Another 'this or that' question

Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
24
Reaction score
9
Hi Folks

I am wanting a good transistor organ (essentially I want a Vox continental and/or Farfisa Compact Combo). I currently have a Roland VR-09B which is an excellent board, but I have become more and more frustrated by it's in built transistor organ. I just can't make it sound like a Vox or Farfisa (I have really tried!) I guess it is more in keeping with an Acetone Transistor organ as Roland bought them out in the late '60s or early '70s.

I have thought about using a Yamaha Reface YC as a midi sound unit but recently managed to have a go on one and didn't think the emulation was as good as i was hoping for.

I am left thinking that I should get either the newly revamped Vox Continental or the Nord Electro5 (or 6). Irritatingly most demos I have seen of the new Vox don't touch on the transistor organ side of it! The comparison videos of the Vox and Nord go into the tone wheel emulations of them both (which is an unfair comparison as the Nord is a B3 emulation and the Vox is a Korg CX emulation; the B3 will win every time!). Theoretically the Vox should have a great Continental sound, but can anyone here vouch for it? I am leaning towards the Nord because physical drawbars are a big plus point, but I haven't had the chance to have a go on either yet (I will soon).

Oh and I don't have the room or electrical engineering skills to buy the originals either!

Thanks in advance.
 
A

Advertising

A

Advertising

Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
24
Reaction score
9
Thanks for the response Dave
They do sound good, but for the price 899€ I could buy the Vox! I am really after a physical board for live play rather than emulation, where I have to take an iPad, the sound generator and all sorts of other gubbins on stage.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2012
Messages
522
Reaction score
118
Maybe not; the Gemini houses about 3 dozen instruments: Piano, electic piano, clav, organs (hammond and other), brass, synth engine, pads, strings, mellotrons, vibraphone, CP80, accordians, orchestras, basses, flutes, violins, the list goes on an on.

from the instructions above, instead of going to presets, go to "select sound", then click on the 'sample player'. those were the instruments introduced on the original release. Since that release, there have been three more wavetables released and a new acoustic piano is being added at the end of this month. Might not need that IPAD at all (as well as the other gubbins). This box could be triggered by the VR09, so your investment is $899. Even if you sold the VR09B and purchased an Electro 5/6 you'd spend more than $899, and the sounds in the Gemini will definitely sound better than the VR09.

The Vox Continental in my Kurzweil PC3 is pretty good, but I stopped using it when I bought the Gemini; the Gemini is better, but the Kurz isn't bad. Here is what the Vox sounds like on my PC3:

The video above is a PC3LE; the LE model doesn't have sliders, the PC3 has 9 sliders; so the sliders on the PC3 are setup to emulate the 6 sliders on the Vox.

Here are some other alternatives: maybe this might work for you (since you use an IPAD):


Here is the electro 5's vox:

So you have lots of choices: the E5/6 seems to be most expensive of the choices
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
7,321
Reaction score
3,033
I own one of these Clonewheel Modules. The Ferrofish B4000+



It's a full blown Hammond Organ at a fraction of the price.

It has hundreds of presets including Transistor Organ Emulations.

I bought mine for $299 USD brand new a few years ago when they first came out.

Since then the price has gone up considerably but still cheaper than a Hammond or a Vox Contrinental.


If you can find one selling used you might be able to cut a deal.

Gary ;)
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
24
Reaction score
9
Guys, Thanks for the info and I don't want to be an ingrate but I am only interested in a comparison between the Nord Electro and the Vox Continental. I already have Combo Type V and Combo Type F VSTIs which I can plug in to a laptop and plug my VR-09 into it. That doesn't work for me. I want a physical keyboard for live work and I am only looking at the two I mentioned. @delaware dave I can get a new 61 key Vox Continental for £869, yes the Nord is much more expensive, which is why I created this post. Is the Nord worth that much more for the things I need most?

