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hammond B3 sound


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Hello. I am a part time keyboard player tyring to put together an inexpensive rig that covers the basics for the 70s rock sound. I have a Fender Rhodes. I have a Kurzweil SP88x that covers the piano sound and feel for now. I also have an old Roland JX8P (I think that's the model). What I'm looking for now is the B3 sound. I'm thinking that I'll buy a sound module that has a decent B3 sound and use the Roland as a controller. All I can spend is around $600 - $700. If anyone is inclined, I would appreciate some advice. :)
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I just noticed on the front page of the zzounds site that they have an Emu B3 module (not factory sealed) for $399. I've never really played the Emu but it just might fit your needs perfectly, and I doubt that you'll find anything cheaper. I was going to recommend the VOCE unit, but it's $750 and does not include a Leslie emulator.



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The Native Instruments B4 costs less than $250 US. If you have a portable PC or Mac w/ a MIDI interface, you can use the best-sounding emulation around!

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I'm assuming you want a module, not a keyboard, so...


Four parts to Hammond simulator (sans keyboard):

1. Tonewheel Sound

2. Leslie simulation

3. Drawbars / Programability

4. Effects


VOCE has the V5 (usually an award winner) and I've been quoted under $600 new. It has drawbars (yea!) but no leslie simulation. There are some other boxes that you could pick up cheap on the used market to handle the leslie sound if you go this way.


VOCE also has older models (DMI-64 and V3). both are rack mount units with built in distortion and leslie, but no drawbars (though you can occasionally find the Voce drawbar unit on the used market).


Hammond has had a couple of organ modules that include both leslie and drawbars, but they don't sound as good as the


Oberheim has had a couple of organ simulation units (OB3 and OB3 squared) with drawbars and leslie simulators. I belive that the drawbar MIDI implementation is such that its restrictive (not a problem if your playing live iwth it, but if you wnated to record or control other MIDI gear with it at a later date you'd be in trouble).


Emu has a sample based rack mount hammond simulator.


The B4 ROCKS, but there are issues with carrying a laptop around to gigs (latency, smoke, etc.). I'm dying to work from my laptop, but I haven't gotten over these hurdles yet.


Any of these choices will probably be better than what you have today.


Advice: Check out eBay. Not a week goes by when I don't see at least 2 organ modules out there.

I usually search on any of the following strings:

Voce Organ

Hammond (you'll get lots of real organs here too - they're fun to look at if not carry around with you).

Organ Drawbar


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Steve is right!! buy a Leslie 925, it has a pe-amp and you can plug anything into that monster. And it goes really LOUD!


A very inexpensive Leslie is the 760, you will have to make it suitable for a keyboard but that's not a big problem.


The best Leslie IMO is the 122 and second best the 147.

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I assume you have roadies, or a strong back? In that case, get the real Leslie speaker.


If you could sell the Rhodes, then you'd have enough for a used Kurzweil K2000 module, which would give you great tonewheel and leslie simulations. But the drawbars are a significant part of the sound and feel of B3 playing, in my opinion, so I'd suggest selling all three existing pieces, get a Kurzweil K2500X or K2600X for 88 key action, drawbars, piano, synth, and organ sounds including Leslie and effects. If you need a second keyboard, get any inexpensive 5 octave conroller.

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