Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

My clonewheel mega-shootout


Josh Paxton

Recommended Posts

In the morning I'm making a road trip to go visit a friend who just got a Mojo, so I can check it out before deciding whether or not to get one of my own. For comparison, I'll be bringing along my SK1 and Stage 2 (compact), and we'll also have his C1, Ventilator and mid-'60s (I think) B3 and Leslie 122. Plus we'll have a variety of amplification -- my K10 and IEMs, plus whatever he pulls out of his ginormous, hoarder-like room full of amps and speakers.

 

While my main concern is trying out the Mojo, we also intend to run everything through everything else and A/B as much as possible. So if there are any requests for particular comparisons (bearing in mind that the results will simply be my opinion and my friend's), let me know and I'll do my best to accommodate them.

 

Organ geek road trip, woo-hoo!

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 168
  • Created
  • Last Reply

B3-er has good points, because a leslie can make almost anything sound good (and hide a multitude of sins) and I think he's had some problems with VB3 cutting through the mix in a live situation.. (things do change at higher volumes and in live situations).

 

However, playing through the leslie will level the playing field a bit, which I think you need to do to ensure that this is a properly controlled "shoot-out".. Comparing a C1 and a MOJO isn't quite a fair comparison because one is todays technology, and the other is 5 year old technology, and there has been a lot of improvements in clone technology in the last 5 years.. (especially leslie sims) and with the release of the new C2D in the next month the C1 is now an N-2 product. However, with the MOJO not having a distribution network, whatever information we can glean about it, from whatever source, is appreciated!

 

So I'm very interested in your results.. from what I can gather the MOJO may be THE best sounding clone out there, but up here in Toronto I don't know of anyone who has one, so it's virtually impossible to hear it in person (they had a distribution deal up here in Canada with Music Marketing but it fell through).

 

Thanks and keep us posted.

 

 

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can I come too? ;)

 

Will you post video or audio of some of the things you do?

 

I'm looking forward to your results.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm looking forward to your comparisons. My 2¢....In the past few months I've played a B3 thru a Leslie, a non-tube Hammond B300 (?) thru a non-tube Leslie, an XK-1 thru a Fender PA300 amp, and a Hammond XK-3 thru a 122 Leslie. My favorite sound was the XK-3 thru the 122, but mainly because the Leslie that came with the B3 had fast/off instead of fast/slow speed controls. I preferred my NE2 to the others.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The leslie is a red herring unless you're going to use one live. Better off buying a rhythm section some barbecue and beer for the afternoon and testing it that way. B3er has it right.

 

Yeah, I'd certainly concentrate on your K10 and IEMs. There are so many possible permutations from your list that the real danger is going to be sensory overload and it'll be that much harder to be objective. Maybe you need to do a spreadsheet? :laugh:

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

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The leslie is a red herring unless you're going to use one live. Better off buying a rhythm section some barbecue and beer for the afternoon and testing it that way. B3er has it right.

 

This.

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
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm looking forward to your comparisons. My 2¢....In the past few months I've played a B3 thru a Leslie, a non-tube Hammond B300 (?) thru a non-tube Leslie, an XK-1 thru a Fender PA300 amp, and a Hammond XK-3 thru a 122 Leslie. My favorite sound was the XK-3 thru the 122, but mainly because the Leslie that came with the B3 had fast/off instead of fast/slow speed controls. ....

 

I really like the brake. In lieu of the brake I would probably unplug the slow motors.

"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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My ideal version of this shootout would be to play the same MIDI file through all of them, with the same drawbar registrations (3 or 4 popular ones, some with and some without percussion, clean and with some overdrive, and with some rotary speed changing), and listen to them all "dry" (no leslie or leslie sim at all), and all through their own internal leslie sims, and all through the ventilator, posting all the results as MP3s. This would be a bit overwhelming though! Even allowing for the fact that you could never test for all the different combinations of parameters (key click, overdrive, leakage, leslie mic placement, etc. etc.), you'd have to run the test on the Mojo 20 times just to hear its 20 different models! But I have thought about doing this kind of thing myself, coming up with a MIDI file of some signature Hammond bits and running them on the clones I have access to. One of these days...

 

But I agree with those who say there's not much point for most of us to know how these compare through a real Leslie.

