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Hammond XK-3c Reviews

5.0 stars based on 25 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Jeff Hollman

    When it comes to a portable B3-style organ keyboard, nothing can match the realism of the Hammond XK-3c. But should we expect any less from a keyboard that has the Hammond name on it? I think not... and it also weighs a whole lot less that a "real" B3 organ! What's really cool is that you can add a lower manual keyboard to get the real B3 two-tiered playing experience. There is nothing like the XK-3c!

  • Nick Church

    Anyone who ever put their back out lugging a "real" B3 up or down a flight of stairs will welcome this XK-3c with open arms. And your keyboard player will love the sound it makes. Real sounds without real pounds!

  • Joseph Secu

    Nobody builds a Hammond like Hammond. If you're looking for true-to-original B3 sound but without lugging the big stuff, this is your ticket.

  • Kenny Bergle

    Really, "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing!" Period.

  • from Mpls - Northfield MN March 14, 2016Music Background:
    Newly Retired Banker working on Keys, Bass, Guitar & Audio.

    Hammond XK-3C Pro-System

    Have had this "Pro-System" for several weeks. This Bucket List purchase is more than worth its weight in GOLD!! Be prepared for its learning curve to take you to places never imagined. A complimenting Leslie 145, 3300 or Studio 12 is waiting in the wings. My 5+ year relationship with Sweetwater & Sr. Sales Engr Marcos Sanchez (xt 1331) is 2nd to none!!! Fantastic Service delivering Quality Products. Thank You SW!!

  • from Dallas February 11, 2016

    Worth every penny

    The Hammond XK-3c is so remarkably good it is hard to review without sounding like a paid commentator. It has over-delivered in every category. Simply stated, it is a B-3 and a Leslie all wrapped up in a totally portable package at a reasonable price. The first time we used it at a rehearsal, everyone in the band stopped and said things like "Well, that's the best we've ever sounded on that song!"

  • from November 12, 2015

    Keyboard man

    I just got the XK3C. Out the box it is ready. I've played B3, C3, A-100s, The Electronic B3 and many clones but this XK3C is it. I was pleasantly in shock by the sound and now all I want to do is play. I haven't took time to study the manual for all else it will do. A B3 and 122 Leslie is phenomenal as I played one for 18 years nothing beats that but this 45 pound miracle in a box is about as good as it gets. I can't be happier so far except to get the lower manual.

  • from Memphis TN July 8, 2015Music Background:
    Blues, Rock, Jazz, Country, POP

    GOT THAT LIVE HAMMOND PUNCH

    I was tempted with the sk2 but went with the XK3 since I gig with a MOXF8 which has much better keyboard sounds. I added the Ventilator Leslie module which really gave it that extra kick. I've done blues festivals and rock band gigs ( who play allot of Stevie Ray V) and this keyboard really adds something special which are what Hammonds are known for. I know the SK2 is lighter and has a great sound but the tube amp and the real Hammond look made the difference for me. This keyboard is also made in Japan vs China (SK2) and I think the workmanship is better. Understand I never considered myself a great organ player but I'm also taking this keyboard with my trio band and doing more Booker T and Jimmy Smith. If you like the Hammond sound you won't be disappointed with this keyboard.

  • from North Carolina USA February 10, 2015Music Background:
    Classical, blues, jazz, fusion - clubs to concerts.

    Organic sound - a TRUE instrument.

    From hand to ear and on to the soul, you will bond with the XK-3c. I place this keyboard along-side many analog instruments in it's ability to allow the musician to experience sound that breathes. Simply stellar.

  • from Medford, Oregon September 8, 2014Music Background:
    Musician

    Hammond XK-3

    I ordered the XK-3c keyboard which I had wanted for a long time. It is a very beautiful instrument and sounds fantastic. I decided after I received it that I should wait until I can get the leslie speaker to go with it. I am in an apartment right now and room is the issue. I hesitantly made the call explaining that I had decided to return it . Nathan Parker was my sales person and he was not there that day. I can't remember the persons name that I talked to, but he was very gracious and did not even make me feel guilty. He did not try to talk me into purchasing any thing else either. The whole transition went very smoothly and they even sent the check back overnight as I was leaving on a trip in a few days. I would never hesitate to purchase anything from Sweetwater. Nathan Parker gave me excellent customer service and they are people that you can trust to do business with. I couldn't say enough good things about the company. They're great people to do business with.

