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Vital Organ: Hammond’s SK2 Stage Keyboard

Delivering unmatched emulations of the company’s classic tones

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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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