Skip to main content

I'm not really planning to get these for my studio in the near future, but they are probably in the long range plan and I'd like to keep myself informed in case opportunity knocks at an unexpected time. (Someone locally had broken up with his girlfriend and was ready to sell his rig. I think they talked him down from the ledge, but I decided that I'd better do some studying just in case a similar situation occurred.)

I know a few of you have been keeping these antiques in shape and I'd like suggestions and pointers on purchase and maintenance. Specific questions:

1. I know that it is possible to save some serious cash by going to the "alternate" models, i.e. other than the B3, C3 in the Hammond and 122/145 in the Leslie. Are there models that have serious drawbacks - that I should stay away from? Alternate models that are particularly good deals? The Hammond would not leave the studio and I definitely can get away with (and would probably prefer) a low powered Leslie.

2. Are there places in Virginia, MD, PA, WVa, NC, TN that you would recommend for repairs?

3. What in general have been your experiences with repair and maintenance?

I guess if all goes as planned I would buy a Leslie first and play my Nord electro through it, but as said, this may be a target of opportunity purchase.


moonbaby Thu, 07/01/2010 - 17:11

Bob,does your Nord Electro have a dedicated Leslie socket (like some other makes have)? It didn't appear to have one judging by the website info. The reason I ask is because you mentioned that you might want to get a Leslie for the Nord. Be careful here because a Leslie that is designed to hook up to a Hammond usually uses a multipin connector, and requires an external preamp/switching box to use a "standard" electric guitar or a keyboard with a 1/4" jack....
Try to get a matched set; I have seen people that bought, say, an A-100 (a C-3 with an amp/speaker system built into it), and then a Leslie that was "supposed" to match up to it , and found that the wiring had been "modded" to accept a different model cabinet.
As for some sources of info, try the and Google Dr.Fishsticks for Leslie wiring and switching kits. Also, there are a number of Hammond/Leslie parts suppliers on e-Bay (but you knew that already, I'm sure).
I have an M-3 spinet that is a load of fun on Saturday nights after a couple of shots. REAL organ players love the "waterfall keys" and I took the little Leslie 45 with a 12" Jensen and rocked it with a 12" Altec driven by a Dual Showman Reverb head. Not what you are looking for, I'm sure, but still a hoot. There's nothin' better than a real Leslie moving all that air around the room.

Davedog Thu, 07/01/2010 - 17:39

I too have an early 60's M3 in my room. It hasnt been "doctorized" as of yet but I know it will someday. I had a model 20 Leslie that I gave to the good Doctor for a Christmas present one year as he had three or four of these M3's floating around. The one I have was 'free to a good home'.....It didnt start well but the Doctor knows these things and now it works perfectly.

One of my bands has a fellow who collects B3's. Some fun huh.....One of them is a 57 year and was owned by Jimmy Smith.

For all you youngsters, thats something you should look up.

BobRogers Thu, 07/01/2010 - 18:25

The Nord does not have a Leslie socket, but I figure I would be getting a preamp/adapter for a 1/4 inch jack anyway so that I can use it as a guitar amp. I realize the the various preamps/switching kits can add a lot to the cost.

I'm not a real organ player, but I love the waterfall keys as well. But that's one reason that some of the spinets like the M-100 series are much cheaper - diving board keys.

Dave - Does the B3 collector allow people to touch the Jimmy Smith B3? Awesome!

BobRogers Fri, 07/02/2010 - 19:20

Yeah, the M3 looks like the real value purchase: waterfall, vibrato, chorus, percussion. No low register or high foldback, but what the hey. It's got the tone at a fraction of the cost. And since I can't kick bass and don't know anyone who can... I'll keep my eyes peeled.

The Leslie looks tougher to find on its own at a good price (and a lot of M3s are home organs sold without a Leslie). For recording I want low power, tubes, don't really need reverb - so the ideal model is the most popular and expensive - 122. The bargain models are all high powered solid state models from the 70's. The search continues.