Hammond XK1C: Ultimate Guide

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Hammond XK1C
Hammond XK1C

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Hammond XK1C
Hammond XK1C

Hammond XK1C

Hammond XK1C: The Hammond XK1C is a brilliant instrument! It is one that is portable and packed with realistic sonic organ sounds. This blog covers Hammond organs to help the search for your perfect organ a little easier!

Hammond XK-1C Portable Keyboard Organ

Hammond XK1C
Hammond XK1C

Get the Lowest Price Hammond XK-1C Portable Keyboard Organ here!

Take a look at the smallest and lightest Genuine Hammond Organ. There was a time when the roaring sound of a genuine Hammond B3 Organ and Leslie Speaker required a moving van with burly movers and room enough on stage to stand four regular musicians. Those days are truly now behind.

Following the lead of the wildly popular SK series of ultralight keyboards, the XK-1c uses the same Virtual Tonewheel “engine” as Hammond’s flagship B3-mkII Console Organ, with all the traditional elements, such as Hammond’s original Chorus/Vibrato and Touch-Response Percussion. The latest digital Leslie(TM) is also on board, completing the classic setup, which is one of the most desired gear for any keyboard player in any genre of music.

The XK-1c features extensive customization capabilities, allowing the Organ to be tailored into replicating any Hammond/Leslie vintage, with all settings stored in each patch. Most common aftermarket “Hot Rod” modifications are possible within the editing facilities, as well. A wide variety of different Hammond tones are contained in the factory patch library. There are 64 Factory patches and 64 User-programmable patches available.

In addition to the Drawbar Profiles, the sounds of two of the most popular transistor combo organs are included, along with 28 equivalent ranks of Classical Pipe Organ sounds. The Combo Organ and Pipe Organ voices may be fully registered traditionally via the Drawbar controls.

This genuine Hammond organ weighs only 16.5 pounds — with the same virtual tonewheel engine as the flagship B3-mkII organ, plus a digital Leslie onboard.

Hammond SK1

Hammond SK-1 88 Keyboard Organ, 88-Key

Hammond SK1
Hammond SK1

Get the Lowest Price Hammond SK-1 Keyboard Organ, 61-Key here!

With Fatar keys equally well suited to organists and pianists, the 88-key Hammond SK-1 delivers authentic tonewheel sounds, incredible Leslie sims, and more.

The dilemma in designing a keyboard with both authentic and accurate Hammond Organ and Grand Piano voices lies in the keyboard itself. It seems destined for compromise — should it be organ-like or weighted? Hammond has the answer in the 88-note Fatar keyboard onboard the SK1-88, which is light enough for an organist’s comfort, yet has the heft to satisfy any piano player. The SK1-88 automatically adjusts the “depth” of key contact making all playing comfortable. The keys are also shaped to allow traditional Hammond moves like sweep and glissando. Now the pianist who always wanted to play a Hammond can do so in comfort — and vice-versa for the organist.

Hammond SK1 Features:

– Classic Hammond drawbars, vibrato/chorus, touch-response percussion, key click, and the “Tone” control

– 12 Hammond macro profiles with 17 tweakable parameters: Create your perfect “B-3” from showroom to road-worn vintage

– 8 Digital Leslie macro profiles with 17 tweakable parameters: Create the Leslie of your choice

– Combine the Hammond organ of your choice with the Leslie of your choice — 1000s of combinations possible

– 32 Ranks of majestic, authentic Pipe Organ derived from Hammond 935 Church Organ — each rank adjustable for custom voicing

– 37 Hi-Def “Extravoices”: Acoustic pianos, electric pianos, clavs, harpsichord, orchestral, synth, and more voices available on the Hammond website

– Effects: 4 different types of Overdrive, Phase, Flange, Chorus (Stomp Pedal Style-separate from Hammond Chorus), Auto Pan, Ring Modulator, Wah-Wah, Delay and Tremolo

– 3-band EQ with Shelf Lo and Hi and sweepable Mid control

– Up to three external MIDI zones may be controlled by the Sk1-73

– Onboard Music Player reads MP3 or WAV files stored on an attached USB thumb drive

– 100 factory ROM presets, 100 user-adjustable presets

– Save the setup to a USB thumb drive for backup

Mr Hammond used the Pipe Organ Design concept of “Unification” in creating the iconic Drawbars of his Electronic Organ. This concept allowed one or more keyboards to control the pitches of many pipes within one set or “rank” of pipes. Adopting the harmonic standards and nomenclature of the Pipe Organ, Mr Hammond’s design assured that any organist would be able to play his instrument without a steep learning curve. Unlike the Pipe Organ, Mr Hammond’s design allowed variable volumes of each Harmonic represented by each drawbar. 

This variation gave the musician millions of combinations of harmonics and assured that every Hammond player would be able to summon a unique voice. An extra level to the expression a Hammond Organist had at their fingertips was added because the Drawbars could be manipulated in real-time. 

