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Saving Vintage Tonewheel Console Organs

B2 Before and After

Have you been looking for a New Hammond Organ and found that you just can't afford it. Or maybe you just don't want to give up your old friend. We have several ways of helping you from a basic electrical upgrade, making the organ and speaker compliant with the National Electric Code to fully custom refinishing and upgrade of the electronics

N.E.C. Compliance Upgrades

Will your the Vintage Organ and Rotary Speaker in your Church pass either a insurance or electrical inspection. More then likely it won't.

There are two important safety issues that you should know concerning vintage
Hammond Organs and Leslie Speakers.

  1. Virtually all installations in churches will not or don't meet the N.E.C. "Electrical Code."
  2. Virtually all vintage Hammond organs are electrically unsafe as they are not polarized.

N.E.C. Information

The National Electric Code (N.E.C.) is the body that oversees the
standardization of the Electrical Codes for building and construction. These are the codes that fire marshals, electrical and insurance inspectors use when making sure the wiring in a building is safe and "meets code."

Before 1996, the N.E.C. changed the code in regards to AC electrical power and telecommunications. Audio and data signals cannot be sent through the same cable or conduit. In 2005 the N.E.C. code, Article 800.133, changed again stating that both power and signal must have a separation of 50mm (about 2 inches). Simply, the majority of vintage Hammond organs connected to a Leslie Speaker with a tube amplifier using a 6 or 5 pin cable are in violation of the N.E.C. code. There is 120v AC and the audio signal in the same cable.

Please watch this quick video that shows what we are describing.

N.E.C. Video

Contact us today and we will be happy to mail you our free informational brochure about being N.E.C. compliance.

Remember we need your name and physical address if you want the printed brochure.

We offer a range of options to upgrade your vintage tonewheel organ and rotary speaker so that your Church is N.E.C. compliant. Please call us today at (484) 478-0095 and ask about becoming N.E.C. complaint. Don't wait until your told that you can't use the organ.

Interior Overhaul/Upgrade

Did you know that the first Hammond B3's and C3's started being manufactured in 1954 and last B3's and C3's were made in 1975? That means all of these organs are more then 40 years old.

Most of these organs are at the point that they really need a major overhaul of the inside of the organ. Even those organs that someone got out of a living room require this.

An overhaul of the interior of your present organ will extend the life of both the organ and rotary speaker. They will sound better and both the organ and speaker will be N.E.C. complaint.

We realize that not everyone needs a new organ. You may want to consider the interior overhaul as an option. It can save thousands of dollars an put life back into your present organ and speaker.

For more information and free brochure call us at (484) 478-0095 and we can speak with you about your options. Also, check out our L.E.O web page.

L.E.O.

Interior Overhaul & Upgrade Options

There is a select group of vintage Hammond organs that qualify for restorations and the are as follows;

A*, AV, AB, A100 series

BC, BVC, BV, B2, B3

CV, C2, C3

D, DV, D150 Series

E

RT, RT2, RT3

*Some model A's can not have the buss bars cleaned as there is no access to them.

About "Factory Rebuilt" Vintage Hammond Organs

For the record, Hammond Suzuki USA does not rebuild old Hammond organs such as the B-3, C-3 or any other Tonewheel Hammond. Should someone tell you that they have talked to "The Factory" about purchasing or having a Tonewheel Hammond Organ rebuilt at The Factory, they didn't talk or deal with Hammond Suzuki USA.

Unfortunately, some repair businesses mislead the consumer by saying that they are a "Factory" thus giving them the impression that they are the Hammond Factory when in fact, they are not. Any consumer should be very wary of this when the word "factory" is used.

There are also two other reasons why a consumer cannot buy a factory rebuilt Tonewheel Hammond, and they are as follows:

  1. The original Hammond Organ Company destroyed most, if not all of the tooling to make Tonewheel organ parts. This would include tonewheels, vibrato/chorus scanners, tonewheel chaises, pre-amp housings, key channels, contact assembles, and the keys themselves.
  2. New replacement parts availability for older organs is getting smaller and smaller and therefore, harder to locate.

One additional item to be aware of is people using words like "Gone Over." This is not rebuilding or restoring. It usually means that the very minimum has been done to the instrument. In the industry it's referred to as a "blow out," someone blows out the dust and sells it.

If you are going to purchase or have a vintage Hammond restored or rebuilt. . . PLEASE! GET AN SIGNED, ITEMIZED LIST OF WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO THE INSTRUMENT. DON'T TAKE ANYONE'S WORD AS TO WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO IT.

IF YOU DON'T GET IT IN WRITING THEN,
"BUYER BEWARE!!!!"

We know of a church that paid over $4,000.00 to have someone "rebuild" their organ. After they got the organ back they found out that "only" the scanner was cleaned.

We hope that this is some help!

WARNING! There is NO NATIONAL used organ or speaker warranty.

Here is an example of what can happen. You or your Church just purchased a used vintage tonewheel organ and speaker from a person or business over 1000 miles from you. It was delivered and it's not working. But you think, "we are covered" because "they gave me a warranty." So you call the local organ service company and tell them you need the organ fixed and it's under warranty. Do you know who is coving the warranty? The person or company that sold it to you not the local service company or tech. This means you pay the local service tech or service company. Then you hope you get reimbursed by the seller.

