View Full Version : Hammond Grandee
03-22-2011, 04:57 AM
"Hi everybody, my name is Jerry, I have Hammond Aquisition Syndrome, I have been sober for about 6 months"
Of course, everybody recognizes this from the classic, 12 bass pedals addiction therapy.
Somebody tell me I should walk away from a one-owner, 197x vintage 11124x (that's all I know right now), recently serviced (whatever THAT means - it could mean "yeah, it will take at least 2 grand to get this piece of crap up and running").
A Hammond Grandee. Second from the top-of-the-line last ditch LSI Hammonds. Console, "drawbars", presets, Leslie, but of course not tonewheel.
I know exactly what to look for - but is it worth the trouble? Two-hour drive for me, one way. ARRRRGGGHHH! Your opinions?
03-22-2011, 01:48 PM
GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF!!!! Stop collecting this stuff and play more. You've got equipment, use it. Make some music. Get better at playing. Really, you've lost focus on what these instruments are. They are tools used to make music. MAKE SOME MUSIC! There's nothing wrong with a bit of collecting, but isn't music what this is all about. Stop collecting and start doing.
03-22-2011, 02:10 PM
Please leave it alone. Unless you want to buy a leash for it. I sold them new and they were not that great then.
These were transition pieces between the tonewheels and what Hammond could have been if not for the home organ crash and ultimate bankruptcy.
I just fixed and gave away a 8100 LSI, not Hammond's finest but the new owner is thrilled. I lightened it up by removing some motor and belt thing with a foam dohicky on it.
Seriously I stuck the old 8" back in the the side grill and it sounds better than the Leslie on ensemble. Kind of a stereo vibrato in a House of the Rising Sun way.
If you have Patience for a LSI wait for a free one.
04-15-2011, 10:41 PM
04-16-2011, 03:41 AM
Shady Joe was pretty critical of collecting. Fact is I've been a musician for 35 of my 45 years and for the first 10 year I had three guitars. All Gibson and so yeah' why bother collecting guitars since I already had three monsters! Okay so 20 years later I end up with a cheap looking, but not sounding IMO Yamaha B4CR "apartment size" spinet. Loved it, but of course there were more serious organs. So I got a Lowrey from the Heritage era of black white and maroon tab Lowrey's. The keys were awkward, but it really had a cool sound, just not exactly the tone I was looking for. So I went for a Hammond- got an A100 and a Leslie 122 for less than a $1,000 investment. Those first two organs were free. I stuck with the Hammond tone wheel organs for 5 years straight with no other organs. About 4 years into playing the Hammond TW's I had them down. I had spent thousands of hours over the five years refining my technique to the point of being able to play every note on the manuals in any given song progression simply because of the 9 contacts per key allowing either passing tones or partially pressed keys to emphasize intervals depending on draw bar settings. You'd think such an effort would pay off in total command of organ playing. Well, yes and no. It was right about the four year point that I began to realize that as awesome as the Hammond is, there were other organs. I was aware of this during my 5th year with my A100 and M3. Suddenly. I moved out of the State for work and during my stay my organs were stolen. I had actually had my Leslie 122 in a rehearsal studio so it was okay. Upon my return to Ohio I was organless for about a year when one day after helping a neighbor I was putting a rake away in her garage when I noticed a very old black Hammond chord organ. It was given to her from an aunt who had passed away. She gave it to me because no one else in the family wanted it. I played the S6 for 4 years as my only organ until last August 2010. All of the organs you see below on my list I 'collected', but I'd rathersay SELected. Why? Because long ago I realized that there are more organs out there that offered tones of the caliber that Hammond offered their tone wheels.
One piece of advice I can give you is to do your in depth research, craigslist perusing, and give yourself a window of time and a solid number to go by in terms of how many styles do you want to develop and how many organs are necessary to cover these styles. Of course there must be some compromise. For instance, I love the sound of the Thomas theater organs from around 1965-1972. I also love the Allen and Rodgers. I had to decide that if one of the three came along that was their ultimate design for the build era that I liked that this organwould have to be my choice. Sure enough, I found my Thomas Palace III for $100 and so I bought it. I decided right there and then that it would be my theater organ. Ironically I was given the somewhat ambiguous Wurlitzer 4500 at about the same time and I was completely unaware at the time that the 4500 is essentially a theater organ in a straight cabinet. Okay, I'll admit that moderator Andy mentioned this to me the day before I decided to go ahead and save it from the landfill where the woman who offered to me was going to be sending it to. The 4500 has sat in my garage since getting it and it wasn't until recently that I started to clean it up and play it. I had already played for many hours on my Thomas Palace when I finally set the time aside to get into the Wurlitzer 4500. The inspiration came from watching Dick Smith's youtube videos of his modified 4520 Wurlitzer. Turns out Dick only changed one filter capacitor in the power supply. His main 'modification' was the addition of a couple sets of Conn pipes and a pair of Leslie cabinets.
I jumped off the point I was making, but here it is. Only YOU know when enough is enough and if it is getting in your way of playing. When I got to 4 organs last October I began too feel obsessed and a couple of onlookers made the typical, " you are an organ addict" remarks. That's when I decided to sit myself down and see where i was at with it all. In doing so I realized i wasn't hiding behind an obsession, but instead i was developing my musical ear for organ to the point of really needing a few different models. I am not a musicain who will ever be happy with ANY all in one keyboard like the recent Wersi, Yamaha, Roland, etc. I'm a vintage organ lover because they are organs, not strings, beats,blah blah blah. My entire scope of organs were selected in less than 6 months. The urge to dream about getting that $100 Allen 417-TH I saw last week is there for a moment, but I am completely satisfied with the organs I have. I will say this- before I got the last organ, the 1946 Wurlitzer series 31 and the 310 tone cabinet, I was neither unsatisfied nor squirming with anxiety because I felt an addiction to getting organs. No, not at all. If one is a painter they buy the paint colors and brushes they need to do their work. Nothing at all wrong with getting the organs to cover a spectrum of tonality. I have no tone wheel organ now, but it certainly is not limiting me. What would be limiting is playing with doubt.
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