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Accessories for Pianos & Organs

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Accessories for Pianos & Organs
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User reviews on Accessory for Piano & Organ products

A basic sustain "pedal" (Casio - SP-3)

By JeffTadashi, 08/07/2012
The Casio SP-3 is a basic sustain pedal that came shipped with my Casio 88-key digital piano. Unlike most regular sustain pedals that are actually shaped like a real piano pedal. the Casio SP-3 is shaped more like a multi-function footswitch, which makes it unusual to step on at times, but it also makes it useful for other controlling uses beyond a digital piano or keyboard. One of the strangest things about the SP-3 is that it works both right side up and up-side down. In fact, it's hard to tell which side is supposed to be on top, and which is on bottom. To this day, I still can't figured out if I'm using the pedal correctly. One side is rubber, with a bunch of little triangle shapes formed from the rubber. The other side is plastic, with a bunch of raised dots, in a grid fashion. I believe the plastic side is supposed to be the top, because the rubber side isn't a stiff and rigid to be stepped on repeatedly. But the pedal functions pretty well on both sides, and depending on what floor you have, either side may work, and one side may work better than the other.

The moving action on the pedal is pretty good, and you don't have to press the pedal too hard in order to activate the sustain. I've owned a few sustain pedals where you have to press the pedal way too far down before it activates, and those pedals feel very unnatural to me, when compared to a real grand piano. The SP-3, although it looks nothing like a grand piano pedal, functions just as well, and I can definitely use this with my digital piano. If you are on a budget, the Casio SP-3 works just fine, even though it may not look like a real sustain pedal. Don't be afraid!

If you own the TX-5 Classic, you gotta get this too (Tokai - TX-Lower)

By ecceccecc, 18/06/2015
This is the TX-Lower. It's technically a MIDI controller with 61 waterfall keys, but the main difference is that it was designed specially for use with the Tokai TX-5 Classic. They're sold as separated unities; this TX-Lower is an optional complement that works great for those who'd like to have the same feeling as playing the B3 itself, by having two keybeds, each one associated with one set of drawbars.
The keys are just strong enough so you can do palm slides without worrying about anything. I believe that the keybed was made by Fatar, but I can't truly confirm this. The construction is very reliable too, as it's made of MDF and some kind of resistant alloy.
Although it was designed for use with TX-5 Classic, it also works great as a master controller. You can plug it in any kind of instrument, as long as it has a MIDI IN port. It has touch sensitivity, transpose and MIDI channel parameters. There's no panel - that area is deliberately empty, so you can put the TX-5 Classic (or any instrument, module, laptop etc.) above it.
I just think that, for a controller, it's a bit too much heavy and not so easy to transport. There's no ready-made bag or case that can do the task, you have to order a custom-made one. But its reliability compensates that transportation issue - there's no need of special care.
Just to finish this, it's overall a great complement, both as the TX-5's "second keybed" and as a generic MIDI controller.

Nails the Leslie 122 - on guitar but...on full B3 organ? (Neo Instruments - Ventilator)

By Mats Orbation, 18/08/2016
Having used the old Ventilator for quite some time now, I got fed up with it in the end. Some reasons, it shares this with ALL Leslie speaker simulator pedals, so this is not really a stab at Neo instruments as such. Here's my caveats with it, which hasn't been brought up in other reviews, professional, and amateur alike.

1. It is not true bypass, although it says so in the manual. A signal that is "true" bypass should be able to pass through even with the power adaptor removed completely. This doesn't. While this is important to you or not I don't know. To me it is. Especially at that charging price for brand new item.

2. You have to use exclusively their power adaptor. It says nothing on the actual box/pedal what kind of current it needs and neither does the polarity. This has CENTER POSITIVE, and 12v and requires less than < 300 mA it states in the manual, and the actual adapter says it delivers something like 2.5 A (!). Which is my concern, but read on, later on.

