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Hammond Organ Style Keyboard Purchase
Old 21st May 2003
BevvyB's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Hammond Organ Style Keyboard Purchase

I want a cool keyboard to use for gigs
I'm only really interested in a Hammond emulating kind of thing

There's the Roland VK8 which sounds great but is horribly expensive and has not good leslie sound (apart from the fact that its internal overdrive emulation is superb)

There's some oberheim/viscount thing called the db3(2) which lacks some of the finer points but they're going for 500 quid here in London NEW

And there's some other 'do everything' keyboard which also have good-ish hammonds and electric pianos on them

Playing the VK8 though, I got really into 'playing' 'cos the keyboard feels fantastic (it's a proper one) I sat in the shop today and goofed off like I was 15 again, its sounds so good you just want to keep playing's 1300 quid for gods sake, there must be alternatives that I haven't mentioned

Also - what's the best leslie emulator you've come across that I could plug whatever I buy into for more 'real' leslie?


Old 21st May 2003
KMR Audio
Rab's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I'd stay clear of the OB3... I had one for a (short) while before taking it back... it's a bit soft and muddy. If you're happy to go the module/controller keyboard route, the VOCE V5 module is cool (no Leslie though). The friendliest Leslie simulator I've come across is the H&K Rotosphere. Keyboard-wise I reckon it's between the Roland and the Nord Electro... both about the same price though.
Old 21st May 2003
Lives for gear
covert's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Re: Hammond Organ Style Keyboard Purchase

Originally posted by BevvyB
Also - what's the best leslie emulator you've come across that I could plug whatever I buy into for more 'real' leslie?
Motion sound tube pre top and low pro. Still a biggish box, but it works.
Old 21st May 2003
Gear Nut
madrigal's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
It's not a dedicated leslie FX unit, but the Moog phaser also does a good simulation of one - I particularly like the way you can gradually speed it up or slow it down for cool doppler style effects. It doesn't have the rotosphere's tube overdrive, but it can distort nicely when pushed hard. Very versatile on other stuff as well - it does a great recreation of Keith Richard's guitar sound on the intro of Let it Loose...
Old 21st May 2003
Gear Nut
sounddevisor's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
The closest thing I've found to a real Hammond is the Hammond/Suzuki XK-2. It's a little cheaper than the Roland VK-8 (I bought one a few years ago for about $1400 US, should be cheaper now.) When I first got mine I set it up on top of my real B-3, and checked it drawbar by drawbar - it was pretty damn close! It sounds a lot better than the older Roland, the VK-7. I haven't heard the VK-8 so I can't compare it to that unit. The onboard Leslie simulation is okay - usable if you don't want to lug an extra cabinet, but I agree with Covert's recommendation of the Motion Sound Pro-3 or whatever they're calling it now.
Old 26th May 2003
Here for the gear
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I've got an older Korg CX-3 and love it. These were analog B-3 style clones from around 15 years ago, very close to the real deal. These are readily available in great condition on Ebay for US $600-800. Korg has a newer digital CX-3 with presets, etc., that is priced at least 50% more (used), and is getting good reviews.

I'm a complete "Leslie" effect slut, and drive the CX-3 and guitar through them all. If it warbles/wobbles/choruses/vibes/phases/shimmers, I've got to have it. The older the better. The Rotosphere is very good, but I understand they've changed the brake effect switch on their more recent models so if you need that, look for an older one with a more true effect.

The Motion Sound gear is king ( All tube driven preamps. I've got the Pro 3 and Low Pro, and at 77 lbs. it's the best mobile Leslie I've seen that doesn't require a road crew. This month Motion Sound is shipping the Pro 145 at 65 lbs. (24.5" H 20" W 17" D) with a complete dual rotor amplifier with rotary horn and low rotor drum in a single cabinet.

I also have the Motion Sound R3-147 (discontinued, info at which packs a Leslie 147 in 4 rack spaces and 11 lbs. 4 internal mics, full midi controls, 23 adjustable parameters, XLR and 1/4" stereo outs makes Leslie studio and road use even easier.
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