The New XK5

Discussion in 'Hammond Keyboards' started by Hansi, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. Hansi

    Hansi

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    Hello,

    I have been looking at the new Hammond XK5 and it really does look promising. A new sound engine, new keybed and a "multi contact" system in a portable organ. The multi contact system uses 3 contacts to mimic the original 9 and from what I've heard it does work rather brilliantly.

    Has anyone here managed to get their hands on one to try it out? They start shipping in september I believe (in Europe at least). I will be getting a new Hammond this winter hopefully and was planning on the B3 portable but this does look good and now I'm torn between the two...

    http://www.hammond.eu/products/portable-organs/xk5/
     
    Hansi, Jul 31, 2016
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  2. Hansi

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Between brand new Hammonds and Shiny New Rhodes Clones you've been looking at a lot of pricey new gear my friend!!! Did you recently win a lottery? Should I make arrangements to save your life so that you write me into your will? :D :D :D

    All kidding aside though, we're talking about an investment in your livelihood here and there's nothing wrong with spending a buck to make more in the long run :)

    What it ultimately boils down to is just how much gear you can afford to carry along on a gig and just how badly you want to kill your roadies :D

    Either way, I suffer from GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) as much as the next man and all I can say is I hope they bring you much happiness before you inevitably find something better and have to sell them off for a fraction of the purchase price :)

    Rock on brutha ;)

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Jul 31, 2016
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  3. Hansi

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    BTW, Keith Emerson did NOT respect his Hammond :D



    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Jul 31, 2016
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  4. Hansi

    delaware dave

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    I have not played the XK5 but have PM'd two people who have played it. I have also listened to as much "good" you tube that I can get my hands on. Highly improved tone engine, C/V (a standout weakness in previous models), tube distortion ( sounds creamy) and new leslie sim that Hammond just put the finishing touches on. There is no comparison between the XK5 and any previous model that they've produced, including the previous portable B3. Hammond really hit a homerun with this keyboard. My only gripe is the price; $3700 USD for the single manual and probably another $3700 for the lower keybed, pedals, bench and stand (maybe even more). But if you were looking at a portable B3 and were willing to spend the jingle on it then you'd be wise to buy the latest and greatest technology with improvements in every category.

    As for me I just pulled the trigger on the Gemini table top sound module. This will give me VB3-II organ/leslie (Crumar Mojo in a rack) along with a modeled Wurli, Rhodes, D6 Clav, sampled/modeled acoustic piano, brass, strings, and synths at a price less than 1/3 of the XK5. Expecting delivery this week.

    http://www.genuinesoundware.com/?a=showproduct&b=43
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
    delaware dave, Aug 1, 2016
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  5. Hansi

    Hansi

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    Not lucky enough to have won the lottery Gary but I am currently working on rebuilding my rig. I have sold a big chunk of my old rig as well as saving up for some time... The Vintage Vibe has been put on hold for now as it is so expensive to import for me. I'll be getting a Korg SV-1 73 in stead to handle both acoustic and electromechanical pianos until I can get the real thing.

    For me the difference in the B3P and XK5 lies in the number of contacts per key and a few other features that the B3P features over the XK5. The B3P is of course, in essence, just a B3 mkII in a more portable format. However the XK5 is more portable for me and easier to carry to gigs. The reason I am able to go for these top notch Hammond products over the Vintage Vibe for example is that I am working with Hammond as an affiliated artist and a dealer as well so that enables me to get them at a little bit lower price than the average consumer.

    I am really looking forward to being able to finish building my new rig as it has been fully designed but not fully financed so I'll start with the parts that feature the most in my music, good Hammond and Rhodes sounds

    I do like modules for some sounds but for piano and Hammond I need the right feel of a keyboard and for the Hammond especially I need all controls to be right there where I want them and they can be easily manipulated, such as drawbars, percussion and Leslie speed. I also like to be able to drive my Leslie 3300 through either 11 or 8 pin chord so that the Leslie speed can be fully controlled by my half moon switch.
     
    Hansi, Aug 3, 2016
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  6. Hansi

    Aras Buntinas

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    I've got mine on Pre-order, hoping it will ship soon. Will keep you updated when mine ships and how it sounds and feels. Can't wait.
     
    Aras Buntinas, Sep 7, 2016
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  7. Hansi

    Perilous

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    I've had the Hammond XK-5 since October 7th. Not sure how I got it so fast but I'm happy about it. I am under the impression that most people are still waiting for their pre-orders to come through. I can't find any user reviews, new videos, or some kind of support. It's a great organ alright. One troublesome thing is I have never played XK1, XK3, or SK-1 or 2, so I can't quite compare it to anything. It's miles ahead of the organ sounds on the Korg Kronos, that's for sure. In fact, I can't stand to touch the CX-3 engine on the Kronos now. The multi-key contact feature is worth every penny. The sound begins with the higher harmonics just milliseconds before the full tone plays--and that little detail makes all the difference in the world. It is true. It is real. Extremely pleasing.

    Recently my XK-5 has a very shrill buzz through the Line Outs. It's very clean and quiet in my headphones, but when I hook it up to a speaker, the high-pitched buzz annoys me very much. I wonder if something is defective with the Hammond? I tried multiple cables, balanced and unbalanced. I tried different Mackie Speakers and Roland Amps. When I eliminate the XK-5 from the mix by powering it down, the buzz goes away. But while the Hammond is plugged in and on, the buzz is loud enough to hear, even when the channel is down all the way down.

