Necessary future HX3 updates

Rund um den Hammond-Clone HOAX3

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vintage_hammond_guy
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Necessary future HX3 updates

Beitragvon vintage_hammond_guy » 18. Feb 2017, 00:16

Firstly, I've been a Hammond organists for over 20 years. For most of those years I've exclusively played authentic Hammonds, and actually learned to play on a 1959 B-3. I currently own 2 B-3's for my studio and family room (i've owned 11 total) and play a C-2 for work and dozens of other models regularly.
Okay! So, now you get the impression that i understand the Hammond sound .

My introduction to clones as an owner came with the Emu Definitive B3 sample ROM, then the Roland VK88, and now the HX3. But, I've noted some issues.
Noticing some thinness while gigging, I was inspired to conduct an experiment and I have compared the HX3 to several real Hammonds (1957, 1958, 1962, 1964 A102, 1974, 1951 C-2, 1954 C2, and a 1954 RT2 routing the signal of the HX3 through each organs' phono port, so both shared the same output source) and in every case the difference in wave shape was drastic; playing a chord on the HX3 and a real Hammond in tandem creates a distinct "wah wah" effect, with each Hammonds' harmonics behaving as the closed filter.
I first noticed with the VK88 and now the HX3 the fundamental flaw in these clones; the sine wave is off; the wave lacks "fatness" because it is too open or flat, which makes it shrill and thin with full registrations (only people who are constantly exposed to authentic organs might notice immediately). The HX3's sine lacks the roundness of a pure Hammond sine.

Ok, i suggest KP address this defect in further updates either by adding a wave shaping tool/filter or duplicating my experiment (assuming they haven't) and shaping it themselves.

Another flaw i've noticed is the lack of compression or tapering in the higher frequencies especially, which can be remedied by either adding frequency compression or, what would be better, including frequency/bus bar volume control for each individual note. The latter will allow for exact replication of any real organ.
I love the HX3 for its features and miniscule footprint, so i hope this can be addressed

happyfreddy
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Re: Necessary future HX3 updates

Beitragvon happyfreddy » 18. Feb 2017, 01:09

First welcome to the Forum and have much fun here

As You wrote You have connected the HX3 to the Radio-Phono jack of real Hammond .
These jack is in all Preamps of B 3 , C 3 or RT organs same way connected.
As You know the Hammonds well, You also will know that after this Phonojack the VOLUME TAB and TONE FILTER
adjust Pot exists . So this last preamp Amplifier to G-G Connectors will change the HX 3 signal surely a little twice
time if the HX 3 is connected to Radio-Phone jack of a Hammond
The complete preamp of a B3 till G-G Connector is also implemented in HX 3 with it´s parameters.
This means that it can´t be compared that way You have done it.
But it´s nice that You own 11 Hammond of different age.
Perhaps You have the tapering of Your organs to compare with th tapering of HX 3, which base is the Hammond
C 3 of organist Lutz Krajenski. As I remember this organ is made about 1957.
Hammond H 112 auf Säulen
Wersi Spectra auf Chromsäulen (+ HX 3 im Bau)
Wersi Spectra im Prisma Gehäuse
Leslie 770
HX 3 B 3 look (mk 4 )
HX 2 auf Chromsäulen (mk 1)
HX 1 Labormuster von 2010 mit Röhrenvorstufe
WERSI HELIOS W2TV spezial + HX 3 (im Bau)

vintage_hammond_guy
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Re: Necessary future HX3 updates

Beitragvon vintage_hammond_guy » 18. Feb 2017, 17:15

Thanks for the reply! With all due respect, sure the preamplifier colors the signal, but to suggest the preamplifier changes the waveform is inaccurate, and to prove this one simply has to either connect a Hammond directly to an external sound source or compare the signal of the HX3 before and after it's run through the preamplifier. The waveform is exactly the same (unchanged) in both scenarios. I could hear immediately upon connecting to my sound system that the HX3 is brighter than a Hammond (having run my organ through he same system with the Neo Ventilator), which is what prompted my experiment.
To those who are only accustomed to clones it probably sounds normal, as the sharp sine problem is consistently what i've found with clones, but it is drastically different than a real Hammond and i'm praying this i addressed along with my other suggestions.

