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Hammond Sk1 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 31 customer reviews
Questions about the Hammond Sk1?

Questions about the Hammond Sk1?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Brian Kerns

    When I first brought the Hammond SK1 home, I was amazed at the ease with which I was able to create my own Hammond sounds. The way the SK1 is laid out makes it very easy to understand how to start building your own sounds. The drawbars add a more authentic feel to picture what ingredients are going in the organ mix. It's also very intuitive in that the left side is where you find all of the traditional organ controls, (such as vibrato/chorus, leslie controls, and drawbars), while the right side has all of the "extras." These include extra voices, reverb, and a master mixer. Overall, the SK1 is a great instrument - whether someone is new to Hammond organs, or an experienced player.

  • from Nashville, TN May 14, 2015Music Background:
    Producer / Keyboardist

    Must have Rock Show Organ

    The Hammond SK1 is one of my must have keyboards in my large arsenal - The organ sounds and digital Leslie are the best available in one complete package. 15 lbs that fits in a backpack case and you are off to the gig . I use on stage , studio, tv appearances and in worship wherever I am that given week. This keyboard feels amazing for organ and piano alike due to the way it switches sample contact points.

    Great to have the extra sounds that you can layer and split with the organ.

    I proudly am a Hammond USA artist, yes. But if I wasn't - I still would sing the praises of the what this organ can do. It screams, it purrs, and produces smiles like the real thing. That's because it's a Hammond.

  • from Birmingham, AL April 9, 2015Music Background:
    Guitar and Organ

    Hammond SK1

    I really didn't have roon for a full size B3 or the money. This is truly a portable B3 in all ways. The pipe organ is amazing. I have not check out every part completely, but what i have check out is very professional. I really didn't need another console organ since i have a Yahama console organ wich i really like. I like the recorded music import feature as i have backup music i can play lead with.

  • from FL March 27, 2015Music Background:
    Gigging musician/5piece band

    Best organ sounds in a keyboard!

    The Hammond SK1 is pretty much the s#!+. We love this thing. It has taken our band sound to a whole other level. It is super portable, easy to use, and totally worth the money! It will take you anywhere you wanna go.
    Ryan Holquist took super good care of me and was awesome to deal with. I won't buy music gear from another large music store. These guys are top notch and I'm sold.

  • from National City, California March 19, 2015Music Background:
    Professional Musician


    One of the most realistic Leslie simulator I've ever played. Very happy with this Combo Organ.

  • from United States October 16, 2014Music Background:
    sound designer and musician

    Fantastic Hammond

    I've been playing on an Arturia 49 midi controller and my friends Hammond upright for rehearsals and recording but wanted an organ to take out to gigs. Bought the SK-1 demo. Not a scratch or blemish- just like new! Love the Leslie sim, love the faves buttons, love the drawbars, love the sound, pretty much love everything in/on the organ. The usb flash drive makes it easy to swap settings and load new extra voices. The ability to modify/build your own organ/pipe/etc from custom tonewheels etc is a very nice feature. My only wish so far is that there was more onboard memory... there's always something though huh?

  • from Shenandoah Valley of Virginia June 4, 2014

    I can't believe what's packed into such a small keyboard

    The SK1 is so small it almost comes across as toy-like. But the authenticity of the sound, including the leslie, and the feel of the keys makes it work like the real deal. The non-organ sounds are great. The unit seems solidly built. The display panel interface, the way the various sounds are managed and MIDI control are all a bit clunky to me, but this keyboard does exactly what I want to do: Have the Hammond sound and brand onstage, and with something I can carry under my arm. Apologies to the purists!

  • from Bourbonnais , Illinois September 14, 2013Music Background:
    Weekend warrior for 40 plus years..blues and soul rock gospel

    Hammond SK-1

    This keyboard is excellent. Over the years I've owned various clone wheels , and this is as good as it gets. Been a Hammond plyer for 46 years. The organ is excelkent, the less simulation great . For me the chorus vibrato section is a step up from the XK3C. The extra voices are good enough to enable you to take this as your only keyboardoad for a gig. All voices will need tweaking to your tastes, as any will. I downloaded a custom set of tonewheels from JimAlfredson, a Hammond endorsee, and keyboard player with Janiva Magness Bqnd and Organissimo. These are a great addition to the rig..I only wish I had been able to afford th -2 version, double manual.

  • from New York, NY March 4, 2013Music Background:
    Semi-pro musician; years of experience.


