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Soulstation1

Pictures Of Bad Ass Hammond Organs

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what year?

i'm pretty sure mid-58.

it's really really nice. i'll keep the thread posted. i'm going to put a TrekII preamp in this bad boy, and maybe even hack the Speek EEEZEE nova bass ripoff into sounding like an actual nova bass and throw that in there.

when it's done it'll be running through a pair of 31Hs. what else for such a beautiful organ?

the rig i usually use is in these galleries:

http://suitandtieguy.com/sights/072106_ill...brewingcompany/

and http://suitandtieguy.com/sights/072906_cornfest/

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Looks like a beauty. What is the serial number? You can gauge the age by that. Why are you putting the TrekII preamp in it?

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I've been very lucky moving the big beast. I remember once, last winter, the guitarist in my r&b band didn't listen to me and tried to pick up one end while we were getting it into the van and the thing came down backwards. He was trying to stop it and I was yelling at him, "Get out of the way!" It's just an instrument! The damn thing could kill you! :)

No damage done to either man or beast.

I guess my worse would be related to stupid injuries. I was playing an outdoor, afternoon gig with my r&b band one fine summer day and then had to jet out of there and get to another gig with the trio over an hour away. So I'm loading up my rig really fast and for some reason I jam my thumb onto the corner of the Leslie and it pulls the nail back. OUCH!

The thing bleeds like crazy. We get to the other gig, I had no time to stop for band-aids or anything (this is my left-hand... bass playing hand) and I start playing and my thumb is bleeding all over the bottom manual as I play bass! :) Hurt like hell, too. But I got through it and got a lot of compliments from the crowd! :)

That would be the previous wimpy guitarist. I picked it up from that end by myself many a times.

Just had to make sure my honor was in tact. :D

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I've been very lucky moving the big beast. I remember once, last winter, the guitarist in my r&b band didn't listen to me and tried to pick up one end while we were getting it into the van and the thing came down backwards. He was trying to stop it and I was yelling at him, "Get out of the way!" It's just an instrument! The damn thing could kill you! :)

No damage done to either man or beast.

I guess my worse would be related to stupid injuries. I was playing an outdoor, afternoon gig with my r&b band one fine summer day and then had to jet out of there and get to another gig with the trio over an hour away. So I'm loading up my rig really fast and for some reason I jam my thumb onto the corner of the Leslie and it pulls the nail back. OUCH!

The thing bleeds like crazy. We get to the other gig, I had no time to stop for band-aids or anything (this is my left-hand... bass playing hand) and I start playing and my thumb is bleeding all over the bottom manual as I play bass! :) Hurt like hell, too. But I got through it and got a lot of compliments from the crowd! :)

That would be the previous wimpy guitarist. I picked it up from that end by myself many a times.

Just had to make sure my honor was in tact.
:D

:o:g

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There's a podcast interview with Pat Martino for his Tribute to Wes CD in which he recalls an instance where Wes and his organ player were carrying the B3 up a second story flight of stairs. He said Wes was really struggling and Pat was concerned for his health. Even for a musical giant like Wes Montgomery at the height of his fame, to think he was hauling around and carrying HIMSELF a Hammond B3 nightly is astounding. Those guys paid dues like we can't even imagine.

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I read an interview with Jon Lord (probably about 3 years ago) where he mentioned his main "axe" was a Hammond C-3 Organ that he purchased from Christine McVie back in the 70's.

Is there a huge tonal difference between the B3 and the C3?

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The only difference between a B3 and C3 is cosmetic. That said, there is usually quite a difference between ALL Hammonds as far as timbre is concerned, even within the same model. Each one sounds a bit different based on who EQ'd the preamp (different technicians at the Hammond factory had different ideas about EQ), who set up the tone generator, who chose the tubes, etc.

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Thanks Jim. Any idea how Lord got his sound? I've always loved that overdriven sound he has (example: Lazy).

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No Leslie. The organ is run through a Marshall stack.

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No Leslie. The organ is run through a Marshall stack.

:blink::o

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Thanks...I should've guessed that. I'm assuming that Ken Hensley from Uriah Heep used a similar setup.

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Looks like a beauty. What is the serial number? You can gauge the age by that.

thanks. it's in the 71000s, but looking at the construction of the music desk makes me think it's a '57. also, the fact that it was delivered to the house by Lyon & Healy on April 20th, 1958 makes me think it was probably actually built in 1957.

the back edge of the music desk immediately in front and below the piano hinge is an hard edge instead of a rounded bevel. you can tell in the photos.

