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Hammond XK-2?


longlivetheB3

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I'm soon to be leaving the house for college. However, as a piano/keyboardist since the age of nine, I've come to crave the inimitable Hammond tonewheel sound. At this stage, buying an M-3, let alone a B-3, is out of the question. I've been looking into Hammond's XK-2 keyboard, which Keyboard Mag gave a gold medal. However, some people seem to complain of a "harmonic beating," while others call it the best wannabe yet. Anyone have any input? I'm basically looking for a relatively cheap, good-sounding Hammond wannabe that I can carry without the aid of three other guys. As far as I'm concerned, as long as it's something a step above my Farfisa VIP-233, I'll be satisfied more or less http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif.
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That's really funny because I am in a very similar situation. I, however, decided to go ahead and get an L-102 (free), with a Leslie 760 connected by a 1/4 incher through the preamp. I must say that I was really impressed with the Korg CX-3 when I played it, more than the XK-2 anyway. But, even though I am leaving for college, I figure whoever accepts me, accepts my hammond too =). Good luck in your search, hope I helped a bit.
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Longlive:

Do you have any MIDI-capable keyboards? Reason I ask is because I know almost all college students are required to have a computer nowadays, and if you have one with a halfway decent soundcard and MIDI cable for it, you should look at the Native Instrument B4 softsynth Hammond.

 

Of all the Hammond wannabes I've auditioned, the B4 is head and shoulders above the rest.

 

You can download a free demo of it here:

http://www.native-instruments.net/index.php?b4_us

Setup: Korg Kronos 61, Roland XV-88, Korg Triton-Rack, Motif-Rack, Korg N1r, Alesis QSR, Roland M-GS64 Yamaha KX-88, KX76, Roland Super-JX, E-Mu Longboard 61, Kawai K1II, Kawai K4.
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Originally posted by longlivetheB3:

I've been looking into Hammond's XK-2 keyboard, which Keyboard Mag gave a gold medal. However, some people seem to complain of a "harmonic beating," while others call it the best wannabe yet.

The XK-2 does have harmonic beating. If you play these notes A3 & E4, C4 & G4, D4 & A4, the notes do beat with drawbars at 888 4000 00. It especially shows up when you use the Leslie simulator on fast. I was disappointed because I bought the XK-2 based on the Keyboard mag review. I couldn't hear it. The local dealers didn't carry the line, they carried the VK-7. Most people don't even notice the beating. To work around this I drop the fifth & play the 3rd & the octave. If you can afford the new CX-3, go for it. It is better, perhaps lighter, in everyway except for the stupid lip on the keys & I believe you are always in a preset mode until you adjust a drawbar or a percussion setting. Two very small things.

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

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Originally posted by b_3guy:

Originally posted by longlivetheB3:

I've been looking into Hammond's XK-2 keyboard, which Keyboard Mag gave a gold medal. However, some people seem to complain of a "harmonic beating," while others call it the best wannabe yet.

The XK-2 does have harmonic beating. If you play these notes A3 & E4, C4 & G4, D4 & A4, the notes do beat with drawbars at 888 4000 00. It especially shows up when you use the Leslie simulator on fast. I was disappointed because I bought the XK-2 based on the Keyboard mag review. I couldn't hear it. The local dealers didn't carry the line, they carried the VK-7. Most people don't even notice the beating. To work around this I drop the fifth & play the 3rd & the octave. If you can afford the new CX-3, go for it. It is better, perhaps lighter, in everyway except for the stupid lip on the keys & I believe you are always in a preset mode until you adjust a drawbar or a percussion setting. Two very small things.

 

I seem to only get that when I hit the keys like I dont really mean it, or if I play a chord and one finger is a little late. Its kinda cool in the bass region though because I just hold C1 and trill C2 and get a bass beat that way down in subwoofer territory. Casey

 "Let It Be!"

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Sadly, I do not have a Midi board, I've been using my Farfisa and my old Roland Juno-60 for years without a care in the world. However, I now do crave the Hammond sound. If I did have a midi, I would probably buy the Voce V5, as that is purportedly the best-sounding hardware based wannabe. What I'm looking for is a keyboard, strictly keyboard, based Hammond clone. The XK-2 is attractive because of its relatively lower price (if I could afford the CX-3 at this time I'd probably go for it), its square-front keys, and the fact that it is a Hammond. So I don't know...if the beating isn't that noticeable, the XK-2 still seems like an attractive offer. Does anyone know if any of Hammond's other clones are perhaps better? Is the XB-2 a more attractive choice? Thanks...
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Actually, we had a discussion about this before, and the consensus was that the Oberheim OB5 was the best out there, sadly, it's extremely hard to find, and it lists for about $3995.

 

You know, with the price of the NI B4, you could probably get that AND an inexpensive MIDI keyboard (synth) and still pay less than the XK-2. Heck, used Alesis QS6's go for around $300.00, and this gives you both a great synth, and the NI.