The Sk Series features real drawbars in the size, shape and configuration of Vintage Hammonds. The Drawbars also serve the Combo and Pipe Organ divisions, but with a slightly different function.

One of the most distinctive parts of the Hammond sound is the shimmering “Chorus Vibrato”. It adds a silken quality to the sound by adding a second, slightly detuned pitch to the original in the Chorus Mode and repeat-modulating the pitch slightly in Vibrato mode. Few musicians realize the Chorus effect pedal widely used for Guitars, and Electric Pianos had its genesis as a component of the Hammond Organ. 

Mr Hammond’s original design used an electromechanical apparatus that looked much like the distributors you would find in the automobiles of the day and ran off the same synchronous motor that powered the Tonewheel Generator. The Sk’s Chorus-Vibrato is executed in the Digital Realm, without moving parts, and works under the same model. 

The classic V1/V2/V3/C1/C2/C3 controls are familiar to anyone who has ever played a Hammond. As with the Tonewheel Generator, Digital control allows a wide range of adjustment that was simply not possible on the original. As the Antique organs aged, the components acquired their own unique qualities. Digital control allows the user to shape the Chorus/Vibrato’s various facets, with the added ability to “age” the effect-with the resulting treble emphasis and subtle distortion that marks the organs that develop this patina as “sweeter” than others.

The chief feature of the Hammond B-3 upon its release in 1955 was the inclusion of Touch-Response Percussion (Perc). This effect added a high “attack” to the Organ tone at either the octave or the twelfth, with a fast note decay. This sound was reminiscent of a xylophone or clave and became immensely popular immediately. Perc gave the Organ a bright highlight, and every generation of music has embraced this sound. Controls for the Perc have the classic nomenclature, familiar to anyone who has ever played a Hammond. 

On the Sk series, Perc is executed in the Digital realm, allowing a wide range of controls the organists back in the day did not possess. The 1′ drawbar muting, characteristic of the Vintage Organs, can be defeated, as can the drop in Drawbar volume level that accompanied the engaging of the Percussion voice. You can control the volumes and decay times as well.

In order that every key (and pedal) of the Laurens Hammond’s Organ could access every Tonewheel as predicated by the Drawbar settings, an electromechanical apparatus lurked behind the keyboards, with nine contacts corresponding to each drawbar for that keyboard and a series of contacts attached to each key. 

As a key was depressed, the contacts sequentially touched, and the circuits were completed to produce the Organ tone that was registered by the Drawbars. The very nature of Electric circuitry dictated a click that could be heard at the top of each note played when the current-carrying key contacts touched. Laurens Hammond considered that click to be a nuisance and worked to no avail in order to rid his organ of that imperfection. The jazz players who embraced the Hammond Organ, however, found the click to be a percussive highlight and wanted nothing to do with its eradication. 

To make matters worse, as the Vintage Hammonds aged, the click became more pronounced, and by the Rock and Roll era, the Key Click assumed a role of importance that Laurens Hammond could never imagine. The Sk series allows you to adjust the intensity of the key ON click and the key OFF click. The timbre of the click may also be adjusted. Mr Hammond would have greatly approved of the Sk, as you can turn the click all the way off if you desire, creating a Vintage Hammond Organ that could not exist in the physical world.

The inclusion of this obscure feature demonstrates the commitment to authenticity Hammond has brought to the Sk Series. Inside the Vintage Hammond B-3, on one side of the tube preamp, there was a “Screwdriver Pot” with the engraved legend “Tone”. This control was adjusted by the Technician installing the organ in order to tame the treble response in the instance of the Organ’s installation in a Church or Mortuary, where a more muted organ was desired. 

The control was a cocktail of upper Mid and High frequencies (the proportions of which were, until recently, held secret. The “Tone” control was basically a “hi cut” control and only went “down”. You could not direct the control to go “up” for “boost”. The TONE control is included in the Sk’s menu with the added benefit of being able to BOOST the unique blend of frequencies, which adds a nice “edge” to the Sk tone if desired.


Hammond XK1C vs SK1

When it comes to choosing between the Hammond XK1C vs SK1, it’s a tough one! In our opinion, the SK1 just edges the XK1C. The SK1 features a refreshed sound engine and superior and powerful DSP for improved C/V. In addition, it also features a digital Leslie too.

The control panel for the XK1C and the SK1 layouts are similar. The XK1C is a dedicated, no-compromise drawbar organ with an awesome Leslie sound. The SK1 features dedicated effects button and reverb amount knob. It is a more versatile machine and edges our vote!

Hammond XK1C Manual

Get the Hammond XK1C Manual here.

Hammond XK5

Hammond XK-5

Hammond XK-5 Features:

  • Upper and Lower 73 notes each (61 playing keys plus 12 Preset Keys) Square-front (“waterfall”-style) New mechanical key-bed design
  • SPLIT panel control Assignable split point Tone Generator MTW (Modeled Tone Wheels) 61-note polyphony for Manuals 5-note polyphony for Pedals Virtual Multi-Contacts
  • Drawbar Voicing 4 choices for Manuals (A-100, B-3, C-3, Mellow)

The authenticity line between Vintage and Modern has been erased by the Hammond XK-5 Organ. The ground-up design of Hammond’s flagship portable draws on the original B-3’s blueprints, capturing its sound and feel with unmatched accuracy and soul. 

