Neo Instruments Mini Vent review

I’ve completed my initial review of the new Mini Vent from Neo Instruments.  For the review, I connected the Mini Vent to my 1954 Hammond C2.  I will do another video soon with the Mini Vent connected to the SK2 and/or XK3.

I’m very impressed with unit.  A full written review will also come soon.

I hope you enjoy the video.

10/8/2013 Addendum:  In the video I state that the difference between the Mini Vent for organ and the regular Mini Vent (voiced for guitar) is that the guitar Mini Vent lacks the amp simulation.  This is incorrect.  From Guido Kirsch at Neo Instruments:

Although seems logical and I had planned it this way, Gary Gand convinced me that for lead playing the cab sim is essential and he absolutely wanted it. So the 2 programmable parametersi n the guitar Mini Vent are Cab Sim on/off and Drive Intensity. Other than that the differences are in the fixed Speed / Acceleration and Balance settings.


So there you have it. I also received permission to post some of the new features of the upcoming Ventilator II pedal, which you can read in the comments below.  The features I list are the ones which will definitely be in the pedal.  Guido has a list of others he is considering but didn’t want me to publish as they may change.

36 thoughts on “Neo Instruments Mini Vent review

    • Really nice – I have the original Neo Ventilator with the Vent Remote. I have also been able to hook up a 3 way half moon switch on my B2. Your B2 sounds great – must have the Trek II percussion installed. – any other mods? I would have liked for the new Mini Vent or any other new Neo Ventiator to have a Tremelo Input (just two speed for either a floor switch or a traditional half moon switch. A DC kit with 1/4″ output for any Hammond Organ instead of the Trek II devices built by Neo would be nice too.

      • Yes, my C2 has the TrekII percussion. I also changed the main resistor under the chorus/vibrato tabs to get the deeper, more late-50’s style Hammond chorus. Other than that, it is stock. It came from the factory with smooth drawbars, which is very nice!

        • I love my Neo Ventilator with the exception of the very loud switches. I have read some reviews of the new Hammond Organ Co. Leslie pedal – I think it is going to be a big seller especially with the more silent switches. Have you heard anything about the new full size redesigned Neo Vent with floor foot swich included? I have read in some keyboard blogs that it will more of a keyboard top module with either the foot pedal or possible the use of a half moon switch. .
          My B2 is a 52 with smooth drawbars with the Trek II Percussion and sounds better than all of the B3 organs I owned over the years.

          • Yes, see my response to Herman below. It includes some details of the new Ventilator II that will be released by the end of the year.

  1. Besides being a bit smaller for use with organ, what is the difference between the original… what would make me want to change from the original?

    • The presets are handy. Other than that, this is more of an alternative to the original if you don’t have one or need another one. However, the Vent II will be out by the end of the year.

  2. I am extremely satisfied with my NeoVentilator and Hammond M-100 set up. No need to upgrade to the Mini.

  3. Thanks for posting this video. What will be the biggest difference between the neo vent ll and the original?

    • Hi Herman,
      I had to get permission from Neo Instruments to post these specs, so forgive the late reply. The new Ventilator II features will be:
      – sheet metal enclosure, slightly smaller than original Ventilator
      – 2 input jacks
      – Hi / Lo gain switch
      – internal Stop switch
      – 5 Potentiometers with 2nd functions
      – Parameters: Slow Speed, Fast Speed, Acceleration, Balance, Drive, Distance, Mix, Volume, Mode, Control
      – Mode: Key, Git
      – Control: passive Remote, active Remote (or Hammond CU-1), Speed via pedal, Drive via pedal, Mix via pedal

      Please keep in mind, these are not all the specs. There are some features that are still in flux, but the above are the ones that will definitely be in the product.

  4. It looks like the mini-vent doesn’t have a remote switch capability. Is that correct?

    • That is correct although Neo Instruments is looking into a way to add that to existing Mini Vents via a modification. The new Ventilator II, which should be out by the end of the year, does have REMOTE switching.

  5. Undeniably good sounding units but I cannot see how Neo can justify the prices. The GSI Burn is a good unit with far more functionality and is a more reasonably price. (Dearer than the Mini granted but look what you get extra) .

    • The BURN does indeed have more functions but I think the Vent is a better Leslie sim. Of course, that’s personal opinion, but the value of the Vent is that it does what it does extremely well. It’s kind of like comparing a DSI Prophet-08 and a Moog Voyager. Yes, the Prophet-08 can do more but the Voyager is the king of lead and bass sounds.

