Russell is a sound producer and songwriter. He deals with digital pianos and MIDI controllers on a regular basis so no wonder he knows everything about them.
Last updated: November 16, 2022
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Did you know that the electric organ is ranked among the most complex of all musical instruments? This musical instrument has a rich history, and the design is compact, making it the ideal replacement for the pipe organ. The size and general shape of the organ are similar to that of a piano, but they produce different sounds. Organ builders have gone down in history for aiding in the development of music. In this article, we review some of the best electric organs available in the market today.
To guarantee that you make the right choice when buying a product in this family, you have to know the fundamental features to evaluate. Some of the top elements to consider include sound engine, number of keys, velocity sensitivity, presets, effects, and type of keys, among others. This buying guide which is part of this article, will help you understand the important feature. This will help you make an informed choice when buying an electric organ.
This Hammond SK Pro 73-key Keyboard/Organ with 4 Sound Engines is one of the popular models that you will come across in both virtual and land-based establishments. It is a single-manual organ with seventy-three keys. It measures 4.29 x 46.06 x 12.67 inches while its weight is 24.25 lbs. This unit features deeper authenticity, which includes a rotor flow to guarantee the reproduction of the Leslie Cabinet’s exceptional tone and a 3D swirling effect.
The sound engine that the manufacturer uses in this design includes the modeled tone wheel I, sampling sound engine, and analog modeling synthesizer. This SK Pro has a total of four sound engines that you can deploy individually or in any combination to achieve sonic realism. You have three polyphony settings that you can utilize, making this organ a versatile choice to have in the home. They are the 61-note, 128-note, and monophonic.
This electric organ is from one of the leading manufacturers in the industry. Over the years, the producer has moved away from analog to the digital realm without altering the authentic organ sounds. The new technological advanced Draw Organ section improves the performance of this unit while mirroring features from Hammond’s flagship models.
A combination is another desirable feature that makes this electric organ a favorite among enthusiasts. This element allows you to prepare patches of any of the four tonal sections or all of them simultaneously. The combinations can also be changed in an instant, ensuring a wholesome experience for users.
Why is it special?
Seamless tone switching
Onboard large storage for all programming
Multiple assignable outputs
Large color display
Internal power supply
What are the flaws?
The user interface can be simpler to make navigation a breeze
Hammond realizes top-tier units to consumers, and this Hammond XK-5 Heritage Pro System is not an exception. The design includes numerous sought-after features that improve the quality of the sound produced and the overall performance of the electric organ. This model is a double-manual organ with modeled tonewheels. It weighs 234 lbs, and the measurements are 5 x 48 x 22.4 inches.
The system includes XK-5 Tonewheel-style Drawbar Organ, XLK-5 Lower Manual, XK Pro Stand, XPK 250 25-note Pedalboard, and XK Pro Bench. You have a sum of 2 x 16 keys to work with, and twelve presets. The manufacturer uses weighted waterfall keys in the design to avail an assortment of possibilities to the user, such as palm slides and other vintage playing techniques. The XK-5 Heritage Pro system organ has 61-note (manuals) and 5-note (pedals) polyphony.
This electric organ is the best choice for touring keyboardists who require a full and portable B-3. It is a flagship portable unit whose construction includes a ground-up design that allows for original B-3 schematics, which makes it possible for users to achieve the legendary sound. Cutting edge technology on the sound engine design brings together modeling and sampling to ensure the reproduction of classic electro-mechanical tonewheel generators.
Information regarding other controllers available in this system is unavailable. Contact the seller’s customer support before paying for the unit to confirm that it has the additional features you are looking for.
Why is it special?
Cutting edge technology
The electric organ is portable
Weighted waterfall keys
Top tier performance
Gig-ready collapsible bench design
What are the flaws?