  • from Baton Rouge, LA USA July 29, 2014Music Background:
    39 years as Musician and Electrical Engineer

    they got it down pat - refined to realism!

    The looks of joy on the faces at the gig are the best feedback! I've had a B3, a Porta-B & a C3 with 122 and 145 Leslies and the first Hammond XK (in the 90s) with a Motion Sound and then a VK-7 & VK-8M and after a review of the available clone wheels I picked the XK-3c and they have refined every aspect to dead-on realism: the Leslie model, the leakage, the key click, the percussion & the tone are all spot-on right outta the box and tweakable to infinity!!! A real keeper...

  • from Stoneville, NC USA March 4, 2014Music Background:
    Praise Band Keyboardist

    Best Tonewheel Clone IMO

    Hammond has finally got it right with the xk3c, this keyboard is awesome in every way with it's editing capabilities and sound. I have used a xk2 for years and it was ok except for the chorus, c3 being out of tune with itself and the Leslie simulator was terrible so I ran the xk2 thru a 145 Leslie using no chorus at all. With the xk3c everything is right on target right out of the box, Leslie simulator is great. Chorus has been corrected and can be edited. I am still running the 145 Leslie along with the xk3c and this setup sounds really good. The preamp in the organ really drives the Leslie so it can be real clean or extremely dirty. Tonewheel leakage on this organ is great and this can also be edited. . Love this Organ....

  • from Missouri October 29, 2013Music Background:
    Professional Musician, Composer and Teacher

    All Professional Level Players Need This Board, Period!

    I've salivated over this board for the last few years, and I finally was able to add this to my keyboard rig. I'm a Jazz/Blues pianist with a Yamaha Stage Piano and a Jupiter-80 Synthesizer. I've been playing organ patches with a Motif-Rack and the Jupiter 80. Man, I didn't know what I was missing.

    This Axe is the essence of total Cool. I'm talking Miles Davis kind of Cool. It's totally brought a down home, bluesy, smooth-vibe, fullness, richness, and a rippin-rock-kicking element to my playing.

    Out of the 120 some organ patches, half of them are perfect, I mean they are killer. The other patches are easily edited, and it's not hard to create/edit your own patches. And off course, every parameter of the blues/jazz/rock B3 sound can be tweaked on the fly. The Leslie Sim is great, the board looks great, it's fun as hell to play, the LH black keys used to change patches have wonderful functionality, and you can edit multiple levels of the deepest elements of the B3 sound.

    I decided against the Nord C2D because I really am not interested in the Vox, Farfisa and Pipe Organ Models. I didn't want to pay for something that I would never-ever use. I just want the B3 bad-boy sound, and I want it in spades. The XK-3C completely delivers, a timeless purchase that will serve me for years, and it only weighs 40 lbs.

    This is THE 21st-century B3, top to bottom. All professional level keyboard players need to get this board now! Nothing is better than the original. And if you're an organ player, you should also consider the lower manual.

  • from Richmond VA January 30, 2013Music Background:
    Road Mlusician for 44 years

    Hammond XK3c

    Owning a B3 and 2 Leslie 122's since 1968, I have always appreciated the quality. 10 years ago, I purchased a Hammond Xk2, never satisfied with the leslie simulator or its limited similarity to my B3. The XK3c has all of the ability of the B3 sound. Although the XK3c has a great leslie simulator, I am using a Neo-Ventilator as it mirrors the true Leslie sound.

  • from Minnesota November 2, 2012Music Background:
    pro musician

    XK3C

    Can't wait to get the XKL and turn it into a B3! Sounds just like my old B-3 all the way to the leakage sounds of the tone-whweels

  • from West Texas September 19, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist, 25 years

    Wow!