Its patent-pending technologies include an updated sound engine combining modelling and sampling, reproducing every nuance of the classic electromechanical tonewheel generator. A proprietary custom keyboard action provides the heft, bounce, key travel, and multi-contact behaviour of classic Hammond consoles. 

Further features include four full sets of drawbars plus pedal drawbars, a control layout identical to the B-3, plus the latest-generation, ultra-realistic Digital Leslie. The depth of control gives you the ability to duplicate individual Hammonds down to the model, year, condition, and serial number, with downloadable tone-wheel profiles upcoming from famous Hammond organists. The XK-5 also may be expanded to a double-manual, with the top upgrade featuring the timeless 4-poster design of a B-3.

Hammond xk1c dimensions

DIMENSIONS: (W x D x H) 37.7 x 12 x 3.97″

WEIGHT: 16.5 lbs


– 2 – VASE III as Digital Tone-wheels, Transistor Organ and Pipe Organ

– 61 polyphony (for manual, except Pipe Organ)

– 8 polyphony (for pedal, except Pipe Organ)

– 63 polyphony (maximum, on Pipe Organ)

Keyboard: C1 to C6 61-key

Drawbars: 9 Pitches, assignable for Upper, Pedal, Lower

Manuals: 6 choices (B-Type1, B-Type2, Mellow, Vx, Farf, Pipe), variable key-click

Pedal: 4 choices (Normal, Muted, Synth1, Synth2), five choices key-click

Buttons: Percussion On, Third Harmonic, Fast Decay, Volume Soft

Adjustable: Touch, Velocity, Decay (Fast, Slow), Level (Normal, Soft)


– Vibrato and Chorus: Digital Scanner; Buttons: 1, 2, Chorus, Upper On, Lower On

– Overdrive: Digital, four programs; Control: Amount

– Multi-Effects: 8 programs

– Equalizer: Bass, Mid, Treble, Tone

– Internal Leslie: Advanced Digital, 2 Rotors; Buttons: Bypass, Stop, Fast

– Reverb: Digital, 11 programs; Control: On, Depth; Leslie On Reverb

– Master Equalizer: Bass, Mid, Treble


– Buttons: Manual Bass, Split

– Adjustable: Coupler Highest note, Split Point, Octave Up, Octave Down, Lower, Transpose


– Capacity: 64 User Patches, 64 Preset Patches, Manual

– Favorites: 8 buttons

– Patch Load Options: Drawbar Registration, Drawbar Parameters, Internal Zone, External Zone, Effects, Reverb


– Volume: Master Volume

– Switch: Power On/Off

– STORAGE: USB Flash Drive

– DISPLAY: 20 – Characters, 2 – Lines, Control Buttons and Value knob


– Templates: 8 Templates

– External Zones: 3 Zones, assignable any keyboards


– MIDI: In, Out

– Audio: Line Out L, R, Headphones

– Leslie: 8 – pin, 1 and 3 channels available

– Other: Foot Switch, Exp. Pedal, DC IN (12V)

– POWER: AC Adaptor AD3-1250


Hammond SKX

Hammond 61-key Dual-manual Digital Organ (SKX)

Hammond 61-key Dual-manual Digital Organ (SKX)

Hammond SKX Features:

  • Package Dimensions: 29.21 cms (L) x 59.69 cms (W) x 29.21 cms (H)
  • Product Type: Instrument Parts And Accessories
  • Package Quantity: 1

The SKX Stage Keyboard – the smallest, lightest, full-featured dual-manual in the company’s history. Evolving from the highly successful line of Sk series Stage Keyboards, the SKX has embraced design recommendations from Professionals and Hobbyists alike. 

The result is a comprehensive instrument combining an authentic Hammond Organ featuring three sets of Harmonic Drawbars, Vibrato-Chorus, Touch-Response Percussion, and digital Leslie; with a complete array of the most desired Keyboard Voices, such as Grand Pianos, Electric Pianos, Clavs, Orchestral and Percussive voices, and more. These may be combined with the Tonewheel voices or with each other in the twin Extra voice divisions. 

The Organ division is further equipped with 32 ranks of Hi-Def Classical Pipe Organ voices and accurate models of the two most popular combo organs of the Sixties, which may be registered and played exactly as the originals. Further improvements are found in the expanded Voice Library memory allowing users to install their choices of custom voices obtained without charge from the Hammond. 

Multiple banks of favorite preset collections are now standard, as is a new set of factory presets created by Hammond’s Artist roster. New to this instrument is the traditional 11-pin Leslie jack for connecting a Leslie Speaker cabinet. The classic “Half-Moon” switch (optional) can be added to control the speed of either the onboard digital Leslie or external Leslie Cabinet. 

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