jerrydpi wrote:Let's expand my question. Between the NE3 and the Kurzweil PC3 Series, which organ (B3 model-wise) sounds best without the Leslie Effect being added?
"Best" is subjective, and also a matter of what is most important to you. Heck, people can play two different genuine Hammond B3 organs and not agree on which of the two sound better.
I think the basic drawbar sound (with all effects/processing off) is pretty similar between the Kurzweil and Nord. It is the other aspects that vary more. The Ventilator takes care of rotary emulation and overdrive, but there are differences in percussion, key click, chorus/vibrato, leakage… and you might like something better on one and something else on the other. Part of it is personal taste, part of it may be what it is you're playing (for example, jazz players often hone in on different B3 sounds than rock players do).
One thing I will say is that the Kurzweil is more tweakable. You'd probably have more luck finessing a Kurz to get it to sound more like a Nord than vice versa. OTOH, the Kurzweil, in providing all these menus of adjustable parameters, is also more complicated.
The actions feel different to play, which can make a difference in how you play, which, in a sense, can also affect which sounds better in actual use. Not only are Nord actions different from Kurzweil, but Kurzweil's 61 and 76 PC3-series boards are likewise different from each other, and this all comes down to personal taste (though, feature-wise, I don't think Kurz offers a high trigger point). And of course there is the difference between faders and drawbuttons, which can also affect the "sound" of the instrument if your technique involves real-time manipulation of these controls.
I know you've been looking for a clear answer to which is better, but there's no clear answer!
Personally, between the NE3 and the PC361+Vent, strictly for organ, they both sound good, and I might well choose based on things other than sound anyway. i.e. the NE3 for light weight and overall ease of use; or the Kurzweil for physically movable "drawbars," more tweakability, and more friendly patch selection (i.e. more single-button access, and LCD display of patch names). Or just whichever one I liked the feel of the keys on better. Though if you have any need for non-organ sounds at all, then there would be more things that could sway you one way or the other.