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Thread: taking apart organs for first time and encountering problems

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo jayrees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    taking apart organs for first time and encountering problems

    ive recently got the hammond bug and acquired 3 hammonds in 3 weeks. leaving one pristine to play, a 56 or 7 M3 in playable but increasingly high-endless condition, i have been working on the others, another m3 and a t211-1, for the past couple days. i'm having these problems:

    I found the second m3 for $50 bucks and it sounded incredible in the church with lots of high end and percussion attack, but i had to grab it quick and thus had to cut it in half to get in the car. and i didn't have much time to do it, so i had to cut the cables to pedal board and a few others. i locked down the tonewheel in transport and though i had it on its back (keys up) for a while to get it up stairs on dolly, all of the wires seem connected. its really in ridiculously pristine condition inside, maybe it was serviced regularly, but it almost looks like it was never used and kept in a semi vacuum. the felt is still crisp and green and all the wires are unbent, clearly colored, not dusty or rusty.

    anyway, i reconnected all the wires except for the pedalboard bundle i had to cut without labeling. if i ever do this again i have to remember to cut the bundle at a sharp angle so it can easily be reconstructed by length of wires. but i thought it should work without worrying about pedalboard wires. well, the registers only seem to work well with vibrato on, there is hardly any volume without vibrato. the speaker is crackly and fuzzy ( in church it was crisp and clear, very loud). the lowest drawbars in particular are weak and distorted on both registers but particularly the lower. after playing for a few minutes it gets increasingly distorted and i have gotten scared and turned it off.

    i connected a few of the pedalboard wires and the three colored electrical wires in the pedalboard bundle, and even the swell pedal again to see if it was some weird ground problem i didn't understand (the t211 makes behaves similarly unless my foot is on swell pedal, making me think its a ground problem on that hammond). it seems to me it got a little better but distorts even more now that its a little louder so i turned it off again. none of the pedal tones work yet even though i connected three or four wires it seems to me obviously went back together because of their lengths and matching frays. it sounds like the gain is up too high, but again it didnt sound like that in church and i know the sound of an overdriven a0-29 from my other m3.

    i thought before i started trying to identify the problem by swapping out parts with the working, intact m3 ( and possibly render that one unplayable as well in the process ), i'd check here and see if anyone has any ideas. i have more mysterious problems with the t211 including a wavering f# that also sounds on the low Bb with the Bb tone. maybe the wheel is loose? i didn't think tonewheel organs needed tuning. then theres that grounding problem i mentioned where the static increases if i take my foot off swell pedal, and other weird problems i'll ask about later. the t-211 has been worked on by someone else before, there is a leslie conversion box in there and an installed half moon switch, and some other modifications. the m3 seems a lot simpler at a glance, but i have heard T's are easier to modify. im not too worried about breaking them as long as i emerge with at least one reliable, fairly portable stage spinnet at the end of my labors. thanks for any assistance or advice, i am more of a player than a technician!

  2. #2
    f Forte Jim Dep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    North Central Colorado

    Quote Originally Posted by jayrees View Post
    I found the second m3 for $50 bucks and it sounded incredible in the church with lots of high end and percussion attack, but i had to grab it quick and thus had to cut it in half to get in the car.
    Just curious.....what would have happened to the M3 if you weren't there to take it?
    Now: 1961 Hammond Extravoice F 100 , 1964 Hammond M 102, 1964 Leslie 125, Roland U20,
    1959 Jensen BF-100 Cabinet w/ 12" 2-way coaxial speaker H223F (cork sniffer worthy)

  3. #3
    fff Fortississimo blhristov's Avatar
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    Oct 2011

    Would be integral I guess. Just wonder what was its last wish? To be cut?

  4. #4
    pp Pianissimo BerneseMtnDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    I know people need to do what they feel they need to do but someone at the church should have told you it was a sin to cut up a pristine M3. As far as fixing it I would use the other M3 as a template (don't swap parts) but I'd advise against tearing it up too much or you'll end up with two funky (in a bad way) organs. Concentrate your efforts in the areas you cut and refer to the schematic in the manual. Go slow and you'll figure it out.

    1945 Hammond CV
    1955 Hammond M3 (full foldback and manual tapering)
    1969 Leslie 145
    1975 Rhodes Stage 73
    Yamaha Motif XS6
    Hohner Clavinet-Pianet Duo

  5. #5
    mp Mezzo-Piano clem's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    central Missouri

    1 members found this post helpful.
    YGTBSM. I have now, officially, heard of everything.

  6. #6
    Guest JonathanP's Avatar

    I have to admit, I only got to the bit where you cut a pristine M3 in half, and stopped reading as I now have a complete lack on interest in whatever you choose to do.

    Did you read about a chop? You must have done this inside, or just outside of the Church, right? With what, a hacksaw and some scissors or something? How does the case all fit back together? Was it a clean cut, or does it now look like a trainwreck?

    I know M3s are cheap, but most of them are in a lousy condition. This is because they get into the hands of people who do weird stuff with them that should never really own them in the first place. I think this just makes you fall into this category. To see it so pristine and then just tear it up is absolutely unbelieveable. Basically, you mean it was pristine. Well, how lovely, and very sad. What a way to tear up a lovely example of musical history.

    You listened to it in the Church, before you cut it in half, right? To put it another way, before you cut it in half and abused it. Now, maybe take a think about why it isn't working. Heck, maybe it doesn't want to work for you. Or maybe the old organist from the Church has a little curse on it now. Haha....!! But seriously, I'm sure it would've worked fine if you didn't put it through hell and instead just got a van for a day like anyone else would've done to such a lovely example.

    I think burning it and using the wood as firewood would've been a more dignified way to destroy it.......

  7. #7
    Guest Doddy's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by clem View Post
    YGTBSM. I have now, officially, heard of everything.

    "YGTBSM", I had to look that one up and FWIW, I'm LMFAO! He says NIFOC PMSL!


    Last edited by Doddy; 11-26-2013 at 09:16 PM.

  8. #8
    p Piano SwirlyGoodness's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Sylvania, OH

    I agree. Why wouldn't you have just tried to find a different way to get it home? Now you've made so much more work for yourself and destroyed the cabinet, among other things. Why was there such a rush? Was the person that sold it to you standing there to witness that? That would've been tough to watch. That's quite a shame.

    Also... What Doddy said!!
    '63 A100 & '71 145
    '76 Rhodes Stage w/ Silverface Vibrolux Reverb
    '72 Wurlitzer 206, w/ Vintage Vibe Classic 200 Amp
    Nord Electro 2

  9. #9
    Moderator Wes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Inverary, ON, Canada

    I can rent a pickup truck for $40/day locally. I wonder what they cost elsewhere..

  10. #10
    Guest JonathanP's Avatar

    Quote Originally Posted by Wes View Post
    I can rent a pickup truck for $40/day locally. I wonder what they cost elsewhere..
    Pickup trucks are affordable anywhere, definitely at the price of a "pristine" organ. If you can't afford the pickup truck, then get a lousy example to hack to pieces instead.

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