|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.
|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 email@example.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
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.
|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|
|Speakeasy Vintage Tube Preamps||Hammond Sounds for Alternative Tastes|
|ART Dual MP||DigiTech RPM-1||H & K Rotosphere||Dynacord CLS/DLS|
To view PDF files, you'll need the Adobe Acrobat Reader (unless you already have Acrobat software installed).
Copyright © 1998-2013 by Bruce Wahler of Ashby
Solutions. If you have suggestions or comments, please send them to
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.
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.