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Thread: Repair Help with a Lowery

  1. #1

    Repair Help with a Lowery

    I just received a Lowery organ that I believe is a Holiday Deluxe Model LSL. The tubes in the back light up but there is no sound coming out of the organ. Does anyone know how to fix this? Also, I heard there is a Leslie speaker inside the organ. Where is this at and is it removable if I cannot repair the organ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member jkrusel's Avatar
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    Wow! 1961 Vacuum tube Lowrey. Sounds like you have a project on your hands. But even working, it is probably not worth more than $50. I don't know if Leslie was making the small built-in tremolo units yet, since this was the very first home organ to get a built-in Leslie. Best bet is to take a peek in the back.

    "Does anyone know how to fix this?" Yeah, probably... Depends on how much time and money you want to spend. Your best bet is to get a service manual, if you are technically inclined, and start to test various parts to determine where the fault is. Basic technical troubleshooting.

    PLEASE BE CAREFUL - there are LETHAL high voltages inside the cabinet, even when it is off. I cannot stress this too strongly.

    You can get a service manual for it from:
    http://www.organservice.com/
    Last edited by jkrusel; 09-01-2010 at 08:31 PM.
    Jerry in Leslie, spinning around trying to find my way

    1990 Korg M1 - moved on to a new life
    1981 Lowrey MX-1 - giant box of bad connections
    1975 Lowrey TGS - gathering dust
    1973 Hammond T-524C w/mods - fun machine!
    1972 Hammond XTP - moved on
    1971 Gulbransen Premiere PR (1154) - awesome sound!
    1965 Hammond E-133 w/mods - her name is Emmanuele, and we are in love

  3. #3

    Thanks for your help. But where would the Leslie speaker be located at?
    This is the first organ I ever owned. These are pictures of the back. If any of these things look familiar to you please let me know. Thanks so much!
    Picture 002.jpgPicture 001.jpgPicture 006.jpgPicture 005.jpgPicture 004.jpg

  4. #4
    Senior Member jkrusel's Avatar
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    Sorry friend, but the pictures just don't cut it! Too small, too dark and it's impossible (at least for me) to see what is where. Maybe a flash picture of the entire back of the organ, and then we can point out landmarks.

    The Leslie would usually be near a side, look for a wooden or styrofoam bafle that rotates freely, with a speaker pointed into it. Or it might be a self-contained unit wrapped in acoustic batting, it will be at least 15x15x6 or so in size - it will take up maybe a fourth of the space in the bottom of the cabinet. Might be behind the chassis with all the tubes (second picture).
    Last edited by jkrusel; 09-02-2010 at 03:42 AM.
    Jerry in Leslie, spinning around trying to find my way

    1990 Korg M1 - moved on to a new life
    1981 Lowrey MX-1 - giant box of bad connections
    1975 Lowrey TGS - gathering dust
    1973 Hammond T-524C w/mods - fun machine!
    1972 Hammond XTP - moved on
    1971 Gulbransen Premiere PR (1154) - awesome sound!
    1965 Hammond E-133 w/mods - her name is Emmanuele, and we are in love

  5. #5
    Senior Member geoelectro's Avatar
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    No Leslie in those pictures. Sorry...

    Geo

  6. #6
    Moderator andyg's Avatar
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    Minor historical correction. The first organ with an internal leslie was a Gulbransen B1 - in 1957. The Lowrey Holiday LSL is indeed from 1961. Don Leslie and Dick Petersen of Gulbranson were friends and it was Peterson who approached Don Leslie with the idea of incorporating a Leslie unit in their new transistor organs, the rest is history.
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com



    Current organ: Kawai SR6 + Leslie 760 Walnut
    Retired Organs: Lots! Including Hammond T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2012 Pacemaker. Kimball something-or-other.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145, 760, 710, 415 x 2.