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. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The leslie is a red herring unless you're going to use one live. Better off buying a rhythm section some barbecue and beer for the afternoon and testing it that way. B3er has it right.

 

This.

 

Sorry to disagree but putting all clones through the same leslie, or the same ventilator, is the only way to compare apples to apples with respect to the RAW tone of the various clones vs the real hammond. Otherwise I think you will be overly influenced by the quality of the leslie sim, and when you're comparing a 5 year old leslie sim in the C1 to a brand new leslie sim in the MOJO, it's no contest..

 

By all means compare leslie sims, but that's just going to tell you which has the best leslie sim, and I think a great leslie sim could mask medeocre raw tones. We might be surprised at how well a C1 stands up against a MOJO through the ventilator or a real leslie.. (or not) but I really think that comparing the raw tone (all through a leslie or all through a ventilator) is just as important as testing all of the internal sims.

 

Through a real leslie, or through a ventilator, or directly into an amp/monitor are all valid and typical configurations that should be tested and compared. If you want to add "play loudly with a live band in a concert hall in front of 10,000 people" to the list of test scenarious by all means go for it.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, Craig, common sense (and empirical evidence) dictates that you have to run all the contenders through the same rigs. But if hes not going to use a leslie in performance, running it through a leslie is a waste of time, and will produce some results that may color his choice. On the other hand, if a leslie is the way hes going to use it, obviously include it.

 

Sorry, but the fact of the matter is, what sounds great through IEMs, or through an amp, or through a leslie, by itself does NOT necessarily work in a band context. Ive played a lot of Hammonds in my day (and a lot of other keyboards too obviously), and one of the more curious things Ive discovered is that what sounds pleasing and awesome by itself many times does not sound nearly as awesome (or as distinct) when put into context. And unless hes playing SOLO organ, then that is a major factor that needs to be evaluated.

If he is going to be playing the clone live, he should run the contenders through the rig hell be using live with a rhythm section, or whatever the formation of the band is.

 

Whenever Ive evaluated gear, my decision is never made until I have taken it out on a gig first to see how that works.

 

Cases in point: Kurzweil MicroPiano was a great sounding moduleat home. Live and in context, it was swallowed up by the band (and this isnt a volume issue). The Roland MKS20 didnt sound nearly as fine by itself in a solo setting, but in a band mix, it was stellar.

 

Roland D550 and especially the Emax II: grainy kind of gnarly sounds on their own, but boy oh boy did they cut through a mix. Those were great rock instruments.

 

The key is to evaluate it in the circumstances that youre going to use it.

 

Itd be like buying a keyboard because it had great motion-y pads (Korg was great for this) but you dont use motion-y pads, and then you get sick of the lame piano sounds, which you do use all the time.

 

If you perform with a leslie, evaluate it with a leslie. If you perform with a group, then definitely evaluate it in a group setting.

 

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tony, I agree with everything your saying, my point is that this is a "mega-shootout", so the apples to apples comparison, and eliminating all the variables should be of the utmost importance. Recognizing, of course, that you can't compare these clones without comparing the leslie sims.. The fact is that things do change in a live situations, and the next logical step might be to take the top 3 configurations and compare them in a live situation. Unfortunately it's impractical to compare all these various iterations and permutations in a live setting..

 

The suggestion that running all through the real leslie was a "red herring" seemed VERY odd to me since this is a "shoot out" where all variables should be understood and eliminated, except when the are important to the final outcome or recommendation. The leslie sim is the perfect example of this, because it can mask other attributes, yet the sim itself is an important differentiator.

 

No argument from me with respect to the live application being the ultimate deciding factor. You probably recall that I had NUMA organ for about a month last year (ultimately had some bugs and was returned). The two times I gigged with it I absolutely loved the sound of it.. it just felt like I had that classic Gregg Rolie sound nailed and the same thing with the woody percussion on Green Eyed Lady, wow, I loved the NUMA.. I was shocked when my guitar player told me he didn't like it and preferred my C2.. From his side of the stage what was cutting through the mix didn't sound as good as my C2.. (and he's a very knowledgable guy who owns a Ventilator himself.. he knows what a good hammond sound is). I was really shocked by this, but learned an important lesson about live sound.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shootouts always end up being incomplete because you cannot get people together for days and days to evaluate all the permutations, and because people glaze over and lose their ears after awhile.

