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Hammond A-102: Should I buy it?


juanbastonoeste

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Hey all,

 

I went check out a Hammond A102 today. The price is $1500. I've played several real vintage organs in the past, but I have little experience when it comes to buying or owning them. The organ is in great cosmetic shape and I spent an hour testing it out through the A102's built in speakers (there was no leslie on hand). Everything on the organ works fine except for the percussion which doesn't work (see video) and there is a strong rattle that sounds like it's coming from one of the speakers. In addition, the sound of the organ is totally distorted (in part or totally due to this rattle) at bass frequencies. We tested all three speakers independently by connecting them to a radio, and they all sounded perfectly clear. I decided to make a short video on which you can hear and see for yourself what's going on with the organ:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fvBRf7Z2ZU

 

What I'd like to know is whether you have any ideas as to what might be wrong with the organ, and how much money I might be looking at to get it into playing condition. Thanks!

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It's a pretty typical market price for a A100 series. You can find decent $1500 A100s all day long and twice on Sunday.

 

Now, if that A102 came with a working Leslie for $1500, that might be a better deal.

 

You're going to spend some money chasing those problems down.

 

Personally, I'd pass on it for $1500.

Yamaha C7 Grand, My Hammonds: '57 B3, '54 C2, '42 BC, '40 D, '05 XK3 Pro System, Kawai MP9000, Fender Rhodes Mk I 73, Yamaha CP33, Motif ES6, Nord Electro 2, Minimoog Voyager & Model D, Korg MS10
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Yeah that's too much money for one that's not working right. In any large US metro area they are fairly easy to find for $1500 in perfect working condition.

 

Or less. Around $1000 is when they really start attracting attention.

 

But I'm not sure where you live. Location is everything.

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The hum as it starts to warm up tells all...filter caps in the power amp are shot. It sounds as though any played tones are mixing with the bad 60Hz hum to make strange beat frequencies. Mid-late '62 instrument just going by the black preamp transformer and 5-tube AO-35 reverb amp, this would be one of the last to have that reverb amp. They changed reverb amps not long after the switch to black transformers on the preamp.

 

It's in nice shape (though being an A-102 it's still fugly) but no way on God's green earth is this thing worth $1500. It needs a lot of work. The percussion is probably dendrite growth in the switch housing. You won't hear any sound out of the 1' drawbar with the percussion on, as it steals that busbar for perc triggering. But you should be hearing something. I concur...pass. You'll find a good deal on a nice A-100, it's a buyer's market what with the economy in the toilet.

 

TP

---

Todd A. Phipps

"...no, I'm not a Hammondoholic...I can stop anytime..."

http://www.facebook.com/b3nut ** http://www.blueolives.com

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How much would it be worth in the condition it's in? I wonder if the OP can make a lower offer for a more reasonable price.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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$750.

 

I just got a mint, absolutely amazing A-105 for $600... and they ended up donating it for free, so they're out there.

Muzikteechur is Lonnie, in Kittery, Maine.

 

HS music teacher: Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Chorus, Music Theory, AP Music Theory, History of Rock, Musical Theatre, Piano, Guitar, Drama.

 

 

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After my previous post, I came across this one locally this morning. Obviously the condition is a bit unknown, but what do you guys think, assuming it's in good shape?

 

Hammond A-105 for $750

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Looks like a nice box, Joe. The serial number puts it at 1963-64. I don't think I'd have an issue paying $750 for it, if it was clean and had no major issues.
Yamaha C7 Grand, My Hammonds: '57 B3, '54 C2, '42 BC, '40 D, '05 XK3 Pro System, Kawai MP9000, Fender Rhodes Mk I 73, Yamaha CP33, Motif ES6, Nord Electro 2, Minimoog Voyager & Model D, Korg MS10
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I contacted the seller.

 

"Already sold and picked up in first 4 hours."

 

I'm not surprised.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Yup, you have to jump right on the good ones.

 

Reminds me of a story. A friend found a good Hammond (don't remember which model, but a desirable one) real cheap (like $100). It didn't turn on at all. He said, "let me check something out" and a moment later, powers it up and it spins & plays. He's about to hand the guy the $100 and the guy says "Sorry, the price just went up. That'll be $1000."

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Well, I saw the ad this AM, and IIRC it was posted yesterday evening. If so, that's when it was sold and I wasn't even close!

 

BTW, thanks Todd and Meis. :thu:

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Depends on location. Around here that's a $200-$300 project/parts organ. Good A-100's struggle to fetch more than $500 unless they're a tech or dealer refurb. Missed a pristine A-122 for $350 a few months ago...doh!

 

TP

 

Todd a few dealers/techs have told me that organ and piano stores originally sold the A-100 series as an inferior organ to people when in fact it was actually a 3 series organ.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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Chances are that a used A100 will be in much better condition than any used B3 or C3. That's because A100's were sold as home organs and usually received much better treatment than B3's or C3's which, for the most part, were sold to churches and professional players... I was fortunate to find two of my B3's which were home organs and thus in prime condition. But I believe that is unusual.
'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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Heres another rumor and I am not sure how much truth there is to it. Apparently when Hammond did not like the fact that Piano and Organ Shops were selling Leslie Products they strong armed the stores and told them they would pull the Hammond line if they did not comply. In some Northeastern states there may have been Mafia influence also. Its just a rumor but interesting nonetheless.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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From what I've picked up until about '67 or so Hammond forbade their dealers from selling Leslie speakers. Once the X-77 came out with its proprietary Leslie cabinet Laurens Hammond's silly jihad against the Leslie Speaker got thrown out the window. Mr. Hammond was well out of the picture by then, having retired. That machine came out in '67 or '68 IIRC, on the heels of the X-66 if I'm not mistaken. Oddly enough, the X-66 was probably the most "Leslie-proof" of the Hammond models, but they still made a 122 kit and a 9-pin kit for it. But the X-66 is an entirely different kettle of fish...it doesn't work like any other Hammond before or after it. Studying the service manual before you even take the back off is highly recommended. I love the X-66, even if my wife calls it a creepy circus organ. :D

 

TP

---

Todd A. Phipps

"...no, I'm not a Hammondoholic...I can stop anytime..."

http://www.facebook.com/b3nut ** http://www.blueolives.com

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In some Northeastern states there may have been Mafia influence also. Its just a rumor but interesting nonetheless.

 

I thought I saw a B3 in an episode of The Sopranos!

'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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Actually Dave it was an RT-3. I saw that episode. Tony and the crew went to Rhode island. I remember really noticing that organ in the living room when tony soprano was visiting an old mobster.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I bought my A100 for $800.00 good condition, everything worked OK. Had some restoration done for about $600.00 ( new up/down felts/ cleaning/shifting of bus bar wires, some minor electronics in the amp and preamp and rebuild of the vibrato scanner). So I have a excellent condition A100. If I ever sell it (for a B3 only), I'd try for about 1500-1800.00. This is my living room organ with twin Leslies so I'll probably just keep it for ever. I would like a B3 however if only for sentimental and possibly investment reasons.

 

Regards,

 

Musicale

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