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The lower-cost SK2 alternative is an integrated two-manual instrument using 61-note keyboards and a single set of assignable drawbars, and presets are accessed through a keypad, but it does come with a range of extra sounds like acoustic and electric pianos, clavichord, vibraphone, accordion, wind and brass instruments and so on.(The various SK1 and XK-1C models are all single-manual instruments, with the latter lacking the extra voices of the SK range).And those enhancements were later reintroduced back into the ‘New-B3’ flagship in its current Mk II form.
Both the XK-3C and SK2 sound great and play well, of course, but purists argue that the key action isn’t quite right (although the former is definitely closer than the latter), and the reduced drawbar sets can inhibit some playing styles.
Naturally, the technology has moved forward since those models were introduced (in 20, respectively), and Hammond-Suzuki has been beavering away to raise the clonewheel benchmark yet again; a little over a year ago they launched the all-new XK-5, which was an immediate success — so much so that instruments are selling almost as quickly as they can be built, and I’ve had a frustrating year-long wait to get hold of a review model for Sound On Sound!
It’s not bad by any means (and it’s a lot better than many alternatives I’ve played), but it’s doesn’t behave and react exactly like the real thing.
That matters because the tactility of the keyboard is crucially important to the instrument’s interactive playability and most of the established Hammond playing techniques depend on the way the instrument responds to touch in creating its sound — especially when keys aren’t fully pressed, such as during glissandos, slides and fast licks.
Consequently, there is a strong market for lighter and more convenient ‘clonewheel’ organs, and a variety of manufacturers have tackled this market over the years with varying degrees of success.
Arguably king amongst these is the Suzuki Musical Instrument Corporation, which acquired the remnants of both the Hammond and Leslie companies in the late 1980s.
If I were to be picky, though — and all Hammond-players are!
— the greatest weakness of the XK-1C (and the SK instruments too) is the feel of the keyboard itself.
(Smaller 20- or 13-note MIDI pedalboards can also be used, if preferred).
For a more traditional ‘B3’ look, there’s also a wooden spindle-legged frame (ST-XLK5W) and matching wooden bench (BCH-250), and while the matching lower manual is identical to the XLK-5 it features thicker side cheeks.
At the heart of this beast is a ‘virtual tonewheel generator’ called ‘VASE III’ and this adopts a modelling approach to replicate the intricate characteristics of the tonewheels, the vibrato/chorus scanner, the percussion generator, the expression pedal and valve amplifiers, and the all-important Leslie speaker — as well as a variety of more modern effects and reverbs.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating