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Nord Electro 3 Vs. Hammond SK1


Polkahero

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Nord organs sound too 'polite' to me but IMO they work well through the FOH. I've just always used the Hammond stuff.

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

 

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

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I'd also consider the Nord C2d but I'm not sure if I want to break the bank that much.

...

Also, what do you all think about going with one manual instead of double manual? (SK1 vs SK2)? The only advantage I can see to having two manuals is that you can have two different drawbar settings for each. The SK2 runs almost 1K more than the SK1, is that worth it?

It is common for organ players to use a different sound for each hand (for example, a lead line with percussion on the top manual with the right hand, with chords played using a mellower sound on the lower manual). To some extent, you can duplicate this using a split on a single manual clone, but then the range of each part is severely restricted. Another solution, if using a single manual clone over another board (typically a weighted action piano style board) is to use MIDI so that your other board becomes your lower manual, but then there is a compromise in the feel of the keys, the relative placement of the two keybeds, and perhaps then the inability to use that other keyboard for some other purpose at/near the same time. Realtime drawbar control and/or preset selection for each manual can be more complicated as well.

 

If you're looking at the possibility of a dual manual organ, don't overlook the Mojo, which might save you money, and which many feel sounds best besides.

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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aaronarchy,

 

You really need to tell us what your budget is AND how important extra sounds/voices are!! The instruments you reference range from about $900 to almost $3700, and you haven't included the best clone that exists to day, the Crumar Mojo, which in my opinion is the best sounding and the best value in the clone market today.

 

I've owned and/or gigged with all of these clones and here are my thoughts...

 

The least expensive is the VR-09, and while it's not the best sounding organ, it's suprisingly capable as far as it's other voices and sounds.. it actually has a built in Virtual Analog Jupiter style synth that can be edited using a free iPad app AND unlike the SK series it CAN play two non-organ sounds at the same time.. So on the VR-09 you can play a nice acoustic piano, and layer strings (separately). The downside of the of the VR-09 is it's diving board keyboard.

 

The SK series (SK1/SK2) are good sounding organs, and they have a good waterfall keyboard, that would probably be preferred over the VR-09 by serious organ players. The organ is very tweakable, and after a number of OS updates it sounds and plays pretty well. There extra voices are OK.. not great, when played in isolation, but OK for an ensemble. Weak area of the SK series is it's overdrive and leslie sim. The extra manual of the SK2 is capable of playing organ OR it's other voices, however there's only one set of drawbars so you can't actually adjust the drawbar tones of both manuals simultaneously without switching from upper to lower drawbars.. which is a pain in the ass, and a show stopper for some.. Advantage goes to Nord C2d with it's 4 sets of drawbars, but its significantly more expensive.

 

The NORD organs, Electro 4D and C2D sound excellent.. and they no longer have a compressed sound that was characteristic of the Nords. They are quite bright and full sounding, and I prefer the sound of the new Nord OS over the sound of the SK series (just my opinion again) and I also think that the Nord overdrive and leslie sim is a notch up from the SK series. The Electro has a great set of extra sounds and voices.. however I think that it's still only capable of one sound at a time.. (unlike the Sk series and the VR-09).

 

That said, if you are really just looking for the best sounding clone.. I think the Crumar Mojo is the best of the bunch.. and it's VERY tweakable, given it's numerous tonewheel sets and other adjustable parameters, not only does it sound the best of all the aforementioned clones, but I think it can create the widest range of vintage hammonds.. By that I mean that if you can make it sound like a 1959 B3 or a 1955 C3 or a 1970 A100, or whatever.. AND if you're in North America you can probably have it delivered and your door step in 7-10 days, all in (taxes duties etc) for less than either the SK2 and far less than Nord C2d. Its a double manual and it has two sets of drawbars.

 

The Crumar Mojo does also have other sounds, however they are limited when compared to these other clones.. The Mojo has EP's (reed and tine) as well as combo organ tones. The downside of the Mojo is that it's built in Italy and while there is a service agent here in Canada, you can't just return it to your local music store for service. That said their tech support is second to none and if you experience the failure of a component, replacement is very easy.

