All posts by HammondToday

Love the old Hammond consoles, and when I got my hands on one I decided to log my experiences and the information I found on the web to this blog, I also play sax and bass, and sometimes take out a cigar box guitar for that instant ZZ-Top sound. I'm an active member of where you will find a fair few tracks I posted with these instruments.

First recordings

Here’s one of the first recordings I did with my new (to me) A-102. Still a lot to figure out on how to best mix the beast. Not to mention practicing playing it properly.

The following link directs you to Wikiloops, the online jamming community.

The Hammond A-102 on this track was recorded using the organ line out through the Vent into the audio interface, and then straight into Garageband. A bit of EQ was added (rolling off the bass a bit), and the track was sent to the master reverb for better blend with the drums. No other effects were used.

Building Hammond organs at the Hammond factory

Inspired by my latest Hammond-acquisition, a 1963 A-102 (this is a Hammond A-100 series tone wheel organ in what was called a ‘French-Provincial’ cabinet, the one with the shapely legs), I’ve been trailing the web to find more information about it, and found a really cool video about the manufacturing process of the Hammond organs, probably from the 50-ies or so:

Most revealing I thought (at about 3:55) is where it is explained that the capacitor is matched to the coil using an automatic process; I’ve often heard that this was hand-matched, but this does not seem to be the case, if this video can be used as any reference. You can see that the lady who is installing the caps uses a measurement device of sorts, so it seems to me that the capacity is derived by formula from the measurement made to, presumably, the coils’ characteristics.

This gives some hop to those that want to recap a tone generator. What is being measured, and how this then translates to the proper value selection for the cap I don’t know, would be great to find out.