Yamaha YC61 Feedback


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Hi All. I've been curious about the Yamaha YC61 & thinking about purchasing. I'm a keyboardist who is primarily a synth & organ player. I've been giigging since late 60's( I know, that makes me old)& have played various Farfisa, Hammond, Nords, etc. I currently play a new Crumar Mojo61, which I like. I am intrigued by the YC61. Of course, the only true test is to actually play one myself but that has, of course, become complicated by the pandemic. Any first hand experience feedback would be greatly appreciated. Tnx much.
 
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Welcome to the forums! I once had a wife that gave me a hard time about buying Hammond clones (after I sold my last B3). In fact, she told me that I had developed a "mania" about finding "that sound". Needless to say we parted ways. Here it is about 40 years later and I just bought a VOCE V5+ module. I have a pair of Yamaha MOXF 's to gig with, but I find that even the improved Hammond samples in that series don't do well in the band mix. I'm glad Yamaha finally introduced a more dedicated organ but I think the other contemporary clones are still ahead of Yamaha (including the Mojo). I'm gonna try this 2 pound module with my ventilator, as I like it's sound. YMMV Please let us know what opinions you get from users. Regards- Don aka B3maniac
 
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Hi b3maniac! It sounds like our lifes have a parallel or two. I too, had to extricate myself from a relationship with a non understanding ex. In regards to your current Hammond set up, I currently own a Voce V5+, a Voce V5, 2 Voce V3's(one for parts) & a Voce MicroB. I have gigged with both the V5 & the V5+ (which has improved perc & chorus). I ran them through numerous leslie sims, including the original Vent. I really like the pure Hammond tone of the Voce's, which incidentally, won Keyboard Magazine Hammond Clone shootout back in '95, They still hold up today, in my humble opinion. The only shortcoming, for me, was the lack of reverb, which is essential on some songs(Whiter Shade of Pale, etc.) I liked the sound so much that I ran the tone through a small Alesis Nano Verb, then to sim. Perfectly adequate setup, I'm pretty sure you"ll dig it. The sound definitely cuts through the mix. The comment on KB shootout was that "It has balls", which us organ players like to hear. The new Mojo has excellent sound engine, more than adequate leslie sim & a really nice feeling watefall keybed . Very buttery, not stiff or "springy". In the meantime, I'm never 100% satisfied in my search for the Holy Grail of Hammond Clones. I'm also sure that I never will be, as there's still nothing quite like sitting at one of those glorious beasts of yesteryear. Tnx for reply, be well.
 
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Keys49, that being the case, you will certainly not be happy with the hammond/leslie of the YC61. Your Voce V5+ will sound better. Like Don (B3 maniac) I've gone through a multitude of organ clones. A few years ago I purchased a Hammond XM2/XMc2 from Gary Thomas of the band "It's a beautiful day". Gary was upgrading to the SK series and I purchased his module and drawbar unit fairly cheap. The leslie was weak and its 'depth' was shallow. The C3 chorus/vibrato was horribly phasey and in my view unusable and therefore I used C2 and C1. I had to use a Vent with it because of the underachieving built-in leslie sim. In reality the Voce V5+ actually sounded better to me than the XM2 so I got rid of the Hammond and still have the Voce. I now have a Gemini module which has the VB3-II engine. The C/V is spot on but I'm not thrilled about the expression pedal emulation. It sounds compressed from low to high, not as natural as my B3 at home. The Voce's expression is modeled; it uses CC#7 rather than CC#11 however Dave Amels (the creator of the unit) converts CC#7 to CC#11 within the physical model and when I depress the pedal it is much more 'responsive' than VB3 is and the EQ curve of the pedal depression brings out just the right amount of highs (like a B3 does). I have found myself reverting back to the Voce; there is something about its sound and reaction to my playing that I really like. The percussion fire reacts more like my B3 than VB3 does, VB3 'recharges' too quickly for my taste. The Voce's weak link is the C/V, not the greatest but I found it to be better than the Hammond XM2 which is why I kept the Voce and tossed the XM2. I don't think that you will be pleased with the YC61 from a organ/leslie perspective. My two cents.

Have you experimented with HX3? It is a hardware (rather than software) solution using FPGA. The Mag organs come with HX3 and a Neo Ventilator built into the Mag organ. The HX3 module itself has its own built in leslie and it sounds pretty good. You might want to look at that. Note, you can use your Voce V5+ as a drawbar controller as it maps perfectly to HX3.

