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#1644809 - 03/20/11 05:57 PM Best organ keyboard?
Auver Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 194
Loc: Norway
Hey folks! I'm posting this thread here, and not in the organ section because;

Digital Pianos - Synths & Keyboards (427 viewing)
Organs - Electronic (B3 etc.), Pipe & Theatre (3 viewing)

If it's not okay that this thread is in this forum, feel free to move it to the organ section. smile

Anyway, here's my situation:
I'm a 16 year old boy playing mostly boogie woogie and blues, but also a little bit of funk and jazz. I recently ordered a Yamaha Motif XF8, but it was a major fail because of several reasons:

- Too advanced for me
- Horrible sounds for my style of playing
- Keybed not suited at all for organ
- Paying for 2000 sounds I'll never use
- Too heavy
- I like to sit down and start playing quickly, not possible with this monster

So I called my seller, and I decided to switch it to a Nord Piano. I decided to get the Nord Piano because of;

- Simple interface, perfect for me
- Perfect sounds for my style of playing
- No unneccessary sounds I'll never use
- Light and sexy red

Anyway, when I play I mostly just use the Piano sounds, and sometimes the organ, but because of horrible keybeds on my keyboards which was never suited for the organ, I never use the organs either actually. Therefore my plan was to get a DP dedicated to ap/ep/clavinet sounds (the NP88 obviously) and get a keyboard suited for organ later with a proper keybed.

So my question is; what keyboard is the best keyboard for organ sounds in your opinion. I'm thinking hammond sounds, not church organs. My budget will probably be 900-2700$. I'm looking for playability (keybed most importantly), drawbars, sound and lightness.

The options I've come up with so far are:

- Nord Electro 3
- Hammond XK1
- Roland VK-8

What are your opinion about these? Do you have any other suggestions? There's no hurry, I won't be buying this before late summer most likely.

Let me know if I forgot to put in some info. wink

Thanks for your time!

Cheers
_________________________
My youtube channel for some fun stuff I do:
http://www.youtube.com/user/AuverAskerud?feature=mhum

Yamaha Clavinova CLP-811
Nord Piano 88

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#1644811 - 03/20/11 06:08 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8870
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Electro 3.

The waterfall action is arguably too light for serious AP playing, but for everything else it's the perfect gigging board.

Oh, and don't forget the awesome gig bag with the cycling-friendly back straps!

James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1644829 - 03/20/11 06:41 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
I can't comment on the VK series but I have owned a Hammond XK-1, and currently own an Electro 3.

Out of these two, the XK-1 wins for straightforward organ playing. The drawbars make a huge difference if you're a player who likes to shape the sound as you play. Some people can manipulate the Nord's "drawbuttons" with ease - I am not one of those.

Sound is a very personal thing. The Electro 3 has a full-bodied sound with a little more bite in the top octave. It doesn't quite capture that electromechanical grind and zing, but if you're not a purist that shouldn't matter too much. The Electro is modeled, whereas the Hammond is sampled. This gives the Hammond a very slight advantage in authenticity of tone, but it also never quite shakes off its digital presence, and lacks that visceral kick as you head for top C.

The Electro, in 61-key form, is very trim and light. The Hammond weighs twice as much and is physically bigger. But both are within sane bounds for portability. The Hammond's bigger brother (XK-3c) is quite a bit heavier still, but gives you a tube preamp which, according to users, adds a lot of warmth and muscle to the sound.

The surprise contender here is the new Studiologic (Fatar) Numa Organ. I played one recently for a very short while, and I was impressed. It's lighter than the Hammonds, has drawbars and uses the KeyB engine. It sounds quite a bit more authentic than both the Electro and the XK-1 and also sports a better Leslie sim. The only downside seems to be that the EQ is weak in the bass area - I don't know how much adjustment there is, or whether it was a fault specific to the one I played. And speaking of faults, it's an untested product and no-one knows how problematic it's likely to be over the long term. Also it's rather expensive for what it is.

The biggest bang for the buck out of these three has to be the Electro. The addition of excellent APs and EPs plus a range of effects and sample capability - and practically no menu-diving - means that it can cover most vintage keyboard bases. For strictly organ use, I'd probably pick the Numa - as long as I had $2,000 to burn on a one-trick pony.
_________________________
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#1644900 - 03/20/11 09:01 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3157
Originally Posted By: Auver
So I called my seller, and I decided to switch it to a Nord Piano.
...
So my question is; what keyboard is the best keyboard for organ sounds in your opinion. I'm thinking hammond sounds, not church organs. My budget will probably be 900-2700$. I'm looking for playability (keybed most importantly), drawbars, sound and lightness.