 

IF you let us know what your budget is and how important other sounds are (and how you plan to use other sounds.. one or two at a time?).. forum members could probably provide better advice for you!!!

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

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Hi Craig, thanks for the detailed response. Regarding budget, I'm pretty flexible but I'd like to keep it under $3K. I would consider the Nord C2D if I was convinced the fat price tag was worth it over the other boards being discussed.

 

My main priority is getting a solid B3 sound. Additional voices are obviously a plus but definitely not a deal breaker. Regarding mixing sounds, being able to have two different drawbar settings at once is definitely a plus, but I can't really see a need for mixing other voices (I have other boards for that).

Unless it's one of those features that I'm overlooking and if I had it I would be glad it was there?

How do you think the action on the Mojo compares to the SK2?

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Under $3K? If you don't need a leslie socket then I would probably go with the Mojo. If I had to have a Leslie socket I would try to swing a KeyB or Nord I guess.

 

I still like the XK Pro system a lot I won't reccomend it because the CV sucks and as sure as you would buy it Hammond will annouce the XK4 then you will hunt me down and shoot me with a bazooka.

 

Until the a few months ago a built in 11 pin kit was very important to me. I went to the Vent.

"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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aaronarchy,

 

If your priority is authentic Hammond B3 sound.. the answer is the Mojo.. no question, at least in my mind based on my experience (and I have a fair amount of hammond and clone experience).. The Mojo will probably be on your doorstep for $3K (give or take $100) and it just sounds better and more authentic than any of the boards you mentioned. The cool think about the Mojo is that because it comes with 25 or so tonewheel sets (plus unlimited custom sets) it's more likely that you'll be able to realize YOUR Hammond... the sound that you're looking for.

 

Regarding the action, I think that the SK and the Mojo use the same fatar keyboard.. and they both have settings that allow for high or low trigger points, and pretty low latency so I would expect very similar action/feel.

 

Hope this helps.

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

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Craig, thanks for all of your input, much appreciated. I agree the Mojo does sound killer and comes in cheaper than the Nord.

Another rookie question: I see that it does not have a typical 8 or 11 pin connector for Leslie (it only has audio L/R out) and I believe it outputs in full stereo (one line for bass and one line for the top horn). If that's the case, how do I hook it up to a real rotary like the 3300, which only has mono input and a standard Leslie connector? Mix it down to a single output on a board?

 

Aaron

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The SK2 has an 8pin Leslie output and works with the 3300 seamlessly. I think it sounds better than the Mojo, too. It cuts and is overall better balanced from top to bottom, especially with my custom tonewheel set loaded, which I will gladly email to you for free should you decide to buy one.

 

The acoustic piano was upgraded in the last OS update and sounds very good. They are working on the Wurli (per my suggestions) which is quite good but not the best. The clavinet sounds are killer. The Rhodes is very good, too.

 

The Leslie sim is very good as well. The overdrive is the weak link but the EP model overdrive is decent and will do the job of getting a nice, warm "glow" around the sound.

 

The SK2 also uses proprietary hardware and thus boots in a matter of seconds.

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aaronarchy,

 

First off.. you really don't need a leslie with the Mojo.. unlike the SK1/2, the internal sim is good enough that you can just take stereo outputs into the FOH.. I use two QSC K10's because my band plays in smaller venues that don't have an FOH system, and others are starting to use EV's which apparently sound just as good and much less expensive (half the price).

 

The Mojo does not have an 11 pin output for a real leslie but it does have a number of different output options, including vertical (if you want to use different amps/monitors for the horn vs the rotor).. In the case of the 3300 you would just turn off the leslie sim in the VB3, plug the Mojo into the 3300 via the single 1/4 line chord, and use a remote attached to the 3300 itself. Crumar also have devices that can switch a leslie like the 3300 via midi, but I'm not sure that's necessary.