Listen to this: link

mag organs/HX3 module: link2
 
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deleware dave, tnx for reply. I was initially intrigued when the YamYC61 was rolled out at Namm in January. The physical layout was very attractive but, as you pointed out, I've seen some unflattering reviews of it since in regards to actual tone as well as weak leslie sim. I agree with assessment of Voce V5+. I mentioned to b3maniac that it still holds up today & has a punch to it that cuts through the mix. I own the V5+, as well as the V5, V3 & Micro B. Before the Neo Vent came out, I used my Voces through a Dynacord cls222, which at the time, was one of the best leslie sims available. It sounded excellent. The Voce also sounded good through my H&K Rotosphere, which although a little noisy, also sounded pretty authentic. Tnx for tip on using Voce V5+ to map Keyboard Partner HX3. I was under impression that I needed to track down the Voce midi Drawbar unit to map the HX3. I am interesting in checking out the HX3 as approach to generating Hammond sound is unique. I do currently gig with a new Crumar Mojo 61, which is pretty good. The keybed has a nice feel to it as compared to the Hammond XKI-c, which I also use, & the Nords, which to me feel a little too springy. I'm thinking of using Crumar as controller with the HX3 through my Neo Vent. That should be interesting. Anywho, tnx again & be well.
 
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b3maniac, interesting review. Basically confirms suspicion that while sounds are all decent, it is more of a swiss army knife instrument. Not a bad thing, just doesn't excell at anything. The issue with the trigger point being too low on Hammond sound is definitely a problem for me. I'm thinking about either using my Mojo 61 to midi a HX3, or actually springing for a Mag Organ, which incorporates the HX3 as its sound engine, thereby virtually eliminating latency introduced by midi. Good review, though. Be well, Mario.
 
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Keys49, that being the case, you will certainly not be happy with the hammond/leslie of the YC61. Your Voce V5+ will sound better. Like Don (B3 maniac) I've gone through a multitude of organ clones. A few years ago I purchased a Hammond XM2/XMc2 from Gary Thomas of the band "It's a beautiful day". Gary was upgrading to the SK series and I purchased his module and drawbar unit fairly cheap. The leslie was weak and its 'depth' was shallow. The C3 chorus/vibrato was horribly phasey and in my view unusable and therefore I used C2 and C1. I had to use a Vent with it because of the underachieving built-in leslie sim. In reality the Voce V5+ actually sounded better to me than the XM2 so I got rid of the Hammond and still have the Voce. I now have a Gemini module which has the VB3-II engine. The C/V is spot on but I'm not thrilled about the expression pedal emulation. It sounds compressed from low to high, not as natural as my B3 at home. The Voce's expression is modeled; it uses CC#7 rather than CC#11 however Dave Amels (the creator of the unit) converts CC#7 to CC#11 within the physical model and when I depress the pedal it is much more 'responsive' than VB3 is and the EQ curve of the pedal depression brings out just the right amount of highs (like a B3 does). I have found myself reverting back to the Voce; there is something about its sound and reaction to my playing that I really like. The percussion fire reacts more like my B3 than VB3 does, VB3 'recharges' too quickly for my taste. The Voce's weak link is the C/V, not the greatest but I found it to be better than the Hammond XM2 which is why I kept the Voce and tossed the XM2. I don't think that you will be pleased with the YC61 from a organ/leslie perspective. My two cents.

Have you experimented with HX3? It is a hardware (rather than software) solution using FPGA. The Mag organs come with HX3 and a Neo Ventilator built into the Mag organ. The HX3 module itself has its own built in leslie and it sounds pretty good. You might want to look at that. Note, you can use your Voce V5+ as a drawbar controller as it maps perfectly to HX3.

Listen to this: link

mag organs/HX3 module: link2
 
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Delaware Dave, B3maniac posted a very interesting youtube review of YC61 yesterday. I replied that it confirms suspicion that, while keyboard is good, it doesn't excell in anything. Basically, a "Swiss Army Knife" type of keyboard. I recall your post critical of it, so I wanted to shout out to you. I actually bought an HX3, which arrived damaged. Rats! I was looking forward to checking it out. I'll be keeping eye out for another. I might, eventually ,actually go the Mag Organ route, as the direct configuration will virtually eliminate any midi latency issues. Be well, Mario.
 
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Delaware Dave, B3maniac posted a very interesting youtube review of YC61 yesterday. I replied that it confirms suspicion that, while keyboard is good, it doesn't excell in anything. Basically, a "Swiss Army Knife" type of keyboard. I recall your post critical of it, so I wanted to shout out to you. I actually bought an HX3, which arrived damaged. Rats! I was looking forward to checking it out. I'll be keeping eye out for another. I might, eventually ,actually go the Mag Organ route, as the direct configuration will virtually eliminate any midi latency issues. Be well, Mario.
Wow, that is a shame about the damaged unit. I found this, not sure if it is still available, but no harm in inquirying:

 

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