Neo Instruments Ventilator II / Ventilator 2 – Review and Demo


When Neo Instruments released the Ventilator in 2010 it quickly became the standard by which all other rotary speaker simulators are judged. With easy accessibility to five real-time controls, bullet-proof construction, fantastic overdrive, and an extremely authentic dual-rotor emulation, the Ventilator justifiably took the reigns as king of the sims.

The original Ventilator. Read my review of the original by clicking on the picture.

Success breeds competition, however, and the Ventilator is no longer alone. In the intervening years, several competitors have arrived to try and wrestle the crown away from Neo Instrument’s flagship product. The BURN from GSi boasts 32 presets, a real tube overdrive section, MIDI control, and multi-effects. The Strymon Lex is much smaller and less expensive yet still has real-time controls. Pigtronix is releasing an all-analog emulation that promises to be very interesting. And the owner of the Leslie name, Hammond-Suzuki, released their own Leslie branded pedal featuring four distinct speaker emulations (122a, 147a, 18v, PR40) and plenty of real-time control.

Neo Instruments discontinued the original Ventilator in 2013 while introducing two new products, the Mini Vent and the Mini Vent for organ. These pedals are smaller (the same size as the Strymon Lex), less expensive, and have two programmable presets each. But they lack the real-time control and remote control input of their predecessor. You can read my review of the Mini Vent by clicking here, which includes a video.

Neo Instruments Mini Vent

Neo Instruments announced a successor to the original Ventilator in the spring of 2013. After a long wait, the Ventilator II is finally here. The footprint is similar though the look is much sleeker while still retaining the aforementioned bullet-proof construction of the original. The five real-time controls are still there but all five have dual functions accessible via a 2nd Function mode. How does the Ventilator II stack up against the original? How does it compare with the competition? What are the new features? And is it worth upgrading?


The Ventilator II measures 5.5 cm high (5.9 cm with the rubber feet) by 16.1 cm wide by 14.5 cm deep. In inches that’s 2.2 in high (2.3 with feet) by 6.3 in wide by 5.7 in deep. It weighs 1.067kg or 2.3 lbs. It’s a hefty, solid piece, encased in black powder-coated steel with maize and white silk-screened lettering.  The top of the unit features five recessed knobs, four LEDs (overload, on, lo, and hi) and three silent stomp box type switches (bypass, stop, slow/fast). The back of the unit has a switch for lo/hi input operation, stereo inputs, stereo outputs, the remote input, and the 12v DC power connector. It ships with a universal wall-wart style power supply that can provide power in any world region.

Ventilator II connectors.

Ventilator II connectors.

If the original Ventilator is any indication, the Ventilator II will handle the rigors of the road with ease. My original Ventilator still works flawlessly despite over four years of heavy road abuse.


Neo Instruments has added much more control over the sound of the Ventilator. Whereas the original Ventilator was meant to be a faithful recreation of the classic Leslie 122 speaker, with five adjustable parameters to slightly tweak that emulation, the Ventilator II provides all that plus the ability to go beyond authenticity and create your own sound.

The five recessed knobs serve two functions. In primary mode, which is the default when the unit is plugged in, the knobs control the parameters labeled in maize directly beneath each knob. The maize parameters from left to right across the Ventilator II’s face are FAST SPEED, BALANCE, DRIVE, MIX / DIST LO, and MIX / DIST HI. These are slightly different than the five knobs on the original.

But unlike the original Ventilator, the knobs also have secondary functions. These functions are accessed by pressing the BYPASS and SLOW/FAST switches together. When in 2nd FUNC mode, the LO/HI LEDs will blink together two times per second. The switches still work while in 2nd FUNC mode. Exiting the mode require you to press BYPASS and SLOW/FAST again.

Ventilator II front side.

Ventilator II front side.

In 2nd FUNC mode, the knobs control the parameters in white lettering. From left to right these parameters are SLOW SPEED, ACCELERATION, MODE, REMOTE, and LEVEL.

Let’s go through the five knobs and both their parameters one by one.


KNOB 1 – FAST SPEED (primary function)

This is adjustable from -5 to +5. This parameter controls the speed of the virtual upper and lower rotors when on fast speed (known in Hammond parlance as tremolo).