 

With respect to the SK series, I don't think that there is any question that the Mojo sounds better.. IF you're looking for a brighter sound that cuts through the mix you simply choose a brighter tonewheel set (there are 25+ to choose from) and adjust the tone of the Mojo appropriately. By the way, as far as I am concerned.. the reasons these other clones don't sound as good as the Mojo has nothing to do with brightness and everything to do with warmth.. none of the other clones come close to the Mojo when it comes to rich warm tones. This is what attracted me to VB3 in the first place (the Software engine inside the Mojo)..

 

Aaronarchy, dozens of people, like myself who are really fussy about the sound of our clones, are trading in our Nords, Rolands and Hammonds to get the sound of the Mojo whereas I have heard of no one who has traded in their Mojo for a C2D, or an SK2 in order to improve their sound. This speaks for itself.

 

The other thing that is really cool about the Mojo is that these guys are constantly changing and improving it, not just adding one or two parameters at a time, but making huge improvements, at no charge to the owners.. For example one of the first OS updates added a complete set of new sounds (EP's and combo organs).. We just had a new release that completely overhauled the GUI editor, adding dozens of new parameters that have made it far more editable than any other clone, and just in this last couple of weeks they've announced a new editor, which is a little black box with an LCD that plugs in via USB and allows you to edit the Mojo live (without a monitor and a mouse). What's really cool about this editor is that it has 6 "slots" that can store ALL parameters giving you 6 completely different organs that you can easily select live.. SO as you move from one song to the next you can select a Jimmy Smith sound, then a Jon Lord sound, then Gregg Rolie, and so on and so forth (this is fantastic for guys like me who play classic rock and want to authentically recreate all those great organ sounds). BTW, unlike OS upgrades, the little black box editor isn't free, but I expect it will be a very nominal charge for it but it is incredible how these guys at Crumar continue to improve the Mojo.

 

The only downside of the Mojo is that there is no huge dealer network and it's kind of like a boutique instrument.. However, Crumar's tech support is great, and now the have a guy here in North America that services them, Ken Hall who is located here in Canada.

 

 

 

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

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I own the Electro 4D and have played out with it for over a year. Love it. Had the Electro 2 and 3 before this one. Obviously, I'm biased.

 

Positive points: great B3 sounds, uses drawbars, distorts smoothly, leslie sim improved over the Electro 3 to the point I don't use my Vent anymore. I like the sounds, the band likes the sounds, etc.

 

The additional samples are way more useful than I thought: horns, strings, accordion, classic synths, etc. Small, light, sturdy, looks great, solid keybed, plays well and compatible with my other Nords.

 

Negative points: 61 keys can get a bit crowded, only ONE voice at a time, no layering/splits, some people need to see a physical B3 (same thing happens with pianos), no external leslie connector, don't try and play real piano parts on unweighted keys, etc.

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The SK2 has an 8pin Leslie output and works with the 3300 seamlessly. I think it sounds better than the Mojo, too. It cuts and is overall better balanced from top to bottom, especially with my custom tonewheel set loaded, which I will gladly email to you for free should you decide to buy one.

 

The acoustic piano was upgraded in the last OS update and sounds very good. They are working on the Wurli (per my suggestions) which is quite good but not the best. The clavinet sounds are killer. The Rhodes is very good, too.

 

The Leslie sim is very good as well. The overdrive is the weak link but the EP model overdrive is decent and will do the job of getting a nice, warm "glow" around the sound.

 

The SK2 also uses proprietary hardware and thus boots in a matter of seconds.

 

I like using the EP amp sim for overdrive as well. Can you send me your tonewheel set? I'll pm you my email.

 

I find that using a keyboard offset of -10 or so helps with the piano sound not getting too bright too soon.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

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cphollis, I think this is a very accurate assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Nord Electro 4D, and I don't think it's biased at all!!! At least not based on my understanding/experience (I owned a C2 with the C2D OS installed which I believe is the same as the 4D OS).