To really lay it out:
What I want is
~ Either a Nord Electro 5 or 6 or Vox Continental ONLY
~ Opinions on the comparison between the two of them on their Vox and Farfisa engines
~ Opinions on their key action
~ Is the Nord worth paying the extra £500 - 600 for the functions I am most interested in

What I don't want is:
~ Advice for any other keyboard, no matter how good they are
~ Software emulations, I already have these and they are not what I want. A laptop on my keyboard doesn't really work with garage and psychedelic rock.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
938
Nord, I have played a couple and love them and whilst I would go for the Nord over the Vox, only you can decide what is best for your needs. I have also had a quick play of a Vox and I do like it although I am unsure if it will meet your needs since as I say it was only a brief play that I had.

Your use of £869 indicates that you are in the UK therefore you are therefore not more than two or three hours away from a well equipted music store where you can play both.

Can I suggest that you pay a visit to a store like PMT in Manchester where they are most likely to have both on display and ready to play.

I did just this when I was considering my last keyboard purchase where in store I flitted from one to the other.

I have no affiliations with PMT they just happen to have the largest selection and variation of electronic keyboards of any music store within an hour of where I live. Look at their website for images of just how large the store is and what you could expect to find there.

I live in Lancashire and am lucky to have about 15 music stores with an hour’s drive, so for me it is easy to try keyboards, the closest to me has Korgs, Vox, Yamaha, Roland and Nord and they are only 5 minutes away.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
24
Reaction score
9
Nord, I have played a couple and love them and whilst I would go for the Nord over the Vox, only you can decide what is best for your needs. I have also had a quick play of a Vox and I do like it although I am unsure if it will meet your needs since as I say it was only a brief play that I had.

Your use of £869 indicates that you are in the UK therefore you are therefore not more than two or three hours away from a well equipted music store where you can play both.

Can I suggest that you pay a visit to a store like PMT in Manchester where they are most likely to have both on display and ready to play.

I did just this when I was considering my last keyboard purchase where in store I flitted from one to the other.

I have no affiliations with PMT they just happen to have the largest selection and variation of electronic keyboards of any music store within an hour of where I live. Look at their website for images of just how large the store is and what you could expect to find there.

I live in Lancashire and am lucky to have about 15 music stores with an hour’s drive, so for me it is easy to try keyboards, the closest to me has Korgs, Vox, Yamaha, Roland and Nord and they are only 5 minutes away.
Hi @Biggles

Thanks for the response. I am going to be visiting PMT in Bristol soon and do appreciate that the only way to tell if it suits me is to try. I was just asking to see if anyone had any experience of them to see what they are like after being with them for a while.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
118
Reaction score
30
Maybe not; the Gemini houses about 3 dozen instruments...This box could be triggered by the VR09, so your investment is $899.
There's a limitation there in that the VR09 MIDI implementation is pretty limited (including that the drawbars don't send MIDI cc) so it may not provide the best playing experience for a Gemini module. For the use at hand, replacing the VR09 with a Mojo 61 might be more satisfying. Funny thing is that, for the OP, the Mojo 61 would be a lot pricier than the Vox, but in the U.S., it's the other way around!

As for Kurzweil, the Artis 7 would be the current pick for their organ emulations, but you're probably right that it's good but not best.

A possibility that no one has mentioned is the Hammond XK1C.

Anyway, I know the OP only cares about Vox vs. Nord, and I don't have first hand experience. My guess is that the Vox may be best at Vox, but even if it's not, it's probably close enough to not be worth the pretty significant price jump to any of the others. In the U.S., the calculus would be different.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
24
Reaction score
9
Thanks for the link @delaware dave that is just the sort of thing I was after. I didn't know that the Vox couldn't do splits until I went there!

Also @anotherscott thanks for the suggestion of the Hammond, but again here in the UK it's a similar price to the Nord and there is no-one locally to me that sells them. I am a little concerned by it only listing a Transistor Organ, the same way my VR-09 does. I wold fear that this too would be generic and not mouldable to a Farfisa sound as well. I would expect, however, that the B3 emulation would be spot on though!
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
938
As you are no doubt aware a Vox is a Korg in disguise.

If you expand your horizons and test out other Korg models then you will find that even though some have Virtual Drawbars they do produce a great sound, it may even be close to what you are seeking.