Also, you mention the replication of the preamplifier is present in the HX3, again this adds color to the sound but, from what i've seen, does not shape the waveform. The latter is the only way to achieve an authentic rounded vintage Hammond sine wave.
I'm sorry; i'm a perfectionist and love this product, so, again, I'm hoping this will be reviewed.

happyfreddy
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Re: Necessary future HX3 updates

Beitragvon happyfreddy » 18. Feb 2017, 19:14

hi

Each Hammond sounds little other way than another. You never will get two Hammonds with
same sound. Even You have little differences of frequencies between US Hammonds and
Europe Hammonds ( 110V / 60Hz vs 220 V / 50 Hz ) because the gearbox is different.

As I said the tapering of HX 3 is exact that from C3 of Lutz Krajensiki.
UHL Instruments copied the tapering of his A 100 to the HX 3 and it sounds like his real Hammond.
So whenever You have any tapering of one of Your Hammonds to also can apply it to Your HX 3.
The HX 3 contains 4 various taperings / pickup filter capacitors ( old wax - redcaps etc ).
For only 4 types are ( maximum ) integrated You must then change one of these integrated types
with copy of tapering of Your Hammond.
But chaning the tapering is not al to be done.
You also have to fine tune parameters like leakage, crosstalk etc via menue display / remote tool.
Hammond H 112 auf Säulen
Wersi Spectra auf Chromsäulen (+ HX 3 im Bau)
Wersi Spectra im Prisma Gehäuse
Leslie 770
HX 3 B 3 look (mk 4 )
HX 2 auf Chromsäulen (mk 1)
HX 1 Labormuster von 2010 mit Röhrenvorstufe
WERSI HELIOS W2TV spezial + HX 3 (im Bau)

Thomas55
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Registriert: 19. Mär 2014, 20:37
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Re: Necessary future HX3 updates

Beitragvon Thomas55 » 20. Feb 2017, 13:07

Hi Hammond guy,
can you show the waves of your Hammond organ and the HX3, so that we see the difference you mean.
Have you done this?
You can show different single sine waves of the instruments.
If you look at a mix of different sine waves, which is done by activating more drawbars you cannot
analyze the diagram only in looking at it. First you have to make a Fast-Fourier-Transformation.
Have you done this?
I hope you can show this to us, so that we understand what you mean and what is really behind your statement.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards
Thomas
Instrumente:
Hammond B3, Vollpedal
Leslie 122RV
Uhl Instruments X3-2
GSI VB3
Focusrite USB-Audio-Interface
Hammond XPK200 Pedal
Neo Ventilator I und II
Korg SV1
Prophet 6
Hohner Akkordeon Concerto III
Akustischer Flügel

MAFY
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Re: Necessary future HX3 updates

Beitragvon MAFY » 25. Feb 2017, 14:02

Hi hammond_guy & others,

While there are of course always things to improve and further perfect in any construction, I'm not entirely convinced that what you descride is really a problem in the HX3.

As you say, a lot of people never actually heard a real hammond A/B/C, even less tried one. Therefore, they've often selected one ore another clone as their reference for the hammond sound. It's a shame and from a musical point of view quite unlucky as not only the matter of taste in actual hammond organ sound is there, but also a big confusion about what it is; anything chorused sinus with a decent leslie effect sometimes seems to qualify for the ideal hammond sound with some...

On the other hand, there's actually a similar problem among those who hold on to the original. Why? Because the vast majority of all hammonds around are very, very old and essentially untouched. The ones that are in some way touched was often just repaired back to basic functionality when something went wrong (cleaning of failing contact points, change of tubes etc). There's a wide spread knowledge that the paper/wax capacitors are prone to drifting in a way that may change the sound significantly. Sometimes even one or another instrument with a certain defect in that matter is choosen as ideal and the holy grail of hammonds. Well, it may be a beautiful sound (as may some sounds in clones be too!) but it's certainly nothing like the original hammond. Anyone may have owned or played any number of old hammonds, but the common issue is that they are all very old, and from an electronic point of view actually close to dying.

Allright - filter caps may be set in the HX3, so what? Well, that's not all. There's a lot of old components in an original Hammond amplifier that quite clearly do colour the sound very, very much. As most people don't pay any attention whatsoever to what's inside the box with the tubes on it, this is very often left out in the equation. It means, however, that no single original tone wheel hammond, no matter it's age, does sound as it once did unless it has been very carefully restored. That kind of knowledge and that kind of work isn't very common and the number of organs put back to their actual, original, sound is small as most owners don't realize the situation or the need and if they do, they may for different reasons be reluctant to have the work done to their precious organs.