 

One thing I will add to these comments is that I believe that the Nord library of downloadable sounds is superior to the SK library. It has mellotrons and other AP's and it's all very useable stuff.. The Hammond SK library is no where near as comprehensive as the Nord library (at least not the last time I looked).

 

I don't think that aaronarchy really cares about these other voices, but if he did, the quality of the extra sounds on the Nord are a big plus. Unfortunately this big plus is negated by the Nord's inability to split/layer other sounds with the organ.. but if you're looking for high quality sounds, and the split/layer capability isn't an issue (you only play one sound at a time) the Nords extra voices are excellent, as is the organ, and as cphollis suggests the leslie sim and the overdrive are both excellent on the Nords.

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

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I have an SK1 in my signature because I snatched up another one of those $999 Guitar Center clearance deals that I first mentioned in the SK1 thread back in January. I didn't buy one at the time and always regretted it., but GC found another one hanging around and I ordered it on Saturday.

 

As a former Electro 3 owner, I really appreciated the extra voices and I used them a lot. Nord has a huge library of things that I found very useful. Sadly, as cphollis points out, the Electro is monotimbral -- something that Nord really needs to change, even if it's only to allow two or three sounds split/layered.

 

I had high hopes that Hammond would continue building their library of non-organ samples, but it appears they've abandoned that idea. I'll just load up Jim's tonewheel set, use it as an organ, and be happy with that.

 

 

 

 

Korg Kronos 61 (2); Roland Fantom-06, 2015 Macbook Pro and 2012 Mac Mini (Logic Pro X and Mainstage), GigPerformer 4.

 

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I own the Electro 4D and have played out with it for over a year. Love it. Had the Electro 2 and 3 before this one. Obviously, I'm biased.

 

Positive points: great B3 sounds, uses drawbars, distorts smoothly, leslie sim improved over the Electro 3 to the point I don't use my Vent anymore. I like the sounds, the band likes the sounds, etc.

 

The additional samples are way more useful than I thought: horns, strings, accordion, classic synths, etc. Small, light, sturdy, looks great, solid keybed, plays well and compatible with my other Nords.

 

Negative points: 61 keys can get a bit crowded, only ONE voice at a time, no layering/splits, some people need to see a physical B3 (same thing happens with pianos), no external leslie connector, don't try and play real piano parts on unweighted keys, etc.

 

I've been reserving telling this story on this forum mostly because of the huge Hammond love here. I recently purchased an Electro 4D to complement my Electro 3HP. It works for me and here's why:

 

I've been using my PC361 for organ sounds (I play jazz and a bit of classic R&B), and the Kurz just wan't cutting it. I'm not a B3 aficionado by any means, but the KB3 engine isn't quite up to stuff, despite quite a few hours of tweaking and playing. I'm also not fond of taking the PC361 out of my studio, due mostly to the weight. In the studio, I started using the Kurz to control VB3 on my laptop, but the latency makes me feel disconnected from it. So I'd been looking at SK1, since we are starting to see used models and dealer demos pop up. I was hoping to get one for a decent price.

 

My home studio is set up in a way that prohibits me from having both the Kurz and an organ in front of me at the same time. My band uses my studio as rehearsal/jam space. I want to be able to put the organ behind me and control it from the Kurz. I downloaded the SK1 manual to better understand its programmability and MIDI implementation, which is where I learned about its somewhat quirky MIDI CC implementation. The SK1 uses CC's to allow control of some aspects (such as drawbars) but not all. I can program the Kurz to control what I want, but it becomes cumbersome and non-intuitive. For my use, this is a significant strike against the SK1/SK2/XK1c.

