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The Nord C1, C2 and C2D Organ Forum

How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby bjavor » 18 Sep 2016, 13:58

Hello, a total newbie here. I'm not an organ player (so far), but I'm very interested in the sound and I'm considering learning it.

I was trying to decide between the Electro 5D and the C2D, and was trying to find some information regarding just how much a lower manual may be needed. Unfortunately so far I came up pretty empty. (It's difficult to fins the right google keywords/phrasing...) What I have found was that the lower manual is usually/mostly tuned to the same octaves. So is the difference only that you may have a different drawbar configuration for it? And if yes, is this something you'd miss a lot on the Electro?

A slightly related second question: The C2D has two sets of drawbars per manual, while some other brands like the Mojo have only one. How big of a difference does that make?
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How important/essential is the lower manual?


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Re: How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby jfenton » 18 Sep 2016, 15:49

Well I have a Hammond SK2 and not a C2D but I'll share my opinion anyway. I once owed a Hammond B3 and two manuals is a great plus for the authentic
playing experiences. Sure you can split the Electro keyboard but it is a bit clumsy and the single drawbar layout is as well.

I miss the 4 sets of drawbars I once had with my Hammond B3. So if I were to buy again for a more real Hammond experience I would get something with both manuals and 4 sets of drawbars. Right now I use a Roland A-300Pro and it's sliders on top tier to at least give me instant access to two sets of drawbars on my SK2.


My SK2 also has extra voicings (like piano) that I like. I can play organ on top manual and piano on the bottom (or visa versa) with a simple switch push.
The piano sounds are not as authentic as my Stage 2 but they suffice. Since I don't have a C2D, I'm not sure if those features exist on that unit.

If I ever consider selling my SK2, the C2D woiuld be in the running for a replacement.

I've been watching the forum for quite a while and the more I hear about the Electro 5, the happier I am that I chose the Stage 2 EX over it. In the US I got my Stage 2 EX for about $700 USD more than the Electo 5 costs here. I thought I would miss the physical drawbars but I really don't.
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Re: How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby ebowen4221 » 20 Sep 2016, 06:18

My opinion on this question is that if you want to learn the organ, get the organ. An electro 5 is a great do-mostly-all keyboard, but when it comes to the organ, nothing beats the C2D.

The C2D is only an organ, and you can't load up any other sounds to the keyboard.
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Re: How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby C3 Michael » 28 Oct 2016, 19:19

I love the B3 +bass on my NE5D.But I also love having the two manuals on my Hammond C3. It is great to have the bass pedals too.It has a fat full sound that way.The trouble is it is nearly impossible for me to move,lock down the tone generator,take off the Leslie switch,remove pre amp tubes,etc.The beauty of the Nord is the portability and you have piano sounds and synth sounds with organ as good as my C3 IMO.If I had to choose between the two it would ne the Nord.
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Re: How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby Gustavo » 02 Nov 2016, 16:34

I believe the answer to this question depends on what you need/want and the style you are playing.

For many purposes, the split function will do just fine. But if you want to very realistically play an organ, then having two manuals (for a B3) is a must. Many players took full advantage of this and truly used all the keyboard in both manuals.

Also, keep in mind that the Vox and Farfisa were most commonly single manual. So if you use those, then the lower manual does not matter much.
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Re: How important/essential is the lower manual?

Postby JoeCool » 05 Nov 2016, 14:08

You can add a lower manual to the Electro, very simple trick, but you can't produce piano or synth sounds with the C2D.
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