The options I've come up with so far are:

- Nord Electro 3
- Hammond XK1
- Roland VK-8


One other possibility would be to get a Nord Stage 2 (88) instead of a Nord Piano. Unlike most weighted actions, Nord's actually seems quite good for organ too (at least based on the Stage EX). The Stage 2 would give you everything in the Nord Piano (plus a new piano feature, selectable release), as well as everything in an Electro 3, and quite a bit more. A Nord Stage 2 would cost less than buying the combination of a Nord Piano and an Electro 3, and would give you a lot more capability.

If for whatever reason that doesn't work for you...

... the Electro 3 would be the lightest, and has additional non-organ features you may find useful

... the Hammond has real drawbars and more ways to tweak the organ sound to your taste, and it's less expensive, but weighs double the E3

I haven't played the Numa organ that was mentioned, but it is the lightest that has real drawbars.

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#1644905 - 03/20/11 09:14 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: Auver

So my question is; what keyboard is the best keyboard for organ sounds in your opinion. I'm thinking hammond sounds, not church organs. My budget will probably be 900-2700$.


Used Hammond organs are available. Real ones made in the 1950's with vacuum tubes. They are very heavy and take at least two people to move. Here in California I see a few for sale most of the time. prices are all over that map. I got a defective one for $50 and I've seen good ones in you budget range.

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#1645013 - 03/21/11 01:08 AM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
I forgot to mention that the keybed on both the Hammond and Electro work very well for organ (haven't spent long enough on the Numa to comment). When playing organ, the Electro triggers early in the key travel and so feels "right". The XK-1 feels quite like a traditional Hammond.

One thing I noticed with the B4000 clonewheel in my Plugiator module is that it seems to use the velocity sensors in the controller keyboard to trigger the top drawbar or the percussion slightly before the rest of the sound, so as to try to emulate a buss bar's staggered contacts. The Electro doesn't do that, and I don't recall that happening with the XK either.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
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"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#1645042 - 03/21/11 03:00 AM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8870
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
voxpops, I wasn't aware that the Hammond boards use sampling rather than modelling. I wonder how this is achieved given the adjustable drawbars - surely they don't sample every possible drawbar combination, do they?

Regarding the Electro3, I have been experimenting with the different AP sounds over the past few days. It's good fun, but a rather time consuming process - uploading/downloading the 'large' sized patches takes several minutes (at least, it does on this little Dell netbook).

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1645095 - 03/21/11 08:34 AM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Kawai James]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3157
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
voxpops, I wasn't aware that the Hammond boards use sampling rather than modelling. I wonder how this is achieved given the adjustable drawbars - surely they don't sample every possible drawbar combination, do they?

They sample the 96 underlying tones that are available to make up each note in any drawbar registration.

i.e. -- with just the 8' drawbar out, a real Hammond can generate 61 possible raw tones; the 4' drawbar adds another 12, etc. There are a total of 96 possible tones (or, looked at from another perspective, there are 96 physical tonewheels inside a real B3). Each time you adjust a single drawbar, for a given note, you are adjusting the level of one of those 96 tones. So just like an old tonewheel organ, the Hammond clones allow you to use the drawbars to recombine a fixed set of 96 tones in different combinations and at different levels to generate all the different possible organ tones.

(As an aside... wikipedia says that only 91 of the 96 physical tonewheels actually generated sound. But Hammond's lit refers to "96 digital tonewheels.")

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#1645131 - 03/21/11 10:23 AM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Kawai James]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
voxpops, I wasn't aware that the Hammond boards use sampling rather than modelling. I wonder how this is achieved given the adjustable drawbars - surely they don't sample every possible drawbar combination, do they?

See anotherscott's excellent explanation above. The drawbars mix the underlying virtual tonewheel samples proportionately according to their position. They don't have separate samples for every combination.

Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Regarding the Electro3, I have been experimenting with the different AP sounds over the past few days. It's good fun, but a rather time consuming process - uploading/downloading the 'large' sized patches takes several minutes (at least, it does on this little Dell netbook).

