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  • just got a hammond SK1

    To replace my trusty Korg CX3 gen-2 tonewheel clone.



    My main motivation is to cut down on the weight of my rig that I am hauling to gigs. I tried to move to a semi-weighted lower board to save on the weight and size, but ultimately ended up deciding that I just need to keep gigging with the Yamaha S90-ES as my main lower board for pianos and synths - it covers everything I need for my current band besides organs including the ability to create nice rich custom layered patches and splits. So while it's a pain to haul a 50lb board, I've determined there is just no better alternative for me at this point.



    So my B3 board for the past decade or so has been a second gen Korg CX3. I have been very happy with the sound and tweakability of this board, and I like the keyboard feel. My biggest complaint is the bulk - the thing weighs 40lbs and is rather bulky, especially as an upper board. Combined weight of my two boards is 90lbs, and hauling that around for gigs and rehearsals gets old.



    I have logged a couple hours so far on the SK1 finding the sounds I like the best and matching them and tweaking them for the songs I need to cover on B3 with my main gigging band. I will get a chance to try it out at a gig next Friday for the first time, and it is a 3 set gig so we will play a good portion of our material. That should give me a better sense how it works as a live board and how it sounds in the mix.



    My initial impression wasn't very favorable, but the more I play it and tweak the sounds the more it is growing on me. Part of that is that I am very used to how the CX3 sounded, so it takes some adjustment. Our lead singer and guitarist who is also a keyboard player and used to tour with a real hammond was not as impressed with the Korg sound as I was. He has a nord2 and really liked the B3 sounds on it - I felt the Korg was a more faithful reproduction personally. It will be interesting to also get his perspective on the SK1 once I test drive it on our gig next week.



    I think the bottom line for me so far is that the CX3 is still a pretty darn good tonewheel clone. Initially the keyboard on the SK1 felt too stiff, but I am getting used to it and finding it better in some ways to the Korg, but not as good in other ways. Same thing with the sounds - certain things about the Korg I still prefer, but I am finding some sounds the SK1 does better too. I am pretty sure this SK1 will work out good for me even though it really doesn't give me a much better sound profile that I was expecting from the latest and greatest hammond clone engine. If nothing else it reduces the weight burden down to 65lbs total 2-board vs. 90lbs with the CX3. And with the piano and string sounds I can get by with just the SK1 for most rehearsals, so I am planning to sell the Kurzweil SP4-7 I had been using for that purpose since I no longer gig with it and always take the S90-ES as my piano / synth board.

  • #2
    What are you using for a Leslie? I bet that will make more of a difference than SK1 vs. CX3. I'm assuming you have the old CX3, from the 80s?



    You could run a DX7 through a Leslie 760 and fool 2 out of 3 band members.
    --Hammond: BC, M3, Split L111, L122 / Leslie: 51, 760 / Yamaha: DGX-620, PF-85Follow my new band, Dr. Bombay! We're going to be organasmic!

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    • #3






      Quote Originally Posted by wesg
      View Post

      I'm assuming you have the old CX3, from the 80s?




      No, he said 2nd gen.

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      • #4
        not using a leslie - if I was hauling a leslie to gigs I would not be stressing out about the minor weight of a CX3 cabinet!

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        • #5






          Quote Originally Posted by AnotherScott
          View Post

          No, he said 2nd gen.




          right - it's the version from the 90's. The leslie sim is pretty good. The SK1 is supposed to have an improved leslie sim vs. the XK-1 or XK-3. I don't notice that much difference from the CX3 leslie sim personally.

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          • #6
            S90 ES is such a heavy tank.. I'm just saying as another option: If you consider to sell SP4-7, why won't you think about purchasing a MOX8? I am sure this board will be a perfect choice for rehearsals with its newer XS sound engine and 32 lbs weight.



            I don't know but MOX8 at bottom / SK1 at upper tier seems to me a perfect gigging combination. The total is 47 pounds and covers almost everything; correct me if I'm wrong.. By the way, have a good time with your new board
            butterflies & hurricanes..

            Comment


            • #7






              Quote Originally Posted by vianthecat
              View Post

              S90 ES is such a heavy tank.. I'm just saying as another option: If you consider to sell SP4-7, why won't you think about purchasing a MOX8? I am sure this board will be a perfect choice for rehearsals with its newer XS sound engine and 32 lbs weight.



              I don't know but MOX8 at bottom / SK1 at upper tier seems to me a perfect gigging combination. The total is 47 pounds and covers almost everything; correct me if I'm wrong.. By the way, have a good time with your new board




              That is an excellent idea. I would think the M0X8 would suit my needs just fine. Once I sell the SP4-7 and the CX3 I will start looking into that angle!

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              • #8
                I have a couple of leslies that I use together for outdoor gigs. I've pretty much stopped carrying them to gigs, because the VK-77's fake leslie sound is just about as good as a mic'd leslie. (When carrying Leslie's I don't mic them. 3D sound trumps 2D sound anyday.) And I get a lot of crap from the guitarist that he can't hear the organ. (If he didn't play so loud, that wouldn't be a problem. Of course, turning down won't cure his hearing problem.) I did drag the 760 out for NYE gig. I figured extra pay deserved extra sound. (It's about due for a clean and lube. I've been using that one since 1980 and have an 825 that I've used since 1971)

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                • #9
                  Ironically, I'm expecting delivery of a 2nd gen Korg CX-3 Monday Might be yours if you sold it to a Guitar Center in Texas...