KNOB 1 – SLOW SPEED (secondary function)

Adjustable from -5 to +5 as well. This parameter controls the speed of the virtual upper and lower rotors when on slow speed (known in Hammond parlance as chorale).

KNOB 2 – BALANCE (primary function)

Adjustable between -5 and +5. The Ventilator II, like its predecessor, splits the input signal at 800Hz (the same frequency as the crossover in the Leslie 122) and processes the resulting two signals independently. The BALANCE control allows the user to determine the mix between the virtual upper rotor and the virtual lower rotor. At 12 o’clock, the mix is equal. Turn the knob to the left and you get less upper rotor (less highs). Turn the knob to the right and you get less lower rotor (less lows).

KNOB 2 – ACCELERATION (secondary function)

This controls the amount of time it takes the virtual rotors to accelerate from stop or slow to fast speed. Between 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock the knob controls both rotors equally. Turn it to the left and the acceleration time is shortened. Turn it to the right and it is lengthened. Below 9 o’clock, only the bass rotor acceleration speeds up. Above 3 o’clock, only the upper rotor acceleration slows down. This gives the user a wide range of possibilities not available on a standard Leslie without modification.

KNOB 3 – DRIVE (primary function)

This adjusts the amount of overdrive added to the signal. The overdrive is one of my favorite aspects of the original Ventilator. It sounds authentic to a real Leslie 122 pushed into saturation. The Ventilator II overdrive is just as thick and warm as the original.

KNOB 3 – MODE (secondary function)

The original Ventilator had two modes, GIT and KEY, selectable via a push switch on the back. The Ventilator II has three modes selectable via knob 3.

Mode 1, with the knob at 7 o’clock (all the way counter-clockwise), is GIT1 which represents the guitar mode on the original Ventilator. This mode disables the speaker cabinet emulation and is useful for guitarists who want to maintain the sound of their own guitar amp / speaker combination while still enjoying the rotor simulation from the Ventilator.

Mode 2, with the knob at 12 o’clock (middle), is GIT2 from the Mini Vent. This is a more distant, mellower sound and like GIT1 disables the cabinet emulation.

Mode 3, with the knob at 5 o’clock (all the way clockwise) is the KEY mode for keyboardists as on the original Ventilator and includes the cabinet simulation.

KNOB 4 – MIX/DIST LO (primary function)

This controls the mix of the lower rotor in the signal as well as the distance of the virtual mic from the rotor. The first half of the travel (from all the way counter-clockwise to center) determines the mix. At 7 o’clock (all the way counter-clockwise) there is no lower rotor simulation in the mix. Note this does not remove the bass content from the signal; it simply removes the rotary effect. You can use this to emulate the classic “Memphis style” Leslie sound. The “Memphis style” on a real Leslie is achieved by unplugging the motors on the lower rotor, so that only the upper rotor spins.

From center to 5 o’clock (all the way clockwise), the knob adjusts the distance of the virtual mic from the lower rotor. This is handy for decreasing the amount of AM (amplitude modulation) in the signal. Pulling the mic further back decreases the “wub wub wub” effect that can be distracting, especially when you’re playing left hand and/or pedal bass. It might be cool for organ dubstep, though. 😉

KNOB 4 – REMOTE (secondary function)

This parameter changes the function of the REMOTE input jack on the back depending on the position of the knob.

With the knob at 7 o’clock (all the way counter-clockwise) the REMOTE jack is off.

With the knob at 10 o’clock, the MIX/DIST LO and MIX/DIST HI knobs can be externally controlled via an expression pedal like the Yamaha FC7. The range is from zero to the value set by the two knobs.

With the knob at 12 o’clock, the SPEED is continuously controllable via an expression pedal like the Yamaha FC7. The range is from the value of the SLOW SPEED as set by the knob (pedal minimum) to the FAST SPEED as set by the knob (pedal maximum). This is a very neat feature.

With the knob at 3 o’clock, stop/slow/fast speeds are switched (non-continuously) by external latching switches like the Hammond CU-1 halfmoon and original Ventilator remote.