    I have wanted this thing for 2 years. We have built a new band around this sound. When it arrived and I plugged it in, all my expectations were surpassed.
    Being an older, analogue type guy (a guitarist no less) these controls actually are easier for me to understand. The experienced keybord player who has been playing it has owned a full hammond for years and has nothing but praise for it.

  • from atlanta September 13, 2012Music Background:
    musician

    incredible keyboard

    great keyboard, difficult to get around on, but you won't care

  • from anderson sc December 23, 2011Music Background:
    lifelong

    hey it's a HAMMOND buy it keep it

    this is my fav ,of all that i have had over the last 35 years nothing beats the sound are the action and get this i can tote it by myself,oh by the way it's a HAMMOND!!!

  • from Rochester,New York November 16, 2011Music Background:
    Musician for 30 Years

    HAMMOND XK3c

    If your looking for the B3 sound but don't want the hassel of moving it or the price, this keyboard is the one for you. If you compaire sound for sound this keyboard sounds the same as a B3 the only differance I can hear is the XK 3c is brighter. I'm more than pleased that I purchased this keyboard and Sweetwater has Great Customer Service to Boot.

  • from skienNorway March 25, 2009Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Great instrument

    Hi i just bouht the xk3 and im amazed i owned a new roland vk8 and i sold it to get this organ i have to say for the first 30 minutes i was disapointed because the keyclick was to loud and the leslie took to long to come up to speed but then i found out this intrument you can make it sound any way you want it too im not kidding if you dont like the sounds its easy as pie to go in and change it you can make it sound just like your A100 or b3 its a great instrument the menu system is wonderful the best i ever saw if you want to change something just hold that button down and the appropriate menu will apear its that easy i have to say im sold on hammond

  • from March 17, 2009Music Background:
    Hobbyist retired

    What a wonderful electronic organ the XK-3C is !!!

    I have been for six mouths now reaseaching the hammond 3B and 3C option purchase as a used instrament; at far greater cost and shipping hassel.I have also looked into the keyboard clones with questions as to could they even come close to the great sound of the B3.Because of the great cost of the used real 450 lb Hammond, I elected to stick my neck out and order the XK-3C hammond from Sweetwater. After taking with Jason Coons, I was convence to give it a shot. I received it via Fed-X in only three days. After inspection and setup, the music was blasting out of my behringer FX 3000 amps and there was no dought I had made the right move. The sound is fantastic ! With ease of setup and portability, this keyboard organ ROCKS !!

  • from Atlanta February 13, 2009Music Background:
    church organist

    Little budget, big sound

    Our church needed a new organ. Of course the #1 problem was lack of money (as always)... until we were introduced to the XK-3c. We got the entire system AND a Leslie 3300 to go with it. This thing is LOUD. That's all I can say about the volume. You would think you were hearing a full-sized Hammond organ the way this thing sounds. The bass absolutely kicks. And yes you can tweak it in hundreds of ways. Our dealer didn't like it. He said we'd be wanting a full Hammond in a year or less. WRONG! I've played Hammonds for years and I don't even miss the vintage instrument much less a new B-3. The greatest thing of all? Only a mere $8600 vs. $20,000 for a new B-3. I recommend this to any church who wants that Hammond sound and wants it now.

  • from Phoenix,AZ January 8, 2009Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    xk-3c review

    I played an M3 in the 70s and decided to rekindle my Hammond relationship. I currently have a 1947 Hammond CV. When I got the XK-3c I was totally amazed at the sound and multitude of presets that it has. I don't have a leslie or bass pedals yet but stand alone with two manuals it is truly an amazing instrument.Thank you Hammond Suzuki for you inspired technical tweaking of a tride and true product.

