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Which is the better choice, M101 or T500?

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  • Which is the better choice, M101 or T500?

    If both were in good condtion, which would be the better choice, a T500 or M101?

  • #2
    Depends. Do you want the classic Hammond tone as heard on rock, pop and soul recordings from the 60s? M-100 in that case. Do you prefer 70s easy listening organ a la Klaus Wunderlich etc? T-500 in that case.
    Current organs: AV, M-3, A-100
    Current Leslies: 22H, 122, 770


    • #3
      M101 any day of the week.
      But you’ll want to do some modifications to get it sounding closer to its console siblings.
      The Hammond engineers added filters to tame the key click - get rid of them!
      Lower manual bass foldback will drop it down a whole octave.
      These mods are easy to do, if you’re patient with a soldering iron.


      There are LETHAL voltages inside the organ - learn how to mitigate the risks!
      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


      • #4
        Yes the M100 is closer to the C3/A100 model if thats what your looking for, if you add leslie sounds very similar.

        The t500 is ok but is further away from the C3 in sound and design.
        The m100 also hold value well, buyers always want good ones.


        • #5
          +1 on all of the above.
          The M100 is already a perfect blues machine.
          Most of the 60's/70's rock and blues stars who ended up on a B3 or C3 started on an M100. (two BIG examples: Booker T and Jon Lord)
          It took WAY too much work to turn a T500 into what an M100 was straight out of the box.

          The more you mess with something, the more fragile it becomes.
          Tonally my T500 with leslie 760 sounds more rocky than the bluesy M101 with leslie 122, but I never get to play the T: it's always waiting on some repair or other.
          -1958 Hofner 550 archtop guitar -1959 C3 and PR40- -1964 Busillachio Harmonium- -1964 M101-
          -1967ish Leslie 122- -1975 T500 (modded..chopped, and reassembled!)-
          -DIY 760 FrankenLeslie/rat hideout-
          -1980 Electrokey Electric Piano- -Yamaha electric Harmonium (early 80's?)-
          -1990 Jansen GMF150 amp- -1992 Korg 01W/fd- -1992 G&L S-500 geetar.


          • #6
            I have both here. As already said, for Rock the M is way better.


            • #7
              T100/200 were good prog machines. I had a lovely T202 10 years ago which I preferred to my L122 at the time. I also had an M102 which was fantastic. If you can only have one, go for the M101 - and it doesn’t have to have loads of mods, they sound fantastic in stock form. Listen to Rick Wright, Steve Winwood and John Paul Jones playing stock M100s!
              Hammond C3, M102, XB3, XB5
              Lowrey Heritage DSO-1, H25-3, Yamaha E70
              Farfisa Compact Duo Mk2, Vox Continental 300, Korg BX3 Mk1, Leslie 122, 145


              • #8
                I'll admit that my T200 hasn't seen too much mileage since I got into the M and L series. I removed the multi-trigger percussion and key click filters on the T, and that made it exponentially more enjoyable to play. Drawbar Dave is right, they really do work well with prog. Unfortunately I don't have the prog chops to go with it! When I want to just sit down and play and not wait around for tubes to warm up or to hook up the Leslie (impatient, I know), the T is the go-to. But for gigging and recording? The Ms and Ls hands down, they are built like tanks. I've had problems with those janky connectors in the T coming undone just moving the thing around my house!

                On the other hand, my friend has an unmodded T200 in his studio. He picked up an early M3 a few months ago thinking that it would be an "upgrade", but found that he still prefers the T. His M3 sounds super dull, even through a Leslie.
                Farfisa Mini Compact V1, Fender Rhodes 73 Mk. 1, Hammond B2, Hammond L-102 "El Choppo", Hammond M-101, Hohner Cembalet CF, Hohner Cembalet N, Hohner Favor Combo, Hohner Pianet L, Hohner Pianet T, Hohner Symphonic 30N, Leslie 145, Leslie "430" (former 130 cab with horns and light show added), Nord Electro 3, and an entire village of guitars and harmonicas.


                • #9
                  My T212 is waiting for the mods,as it sits unaltered it works fine.Reluctant to go where Doon went on this model.
                  Somehow I already knew in my heart he would be thrilled to get his hands on an M101.
                  That organ was dull because of AO29 caps etc.,the genny is redcaps."Oh Pretty Woman" by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers was recorded on such an organ, along with a Leslie 45.

                  Met John Mayall in Montreal sharing stage/bill at the Spectrum with Long John Baldry.
                  Yeah, he gave Goldy McJohn the A100 he played with Paul Butterfield in Pacific Gas & Electric. Goldy also used it with Steve Marriot/Humble Pie.
                  "I Don't Need No Doctor",taking Ray's classic to a whole new place.....Mayall is a good organist,so was Goldy.

                  Last I heard Doon play? Great stuff!
                  A100/251 A100/147 A102/222 B2/142 BV/147 BCV/145 M3/145 M102/145 M111/770 L101/760 T222/HL722 M111/770 no B3/C3!


                  • #10
                    I own two M-100's and one T222. All in perfect condition. If I have to thin out (which I will have to soon...) those will be the last to go, except maybe the E-100... Eh, I am confusing myself now...:-P

                    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request... B-)


                    • #11
                      Met John Mayall backstage in Brighton years ago. The strongest handshake I’ve ever known. Fantastic organist.
                      Hammond C3, M102, XB3, XB5
                      Lowrey Heritage DSO-1, H25-3, Yamaha E70
                      Farfisa Compact Duo Mk2, Vox Continental 300, Korg BX3 Mk1, Leslie 122, 145