Why are you putting the TrekII preamp in it?

because AO-28s all sound dull to my ears unless they've been rebuilt, and rebuilding an AO-28 is very expensive compared to something simple like a Leslie amp. moving to a TrekII preamp will make all the nice controls and interfacing i want (fx loop to begin with) significantly easier.

i recently did a signifiacnt amount of work on a poorly-maintained late fifties B3 that had been painted Krylon white (!!) and had an SSP-3 in it. by the time i was done with it (bussbar cleaning/lubrication, resoldering all drawbar terminals, 122 amp rebuild, Atlas PD60 replacing Jensen V21) i was blown away by how good it sounded.

and since this thread is about pictures of organs, here's a photo of where my rig was at by the time we got fired from the only regular gig we had late last year:

stg_rig_late_2006.jpg

yes. that entire rig (with 122 and 2 Mackie SR1530s) made it to our last gig. after we were fired i said "fuck this. i'm going to go on hiatus until i get a trailer."

it might seem completely obscene, but there at the end we were just a duet organ/drums and i was trying to bridge the gap between Klaus Schulze and Jimmy McGriff, which _requires_ an obscene amount of gear.

all that stuff off to the left is probably going to get put into a large rolling rack with a modular synthesiser, and eventually i'd like to replace the Juno-6 with a Jupiter-8. i might be able to leave the Minimoog at home if i did that (the Juno isn't good for mono leads. i used it for colourful arpeggios and ambient textures with the Eventide and looping delay.)

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Brightness can be achieved easier by replacing the tone generator capacitors and the chorus/vibrato line caps. My 1958 B3 has the stock preamp but all new caps and it will rip your head off in the high-end.

It's much less expensive, too. Think about it.

Also, the alnico drivers from BT Productions are better sounding (and again, less expensive) replacements for the V21 than the Atlas, imo. I highly recommend them.

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Brightness can be achieved easier by replacing the tone generator capacitors and the chorus/vibrato line caps. My 1958 B3 has the stock preamp but all new caps and it will rip your head off in the high-end.

the brightness that i'm talking about is actually top end click volume. i actually want a _dull_ generator, which is why the idea of recapping my generator scares the living shit out of me, but apparently this B3 i just got is so damn uneven i think i might have to.

if i _do_ recap, i'm going to build a cap switching box and recap this thing the way it was done at the factory ... sorting the caps down to .1% tolerance and using a DVM to measure what narrow capcitance range tunes the filter properly. i'll probably add the RC networks as well.

Also, the alnico drivers from BT Productions are better sounding (and again, less expensive) replacements for the V21 than the Atlas, imo. I highly recommend them.

i'll check it out for the work i do for other people. however, i used to have an 860 and have missed the tone of the PD60 ever since i stopped using the 860. at the time there were no commercially-available adaptors like the ploethera of spindle plates we have now, so i had to leave it behind.

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The key click volume is adjustable via resistors. I would seriously consider re-capping the generator. All B3s are uneven now, due to the youngest being over 30 years old. Goff has kits available that are pre-matched. A tad expensive, but worthwhile, imo.

When I re-capped my '58 B3, it really smoothed out the response across the manuals. I also cleaned the buss bars, which helped as well.

The RC networks are a must, too.

I just got an A100 for free that has some issues (weird harmonic things when certain combination of keys are pressed) and I'll probably re-cap that bad boy as well. I have not re-capped my C2 yet except for the chorus/vibrato line. It is a very dark organ.

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The key click volume is adjustable via resistors. I would seriously consider re-capping the generator. All B3s are uneven now, due to the youngest being over 30 years old. Goff has kits available that are pre-matched. A tad expensive, but worthwhile, imo.

the technique of how to recap is pretty much the only continuous flamewar in Hammondland.

there are three schools:

a) caps in a bag, matched to one another. not what was done at the factory.

b) binning the caps down to fine tolerance and then matching them to each inductor. what was done at the factory.

c) leaving it alone

all three seem to be at odds with one another. i find myself in B and C, because they make the most sense to me.

however, some fellow organists i like quite a bit have bought a bag-o-caps and liked them quite a bit. i'm sure there's a time and a place for everything, and if it sounds good it is good..

