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Real Hammond sound in a lightweight organ ideal for touring.
The Hammond XK-1 Drawbar Organ is powered by the critically acclaimed VASE III digital tone wheel generator. It uses many of the features of the XK-3 but in a premium package. You still get the sound, you get real drawbars, you get waterfall keys, and you can plug in a Leslie 21 system—all in a traditional Hammond cabinet. Only 33 lbs (15kg).
Reviewed by 12 customers
When I bought the Xk1 I was looking for a module that could give me a great B3 sound. The key factors that made me go for the Xk1 was the price, the light weight and also the fact that is incredibly good looking.The keys are incredible, waterfall, fast trig., and the Leslie is really good. When I first heard the Xk1 I was not very happy with the Leslie. But after some minor adjustments like mic angles and distances I got the rotary I was looking for.The Xk1 has the raw tonewheel sound I wanted. Some other clones have a lot of effects added to the organ sound, but the Xk1 is trully a B3 sim.And, also, I love the fact that I can change most of the effects like keyclick intensity, percussion volume, motor leackage, and some other parameters.Bottom line, for those who are looking for a good hammond simulator to play jazz/blues like me, the Xk1 is the gear for you.
I used to play the real thing in the 60's. I finally sold my A100 (B-3) when I moved back to Nashville from L.A. (after watching sit in storage for years) since nobody was using them here.I have always wanted another and watched and played all the clones. They were good but there was just that "something" missing, so I held off.I finally found it. The B-3 has returned in a smaller package. What a monster! They got the Leslie effect perfect (of course you have the option of hooking up a real one, but it's not necessary). The overdrive is incredible! The sound is.....words fail me...excellent. It sounds more like a B-3 than a B-3.You can't go wrong with this one. It was worth waiting for.
Since I started my first band in 1979, I've wanted a B3. I've owned lots of keyboards (synths) that had OK organ sounds but just weren't perfect. This keyboard is perfect for me. I don't play organ on every song, and at first it seemed like an extravagance, but when I play it, it sounds exactly what you'd want it to sound like. I mean exactly. I can't say it any better than than. When I first plugged it in, in minutes I was comfortable with the controls and jamming with a big smile on my face. Those high vibrato punches just rock. The quality of this keyboard is top-notch, nothing cheap about it. If you're on the fence, don't be.
Ya know I have agonized over this purchase since ?clonewheels? came out. I have played almost every keyboard that has been manufactured in the last 40 years. All of them without exception have had a couple of good organ patches that were close but none of them gave you the flexibility or the sound of a ?real? Hammond.Well I bit the bullet and bought the XK1 and I must say that I am truly home after an almost 30 year search for a synth. It happened as soon as I turned it on and pushed the first key! This is the ?Real-Deal? the original synthesizer. Everything is right where you would expect it to be if you have ever played a console before. The sounds are the ?DNA? sound that afflict anyone who has ever heard and experienced the power and emotion of a real Hammond.I can not explain all the other reviews?believe me I read them to. But let me tell you as a player you owe it to yourself to pick-up one of these beauty?s. There?s a lot of talk about the Leslie simulation and programmability but I?m hear to tell you it is fantastic. If the Leslie simulation is still not what you are looking for you can plug the XK1 into a Leslie and it will knock your socks off. As far as programmability is concerned the registration (draw bars) are the same as the B or C the other types of parameter are laid out well and do have some common sense to them.All-In-All I have not been this excited to play since I stopped lugging the C3 around in 1978.Thanks to the Hammond company for giving me back my youth, creativity and inspiration!!
I just got this organ last week and I am truly stoked about the sound that I'm getting. I had an XK-2 that I was running through a Motion Sound Pro 3T to get a decent sound, but with this organ I can put that into storage. The leslie reproduction is as close as I've heard from any of these clone-wheels....and 33lbs? Ahhhhhh!
