future.

 

I ordered a Numa Nero for $929 and free shipping on a Christmas day sale at one of the large box-store MI companies. Playing the Garritan Steinway (just updated last month to 1.04) that is the t**s. Pro version. (I also have Ivory that is *nice*, True Pianos and a demo version of Pianoteq I am reveiwing)

 

Running the Garritan since the update on my Macbook Pro *internal* 7200 Momentus hard drive at 128 polyphony believe it or not.

 

W

 

 

I aLso use the Garritan Steinway (the Standard version) with the Numa Nero. It is indeed nice! Running mine from my internal 7200RPM HDD in a Dell Studio 15. I also have Ivory Italian Grand, but I do not like it nearly as much as the Garritan. I will update Italian Grand to v2 to see if that makes a difference.

 

But we are drifting off topic. Back to your regularly scheduled Hamichord programming . . .

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