The manufacturer should avail all the necessary information
Other controllers: pitch bend wheel, rotary/modulation wheel
Polyphony: 128 notes
Presets: 11 x programmable presets, 1 x panel direct model B
Size: 4.1 x 41.5 x 11.8 inches
Weight: 24.3 lbs.
This single-manual electric organ is rated among the affordable units with seventy-three keys. It has other controllers such as the pitch bend wheel and the rotary/ modulation one. The sound engine is a virtual time wheel and 7 organs model. This sound engine delivers accurate digital reproductions of the pipe, tonewheel, and electronic organs.
The reverse octave that is part of the design allows you to choose one of the seven sound models to work with. This unit comes with an extended control panel for ease of use. The panel has more than thirty controls which come in handy when you are working on different projects. Using the available features, you can design the sound while adjusting certain parameters to achieve the authenticity you are after.
This Studiologic Numa Organ 2 Combo Organ is easy to connect to the computer. All you need is a USB cable. Additionally, it has other ports for the connections that you need. This unit is an upgrade from its predecessor, with the manufacturer using state-of-the-art technology to ensure that this unit produces the expected results.
If you are in the market for a tonewheel organ that you can carry with your for-location jobs, consider the Numa Organ 2. It is a lightweight model weighing 24.3 lbs. its dimensions are 4.1 x 41.5 x 11.8 inches making it the perfect portable pick.
Why is it special?
7 organ models
Assortment of controllers
What are the flaws?
Changing organ models during live performances is hectic for a decent percentage of users
Not all manufacturers who bring portable electric organs to the market consider sustainable ways for users to enjoy the product without spending extra on a case. Electric organ reviews indicate that this Mojo suitcase double organ possesses the tradition of the model that came before it; the Mojo XT. The top-notch DSP platform and the new glamorous design are some of the draws that attract buyers. The suitcase-style lid and appropriate handles improve the aesthetic value of the organ and make it easy to carry around and use. This feature has seen a significant rise in sales of organs in different parts of the globe.
This unit is a double-manual organ operated by the reputable GSi VB3-II physical modeling sound engine. This system makes it possible for the unit to capture some of the most sought-after vintage sounds with ease. The new Mojo suitcase organ captures the classic A-, B-, and C- tonewheel organs. What is more, you can recall the settings without too much hassle due to the setup of the design.
If you are a jazz, blues, rock, and gospel music lover, you should have this suitcase organ on your shortlist. It has all the fundamental sounds necessary for the genres listed. The manufacturing company of this organ pays close attention to the craft to guarantee the durability of the units.
What makes it special?
New technology DSP platform
Suitcase style lid and handles design
Reputable sound engine
What cons did we find?
All information on the important features should be readily available
Sound engine: T2L sampling and modeling technology
Number of keys: 76
Type of keys: velocity-sensitive
Other controllers: 7 x manual I stop, 6 x manual II stops, 3 x pedal stops
Presets: 34 orchestral voices
Size: 4.88 x 43.5 x 13.11 inches
Weight: 30.86 lbs.
Performance and durability are among the top factors that most people consider when buying electric organs. The Dexibell CLASSICO L3 Digital Organ is one of the renowned units in the market with top-tier construction and an easy-to-use interface. The manufacturer arranges the sound sets into five groups. They include; positive, baroque, classic, romantic, and symphonic. This setup permits you and other users to locate what you want with minimal hassle.
This single-manual electric organ is a favorite for most organ lovers, thanks to the additional features that it has. The sound engine includes T2L sampling and modeling technology. This unit has seventy-six keys that are velocity-sensitive. Experienced users can exploit this feature to achieve quick results when in a hurry. The polyphony is unlimited, and presets include up to thirty-four orchestral voices.
The T2l sampling technology which drives this electric organ has a recorded waveform length where every individual note is 3X or fifteen times lengthier than that from the modern digital electric organs. This feature allows for the production of vibrant and natural harmonic sounds for every sustained note.