Cheers,
James
x

No instant gratification there! It would be great if the Nord Sound Manager had a preview function.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#1645165 - 03/21/11 11:31 AM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
PianoMath Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 94
Quote:
Horrible sounds for my style of playing


XS has terrible sounds...

yeah,for sure.

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#1645232 - 03/21/11 01:16 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8870
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
anotherscott, many thanks for the excellent explanation - what a great forum this is! wink

voxpops, I see you're using the Bosie sample on your Electro3 - I gave it a quick try on my new 73 the other day, really lovely open sound. I swapped it out to try the other pianos, but it's a little awkward doing proper A-B comparisons with the limited 180mb partition. As fun as the Melotron stuff is, I think I'd prefer to use that memory to store another decent piano patch - especially given the time taken to upload/download samples. Those XL-sized patches must take forever to transfer to the NP88...

Also, don't you find it odd that the Wurly is stored in a separate category to the other other EPs, even though there's (currently) only one sound that can be used. Man, it'd be great if Nord made an aggressively voiced Wurly patch available...or even a Pianet. wink

Cheers,
James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#1645241 - 03/21/11 01:24 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1422
I'd go for the Nord Electro 3. In fact, I may add an NE3 later in the year for organ/synth playing. I know I'm always talking up Nord, but as a relative newcomer to the brand, it's such a departure from the rest of the brands, and they've just got such a usable, playable vibe. All of their products kick a$$!
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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#1645251 - 03/21/11 01:41 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Kawai James]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
voxpops, I see you're using the Bosie sample on your Electro3 - I gave it a quick try on my new 73 the other day, really lovely open sound. I swapped it out to try the other pianos, but it's a little awkward doing proper A-B comparisons with the limited 180mb partition. As fun as the Melotron stuff is, I think I'd prefer to use that memory to store another decent piano patch - especially given the time taken to upload/download samples. Those XL-sized patches must take forever to transfer to the NP88...
x

I transferred both the large Bosie and the small Studio 2 (and dumped the harpsichord). These two pianos have very different characters and complement each other nicely. I suppose one could make a small sample of each of the pianos and load them into the Sample section on the Electro to do a side-by-side test - quite a bit of work, though.

Yes, I don't really have a need for Mellotrons etc., but I do find some of the synth pads available for download quite good. Lead synths are problematic due to lack of pitchbend/modulation control.

I suppose that Nord has made very sure that the Electro 3 doesn't cut into their new Stage 2 sales.

Originally Posted By: Kawai James

Also, don't you find it odd that the Wurly is stored in a separate category to the other other EPs, even though there's (currently) only one sound that can be used. Man, it'd be great if Nord made an aggressively voiced Wurly patch available...or even a Pianet.


Yes, the Wurli seems a little orphaned. Of course, you can tweak it a lot by using the amp modeling - and get it to sound very aggressive. As a result, I don't think it necessarily needs voicing differently (the original was less "voiceable" than the Rhodes), but I would like the option of a larger sample with more layers/dynamics. I suppose, since one is likely to use different effects from the Rhodes on the Wurli, it makes sense to give it its own category.

I love the idea of having a Pianet! I think I read somewhere that a user was creating a sample to load into the sample bank. Whether he/she'll make it available for download, I don't know.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#1645264 - 03/21/11 02:05 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
PianoZac Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/10
Posts: 1422
I just played a gig yesterday on my NP88 and used the Wurly most of the time. I tweaked to get a real 'raunchy' bite, and man does that Wurly sound good. Those compression amp models are great and the effects tuning really gives you a lot of flexibility.
_________________________
Yamaha AvantGrand N1
Nord Piano 2


"Be who you are and say how you feel. Because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

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#1645307 - 03/21/11 03:29 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: voxpops]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3157
Originally Posted By: voxpops
Lead synths are problematic due to lack of pitchbend/modulation control.

I suppose that Nord has made very sure that the Electro 3 doesn't cut into their new Stage 2 sales.

I don't think it was as calculated as you make that sound, considering that the E3 has been out for almost two years and the S2 has just started to ship. The focus of the Electro has always been replication of electro-mechanical keyboards which, themselves, did not have pitch bend or mod controls.

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#1645312 - 03/21/11 03:36 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: anotherscott]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Originally Posted By: voxpops
Lead synths are problematic due to lack of pitchbend/modulation control.

I suppose that Nord has made very sure that the Electro 3 doesn't cut into their new Stage 2 sales.

