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Hammond H111 Free - Is it a deal or not?

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  • Hammond H111 Free - Is it a deal or not?

    I have been offered a Hammond H111 for free. I have owned three Hammonds over the years - one tone-wheel and the two others basic solid state electronics. I am an amateur and a novice when it comes to Hammonds. I play for personal enjoyment - not performing - and mostly hymns. I have checked out this 'free' Hammond H111 several times. Most, if not all the features seem to be working. It is a bit noisy, with a few more clicking sounds than I like. One black key on the upper keyboard is missing. Although it hasn't happened to me the few times I have played it, I was told that occasionally it makes a loud popping noise and then silence. Once it is restarted - it plays well - until it happens again.

    I have read the many comments online about the H100 series being a disaster, with many advising to stay away from them. Others comment favorably on the H100s but always add that they are tempermental, require alot of maintenance and the parts are hard to get. But if this organ is FREE - is it worth the risk? I know where I can get an A100 for $3000 but I am definitely not ready to try to justify making such an investment.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Can't comment on the H, but with the problems you describe, I'm not surprised it is being offered for free.

    You can get an A100 for far less than that if you are patient (assuming you are in the U.S.) I got mine for $500 in excellent condition.
    1962 Hammond A102

    Comment


    • #3
      I wouldn't pass it up, except: Let's say another free one comes along in perfect condition and working order. Will you be able to get rid of this one without a major hassle? If the answer is no, then don't get it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Yasmar View Post
        I have been offered a Hammond H111 for free. I have owned three Hammonds over the years - one tone-wheel and the two others basic solid state electronics. I am an amateur and a novice when it comes to Hammonds. I play for personal enjoyment - not performing - and mostly hymns. I have checked out this 'free' Hammond H111 several times. Most, if not all the features seem to be working. It is a bit noisy, with a few more clicking sounds than I like. One black key on the upper keyboard is missing. Although it hasn't happened to me the few times I have played it, I was told that occasionally it makes a loud popping noise and then silence. Once it is restarted - it plays well - until it happens again.

        I have read the many comments online about the H100 series being a disaster, with many advising to stay away from them. Others comment favorably on the H100s but always add that they are tempermental, require alot of maintenance and the parts are hard to get. But if this organ is FREE - is it worth the risk? I know where I can get an A100 for $3000 but I am definitely not ready to try to justify making such an investment.

        Any thoughts?
        Your location is a huge factor in determining the value of a Hammond.
        In some areas of the world, $3k is a bargain for an A100 in good shape.
        Around my corner of the world, that is an obscene price, and no one would touch it. I can buy a B3 and 122 for less than that much $.

        The H is a great sounding organ when it works. It sounds like it would fit your style and type of musc as well.
        The serial is a good indicator of how much effort you may have to invest; after serial 15000 all the improvements had been made.
        Lots of the noise, popping and crackling, can be fixed by simply cleaning tube sockets and all the dozens of connectors. Past that, you would need a decent level of electronics knowledge to start looking at bad components.
        If you get clicking noise when hitting the keys, it means that those keys are cracked or broken underneath where you cannot see and will need to be fixed or replaced. Broken keys on organs with this style key are very common. Replacing keys on the H is a challenge. Look over these videos on key replacement:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0nxkwR7CiI
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luxvuQiidxQ
        Also on that page is instruction on cleaning drawbars.

        If you have the ability, space, and a place to work on it, there is no good reason not to procure this H and do the repair work on it yourself then play it.
        This also assumes that you would not have to pay for pick-up and have a way to get rid of it easily if it all does not work out.
        If you have visions of fixing it up and selling for a profit, forget it...that goes double if you must hire a tech to work on it, providing you can find one that would actually work on an H.

        I do have a lot of parts for the H that you could have, including many sets of keys, assuming that you are located here in the States.

        Bob
        In theory, there is no difference between theory and reality.
        In reality, there is.
        '54 C-2 & Pair of 122 Leslies
        H-324/Series 10 TC
        '35 Model A (Serial# 41) with a 21H
        Look at some of my rescues:
        https://www.flickr.com/photos/58226398@N03/albums

        Comment


        • #5
          I just sold an H182 with is the Italian Provincial Model. It was tough to get rid off and a bitch to move. Some people do want them though.

