latest news

November 1, 2013

Hammonds and Leslies and more! Oh my! I really need to off-load some of my bulky instruments so if you're looking for a Hammond rig, a piano, a Rhodes or or something else, check out my
Equipment Sale!

Hammond & Leslie Service

I do some of my own mechanical repairs and refinshing but I leave the electronic work for a pair of technician brothers who have become well known for their excellent work in Canada. I am happy to refer your Hammond/Leslie repair work to my technicians as is appropriate. Likewise, I do most of my own repairs and service on Rhodes & Wurlitzer electric pianos but I'm not well equipped to provide electric piano service to others. If you're really stuck, give me a call and I may be able to assist.

Would You Like to Own Your Own Hammond Rig, But Can't Afford a B3 & Leslie 122?

If you haven't already noticed, I love all of my Hammond and Leslie models. While each model and combination has it's own voice, all of them are distinctly Hammonds (or Leslies) and will perform wonderfully on the stage or in the studio. Trying to find a Hammond B3 & Leslie 122 rig is cost prohibitive for many musicians and studios but that doesn't mean you have to go without! If you really want "that" sound on stage or studio without resorting to synths or samples or clones, you should seriously consider some of the other case styles or console series. All of my rigs have seen stage and studio with glowing results. They are a joy to play and they all have "that" sound... for a lot less money!

Wanna Play?

If you're looking for an occasional Hammond sit-in for your band, I'm pretty good at flyin' by the seat of my pants. I know a lot of the old R&B standards, plus what I don't know I can usually pick up on the fly, so give me a shout & lets have some fun! ~ Phil

Hammond Tonewheel Instruments

Hammomnd logo All but one of my consoles (the model A) have either original Hammond Harmonic Percussion (A100, B3) or the improved Trek II aftermarket harmonic percussion (BC, BV, CV) All of my consoles except for the B3 include their original benches and pedalclaviers.
  • The B3 Extricated from an Ozite covered "chop", this mid-fifties beauty it is now housed in a 1938-ish Northern BC case. (the donor BC components are headed for installation into a cast-off CV case, making it a model D)
  • The A100 "lightened" console (1962) is functionally identical to the B3 but it is housed in a slightly more compact "continental" style walnut case. This organ has had the factory internal amps & speakers removed to eliminate unneccesary weight. Here's a few pics of the A100 in action
  • The A100 "complete" console (1959/1962) is a factory-complete model which retains its original speakers and amplifiers. The internals are from 1959, the case is from 1962 or thereabouts. This console is currently wired for a 145/147 Leslie. UPDATE - This A100 has been SOLD and is now happily accompanying worship in a Toronto church.
  • The Northern Hammond C2 console (early 50s) is dark walnut coloured with lovely "quatrofoil" trim. It is in excellent condition but I haven't yet prepaired it for use. I'll be installing a Trek II percussion unit and a Leslie 122 hookup kit when time and inclination allow.
  • The BV console (1946) is honey coloured, features round-edged keys and TREK II percussion. This console has a fascinating story. (See the BV story below*)
  • The CV console (1946) is in a dark walnut "C" style case reminiscent of a traditional church organ console and features TREK II percussion. UPDATE - the CV has changed hands and now belongs to my good friend Andy. It is happily located in his personal recording studio / rehearsal room
  • The Northern Hammond BC/D console (1938) is dark walnut, features TREK II percussion and a Hammond original second tone generator which is slightly detuned to provide a truly "analogue" chorus. The original BC/D tremulant feature is in place of the vibrato/chorus function of the later models. The BC/D is currently undergoing replacement of the square edged keys with the preferred round edge or "waterfall" keys. Other planned upgrades include smooth continuous drawbars. The BC case now houses the components of my B3 while it's components will be transferred to a C style case, which will make it a D model.
  • The Model A (1936) was Hammond's very first production console. Mine is dark walnut, features a vibrato/chorus factory upgrade from the original tremulant. Currently, my model A does not feature harmonic percussion.
  • The Model E300 (late 1960's) is a trimmed down tonewheel console with full 61-note "diving board" keys but no reverse colour presets on the left. There are three preset tabs and one set of drawbars per manual. Built-in amp, speakers and reverb are also featured. This console, complete with bench and pedals, is in excellent cosmetic condition and would make a beautiful stand-alone addition to a living room or chapel. Any takers?
  • The M2 & M3 spinets are currently playable and available but not in demand. The M2 lacks Harmonic Percussion.
What's the big deal about the B3 model? To many, the Hammond model B3 is "the standard" of Hammond tonewheel instruments. The B3 is commonly preferred over other Hammond models for a number of features including:
  • Harmonic Percussion - which highlights the "attack" of upper manual notes
  • Smooth Continuous Drawbars - older models were "detented" and/or non-continuous
  • Split Vibrato - separate vibrato/chorus control for upper & lower manuals - (on older models the same vibrato/chorus setting was applied to both manuals)
  • Waterfall Keys with rounded edges - older models had square edged or "piano" keys
  • "B" Style Case - While the case style has no effect on the actual sound, function or interface of the instrument, the "B" style case seems to be favoured over the "C" style or various A100 style cases
FACT: All functional and sonic elements of the B3 are present in the C3, RT3, and A100 models. The B3 does not have a functional or sonic advantage over the C3, the RT3, or the A100.

*The BV Story

Apparently my Hammond BV console spent some time as the house organ at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. I have a letter from the BV's previous owner outlining the organ's history. When we found the organ in Quebec it was in horrible shape. Once the manuals were removed the case literally collapsed! The veneer was long gone due to exposure to the Quebec elements and many of the case boards had delaminated and warped - what a mess. Boards were straightened and relaminated, and the case was reassembled without veneer. A new fallboard was fashioned from black cherry and the whole thing was Varathaned. All internal parts were thoroughly cleaned & lubed. Preamp & vibrato scanner were re-built, manual and drawbar buss-bars were cleaned & lubed, tonewheel generator was re-capped and re-calibrated and all AC wiring was renewed. TREK II percussion was added and the organ was re-assembled. This console sounds absolutely wonderful now.