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Vital Organ: Hammond’s SK2 Stage Keyboard

Delivering unmatched emulations of the company’s classic tones

Hammond SK2 keyboard
Dr. Lonnie Smith behind Hammond's SK2 combo organ at Winter NAMM 2012

Released in 2011, Hammond’s single-board SK1 ($1,995 MAP) and double-decker SK2 ($2,895 MAP) stage keyboards are the company’s first to feature the traditional battery of Hammond voices as well as emulations of a host of other instruments, from brass to Wurlitzer and Rhodes. While the organ presets and Leslie settings are the best you’ll find on the market, the others can be hit-or-miss.

If you want two keyboards and you’re a stickler for authentic organ sounds, from percussion to that iconic Leslie, the SK2 is the right choice. Its twin 61-key ‘boards deliver stunning renditions of B3, Vx, Farf and pipe organs. That’s not to mention the portability: The SK2, which we tested, weighs 35 pounds, and the SK1 is a mere 15. By comparison, a regular B3 is a whopping 400 pounds, and Hammond’s single-keyboard XK-3, released several years ago, is about 43 pounds. The SK2 is not particularly large, either: 37 1/4 inches wide by 17 7/8 inches front-to-back by 6 3/4 inches tall.

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