          Comment


          • #6
            There was an H for sale on CL last year not far from me. Price kept dropping until is was "free to haul away." Like Bob said, location is key as to the "value" of a Hammond. People throw away Hammonds here (U.S.) that would bring good money in another country.
            1962 Hammond A102

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by KeithB View Post
              Can't comment on the H, but with the problems you describe, I'm not surprised it is being offered for free.

              You can get an A100 for far less than that if you are patient (assuming you are in the U.S.) I got mine for $500 in excellent condition.
              We live on the East coast of Canada - so finding a good classic organ for a reasonable price. Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bobmann View Post
                Your location is a huge factor in determining the value of a Hammond.
                In some areas of the world, $3k is a bargain for an A100 in good shape.
                Around my corner of the world, that is an obscene price, and no one would touch it. I can buy a B3 and 122 for less than that much $.

                The H is a great sounding organ when it works. It sounds like it would fit your style and type of musc as well.
                The serial is a good indicator of how much effort you may have to invest; after serial 15000 all the improvements had been made.
                Lots of the noise, popping and crackling, can be fixed by simply cleaning tube sockets and all the dozens of connectors. Past that, you would need a decent level of electronics knowledge to start looking at bad components.
                If you get clicking noise when hitting the keys, it means that those keys are cracked or broken underneath where you cannot see and will need to be fixed or replaced. Broken keys on organs with this style key are very common. Replacing keys on the H is a challenge. Look over these videos on key replacement:
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0nxkwR7CiI
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luxvuQiidxQ
                Also on that page is instruction on cleaning drawbars.

                If you have the ability, space, and a place to work on it, there is no good reason not to procure this H and do the repair work on it yourself then play it.
                This also assumes that you would not have to pay for pick-up and have a way to get rid of it easily if it all does not work out.
                If you have visions of fixing it up and selling for a profit, forget it...that goes double if you must hire a tech to work on it, providing you can find one that would actually work on an H.

                I do have a lot of parts for the H that you could have, including many sets of keys, assuming that you are located here in the States.

                Bob
                Thanks for your very detailed and helpful post. The H-111's serial number is A-39639 - which is well beyond the 15000 you mentioned. I don't live in the States (Prince Edward Island - East Coast Canada) but I do have friends and relatives scattered throughout the States and I travel into the States at times. It's painful not to take an organ that's free and sounds quite amazing - despite the issues I've noted. But I've read so many negative things about the H100 series, I'm afraid it would be a one technical issue after another. If I thought, I could get five years out of it - after the obvious repairs and maintenance -I would go for it.

                Tomorrow, I will take the time to look at the links you shared with me. Thanks for the offer of the parts. I will keep that in mind.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you've read my posts above, you will see that 12 months ago I was considering a free H111. I have read all the negatives about the H series but 12 months later and after trying to chase down a good buy on an A100 - it just hasn't happened. Today, I dropped into the Hospital Chapel and played the H 111. A few little clicks and an occasional bit of scratchiness but everything seemed to work. It sounded a little noisy just running. But if it was oiled and if I used Caig Laboratories D5S-6 DeoxIT D-Series D5 Spray - perhaps it would sound better. The only two obvious immediate needs are a missing black F#. It looks like the black part just broke off. There is also a keyboard lamp that should light-up all the tabs etc. which doesn't work - which is not a big issue.

                  Would anyone happen to know the approximate year of the organ H-111 if the serial number is A-39639 ?

                  If I take it from the Hospital Chapel to our LivingRoom - is there any other procedure - other than fastening down the tonewheel- that I need to be careful for?

