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Overdrive on Hammond X5?

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  • Overdrive on Hammond X5?

    So I want to connect a overdrive effect to my Hammond x5, to be played through my 770 Leslie.

    However, I don't know how to connect the overdrive and where to put it (which inputs and outputs I should use)... Clearly I don't want to mess up my Hammond or Leslie, so I figured I would ask for help here.

    So how do I connect an overdrive (or any other) effect to my x5? (I posted a picture with routing of the x5 manual below)

    Click image for larger version

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    Hammond X5
    Leslie 770

  • #2
    I owned an X5.
    If memory serves, there is an 8 or 9 pin DIN cable connecting the X5 to the Leslie pre-amp in the pedalboard.
    You need to determine which pin carries the audio signal - measure the voltage level as it might be way too hot for modern line-level or instrument-level devices such as guitar pedals.
    Then you need to build a simple interface box fitted with suitable DIN sockets, with a pair of 1/4” TS sockets to act as an effects loop on the audio pin of the DIN sockets. You might need a simple resistor network to attenuate the X5 audio signal down to a modern line level.
    Use switching 1/4” sockets so the effects loop closes the circuit on the audio pin when no 1/4” plug is inserted.
    The other pins simply connect straight through between the two DIN sockets - these carry the Leslie speed control signals, amongst other things.
    Your biggest challenge is outputting sufficient signal from the distortion unit back into the effects loop - as I recall the Leslie pre-amp expects quite a strong signal from the X5.
    Take all of this with a grain of salt - it’s been 25 years since I worked on an X5
    1971 T-202 with Carsten Meyer mods: Remove key click filters, single-trigger percussion, UM 16' drawbar volume correction. Lower Manual bass foldback.
    Korg CX3 (original 1980's analogue model).
    1967 Leslie 122 with custom inbuilt preamp on back panel for 1/4" line-level inputs, bass & treble controls. Horn diffusers intact.
    2009 Marshall 2061x HW Plexi head into Marshall 4x12 cabinet.

    1964 C3
    196x M-102
    197x X5
    197x Leslie 825


    • #3
      Thanks for your help! This clarified a lot... Are these boxes also for sale? Or do people just make the boxes themselves?
      Hammond X5
      Leslie 770