I don't think it was as calculated as you make that sound, considering that the E3 has been out for almost two years and the S2 has just started to ship. The focus of the Electro has always been replication of electro-mechanical keyboards which, themselves, did not have pitch bend or mod controls.


You may be right, but I would imagine individual keyboards are planned well in advance, and that they fit well into the overall range - existing or anticipated.

I agree about the original focus of the Electro, but with the E3 that has shifted a little. The ability to record, load and play different samples is a new departure. The fact that Nord themselves supplied a wide variety of samples from their own synths has given the E3 a wider potential beyond simply vintage keys - but with serious limitations. You just can't play those synth patches with expression (even via midi), and you can't play more than one sound at a time (even via midi) - cue the Stage 2...


Edited by voxpops (03/21/11 04:11 PM)
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
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https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#1645356 - 03/21/11 05:18 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: voxpops]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3157
Originally Posted By: voxpops
You just can't play those synth patches with expression (even via midi), and you can't play more than one sound at a time (even via midi) - cue the Stage 2...


I agree, that's what the Stage 2 is for. I just don't think that necessarily means they left the features out of the E3 in order to not impact S2 sales. For one thing, that would imply that they could add pitch bend, mod wheel, and multitimbral capabilities to the E3 without raising its manufacturing cost, and I really doubt that's the case.

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#1645381 - 03/21/11 05:59 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Well, in the end, only Nord knows their own strategy, and I doubt they're going to tell the likes of us!
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#1646997 - 03/24/11 06:38 AM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: voxpops]
Auver Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 194
Loc: Norway
Thanks for all the replies folks!

@voxpops:

It seems like it's pretty split here for me...I got the AP/EP sounds I need on my upcoming NP88, so I don't really know how useful those will be on the NE. At the same time I really like the weight of the board and the thought of matching my NP. wink The drawbuttons probably aren't as good as real drawbars, but they're probably more than good enough for me since I'm a hammond noob.

The Hammond seems nice because it's cheaper (I don't pay for something I don't need) and the sound is more like the real thing. But they don't sell it here in Norway it seems, I'll have to ship it from abroad which I don't like at all.

"This gives the Hammond a very slight advantage in authenticity of tone, but it also never quite shakes off its digital presence, and lacks that visceral kick as you head for top C"

This means that the NE can actually be more brutal (although, a little less realistic I suppose) than the Hammond?

Originally Posted By: PianoMath
Quote:
Horrible sounds for my style of playing


XS has terrible sounds...

yeah,for sure.


Playing Boogie Woogie on the XF is a terrible project.

Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Originally Posted By: Auver

So my question is; what keyboard is the best keyboard for organ sounds in your opinion. I'm thinking hammond sounds, not church organs. My budget will probably be 900-2700$.


Used Hammond organs are available. Real ones made in the 1950's with vacuum tubes. They are very heavy and take at least two people to move. Here in California I see a few for sale most of the time. prices are all over that map. I got a defective one for $50 and I've seen good ones in you budget range.


Oh how I'd love to have a real Hammond, but they're too impractical and heavy, as well as too expensive. 10000$ is a normal price here, hah. Also I want to take it to band practise and stuff, I really don't wanna rent a movingcar everytime. smile

Cheers
_________________________
My youtube channel for some fun stuff I do:
http://www.youtube.com/user/AuverAskerud?feature=mhum

Yamaha Clavinova CLP-811
Nord Piano 88

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#1647044 - 03/24/11 08:21 AM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3157

U.S. prices:
Nord Piano $2,699 + Electro 3 $1,999 = $4,698
Nord Stage 2 = $4,199

For $500 less, musically, the Stage 2 does everything the more expensive combination does, and a whole lot more (selectable release for pianos, improved C2 rather than C1 based organ, synth functions, more sample RAM, aftertouch, pitch stick, mod wheel, splits and layers, better patch selection functionality, MIDI control functions, and more).

Although you gain many advantages that way, there are some functional trade-offs, since having two separate keyboards also has some benefits:

1. you have a backup at a gig if one fails

2. you can easily allow your right hand part on one board to cross your left hand part on the other, without worrying about running out of keys or needing to set up splits and octave transpositions in advance

3. you can quickly go back and forth between the sounds, each over its full keyboard length, without having to push a button to change a preset

4. in general, it is better to play organ on a less weighted keyboard than what you use for piano. However, in this particular case, I'm not certain that organ plays better on an E3 than on a weighted Stage. The Nord weighted action (at least the EX that I played) is surprisingly good for organ, and the E3, while good, is not quite a first rate organ action itself.