 

I also starting thinking about the learning curve, new accessories, price of the control pedals and possible incompatibility with my own stuff - I use a Yamaha FC-7 in the studio and have a Roland EV-5 in my gig bag. That's when I noticed a dealer demo of the Electro 4D on eBay. I called the dealer about it, and instead got a great price on a new model. so, FOR ME, this is how it made sense:

 

Electro Pros: 0 learning curve, all my accessories work, easy CC control from the Kurzweil, I can copy my E3 programs over, the sounds are just fine, thank you

Electro Cons: Monotimbral (not really an issue for me), makes me look like a fanboy

 

Both the 4D and SK1 can serve as top keyboard, organ and light multi-use rehearsal rig. But I had reservations about the SK1's EVs (the consensus that I've arrived to is that they are usable but not great - the samples I've heard are meh), whereas I really like the Electro APs, EPs and sample library. The 4D has only one B3 model with some tweakability to it, but since I've never experienced the customizable tone wheels in an SK1, I can't say I'll miss them.

 

Which sounds better? Who the hell knows. The Electro doesn't suck, at least to these ears. I won't get on a soap box about it, but I guess a point here is that many of the clone engines available today are really good, and I think we're kind of splitting hairs when we debate which sound better. It's come down to individual taste and preference.

.

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Mike, both boards have many pluses and a few negatives. It's all about your needs. They both sound great to me. I agree that with the level of sophistication that the clones have these days, you can't go wrong with any of them. The selling point is what else it does that you need- whether it's multi timbral capability, quality of the extra voices, controller capability, etc.

 

I went from a Stage Classic to the SK1-73. After comparing, I liked the Hammond's overall organ tone better. I've recently been playing a friends C2D at a blues jam, and frankly, like the sound of the Hammond better. The vibrato shimmers more and the percussion bites better to my ears.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

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It's all good. When I bought my new XB-2 I thought that was great also. I tend to gravitate toward the form, action and interface I like best. Today everything sounds great to my old worn out ears.

 

Doublebilled with a lot of bands using Nords and they sound great through the FOH. I always played Hammond because I knew all the guys in Addison and just stayed brand loyal.

"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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Dan L, makes a good point, the current crop of Clones (Hammond/Crumar/Nord) all sound quite authentic and good.. from a sound perspective the differences are quite subtle (Despite how big a deal many of us make of these subtle differences).. The real difference more often lies in interface and/or the other features.. EV's, split/layer and controller capability etc..

 

One other point that Dan mentioned.. (and I should have mentioned this in my earlier note).. I'm not a fan of the newest incarnation of the Nord percussion either... it's a little too bell like and not woody enough. I just thought I should add that to the thread.. Nord percussion is not my favourite.. I prefer hammond and even more so the Mojo!

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

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I've been using my PC361 for organ sounds (I play jazz and a bit of classic R&B), and the Kurz just wasn't cutting it. I'm not a B3 aficionado by any means, but the KB3 engine isn't quite up to stuff.
Same here ...

 

I'd bet my paycheck that I've spent more time tweaking the KB3 and leslie as anyone on the planet. Several hundred hours easy over the past 3 years; I developed a working dual KB3/VAST organ with the double leslie and independent drawbar control of both the VAST and KB3 using the Kurz's 9 sliders. When I gig I use the Voce V5+ and the Vent. Lately I've been attending a few blues jams and for simplicity of setup I've been bringing the PC3 only using KB3 and the double leslie and once with the KB3 and a Vent. I find myself spending half the night tweaking the KB3 for this or that. It is just not up to the level that satisfies me. Ive actually have received compliments from both the musicians and audience about how good the organ sounds. I smile and thank them but in all honesty they have no idea how frustrated I get with it. I cant seem to enjoy playing the KB3/leslie or even the KB3/Vent. For one thing the sound is overly compressed; the V/C conflicts with the internal leslie; whereas when Im turning on the fast speed I find I need to turn off the V/C to get a more pleasant tone. The percussion is routed through the V/C which drives me nuts and the percussion trigger just doesn't seem to have the right response. Ive been gassing for an SK1-73 but dont really want to invest in another keyboard. So after evaluating all options I stumbled onto an XM2/XMc2 at an unbelievably great price. The only negative is it is not a one piece unit like the Voce, rather it is two pieces (rack and drawbars). This option is a step up from the Voce and will make the KB3 even less desirable to play. At least when I play the Voce Im not fiddling with it to get it to sound right; I find myself more relaxed and enjoy playing it. The KB3 takes away the fun factor because I always seem to be in tweak mode when using it.

