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Hammond Strikes Back

Hammond Strikes Back

Hammond XK5 summer release adds to the Crumar-Hammond-Nord-Roland vicious circle of choice – please, welcome the new family member. When Clavia Nord and Crumar Mojo appeared on the market the puissance of the authentic genuine organ maker Hammond was a bit shattered because we had to compare the serious contenders.

Hammond XK5

Hammond XK5

Nord Electro 5HP

Clavia Nord Electro 5HP

Crumar Mojo 61

Crumar Mojo 61

ATELIER Combo AT-350C

ATELIER Combo AT-350C

While Nord Electro imitated Hammond B-3 by sampling and virtual analog emulation, Nord C2D was chasing Hammond by comprising real physical drawbars (which is actually its main distinction from Nord С2 which had buttons and LEDs instead), Hammond just relaunched its B-3 making quite a statement. Hammond XK5, dedicated to that famous model of the brand, does everything what it takes to bring the company back on top as the best organ manufacturer in the music history – its parameters prove the keyboard to be worthy of such a title.

It’s much more portable, solid and affordable than the previous vintage organ. The hybrid multi key contact system is capable of triggering 9 contacts (3 virtual contacts per each of the 3 mechanical ones) with one pressed key – unlike MIDI. A rethought and rebuilt tone generator re-creates all 96 spinning electro-mechanical wheels from the original classic Hammond. XK5 is easily programmable and allows you to actually have any previous Hammond model of any year by adjusting the settings in a proper way. The engineers paid attention to the digital Leslie speaker effects and the overdrive complemented by vacuum tube preamp.

Crumar might strike back one day but now it has Mojo/ Mojo 61 to offer saving you at least $1500 and featuring not “that Hammond sound” but still a decent organ voice of high quality encased within lovely vintage panels – the only thing is that the front panel doesn’t surprise with the number of controllers. If you happen to like Saabs or you’re just a die-hard fan of red synthesizers overcharging you for the good sound then, of course, Nord C2D is your №1 option. If you’re prudent about your money pay attention to Roland VR-09 – it’s a nice stage rompler comprising an organ section.

Anyway let’s mention Roland AT series here – it allows layering orchestra sounds onto organ voices of any genre creating completely new textures which are truly beyond those limited possibilities we have in classic electric organs. SuperNATURAL is responsible for the perfect sound generation emphasizing all the nuances of real instruments. Portable ATELIER Combo AT-350C embraced all the best specification of AT series. The famous patented Virtual Tone Wheel technology contributes to the ideal vintage organ simulation which is accompanied by the superfine voices of other instruments carefully enclosed into ATELIER Combo unit.

The price of other Roland instruments such as Atelier Organ/ Music Atelier is much higher – though these cheaper ones are surely out of their league – landing on the upper range organ/orchestra synth level where the price tags start from $10 000, you know these Wersi, Böhm, Viscount… you know but not everyone does. So let’s focus on the products ensued from the big synth friendship between Japan and USA which is represented by Hammond and Suzuki here.

Published: 17:27 14.08.2016
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