So my inclination would be to get the Stage 2, and if those other advantages are important to you, put the $500 savings toward a different second board completely.

This is key: The MIDI functions of the Stage 2 allow you to easily play one of its sounds on its own keyboard while playing another of its sounds from another keyboard. So even if you don't care about anything the Electro 3 offers except organ, you are still better off using a Stage 2 and some other keyboard rather than adding an E3 to a Nord Piano, because the organ sound in the Stage 2 is slightly improved over that in the E3. Simply toss any keyboard above the Nord Stage 2, use it to drive the organ sound, and you'll have something better than an E3. You might find you use that second keyboard a lot... or you might find that you prefer using the Stage 2 keyboard even for organ, and may only go to the second keyboard occasionally, mostly just wanting the comfort of "knowing it's there" if you need it for purposes 1, 2, or 3 above.

For a second 61-note keyboard at low cost, new, you could look at the E-Mu Longboard (under $500, so actually saves you money), Yamaha MM6, Roland Juno-DI, Korg PS60, or even a Korg Microstation if you are okay with the mini-keys, which are surprisingly playable. Or you can look for something used. (Another possibility would be to get a soundless MIDI controller, but then you wouldn't have the first listed benefit of having a backup sound source at a gig.)

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#1647129 - 03/24/11 10:52 AM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Auver
The Hammond seems nice because it's cheaper (I don't pay for something I don't need) and the sound is more like the real thing. But they don't sell it here in Norway it seems, I'll have to ship it from abroad which I don't like at all.

"This gives the Hammond a very slight advantage in authenticity of tone, but it also never quite shakes off its digital presence, and lacks that visceral kick as you head for top C"

This means that the NE can actually be more brutal (although, a little less realistic I suppose) than the Hammond?

Although I wouldn't describe the Nord's tone as "brutal," I think it is a little thicker and punchier than the XK-1. Korg's CX-3 can probably get more brutal, although Korg has dropped the CX from their lineup.

It sounds like you already have the NP88 on order. If that's the case, the NE3 is going to duplicate a lot of what's on the NP88 already. If you feel more comfortable having a backup then no problem, but if you're just looking for organ to add to the NP, then maybe it's worth looking at other options. However, unless you're going to go for the Hammond, the VK-8 or the Numa, all the others cover most of the bread-and-butter sounds as well. In case you haven't got round to considering them, here are a few:

CAVEAT: I haven't played any of these.
Kurzweil PC361 - will give you faders for drawbars plus a lot of other synth, orchestral and piano sounds.
Casio WK7500 or CTK-7000 - as above, but a lot cheaper (and presumably flimsier.
Roland VR700 - gives you the VK8 organ plus pianos etc. Expensive and relatively heavy.

Here's a couple of modular possibilities:
Plugiator with Axiom (this is a setup I use from time to time). The B4000 organ in the Plugiator is actually pretty good, tonally, but it's taken me a lot of tweaking to make the Leslie sim acceptable on fast speed. The Axiom gives me drawbar control, and the big bonus is the inclusion of some great software synths (Minimax, Prodyssey, Pro-12 etc.) It comes in a nice, sturdy box that I perch over the Axiom's pads, and offers some limited front panel control.

VB3 either in a netbook or V-machine or similar, plus controller (such as the Axiom). Personally, I wouldn't do a live show with any kind of PC, but VB3 is such a good emulation that I thought it was worth mentioning - cheap, too.

Let us know what you decide.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#1647133 - 03/24/11 11:03 AM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: anotherscott]
Auver Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 194
Loc: Norway
@anotherscott,

I didn't know of that midi function, I thought you could only have one sound active (like if you played on a second keyboard using the NS, you couldn't play another sound on the NS itself at the same time). But that is actually a very good idea, and I would most likely have followed your advice if I hadn't ordered a NP88 already.

But for some reason, I do like the thought of having two instruments specialized in what they do (it's stupid, I know).

Btw, is it a bad idea buying music instruments used?

Cheers
_________________________
My youtube channel for some fun stuff I do:
http://www.youtube.com/user/AuverAskerud?feature=mhum

Yamaha Clavinova CLP-811
Nord Piano 88

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#1647142 - 03/24/11 11:20 AM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: voxpops]
Auver Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 194
Loc: Norway
@Voxpops,

You replied while I was replying to anotherscott, sorry I missed your post.

