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New Hammond Instruments Build Quality


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What is the group consensus about the build quality of Hammond digital instruments?


I'm intrigued by the new Hammond XK5 instrument, but if I'm going to be paying thousands of dollars for a keyboard, I want one that is well-built.


I have a friend who owned a Hammond XB2 that he got second-hand. He told me he had to throw it away when it no longer turned on. The factory told him the power supply had died, and could be replaced for #800 (the approximate market value of the instrument at that time).


I also owned a Hammond XB2. It worked fine until the day I took it to the store to trade it in for a new Hammond XK3. I hadn't used it for a while and when we plugged it in at the store, the output was very quiet and very distorted. Nothing I did fixed the crappy output; I eventually threw it away (when I bought an XK3).


My XK3 is about ten years old now. Two of the switches on the front panel no longer function (Leslie sim on/off and speed switches). This is not a big deal for me because I play thru a MotionSound 145, but these switches should function, and it is not like I have been hammering them because I almost never use them.


In comparison, over more than 20 years I have owned a couple of the Roland RD series digital pianos. Never had a single mechanical or functional issue. I own one of those Casio digital pianos for over 10 years - it works flawlessly. I have one of those Mackie 1604 mixers in my studio, now over 10 years of trouble-free operation.


So in my experience, Hammond keyboards have a worst repair record than other keyboards and gear I have owned.


What is the collective wisdom of the Keyboard group on the repair record of Hammond digital instruments?

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We haven't heard too many complaints about the XK-3 or 3c over the years. I don't know of anyone that's dropped the money for an XK-5. However, forum member Jim Alfredson is a Hammond endorsed artist and is playing the XK-5. Perhaps a question for PM. My guess would be that at its price point and its target market of institutions, the XK-5 no doubt is well built.


We also have not heard much in the way of complaints about more plasticy SK1/2 and Xk-1c for that matter.

Live: Yamaha CP88, Roland VR-700

Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Casio PX-560

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I'd see that simply from a consumer point of view:


For that extra expensive gear, one could ask for an extended on-site non-limitied warranty, including a loaner if necessary, in writing at the point of sale. I think that is the only thing, which would give you real security. Especially as we will not get any experience reports on the XK-5 for a few years from now.


5 years warranty seems to be standard for "normal" gear nowadays.


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To be fair, the XB-2 was an exceptionally poorly made instrument. It believe it was also Hammond-Suzuki's first MI keyboard. Mine was pretty much falling apart when it died. I think they've come a long ways since then.


I can't speak for the XK5, but I have an SK-1 and the build quality is fine. Not as tank-like as the Nords are, but plenty sturdy and has withstood several years of rock and roll abuse. My only gripe is the wall-wart and associated connectors.

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My XB-2 still works. (Well it did when I last took it out of the case to test a horn diaphragm replacement a few years ago. ). The worst part of the XB2 design I found was the keys are held in place by two little raised plastic teeth at the back of the keys. Those teeth can wear down or snap. Especially on the black keys if you do palm smears with feeling. Key replacements (black keys on the right side of the board) is the only thing I ever personally done to it. I had to take it to Addison and have new chips and version 2 upgrade done. My other digital organs the B3000 and XK33c have been bulletproof.

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


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XK-5 owner here.

Had it for a couple of weeks and used it on half a dozen gigs. Seems solid - a bit lighter than the XK-3. Action is nice.

Time will tell how it holds up.

Hope so because I am planning to keep it for a long time.

Will probably get the lower manual and wood stand at some point.

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Ive had my sk2 for 4 years now, probably gigging 2-3 / month plus another 2 rehearsals / month, no problems other than the input for the power cord is starting to get a bit loose. Occasionally I have to tighten a few screws. My xk3c dosnt get used as much but its been flawless.

"Ive been playing Hammond since long before anybody paid me to play one, I didn't do it to be cool, I didnt do it to make a statement......I just liked it "


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At the risk of hijacking this thread, I'm very interested to know if you have had the opportunity to contrast the XK5 with the Mojo61, especially with respect to the action, the internal Leslie, and the chorus.




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Gigs: Yamaha CP88, Crumar Mojo 61, A&H SQ5 mixer, ME1 IEM, MiPro 909 IEMs


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I've had two different SK1-73s---one was stolen. No problems whatsoever.


Hammond B-2, Leslie 122, Hammond Sk1 73, Korg BX3 2001, Leslie 900, Motion Sound Pro 3, Polytone Taurus Elite, Roland RD300 old one, Roland VK7, Fender Rhodes Mark V with Roland JC90
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