  • from Minneapolis, MN April 20, 2008Music Background:
    keyboardist, recording engineer

    XK-3c review

    I was looking to update my old Roland VK7 clonewheel organ and was intrigued by ads of the new Hammond XK-3c. I read the other review posted here and thought, well maybe I should make the plunge. I used the XK-3c at various gigs over 2 weeks and came to the same conclusions as Jeff did. Nice, but missing the “scream” of my VK7….did I make a big mistake? That’s when I plunged into the manual to see if maybe I could fix this. Wow, was I surprised! There are a plethora of settings for this model. I had been using the default, Preset Key B, which is very bland. I started bumping the EQ and immediately noticed I had my “scream”, but in a much more pleasing way. I also scaled down the chorus/vibrato and percussion settings to what I was used to and discovered this was also an improvement from my Roland. I also flipped through the cabinets, but quickly came back to the default 122 cabinet which seemed to have the most body.
    There are shortcuts to most parameters and I did all of my “improvements” quickly right before my gig. Our sound man was definitely happy! Wow, the XK-3c is more than I had expected and I just started my tweaking. This organ, I know, will be part of my rig for a long, long time!!!

  • from Texas July 19, 2011Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Best organ sounds

    I was looking for better sounding organ and unhappy with my workstation patches and software organs. After hearing the Hammond, I knew I had found it. Digital leslie especially in the higher register sounds great. I got the XK3c instead of the new SK1 because of expandability and 2 sets of drawbars (using my workstation as lower manual).

  • from Lee's Summit, MO USA January 24, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Session Player and Teacher

    After Making Needed Adjustments - WOW!

    Sweetwater Sound knows that I have purchased various keyboards over the years and am very particular about the sound and the action. Yes, I also started out with the Roland VK-7 as my first clonewheel and what else can be said about it - for the time, it was the best, much better than the Hammond XK-2, which I also owned. The XK-2 had a better keyboard feel with the waterfall keys but that was all. I then went to the new XK-3 and hated it - with the default out of the box settings. It had more stupid sounds than I can handle and I got a lot of help from Ray in Chicago with Hammond-Suzuki to make a lot of parameter changes, but just finally gave up on it because I still had my VK-7. I then went to the VK-8 and it was just horrible with no led screen to tell you where your patches were on a dark stage and very little ability to change parameters - got rid of it fast. Then came the XK3C - out of the box it was actually good especially played through a Stereo system. Since I had plenty of experience in tweaking out the XK-3, I went to work and did some EQ adjustments and also toning down the Chorus/Vibrato but not much.
    The percussion did need some work. I thought the leslie simulation was very good, but I made some minor adjustments to get the old standard of 7 seconds for speedup and speed down just like a real Leslie 122. I have played it through my Leslie 122, but honestly, you do not need to lug that big piece of equipment around because the simulation is perfect - but the secret is to set it up with an amp like th Hartke KM200 in stereo and send the signal via stereo cables to the main mixing board and everyone will swear that there is a leslie 122 on stage. The action is perfect and I like the chorus/vibrato button added for the lower keyboard. The two tubs added in the preamp are great and work well. I have not used it as a MIDI controller, but if I did the new MIDI buttons could be a blessing when on stage in a live situation. I forgot to mention that I had also purchased the Nord from SW and liked the organ sounds very well and especially the leslie simulation, but the digital drawbars just did not work for me and the piano sounds just were not very good.
    In conclusion - the XK3C for me, is the best keyboard Hammond B3clone on the market and it is a Hammond. It is a bit pricey, but I know that Sweetwater Sound will give you the best price in the US.
    I hope to later add the lower pro keyboard and the pro stand and then my organ setup on stage will be set. Thanks Hammond Organ Co. for finally getting it right - you might want to rethink your out of box default settings since all of us have had to make some adjustements.