    If you are looking for a drawbar organ, look no further than the Hammond SK-1. I have owned the SK-1 for about two months now, and couldnít be happier. The SK-1 replaced a Nord Electro2 73 which I owned for 5 years (and was quite happy with overall). The Hammond is hands-down better than the Nord in every way. The organ sound is spot on (it is a Hammond after all) and effectively cuts through a live band mix. Even the Wurly, Fender Rhodes and Clav sounds are very solid. The presets are really good out of the box, the effects are excellent and easily adjustable on the fly, virtually everything is tweakable if you are so inclined, the keys are the right size and the action is excellent. It is also easy to use. You will appreciate its light weight if you take it to rehearsals and gigs. I donít envision every having to replace this keyboard; it is fantastic.

  • from Boise, ID February 22, 2013Music Background:
    former semi-pro musician, now hobbyist

    Hammond SK1 - I really like it!

    I have been using the older Hammond XM-1 & drawbar unit with a keyboard and still have it, but was attracted by other reviews on the SK1 improved digital leslie and overall unit.. The SK1 Leslie fast/slow shift is really nice. Midi setup was easy and the keyboard has a good feel to it. With a little time in the manual, it was easy to reassign user organ patches I wanted to keep, as well as create new ones with the drawbars and save them. I am glad I bought the SK1 and, as always, my longtime Sweetwater sales engineer made it an easy purchase.

  • from Anderson, SC February 7, 2013Music Background:

    Hammond SK1

    Back in the 60's I had both a Farfisa and a Hammond B3. The Sk1 faithfully reproduces their sounds and so much more. The leslie emulator is so good only a true purest would have any chance of distinguishing between the two. If there is any downside, its that the unit has so much power that after several weeks of playing around I still have not finished exploring what options are available on the unit. I couldn't be happier.

  • from Phillipsburg NJ January 3, 2013Music Background:
    Keyboards - Worship leader

    Great Board!

    "Clone Wheels" have come a long way. I know Nord and others have gotten the Hammond sound down pretty well.. But I was looking for a dedicated board - and This is the ticket. Great Hammond sounds - solid drawbars - good presets (including pianos - Rhodes - Clavs etc) The ability to use a second board to drive the lower manual or play the other voices. I love it

  • from Morristown, TN November 20, 2012Music Background:
    Weekend Musician

    SK1 is an oold timers dream

    I started playing back in 1962. For 20 years I carried around Hammond key boards weighing over 100+ pounds. Well after 20 years off I am back playing again. This SK1 is more then I ever could hope for. It has great sounds and more program options then I will ever use.

  • from United States July 14, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    B3 in a box

    After years of samples in keyboards that come close but never hit the target Hammond has done it. True B3 all the way. Great vibratos and great Leslie simulations. They have it all down. Drawbars are all there and give exactly what you expect from a true Hammond. Very happy I bought this one.

  • from Leesburg, Fl June 6, 2012Music Background:
    Weekend Musician - R&B, Motown, Classic Rock, Oldies

    Kickin' Keyboard

    I have been a keyboardist playing in bands since the 1960's and have owned several Hammond Organs (ExtraVoice/1960's, X-77/1970's, Portable B3/1980's, XK-1/2008-2012) and now have the SK-1. This instrument is all that it claims to be and more. For the Hammond lovin' keyboardists, this is what we've been waiting for. Light weight (15 lbs), great tones (built-in and draw-bars), nice pianos (acoustic as well as Rhodes and Wurlitzer), super digital Leslie (best I've heard. Even better than the XK-1), and easy to use. Thank You Hammond for listening to your working musicians. We appreciate the SK-1. Also, the expression pedal (V-20R) for the XK-1 works on the SK-1 too as does the Hammond switch pedal for the Leslie. This will save you some bucks if you are moving from the XK-1 to the SK-1. The Gator GK-49 (49-Key) case is the perfect size for the SK-1 with room for small items in the case and storage in the external pocket for accessories too.

  • from February 10, 2016Music Background:
    Professional musician

    Ultimate portable Hammond

    This and a Fender Rumble 500 comprise my grab and go gig set up. Very nice leslie emulation (the best Hammond has come out with so far), and very tweekable sounds. I've had audience members come ask where the B3 and leslie is hiding! Get the hardshell Gator case if available and an expression pedal and you are set. The Clav sounds are very good. The electric piano sounds are passable if you can get used to playing on a true waterfall organ response keyboard. 90% of the stuff I play is organ so this little guy really does the trick. If you want an organ in your set up, this blows the Nords and others away.

  • from Buffalo January 1, 2016Music Background:
    Keyboards for 40 years

    Hammond Sk1

    This is a great addition to my keyboard arsenal! The expected B3 sounds are all there plus a killer piano voice, which is better than anything on my Yamaha S90ES. The combination of these two boards makes anything possible. My only regret is that I didn't go with the bigger model or the dual keyboard.