This Dexibell Classico L3 stands out from the rest in the market as it can produce up to eighty organ sounds derived from selected parts of the world. The producer derives the sounds from British, American, German baroque, French, and positive organs.
What are our favorite features?
34 orchestral voices
T2L sampling and modeling technology
What could be better?
This electric organ is not readily available in all markets
Yamaha is a well-known company in the piano business, but they develop a variety of products for different sectors. The Yamaha Reface YC Combo Organ Synthesizer is one of the units available that you can use to produce authentic organ sounds with ease. It is a portable unit measuring 2.37 x 20.87 x 6.87 inches and weighs 4.18 lbs. This model is the ideal pick for anyone looking for a combo organ with up to five vintage model sounds.
The key type is a mini synth, and the unit has a total of thirty-seven keys. The other controller that is part of the design is the rotary speed control for a lifelike organ experience. The distortion and reverb feature adds to the depth of the sound, and this improves the quality by a wide margin. The speakers on the unit, on the other hand, projects the sound to ensure you can reach the audience and entertain them.
The bass reflex port technology augments the response improving the sound quality, which in turn guarantees the best results. Multiple ports are part of the construction, allowing you to exploit other functions that may be useful for your performance or recording. A USB to host port is available for the MIDI connectivity, an aux inline input to plug in your mobile phone or tablet, and dual-line outputs for mixers, DI boxes, and audio interfaces, among other connections.
What do we love it for?
Onboard distortion and reverb
Five vintage organ sounds
128- note polyphony
What were we disappointed with?
A limited number of keys for certain projects
Things to Consider
Buying an electric organ is not an easy process if you are unaware of the key features to assess. The modern variations borrow from the classic units, but certain components have been altered to embrace the various types of disruptive innovations in this sector. Understanding the purpose of the organ is the first step towards purchasing a useful unit. Certain factors will affect your choice of a brand over the others in the market. Price, size, and durability are among the top aspects to bear in mind when shopping for an electric organ. Below we discuss the fundamental features that you must evaluate to help you make a well-versed decision. The FAQs section that is part of this buying guide answers some of the common questions that you may have. Read through to the end to get to know more about electric organs and how to pick the best option.
The electric organ
Trusted SourceBBC Radio 4 Extra - Loud Organs His GlorySimon Townley tells the story of ‘Father’ Henry Willis from his relatively humble beginnings as the son of a London builder to the heights of Victorian society. By winning a competition at the Great Exhibition in 1851, Willis set himself on a road which was to lead to the building of over a thousand organs. Many are still working today, even if they’ve been altered over the years. What makes the Willis organs special, and makes organists today acknowledge their greatness in hushed tones, is the subject of this programme.
is a complex musical instrument with different parts that come together to produce different sounds. Understanding the top features is crucial if you want to buy a unit that will serve your needs fully. Here are some of the fundamental components that you must review before buying an electric organ.
The type of electric organ you purchase is dictated by numerous aspects.
You have to confirm that the unit you select is the perfect choice for the tasks you have lined up. The market has single-manual organs while others are double-manual.
Familiarizing yourself with the various parts that bring the stark difference between the single and dual is essential. This gives you the freedom to select a brand that has all the features you are after. The manual is a keyboard on the organ played using one’s hands.
The electric organ differs from the classic models due to this feature. Every brand in the market has proprietary hardware for its units. Some hybrid versions have both software and hardware in the design to improve functionality for the model they release to consumers. The sound engine plays a crucial role in reproducing classical organ sounds. It helps augment the sound among other functions, such as converting analog organs to digital formats that make accessibility more manageable. Dexibell CLASSICO L3 Digital is one of the models that feature cutting-edge technology that most users value. The T2L sampling and modeling technology sets this organ above the rest as it lengthens the duration of each individual tone.
Number of keys
Typically, a full-size electric organ has sixty-one keys. Some of the digital units that you will find in stores have fewer or more keys. The organist can choose a variation that they can play comfortably. The keys are responsible for sound production in different tones to help the player get the sound they want. The size and design of the organ determine the number of keys that it can have in most cases.
