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Thread: Hammond composer 144

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo ak2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Hammond composer 144

    Hello. I am going to check out a Hammond composer 144 tomorrow because i want to buy one obviously. Do any of you have experience with a composer 144? what do you think about it? The genres i am plannig to use it for are classical music, jazz and hard rock.
    ++ what should i check the organ for when i am at the buyers house?


  2. #2
    f Forte handyczech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Princeton, IL birthplace of Virgil Fox

    The composer series was designed as a home model spinet. It is not necessarily conducive to playing classical music because it is a spinet, and it does not take the pounding usually associated with hard rock.

    It does not contain any of the favored Hammond features from the older series. There are a couple of forum members that have one, but since this is a lower-end LSI model, it has no special attributes or value. These can require some work to bring back to near 100%, even if used only lightly or not at all. After all, these are ove 30 years old. How would you feel about a 30+year old computer? Connectors will need cleaning, leslie oiled, possibly other issues.

    If you like it for what it is, buy it and enjoy it. Do not give more than a couple of bucks. My Aurora from the same era is far more feature-rich, and it was $50. 144 is neither a reliable workhorse or a cash cow.
    Larry K
    Princeton, IL

    Hammond BV+DR-20, Mathushek Square piano from 1934
    Retired: Hammond L-102, M-3, S-6, H-112, B-2+21H+PR-40, B-3+21H, Hammond Aurora Custom, Colonnade.

  3. #3
    ff Fortissimo tobeycat2007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    If can get it for free or very little then consider it, until better hammond comes along, plenty better hamonds ( worse ones also ), although they do have socket ready for later leslie cabinet!

  4. #4
    f Forte kkeys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by ak2 View Post
    what should i check the organ for when i am at the buyers house?
    Go through all the tabs and drawbars to determine if they work.
    Have: Hammond 340212 Elegante
    Had: Hammond T-311 and 333114 Colonnade
    Never will have: Laurens Hammond 350 w/ 2 - 751 Leslies

  5. #5
    ppp Pianississmo ak2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    after seeing the comments here and comparing them with the price of the seller i decided to give it up hhh...

  6. #6
    Moderator Brendon Wright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    New Zealand

    Perhaps a wise choice!
    I picked up a free composer and gave it to my dad. It's a fun toy (has a cool arpeggiator!) but not of the type to do Keith Emerson imitations on.
    It plays "popcorn" really nicely though.
    -1958 Hofner 550 archtop guitar -1959 C3 and PR40- -1964 Busillachio Harmonium- -1964 M101-
    -1967ish Leslie 122- -1975 T500 (modded..chopped, and reassembled!)-
    -DIY 760 FrankenLeslie/rat hideout-
    -1980 Electrokey Electric Piano- -Yamaha electric Harmonium (early 80's?)-
    -1990 Jansen GMF150 amp- -1992 Korg 01W/fd- -1992 G&L S-500 geetar.

  7. #7
    ppp Pianississmo Patsaxon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Nashville, Tennessee

    I used to sell Hammond organs in the 1980's and I know so much about the composer series. Plus, I still have an owner's manual to review. These were fun organs to play on and were very affordable. But what was unique about these organs, is that it was the very first to have one finger chord system, programable for songs and had an electronic game on the higher end models. The very last of the composer series had the digital Auto Vari, but was the top of line version. If you have any questions about any of the 70's, 80's and 1990's model, please let me know as I am a Hammond expert.

  8. #8
    Moderator andyg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Newhaven, UK

    Not sure what you mean by 'first to have the one finger chord system', Pat, but that was around many, many years before the Composer series. Can't remember the very first make to do it, probably Yamaha or one of the Italian companies and it would have been in the mid 70's, definitely no later.
    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 -

    Current organ: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition
    Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball something-or-other.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.

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