  • from Urbandale, IA May 2, 2008Music Background:
    Studio musician, Funk, Rock, Blues, Dub and Reggae

    Finally! a clonewheel I can call an "instrument"

    Since there are reviews here coming from the Korg and Roland users, I thought I would give my comparison coming to the XK-3c from the Nord Electro 2 (which has been my clonewheel for the last few years). I've never owned the CX-3 or VK-7 so I can't compare it to those, but at first, like the other reviews, I also thought that the Hammond lacked the 'scream' that my electro has. Once I got some tweeking done, mainly eq and tube distortion, I realized that the electro doesn't actually have a high end 'scream' like I had thought all these years. The Hammond has so much more body and warmth and makes the electro sound annoyingly shrill...too bright and so brittle. The XK-3c has that Hammond scream that isn't thin and brittle but thick and meaty and still 'screamy' enough to CUT! Another thing that immediately impressed me with the Hammond is how deep you can get into editing your patches. Pretty much ANY parameter of a patch can be tweeked unitl the cows come home. plenty of Leslie cabs to choose from, overdrive hitting only the AX7 or AU7, or using both tubes with a frequency crossover, lots of usable reverbs (but no spring? wtf?), Chorus and Vibrato and percussion all infinitely tweekable, it just goes on and on. The different tonewheel sets are great foundations for building the type of sounds you want too.
    The only reasons I gave 4.5 instead of 5 are little things that start getting into personal preference and opinion over objectiveness.
    1. The leslie sim. I think it is actually darn good. From what I've read, much better than the original XK-3. But I do think that this is the only area where the Electro STILL has Hammonds beat. But...we should be playing this board through a real leslie anyways, right? Which brings me to #2.
    2. Tried using my Motion Sound Pro 3-T with it and the tone became very harsh. No ammount of gainstaging would change it either. hmm? the pro 3-t Always seemed to warm up my electro real nice, so can't figure out why it made the 'warmer' Hammond so harsh. went back to leslie sim and my carvin KB1010 and there was all the body and warmth that the motion sound had sucked out of it. But gosh, sure would like to use my real rotory speaker and swirl some AIR. I've read not to use the XK-3 or 3c with motion sound. I don't know why, but now I agree. 4.5 out of 5 for not being able to use my motion sound and now needing another large expensive piece of furniture (real LESLIE) to complete the puzzle.
    3. no spring reverb. Hall, room, church all there but no spring? what gives?

    Overall, like the title says, this is defintely the forst clonewheel I've owned (Nord electro, Hammond XB-2, NI B4) that I consider a truly musical instrument. If this was a review based on the sound alone it gets a 5. I'm just being picky. Great Product, finally Hammond backs up their name with something that sounds like a HAMMOND!!

  • from Charleston WV September 16, 2011Music Background:
    Professioanl Audio Engineer, Semi Pro Musician

    Hammond XK-3c

    I haven't really dug deep into the editing parameters, my rating is based on out of the box with some tweaking of the tube bias, crossover, B3 tone type, and Leslie sim ramp up down brake and mic placement. Outstanding!! I prefer Leslie MIC's stereo and 90 Degrees from center on the front for horn and straight on for the lows, Made the setting and wow very passable huge improvement. The tone wheel generator is as good as any I've heard and I prefer it to most other software programs, which are thin to my ears and fundamentals and overtones scream to loudly, the XK-3c has a more even round and balanced tonal output much closer to the originals, Vibrato chorous surprised me, I really wasn't expecting it to sound like the real deal. The tube drive is a little thin, not the rich timbrel gut churning growl I'm accustomed too, I prefer the sound I get by overdriving the spinet amp and speaker I have to the sound of the built in tubes, but it passes for most folks. Tone wheels are great but do lack a warmth and richness, maybe I'm just missing the motor hum, I'll tweak some more. Overall pretty much dead on B3 sonically. Can't wait to get the bottom manual.

  • from Naperville, IL December 28, 2007

    Best yet, but not perfect

    I still have my CX-3 I've been using the last several years, but I've now used the new XK-3c at church a few times. What I noticed immediately is the lack of "scream" on the high end, compared to the CX-3. Also, the chorus/vibrato is much better but is actually too loud and overwhelms the Leslie sim, which is less effective than the CX-3. But the sound definition in the mid range is far superior on the Hammond. I haven't had time to look into it much at all, but right out of the box, I like it better than the CX-3 and think it's a closer match to the real deal. Now, if I could just get the church to spring for a Leslie or two...

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