Remember, that when you purchase from someone far away you are really are buying everything "AS IS!" This is especially true when you purchase a long distance away from where you are. Again! There is NO NATIONAL used organ or speaker warranty covered by someone else. Fact is you have less recourse the further away you purchased the organ and/or speaker.

You should really think twice before you purchase an organ and speaker from across the country or far away from where you are. Make sure that you have in writing the terms of the warranty and DO NOT accept an "Covered by 90 day warranty" written on the invoice. GET A WRITTEN WARRANTY with the terms of the warranty.

There is no such thing as a Certified or Factory Certified Vintage Hammond Tonewheel and Leslie technician or service company. This is totally false. Since Hammond Suzuki doesn't support the vintage tonewheel organs or provided any replacement parts for them how can someone claim to be "certified" and if they are "By whom were the certified?" If someone claims this ask them to prove it in writing.

You should know that in the early 1980's every organ manufacture stopped doing 'Factory authorized or certifying" electronic keyboard or organ technicians. However, there is an organization called MITA that does certify a electronic keyboard repair person but not specific to vintage tonewheel organs.

So if someone tells you or states they are "Certified or Factory Certified" ask them to prove it or simply call Hammond Suzuki USA at 640 543-0277 and ask them.

There are some of myths floating around about Hammond Organs and Leslie Speakers. We hope this will clear some things up.

Myth 1 - The B3 is more powerful than the C3.

This is NOT TRUE! The B3 and the C3 are the same organ. The ONLY difference is the cabinet.

Myth 2 - The C3 sounds different then the B3 because the cabinet has more wood.

This is also NOT TRUE! The wood cabinet does not affect the sound of the organ. Tubes, old capacitors and the position of the tone control on the preamp will affect the sound of the organ. However, each organ has its own sound personality. Each one is a little different.

Myth 3 - The A-100 isn't as good as a B3 or a C3.

NOT TRUE! With the exception of the speakers, a wire harness, a filter capacitor and resistors used for the vibrato they are mechanically the same organ. When used with a Leslie 122, 142, 147 or 145 they are every bit as good as a B3 or C3. Matter of fact, we have had A-100s here that would blow most B3s out of the water.

Myth 4 - Hammond used plastic with metal coated edges on the last B3s and C3s made in the 1970s.

There is NO TRUTH to this!

Myth 5 - Don Leslie, the inventor of the Leslie Speaker, built Leslie organs.

This is NOT TRUE! However, the Hammond Organ Company did not want the Hammond Organ dealer network to use the Leslie Speaker. Do to this there was a great deal of dislike between the two companies. Hammond Organ Company even made a "rotary speaker", the model DXR-20 that had a "squirrel cage" rotor in the top. It failed to sell well. It has been said that Leslie Speaker, then Electro Music, was also seeking legal action for patent infringements.

Today Suzuki Musical Instruments, LTD of Japan, aka Hammond Suzuki, owns the intellectual properties of Leslie Speaker.

Myth 6 - Hammond is owned by the Suzuki Motor Company.

This is also NOT TRUE! Hammond is owned by Suzuki Music, Ltd. of Hamamatsu, Japan. Mr. Manji Suzuki is the owner of the company. The name Suzuki in Japan is the second most common name, something like Jones is here in the United States

Myth 7 - Any Leslie will work with a Vintage Tonewheel Organ!

NOT TURE! There are only a select group of single channel Leslie Speakers that will work with a Tonewheel Organ. Most multi-channel Leslie's won't as the bass pedal channel is redirected differently. Don't buy a used Leslie before you find out if you can use it.

Full Restoration

It's like falling in love again. We take great joy in taking one of these classic vintage organs an making it like new again. View the video below and see how we took a B2 and 31h from vert poor to better than new with our full restoration process.

B2 and 31H Full Restoration Video

Full Restoration Options

We offer custom finishes such as satin ebony (grand piano finish grade).

  • Fully restored and upgraded interior parts
  • Fully refinished*
  • Custom finishes*

New Power Outlet Boxes that are grounded

6 & 11 pin Leslie Speaker connectors - We recommend the following 11 pin Leslie Speakers: 300 Watt Leslie Model 971 or the Leslie 122XB

Independent percussion, bass, treble and overall volume controls (an DrawbarCity standard feature)

Custom Aux Audio In and Aux Audio Out

Upgrades to add B-3/C-3 Touch Response Percussion

National Electric Code Compliant

Organ Preamp Choices

  • AO-28 Fully rebuilt and new tubes
    • Preamp Fuse Protection kit
    • Premium quality circuit board construction
    • Ground plane shielding over sensitive circuitry areas
    • Long life / high temperature rated electrolytic capacitors
    • Rugged standoff mounting of wire-wound resistors
    • New tone and percussion cutoff controls included
    • Restores tonal clarity
    • Extremely low noise floor
  • TrekII Solid-state Preamp - The ultimate in reliability and power
    • Built in reverberation utilizing a full size Accutronics three spring delay line
    • Built in power supply
    • Built in Leslie 122 tremolo control circuitry, functions with original tremolo switch or TrekII tremolo switch.
    • Built in power on circuitry for 11 pin Leslie's
    • Functions with original swell pedal and linkage or can be used with remote floor type pedal. 

Leasing or Financing for Churches and Schools

 

N.E.C. Code Video

B2 and 31h Leslie Full Restoration

 

N.E.C. Brochure Request

Menu System