With the knob at 5 o’clock (all the way clockwise) the stop/slow/fast speeds are switched (non-continuously) by unlatched switches such as sustain pedals and the Ventilator II remote.

KNOB 5 – MIX DIST/HI (primary function)

As with knob 4, this controls the mix of the upper rotor in the signal as well as the distance of the virtual mics from the rotor. The first half of the travel (from all the way counter-clockwise to center) determines the mix. At 7 o’clock (all the way counter-clockwise) there is no upper rotor simulation in the mix. Like knob 4, this doesn’t remove high-frequency content from the signal but rather the rotary simulation of the high frequencies.

From center to 5 o’clock (all the way clockwise), the knob adjusts the distance of the virtual mics from the upper rotor.

KNOB 5 – LEVEL (secondary function)

This adjusts the overall output level. The default is the middle position.

As well as the knobs there are three silent foot switches on the face. From left to right they are BYPASS, STOP, and SLOW/FAST. BYPASS engages a true analog relay-controlled bypass of the Ventilator II’s circuitry. The STOP switch stops the virtual rotors from spinning and positions them towards the virtual mics every time. SLOW/FAST switches between the slow rotor speed and the fast rotor speed.

Pressing BYPASS and SLOW/FAST together put the Ventilator II’s knobs into 2nd FUNCTION mode as indicated by the LO/HI LEDs blinking twice per second. Pressing BYPASS and SLOW/FAST again exits from 2nd FUNCTION mode.

Check out my video review for more information and a demonstration of these functions.


The Ventilator II’s pedigree is unmistakable. The rotary simulation is still, in my opinion, the best there is. It really captures the sound of a Leslie 122 mic’d up in the studio. Add a bit of room reverb and you can fool the listener into believing it’s a 122 in a room. The overdrive is fantastic. The sense of 3D realism is unparalled. The quality of Leslie sims has improved greatly over the last four years since the original Ventilator was released. Indeed, the sims in Hammond’s latest models (the SK series and the XK1c) are very good. But the Ventilator still has the edge in terms of the sense of 3D and the overdrive.

Since I wrote my original Ventilator review in 2010, I have been relying more and more on the Ventilator on the road. When I perform with organissimo or any other setting where I’m kicking bass, I prefer to have a real Leslie with me. But for gigs with bassists or at festivals or other large venues, the Ventilator is great. Especially for rock/blues gigs where a lot of volume is a requirement and you’re going through the FOH anyway. I always have my Ventilator with me on the road just in case. I never know what the backline will be from one gig to the next. And when I perform with blues singer Janiva Magness, my own rig consists of a Hammond SK1 and the original Ventilator. We do not travel with our own sound engineer and too many times we’ve had sound guys that don’t know how to properly mic or mix a Leslie. Giving them a single ¼” output makes everything so much easier for all parties. I’m looking forward to using the Ventilator II on the road due to it’s flexibility.


The Ventilator II is much more adjustable than the original Ventilator. You can get that Memphis sound with ease. You can achieve sounds that no older Leslie can do via the expression pedal control over the speed. With the new parameters you can really fine tune your own perfect Leslie sound. Even with the added adjustable parameters, programming the Ventilator II is immediate and easy. No menu diving or tiny screens to decipher.

Many keyboardists use keyboards for other sounds as well as organ. The stereo inputs allow you to connect said keyboards to the Ventilator II without sacrificing a stereo feed to your monitoring system and/or the front of house PA.

The output level control is another smart addition that many users requested.

And finally, a real STOP switch on the front is worth the upgrade price alone.


Neo Instruments took longer than expected to release the Ventilator II but the level of thought and the quality of the design may give insight into why. I can’t really think of anything they missed. For guitarists and keyboardists alike the level of control and flexibility is several steps above the original. Yes, MIDI control would be nice but that would require a screen, which would take up more valuable front panel real estate and lead to menu-diving. The immediacy of the Ventilator is one of its most valuable features and the Ventilator II manages to stay true to that vision while giving the user more control. There are rumors that Neo Instruments is working on a Ventilator Pro rack unit which will have presets and MIDI, but for those of us who simply want the best rotary speaker simulator there is with easy real-time controls, the Ventilator II fits the bill perfectly.

