The Hammond XK-2

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Pro's:

  • Genuine HAMMOND waterfall keys!
  • Twin rotor digital Leslie
  • Winner of sound quality award and playability award. Also 'silver' for authenticity. 'KEYBOARD' June 1999
"We have had numerous requests from customers for a single-keyboard instrument which not only has the pure Drawbar tones but also the keyboard look and feel of the B-3," says Dennis Fioramontii, Vice-President of Sales. "We are happy to be able to offer both of these features in this new instrument."


"The XK-2 represents the latest step in Hammond's ongoing effort to digitally replicate the classic B-3 sound,"
states Steven Eaklor, Director of Product Planning and Development. "The new instrument uses Hammond's V.A.S.E. 11 (Versatile Advanced Sound Engine) sound-generating system for unparalleled realism not only from the Drawbars but from the Vibrato, Leslie, Reverb and Overdrive as well."

"An essential part of the legendary B-3 sound is the Leslie Speaker," says Warren Brunsting, Vice President of Manufacturing. "The XK-2 uses the new B.M.T.P. (Balance Monitored Time Phased) Digital Leslie. This new system is the most authentic Digital Leslie System to be offered by Hammond and Leslie to date."

DESCRIPTION

Designed in Conjunction with Hammond XB-2 Keyboard Players

Working in conjunction with professional Hammond organists, keyboard players, church and home organists representing every style of music, Hammond engineers designed the latest member of the long family of quality Hammond instruments - the XK-2.

Hammond received numerous requests from customers for a single-keyboard instrument which not only has the classic Drawbar tones but also the keyboard look and feel of the B-3. The XK-2 features a new 61-note keyboard utilizing deluxe square-front keys to truly recreate this look and feel.

XK-2, the newest member of the Hammond Portable Keyboard family

Since the late 1960's, several Hammond portable organs and keyboards were developed as light-weight alternatives to the B-3. Hammond Suzuki developed the digital, single manual XB-2 and dual manual XB-5. Each portable offered Hammond players an alternative to carrying a B-3, C-3, L100, M-3 or other Hammond organ. Each successive portable featured the latest in available technology and narrowed the tonal differences to the original B-3.

"The XK-2 represents the latest step in Hammond's ongoing effort to digitally replicate the classic B-3 sound," states Steven Eaklor, Director of Product Planning and Development. "The new instrument uses Hammond's V.A.S.E. 11 (Versatile Advanced Sound Engine) sound-generating system for unparalleled realism not only from the Drawbars but from the Vibrato, Leslie, Reverb and Overdrive as well."

Attempts by other manufacturers at "sampling a B-3" and adding Drawbars are not good enough to satisfy Hammond portable organ and keyboard owners interested in a replacement for their aging Hammonds. The new Hammond XK-2 provides for the idiosyncrasies of the electro-mechanical Tonewheel Generator which formed the basis for the classic Hammond sound. The XK-2 offers the closest digital reproduction of the classic sound while offering many features not found in any other keyboard or portable organ.

Foldback and other B-3 Characteristics

The XK-2 digitally generates the pure harmonic sound of the classic B-3 including nuance characteristics of generator crosstalk and other important features such as adjustable Drawbar foldbacks at the top and bottom octaves, adjustable Attack (key click), and adjustable overdrive. Sixty-four user programmable presets, percussion 6 degrees of chorus and vibrato, and other B-3 characteristics were designed into the XK-2 for maximum professional flexibility.

Some early Hammond organ models lacked "foldback" found in the B-3 and similar models. These models had keyboards which were wired differently internally with the first 12 bass tones normally found only on the pedals of B-3 and other organ models with foldback. Other later Hammond organ models had additional tones above the highest frequency tone found in a B-3. The XK-2 can easily be configured to recreate these earlier or later organs to suit the organist's playing needs by altering the adjustable foldback points.

The XK-2 is earning solid acceptance from touring professional and church organists, home and studio players worldwide by delivering the classic Hammond sound and performance. The original B-3 weighed approximately 400 pounds. The new XK-2 weighs just 30 pounds and is the best choice for players requiring top digital keyboard performance at very reasonable cost.

On-Board Hammond Drawbar Patch Library

The Hammond XK-2 contains a built-in library of 64 custom Hammond drawbar organ patches. Factory presets represent the most commonly used B-3 drawbar settings in Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Country, Rock and other music styles. The library is user programmable for Upper Manual, Lower Manual and Pedal keyboard use.

Full MIDI Implementation

The Hammond XK-2 can perform in virtually any MIDI environment. SEND and RECEIVE channels are programmable. LOCAL keyboard control can be turned ON or OFF, and the keyboard can be split into two MIDI ZONES with separate SEND channels, program numbers, and high and low limits for each ZONE.

The XK-2 features 32-note polyphonic and 16-part multi-timbral capabilities. Performance and data information can be saved to a MIDI data recorder via the MIDI Data Dump feature. The XK-2 can be used as a master controller for the Hammond GM-1000 MIDI Sound Module or any other standard MIDI device. It can be used as a MIDI slave and controlled from a Digital Piano or any other standard MIDI keyboard, module or controller.

