Hammond XK4 Organ brings “the B3 experience you’ve always wanted”

Hammond’s lightweight and ‘affordable’ XK4 organ promises “the B3 experience you’ve always wanted”

Hammond hopes to bring the B3 sound and feel into the future with the XK-4. It features a new Modelled Tone Wheel Engine and digital Leslie for the best in virtually authentic hardware.

The XK4 includes 91 virtual tonewheels, drawbars, touch-response percussion, chorus-vibrato and a newly-designed digital Leslie speaker emulation. The promise is that you’re getting the sound and feel of a B3 in a compact and affordable package.

However, this is a modern instrument that promises to “sound and play like a 60-year-old antique”. To that end, the XK4 also models some of a vintage Hammond’s imperfections, which have been captured in the new Modeled Tone-Wheel 2 Engine. Expect to hear slight pitch fluctuations due to tonewheel backlash, and subtle volume fluctuations due to ‘decentering’.

The virtual multi-contact keyboard is another purported highlight – this is designed to emulate the distinct feel of a vintage Hammond’s electro-mechanical keyboard – while the colour display shows current settings. The switches and knobs are user-assignable, so you’ll always have quick access to your favourite functions, and there are pitchbend and (assignable) mod wheels.

A new tube modelling system is also in play – tweak the overdrive control to add the desired amount of warmth or drive – and, in addition to the B3, you also get Farfisa, Vox and Ace organ emulations. Even classical and theatre pipe organs are covered off.

Build quality appears to be luxurious – the XK4 has real beechwood side panels – and there are plenty of connectivity options.

Hammond is calling the XK4 “a modern miracle” and, it does appear to be a keyboard that gigging B3 aficionados will want to take a close look at, particularly as it weighs just 20 pounds. More details – including a dealer locator – are on the Hammond website. Hammond XK4 cost around $2,495.00

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