When this kind of full restoration is made to a Hammond, the sound is changed, sometimes a lot. It's (much) more well-defined in its details and nuances never heard in the previous state show themselves and - it brightens up quite some. It may help to remember that back in the days, blind test were made between the Hammond and the flute sound in pipe organs and listeners couldn't tell the difference. That would call for very, very bad listeners if performed with most hammond organs of today...

To sum this lengthy text up, this kind of defects and deviations due to aging electronics would be unlucky and quite unwise to bring into a physical model for a clone. Nobody would be satisfied anyway and the field of subjective opinions would be open for an eternal journey. So, when creating the model for a clone, the wise path to go is to model something reasonably close to the original state of the electronics, inevitably rendering a sound that's clearer, crispier and brighter than most actual organs around. It's then for the users to decide what effects they need to create their ideal sound, like for instance filters to remove some of the high ends. Most people anyway like to have some extra high end in place, removing it when not needed, rather than not having it when it just has to be there.


MAFY
(MAFY Hammond & Leslie Service, Sweden)

bovist
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Re: Necessary future HX3 updates

Beitragvon bovist » 26. Feb 2017, 14:27

Hello vintage_hammond_guy,

I appreciate your comments on HX3 flaws. Sure we are willing to react on customer requests; the (meanwhile endless...) series of sound engine updates speaks for itself. We also withdrawed FW 4.21 with sound engine #2610216 since introduction of generator tuneability lead to a somewhat thinner sound, and went back to #10102016.

A new FPGA sound engine (firmware revision) is on the way. You're right, on a Hammond console higher notes have a more sinusoidal shape than lower notes, which have a distortion of 4 to 10 per cent (way off from being a perfect sine). Anyway, I would implement only decent changes as most customers are very happy with their HX3 as it is. Also, space in FPGA is almost used up, so further improvements and ideas (I have A LOT in my drawer, just waiting to be installed) would require a redesign.

If you dare, you might design your own generator an tapering scheme with hx3_tapering.exe, a development tool contained in our free HX3 Remote updater package.
Gruß, Carsten aka bovist
----------------------------------------------------
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vintage_hammond_guy
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Re: Necessary future HX3 updates

Beitragvon vintage_hammond_guy » 10. Mär 2017, 10:49

Hello,
thanks for the replies. i'll start with this: I've heard for years people regurgitating the same line "every Hammond sounds different" while true of idiosyncratic anomalies (distortions, brilliance, Leslie/tone cabinet condition, tapering, harmonic balance, etc) this is NOT true of the fundamental tone of a traditional tonewheel console or spinet made between 1935 and 75. Its not! A model A and a B-3 from 1975 will not phase if the same pitch is selected and played simultaneously, as no permutations of the tonewheels has occurred even if components that amplify them have. I'm really not trying to be arrogant, but i have literally played a couple hundred + Hammonds (no exaggerations) and never once has my ear detected the difference between them that exists in the HX3, unless we qualify the Elegante, X66, X77, and Concorde. the latter which has a purer sound than the original console organs but not altogether different. I plan to upload a comparison for this blog only, between at least 3 organs and the HX3 to illustrate my point. Again, the HX3 is the most comprehensive hardware i've tested, but my ear is unforgiving and i find myself relying on the beauty of ventilator to distract me from the shrillness off the HX3. I love this little white box, but it's about the tone and if that's not there what's the point.

And, to Mafy, if you do read this, you can tell by the preceding sentences that i (with the absolute utmost respect) don't agree with you (one simply has to listen to vintage recordings of Hammonds and play varying organs live to determine that the fundamental sound is unwavering), but, for argument's sake, let us say you were correct in this assertions and the fundamental sinewaves were effected by age on every Hammond, shouldn't then the objective be to capture what they represent in their current state (full and round... even if only one variations), rather than an idealized caricature of what they were before most players were born? And to suggest the Hammond sounded any more pipe like in the 1930's than in 2017 is absurd and to prove my point i implore you to simply refer to the Hammond demonstration recordings on YouTube ofe then new Hammonds (FYI, you won't here any real difference between the recordings and the B3 in your living room... I guarantee it).

To Bovist, your commitment is why I haven't sold my HX3 and moved on. Glad for the confirmation: you recognize I'm not making up fairytales to cause a stir and that my ears are not deceived. I await the firmware updates, and hopefully we can get to the holy grail of Hammond tone.


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