Setup: Korg Kronos 61, Roland XV-88, Korg Triton-Rack, Motif-Rack, Korg N1r, Alesis QSR, Roland M-GS64 Yamaha KX-88, KX76, Roland Super-JX, E-Mu Longboard 61, Kawai K1II, Kawai K4.
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Has anyone tried the Voce V5 organ module? It got the highest marks for authenticity in the Keyboard B3 clone shootout. It retails for about $750, but it does not include an integrated Leslie simulator. Voce does have a Spin II Lesile simulator for an additional $400. This is a setup I am considering because I already have a 61 key synth action controller.

 

Has anyone heard the Voce V5 with or without the Spin II simulator. Has anyone listened to the spin simulator on the Line 6 POD? To me the POD has some additional tube amp overdrive effects that the Spin II simulator does not have, and the POD is about $50 cheaper.

 

Don.

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong: James Bryce
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Well, I guess it proves that all Hammonds have their idiosyncrasies, some like 'em, some don't...so the quirky life of a Hammond fan goes... http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif

 

The QS6 idea is a good one. However, as my primary goal is the Hammond sound for simple group jams, having a stand-alone, dedicated organ is the goal. Yet if money gets to be an issue, I may have to give in to the B4 software/MIDI synth idea, as nice as the concept of "owning a Hammond" sounds. B4 is Mac-compatible, right? I was looking at it a while ago and I think it was. Hmm...does the XK-2 have any real issues aside from the beating? Would it be a good investment for someone simply looking for the sound? Thank you all, fellow keyboarders, for the input. It's much appreciated...

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Originally posted by longlivetheB3:

The QS6 idea is a good one. However, as my primary goal is the Hammond sound for simple group jams, having a stand-alone, dedicated organ is the goal. Yet if money gets to be an issue, I may have to give in to the B4 software/MIDI synth idea, as nice as the concept of "owning a Hammond" sounds. B4 is Mac-compatible, right? I was looking at it a while ago and I think it was. Hmm...does the XK-2 have any real issues aside from the beating? Would it be a good investment for someone simply looking for the sound? Thank you all, fellow keyboarders, for the input. It's much appreciated...

 

I do think it's interesting that in the forum there is always someone recommending getting a laptop & software synths, yet when a thread is started about who is playing live with a setup like this, no one responds. See

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/Forum18/HTML/001472.html

I have the B4, XK-2, B-3, owned XB-2, old CX-3, & have played at a gig the VK-7 & new CX-3. The XB-2 & old CX-3 are dated & don't sound as good as the others. Don't get either one. The VK-7 sounds flat, the vibrato & percussion are poor, doesn't really scream, although no beating. I think it records better than the XK-2. For live purposes I would choose a XK-2 over it. It screams & doesn't sound as processed as the VK-7. If you use vibrato a lot, which I do, the beating virtually disappears. Also the beating only shows up when the leslie is on fast. I like the C3 vibrato setting. If the XK-2 is in your budget, get it. I doubt you can get a PC laptop, B4, & a midi keyboard for the price of a XK-2. I personally don't like modules as much as all in one keyboard setup, but they say the Voce V5 is very good.

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

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b3guy,

Thank you for the well-informed advice...it makes the decision on the XK-2 a lot easier! It's very good to hear a recommendation from someone who's owned almost all manner of keyboarded wanna-B-3s (and who happens to own a real B-3 to boot!). Plus, if the beating shows up only on the fast Leslie sim, I'll keep it to a minimum. After all, I'm one who uses a fast leslie sparingly anyway, especially with a simulated one. Perhaps, when the time and money comes, I'll find something real to fill that 11-pin jack! Until later, thank you and all others for your advice.

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Originally posted by longlivetheB3:

however, i've read a story of an XK-2 owner who says the beating shows up with his Motion Sound on as well...hmm...can you, b3guy, or someone else, describe what the beating sounds like? Perhaps it comes from "perfect" tuning, wherein exactly matching frequencies cancel each other out?

 

I'm not sure why it shows up, it could be the perfect tuning. It shows up as a few frequencies not pulsing like the majority of the frequencies. That's why they call it beating. These frequencies beat differently then the rest, at a different rotation speed. Like certain high frequencies are escaping the Leslie. Nobody really notices it. It would show up with a Motion Sound unit. I had a Leslie 302, before I stumbled across my 145. The specs of the 302 are almost exactly like a Motion Sound/combo amp. The beating in it was stronger than the 145. Also the 302 had a more pronounced high end or maybe a less pronounced low end. I just worked around it. I know certain note combinations do it & I just avoid them. Its mostly fifths up in the 4/5 octaves. I play the 1st, 3rd, drop the fifth, & play the octave. This combination doesn't beat. Get it if this is your budget.

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

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Okay - there is now another option. Clavia is now shipping the new Nord Electro. 61 key version is retailing for about $1750. A little more than the XK-2, but you also get Rhodes, Wurly and CP-70 style electric grand sounds. Has anyone heard/played this box yet?

 

Don.

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong: James Bryce
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