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xk-3c or xk5?


Paughrock

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I am not sure which to buy? The xk-3c is a full grand less. I don't use leslies live, nor am I inclined to want to buy an external pedal. It's come down to these 2 due to my personal preference for the layout, and dealer support. I am wondering why HS has not released any promo videos showing the simulator on the xk5? Everything I have seen is through a leslie. The xk-3c sim, when tweaked, sounded pretty good to my ears. The few demos I have heard on youtube of the xk5 internal sim do not sound radically different from the xk-3c sim. $1000 is a big difference, and newer is not necessarily better. Case and point: I just returned a CP4 and exchanged it for a new CP-300. (came down to feel, not sound quality...) Personal preference of course, but I prefer purchasing new products (ie not 2nd hand) that have been in the market for some time, and are easily available if I have to rent backline.
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I sold an XK3c traditional system 4 years ago that I had been running through a Neo Instruments Ventilator. Needed to demo it (obviously) with out the Vent to sell it. Couldn't believe how terrible the internal leslie sim sounded to my ears compared to the Vent. As always, YMMV.

I have not heard the XK5 so I can't help you there.

I also really enjoy my CP4 so maybe we just hear things differently.

:nopity:
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I'd go XK3c if you're renting backline. If you are carrying your patches on a SD card or MIDI sysex, they are only compatible between the same model. In other words, a patch dump from the XK3c will not work on the XK5 and vice versa (I know because a patch dump from XK3 to XK3c didn't work). Bearing that, your chances are better that the XK3c would be the model you would find in most backline companies' stock.

 

The XK3c leslie sim is really good, much better than preceding models. One of the compelling reasons to move up to XK5 is the double set of drawbars per manual if you're using the lower manual XLK3 - that's your discretion.

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excellent point...I don't need 4 sets of drawbars, so this is a strong argument. I am often faced with using backline so this may seal the deal. Thanks! I have done really big shows with the xk-3c leslie sim and it cut great, it may not sound like a vent, but that does not make it 'worse..'
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The C/V on the XK5 sounds damn good; the C/V on the XK3 is a weak point. The leslie on the XK5 is better, plus a complete layout (5 sets of drawbars, etc.) and multi-contacts on the keys. The XK3c is about 10 years old as well. I'd be inclined to go XK5 personally.

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

Exit93band

 

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I was comparing the two on Sweetwater, and it was noted that the XK3-C had waterfall keyboard, where the XK5 had semi-weighted keys. I'm taking this as saying that the XK3-C had keys more similar to the B3. I had not seen this mentioned before, and perhaps others can weigh in on this
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One thing to note  if I'm not mistaken, although the XK-3c has two sets of drawbars, the second set is for the lower manual only, so you really only have one set of drawbars. If this is not correct, hopefully someone will correct me.

 

Edit: After checking the manual, I'll correct myself. You can change this in the settings menu so that both sets of drawbars correspond to the upper manual. Good to know

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I used to have a Hammond XK3c, and its Leslie is good, but the Ventilator is better; however, I replaced the XK3c with an XK1c because I couldn't get a satisfying chorus vibrato (C/V) effect on the XK3c no matter how it was tweaked, which was a deal breaker for me.

 

I'm looking forward to trying an XK5, as I gather that its C/V is significantly improved, although I haven't seen one anywhere yet, or heard one in any videos where the C/V can be heard clearly with a range of drawbar and Leslie settings ... and the improvement will have to be impressive to justify the price, as other features such as the multi-contact keying are of less interest to me.

 

I considered a Crumar Mojo 61, but having only two presets was a deal breaker for me.

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I just returned a CP4 and exchanged it for a new CP-300. (came down to feel, not sound quality...)

Had you looked at the CP40? Most of the sounds of the CP4, but with an action like the CP300, and a lot lighter to carry around. Though the CP300 has the speakers.

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One thing is the 3c has P & M wheels the Xk5 i think doesnt. Also the 3c has the extra hidden sounds that are somewhat useable. I dont think the xk5 has these either but idk. The 3c has outside zones and midi controller features. I dont know about the xk5 in this regard.

FunMachine.

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One thing is the 3c has P & M wheels the Xk5 i think doesnt. Also the 3c has the extra hidden sounds that are somewhat useable. I dont think the xk5 has these either but idk. The 3c has outside zones and midi controller features. I dont know about the xk5 in this regard.

 

I don't need extra sounds or controller features on a clonewheel, just great Hammond tone.

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One thing is the 3c has P & M wheels the Xk5 i think doesnt. Also the 3c has the extra hidden sounds that are somewhat useable. I dont think the xk5 has these either but idk. The 3c has outside zones and midi controller features. I dont know about the xk5 in this regard.