Read my review of the original Ventilator here.

58 thoughts on “Neo Instruments Ventilator II / Ventilator 2 – Review and Demo

  1. Hi, Jim: As a retired musician, playing only in the house, I have no need for a Ventilator. BUT…I enjoy watching you play. You gave an excellent demonstration. But, boy, I never get tired of seeing/hearing you play! Joe in GA

  2. Jim – I appreciate your evaluation. I expected that it the new Neo II would be a well designed pedal. As for upgrading – I really love my original Neo Ventilator and the Vent Remote, so if I am not using a real Leslie Speaker – I am pretty happy with what I have. I usually take out an older Hammond XK1. However, I really love the new Hammond XK1C and may upgrade keyboards. I have a new Nord Electro 4D and love the drawbar sliders but it still sounds a little too much digital to me, so I prefer the Hammond Keyboards.

  3. Jim, great review. I’m almost sold on the upgrade just for the added volume knob, but mine sits on the floor because there’s no real estate on the SK2 so it’d be hard to reach it anyway. I have one of the early vents with the random stop, I’d miss that, the new one always stops forward right?

    • Yes, it always stops forward. I wonder if they could add a toggle for that so the user could choose a random stop or forward stop?

  4. Pingback: Ventilator II 2 / Erste Lebenszeichen

  5. Thanks for that Jim. May I ask a question please? If I don’t need the stop, or I already have a remote for my original Vent for jazz gigs, and I only want classic 122 sounds; nothing fancy or “Memphis,” is there any advantage to upgrading? In other words, is the quality of the basic 122 emulation improved at all with the new model? Thanks.

    • Alex, if you don’t need access to the other parameters, then no, there’s really no need for you to upgrade. The sound engine is the same as the original Ventilator. Keep an eye out for the Ventilator Pro half-rack coming later this year. That will have some new features including built-in reverb.

      • Jimmy, great review! Please, let me know: Listening to Ventilator 1 and 2, is the sound quality the same? The same DAC chip? I want to buy my first Ventilator, but I am in doubt which: An used Ventilator 1 or a new Ventilator 2? Thank you!

        • As far as I know, the algorithms are the same. The biggest difference between the two is that the Vent II gives you more control over the parameters.

  6. Still have the first model and feel quite content. Actually my criticism about the first model seems still valid with this new model too: still i don’t get enough depth as i would with a real 122, especially in the upper frequencies. Even when the virtual distance is set all the way up. Still looking for those aggressive speed transitions i hear in rock and gospel organs…or maybe i should blame the organ itself and not the Leslie…. I don’t know….it’s very frustrating. The 122 can really make the organ sing and even the Vent doesn’t give me that…
    But yes, it’s the best sim around, no doubt.

    • Actually I think you’d be happier with this model if you’re looking for the “speed transitions”. The range of the acceleration and mic distance are greater on the Vent II than on the original. You’re probably looking for a sound that’s near and dear to my heart, which is the really slow acceleration and deceleration of the bottom rotor, that you hear on a lot of the older recordings. You can achieve that with the Vent II.

      • I was also very concerned about the issue of rotor acceleration. But, as I understand it, if you set a very slow acceleration, then the upper rotor will also accelerate long? Regulator “acceleration” one on two rotors! I need to upper accelerates faster and lower slowly. Or at the 3 o’clock this effect is similar to “what I hear on the old records?” I’m worried about the acceleration of the top rotor.
        Sorry for my bad english, I do not know him and I use online translator …

  7. Do you know if it’s possible to change the speed via Midi (e.g. with a Midi Solution relay connected to the expression input?) I Know the rack version is coming but apart from this problem i prefer the foot pedal version. Thank you very much.

    • It seems to me that the MIDI Solutions relay operates in the wrong direction. It takes a relay-based input (such as a sustain pedal) and converts it into MIDI output. What you want is something that converts a MIDI output into a relay-based output. Ironically, I think the MIDI Rotary Interface from Crumar will do this with some work.