 

57 Hammond B3; 69 Hammond L100P; 68 Leslie 122; Kurzweil Forte7 & PC3; M-Audio Code 61; Voce V5+; Neo Vent; EV ELX112P; GSI Gemini & Burn

Delaware Dave

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Dan L, makes a good point, the current crop of Clones (Hammond/Crumar/Nord) all sound quite authentic and good.. from a sound perspective the differences are quite subtle (Despite how big a deal many of us make of these subtle differences).. The real difference more often lies in interface and/or the other features.. EV's, split/layer and controller capability etc..

 

One other point that Dan mentioned.. (and I should have mentioned this in my earlier note).. I'm not a fan of the newest incarnation of the Nord percussion either... it's a little too bell like and not woody enough. I just thought I should add that to the thread.. Nord percussion is not my favourite.. I prefer hammond and even more so the Mojo!

 

The MIDI usability far outweighs the subtle nuance of the percussive tone. If the SK1 didn't have such an odd CC implementation, I would probably be an owner.

.

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The MIDI usability far outweighs the subtle nuance of the percussive tone. If the SK1 didn't have such an odd CC implementation, I would probably be an owner.

 

If my midi needs were like those of yours, I'd agree! I had to do some gyrations to get the Hammond working with my S70XS, and even more to get it working with my FA08. But my use is mostly limited to patch changes- change the FA08, have it change the Hammond for me. I'm not doing anything sophisticated with cc's or anything like that. Once in a while trigger an EV sound from the FA, or have a "dual manual" organ setup.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

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Electro Cons: Monotimbral (not really an issue for me), makes me look like a fanboy

To me, the main con of the Electro 4D is that the keys push back too hard (feels like too much spring tension). Also, especially on a board with only 1 set of drawbars, I like to be able to have some visual indication of the settings when they are not necessarily indicated by the current position of the drawbars (i.e. calling up a preset, or doing some kind of upper/lower split). To me, those are big SK1 advantages. The sonic differences are a matter of personal taste, but especially if you put a Vent on them, I doubt anyone who likes one would be too disappointed by the other.

 

Considering the quality and variety within the Nord sample library, I give the Nord the edge in non-organ sounds, despite the inability to split/layer them, especially because the Hammond's ability to split/layer is so limited (i.e. one sound must always be organ). Though I do like that the Hammond includes the MIDI functionality that allows you to include external sounds in your splits/layers.

 

For about the price of the Electro 4D, you could get the Hammond XK-1C, a mini-Vent, and an iPad Mini (which could be velcro'd to the Hammond top panel). Regardless of opinions of Nord vs. Hammond sound, I think the Hammond with the Vent will sound better than the Nord without; and the iPad Mini would give you a better range of "extra sounds" you could split and layer with than the ones that are in the SK1.

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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To me, the main con of the Electro 4D is that the keys push back too hard (feels like too much spring tension). Also, especially on a board with only 1 set of drawbars, I like to be able to have some visual indication of the settings when they are not necessarily indicated by the current position of the drawbars (i.e. calling up a preset, or doing some kind of upper/lower split). To me, those are big SK1 advantages. The sonic differences are a matter of personal taste, but especially if you put a Vent on them, I doubt anyone who likes one would be too disappointed by the other.

 

Considering the quality and variety within the Nord sample library, I give the Nord the edge in non-organ sounds, despite the inability to split/layer them, especially because the Hammond's ability to split/layer is so limited (i.e. one sound must always be organ). Though I do like that the Hammond includes the MIDI functionality that allows you to include external sounds in your splits/layers.