One of my keyboards is a PA700 that has a Drawbar organ, the controls are Virtual Drawbars operated on a touch sensitive lcd screen, a Leslie effect is also included.

I am not saying that this is a solution but if you are going to PMT then do try out either a PA700/1000/4X since all these have a Drawbar organ onboard.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
118
Reaction score
30
Thanks for the link @delaware dave that is just the sort of thing I was after. I didn't know that the Vox couldn't do splits until I went there!
It can do a split on the Vox sound, to emulate the functionality of an original dual manual Vox (and it can also split the Hammond/CX3 sound, but not the Farf or anything else). What sounds were you looking to be able to split? Or more generically, do you need this keyboard to ever have anything other than a Vox or Farf transistor organ sound?

Also @anotherscott thanks for the suggestion of the Hammond...I am a little concerned by it only listing a Transistor Organ, the same way my VR-09 does. I wold fear that this too would be generic and not mouldable to a Farfisa sound as well.
It's not like the Roland. Hammond has separate specific "VX" and "FARF" modes.


As you are no doubt aware a Vox is a Korg in disguise.

If you expand your horizons and test out other Korg models then you will find that even though some have Virtual Drawbars they do produce a great sound, it may even be close to what you are seeking.

One of my keyboards is a PA700 that has a Drawbar organ
PA700 organ function does not include the Vox and Farfisa emulations he is looking for. That's unique to the Vox Continental model. (Well, technically, it's also in the Korg Grandstage, but with a weighted action and no "drawbar" control or editing.)
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
938
PA700 organ function does not include the Vox and Farfisa emulations he is looking for. That's unique to the Vox Continental model. (Well, technically, it's also in the Korg Grandstage, but with a weighted action and no "drawbar" control or editing.)
Yes I am aware of that but perhaps I could have explained it better since the purpose was really to show and to try using Virtual Drawbars.

As it happens the new Vox has Virtual Drawbars and this is demonstrated by Korg’s Luke Edwards in one of PMTs videos, the Vox does include Farfesa emulations hence this may well work for them and save quite a goodly amount of cash compared to buying a Nord since the Vox is £999 and the Nord E6 HP is £1900 and the cheaper D version is £1500.

Its the PMT store that the Op is going to visit.

 
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
24
Reaction score
9
What sounds were you looking to be able to split?
It was very specific really. I would like to have had the ability to split the Vox with a Rhodes bass to do early Doors covers. You can't stick a bass unit on top of the new Connie (as Ray did) because all of the control bits are in the way. However, that alone isn't the be all and end all for me, I just thought it was interesting. But then the Nord has specific split points that you can use. Oddly my VR-09 is the most versatile on splits as you can choose to split wherever you want!

I am looking forward to getting to PMT and finally doing an A-B on the Nord and Connie. I am not discounting any other board that may do what I want, but I don't want to get bogged down in having a list of 37 different boards to try, that's why i am (at the moment) restricting myself to the two.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
1,282
Reaction score
938
Good luck when you get to PMT, if Bristol is anything like Manchester I would expect that you will go into Kid in Sweet Shop mode when you walk in.

Do give them a ring a couple of days prior just to be sure that they are available, if you can get them through the same PA then that will aid comparrison.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
118
Reaction score
30
It was very specific really. I would like to have had the ability to split the Vox with a Rhodes bass to do early Doors covers. You can't stick a bass unit on top of the new Connie (as Ray did) because all of the control bits are in the way. However, that alone isn't the be all and end all for me, I just thought it was interesting.
Ah. Of the boards mentioned, the Mojo 61 and Hammond XK1C can't do that either. But the Hammond SK1 can. The Nord has another advantage here, in that the 73 goes down to low E, which better facilitates the Rhodes bass split. But the $ creeps up again. The Kurzweil Artis 7 has that advantage too (76 keys), but as mentioned, its transistor organ, while more Vox-and-Farfisa-specific than your Roland's, are probably still not as good as some of the others mentioned. Trade-offs...
 
A

Advertising

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top