Jim Alfredson

Hammond SK2

53 posts in this topic

I'm purchasing a Hammond SK2 organ soon which will replaced my XK3 / XK System on most of my gigs. I'll be doing a detailed review after posting some first impressions. I'm also getting the XPK-200L bass pedals. I will most likely run it through my Leslie 3300 on most gigs but might do some smaller jobs with the internal Leslie. I will certainly test it through the 3300, with it's internal sim, and with the Neo Instrument Ventilator.

More soon!

Hammond-SK2.jpg

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I suppose that means you'll finally be selling this baby:

Organ_Console.jpg?1221664645

Dibs! :lol:

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I've played an organ about that size... very poorly, I might add. :)

The SK2 is 35lbs. To put that in perspective, the Hammond XK System I've been happily using the last 6+ years is around 150lbs all set up. A real Hammond B3 is around 400 lbs. What an amazing time we live in. :)

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I have not expected that you like the SK-2. In your videos we see you making frequent adjustments to the drawbars while playing. I cannot image that a "native B-3 player" can get happy with a single set of fader-like "drawbars". Furthermore I cannot image that the lower weight does not sacrifice other things, such as the high-quality keyboard of the XK-3©. I'm looking forward to your review...

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Any Hammond emulation involves compromise. The trade-off for the lack of drawbars is the extremely light weight and small form factor. I still own my XK System and for larger gigs (ie, gigs that involve more money and more "prestige", for lack of a better term), I will still use it. The SK2 is perfect for gigs where the backline is less than optimal and/or I'm flying to the show. At 35 lbs, I can put it in an ATA case, which will add another 20 lbs at most, and check it on any flight for a small fee.

With that out of the way, the SK2 arrived today!

post-2-0-54418700-1352943643_thumb.jpg

I've been playing it almost non-stop. My initial thoughts: 1) It sounds far better than the XK3. Better percussion, better chorus/vibrato, better Leslie sim, better key-click. 2) The action is quite different than the XK3. It's going to take me a bit to get used to it. 3) It is so small, but still feels solid.

Here's an example I did this afternoon. I took a song that organissimo recorded as a sound-check / mic check / warm-up for our latest CD, muted the real Hammond track, and recorded the SK2 direct. No compression, no EQ, no special effects (except for a bit of reverb to help put the SK2 in the same "space" as the rest of the band). Just direct off the outputs, using the SK2's Leslie sim.

http://organissimo.org/pub/mp3s/SK2_001.mp3

I'm really excited about this new instrument. Videos and more to come soon.

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I now have two gigs under my belt with the SK2. I'm getting more comfortable with it. It's certainly a change from the XK System I've played for the last 6+ years. But the tone is incredible. And it's very flexible.

Today I'm heading to the studio to track three songs with the SK2, complete with HD video for promotional purposes, and to get some good photographs of myself and the instrument for Hammond's website. Should be fun!

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Fourth gig under my belt with the SK2. Hammond Suzuki just released a new OS that adds a new sub-menu control to change the trigger point for the organ engine. It now plays as fast as my XK3. Love it!

post-2-0-73952400-1353866605_thumb.jpg

It's a really fantastic instrument and incredibly inspiring to play. So far I've written four tunes with it while practicing in my home studio. I have another gig tonight and initially I was going to use the full XK System but I think I'll use the SK2 instead. It's just so much fun!

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Hello Jim:

I like the track! Sounds great!

Do you ever play in the Washington DC area?

-rob

Jim: also meant to ask, what keyboard stand works with that double manual Hammond?

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Hi Rob,

We're working on some East Coast shows for next fall. Stay tuned.

I'm using an K&M Omega stand with the SK2. The XPK-200L pedals just fit width-wise underneath. It's a nice, solid, lightweight stand.

Thanks for the compliments. :)

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Hello Jim,

Saw Organissimo a month or so ago at Club 30 in Lansing (a week after seeing Joey Defrancesco at Cliff Bells playing the "house organ"; an A-100 rebuilt and stuffed into a BC case through a 122a Leslie). I wanted to make a comparison, but the sound in the "disco club deco" (high ceilings, tile, flat walls, lotsa glass) made it difficult. But I will say that the bass from your rig was spot on. Loud, but not overpowering, tight not booming, just great. If you don't mind me asking, what are you using for a subwoofer?

A great performance by the band, I look forward to more.

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Thank you!

I'm using a Yorkville Elite powered sub. Two 10" speakers with 700 watts behind them. Total overkill on the amplification but I do like the tone.

I've played that A100 / BC hybrid at Cliff Bells. It's a funky sounding rig. Lots of distortion. They should put some new tubes in the Leslie. I like a lot of headroom which is why I dig the Leslie 3300, despite it's lack of real bass (hence the need for the sub).