      • I have three original Vents, 2 Dynacord DLS 300, 2 Motion Sound R3-147 and 3 Dynacord CLS-222 units. I was wondering if I ran the Digital Dynacord units into the Vents if it would improve their overall sound quality. They have a very good rotary sound and are extremely programmable. Of course I am speaking using The Vent for it’s cabinet sound and distortion not the rotary effect for this application. Thanks

  6. Jim, Do you think a hammond Sk2 needs the mini vent, or is its on board leslie good enough?

    • That’s a subjective decision of course. It really depends on what you’re going for. The Leslie sim in the SK series is very good. The new OS update, which is coming soon, will improve it even more. The Ventilator’s overdrive is so good, though. That’s really what sets it apart from every other sim on the market, including the new BURN. I don’t know how Guido did it, but he perfectly modeled the sound of a 122 being driven hard. That said, I tend to prefer the internal sim for jazz gigs. I like the Vent for more rock / blues gigs. It really comes down to what you want your organ tone to be.

  7. Hello Dear Jim,
    very kind Guido Kirsch sent me a mini vent for organ and I started testing and comparisons with different mono and stereo presets invited all musicians who play the organ and make one anonymous(backstage) demo for them , comparing three emulations Leslie- Neo mini vent,VOCE SPIN2. RM600 Behringer. and have two vintage cabinets also one 122 and one one 760 solid state my great astonishment all present people strongly likes old analog SPIN2,second place for Neo and Behringer is just clear case.Have check all leslie’s with Voce V5+ drawbar midi module and Alesis master midi keyboard.
    I will make demo of Mini Vent here in Bulgaria,Greece,Macedonia and Srbska in country language,most of musicians there can’t speak and reed english.My real mind for NEO is TOO CLEAR,TOO…..DIGITAL,also in MONO mode is just some Phaser .The combinations of overdrive from MIDI organ module Voce5+ and NEO mini vent is just…,fat and deep.Thank you Jim for your patience and understanding.
    Best regards.Lyuben Polychronov.Kardzhali.Bulgaria.

    • Too digital? I have to admit, that’s the first time I’ve read that from anyone! The overdrive emulation of the Ventilator is spot-on. It sounds just like a Leslie 122’s overdrive. I also use the Vent in mono all the time and it sounds great, as well. In fact, I think that’s one of it’s strongest features; that it sounds great in mono or stereo. My guess is that the culprit is the Voce V5+. Hammond clones have come a long way since that unit was released.

  8. Yes, i also thing..the same, next time i will try it with my very old A-102,what now isn’t at home,will be soon back,Voce V5+ is not bad,but i think only for some quick gigs.
    Voce obviously have fit two modules and sound good only in combination .When somebody have check the big models of Hammond-A,B.C-after that all the rest sound it like…toy,i know well that,but think about alternatives.Thank you very Jim,this is only between us,just share to one of the best in the world my personal impressions.
    And m-r Guido Kirsch just like you is great person,person who has decided to allow the whims of musicians organists.Best regards.Lyuben.

  9. I have a NORD c1 and I thought the Leslie sim was good, but over time the thing sounds increasingly cheesy in the mid upper ranges. I won’t talk about the damn cheezy drawbars. has anyone else experienced this upper cheese? otherwise the Nord is fine, if overpriced.

  10. So if I’m looking for a gospel sound the vent would be better than the GSI Burn

    • I think the Ventilator is the more authentic Leslie 122 emulation. The BURN is very good and has more options (other effects, other cabinets, etc.) but if you’re looking for something that sounds like a Leslie 122 (the 122 being the most common Leslie paired with the Hammond B3) then I think the Vent is the better choice. It can do the gospel thing right.

  11. Hi Jim,

    I just bought a Hammond A100 but really don’t have space for a leslie in my apt. Been thinking about getting the Mini Vent or waiting until the Mini Vent II comes out. My question is how did you connect your CV to a device like the Mini Vent? There aren’t any 1/4 in connections on these older machines. How did you do it?

    Thanks in advance,

      • I purchased a Trek II device that is a simple clip on that works just great – I think it cost around $90 – very well made. Most of the online Hammond Leslie Stores sell them. I got mine from Tonewheel General Hospital. I did not want to deal with making something. The mini vent for organ is a fantastic product, but I lucky to have the original Neo Ventilator with the Vent Remote when I use it with my Hammond or XK1. I found out I did not need the Vent with the new Hammond XK1C – great leslie simulator.

  12. I first hooked it up to an A-100 that I had. The Neo Ventilator was thin hooked up to a Stereo PA system and I had in ear monitors in a live setting – it was awesome. Once I cold the A-100, I hooked it up to my Hammond B2 to the GG outs off the back of the AO10 Preamp (no reverb speaker so the black reverb connection was left unused. Again worked great.

  13. Hey Jim- thanks for all that you do. I was wondering if you’ve checked out the digital leslie pedal- which seems similar to the neo-vent? I’d be interested to see how it compares

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