Let’s face it: Moving and maintaining an antique Hammond will only become more difficult as time passes. Of course we have tons of respect for anyone who does, but to get all of the sound with none of the hassle, let’s learn why the XK-5 is destined to become The New Original™
Hybrid Multiple Key-Contact System:
On classic Hammonds (and in our current, full-sized New B-3 Mk. II family), pressing a key sequentially closes nine mechanical contacts: one for each drawbar. In normal play, your ears hear these multiple harmonics as one note. Depress a key slowly, however, and you hear the harmonics come in at slightly different times. Normal playing created a subtle “slop” between otherwise crisp attacks, and the more drawbars pulled, the more “chewy” and soulful character it imparted to the sound. Some called it “bounce”, and it was also indelicately referred to as “spit”. Many beloved Hammond keyboard “tricks” were born of this unintended imperfection.
Completely Redesigned Key-bed:
The XK-5’s keyboard action is built in-house, not sourced from a third-party manufacturer. It was designed to duplicate the heft, bounce, and key dip of a “new old stock” and well-maintained B-3™: No springy synth keys allowed! Master Hammond players who tested early prototypes confirmed that nothing comes closer to the feel and response they expect from a Vintage Hammond. Of course it has the “waterfall” key fronts critical to Hammond playing techniques such as palm slides and glissandos. Play the XK-5 alongside any other modern organ and we’re convinced you’ll find the difference stunning. Play the Xk-5 alongside a vintage Hammond and we’re convinced you’ll find the similarity stunning.
All-New Sound Engine:
The XK-5 employs new proprietary technology digitally recreating Hammond’s storied tone wheel generator with unprecedented accuracy and flexibility. Tone wheels were spinning discs on shafts, each with its own pickup pointing at the edge. The pattern of “teeth” cut into the edge of the wheel determined the pitch. Modeling and sampling are combined in an exclusive process to capture the frequencies of all 91 tone wheels found in the original organs, along with other important sonic details such as key click, Touch-Response Percussion™, vibrato-chorus, and more.
Virtual Matching Transformer:
In regards to the iconic Hammond sound, Tone-wheels and the Chorus-Vibrato scanner tell only a part of the tale. Our engineers’ research found all components in the signal chain play a vital role leading to the end product. The influence of the MATCHING TRANSFORMER provides a link to one of the Vintage Hammond’s most elusive qualities. All signals from the upper, lower, and pedal manuals passed through the matching transformer designed to “even things out” before the signal continued to the preamp.