  7. #7

    Ok thanks for your help guys. Would the Leslie be the main source of volume? because there are two speakers in there but they look newer than the rest of the parts. Jkrusel click on the second picture that is the entire back of the organ. Thanks again, I just wish I could play this damn thing.

  8. #8
    Moderator andyg's Avatar
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    The leslie unit in the LSL would be very obvious to spot, which makes me think this is a slightly earlier LS, LSA or LSB model. The LSL has a set of horizontal slats on the front panel, below the speaker cloth, if that helps you. A photo of the front of the organ might clinch the ID, so we know what we're dealing with.

    The leslie would not in itself be a source of volume. The organ has one amp, with the LSL being able to route its output (except the bass) through the leslie or the static speakers. Bass would always come through the static speakers as the leslie would only have an 8" or 10" driver.
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com



    Current organ: Kawai SR6 + Leslie 760 Walnut
    Retired Organs: Lots! Including Hammond T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2012 Pacemaker. Kimball something-or-other.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145, 760, 710, 415 x 2.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jkrusel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyg View Post
    The leslie unit in the LSL would be very obvious to spot, which makes me think this is a slightly earlier LS, LSA or LSB model. The LSL has a set of horizontal slats on the front panel, below the speaker cloth, if that helps you. A photo of the front of the organ might clinch the ID, so we know what we're dealing with.
    That's what I thought too, unless the Leslie was removed earlier, because frankly it's the most valuable component on this organ, maybe next to the tubes.
    There should be a nameplate with model and serial number, that would sure confirm it.
    Jerry in Leslie, spinning around trying to find my way

    1990 Korg M1 - moved on to a new life
    1981 Lowrey MX-1 - giant box of bad connections
    1975 Lowrey TGS - gathering dust
    1973 Hammond T-524C w/mods - fun machine!
    1972 Hammond XTP - moved on
    1971 Gulbransen Premiere PR (1154) - awesome sound!
    1965 Hammond E-133 w/mods - her name is Emmanuele, and we are in love

  10. #10

    Hi there, having recently technically restored an old Lowrey organ like this one (which, based on the tube compliment of the vertical row of five tubes on the right hand side of the organ when viewed from the rear, would appear to be a Holiday LSB model) I cannot help but feel compelled to offer my thoughts, for what they may be worth. Firstly, I can definitely say that there is no Leslie speaker in this example, not even behind the chassis, as the particular Holiday model from the relevant era (ie late '50's~early '60's) which had a Leslie (ie the LSL) also had a differently designed and shaped chassis in order to accomodate the Leslie speaker at the right-hand side of the cabinet. In regards to the problem of no sound from the organ, this could be due to a multitude of potential problems. I would say that the most likely problem would be with the wire-wound power resistors in the power supply going open-circuit. Other things to look for would be an open-circuit output transformer, a faulty rectifier tube (the rectifier is the largest of the tubes on the chassis, and is located at the bottom right-hand side of the chassis), corrosion on the pins of the speaker plug, or a faulty pre-amp tube just to name a few things. You will more than likely find that most of the tubes in the tone generator (ie the twelve groups of three 6X8 tubes next to the metal cans on the chassis) will be OK, but one of the 12AX7 tubes could be faulty. Also, be prepared to replace quite a few of the neon lamps in the tone generator, as the leads on these corrode right through where the leads enter the glass envelope, resulting in 8' and 4' stops on the upper manual not allowing all notes to sound. Lots of possibilities I guess, but as this is a charming and well-built approx. 50 year old vintage musical instrument with a lovely vintage sound and indeed an exemplary example of electronic music heritage, it is definitely well worth the effort of restoring and thence playing regularly! It would be sacriledgious to cannabilize this organ just for parts. Are you knowledgeable in relation to valve electronics? If so, the service manual (which is available from the Organ Service Corporation) will prove invaluable. Just be very careful when working on this instrument, as DC voltages exceeding 320V are present at sufficient current to cause electrocution!!

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