 

I don't need extra sounds or controller features on a clonewheel, just great Hammond tone.

 

Then go for the Mojo...

'55 and '59 B3's; Leslies 147, 122, 21H; MODX 7+; NUMA Piano X 88; Motif XS7; Mellotrons M300 and M400’s; Wurlitzer 206; Gibson G101; Vox Continental; Mojo 61; Launchkey 88 Mk III; Korg Module; B3X; Model D6; Moog Model D

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I have the XK-3c and consider the distortion awful. It is fine for church or classical, but no way would I use it for rock without the Vent. But, I knew then before purchase, mostly from reading this forum. Using the Vent has an added bonus, foot control of the Leslie effects.

This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

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I have the XK-3c and consider the distortion awful. It is fine for church or classical, but no way would I use it for rock without the Vent. But, I knew then before purchase, mostly from reading this forum. Using the Vent has an added bonus, foot control of the Leslie effects.

 

The swell pedal kick switch is the way to go if you have the heel and big toe technique. On the 3c, to control the vent with the swell pedal kick switch you need a special 11 pin cable. Not sure if the 5's pinout structure and leslie sensor setup.

"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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I don't need extra sounds or controller features on a clonewheel, just great Hammond tone.

 

Then go for the Mojo...

 

I considered a Crumar Mojo 61, but having only two presets was a deal breaker for me.

 

... and I only want a single keyboard.

 

Mojo 61 is a single keyboard (not the double manual).

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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I have the XK-3c and consider the distortion awful. It is fine for church or classical, but no way would I use it for rock without the Vent.

 

The tube distortion actually sounds good, but the manual doesn't explain the parameters well. It's not just for balls-to-the-walls overdrive. I knew tubes from my EE studies and have found ways to exploit tube distortion to warm up the sound. It's also good for changing the timbre of a drawbar setting, in ways you can't get from just the drawbars.

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What bothers me about the distortion on the XK-3c is the response curve tied to number of notes played. It is like early guitar distortion pedals where one note gives a pretty clean sound and 2 notes jumps to a very overdriven sounds. Natural tube distortion has a much smoother transition. Using the distortion on the XK-3c playing single note runs mixed with chord riffs, the distortion change can be very disconcerting.

This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

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Funny you bring this up as I was just playing my Xk3c for cpl hours yesterday through my 122. I still enjoy digging in on this, it just feels like I'm playing a Hammond organ , when I play my sk2, it feels like I'm playing a "keyboard ".

That being said , as mentioned, the xk3c is a bit long in the tooth, it uses CF cards ( if you can find one that's compatible ) to load your setup.

Ive played the Xk5, sound wise ( raw organ tone ) its better , but how much better is negligable. What is far superior in the 5 is the leslie sim, the C/V , the OD , and obviously the keybed with the multi contacts--this is more important than I thought. After shredding on my 63 B3, then moving over to the xk3c, it really does affect your playing style. You would be surprised at how much expression you subconsciously get from a real console with multi contacts.

Having said that, 4 sets of drawbars...nice but mostly not needed, 2 sets on the xk3c is all Ive ever needed.

The Xk3 does have a great layout for midi control, PB/mod wheels, 5 x zone switches/ level knobs. The Xk5 can do the same thing but controlled with one set of drawbars instead of regular controls.

The xk5 is fully modern when it comes to usb / computer interface / updating etc. The new oled screen is pretty nice.

there are a ton more parameters to tweak on the 5 v's 3 .

A big one also is having the 11 pin and the L/R outs working together , send the 11 pin to a stage leslie, send the L/R with internal sim to FOH , something very handy if you use a stage leslie or will in the future.

 

Soooo, yes, you could get a gently used xk3c for under $2k, or splurge and spend $3.5k for a new one. If you have the budget, go new, it will be with you for many years to come. If you cant afford it, go used .

Also look at some of the other options, the new KeyB legend or Live will come in at the same price for a dual manual Legend v's single manual xk5 , cheaper for the live. Ive played the Mojo also, nice keybed and sounds great. UHL have a nice looking unit also.

 

"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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... Ive played the Xk5, sound wise ( raw organ tone ) its better , but how much better is negligable. What is far superior in the 5 is the leslie sim, the C/V , the OD , and obviously the keybed with the multi contacts--this is more important than I thought.

 

I would really like to see a well-recorded video clearly demoing the XK5's C/V, OD, and internal Leslie, showing what can be tweaked, and with not just the usual Jimmy Smith sound (888 0000 000) but also something like Groove Holmes (888 0000 008) and Full Organ (888 8888 888).

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