Bass, Treble, Overdrive, Overall Volume, Reverb Controls

Bass and Treble, Overdrive, Master Volume and Digital Reverb controls are adjustable through controls mounted on the front and rear of the XK-2. These controls allow the user to tailor the sound from the early "mellow" Blues and Jazz, or a later Hammond "bright" sound of solid state organs, to the unmistakable Hammond sound with heavy distortion for Rock. The XK-2's Drawbar sound can be voiced to represent older or later Hammond organs through the selectable Drawbar Voicing feature.

Advanced On-board Digital Leslie

"An essential part of the legendary B-3 sound is the Leslie Speaker," says Warren Brunsting, Vice President of Manufacturing. "The XK-2 uses the new B.M.T.P. (Balance Monitored Time Phased) Digital Leslie. This new system is the most authentic Digital Leslie System to be offered by Hammond and Leslie to date."

The XK-2's on-board Digital Leslie is fully adjustable to suit user preferences. The simulated upper horn & bass rotor "Rise" (speed up) and "Fall" (slow down) times can be independently changed. The "Brake" (stopping) time for both horn and rotor can also be adjusted. Volume balance between the horn and rotor can be tailored to suit the user. Simulated Microphone settings can be changed to replicate the different options when miking a Leslie. The new B.M.T.P digital Leslie was designed to offer the professional user total control to replicate older single-speed tube amp Leslie's (21H, 22H, 45, 45, etc.), later two-speed tube amp models (122, 142, 147, 145) and solid-state Leslie's (760, 770, 925, etc) for live and recording purposes.

Factory Equipped for Direct Leslie Plug-in

The XK-2 was designed to accept direct plug-in of any 11-pin Leslie and can be used with many earlier tube and solid-state amp equipped Leslie models with appropriate Leslie connector kits. The current Leslie models of choice among XK-2 professional owners are the 122XB, original 122 or 147 or later 122A / 147A series (with connector kits), the new 771 solid-state full size high-power Leslie, or the new Pro-Line Leslie Model 303. Leslie motor speed-switching can be handled either from a control on the keyboard, through an optional footswitch which plugs in to a 1/4" footswitch control jack on the rear of the keyboard, or through MIDI.

Also Equipped with Digital Leslie and 1/4" Stereo / Mono Line-Out

The internal Digital Leslie allows the user to utilize the XK-2's 1/4" Line Out jack and a standard amplifier / speakers, mixing or PA equipment. When an 11-pin Leslie is connected to the XK-2, the on-board Digital Leslie is automatically disconnected. If the 1/4" Line Out jack is used with a Combo Pedal Preamp and Leslie, or another rotary horn device, it is very important to turn the on-board Leslie OFF through the programming software. Although the on-board digital Leslie is an excellent option for small bands or recording studios, for the best classic Hammond sound, an Acoustic Leslie is preferred.

 

SPEC-SHEET SUMMARY

In addition to authentic B-3 drawbar sound, the XK-2 features a new 61-note keyboard utilizing deluxe square-front keys to truly recreate the look and feel of the durable B-3 keyboard

This new instrument has an inbuilt 64-patch library that is user-programmable for Upper Manual, Lower Manual and Pedal Keyboard. Digital Reverb, digital Leslie with horn and bass rotor simulation, Touch-Response Percussion and user-adjustable Vibrato and Chorus are also included. The XK-2 features 32-note polyphonic and 16-part multi-timbral performance, and data can be saved to a MIDI data recorder via MIDI Data Dump.

Many of the advanced features already found in Hammond's XB-Series of products such as the XB-5 and the XB-3 are incorporated into the XK-2, such as adjustable Drawbar Foldback, selectable Drawbar Voicing, adjustable Rise and Fall Times for the inbuilt Leslie, adjustable Percussion Level and adjustable Attack (key click).

The front panel contains a backlit 24-character LCD screen, as well as the ON/OFF Power Switch, Master Volume, Reverb and Overdrive Control and a group of Touch Tabs for selecting Presets and editing various parameters. Also, there are Touch Tabs for controlling Percussion, 6 degrees of Vibrato and Chorus, Leslie SLOW/FAST/OFF and Keyboard Split ON/OFF. A Drawbar Select control allows the player to select between Upper, Lower and Pedal and make changes to the Drawbar registrations while playing.

Besides ad adjustable Rise and Fall Times, the new B.M.T.P. Digital Leslie also includes adjustable Brake Times for both horn and bass rotor, adjustable Volume Balance between horn and bass rotor and simulated Microphone Settings.

Included on the back of the XK-2 is a socket for directly connecting an 11-pin Leslie Speaker. Other connections include line output jacks for right and left channels, MIDI IN/OUT/THRU ports, headphone jack, foot switch jack and expression pedal jacks.


ARTIST-IMPRESSIONS

John Mattick : (The link will open in a new browser window)
John has been rockin' houses large and small with everyone from Bill Medely to Alabama. He brings a level of professionalism and versatility that is uniquely John Mattick.
Here's what he thinks about XK-2 : "The Hammond XK-2 is perfect for me. It solves all the problems I had with older B3's without making any sonic concessions. It's light and portable, it works great in a midi environment, the keys and action have an authentic 'Feel', maintenance and parts are easy, but most of all it sounds great!
"