What have I done……

Hammond Organs

Hi Guys,

Yes, what have I done? Well apart from moving house and being very tied up with other things not too much however I did accidentally buy a Hammond C3 and Leslie 122 to add to my growing Hammond collection. I say accidentally, I saw it on ebay as a project. The seller was not in the music trade and had had it a few years gathering dust. It was situated only a few miles from me so it seemed rude not to pop up and have a look.

The inevitable happened didn’t it, I went a saw it and to be fair it was in a state but I made a 50% offer being prepared as I was to leave it and the damn fools only accepted it didn’t they?

So, last week my bass player Jeff met me on-site with his van and together with my Bro hauled the 22 stone beast (Hammond not Jeff) into the back of the van with the 12 stone 122 in the back of mine.

Back in the Secret Groove Laboratory (SGL) we tested it further to write the snag list …which was considerable.

Okay so it starts, that’s a plus, and looking in the back its a) not be started for a while and b) been modified a bit; there is evidence of the presence of a reverb unit and also an effects loop. The seller told me (after the sale) that this was ex-Rolling Stones recording equipment and gave me a couple of names to Google to prove the provenance (more on that later).

Once the tonewheel was unlocked (only had 1 bolt to lock it with!) we started it up in the studio connected to the 122 to see where we were. It sprang into life;

The Vibrato seemed weak
The Percussion was non existent
Oil reservoirs were empty
Oil wicks were missing
One Drawbar stop was not working
It sounded very bass heavy

But apart from that it worked. Could be worse I thought.

Turning our attention to the 122


Outwardly its in good nick and internally it has all of the right bits in all of the right places, which is nice. The noise it made was not great though it had to be said, so we looked further

Bass rotor belt hanging off
Treble Rotor driver extremely quiet

Well that adds up to a bit of a racket!


Short of time we drowned everything we could in switch cleaner and cleaned up what else we could by hand and left it for a ponder. In the meantime I have Leslie oil and Hammond oil on order (and more switch cleaner) and I think I will need a Wick and a bass rotor belt too. I have spoken to a few people about the treble rotor and the word on the street is that its either the horn or the cross over; I have a spare one I can get access to (without butchering my 145 – which is converted for my XK-Pro so I cant use it to test the C3 with!) in order to check that out.

Time for a rest, a google and maybe a little solder. I’ll get on it again on the weekend (I’m still unpacking!) and let you know how I get on 🙂



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