 

Given that most of us are trying to dump carrying real leslies, I'd prefer hearing about everything sans real leslie first. Then if there is time and the ears permit, add the leslie back into the mix. We all know it would be the winner anyway.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My ideal version of this shootout would be to play the same MIDI file through all of them, with the same drawbar registrations (3 or 4 popular ones, some with and some without percussion, clean and with some overdrive, and with some rotary speed changing), and listen to them all "dry" (no leslie or leslie sim at all), and all through their own internal leslie sims, and all through the ventilator, posting all the results as MP3s. This would be a bit overwhelming though! Even allowing for the fact that you could never test for all the different combinations of parameters (key click, overdrive, leakage, leslie mic placement, etc. etc.), you'd have to run the test on the Mojo 20 times just to hear its 20 different models! But I have thought about doing this kind of thing myself, coming up with a MIDI file of some signature Hammond bits and running them on the clones I have access to. One of these days...

 

But I agree with those who say there's not much point for most of us to know how these compare through a real Leslie.

IMHO, comparisons using MIDI files are interesting but misleading.

 

One of the most important aspects of an instrument is the connection between the instrument and the player. Unless you're a machine (or a hack) you adjust your playing to the instrument you're playing. A MIDI file recorded by playing on one instrument will suit that instrument. If you'd played the same piece on another instrument you might use slightly different drawbar registrations, and your playing would respond to the way the instrument behaves (if you're any good at all). The "ideal" MIDI from two different instruments just wouldn't be the same.

 

This is more true for piano than Hammond due to velocity, but I suspect it's still true. Of course, pianos don't have drawbars.

 

To me, the way to test an instrument isn't so much playing a set piece as seeing what the instrument inspires me to play, especially when improvising. And ... well, I'm a hack. I'm sure it's even more true to a more competent, sensitive musician with a wider range of styles & techniques.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shootouts always end up being incomplete because you cannot get people together for days and days to evaluate all the permutations, and because people glaze over and lose their ears after awhile.

 

Given that most of us are trying to dump carrying real leslies, I'd prefer hearing about everything sans real leslie first. Then if there is time and the ears permit, add the leslie back into the mix. We all know it would be the winner anyway.

 

Absolutely, if there are time constraints, put them all through the ventilator, and compare them all the the real hammond + leslie. I would also compare that to the stock Mojo with internal sim, and compare the mojo sim to the ventilator.

 

HOWEVER, is this a true MEGA-SHOOTOUT or just a mega-shootout?

 

 

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO, comparisons using MIDI files are interesting but misleading.

 

One of the most important aspects of an instrument is the connection between the instrument and the player. Unless you're a machine (or a hack) you adjust your playing to the instrument you're playing.

I agree. But short of being able to personally play each instrument yourself, hearing them play the same MIDI file at least allows you to get a good idea of basic timbral differences, though I agree, not expressive ones, and yes, that's especially true on pianos as you say.

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. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HOWEVER, is this a true MEGA-SHOOTOUT or just a mega-shootout?
Check the thread title. FKS called it "My clonewheel mega-shootout." :)

 

While my main concern is trying out the Mojo, we also intend to run everything through everything else and A/B as much as possible. So if there are any requests for particular comparisons (bearing in mind that the results will simply be my opinion and my friend's), let me know and I'll do my best to accommodate them.

 

Organ geek road trip, woo-hoo!

IOW, I think two guys are going to have a blast with their various Hammonds and clones. They may be able to report on differences they find, conditions where one thing works better than another, but I wouldn't expect anything scientific here, just some ideas how how these things compare.

 

FKS - I would be interested in knowing a) what you think of the 20 organ sims in the Mojo, and 2) how any of them compare to what other gear you have to compare with. For instance, does [Mojo sim x] nail the sound of your friend's B3, your SK1, or your Stage? (Mostly interested in how the Mojo compares to the real thing, but the others would be interesting.)

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For instance, does [Mojo sim x] nail the sound of your friend's B3, your SK1, or your Stage? (Mostly interested in how the Mojo compares to the real thing, but the others would be interesting.)

I had the same thought. There is lots of disagreement here about Nord organ vs. Hammond XK vs Korg CX, etc., each having its fans, and I wondered whether a given Mojo organ model might be close to one of these, and another close to another.

