Hammond SK1-73 vs Roland VR-730


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Hi All,

Last spring I posted some questions about hooking up Hammond XPK-100 pedals to a Roland VR-730, and with the forum help I got it all to work. However, I was never really quite happy with the sound of the Roland playing solo organ work. In my band setting (without pedals) it was OK, but I never fell in love with it. My previous band keyboard was a Kurzweil PC3 76 key, that one developed some issues. About 80% of my gigging now is solo organ work. I have a Hammond SK2 with XPK-200 pedals, which I love. I was hoping the Roland would give me a decent band board and a super lightweight organ rig when I don't need the larger setup.

The Kurzweil is now repaired, but at 35 lbs was over twice the weight of the Roland. A few weeks ago I saw an ad on Craigslist for a Hammond SK1-73. I contacted the owner to see if he might be interested in a swap for the Kurzweil, but he already has a Kurzweil Forte. In talking "shop" with him he said he was interested the Roland, and asked if I would consider an even trade for the Hammond. I jumped at the chance! I now have a lightweight organ rig, and after spending some time downloading extra voices from Hammondorganco.com and programming I believe I will be able to use the SK for my band gigs also.

There is a company selling the Hammond CU-1 half moon switch on Amazon brand new for a few pennies under $100. I bought one and when it came in I mounted it to my SK2. I had a Nord (gasp!) version "half moon" switch on the SK2 that I mounted to the SK1 this weekend, and it works out great. The Nord is not as tall as the CU-1 so it is a better fit in my opinion. However, there are no mounting holes on the SK1.

I removed the end cap (3 screws) and using the Nord as a template drilled two mounting holes, making sure that no metal chips got into the keyboard by standing it up on end, and placing some gaff tape and paper towels inside the case where the holes were going to be. I mounted the switch with two 8-32 button head capscrews and nylon self locking nuts.

The Roland was OK, but for my needs I made out pretty well on this deal! I am looking forward to my next band gig, I really think that the SK1 will be the only board I will need. I know the Kurzweil sounds are superior, but after tweaking I did I think in a band setting the Hammond extra voices will be just fine.

Dave
 
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If you haven't done so already download the jim alfredson tonewheel set for the sk series. Jim meticulously tweaked his sk1 and sk2 adjusting the tonewheel set to get it very close to his 1954 C2. He adjusted the tonewheels, the percussion, the chorus/vibrato, the leslie sim and the key click. It sounds like an upgraded Sk. The tonewheel set is free and can be found here ( at the bottom of the page):

http://hammondorganco.com/support-3/downloads/custom-setups/

You can read about what he did here:

https://jimalfredson.com/?p=272
 
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Thanks! I actually contacted my Sweetwater sales guy and was able to purchase the bonus thumb drive they offer for free when you buy a new Hammond. It has all of the extra voices available from Hammond, as well as the custom tone wheel set from Jim Alfredson, plus some videos and “read me” files. I could have downloaded pretty much everything myself, but it is nice having it already done and in one place. It came in yesterday and I’ve checked some of it out already.

Last week I spent a few nights getting everything tweaked to the way I wanted, then saved it and loaded it all into my SK2 so they pretty much match.
 

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