 

For about the price of the Electro 4D, you could get the Hammond XK-1C, a mini-Vent, and an iPad Mini (which could be velcro'd to the Hammond top panel). Regardless of opinions of Nord vs. Hammond sound, I think the Hammond with the Vent will sound better than the Nord without; and the iPad Mini would give you a better range of "extra sounds" you could split and layer with than the ones that are in the SK1.

 

Scott, I agree with your point about the keyboard feel when playing piano on it - I sold an E3 73SW to get the HP version which I still own. Fortunately, I won't be doing much piano on the 4D. The springy keybed doesn't bother me too much when playing organ or leads on it. With regard to the visual feedback, I'm learning a bit about the "Preset" and "Drawbar" buttons on the left side. You can store the drawbar settings of the patch in the Preset, and then have the drawbars live. Press the "Drawbar" button and it will switch over to the live drawbars. Press "Preset" and it will switch back to your preset drawbar setting, including C/V, percussion and rotary. It works when you're not using the organ split keyboard mode. Useful once you get use to it. Playing jazz, I only have about 4 drawbar settings I use anyway, but will play with the drawbars live.

 

For the price I paid for the 4D, I couldn't buy all the stuff you mentioned. For what it's worth, I already own an iPad and a GSI Burn, but don't plan on gigging with them. Trying to keep it simple.

 

I've actually gone through the majority of the Nord Sound Library synths and have loaded in a quite a few to use as leads. Granted, there is no filter or wheels on the 4D, but a little EQ and other effects can yield some pretty attractive results. Allows me to avoid adding a device for those few extra synth sounds I need. Some good sounding stuff in there as well.

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For what it's worth, I already own an iPad and a GSI Burn, but don't plan on gigging with them. Trying to keep it simple.

Yeah, I understand that. Every extra pound, every extra cable you have to run, is more bother. That's also why I mentioned the velcro, it's a nice aspect of the XK-1c design that there's a big open section of top panel. My thought was that you could probably keep at least a mini-Vent and an iPad Mini and all the cabling permanently attached, so you wouldn't have to fiddle with all the extra bits during setup and breakdown. (And actually, it wouldn't have to be an iPad Mini... for this purpose, even an iPod Touch could work, though the iPad would have some advantages.) If you don't keep all or most of it permanently attached, yeah, it would be a bit of a nuisance, with all the cabling and assorted attachments. Too bad the XK-1C doesn't have the audio input that the SK-1 has, for feeding the iPod/iPad sounds into, that would be a plus for this setup.

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Too bad the XK-1C doesn't have the audio input that the SK-1 has, for feeding the iPod/iPad sounds into, that would be a plus for this setup.

 

The SK's don't have audio inputs. They can play MP3 and WAV files from a USB drive.

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Too bad the XK-1C doesn't have the audio input that the SK-1 has, for feeding the iPod/iPad sounds into, that would be a plus for this setup.

 

Not sure which audio input you are refering to? You may play mp3/WAV files from a USB stick on the SK1 but I am not aware of any audio input port.

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Whoops! Thanks for the correctios, Kurt and JM. I remembered it had a volume knob for playback of an external sound source, but forgot that was for the USB playback and not an audio input.

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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as a long time nord user/fanboy I was looking forward to the 4d for the drawbars when it came out - but then had a chance to A-B compare it with the sk1 - the sk1 just felt better and sounded more organic - and this without external leslie or sim - the nords sound beautiful, but they have a sterile quality - on a two board setup I have the sk1 on top and if I am looking for dual manual I'll play the nord b3 with a 808 drawbar setting - perfectly fine for left hand for me...

 

having more recently acquired a (1950) c2(now w/ trekII percussion) and being a complete neophyte (piano background) I can only say that playing it has completely changed my approach to the sk1 - and find myself seriously considering an sk2 or mojo at some point in the hopefully not too distant future because the c2 won't be leaving my garage any time soon...

gig: hammond sk-1 73, neo vent, nord stage 2 76, ancona 34 accordion, cps space station v3

home: steinway m, 1950 hammond c2

 

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