This keyboard exists for one reason only - to replicate the sound and (just as important) the feel of a tonewheel Hammond in an easily portable package. But being the digital age, they've made it into a fully MIDI-capable machine, which can be used as a controller, and can be expanded through MIDI to take a set of footpedals and another keyboard to act as a lower manual, for the full console experience. Don't want to go that route? No problem - just split the single keyboard into upper and lower manuals, and even double the pedal sounds on the lower manual.They've also loaded it with scads of incredibly useful presets that will appeal to everyone from the lounge jazzer to the all-out rocker to the church musician. Don't like 'em? No matter - everything is editable on the fly, with a minimum of button-pressing. There's a fistful of drawbars (assignable to upper, lower or pedal voices), reverb (lovely), overdrive (a bit harsh at higher settings), Leslie simulator and percussion. All editable in incredible depth, down to the rise time of the Leslie, and a choice of up to ten different sets of virtual tonewheels. But don't let this frighten you - any keyboard player will be able to work it all out straight from the box, and to anyone who has ever played a Hammond or another clonewheel it all makes immediate sense. Which is just as well, as the manual is no great work of literature - but you'll only need it for reference.There are even a few 'extra' voices (some okay-ish, electric pianos, vibes, rather poor clavs, and silly synth noises). I wonder why they added these, but they might come in useful now and then, even though they are nothing to write home about.Just a note about the keyboard itself - it's a joy to play. The keyboard has 'waterfall' keys which means you can do all those slurs and glissandi without slicing up your fingers. And, unlike a drawbar organ, it's velocity sensitive, which is great for controlling harmonic percussion. The only difference between this and a real Hammond is that you can't physically chuck it around to make the reverb spring crash, and you probably shouldn't throw knives at it. If you did, it would probably bite back - it's a very well-made instrument that just oozes class.
I really like the sound this unit produces. This above all else is the selling factor. Because I've used a VK-7 for the last 6 years, I have a decent idea of what to expect (and not expect) from clone-wheel organs and Hammond did not disappoint.The reason for my Average on Quality is that I was shipped a new organ module with a broken volumn knob. I'm assuming that this was just a manufacturing defect and I was just the lucky recipient. Others have not complained about this issue so I'm not worried that it might be a design defect in the board itself.If you are looking at buying an organ, they're all pretty close these days in sound and feel. It really comes down to control layout...If you like drawbars on the left versus above, knobs versus buttons, etc...
Bought this for our church's contemporary worship band. After all the hype, I was pleased to see it lived up to it's billing. The sound quality and accuracy of the basic hammond sound and effects (percussion, vibrato, overdrive, reverb) is simply outstanding. I do not pretend to be a hammond expert, but I do Know what I hear every Sunday morning, and it is an amazing sound that only the real deal can produce. Simply awesome product. The users manual is a 5 on a scale of 10, but honestly, you can figure it all out by playing with it...simple, built like a tank, sounds fabulous. I tried them all. No competition in this clone market now. Small churches looking for that Hammond sound, this is the best offer you can get. I recommend it highly. You will not be dissapointed! Great job Hammond. You have a winner in the XK-1. Thanks for thinking of us "little guys"...
If you're into the Hammond sound (and you wouldn't be looking at this review if you weren't) you're going to love the XK-1. This keyboard sounds so amazing and is so versatile, you'll wonder why anyone would want to buy the more expensive model. The presets Hammond builds in give you a wide variety of Hammond sounds to choose from, eveything from Gospel to Rock to a full blown theater organ. I especially like the custom tone wheels. The Voxy sound is really cool. My only complaint is with the owner's manual. Parts of it are hard to understand. Overall, this is a great instrument and absolutely worth the money!
This keyboard, XK-1, ROCKS! Sounds EXACTLY like a real B-3! I'm old enough, unfortunately (HA!), to know. The Leslie effect is "Incredible!" The keys feel great, too. I use it as a master to play my Fantom X-8, and Triton rack for fast runs (synth leads, classical string parts, etc.) You can also adjust EVERTHING! The rise and fall time of the leslie (way cool!), the percussion, overdrive, even 3-band EQ! (and you can save all of these parameters, and much more, to recall at your heart's content. Did I mention that it has "real drawbars?" Folks, we're not talking pretender. This keyboard "IS" a B-3, it just weighs a whole heck of a lot less. THANKYOU JESUS and can I get an AMEN!