I like that the NE is thicker, but as you say, I'd have a lot of it on the NP already. I really just want the organ sound, so piano sounds and synth and stuff on it is not really a plus at all, since it probably just increases the weight/price. The XK-1 seem to have a pretty sweet organ sound to me,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_yfrD-kzuk

Regarding the Numa, Kurzweil and the Casio - I don't really want to spend money on a brand I know is quality. What I don't want is another waste of cash like I did with the Motif XF haha. (although that was my lack of knowledge making it useless for me though)

Although the Numa is developed with Joe DeFrancesco, that's probably a good sign, but again it is rather expensive.

The VK8 seems nice, but some say it sounds really bad and some likes it, have you tried it?


Edited by Auver (03/24/11 11:21 AM)
_________________________
My youtube channel for some fun stuff I do:
http://www.youtube.com/user/AuverAskerud?feature=mhum

Yamaha Clavinova CLP-811
Nord Piano 88

Top
#1647143 - 03/24/11 11:21 AM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Auver
Btw, is it a bad idea buying music instruments used?

That depends. Here in the States a lot of almost new instruments are available in the used market, and can often be had at a large discount. A lot of keyboard players (like me) buy something, and then, a few months later, get GAS for the latest and greatest.

I usually avoid anything old and that's been heavily gigged. One exception to that: I purchased an XK-1 that had seen a lot of use, and was cosmetically poor - it was also from an early manufacturing batch. It was mechanically and electronically perfect, which is perhaps a testament to the way the XK series is built.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

Top
#1647147 - 03/24/11 11:25 AM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Auver
The VK8 seems nice, but some say it sounds really bad and some likes it, have you tried it?


I haven't played it. Some say the VK-7 was better. I have to confess that every time I hear the Roland VKs on YouTube, they don't move me. I always thought the Korg sounded better.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#1647172 - 03/24/11 12:04 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3157
Originally Posted By: Auver
I didn't know of that midi function, I thought you could only have one sound active (like if you played on a second keyboard using the NS, you couldn't play another sound on the NS itself at the same time).

The Nord Electro is set up that way, just one sound at a time, even if you hook up a second keyboard to it.

The Stage 2 does up to 6 sounds at a time... two piano sounds, two organ sounds, and two synth/sample library sounds. They can be driven either from the internal keyboard (via splits and layers), or from a second keyboard via MIDI.

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#1647195 - 03/24/11 12:25 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: voxpops]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3157
Originally Posted By: voxpops
Although I wouldn't describe the Nord's tone as "brutal," I think it is a little thicker and punchier than the XK-1. Korg's CX-3 can probably get more brutal, although Korg has dropped the CX from their lineup.

The good news is that the CX-3 organ has been integrated into the forthcoming Kronos. I actually like the CX-3 so much that I'm looking at a 61-key Kronos largely as a lighter weight CX-3, that just happens to have a whole bunch of other stuff in it! Auver could use that as his organ... except it's pricey (especially if that's all you're using it for)... about 50% more than an Electro 3, about double a Hammond XK-1 here in the States.

I'm actually really curious to hear how its piano will compare to the Nord pianos. Spec-wise, it should be superior, but you never know until you hear and play it. But I think a nice set-up for lots of people could be a lightweight 61-key Kronos on top for organ playing and such, with whatever 88-board you want underneath,even just a cheap, light Yamaha P95 or whatever, driving the Kronos' piano sound.

Originally Posted By: voxpops
In case you haven't got round to considering them, here are a few:

CAVEAT: I haven't played any of these.
Kurzweil PC361 - will give you faders for drawbars plus a lot of other synth, orchestral and piano sounds.
Casio WK7500 or CTK-7000 - as above, but a lot cheaper (and presumably flimsier.
Roland VR700 - gives you the VK8 organ plus pianos etc. Expensive and relatively heavy.


The Kurzweil is a very nice piece... I don't think its organ is quite in the league of the others we're discussing, but I haven't heard the newest OS upgrade that is supposed to improve it. The other thing to think about there is that the piece can be a little complicated to get around, which was part of what turned him off to the Yamaha,

The Casio is definitely not in the league of the other organs we're talking about, though it gives you a lot for the money. But some of the places it falls short as a "clonewheel" are that each "drawbar" only has 3 on positions instead of 8, and the leslie effect doesn't simulate the horn and lower rotor speeding up and slowing down at different rates. And from the youtube recordings, it's not that great sounding, either.

