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Farfisa 222 for $650 on Craigslist, worth it?


scottasin

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Hmm...i know of those models but never saw one for sale, so can't help you there. But here's some info :

 

The Professional 222 is also known by the following names: "Professional", "Professional I", "Professional N". There were apparently some specimens (I've only heard of two) with model 221 on the ID plate. "Professional N" is from a schematic I have, and I don't know if that was ever an actual model designation.

 

The Professional's Vibrato is a bit unusual, in that it's added after the oscillators - basically a phase-shifter circuit minus the mixing of the original signal. That was the only way they could offer separately-selectable Vibrato for Flute, Clarinet/Sharp and Sustain voices (Vibrato injected at the oscillator, the simplest and most common method, will affect any and all voices simultaneously). Farfisa engineer Mike M. comments: "The target was to have vibrato separately on the various sections (on flutes and not on percussions etc) So the only way was to do something after the oscillators...I designed a phase shifter around a "all pass filter" as they call it today. Remember that FET's were just appearing on the market, and little was known about them."

 

The result, however was less than pleasing in many a musician's estimation. Richard B. offers his thoughts on the subject: "The vibrato really is as disappointing as Barry [Carson] describes... It's a phase shift and sounds like one. It can produce some good sounds if you use it one one voice set and not the other, but it's nothing like vibrato, more like a shimmering effect. You can use it with the Celeste sustain voice and add 2' percussion to simulate vibes. It sounds a lot like the pulsating vibe sound in Indian Reservation."

 

Another unusual feature was the keyboard split. There is a marking over the keyboard designating the leftmost three octaves as "Bass" and the rightmost two as "Treble" (it uses Bass and Treble clefs for these designations). The only function of this split appears to be allowing separate Cancels for each side for the Percussion and Sustain voices.

 

NEW! Two versions: A 1968 sales brochure shows a black-and-white engineering type drawing of a slightly different version of the Professional. In that version, the keyboard split is after the second octave, and there's an additional Cancel for the Clarinet/Sharp voices, allowing those to be separately cancelled for each part of the keyboard. Color photos in the same brochure depict the "later" version, with the split after the third octave. In addition, the text describes a "2 octaves bass section", as well as "Output for a special pedalboard of 13 notes (C-C) incorporating 16' and 8' voices and sustain" This brochurecan be viewed at Kirk Topits' excellent Farfisa Professional website

 

More user comments from Richard B: "The sound can range from a good Hammond to a screaming combo. It sounds quite a bit like a Yamaha. It can't do anything close to the Farfisa Combo [Compact] voices though"

 

 

"The purple piper plays his tune, The choir softly sing; Three lullabies in an ancient tongue, For the court of the crimson king"
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Are you interested as a collector of combo organs or as someone looking for an axe? I have a soft spot for old combo organs but my days of gigging live with a transitor organ are long over.

 

If you are looking for a 60's pyschodelic sound I would look for a Compact or a Vox emulator of some sort.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Oh, the nostalgia!! :love::love::love::love:

 

I bought one of those brand new in about 1970. I paid $1200 for it and waited months for it to be delivered. Played it thru a Sunn tube amp with JBL D130s and later a Leslie 45.

 

Combo organs don't get much more deluxe than this. It has all the footages of Hammond drawbars in two different clarinet and flute banks (switches not drawbars though). It also has a nice sustain set and you have a mixer to mix the different banks.

 

I'd love to own one again. The only other combo organs that would still interest me would be the high end Yamahas like the YC-30 and 45.

Moe

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$1200 was a lot of money in 1970. I wonder if that is more than a new Kronos in inflation adjusted dollars. Dad bought a new Ford LTD in 1974 for $4000.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Oh, the nostalgia!! :love::love::love::love:

 

I bought one of those brand new in about 1970. I paid $1200 for it and waited months for it to be delivered. Played it thru a Sunn tube amp with JBL D130s and later a Leslie 45.

 

Combo organs don't get much more deluxe than this. It has all the footages of Hammond drawbars in two different clarinet and flute banks (switches not drawbars though). It also has a nice sustain set and you have a mixer to mix the different banks.

 

I'd love to own one again. The only other combo organs that would still interest me would be the high end Yamahas like the YC-30 and 45.

 

What would you say about the price the guy is asking?