You have to review this feature alongside other integral components to ensure that you can achieve the original organ sound without compromising.
The units we discuss herein have different numbers of keys. The Yamaha Reface YC Combo Organ Synthesizer has the lowest number- 37. This is a limitation that previous users highlight in their feedback.
Type of keys
Keys are a crucial part of any electric organ. Advancements in technology have led to the development of different types of the same.
You have to review the pros and cons of the keys on the unit you are interested in before you put your money on the same. The waterfall weighted, or semi-weighted keys are popular in electric organs. Most of the units we evaluate feature this type of key. However, they are not the only options available. Touch, velocity-sensitive, and mini synth keys are among the other alternatives that you will find in stores. The waterfall style keys that you will find on the Hammond SK Pro 73-key Keyboard/Organ with 4 Sound Engines and other units from reputable brands are also known as the square front.
This is another feature that you cannot overlook when purchasing an electric organ. It is a mechanism that permits the keys to respond to the speed and force that the user applies.
The touch-sensitive keys are suitable for experienced players, but the novice ones may have a problem getting the sound they want.
Weighted keys are appropriate for beginners since they have more control over the production of the sound than with velocity-sensitive variation. The Dexibell CLASSICO L3 Digital Organ is one of the electric organs we assessed that has the velocity-sensitive keys. If you choose to buy this organ, ensure that the users are experienced, and they can control the pressure and speed of their fingers when playing.
Electric organs rely on controls to execute the different functions. The cost of getting products in this family is relatively high, which is why you should strive to get numerous features to get value for your money. The controllers vary from one manufacturer to the next. While some companies list the additional features explicitly, like Studiologic Numa Organ 2 Combo Organ, others do not. This does not mean that the models available lack certain features. Check with the company’s support team to know all the features of a brand before dismissing it. For instance, Hammond XK-5 Heritage Pro System is a renowned brand with excellent functional features, but information regarding the others available is missing.
Electric organs can play more than one note at a time.
Polyphony, therefore, refers to the ability of a unit to play notes simultaneously without dropping any of them. Distributors and authorized sellers avail this information to help you decide the variation that you want as dictated by your needs. Some units have more than one polyphony allowing you to exploit different aspects without losing any tone. The Hammond SK Pro 73-key Keyboard/Organ with 4 Sound Engines is a perfect example of an electric organ with more than one polyphony. It has a 61-note (tonewheel organ) and128-note (piano/ensemble).
You are not limited when it comes to polyphony. You can choose an organ with a range that will serve you without any limitations.
Electric organs embrace modern technology, making it possible to include presets in the design to make work more manageable for users. Each company has criteria to cater to the target demographic that they want to sell the organ to. If you enjoy exploring preset programs, you have a vast selection to choose from. Crumar Mojo Suitcase Double Manual Organ is one of the options that you can consider. This model has various presets that you can explore to get a more fulfilling experience. The presets available for this unit are 91 modeled tonewheels and 22 tonewheel generators. Explore your options before choosing a preset setting for your electric organ.
Sound effects improve the overall quality of the music that the audience experiences. The model you decide to purchase should have the necessary controls that you need, including effects. Many factors contribute to the final sound, including the design and construction of an electric organ. The sound that you want to produce is another vital aspect that you have to consider when selecting checking the effects that you want the electric organ to deliver to the audience or recording. Hardware and software are the key contributors to the effects that you will get from an electric organ. In our evaluation, the brands we selected are among those with the best effects. The Yamaha Reface YC Combo Organ Synthesizer is a lightweight and portable option with some of the best effects.