I think the Roland is a pretty nice piece, but yes, a bit bulky. For organ alone, comparing the Roland to the Nord to the XK1, I'm not sure there's a clear winner sonically, I think it would be personal preference. I might decide more based on which keyboard feels best. Or some other feature, like how important light weight is (favors the Nord) or how important real physical drawbars are (favors the others).

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#1647198 - 03/24/11 12:33 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3021
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Auver
I really just want the organ sound, so piano sounds and synth and stuff on it is not really a plus at all, since it probably just increases the weight/price


The XK-1 is twice the weight of the NE3 (61).
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

Top
#1647249 - 03/24/11 02:53 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: voxpops]
Auver Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/11
Posts: 194
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: voxpops
That depends. Here in the States a lot of almost new instruments are available in the used market, and can often be had at a large discount. A lot of keyboard players (like me) buy something, and then, a few months later, get GAS for the latest and greatest.


I see, there's not that much of a used market here in Norway, but there is some. I don't think Norwegians buy as much new stuff as other countries do (a wild guess, but it seems so to me).

Originally Posted By: voxpops
I usually avoid anything old and that's been heavily gigged. One exception to that: I purchased an XK-1 that had seen a lot of use, and was cosmetically poor - it was also from an early manufacturing batch. It was mechanically and electronically perfect, which is perhaps a testament to the way the XK series is built."


I see, I saw this Roland VK 8 for half the price of the original, with some scars on the varnish, just for consideration. I would think that such instruments should function for quite a while before going defect?

How is with warranty and stuff when buying used?

Also, how much of a difference is it between the Nord C1 and C2 organs? Is the C2 remarkebly better?

Originally Posted By: voxpops
I haven't played it. Some say the VK-7 was better. I have to confess that every time I hear the Roland VKs on YouTube, they don't move me. I always thought the Korg sounded better.


I guess I'll have to do some testing of different brands sometime...

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
The good news is that the CX-3 organ has been integrated into the forthcoming Kronos. I actually like the CX-3 so much that I'm looking at a 61-key Kronos largely as a lighter weight CX-3, that just happens to have a whole bunch of other stuff in it! Auver could use that as his organ... except it's pricey (especially if that's all you're using it for)... about 50% more than an Electro 3, about double a Hammond XK-1 here in the States.


You're right, the Motif was way too complicated for me, and I think that Kronos will be too. That's why I bought the simples of the simples, the Nord. Also, it's too expensive, I'm looking for organ only (don't wanna pay for anything else to be honest).

Originally Posted By: anotherscott
I think the Roland is a pretty nice piece, but yes, a bit bulky. For organ alone, comparing the Roland to the Nord to the XK1, I'm not sure there's a clear winner sonically, I think it would be personal preference. I might decide more based on which keyboard feels best. Or some other feature, like how important light weight is (favors the Nord) or how important real physical drawbars are (favors the others).


Can you explain bulky? smile Have you tried it yourself? I guess I could live with the drawbuttons instead of bars, and I think it's cool with 3 different organs (I don't know if the Hammond or the Roland got more than just hammond sound) but I don't like paying for a lot of stuff I already have on my NP.

Originally Posted By: voxpops
The XK-1 is twice the weight of the NE3 (61).


Then my theory got flushed down the toilet. wink

I really appreciate your time and replies folks!
_________________________
My youtube channel for some fun stuff I do:
http://www.youtube.com/user/AuverAskerud?feature=mhum

Yamaha Clavinova CLP-811
Nord Piano 88

Top
#1647313 - 03/24/11 04:52 PM Re: Best organ keyboard? [Re: Auver]
anotherscott Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3157
Originally Posted By: Auver
Can you explain bulky?


Dimensions:
1,260 (W) x 395 (D) x 128 (H) mm
49-5/8 (W) x 15-9/16 (D) x 5-1/16 (H) inches

Weight:
16.0 kg
35 lbs 5 oz

Originally Posted By: Auver
(I don't know if the Hammond or the Roland got more than just hammond sound)


The XK1 and the Roland both have some non-Hammond organ sounds (in the Roland, they're part of the GM2 sound set). I don't know how good they are. The E3 would probably be the best in this department.

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