"Best clonewheel I've ever seen"
It is everything Hammond enthusists wish for and more. It sounds almost identical to older B-3s and offers all the features, chorus and vibrato are really good sounding, precussion is also very well done, leslie simulator is above average, and the black preset keys are helpful. There are various tonewheels that can get this organ to sound anywhere from an older A model Hammond, to a cheap combo organ, to even a pipe organ. Everything is highly custamizable, key click, type of reverb and delay of the reverb, type of pedal sound, you can even get the pedals to sound like synths, chorus and vibrato depth, leslie speeds and type, percussion volume, the list goes on and on. So in a way you are getting more than you pay for and of course a very high quality B-3 replica. You can also upgrade this to the full system to make two manuals and have a pedal board if you are really eager to get the full B-3 feel and of course hooking up a real leslie would be a smart choice too. It has the sound, the looks, and the feel of a real B-3 and is strongly build, if you aren't satisfied, I would be very surprised.
It offers everything the original B-3 had and more plus just about everything is 100% custumizable. YOu can turn off key click or perhaps make the key clicks the dominant sound. You can add a lot of distortion to get that Jon Lord rock organ sound, as well as change vacuum tubes to get better distortion. You can increase the treble, bass, and middle sound if you want one of your songs to be slightly more bass driven. Really it offers everything that owners of a B-3 have and it offers most things owners of modern keyboards would want, the features will keep you busy for months.
Ease of Use:
I particularly found it pretty straightforward, if you know how to use a B-3, most of the features will be straightforward. Some things you have to dig around in the menu to find, but they are pretty easy to find, and of course customizing your features is also pretty easy. The manual helps a little when trying to find things and does provide straightforward tutorial.
Again this is one of the best looking clonewheel organs I've seen. The wood looks really nice and if you upgrade it to the full system it actually resembles a real organ. I was really impressed by the look. All the buttons are well placed and easy to find, and I wouldn't have this keyboard designed any other way, it looks a lot better than the red Nord and preset lacking XK-1.
Never needed so far but I trust the Hammond dealers around here, I live in Illinois about an hour away from the main Hammond factory in Addison, so there are quite a few organ dealers within an hour of my house. I feel safe with my organ in this town and hopefully will never need to get it repaired, it works great so far.
At first it may seem a little pricy but think the real B-3 is about 5000 dollars used today and thats usually without a leslie. This is new and you are getting about 90% of the sound of a vintage B-3 with all its features, plus a dozen more extra features, plus you can upgrade this and customize all your features and even obtain organ sounds and tones that weren't possible with the older B-3. And well compared to the new B-3 this is pocket change you will be paying over the 20,000 dollar thing.
The Wow Factor:
This instrument is one of the most appealing keyboards I've seen and I'm sure if a group of organ inthusiasts were in a keyboard store looking at all the clonewheels, the VK-8, XK-1, Nord C2, they would all come to this one at first glance due to it having the closest resemblence to a real organ and its slick design. Really it couldn't be build any better, thats why it weights 50Lbs.
This is the perfect instrument if you are seeking a true organ sound for a small band and just don't have the money or means to carry a real organ. This organ is highly portable and offers more features than most organs do these days. Sure it might not be the same as a real vintage B-3, but you are still getting more out of this in features and well it is really customizable.