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Need advice on purchasing organ


Reverend Rhythm

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Hi guys,

 

I'm in the market for an organ. I've read the threads and watched the videos, but I can't find a Hammond to play in the Atlanta area. I played a VK-8 at a music store in Marietta (north of Atl), but I no one I'm familiar with carries them. We have two big Guitar Centers, and neither carries or intends to carry Hammonds.

 

You guys have any advice? I guess I could order it on the internet and then return it if I don't like it, but that doesn't sound good to me.

David
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Hi guys,

I'm in the market for an organ. I've read the threads and watched the videos, but I can't find a Hammond to play in the Atlanta area.

 

I can't help but chuckle. I bet that no matter where in Atlanta you go you are no more than a half mile from a Hammond Organ. Are there any black churches you can hit up? Maybe you can post something on Craigslist like, 'I'll pay $30 just to play your hammond Organ for a half hour' and explain that you are looking to buy one and just need to try one out. I bet somebody gets back to you. I know I would!

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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I re-read my Op, and I see that it was misleading. Sorry about that. I was thinking of the Suzuki Hammonds: XK-1 specifically. But I really appreciate the advice. I would love to own the real thing, but I don't think I can move it around.

 

And to answer my own question, I found one at the Sam Ash in Marietta/Atlanta. I didn't even know there was a Sam Ash in Atlanta (DOH!) until my drummer told me last night. I called them and they have one. So I'm going to try to get down there this weekend.

David
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I think you should try the Nord C1 or C2. Cheaper for dual manual, great leslie sim - easy to lug. Great sounding clone. Check me out playing mine on youtube, perhaps:

 

or

 

It's a great clone,

 

Darren

www.dazzjazz.com

PhD in Jazz Organ Improvisation.

BMus (Hons) Jazz Piano.

1961 A100.Leslie 45 & 122. MAG P-2 Organ. Kawai K300J. Yamaha CP4. Moog Matriarch. KIWI-8P.

 

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If you ever have to do Doors covers or other 60's combo organ bands like the Grass Roots etc.... they sound great.

 

96 Beers..... I mean 96 Tears wasn't meant to be played on a Hammond. :D

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Nord doesn't have drawbars.

 

You should try an XK3c.

I must say that I did like the drawbars on the XK-1. They didn't have a XK-3 to play. The xk-1 is $1500 and the XK-3c is, I think, $2300. That plays a factor. I think I'm having reservations on how much I "need" a separate organ. And I know that no one can really answer the question for me. I have to figure it out myself.

 

I have a lot of varied interests. I teach music in an elementary school. I do composition and music licensing on the side. I'm also in a blues band, and that's where the organ would come in handy. I play an RD-700 and I really like the piano in it. The organ on the RD feels all wrong (weighted keys), and the faux drawbars are not the most convenient to operate. I won't have call for an organ in my studio work, so I can't yet decide if I want to spend $1500 on a hobby (the blues band). Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy playing the blues, but the Atlanta musician market is saturated. If I get $100 a gig, I'm doing good. Most of the time it's less. And we play about 3 times a month, so making the money back will take some time. So that's my dilemma. I guess I have some more thinking to do.

David
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Try a Nord Electro 3, which would be a great companion for the RD. Plus, it's good enough to use alone for practice, jams, and small gigs. It comes in 73 and 60 key varieties, though the 73-key is marred by starting at low F rather than low E, which essentially wastes a bunch of keys most of the time for me. Either is small and light, great package, and has great action for playing hammond, clav, or wurli.

 

The XK3c sounds quite a bit better than the NE3, but the NE3 also has great wurli, clav, and a decent Rhodes that's quite a bit different that the on one the RD -- I'd use both if I had an RD. And it has a usable piano. Note that you can download various sounds to the NE3, and my understanding is that some of these are better pianos than the factory ones. (I hope so; I'm not a fan of the NE3's factory ones. But still they're usable.)

 

For pure organ, there's no beating the XK3c. But if you're not a purist, if you like a small, light, convenient package, and would use any of the other sounds, the NE3 is great. It doesn't have drawbars, but does have "drawbuttons". They're not good enough to do serious drawbar play, but they're good enough to make various drawbar changes while you're playing.

