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Hammond B3 Pros and No Cons – An Short Interview

What’s So Great About a Hammond B3?

Really, if you have to ask about the Hammond B3 you’ve got a lot of catching up to do–like about 50 years of history. But it’s not an easy instrument to play, made even more difficult if you move, rent, maintain or borrow one. Fortunately these days there are many alternatives.

I endorse Hammond digital organs, basically their new line of digital B3’s. In this interview, Hammond artist rep Emiko asks me why I like the B3 (and by extension my new SK-2), and what my favorite toothpaste is. It’s pretty hard not to like the B3, and this new keyboard, the dual manual SK-2 is the bomb. I punted on the toothpaste question.

Seriously, the SK-2 is a killer keyboard. I’ve only used it a handful of times, the pics below are from an outdoor concert in Pasadena last summer. I was playing bass on the lower manual, I needed a big “bottom” sound, so I opted for my keyboard amp with the 15″ speaker just to be sure I had the power. The top Leslie speaker has a spinning rotor, and an output that feeds the bottom speaker with (or without) simulated spinning. I remember a while ago, like maybe 20 years, thinking to myself “someday we’ll have great digital Hammond and acoustic piano keyboards that we can fit in our sedans that will be low cost and lightweight, and that will be musically satisfying and almost as good as the real thing. That day has now come. It’s only going to get better from here.

It sounds great mono through a PA with the full Leslie simulation, and even better with a “real” speaker, like the pics below.

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