No, there is no difference between playing the organ and a piano. These musical instruments have the same structure with black and white keys, each representing a semitone. However, these instruments produce different sounds, and generating them requires a certain level of know-how and expertise in the functions of the two. The piano
Trusted SourceTexas family to get new piano with a little help from a Grammy nominee - CNNAric Harding returned to his flooded home this week in Friendswood, south of Houston, to pick up some stuffed animals and toys to comfort his seven children, who were taking shelter at a nearby house. One of his sons is an avid piano player and was concerned the family’s piano would be destroyed by the floodwaters. When Harding found the water hadn’t covered the piano, he sat down and began to play.
is a percussion instrument, while on the other hand, the organ is a woodwind instrument with numerous controls to help achieve the desired sound.
The basics of playing the piano and an organ may be similar due to the use of a keyboard, but that is where it ends. The organ has other controls that you must understand before you begin playing. The vintage sound you want to create will guide you on the technique and controls to exploit. For instance, the bass players must know how to play the keys on a pedaled keyboard.
There are various electric organ brands and models in the market. Some of the units need installation while others do not. The manufacturers provide assembly instructions to ensure that the installation process is a breeze for you. Currently, it is possible to get the manual online in written form or video format. This is an important element to check before placing your order when shopping in online stores.
If the assembly instructions are not available on the company’s website, consider reaching out to the customer care team to confirm the availability of the same. The manual should be easy to read with a step-by-step on how to handle assembly. Also, you can check previous customer testimonials and reviews from authority sites in this realm. From the feedback, you can tell whether you will have an easy time installing the electric organ you buy or not. Alternatively, you can seek professional help from service providers in your locale with electric organ assembly expertise.
After you buy an electric organ, you have to be intentional with the care routine to ensure that it remains in mint condition for an extended period. Some of the factors that you have to remember are cleaning, tuning, storing, covering, playing, and inspecting. You have to know the materials that make up your organ before you can clean it. Dusting is an integral activity that you should not overlook. It helps remove loose particles that can be detrimental to the unit during playing.
A non-abrasive cloth is suitable for most of the brands available. Before using water or any cleaning solutions, read the user manual to ascertain that it is safe. You can prevent dust accumulation by buying a cover for the organ. The most recommended covers are made with linen or cotton material. Dampness and extreme temperature fluctuations are among the external factors that damage electric organs. You have to remember this when storing your unit. Tuning and inspecting are also necessary for a care routine to mitigate certain risks.
The electric organs that we review above are among the finest that you will find during your search for the perfect fit. They are units from leading brands with a solid reputation in the market. Our editor’s choice, the Hammond SK Pro Keyboard/Organ with 4 Sound Engines, is one of the single-manual products with numerous positive reviews on the wide web. It is a versatile electric organ with 61-note, 128-note, and monophonic polyphony.
The 2nd best electric organ in our ranking and the premium pick is the Hammond XK-5 Heritage ProSystem. The modeled toned wheels and weighted waterfall keys are among the desirable features that elevate the value of this double-manual organ. The Studiologic Numa Organ 2 Combo Organ is our best value choice for various reasons. It has programmable presets and other controllers that promote functionality and good performance. This single manual organ has a virtual tonewheel seven organ models sound engine and a host of other sought-after qualities.
BBC Radio 4 Extra - Loud Organs His Glory
Simon Townley tells the story of ‘Father’ Henry Willis from his relatively humble beginnings as the son of a London builder to the heights of Victorian society. By winning a competition at the Great Exhibition in 1851, Willis set himself on a road which was to lead to the building of over a thousand organs. Many are still working today, even if they’ve been altered over the years. What makes the Willis organs special, and makes organists today acknowledge their greatness in hushed tones, is the subject of this programme.
Texas family to get new piano with a little help from a Grammy nominee - CNN
Aric Harding returned to his flooded home this week in Friendswood, south of Houston, to pick up some stuffed animals and toys to comfort his seven children, who were taking shelter at a nearby house. One of his sons is an avid piano player and was concerned the family’s piano would be destroyed by the floodwaters. When Harding found the water hadn’t covered the piano, he sat down and began to play.