  • from Santa Cruz, Ca July 29, 2015Music Background:
    Semi-pro musician

    Definitely growing on me

    Sounds wonderful! This thing has inspired me to learn more. Such authentic sounds really hit the mark. I use it with an M Audio Prokeys Sono midi-ed into my SK1. Great combo gives me lots of choices. Use as the 2nd register, or to control that nice piano and EP. Yea, I'm happy with my purchase and will probably never get rid of it!

  • from St. Joseph MI February 5, 2014Music Background:
    Blues musician

    Best Hammond so far

    I love this Hammond. The drawbars sound more authentic than any I've owned so far, even through a keyboard amp, and of course, even better through my Leslie 3300. A bonus was the very authentic acoustic and electric pianos, much better than i'd hoped for.
    The reason for the 4.5 rather than 5.0? No pitchbend. The XK3 that I owned, which was only a drawbar organ had one. When I asked Hammond about it, their reply was that the SK1 was meant only to simulate non-pitch bending instruments. Then what about the horn, guitar and synth sounds included?
    Still love it anyway. Great sound and so light!
    student of the blues,
    SweetRay Burke

  • from Reno NV March 2, 2013Music Background:
    Misician 50 years (pro less than a year) Keyboards/guitar

    I like it !

    Obviously one board can't do it all, and (of course) the organ sounds are first rate.... but I like the "extra voices" as well. There has been a lot of talk regarding them as "thin" or "tinny"... (I guess it depends what your comparing it to).... but I'm just happy it has them (keeps from hauling another board to small gigs). I also like the keybed...I'm NOT a piano player, and I learned to play on an old Hammond chord organ (see why I'm not a piano player)... and the keybed feels just like it. Now... maybe its not the best keybed.... but it sure feels right to me! A sturdy compact little unit... (possibly my only complaint.... I velcro the heck out of things to the board... no much unused room to do so)

  • from Antioch TN March 25, 2012Music Background:
    Keyboard enthusiast

    This with the Neo Ventilator will make you smile

    This keyboard, teamed with the NEO Ventilator pedal is a true winner. I highly recommend this combo for those suffering from digital organ compromise. Saying this though, I must say that the other voices in the board are mediocre. Plus, the onboard Leslie sim is also mediocre. But,
    teamed with the NEO or an actual Leslie, you will be very satisifed with your purchase. I know I am. Plus, it weighs 16 lbs. 16LBS!!!!! I am very discerning when it comes to keyboard sounds, Been suffering with them since the early 80's. This keyboard with the NEO ventilator will make you happy!!

  • from IA USA January 5, 2012Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Hammond SK gets it done!

    The more I play the SK, the more I like it. The organ has soul and the sound is right on the money for authenticity. The Leslie simulation is very good and an improvement over the early Hammond XK models. I felt the need to do some tweaking of the on-board sim parameters out of the box but was successful in zeroing in on the sound my ears were looking for. The multiple tone cabinet selections, drawbar sets and fast octave keyboard range changing make this a versatile and solid gigging board. The electric/acoustic pianos are very respectable and sound great on stage, but I will admit the other "extra" sounds (as H-S refers to them) fall in the General MIDI category for quality. The SK is an ultra-light package, but don't equate
    that with being cheaply built. Though the end pieces are plastic, the control panel and chassis are all metal and it feels solid. The key bed is a bit stiffer than the average synth which I prefer and it feels good. It is responsive and plays like a traditional Hammond IMO. If you are looking to augment your keyboard setup with organ as well as piano or use it with a master controller, then the SK1 is definitely worth a look.

  • from Savannah, GA USA December 29, 2011Music Background:
    Former full time pro, now hobbyist.

    This does the trick!

    I wanted a 2nd keyboard for my Hammond XK2 so I went with this one. It gives me the second manual plus a GREAT assortment of other keyboards. Add the half moon switch and a small keyboard amp and you can gig with a rig as small as the guitar players!

    I would have gotten the SK2 if you could assign the upper/lowers to separate outputs but no...

    It's a great axe for a great price.

  • from Brainerd, Minnesota November 2, 2011Music Background:

    Hammond SK1

    SK1 is great. The digital leslie when run stereo through the PA is pretty awsome. Definately has the Hammond sound.