      The fellow in the video below was able to use the MIDI Rotary Interface to control a Leslie 3300 via the 8pin DIN input. The 8pin DIN Leslie format switching schematic is compatible with the Ventilator, so it should work. Perhaps you could contact the technician in the video about details?

  8. I have an SK2 and an SK1. Am I half as good as you? Nope. Am I rich? Nope. You sound so good. Here’s my question. I like to use the Bass on the lower manual, (Hammond’s sampled bass extra voice) and Organ on the upper. I wonder what it would be like to have separate outs, one for bass, one for organ. I could order the 8pin conversion quarter inch jack thing, then pipe it through a ventilator. Or, maybe lug my SK1 to a gig, set it off to the side, play the SK2, midi for the lower manual on the SK2 to only sound the bass, then I could have organ or even an extra voice like Electric piano or acoustic piano on the upper manual. Here’s the big question. Is the Ventilator 2 better than the SK series Leslie? Also, the remote for the Ventilator 2 is for stop/start of the Leslie, yes?

    • Using the 8pin out is probably your best bet to separate the organ and the extra voices.

      The Vent II is very good. It really depends on what flavor you’re looking for. The SK sim is cleaner, less affected. The Vent is more vintage sounding and has great overdrive.

      The REMOTE input is for external control of the switching. You can stop the Leslie effect via the buttons on the Vent II itself.

  9. Boy, I really appreciate corresponding with you. You are a talented guy. Do you know where I could buy the 8 pin out jack thing. Sorry to bug you.

    • You’re not bugging me at all. Hammond sells an adapter cable but it only has the audio output. Keep in mind that the 8pin DIN audio output is the raw output, without the Leslie sim. So if you do use it, you’ll need something like the Vent.

      I don’t know anyone else selling the cable. If you know anyone who makes cables or knows how to solder, the cable is fairly easy to make.

      I am trying to get Hammond to add an update to the next OS that allows you to pan the organ to one output and the extra voices to the other. Most people run in mono on live gigs anyway.

  10. Hi Jim…

    Well it looks like I am sort of stuck here on the Organ side.
    My new Casio PX5S simply is lacking on the Organ side of gigging Blues/Jazz side of life.

    On one side of the table I am looking at the GSiBurn by Crummar and the other side of the table the Neo Ventalater 2.

    Traditional Blues and Jazz in South Central Los Angeles has the need for authentic rich Organ sounds since Piano and Keyboards are also essential what can I do to appease the PX5S? Should I point a pistol at my keyboard ?

    What would you do Jim?
    Gimmie some Jimmie side of life views so I don’t have to shoot my PX5S….
    Which would be best to squeeze out some juicy organ sounds?


    Randy Berton (Facebook)
    Pasadena, Ca

    • Randy,

      Sorry for the late reply. I love the PX5s but it certainly would not be my first choice for organ. It has two things going against it. First and foremost, it has no expression pedal input and as you know the only way to play with any dynamics on a Hammond is via the expression pedal. Secondly, the onboard Leslie leaves a lot to be desired as does the chorus/vibrato. Either the BURN or the Ventilator would help (I prefer the Vent) but really if you’re doing gigs that need a good organ, you should get something that does that and does it well, like the Hammond XK1c.

      My two cents,

    • I am trying to get Hammond to add an update to the next OS that allows you to pan the organ to one output and the extra voices to the other. Most people run in mono on live gigs anyway.

      This was intended as my just like a Nord riposte!

  11. Jim I enjoyed your playing and style. I have a leslie 122A and A CU-1 half moon switch and I would like to play the SK2 through the 122A. What adapter is available for this six pin leslie from the 8 pin SK2 ? Thanks in advance.

  12. Jim , I have a hammond XK3 but found it too heavy for me. I’m now thinking about getting an Sk 1 73 key ( I need piano and other voices too) Is the organ sound on the Sk comparable to the Xk3? Also, I just bought an new vent II. Is that overkill or does the on-board sim need an upgrade?

    P.S. I enjoy your demos and find them very informative. Do you offer on-line lessons?

    Dave T.
    Pinole, Ca.

    • The SK sounds better than the XK3 by quite a bit. And I loved my XK3. The chorus/vibrato, percussion, keyclick, and internal Leslie are all far superior to the XK3. You’ll love it.

