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B3 Squared - Hammond with 3 Manuals???


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I put this pix in another posting but I felt it was unique enough to deserve its own topic. I don't think it's an actual B3, but who cares as long as the topic title caught your attention. :D


The following was posted Saturday on The Hammond Technical List [HAMTECH@MAIL.HAMTECH.ORG]. Don't get your hopes up. The organ and Leslies were snagged within hours of the posting.


The Santa Barbara Theatre Organ Society was given a three manual Hammond that it wants to dispose of. It is located in a storage building in Santa Barbara, California. The organ also has two Leslie 31 speakers with it. They have both been heavily modified. The organ itself is not in good condition but would be quite a project for some one who wanted to make a very unusual Hammond. The case has been built up to accommodate the third manual and it isn't a bad job. The left side is very good but the right side would need some work to make everything look right. The top or third manual is a Hammond manual that feels as if it has been gutted and some other key contact arrangement installed. The best part of the deal is that it is all free...but be advised you will have your work cut out for you. The music rack and associated piece are there as is the pedal board (I think...can't remember if I saw one or not).
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That is a pretty awesome sight. I remember seeing another custom B3 in a magazine somewhere that had a Clavinet and Minimoog built into the wooden cabinet, side-by-side above the top organ manual. It was a boutique instrument and I would not want to imagine carrying it around. There was another Keyboard of the Month one time that had a B3 that had been customized to have a pinball machine built into the top of it, if I remember correctly. I'll try to find those photos and post them.




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Very impressive looking, but if it's in less than working condition, it looks like a nightmare, even for those of us who love the smell of solder in the morning.


I'm guessing that the third manual might have been wired to some other type of tone generator, possibly external, especially if the key contact mechanism feels all different. Even in a cabinet that big, I don't see where you'd put a second Hammond tone wheel chassis. I bet the whole thing was done by a theatre organ enthusiast who wanted to make their B more like a Wurlitzer.


Too bad it's been taken. I'm in Santa Barbara, and I would have definitely gone over to look at it. We have a lovely old Spanish-style theatre called the Arlington here, which includes a theatre pipe organ that I've actually never seen. Been meaning to go ask to see it sometime.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine


Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse



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