                  Hopefully, UPS will not destroy it as they did a Kurzweil PC361 that was delivered a week ago. They must have dropped it on a corner of the box.



                  For me, a CX-3 makes little practical sense but I'm liking what you have to say about it I may not bring it to every gig but I wanted to see what's it like to own something a little more "organ-y" for once...drawbars, wood (for tone! wait, this isn't the electric guitar forum?!?) and waterfall keys.

                  It comes with a flight case for $860 after tax/shipping...this is both good and bad, I'm dreading the lug but looking forward to playing the thing!



                  If I could have afforded it I would have preferred the SK-1 for sure. I liked the keys and it sounded great, and light of course...an electro 3 would have been nice for the price if it were not for the keybed (don't like it at all).

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                  • #10
                    no - I haven't sold mine yet. Waiting to get one gig under the belt with the SK1 to make sure it's a keeper. I'm still not totally convinced about that. I guess it could be worth it for the weight savings alone.

                    Comment


                    • #11






                      Quote Originally Posted by c4racer
                      View Post

                      That is an excellent idea. I would think the M0X8 would suit my needs just fine. Once I sell the SP4-7 and the CX3 I will start looking into that angle!




                      Half the polyphony and no aftertouch on the MOX. Those were both show stoppers for me, especially no after touch. I use it for mod wheel type stuff and then use the mod wheel for controlling the filter, etc.



                      I completely get the organ sound issue. When I 1st got my vent, it took me a while to get used to the change in sound over the built in sim on my Electro. Now I'm used to it and love how it sounds. I'm sure the SK will grow on you over time. Enjoy your new board!
                      My Live Gear: Roland FA-08, Hammond SK1-73, Moog LP
                      My Band: http://www.bksband.com

                      Comment


                      • #12






                        Quote Originally Posted by dan88z
                        View Post

                        Half the polyphony and no aftertouch on the MOX. Those were both show stoppers for me, especially no after touch.




                        Based on your live gear list, couldn't you go out with the MOX8 and the Nord Stage Compact and get your AT that way? (You can use the Nord to trigger sounds in the MOX, and I'm almost certain that the MOX sounds can be programmed to respond to AT even though its own keybed doesn't generate it.)



                        Of course, that doesn't really help the OP if he wants AT, as the SK1 doesn't send it either.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've been playing my SK1 for a year, after my Electro II rack died, and I really like it. I consider several of the extra SK sounds to be not only useable but very good. It's also very nice to be able to MIDI in an 88-key to play the EP's from a weighted board. The SK Leslie sim is great but I still use a Ventilator on most gigs, for it's tonal characteristics.



                          I've also owned and gigged with the digital CX3 and thoroughly enjoyed it's playability and action, although I prefer the organ sound of the Hammond or Nord. Both of those sound less processed and more meatier and Hammond-like to my thoroughly trashed ears. I've never been able to pair the CX3 with a Vent but that combination might have done it for me, judging from the sound of Tucktronix's (where did HE go, BTW?) rig. Appearance-wise, I much prefer the Korg to the too-tiny Hammond, which looks almost toy-like on a stand by itself (around these parts you're judged by the size of your organ as well as it's performance). But stacking the SK1 on a bigger board somewhat mitigates that.



                          Enjoy your SK1, c4racer!
                          Gear: a room full of really LOUD plastic crap

                          Comment


                          • #14






                            Quote Originally Posted by c4racer
                            View Post

                            That is an excellent idea. I would think the M0X8 would suit my needs just fine. Once I sell the SP4-7 and the CX3 I will start looking into that angle!




                            Why are you selling your SP4-7, if you don't mind me asking?



                            And good luck with your SK1. I play one once a month at a jam, and like the feel. Haven't heard the onboard Leslie since this one is running through a real one. Some of the other sounds aren't bad, either. Especially the clavs.



                            I used to own a 1st generation CX3 in a baby blue Calzone flight case. I loved it, but it was a bitch to carry around. I sold it about 8 years ago to Pat Ramsey's son. I stopped using it probably 20+ years ago.
                            "I remember when dubstep was just called "LFO-Locked-Filter-On-Square-Wave-Bass-Synth" in the '60s" - Alan Parsons

                            Kurzweil PC3♦Alesis Fusion 6HD♦Alesis Quadrasynth+Piano (3)♦Alesis QS7.1 (2)♦Alesis QSR♦ Alesis S4+♦Alesis DMPRO♦Evolution MK-461C♦Rhodes Mark II Stage 73♦Roland JX-8P♦Kawai K1 & K1m♦

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                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by AnotherScott
                              View Post

                              Based on your live gear list, couldn't you go out with the MOX8 and the Nord Stage Compact and get your AT that way? (You can use the Nord to trigger sounds in the MOX, and I'm almost certain that the MOX sounds can be programmed to respond to AT even though its own keybed doesn't generate it.)



                              Of course, that doesn't really help the OP if he wants AT, as the SK1 doesn't send it either.




                              I suppose that would work, but why overly complicate things? The XS does what I need it to do. I don't mind the weight, I love the feel of the board and I like the sounds.
                              My Live Gear: Roland FA-08, Hammond SK1-73, Moog LP
                              My Band: http://www.bksband.com

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