3. The remote input didn't even remotely work (ha!) with their own remote pedal.

You had to do a fix. When using it the rotation stopped as if it was a BRAKE on real leslies, that you stopped the rotors but did pass through the speakers anyway. For a product at this price, this should be returned to the manufacturer, and withdrawn instead for modifciation. This was not a warranty defect. Above some serial numbers this had been fixed. Also, their own remote has their own foot switches which still gives a huge mechanical sounding clunk when turning off and on, and when using organ volume pedals and frequent shifts between chorale/tremolo settings on the switch, the clunk can be heard over the music big time and annoying. If there would be any sense to this, release a remote pedal with switches from - like - the Lehle company, or way more silent switches that holds up abuse. Now, I happened to buy the older ones, which nothing was said of, since the former user didn't use the remote.

Now, for the current, voltage and input overload, and gain on normal organ B3 sounds. And especially on a real fully equppied Hammond B3, two manuals, and pedalboard.

The B3 organ has a huge travel volume pedal range, and can put out a tremenduous amount of input at the Ventilator side, especially when using both manuals, full drawbars PLUS (this is important) a bass 16 foot pedal note. When using this setting in any organ it taxes the input on the Ventilator so you have to turn down the master volume so much (or volume pedal) at the other end, that the headroom leaves not much more than raised floor noise. The headroom is too low on this pedal. In order for not getting the overload led to light up you have to turn it down so much that it is useless. On a real Leslie, the tubes takes cares of any kind of "too much" input and distorts and compress in a nice way. This doesn't. It shares this with Lex Strymon, Leslies own pedals too, so it may not be a thing of Neo only.

However, if you had to use their own ugly and unwieldy power adaptor which will scare guitar pedal boards owners off, I think, while they were at it, they could do an analog input that could take and cope with all that power from a B3 and a full keyboard and bass pedalboard onslaught. In order to cope with that you have to use a voltage of maybe 24 v or a 48v and a built in limiter before you go to do A/D converter. Or equip the pedal with an 12AX7 tube or something similar. You can't put this on a regular guitar pedal board and use the wires to power it form a regular Voodo Labs power station, say. But on guitar, the overload don't light up as it is a different beast. It can very well take the signal there.

When the overload led lights up on organ, it sounds butt ugly and has this very unpleasant digital crackly distortion. They need to make a larger headroom or built in a limiter of some sorts. And I have tried all settings on the input/output LO/HIGH knobs at the back. To absolutely no avail.

So, you are limited to using one manual keyboard organ, and no bass pedals at all (not even on the manual keyboard). The DRIVE (distortion) knob on this pedal is just average and resembles nothing of a tube. It does have its uses though.

It's the actual swirl and rotation that makes this pedal the top of the heap.
But competition are piling up. No problems there, but read the other reviews about it, then. Who hails it as the best thing since sliced bacon.

I don't know their new pedals, the Vent II, but they have smaller footprint which makes them even better for guitar pedalboards but still you have to use their unwieldy and uncommon power supply which refutes the purpose in the end. You just have to make a pedal (or at least showing what polarity and current it needs) on the front of the pedal jack, so one can tell. It's bad business conduct to leave such things out, and if the power adapter should fail, (which it actually did once) you can't test it with another, and rule things out when troubleshooting. If it was a Behringer and/or at a Behringer price I would certainly have no quibbles. But at this price I except some more foolproof things. Just a liiitle more! They would most certainly have to resort to common power supplies when doing their new mini Vents and so on, which are geared towards guitarists anyway.

The more it costs, the more right you have to be snarky and prickly about it. The less it cost, the more concessions you can make, and condone more than you condemn.

EDIT: Instruments tested on: Hammond xk-3, xk3c and a friends real, full Hammond B3.

News Accessory for Piano & Organ

Neo Instruments launches the Ventilator II

Published on 06/10/14
The new generation of the Neo Instruments Ventilator, which models a Leslie cab in a pedal format, is now available.

Accessory for Piano & Organ classified ads

Neo Instruments Mini Vent II

$315 Reverb classified ad