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This site offers access to manuals, information, and tips on Hammond organ clones, including reviews and repair information.

It also offers a link to the CloneWheel Support Group (sm), a free forum for exchanging information about Hammond organ and electric piano/clavier clone products and their use. If you own a CX-3, Electro, XK-2, OB-3^2, VK-8, V3, V5, or other clone product -- or maybe you're just thinking about getting one -- and want to become a member of this group, please register with the email forum.

-Bruce Wahler        

This site has not been updated since July of 2002, and is now officially declared "inactive."  It was never intended to be the definitive reference on Hammond Organ clones, and its success always depended on the contribution of others.  As no useful contributions have been received in over three years, and the only corresepondence I have received in the past year has been from clone manufacturers not already listed on the site (asking for inclusion), there seems to be no compelling reason to continue as an "active" page.  This site was NEVER intended to be a shopping portal or new product showcase (there are many of these on the Web); it was meant to offer helpful information for owners and perspective owners.  A quick Google or Yahoo search will find far more product offerings and sales literature than I would ever be able to find, even with the initiative of manufacturers.  Besides, I no longer have the spare time I had in 1999!

Readers will find the offerings very Voce- and Korg-heavy; that is simply because those are the brands that I have owned since starting the page in 1998.  I cannot write detailed information about equipment I haven't seen and played extensively -- at least, not while providing any real information that couldn't be found in a marketing brochure.  Take the information for what it is:  free references and advice from a knowledgeable user.

I also receive emails from perspective buyers, asking me to compare Clone X vs. Clone Y, or inquiring if adding a certain aftermarket module or processor will improve their sound.  In 90% of the cases, I honestly don't know.  I'm not nearly as big a "clonewheel gearhead" as people often make me out to be; I simply like to really study the gear I have, to figure out how to make it sound the best it can.  Readers who take the same approach with their gear are likely to obtain similar results for their troubles.

-Bruce Wahler

A NOTE ABOUT THE REVIEWS PUBLISHED HERE: Unless otherwise stated, all of the reviews are of gear owned by the reviewer, and no compensation of any kind has been received in return for the review. The opinions voiced in the reviews are that of the respective authors. Occasionally, I get emails asking why we haven't reviewed this or that piece of organ-related gear, or why certain brands are better represented in the reviews than others. The answer is simple: I don't own the gear in question, and no one else has volunteered a review of the product!

I strive to publish balanced, informative reviews of the gear, including information about weak or subjective aspects of the products. Unlike some other review sources, these reviews do not provide a rating number for different areas of the product's design or manufacture. My personal experience is that most reviewers who frequent these sites either love the product -- and give it all 9's and 10's (out of 10)-- or hate the product and rate it accordingly. People who kind of like a product don't seem to bother to review it. The reviews published on this site tend to come from players who are more particular about their requirements, and more willing to discuss the weaker points of a piece of gear they really love. Hopefully, this translates into a more useful review for prospective buyers.

Additional reviews that meet the above qualifications are always welcome, and can be sent to info@ashbysolutions.com. Please be aware that any review may be edited for length or content to match the level of information in the other reviews, so be prepared to have your review pared down, or to submit additional information or revisions. No edited review will be published without the consent of the original author.

 

  Clavia has recently released the Nord Electro, with a great B-3 sound, plus recreations of classic electromechanical keyboards like the Rhodes piano and Hohner Clavinet. Rather than providing drawbars, the Electro uses a more modern interface, but the sound is still there!

Harmony Central (Electro 61)          Harmony Central (Electro 73)

 

  The E-MU B-3 is a rack-mounted sampler that contains both Leslie and "dry" samples of the Hammond B-3 and A-100, all in a single rack space module. It uses a unique cross-fading method to simulate Leslie speed changes.

B-3 Module Review         Harmony Central Reviews

 

  Hammond started the B-3 clone market with the X-2 and X-5, back in the late 70's. Later purchased by Suzuki, the manufacturer lives on in a family of digital organs, including the XB-1, XB-2, XB-3/XC-3, XB-5, the XM-1 module, the XK-2, and their latest entries into the clone organ world, the XK-3 and XK-1. Regardless of your favorite clone, there's still something special about the words, "featuring Joey Jones on the Hammond organ."