"The purple piper plays his tune, The choir softly sing; Three lullabies in an ancient tongue, For the court of the crimson king"
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I'm thinking I might sell my Hammond M-111 and replace it with this, since this thing is actually portable (at least more portable, haven't found a weight for it on google), and fully functional. Are combo organs traditionally pretty roadworthy, or is this something I'd want to leave at home if I want it to stay functional? I think I was the first to respond, so I can probably take a look at it tomorrow or sometime soon.
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It probably weighs 60 lbs or so, definitely more portable than the M-111. Mine came with a soft case that everything folded up into, including the legs. It should be pretty roadworthy once you iron out any initial problems.

 

I sure gigged the crap out of mine.

Moe

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60 pounds is a lot (more than twice anything currently in my rig), but thats definitely manageable. He says that the pedal is missing. Is this a swell pedal, or some other type of pedal, and how easy/difficult/costly would it be to replace?

 

I don't really know if I need to add a 4th keyboard to my rig, but it can't hurt to drive out and check it out, and see what kinds of sounds it makes to see if its 'individual' enough to fit into my rig, or if its redundant and unnecessary.

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At 16, I had a Vox Continental with a Leslie 825. I added a early 60's Wurlitzer Piano. This was 1973. In 1974, I still couldn't even dream about owning a B-3 so I bought a Farfisa Professional, just like this one. I bought a Leslie 900. It was the closest I ever had to a B-3 with the stops and percussion. I also bought a Moog Satellite. I was playing Yes and other organ band hits.

 

During that time I also started playing piano and eventually gave up the organ, cause I felt more connected to the piano and B3's were just too expensive and big to move.

 

It's some nice memories I don't think about too much. I wish I knew about Miles, Herbie, Evans, Parker, etc. if I had the chance to do it over. At least I can impress young people who can appreciate that period of music, which I lived through.

AvantGrand N2 | ES520 | Gallien-Krueger MK & MP | https://soundcloud.com/pete36251

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He says that the pedal is missing. Is this a swell pedal, or some other type of pedal, and how easy/difficult/costly would it be to replace?

 

I think it is the swell pedal, that the organ plays on full volume without it plugged in, and that you could just stick a DeArmond volume pedal on the output and be good to go.

Moe

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$1200 was a lot of money in 1970. I wonder if that is more than a new Kronos in inflation adjusted dollars. Dad bought a new Ford LTD in 1974 for $4000.

:laugh:

 

Most of the guys reading this probably weren't even born in 1974.

 

And the rest of us... don't remember it. :cool:

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Yes, that is what I was getting at when I said if you want to do that 60's psychodelic (stuff like Incense and Peppermints ) I would look for a different combo organ but I think it would be a decent replacement for a Hammond Spinet. Though I personally would look more towards a used Nord, Roland VK-7 or a Hammond XK-2 if I wanted something for less than a grand. Just because of the size and weight.

 

But I love combo organs and it would a good piece to add to a collection if it works and is clean.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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It won't have any of the bite of the original 60s combo compact. Keep looking for an earlier model.

 

Duane

Korg PA4x76 arranger, 1976 Yamaha CP-70 electric piano, MidiPlus X6 MIDI USB controller, Turbosound ip500 Tower Speaker System

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When I was 17....it was a very good year, but that's another story...anyway I had a Farfisa VIP 345 and a Leslie 825. LOVED the organ, but to me that hornless Leslie was a dog. Traded it in and got a 145 and never looked back. The VIP actually had drawbars, and some kind of synthy pitch glide. Ahh memories! Now if I can just remember what I had for breakfast....
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I always thought the Nord C1 and C2 had SORT of a retro look. Maybe it's just the color.

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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A dollar then was worth about $5 today, adjusted for inflation. That would make the Ford LTD menioned above cost $20K. An equivalent car today would probably cost a bit more, but would also be a lot more car in every way except engine cubic inches and gross weight.

 

Gas cost about 36 cents a gallon.

 

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It won't have any of the bite of the original 60s combo compact. Keep looking for an earlier model.

Not everyone wants a bite to their organ.

 

+1. My first organ before upgrading to the Professional was a red Combo Compact. It's kind of a one trick pony. I'd MUCH rather have the Professional.

Moe

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Well, I went and checked it out, and it wouldn't make any sound. It looked like it was in ok, albeit a bit dusty, condition, the sliders were a bit sticky, but other than that everything moved. It would turn on and make a pop, and the light would turn on, but I couldn't get any sound from it. The guy also had an old delay pedal (looked pretty cheap) that he was gonna include with it, so that would have been cool to have too. I offered him $200 for it in not working condition, and I know a repair guy who I think could probably fix it pretty quickly, but he said he could sell it for more than that. He said he'd call me back if it started working again too.

 

But, in the end, I guess I saved $650 today.

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