                  Thanks for your advice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with the general consensus and pass on the H. Were you an experienced tech it might be worth the risk, but otherwise not. An A-100 would be a much better find that will only appreciate over time.
                    Over the years: Hammond M3, BC, M102, B3, four X77s and three PR-40s, a Thomas Electra and a Celebrity, three Fender Rhodes, Roland HS-10, HP-2000, HP-600, RD-600, JV-880, a thing made by Korg (?), two Leslie 910s, 122, 257, 258, 247, two 142s, and three custom-built Leslies. Wow, way too much money spent!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Yasmar View Post
                      If you've read my posts above, you will see that 12 months ago I was considering a free H111. I have read all the negatives about the H series but 12 months later and after trying to chase down a good buy on an A100 - it just hasn't happened. Today, I dropped into the Hospital Chapel and played the H 111. A few little clicks and an occasional bit of scratchiness but everything seemed to work. It sounded a little noisy just running. But if it was oiled and if I used Caig Laboratories D5S-6 DeoxIT D-Series D5 Spray - perhaps it would sound better. The only two obvious immediate needs are a missing black F#. It looks like the black part just broke off. There is also a keyboard lamp that should light-up all the tabs etc. which doesn't work - which is not a big issue.

                      Would anyone happen to know the approximate year of the organ H-111 if the serial number is A-39639 ?

                      If I take it from the Hospital Chapel to our LivingRoom - is there any other procedure - other than fastening down the tonewheel- that I need to be careful for?

                      Thanks for your advice.
                      The noise may be coming from the scanners, you probably have the drum style. The end plates of the drum are made from plastic, and the brass oilite bearing is pressed into it. Over time the plastic relaxes and there is play in the shaft. I have quieted these down by taking apart and putting a shim on the shaft to eliminate play. I have some pics if you need. Just beware that the inside of this scanner is a ting coating of some sort of carbon material and is both easily scratched and oils from fingers will contaminate it, so wear gloves.

                      The light will be either a fluorescent tube or a string of low wattage incandescent bulbs, the bayonet mount kind that was used in old fashioned flash lights.
                      Fluorescent was used on the early ones, then it was determined that the ballast was causing interference and noise in the organ so they switched to incandescent.
                      As of a couple years ago, those incandescent bulbs were still available on Amazon. I disposed of the incandescent wire harnesses, holders, and bulbs I had already. I still have several of those fluorescent tubes as well as ballast and starters and tube holders if you need any of it. I believe that most of that stuff is still available, however. Personally, I would remove all that stuff and put in a LED strip light.

                      I also have a couple Leslie connector boxes for the H if you want one. This allows for a plug-and-play connection from the H to a Leslie 122 series. All you need is some sort of speed switch. You can have one for cost of postage.

                      As far as the broken key, my advice is to get some 5 minute epoxy and glue it back. Put the epoxy in the part that is broken around the screw, and there is little chance of any glue dripping down and causing issues. Unless you want to open a Pandora's box and take it apart to replace keys, it is better left alone.
                      If you do want to attempt this, let me know if you need any keys. I still have several sets...at least for now.

                      The H TG is not spring mounted...it is already bolted securely, no lock down necessary.

                      Bob
                      In theory, there is no difference between theory and reality.
                      In reality, there is.
                      '54 C-2 & Pair of 122 Leslies
                      H-324/Series 10 TC
                      '35 Model A (Serial# 41) with a 21H
                      Look at some of my rescues:
                      https://www.flickr.com/photos/58226398@N03/albums

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The A- prefix in the serial number indicates this was made in 1969. This was near the end of the H-100 series just before they redesigned the model to be H-300. These contained the better electronics as this was the end of the development of the tonewheel generator organs. The scanner can be noisy but the overall electronics were better than earlier in the H history. This is a complex instrument but it can be quite impressive if you have the patience to tear into it. Of course, you should find the service manual before getting started. I bought one of these for myself, new, back in the 70s, and it did have a few quirks which got fixed by Hammond , since they were still in business and just a few miles away from me
                        Larry K

                        Hammond BV+22H+DR-20, Celviano for piano practice
                        Retired: Hammond L-102, M-3, S-6, H-112, B-2+21H+PR-40, B-3+21H, Hammond Aurora Custom, Colonnade.

                        Comment


                        • Yasmar
                          Yasmar commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Thanks very much for your response. Because it seems the H-100 series has quirks and is more complex to repair, I've decided to leave the free H100 in the Hospital Chapel and to get an A100.
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