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Other Hammonds worth owning?


Mark V

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I saw an add on our notice board at work for a Hammond organ which I suspect by the photo is nothing special,I've heard of the B3 (alot)and probably heard it on recordings thousands of times without even realising .Is there any other model worth having?Just curious.
I once had a quasi-religious experience..then I realised I'd turned up the volume.
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Originally posted by Mark V:

I saw an add on our notice board at work for a Hammond organ which I suspect by the photo is nothing special,I've heard of the B3 (alot)and probably heard it on recordings thousands of times without even realising .Is there any other model worth having?Just curious.

Choosing a Hammond is an art in itself. They were first introduced in the '30's, using what by today's standards is a very primitive mechanism - a motor that spins a bunch of "tonewheels," each of which creates a single sound. The drawbars and/or stop tabs mix these simple sounds into complex ones. The tonal imperfections of such a primitive system are today the highly-valued nuances that comprise the "Hammond sound." Virtually all Hammonds used variations of this system until around 1975, when the tonewheel generator was replaced in large part with electronic imitations, that most people would call inferior. It is relatively easy to electronically create the basic sounds, but much more difficult to reproduce the imperfections that are an important part of the overall sound. Recent models have begun to use sampling and other sophisticated techniques to reproduce not only the basic tones but the transient nuances (keyclick, attack, percussion, crosstalk, etc.) in the sound.

 

The B3, C3, and A100 all used basically the same tone generator system, so are sonically equivalent. Prior models (B2, C2) lack percussion, a fairly important tonal characteristic, although it can be added to these older models today. The "spinet" models, M3, L3, are basically tonewheel based organs that were cheaper and somewhat less versatile models than the B3, but still produce the "Hammond sound" for the most part - in fact, many of these were/are used in popular music, because they were lighter and cheaper. Electronic models manufactured after about 1975 are not nearly as desirable as the "tonewheel" organs - they sound rather different from the older ones, although they may be passable in some cases.

 

So, the most desirable models (like the B3) are all at least 30 years old, which is problem in itself. While they were very well-built, they do require a little TLC. An organ that hasn't been serviced (oiled) regularly will almost certainly become problematic, if it isn't already. The only parts that are available are salvaged from other, old models, although tubes are generally available, and some third-party companies make some add-on or repair parts.

 

There is a great deal of info on individual models here.

Another very useful reference is the book by Mark Vail entitled The Hammond Organ: Beauty in the B.

 

Hopefully this gives you some places to start. If you search this forum you will also find numerous threads that discuss various models.

 

- Bob

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Before I got my A100 I owned a CV. Man, did that organ rock.... I had them together in my studio for a couple weeks and I almost chose the CV over the A100. BTW, that CV taught me that percussion can be simulated. A drawbar setting of 7770800000 works, and you can extend that sound up an octave on the other manual by using 007770800. It's a better 'simulation' on faster, staccato playing than on pads or legato stuff.

Originally posted by Dave, the Rave:

Don't forget the BV :thu: You can add percussion etc. to most of the older models to get them to sound very B3-like.

:DTR

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Some of the coolest ones are the "odd" models: D, E, F, G, RT, Grand...

 

I have a D-152, it's basically an A-100 with a 32-note pedalboard and a "Solo pedal unit", which is a monophonic tone generator that provided 32', 16', 8', 4', and 2' tones to the pedals in addition to the regular tonewheel 16' and 8'. Fully AGO compliant. It weighs about 550 lbs - after a year, my living room floor began sinking - we had to get the floor braced underneath.

 

Wonder if it'll handle a Leslie now???

 

The RT and the Grand sound awesome - but they're both even heavier...

 

Daf

I played in an 8 piece horn band. We would often get bored. So...three words:

"Tower of Polka." - Calumet

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I have a C2 that was made in 1950 that I have upgraded a lot. I added a Trek II percussion unit to it to make it essentially a C3. VERY funky sounding organ. I run it out to a L142.

 

http://www.wornfedora.com/phpatm/files/JonDoe/Music/studio3.jpg

 

http://www.wornfedora.com/phpatm/files/JonDoe/Music/studio5.jpg

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Going back to the original question:

 

Any of the tonewheel Hammonds are desirable to some degree.

 

The M-series & L-series spinets, if they are in good working order, are worth anywhere from $50 to maybe $250 - depending on the buyer. I ould not pay more than $100 for one, and it would have to be in good shape.

 

The consoles (A-series, B-series, C-series, RT, D-series, etc)are woth more depending on a number of factors. The B3 is THE collectible organ. If you want a collector's pice, look for a pristine B3 an expect to pay many thousands of $$$ for it. If you just want the sound and feel without the collector's pricetag, the A10x are a great place to look. An A100 can often be had for far less than a thousand dollars, and it sounds & feels like the famous B3. In addition it's substantially lighter and narrower and therefore easier to move if you want to gig with it. A C3 IS a B3 but in a church-style case, and it's even heavier than the B3. They're cheaper than B3s but more expensive than A100s.

 

So when deciding what to get, keep your purpose & available $$$ firmly in mind. Happy hunting!

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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I think you have to gut the A-100 to make it lighter than the B3 - it's got a power amp, speaker, reverb unit, and back panel that are all missing from the B3. There's a company that specializes in chopping A-100's - I disremember their name though.