 

The VK8 is a playable, usable organ, but it's pretty clearly exceeded by the newer entries in the field. I'm surprised to hear you weren't sold on the XK1 in comparison. I haven't played an XK1, but if it's anything like the XK3c there's little comparison.

 

Make sure you test drive them all with a liberal helping of overdrive. That's one of the areas where the better ones really shine, and it's good for the blues.

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Thanks for your comments, Jeff. I liked the XK-1 a good bit better than the VK-8. I guess my previous comments were not clear. The Vk-8 had a good aggressive sound when the overdrive was engaged but not turned up, but it lacked versatility in it's sound, at least to me. Without the overdrive (or whatever it's called on the VK) the sound was thin to me. The XK-1's overdrive also sounded good when it was very low. It sounded awful to me when it was turned up. But overall it sounded like a Hammond, and that's what I am looking for.

 

I think part of my hesitation is that from my reading and watching videos, I think a Ventilator would be needed to really make the XK shine. That, of course, is another $500. And so I'm back to my dilemma.

 

But I really like talking about it, and thinking about it. So I may yet talk myself into it. I only wish I could try it out a gig, or even a rehearsal.

David
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You should buy a ventilator and use it with the Roland RDpiano (which has the VK8 sound engine I believe). I took my ventilator to a rehearsal Friday night and we hooked it up to our B3 player's Roland RD and it sounded as good as the real thing.
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
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You should buy a ventilator and use it with the Roland RDpiano (which has the VK8 sound engine I believe). I took my ventilator to a rehearsal Friday night and we hooked it up to our B3 player's Roland RD and it sounded as good as the real thing.

While the Ventilator might be the biggest bang-for-buck in terms of how to improve the organ sound the most for the least amount of money, it doesn't address his two biggest complaints with playing organ on the RD.... the main issues he mentioned weren't the sound... rather "The organ on the RD feels all wrong (weighted keys), and the faux drawbars are not the most convenient to operate."

 

The XK1 would be the least expensive new/current model that fits the bill. (As it happens, I'm about to put one up for sale, btw...)

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I thinking about the possibility of MIDIing another, non-weighted, keyboard to the RD. I have an old Korg T2 that should work fine. Then I could buy the Venilator. I don't know if it will work, but it's at least worth a try. I know that still leaves the faux drawbars problem.

 

AnotherScott, PM me if you decide to sell.

David
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You should buy a ventilator and use it with the Roland RDpiano (which has the VK8 sound engine I believe). I took my ventilator to a rehearsal Friday night and we hooked it up to our B3 player's Roland RD and it sounded as good as the real thing.
I remember fiddling with one in a store and it seemed to be missing some controls such as scanner IIRC. Other than that, and the lack of drawbars, it does seem to be the same engine.

 

A drawback to using the RD with the Ventilator is that you'd have to switch off the Ventilator manually when changing between organ and non-organ patches.

 

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"I must say that I did like the drawbars on the XK-1. They didn't have a XK-3 to play. The xk-1 is $1500 and the XK-3c is, I think, $2300.....I can't yet decide if I want to spend $1500 on a hobby (the blues band)."

 

Here's my advice: Used XK-1's were going for about $1000 on fee-bay last I looked. And used NE-2's for $1000-$1400, depending on 61-key, or 73-key, accessories, etc. I bought a used 73-key NE-2 for about $1400 maybe 3 years ago, & sold it about 18 months later for $1350 or so. There's one in my area for sale on CL for $1200/b.o. Very Nice Hammond sounds, & the EP & Clav sounds are good. Light to schlep.

 

Personally, I'm looking for a Used XK-1. I'm jones-ing for an XK3c, but they seem to be about $1700 used, so.....

 

PS--don't forget your local craigslist. It's a crapshoot, but sometimes you can find relative bargains. Good luck!

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I don't think the original poster really wants an organ. He just wants a keyboard that sounds like a Hammond organ.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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XK-2 and in some cases XB-2s are still bringing good money used. I don't get it. That's 10+ year old technology. I don't know how many deadlined components are in the XK-2 but I know there are some non-replaceable parts that if they do fail in the XB-2 you are out of luck. But people are buying these old models for $700-$1200. I would rather buy a new XK-1 for $1400 or whatever they sell for.

 

That is why, as much as I think the new B-3 is pretty cool I would never pay $28,000 for one. 10 years down the line it may become disposable

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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