  • from DePue, IL September 10, 2011Music Background:
    Semi-pro, hobbyist

    Hammond SK1

    After previously owning a B-3 and a 122rv Leslie, I can say I'm impressed with the sound with this organ and Leslie. My Korg CX-3 died a few years ago so it's fun having an organ back in the band. I'm re-learning the drawbar set up I used to use. The organ sounds great used live. I need to get an expression pedal as I spend too much time adjusting the volume by hand. The piano can sound good if you don't attack it too hard otherwise it gets kind of tinny and thin sounding. I use it on slow songs and it's great. Good touch control for an organ keyboard though no substitute for a good weighted keyboard. I play all kinds of venues from a single (acoustic guitar) to using the 4 piece band. The Hammond is a fab addition to my single/ duo show as it gives me all the instruments I need in a small light weight package. The other sounds are fun and sound good - farfisa, wurlizer, rhodes etc. I do a Buffett show and use them all. I use backgrounds I sequence and the MP3 player was a surprise addition. I can now drop my old Minidisc player and just insert a thumbdrive and the playback section on the Hammond will now become my background music player. What a savings in time and equipment set up. Very easy to use. I highly recommend this organ. One other note - the first organ came with a glitch. The staff and tech crew at Sweetwater called me back right away, ran me through rebooting- troubleshooting procedures and immediately sent me a label to ship it back. The next day when Fed ex scanned the package and Sweetwater got the confirmation, my present Hammond was shipped out. This company (the guys) has been great which I consider just as important as the instrument itself.

  • from San Diego, CA September 9, 2011Music Background:
    Producer, recording engineer, musician

    It's the real thing

    The Hammond SK 1 gave me a Hammond back. I've owned some vintage Hammonds with Leslies. They're long gone and though I miss them I was unwilling to settle for something that didn feel or sound right. The SK 1 has real waterfall keys, drawbars that feel and sound right, a pretty amazing Leslie simulator and many other vintage keyboard sounds just for fun. All in less than 20 pounds. A bit of a stretch for me cost-wise but well worth the $$. I'm very happy

  • from May 4, 2014

    Great organ, good keyboard, ok synth sounds

    This thing blows all the keyboard ORGANS away! Killer Leslie sound once dialed. The keyboard sounds are good( piano, clav, wurlitzer) but need tweaking to dial them in. The synth sounds are mediocre and are not that usable live ESPECIALLY with no whammy knob. My advice: If you are mostly playing organ with a little keys, this thing is great! If you want more lead sounds and key sounds with the occasional organ...get the nord. Only 30lbs in the hard case!!!

  • from Virginia September 12, 2013Music Background:

    Decent Enough

    This is a decent enough keyboard for my simple needs. A few too many bells, whistles and buttons for me but that it might not be enough for others. Love the waterfall keys and they are plenty responsive. I have not got into all the functions and probably never will but I am pretty happy with the SK 1.

  • from Nashville, TN September 22, 2012Music Background:
    Over 40 years playing in the Nashville area.

    Hammond sk1

    As a keyboard player, I have been using a Yamaha S80 and a Roland Juno D. Recently I purchased the Hammond Sk1 and I have been very impressed with this little keyboard. I find the manual a little confusing, and I am still in the process of learning how to move around the keyboard. The B3 patches are great and I like the split keyboard function. The digital Leslie is very acceptabe to me. At this point, I am have put away my other two keyboard and am using only the SK1. I have played it on about 3 gigs so far, and school is still out on the piano patches. I think I prefer the Yamaha S80, but the light weight of the SK1, even in the road case, has won over right now. I really belive the keyboard must be used for some time to learn all of the features and fine tune the "extra voice" settings. My score may very well go up after a little more hands on time with this nice little keyboard.

  • from Nashville, TN September 22, 2012Music Background:
    Over 40 years playing in the Nashville area.

    Hammond sk1

    As a keyboard player, I have been using a Yamaha S80 and a Roland Juno D. Recently I purchased the Hammond Sk1 and I have been very impressed with this little keyboard. I find the manual a little confusing, and I am still in the process of learning how to move around the keyboard. The B3 patches are great and I like the split keyboard function. The digital Leslie is very acceptabe to me. At this point, I am have put away my other two keyboard and am using only the SK1. I have played it on about 3 gigs so far, and school is still out on the piano patches. I think I prefer the Yamaha S80, but the light weight of the SK1, even in the road case, has won over right now. I really belive the keyboard must be used for some time to learn all of the features and fine tune the "extra voice" settings. My score may very well go up after a little more hands on time with this nice little keyboard.

  • from CO September 25, 2011Music Background:
    Pro musician

    It's Quite Pleasant

    Very good B-3 with nice action and internal Leslie sim. Very nice job of modeling different internal Leslie cabinet sims. I own the new SK1 and the Nord C2. I typically use a real Leslie and, with that configuration, I prefer the Nord C2 hands down.

    Other voices are good but not great.

  • from Florida January 5, 2015Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Don't be fooled

    This is a toy - do not be fooled. There are lots of keyboards out there that sound the same and do more and sound just as good or better. I was conned. I do not recommend this keyboard - too much money for too little.

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