 

Daf

I played in an 8 piece horn band. We would often get bored. So...three words:

"Tower of Polka." - Calumet

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Here's my patented tonewheel Hammond desireability scale, in order:

 

1. B-3

2. C-3

3. A-100

4. B-2

5. C-2

6. BV/BC/BCV/D/DV

7. RT-3/RT-2/E

8. A

9. M-3 (the best spinet)

10. M-2

11. L-100

12. M-100 (extra unnecessary stuff over the L-100)

13. Grand 100 (I know, not practical in the least)

13. X-77/X-66 (ditto, but still cool)

 

As for the H-100, H-200, T-100, N-100, K-100, J-100, E-100, etc - you can have them.

 

Just my opinion.

:thu:

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Thanks again you guys .I 'll give this guy a bell and find out what model it is.

Judging by the photo of the thing,it would look good in my lounge if I had mahogany wood paneling,shag pile carpet and a couple of bright orange lamp shades.

I once had a quasi-religious experience..then I realised I'd turned up the volume.
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The Hammond AV was left out of the list above. Here is a picture of my 1936 Hammond AV, with Trek II percussion and variable chorus mod. Just as good as an BV/CV/DV! In fact, many Hammond players like these older models due to the lack of bass foldback and sinewave bass pedals.

 

http://www.geocities.com/hammodelav/

Hammond T-582A, Casio WK6600, Behringer D
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Originally posted by Hammodel AV:

The Hammond AV was left out of the list above. Here is a picture of my 1936 Hammond AV, with Trek II percussion and variable chorus mod. Just as good as an BV/CV/DV! In fact, many Hammond players like these older models due to the lack of bass foldback and sinewave bass pedals.

 

http://www.geocities.com/hammodelav/

Hey, Brian, that Kawai K3 is in great shape! Do you get alot of use out of it? Is it velocity sensitive when triggered from another keyboard?

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Originally posted by Hammodel AV:

The Hammond AV was left out of the list above.

That's because I thought I was digging far enough into the obscure "organs you'll never find" category as it was. An AV - I've never even seen one!

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Originally posted by Hammodel AV:

Here is a picture of my 1936 Hammond AV, with Trek II percussion and variable chorus mod. Just as good as an BV/CV/DV! In fact, many Hammond players like these older models due to the lack of bass foldback and sinewave bass pedals.

 

http://www.geocities.com/hammodelav/

Sweet!

 

Here's my D-152, also left off the list. It's a 1964, I think. This was the ebay pic from when I bought it:

 

http://www.recordingproject.com/bbs/files/d152.jpg

 

Daf

I played in an 8 piece horn band. We would often get bored. So...three words:

"Tower of Polka." - Calumet

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I *think* that the Kawai K-3 was velocity-sensing from other keyboards as well, up until it died last month. I used it as a controller more than a slaved module, and as a primary keyboard for ELP-like synth sounds.

 

As to the Hammond AV, yes it is probably one of the rarer finds. I actually converted it to an AV from a second Hammond model A. The vibrato kits were made available around 1945 to upgrade the model A, AB, BC, C, and D organs to enable chorus on vibrato via a mixing resistor instead of the chorus generator available on the BC model. Notice that the model A cabinet is narrower than a B-3. On the AB model, the cabinets were increased to allow for the depth of the chorus generator added on the BC model. This depth increase stayed for the remaining models. The A-100 is about the depth of the A, which causes the preamp to have to be mounted upside down on the bottom of the generator shelf, instead of like the model B/C organs.

 

Brian

Hammond T-582A, Casio WK6600, Behringer D
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I rang the bloke in question today,he had a pile of crap for sale,he quoted me this number : D9822-RT. I jokingly asked if he had not confused the number for the SLR camera or maybe the tractor with the bucket loader attached.He wasn't amused.

Anyway scaning down Moes list I see there was a D series.I think it could be a lemon?

BTW I have a lava lamp in my little studio next to the couch.

I once had a quasi-religious experience..then I realised I'd turned up the volume.
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The serial number quoted is confusing, indicating a D or RT model.

 

A D and an RT model Hammond are similar, with the RT having vibrato and maybe a pedal solo system like the RT-3 and 32 note AGO pedals. A D has chorus generator/tremulant, 25-note Hammond standard pedals, and a case like a C. The biggest question to ask is if there are reverse color keys on the left of each manual, denoting a Hammond console with a real tonewheel generator.

 

Brian

Hammond T-582A, Casio WK6600, Behringer D
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Originally posted by DafDuc:

My D-152 has a 32-note pedalboard.

D and D-100 series are completely different. D-100 is an RT plus internal amp and speakers, while D is a BV (or is it a BC) in a C cabinet.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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I have an A-101, which is a very close sibling to the more prevalent A-100. I believe they are identical other than slight cabinet differences. Here's a photo that shows part of my organ and Leslie setup at home.

 

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/eslawson/rig_at_home.JPG

 

Regards,

Eric

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Originally posted by eric:

I have an A-101, which is a very close sibling to the more prevalent A-100. I believe they are identical other than slight cabinet differences.

Yes indeedy. For those interested, here's a page scanned from my old Hammond catalog showing various A-100 styles:

 

A-100 styles

 

In addition, the dreaded French Provincial style was the A-102.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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