Hammond-Suzuki has also re-released the B-3 -- actually, a combination mechanical-digital update of the original. There is also a portable version called the B-3P. Both are a little outside to price range of most clone owners. Nevertheless, they are probably the closest thing to a true "B-3 clone."

XK-2 Review         Harmony Central Reviews         The New B-3

 

  Korg has re-released their famous BX-3 and CX-3 organs. Although the names are the same, and the cabinets are similar, these are wholly new animals inside. The new BX-3/CX-3 uses digital "modeling" technology to simulate the tones and nuances of the Hammond B-3, complete with a Leslie speaker simulator. They are pricey ($3995US and $2595US list, respectively) but terrific-sounding Hammond B-3 copies, worthy of the serious Hammond enthusiast.

CX-3 Review      CX-3 Review (Keyboard)      Harmony Central (CX-3)      Early CX-3 Issues
CX-3 (v1) Manual      BX-3 Manual      CX-3 Improvements      Sound Samples
  BX-3/CX-3 SysEx Info     

 

  Better known for their synthesizers, Oberheim has produced a series of Hammond clones as a co-development with Viscount, including the OB-3 and OB-3^2 (squared) modules, the OB-3^2 Keyboard, and the flagship OB-5. Although the status of Oberheim as a company is unknown at this time, Viscount has announced plans to continue the line, possibly under their own name.

OB-5 Review         Harmony Central (OB-3^2)

 

  The Roland VK-7 is another of the third "generation" of Hammond clones. Like the CX-3, it uses modeling techniques to generate its sounds. The VK-7 includes orchestral voices and a Leslie speaker simulator, and has gained a loyal following among keyboardists. The VK-7 is being phased out in favor of the new VK-8, which includes waterfall keys. For the serious organist, Roland also produces the VK-77, a two manual version of the VK-7, with additional orchestral voices and bass pedals.

VK-7 Review         Harmony Central (VK-7)         Harmony Central (VK-77)

 

  Voce, Inc., the New Jersey-based Hammond Organ clone maker run by Dave Amels and Al Alonso was a model of how you can take niche market, study it well, make great products, and cultivate a loyal customer following. Voce -- pronounced "vo-cheh" from the Italian word for voice -- provided superb copies of classic 60's and 70's keyboards, complete with technical support truly deserving of the term "legendary." Their products included a number of industry firsts, including the use of digitally-modeled tonewheels.

Sadly, Voce, Inc. officially called it quits in late 1998. Many of the Voce products have been re-released through another company, Tonewheel LLC -- including the successor to their flagship V3 Tone Wheel Organ Synthesizer, the V5. It's still the same Voce sound you remember!

Voce F.A.Q. V3 Tips and Tricks      V3 Hot-Rod Modifications      Voce Products
Online Manuals      V3 Review V5 Review (Keyboard) Harmony Central Reviews
  Voce Website V5 Software Controller


Other Reviews and Such

The following are reviews of products, many of which can be used with Hammond clones in one manner or another to enhance their sound and useability, and other items that don't fit into the regular product categories.

Speakeasy Vintage Tube Preamps Hammond Sounds for Alternative Tastes
ART Dual MP     DigiTech RPM-1     H & K Rotosphere     Dynacord CLS/DLS
  Schematics
Mailing List Digests

Acrobat Reader

To view PDF files, you'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader (unless you already have Acrobat software installed).

Combo Organs

If you're interests or needs fall to other organ products like Vox or Farfisa, check out
Combo Organ Heaven.


Copyright © 1998-2013 by Bruce Wahler of Ashby Solutions. If you have suggestions or comments, please send them to webmaster@ashbysolutions.com.

Ashby Solutions and the Ashby Solutions logo are trademarks of Ashby Solutions. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. The term "CloneWheel Support Group" is a service mark of the Internet forum of the same name, held in trust by Bruce A. Wahler of Ashby, MA USA. The term cannot be used for other commercial or non-commercial purposes without expressed written permission.

This site is not affiliated with Clavia, E-Mu/Creative Labs, Fender/Rhodes, Hammond-Suzuki, Hohner, Korg, Oberheim/Viscount, Roland, Voce/Tonewheel LLC, or any of their parent companies or assignees.

Final update 10/8/2006. Maintenance update 11/20/2013.