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. ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shouldn't the objective of the shootout be to understand how closely the item your testing sounds to a B3/122? And what is it your testing, the B3 sound, the leslie simulation sound, or both as a package? Or are you trying to determine which clone sounds best through a leslie? or are you trying to determine which clone sounds best through a Ventilator? Past shootouts, using what we would today call 'old technology', were trying to compare the 'package' to a real B3/122. With the current new technology I think it would be great to understand what package seems to best emulate the B3/122 vibe. As many of us in the forum use Ventilators it may be nice to know which clone matches up best with a Vent (as compared to a B3/122). I think anything other than these objectives tend to just muddy up the water, i.e. great data points but perhaps not meaningful data. I don't use a K10 so knowing the results of how the clone sounds coming through a K10 is not very meaningful to me. I would focus on how well the "package" sounds against a B3/122. My two cents, which in this forum is all that my opinion is worth.

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

Dyin Breed Band

Exit 93 Band

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the most important aspects of an instrument is the connection between the instrument and the player...the way to test an instrument isn't so much playing a set piece as seeing what the instrument inspires me to play, especially when improvising.

 

I meant to add this before I got sidetracked on the "use a leslie" debate.

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Always lots of armchair second guessing from the peanut gallery when somebody does a shootout.

 

Then lots of bitching afterwards about how it wasn't done according to said kibitzer's desires.

 

Wonder if FKS is regretting posting this already! :cop::D

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Always lots of armchair second guessing from the peanut gallery when somebody does a shootout.

 

Then lots of bitching afterwards about how it wasn't done according to said kibitzer's desires.

 

Wonder if FKS is regretting posting this already! :cop::D

 

Always remember, no good deed goes unpunished!!!

 

:crazy:

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
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I for one appreciate whatever feedback this shoot out can provide. Thank you for taking the time to undertake this and document your results!!

 

Given the lack of distribution channels in North America, there is little upon which to base a MOJO purchase, beyond the stellar sounding video clips, and the spectacular user feedback of course.. ;-)

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm most interested in what FKS thinks of the Mojo overall, and I appreciate that he let us know he was doing this.

 

Another direct comparison I'd like him to do is Mojo Leslie vs. Vent to the same amplification.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shouldn't the objective of the shootout be to understand how closely the item your testing sounds to a B3/122?

 

The problem is which B3/122? B3's vary so much due to age, condition, tubes, how they were set up at the factory, etc. that it's damn near impossible to compare a clone to the ideal Hammond because everyone has their perception of what the ideal Hammond sound is.

 

Case in point: The last five gigs I did on the road, I played five different rigs. The first was an ultra-portable rig I had to put together for a gig with no backline that consisted of VB3 running on my laptop, controlled by a Novation ReMOTE SL and B4d drawbar controller, going through a JBL cabinet (15" woofer) and amp combo. The second was a late 50's Hammond B3 and Leslie 122 where the B3 had such bad busbars on the top manual, I couldn't use that manual. It was also anemic and had no balls. The third was a Hammond C2 with a 22R Leslie and was the best sounding of the real Hammonds I played, despite the ratchet drawbars. The fourth was a mid 60's B3 with twin 145 Leslies, built in reverb (with an adjustable knob) and great action. However, it was still a bit underpowered (meaning it really didn't break-up when floored, despite the Leslies being maxes out) compared to the C2. But it was fine. And finally the fifth was my normal rig of the XK3 / Vent / Leslie 21 System, which I always enjoy playing.

 

Of all the rigs, the one that cut the best was my XK3, hands down. Of the real Hammonds, the one that sounded best in terms of overdrive, attack, and presence was the C2 / 22R combo. But that was in a small club; it would get lost on a festival stage. That's why I enjoy my rig so much. I can do small clubs and large festivals with it and I always know what I'm going to get and what it will sound like. I've got enough amplification behind me to do whatever I need to do.

 

These kind of shoot-outs are interesting but you really never know how an instrument is going to fare until you get it on stage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonder if FKS is regretting posting this already! :cop::D

+1

Always remember, no good deed goes unpunished!!!

+1

 

These kind of shoot-outs are interesting but you really never know how an instrument is going to fare until you get it on stage.

That being said then unless he is going to do the shootout on a live stage with an entire band in a medium to large room it would seem we won't really understand the answer to your question from him doing the shootout in a controlled environment at a friend's house.

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

Dyin Breed Band

Exit 93 Band

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...