      The Vent is great. The internal sim on the SK series is good, too. Two different flavors though honestly I think the Vent still wins in the 3D realism category. And it’s overdrive is second to none.

      We could work something out for online lessons. 🙂

  13. Hi! I would like to connect my Hammond XK-1 to an Mini VENT for organ rotary simulator, but without losing the use of the internal Leslie effect inside the XK-1, is it possible and how to do it? It is difficult to get informations about it! Thank you very much!

    • I’m not sure what you’re asking. Do you want the internal Leslie to also go through the Mini Vent or do you want the internal Leslie to be active alongside the Vent on different outputs?

      • Excuse my language, I’m French, and yes i would like the internal Leslie to be active alongside the mini Vent and/or The Ventilator II and how to connect it/them to an Hammond XK-1, does it goes through the 8 Pin plug or the jack?
        Thank you for answering and i wish you a Merry Christmas!

      • Hi! I could not wait so i bought the Ventilatot 2 to work with my Hammond XK-1. One thing i do not understand in the manual is about the:” Overload Led ” .It says: ” turn up the input signal until the Led just begins lighting up at signal peaks” but i can’t see anything who looks like an input signal to turn up!? could you explain it to me, please. Thank you very much! Because up to now, i can’t see much difference with the Hammond Leslie simulation inside the XK-1. I must be dumb! Thanks for you help.

        • Hi Patrick,

          The Ventilator does not have an input gain knob so the manual is referring to the main output of your instrument. That means using the main volume knob on the XK1 to send more signal to the Ventilator. If you turn the XK1 all the way up and have your expression pedal all the way down so the instrument is at full volume and you’re still not seeing any activity on the overload led, change the input HIGH/LOW button on the Vent.


          • Thank you very much indeed, that’s why i had to press the button to put it to HI….
            but it works now, so, i am very grateful and it might be an impression but it sounds better too…. Thank you once more! I wish you all the best!

    • Hi Pierre! I just received the Hammond Leslie pedal a few weeks ago and with the holidays I have not had time to review it. I will post a review with video and comparisons in a few weeks. Thanks!

  14. Hi Jim. Great review. I recently upgraded my Mini Vent to a Ventilator 2. Love the flexibility. (Oh, at this point i should say i am using this for Was wondering if you knew what mode is the default mode for the Ventilator 2? Not sure if i am in KEY, GIT1 or GIT2. I have been tweaking the settings and like the results. I haven’t delved into the secondary settings yet though. Also, in the manual it states that when you change the settings in secondary mode those settings are stored when you switch back to primary mode. But it also says when you power down the Vent 2, the settings in secondary mode are “restored” when it’s powered back up. Does this mean restored to the settings i make, or restored to the default settings in secondary mode. I hope it keeps my settings stored, or that would mean i have to change the secondary settings each time i power up the Vent 2. Hope this makes sense. Thanks for your time and once again, great review….. HRZ

    • It stores the settings you made in the secondary functions when you power down and restores them upon power up. I think that’s what the manual meant but the translation from German probably added some confusion.

  15. Thanks Jimmy. Glad i don’t have to program each time…..Also, do you know what mode the Vent 2 uses as the default mode? If not, I guess i can go into the secondary mode and mess around with the KEY and GIT settings and find out that way….Thanks again…. HRZ.

    • You’re welcome! I’m pretty sure the default is KEYS mode. So you’ll probably have to go in and set it to one of the GUIT modes and then it will save that upon power down.

  16. Hello Jimmy. Thanks again. Just FYI, i e-mailed Guido at Neo Instruments and he mailed me back and informed me that the default mode on the Vent 2 is GIT2. Just figured i would pass it on…Take care and thanks once again…. HRZ

  17. Jim, Nice review. As an SK1 owner, and key bass player, the “Memphis ” sound appeals to me. I have located the low rotor settings for the internal SK sim. My question: Does the Memphis setting mean no low rotor rotation on just the slow speed, or on both with the low also stationary on the ” fast” speed.

