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    O.K. Here is the situation. My free model 901 was semi operational before I brought her home. Now when turned on a loud hum is heard through the speaker that I think is A.C. hum. This was not there prior to the move. Does this sound logical? Have no tech manual at this point to do more searching. Oh yes, at this time the great is at a mid volumn at best, the solo is extremly soft and the accomp. is almost a zero .</P>

    Very gently blew all the years of dust and debris out of her, visually checked everything and there are no shorts, broken wires ets. other than the missing pedal plug and one broken key on the accomp. Pedal wires from the missing plug are all insulated so there is no backfeed isue etc.</P>
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    Any help would be appreciated since as of yet I have no tech manuals etc. You good folks will be my manuals until I can locate a copy of one. Thanks KEN Yes you can email me directly at as well as post for all to see and again I say thenk you all.</P>
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    Ken, there are others here with better experience than mine regarding power supplies. But if I had the Palace I would start by removing the complete amp (comes up with just a few screws on the side flanges that connect to the cabinet floor). On most models I've been in there are two proprietary capacitors mounted on the top. They rotate to allow two pin heads to release. There were different values in different models so you may have to contact Organ Service Corp to see if they have replacements available.</P>

    All other capacitors on the underside are straight forward and probably available from Mouser. (Read a thread where I conversed with my friends last summer on the attempt to save a Yamaha 405 -- there was some good advise there on selecting acceptable alternative capacitor values!) Your mention of weak tones is a good indicator the amp is going to be your first project.</P>

    Don't give up too soon! While troubleshooting can be very frustrating, you might be only one simple step away from restoration. Keys are easy to get from parted instruments. Most of the Thomas models have the same keys and they aren't difficult at all to mount. A back tab slips into a slot in the key rail and the spring is built into the back (metal) half of the key. It is best to buy keys with the rail still attached if possible. If not you can easily connect the plastic to the rod you have on the broken key and then reinsert.</P>

    The cabinet would make a nice MIDI project but you would be asking for alot more work than restoration, not less. View Artisan Organs on You Tube for a quick overview. They make a nice theater package!</P>


      The Thomas Palace 3 as a MIDI project? Ugh! How about the Thomas as a Thomas project?

      If one thing makes me glad organs aren't more popular it's that every home would have a Midi-theater organ in it which was the conversion of some former transistor model. I don't get the rage. You can bet that a great number of midi'd organs used organs that were otherwise very fixable. In the case of the Thomas Palace III, it would be a real shame to go on the quest in another 10-15 years to replace mine, only to find a stripped out cabinet with a laptop running MIDI inside the console. And the seller saying something like,
      'Uh we don't know nothin' about it. We just need it out of here. Dad used to play it, but he's dead...oh' and Jimmy took out that laptop that was inside it and he erased the hard drive and put games on it.'

      Organists need to develop an etiquette for 'what to covert and what NOT to convert'.
      Could you imagine a 1965 Twin Reverb guitar amp stripped out with a digital guitar amp modeling circuit in place of the tubes? It would be sick. Well, it's the same thing with organs in my opinion. The electronic theater organ is a viable, acceptable, and in my opinion preferable sound to any midi organ.

      '...but man, I said they was gonna' throw that organ in the dump...'
      Wurlitzer '46' Model 31 Orgatron & 310 rotary cab, 56' 4410 , 65' 4300
      Hammond '55' S6 Chord Organ,HR-40,ER-20, 1971 X66/& 12-77 tone cabinet w/ 122 kit & TREK Transposer- of which I've retrofitted a Wurlitzer/Lowrey 'PedAL gLIdE' awesome!
      Gulbransen 61' 1132 '76' Rialto II & Leslie 705 + two 540
      Conn '57' 406 Caprice '59' 815 Classic (the 29th 815)


        There probably already is something of an unwritten etiquette, based on what we see on here. Let's try to piece it together. I'll start.

        1) Is the organ fixable at all? i.e All required parts are definitely available. If no, or if there are no work-arounds, then the organ can only be played as it is (if possible), stripped down for parts (if viable) or dumped. The console may then be a candidate for a MIDI conversion.
        2) If it is fixable, can this be achieved at a cost that is acceptable to the owner? We all know how value-less most old organs are. This has to take into account the true value of the instrument and any sentimental value that is attached to it by the owner.
        3) Is the owner prepared for the task ahead, given that practical technical help may be non-existent or hard to find (not that many engineers willing to work on old organs.) On-going maintainance may also be a factor.
        4) This question might also be asked, if an old organ is spotted as a candidate for work. Is it an organ that is really worth the effort of fixing? Restoring a Palace III to its former glory might well be, restoring an old Italian model - probably not. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder here, of course!

        Anyone care to continue? If this develops, I'll take it to a new thread in Electronics.
        It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

        New website now live -

        Current organ: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition
        Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
        Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.


          I'm not familiar with the Thomas but there would be good reason to check over a few things carefully before embarking on a capacitor changing spree. If there was no hum issue before moving, it is likely that even if the capacitors are old and need replacement, they are not the cause of your present fault. They deteriorate mostly with age and use, or very long periods of disuse. You have made a good move in starting out by inspecting all the wiring as faulty connections are most likely after moving an organ.

          There are two common causes of hum - faulty smoothing / regulation on power supplies, and faulty audio signal wiring / grounding. Both could result from a connection or solder joint getting broken during the move, and both could affect the volume of the organ itself, however the nature of the hum will usually indicate which it is. If the fault lies in the signal wiring, the hum will usually be dirty, e.g. there might be overtones, radio interference, buzz or crackle on it too, and it will be mostly 60 Hz (as you're in the US). This is between A#1 and B1 (contra octave) in pitch. OTOH if the fault is in the power supply e.g. due to failed smoothing capacitors or a faulty regulator circuit, the pitch will often be be an octave higher at 120Hz (great octave) and usually 'smooth' sounding. If you hear pure 120Hz, you can be pretty sure the problem is in the power supply.

          Andy, yes I should love to have a discussion about the conversion of older analogue instruments into the basis of digitals. This causes me a particular headache because the organs I most like to collect are exceedingly obsolete, technically, yet are popular as parts / console shell donors for VPOs. I am not naming them because I don't particularly want to advertise this fact in print for all time (although most of the good ones have been gutted already). As we are both in the UK you will probably know what I am talking about; USA readers will not generally be familiar with them at all. I'll keep an eye out for the thread if you launch one.



            I would be the last person who would suggest a Palace III that was workable be destroyed. I think Andy was right on when he gave the reasons a project organ is or isn't feasible and beyond what he has said I would say the sentimental value of the original configuration plays the most important part.

            My reasons for considering Palace III as a MIDI candidate is that the instrument case is real wood, relatively rare as a full 3 manual home instrument, is AGO and already outfitted for tongue stoptabs. I think those are important parameters. The main point is why should a fine cabinet go to junk?