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Hammond XPK100 MIDI Pedal Board For XK-2
Overall Rating
Submitted: February 2nd, 2001
by Anonymous Reviewer
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Sound Quality
Very good Hammond B3 samples (but then you'd expect it). I've managed to reproduce the bulk of my tweaked and honed XB2 presets on to this instrument and come up with many more by either working on the drawbars or making adjustments to the library presets. I find the overdrive too "tizzy" for my ears, and prefer to use my valve preamp. However, the overdrive is useful to add a touch of grunge to my basic sound. If I have a complaint, it's that I cannot connect my valve preamp to the XK-2 other than in-line to the Leslie. (On the XB2, there were effect in/out 1/4in jacks, prior to the reverb and internal Leslie. I miss these effect in/outs on the XK-2). The organ works extremely well for jazz, blues and pop. Much more of a live performance keyboard than the XB2,it's nearly as as stage friendly as the Korg CX3, although you have considerably more options to play with.
So far, no major problems. When you first turn it on, the priority on drawbars appears to come in over whatever preset comes up on the screen, which is slightly disconcerting, but simply select a new preset and you're away. However recently while recording and not using the XK-2 for a little while but with the power on, POD has occasionally taken over a preset without me touching anything. Most odd. Also, while on headphones, I've occasionally noticed a slight hum which seems to come through the phones when the chorus/vibrato is selected. I've had to re-boot to clear it. I would definitely recommend using this keyboard with an anti-surge mains device to avoid any spikes causing damage to the components. I have been able to depend totally on this keyboard so far. I haven't needed to consider taking a backup to a gig.
General Comments
While admittedly being an extremely expensive keyboard, the Hammond XK-2 is a king among Hammond soundalikes. True, the samples can sound a tad too clinical and I prefer the sound through my valve preamp and my Leslie, but even through a clean channel and using its internal Leslie, the XK-2 is an impressive bit of gear. Apart from the aforementioned lack of effects in/out 1/4 in jacks, I really rate it. If I had the time, money, and 20 roadies to shift an original tonewheel monster around then I'd do it, but the XK-2 ? particularly with its waterfall keys ? is a more than adequate substitute, particularly through a Leslie.
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