I also cleaned the buss bars, which helped as well.

did you pull the manuals out of the front or the back? i've been into this shit for years and it never occurred to me to pull the manuals out of the back until today, and i'm looking at this thing thinking "oh yeah. i think they're actually supposed to come out the back."

this monstrosity:

3.jpg

swept through my studio earlier this year. it's a 195x B3 that has just been beat to hell in black churches its whole life. they wanted me to "fix that noise" which through investigation turned out to be basically a shit-tonne of work which had been performed half-assed by a "tech" who basically knew what he was doing but didn't give a crap enough to do it properly.

i wound up cleaning the bussbars to discover that one of the tones which just wasn't working before was actually a _velocity_sensitive_cipher_ and now i'm having to figure out how to solve the problem.

anyway, we took the manuals out of the front but now i'm feeling incredibly stupid for that. live and learn, whatever.

oh btw this organ sounded fucking fantastic when i was done with it. i also retensioned the keys to Groove Holmes weight to preserve the already-damaged bussbars. i caught some shit for that but bent them back to limited-lifespan position in less than a half-hour with some short bent-nose pliers.

if you want to hear that ex-Skynard rig (including the leslie it was mated to), i recorded a cover of King Crimson's "Easy Money" with it which is up on our myspace space. "Root Down" and "DIG on these blues" were with the C2/Minimoog/122, and "For your own good" is an R-100 which has since became parts due to being evicted from its home.

The RC networks are a must, too.

yeah i'm quite up for that aspect of it.

I have not re-capped my C2 yet except for the chorus/vibrato line. It is a very dark organ.

my C2 has been my trusty companion for my entire organ-playing life. recapping is so not even in the radar, except for the delay line. it's a cusper ... it has the smooth drawbars and metal expression pedal. i don't think i could have asked for a better organ to find when i decided "yeah i need to own a Hammond."

i would like to rebuild the AO-10 preamp in that thing though. i also need to change the timing cap in the TrekII percussion unit as "fast" just isn't quite as snappy as i expect to hear. that unit also adds an undefeatable click artefact which i find extremely pleasant.

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I can't imagine not doing anything to the tone generator, as most organs that have been not re-capped are so uneven in tone across the manuals that it is just laughable. The big bag from Goff did well by me. If you listen to any of the recordings on myspace, or anything from our CDs, that is all my '58 B3 with the new caps in it. It is nice a punchy and bright with lots of definition. I used to get comments all the time about that rig. "How did you make it sound like that?"

As for cleaning the bus bars, I learned a really cool trick from a local tech (who is a genius when it comes to Hammonds and taught me everything I know about repairing them). You don't even need to take the manuals out to do this.

Obviously, unscrew the large bolts that hold the manuals in place from the bottom and all other screws from the wooden rail up top and the like. Basically get it so the manuals move freely. Then unsolder 20 or so tone generator / key connections on the back of the manuals (the black wires) starting from the center and fanning out both sides (ie, 10 per "side" starting in the middle). You'll probably end up doing more, but that should get it started.

Then have a friend help you put the organ on it's side. If you are looking at the organ from the front (like you're playing it), the organ needs to be on it's right side, so the reverse keys are sticking up in the air. I think... damn, it's been 10 years since I did a buss-bar job! :)

Well, whatever side the little metal plate that closes over the buss bars is on... that's the side you want up in the air (obviously). Then pull the manuals out like the pages of a book. If they can't come out far enough, unsolder more wires on the back.

Using this method you don't have to unsolder all the connections and you don't have to take the manuals out of the case, which is nice if there is no need to do either.

A little bit OT: I've never cared for the TrekII percussion, although I have it in three older Hammonds that I own. It's never sounded right to me... perhaps it is a function of being solid-state vs. tube? It's works in a pinch, but there's something about it that has always bothered me.

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A little bit OT: I've never cared for the TrekII percussion, although I have it in three older Hammonds that I own. It's never sounded right to me... perhaps it is a function of being solid-state vs. tube? It's works in a pinch, but there's something about it that has always bothered me.

solid-state vs tube is not as important as the fact that the envelope timing capacitor is too large, resulting in a completely different sound.

Mike told me which one to change a few years ago but i never did. i can probably tell just by looking at it ... i should pull it out and see if i can do something about it.

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Let me know if you do, 'cos I'd be interested in making it sound better.

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