    I've also got a hanging note. While playing chords and switching between presets (reversed/black keys), one of the notes got stuck. Not the key, but just the sound. I turned the volume all the way down but the note continued to ring. Really strange. I had to flick the power switch off to silence it. I tried to recreate the problem but haven't been able to yet.

    Anyways. It seems there are a few quirks, but overall, it's super duper great. I have played a real vintage organ before. There's a sense of confidence and stability behind the real B3. The XK-5 is so light (which is an excellent perk for gigging) and plastic-y that it does not inspire that same feeling. Noodling around on it for hours, the drawbars and keys seem steady. No problems there and I don't expect there to be. It sings, shimmers, growls, everything. Two thumbs up!
     
    Perilous, Oct 21, 2016
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  8. Hansi

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    The buzzing may be a ground loop.

    Check with a Ground Fault Tester if there is any problem with your wiring and make sure your speakers and and your keyboard are all plugged into the same outlet.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Oct 21, 2016
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  9. Hansi

    Hansi

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    Wow, you must have been among the first ones to get it as it didn't start shipping in Europe until last week and as far as I can tell didn't leave the Japan factories until the very end of September.

    The multi contact system is what I am after here. I do have the SK2 and was thinking about upgrading to the XK-3c when the guys at Hammond Europe gave me a hint this was coming. I guess I will be making an order soon. As to the buzz, I agree with Gary, it does sound like a ground loop issue.

    Thanks for your views on this, it just pushes me further towards putting it off a bit longer getting a new car and getting a new Hammond instead :D
     
    Hansi, Oct 23, 2016
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  10. Hansi

    Perilous

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    Thanks guys. I don't see how it can be a ground loop, since everything is plugged into the same outlet. Electricity is a bit odd around here though. I'll have a better idea of the problem next week. Going to try some DI box ins and outs.
    Can't wait to add the lower manual!
     
    Perilous, Oct 27, 2016
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  11. Hansi

    delaware dave

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    I'm not sure how the XK3c qualifies as an upgrade to the SK2......
     
    delaware dave, Nov 9, 2016
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  12. Hansi

    Perilous

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    Hey hey! The DI box did indeed get rid of the buzzing problem. Thanks a lot, crew. I hear quite a number of people have been having bad experiences with Hammond-Suzuki.

    Also the "hanging note" problem has returned twice now. It is indeed a worrisome factor now. Bad if that were to happen live. The only way to get rid of it is a reboot.
     
    Perilous, Nov 9, 2016
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  13. Hansi

    Hansi

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    That might of course be just a personal preference but I like the keybed in the XK3c better and the fact that they have got three sets of drawbars instead of one on the SK2 (five sets on the xk5) really appeals to me because the one set has sometimes hindered me in performances. The preset keys could also be useful. I would always go for the lower manual as well as my playing style usually calls for 2 manuals

    The stuck notes are quite worrisome though. Have you checked if they have released a system update for that issue? I know they have released updates for the SK series and the xk-1 series in the past.
     
    Hansi, Nov 15, 2016
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  14. Hansi

    Perilous

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    Hansi, I just got a call five minutes ago. Hammond/Suzuki wants my XK-5. Apparently some the July batch was sent out early October should not have been shipped because it needs an update that can't be done via USB. Fortunately I'm a greedy miser who never throws anything away, including the box. I'm going to contact H/S now. Suddenly I don't feel so lucky getting an XK-5 so soon.
     
    Perilous, Nov 15, 2016
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  15. Hansi

    delaware dave

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    You got the EA virus ...... (early adopter).
     
    delaware dave, Nov 22, 2016
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  16. Hansi

    Perilous

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    Dear me! Apparently the H/S products have a long history of EA virus cases. However, it appears this episode has a happy ending. I've got the replacement XK-5 yesterday with an updated firmware version. The weird startup buzz is gone, along with the ground loop noise. All is well in Mudville again.
     
    Perilous, Nov 22, 2016
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  17. Hansi

    Hansi

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    Good to hear, I heard of some problems which delayed the shipment to Europe this fall. You probably were unlucky enough to get one of the organs which was sent out from the office prematurely.

    Great to hear that they were able to fix the problem and replace your instrument
     
    Hansi, Nov 23, 2016
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  18. Hansi

    Tom Liberatore

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    Hammond might still be having some software problems, my new XK-5 just had a little preset freakout and put full volume white noise into my headphones [glad that it wasn't plugged into the 3300!], this was on the U-84 Upwardperc patch. My ears are still ringing, so far, no word from H/S.
     
    Tom Liberatore, Feb 10, 2017
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  19. Hansi

    Perilous

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    Hammond just release a new firmware update (to verson 1.343) a few days ago. I've encountered problems when switching between presets, but none so far on the new update. What version are you running currently?
     
    Perilous, Feb 10, 2017
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  20. Hansi

    Tom Liberatore

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    Whatever it came with, I'm not sure how to check that but will look in the manual.
    Thanks!
     
    Tom Liberatore, Feb 10, 2017
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