The SK2 is a great sounding organ. It might be a bit too "clean" for some, but I like my jazz organ pretty clean. Of course, putting it through a tube Leslie like a 122 would do wonders to the "sterility" of it. I need to replace the tube in my 3300 as it is going microphonic and I couldn't really tune in much of it at the Bar30 gig.

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I was fascinated by this demo...knew the SK2 is fabulous, but here you prove it is practically impossible to distinguish it from the C2.

Although I believe the SK2 is on YOUR right handside, or left of MY screen. Crisper, sharper, cleaner sound...I just love it.

I never found the 3300 really lacked any bass : but that would depend of course on the music played. And also that I never had an opportunity to listen to a good subwoofer system : my visit this year at the Musik Messe in Frankfurt was less enjoyable regarding organs. They simply were not there, except for Nord with only a couple of items on active display. Maybe I'll have to keep an eye on your schedule, if you play at less than 4.000 miles from my home..!

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The technology keeps getting better and better. The places for improvement are key-click (hard to replicate Hammond's original 9 busbar design) and the feel of the keyboard itself.

Yes, the SK2 is to my right. I've been tweaking it even further and got them so close now it's almost scary.

I hope to get back to Europe soon. Would love to get organissimo over there. :)

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Hi Jim!

is it possible to get a copy of your SK2 tonewheelsettings?

all the best

Reidar Otto

in Norway

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Hello. Greetings,

Hope you can assist

I have just purchased an SK2

Tried to connect my Leslie 3300 via 8 pin DIN cable (not Hammond cable) but no sound from Organ and no Leslie speed connection, it makes a click but nothing happens.

Have set the parameters as per instruction book

Could the cable be wired incorrectly

Tried everything...I have now ordered the special Hammond 8 pin cable (expensive ) just in case

Can anyone help please

Many thanks

Dennis

Edited by Procoholic

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Dennis,

Where did you source the cable? I'm guessing it's not wired correctly. If I remember right, it needs to be a straight-thru connection. In other words pin 1 on one end goes to pin 1 on the other. A lot of DIN cables are wired in mirror; pin 1 goes to pin 8, pin 2 to pin 7, etc.

----Jim

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Hi,

I have a SK1-73 and wondering if you can give a recommendation on which small (non rotating) amp to buy where the goal is to make it sound most like a B3/122/147 leslie combination. And reccomendation for good headphones also ?

I got an A102 with a 145 leslie and want the SK1 and small amp to be a lightwight alternative to carry

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Terje,

Are you playing bass? What style of music?

I really like the Yamaha DXR10 powered speakers. If you're playing bass and doing the jazz organ thing, you might look at the DXR12 or DXR15, which have bigger woofers.

For headphones, I use the Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones in the studio and on the road.

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Hi there !

I'm new to the forum here and got my SK2 just over a year ago.

Loving it !

I play e.piano (Roland RD700GX) and my SK2 in a blues band in Scotland, UK.

There doesn't seem to be a very ergonomic way of arranging my keyboards, especially on a stage where there is little space (virtually all my gigs).

So far I have the E.Piano on a super-strong folding out stand (the one that came with the first modern Rhodes e.piano keyboard with hammond sounds, circa early to mid 1990's - the 88's that had a full set of 9 drawbars, can't remember the model).

Then i have the SK2 on a standard x-stand above/behind it

So, I sit at the e.piano, and stand to play the SK2, reaching over the piano (and have to push away my stool from behind my knees).

Thinking of getting the K&M Omega stand to replace my x-stand, for holding my SK2 above my e.piano

(X-stands are not exactly the most stable things on the planet !)

Sorry for such a long story to a simple question :

Please tell me, is the K&M Omega stand wider than the SK2 ?

Mamy thanks in advance.

PS. I love how you take the time to try out, talk about and demo all sorts of equipment that we all want to know about. Thanks for that.

Edited by Snakehips

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I have the Omega. It's actually almost EXACTLY the width of the SK2. I would suggest the On-Stage Z-stand with the second tier. It's much more adjustable, extremely stable, and you can get the two keyboards close together. I put my stage piano (Privia PX5s) on the lower tier and the SK2 on the upper tier. It works really well.

Here's my road rig for Janiva Magness.

z-stand.JPG

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Hi there !

Many thanks for that !

A Scolar and a Gent !

PS. Does the Z-stand fold up flat - that's the sort of thing that isn't shown well on any website I've been looking at, for the Z-stands.

Thanks !

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Yes, but it's not as compact as other designs. However, it's much more compact than the Omega. To be honest, the set-up and tear-down of the stand takes a bit longer than other stands (especially X-stands) due to the design, but unlike X-stands, it is rock solid. It doesn't move. And depending on how much room you have in your vehicle, you can do a full tear-down or just a partial tear-down to save time.

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