  18. I have said it before – saying it again. I really believe that the new Vent II was designed for more guitar use than organ – much wider marketing. I did buy one after selling my original Ventilator and wish I still had my original. I really found the new Vent very difficult to get the fast speed locked in as close as possible to the original It does have some useful adjustments, but once I got them locked in I realized, I was just searching out the original Vent sound that I loved. As for the Memphis sound – I use it all the time – for me, I have no chorus or vibrato on and only sometimes I will add some percussion. Just using the slow and fast speed of the Leslie to get the Booker T sound and the rest of the Memphis STAX Hammond/Leslie Sounds. Some of the Memphis Sound calls for a complete rotor Stop position too. Back in those early days, they were using the old 22H or 47W single speed Leslie Speakers. Unless I am mistaken, I am pretty sure I have read that Booker T recorded Green Onions using an M Series Spinit with a Leslie 47W single speed leslie. He did perform live with a B3 and Leslie Speaker (most liikely a 122).

  19. Superb playing as always Jim! Thanks for the review! How does the Vent overdrive compare with that of the XK-1C and XK-3C with its tubes?
    P.S. Your Theo CD rocks!

    • I never cared for the XK3/XK3c tube overdrive, even with different tubes. It just never sounded very good to me no matter what I did. The digital overdrive on the XK1c is pretty good, depending on what model you use. I tend to like the EP model which they thankfully left in from the SK1 even though the XK1c doesn’t have any electric piano sounds. But the CLIP model is pretty cool, too for that nasty, John Lord type sound.

  20. Dear Jim,
    I really dig your scene and your chops are mad cool. I have been looking at your videos and reading all I can about the Vent and the Vent II. You have the most straightforward approach to reviewing, and the side-by-sides are excellent. I’m grateful that you care about those of us looking to make headway in the B3 school of organ playing. I am a piano player that loves the B3 and have decided to wade into the the funky world of Hammondites to help me get a decent sound and the Vent II is a big step forward on a budget. Your advice set me in the right direction. Thanks for your sound advice and passion. One question; how does one determine, or rather, when setting the mike distance for the upper and lower rotating speakers, is there a way to “set” the distance? Hard to articulate my question, but how can we tweak the knobs without changing the distance of the mikes, when adjusting the wet to dry (7o’o clock to midnite) effect? I’m sure this question has come up and is it as simple as powering down in the mike distance mode, to lock them in? Otherwise it is kinda confusing, ie. the one knob performing two separate functions? Other words, how do I know when I leave the mike distance domain to set the wet/dry ratio that I havn’t changed the mike distance parameter. god help me that’s a lotta words. Help a brother out. Dazed and confused- Jimmy paradee

    • Hi Jimmy,

      Thanks for the kind words. The short answer to your question is that you can’t. At least not as far as I know. You can either adjust the distance or adjust the mix but not both at the same time. It’s kind of strange that Neo Instruments decided to do it this way but they did. I suppose if you want your mics farther away, that kind of does the same thing in a way (reduces the Leslie effect).


      • Thanks, Jim for your reply.

        You can have it both ways at noon on the pot, and maybe it’s just me, but I’ve found that the percentage of wet/dry is too flagrant at noon. I’ve read that you are also a Casio secret agent and those guys are lucky to have you in their stable of players. I bought a XW – P1 solely for the organ and the price. I spent much more on the Vent II and its remote than on the Casio, and I’m sure you know why. I’m finally starting to get somewhere in the actual sound of a wailing B3, I have miles to go before my playing catches up. I’m happy to say that I’m getting your feeds now and congratulations on the THEO project. We probably have much in common politically. I will be queuing up to fund the album and will have all your recordings by Summer. A real honor to be able to pick your brain, and talk to you soon. peace-jimmy

  21. Dang, this is dope! I read on a comment on a Youtube video that this guy leaves his Hammond Xk2 at home and runs his Casio WK7600 (which has a drawbar organ feature) through Neo’s vent and it sounds just as good. So as a teenager who can’t afford a digital organ from Hammond yet, running my Casio through a ventilator sounds like a hell of an upgrade. By the way, you fucking ravage the organ man.

    • Thanks, man. A Casio through a Vent is not a bad low-cost alternative. Then again, for not much more you could get a Hammond XK1c.

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