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Thread: Kimball Organ

  1. #1

    Kimball Organ

    Hi, I'll be short...

    We got a kimball organ that was used (its old...). The organ won't play, we found 2 dead mice in it already. We remember playing on it several years ago. I took some pictures. There is a strange ball of cloth material stuff that was in the top right hand side of the back.
    Help is appreciated,
    It's a Kimball (model number, I think - R32)(serial number, I think - 377179) Entertainer, Aquarius...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Orgrinder010's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Re: Kimball Organ

    Mice love yummy wires. Remove the nest and re-attach whats been chewed.

    ~1936 Hammond AV - Leslie 122 & PR40~ ~1954 Wurlitzer ElectroStatic 4602 - Leslie 125~

  3. #3

    Re: Kimball Organ

    What you have is a solid state, short keyboard organ that makes few good organ sounds and has lots of gadgets that only the demonstrator at the music store ever used. If you are lucky, there might be a fuse near the power supply that has blown and that you can replace, but probably not. Kimball did build some with an internal leslie speaker, but this is probably too low on the line, or too late in the manufacture, to have one. If OGs suggestion doesn't work, you might be able to salvage the speaker. I'm betting the case is pressed wood with a photo finish and would not even make a good cabinet. Sorry for the gloomy forecast.

    OH! one quick Idea. Look under the keyboards for a headphone plug and see if it has an on/off switch by it.


  4. #4

    Re: Kimball Organ

    I have a Kimball organ similar to yours, made in the 70s (mine is M75 - Temptation). A repair person who once worked on it said that mice are the great enemies of organs. They like to chew on wires and relieve themselves on circuit boards, both of which can cause big problems.

    As another poster already indicated, check all the fuses. There may be many of them, scattered around in different places.

    If you have the time, you can probably diagnose the problem yourself, once you get the schematic (wiring diagram), which can probably still be found for this model. Diagnosing can a take a lot of hours, though.

    These Kimball organs from the 70s went into production as the company was fading, and Kimball cut a lot of corners in making them (in Mexico).

    The pedals are made of plastic and break easily. The cabinet is particleboard with a very thin veneer of something that Kimball claims is walnut (ha, ha, ha).

    Nonetheless, I do like some of the sounds on my Kimball (the tibia and the reeds). Also, it has a hearty internal Leslie speaker. For these reasons, I've decided to keep mine. (I also have a Yamaha Electone organ from the same period, which is made better.)

    You won't be able to sell this organ unless it's in near-perfect working condition, and even then, don't expect much (maybe $50).

  5. #5

    Leslie speaker ????

    Thank you to anyone who has given me any suggestions.I have one more question; I would like to know if these models came with Leslie speakers, or how I can for surrely tell. I feel that the organ itself might not be worth much, but it might have a good speaker. Some numbers are written on the back of the speaker, but I do not know what they mean. By the sounds of some of the tips that I recieved, the organ could be in bad shape. Is their a way I can tell that it does have a quality sounding speaker.


    P.S-(My model seems to be an R-32).

  6. #6

    Re: Leslie speaker ????

    I am guessing that you are completely in the dark on Leslies. A Leslie speaker is not a cone, frame and magnet combination, it is what you would recognize are a speaker shooting into a spinning drum, either wood or styrofoam, or is some cases an oval speaker mounted in a spinning frame. The setup, invented by Don Leslie in California just before WWII, was designed to produce a natural sounding theatrical tremelo for the Electrical organs of the day, mostly Hammonds. Originally they were mounted with their own amplifier in a square case about 6' tall. About 1960 small versions were developed to be installed directly in an organ cabinet; first Gulbransen, then most others. When Leslie' patent expired, some companies tried their own imitations, but by the middle 70s many had gone back to cheaper electronic tremelos and vibratos.

    Used Leslies in separate cabinets with tube amps and separate bass and treble rotors can sell for $1000+, but internal built-in units removed bring only about $25-$40 on ebay.

    I did not see anything in your pics that looked like a Leslie, but there are two grey and one black rocker tabs on the left of your stop rail that might be Leslie switches. As to "does it have a quality sounding speaker" the only way to tell is to connect the speaker to some source of amplified output signal (probably 4 or 8 o hms), and listen. Any 12" speaker that works should be of some worth to you, but in that cheaper era of building, 8' speakers were being substitued.


  7. #7

    Re: Oh My!

    It looks like you have a mouse organ!

  8. #8

    More Details on Kimball Aquarius

    From what I've been able to find on the Net, this organ (the Kimball Aquarius) went into production in 1978. From pics that I've seen, the Aquarius appears to be a diminished version of certain other spinets made by Kimball in this period. These, in turn, are diminished versions of its console organs.

    You can tell if the Aquarius has an internal Leslie. Look at the back of the organ, with the back panel removed.

    If it has a Leslie speaker, it is probably on the right side. The Leslie will be completely enclosed in its own container, a wooden or metal box. You won't be able to see the back of the cone, as you can with the other speakers, because of the enclosing box.

    Sometimes you can also detect the internal Leslie from the front, through the grill cloth. If you shine a bright light, at just the right angle, you can see through the fibers of the grill cloth to what's underneath.

    The Leslie will appear as a disk, with a wedge of it removed, behind which is the speaker. The disk rotates in front of the speaker.

    This style of Leslie is much different from the style in external Leslies. These have rotating drums and rotating horns. But they are all the brainchild of Don Leslie.

    Here's a recent ad for an Aquarius Organ. As you can see, it didn't do too well:

  9. #9

    Wierd Sounds

    We tested our kimball organ today and put another speaker in the place of the existing speaker so we could diagnose (SP) the problem, but our other speaker wouldn't produce sounds either. While messing with it later I got some sounds to produce. I think the speaker inside the organ is not the problem. When I turn on a stop and hit a key (just 1) it produces several tones of (I'm guessing) that stop. When I lift up from the keyboard it continues to sustain its note. When I push another stop, it takes that same tone(s) and puts it on that stop.
    Any suggestions?


  10. #10

    Re: Leslie speaker ????

    Hello Kimballdude, I have an older Kimball 1360, approximately a 1968-1970 year model which is a spinet, and it has a Leslie speaker in the console. It is easy tolocate. My Leslie is located in the left lower corner of the console. It uses a 10" speaker, in front of a rotating "impeller", which is a styrofoam wheel approximately 16-18" in diameter, and perhaps 5-6 inches thick. It has blades cut out in the impeller, which scatters the sound of the 10" speaker. There are also louvers on the lower left-hand end of the organ for the escape of the output from the Leslie. The Leslie also has two drive motors mounted on the board, and a belt from the motor to a pulley on the shaft on which the impeller is located. It is a large unit, and you cannot miss it. Normally, the Leslie has two speeds, and OFF. It really stirs up the sound coming from the organ. You can hear the high speed or low speed of the Leslie, and also turn it OFF if desired. However, my comments are related to the Model 1360, and may or may not be applicable to your model. Good luck! REEDMAN.


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