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    Just got a '56 B3

    I'm waiting on the delivery truck now. It is a 1956 model B3. The owner said it was "gone thru" several years ago. How can I determine the model year? What should I check before turning it on? Its been a few years since it was played. Any other newbie advice is welcome. I've wanted a B3 since i was 13, in 1966 but parents wanted a H100 in cherry because it looked nice!
    The second issue is, no Leslie. It comes with the original Hammond tone cabinet which I don't want! I've been looking for a nice used 122, but no luck. I probably will end up buying a NEW 122A next week. Not sure yet if this organ was ever converted for Leslie use.
    Thanks for any advice!
    Scott

    #2
    Great for you if you are dreaming about it since that long !!!

    What do you mean by "How can I determine the model year" ? (You are already saying it is a 1956 B3...)

    There is no need to "convert" the orgran for Leslie use.... it needs an external device. B3 model do not have any speaker in there. The original tone cabinet would be usefull for your first startup.

    I would suggest to verify the main electrical cord before pluggin it first. I would suggess to put some hammond oil in the cups... I would verify if there any kind of nests (mices, birds, anything else !)


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      #3
      My advice: Get a 122XB instead of the 122A, and put an 11-pin outlet in the organ. It's much more modern, safer, and gives you "stop" position in addition to fast and slow.
      Current organs: AV, BC, A-100
      Current Leslies: 22H, 142, 147, 760
      Organs in the past: L-100 (several), M-100 (x2), T-100, E-100, CV
      Other keyboards: Roland FP-4, Yamaha DX7, Yamaha TX81Z, Yamaha Motif ES Rack, Korg Krome, Novation Mininova

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        #4
        It was just delivered. What a beast to move.. I asked about the year just to verify what I was told. It has many old manuals and music with it,its like a time capsule.
        One concern is underneath the console it looks damp with oil by the 2 screws. What would that be?
        Enor, I like the idea of the stop position for the Leslie. I need to find a local tech that is able to do the 11 pin conversion. Also a 3 position half moon switch, correct?

        Comment


          #5
          I have to disagree with Magnus on the 122XB. You lose the traditional 122 balanced-line cable connection for low noise, and there is more circuitry to go wrong like the remote On/Off and the motor control board. I would take a vintage pre-1980 Leslie 122 or 142 any day of the week compared to any of the post-1990 efforts. Newer is not better in this case.

          With a 1956 organ, there are components in the preamp that may be failing unless they were replaced when it was gone through. You never know what "gone through" means. It may mean a thorough restoration or that someone had a tech look at it once. When I deal with tube equipment that hasn't been turned on in a long time, I like to do a safe startup with a Variac, bringing the voltage up slowly, but you may not have the equipment for that. I also do a thorough inspection before powering anything on, looking for known issues like AC power wiring with cracking insulation, etc...

          If the generator is over-oiled, the oil leaks down the generator anchor bolts. This can make a mess, but doesn't hurt anything.

          If you need to add "Stop" to a vintage Leslie, you can do it with an EIS SS relay from Trek II.
          I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks David, I've got a great price on a new 122A, haven't had any luck finding a vintage one. Has anyone done a side by side comparison? What is lacking on the new one, besides one motor?

            Comment


              #7
              Are you looking at 147 leslies as well? The only difference between a 122 and a 147 is essentially the amp. If you put a 122 amp in a 147 cabinet it would be the same a straight up 122. You could look for a 122 amp and stick it in the147 leslie.
              57 Hammond B3; 69 Hammond L100P; 68 Leslie 122; Kurzweil PC3; GEM Equinox 88 and 76 key versions; Gemini desktop module; Voce V5+; Neo Vent; EV ELX112P; 67 Howard Combo Organ; www.dyinbreedband.com

              Comment


                #8
                I just bought a used 122XB with a 6pin adapter box. I have it hooked to a B3 and compared it to a 122 of the 60's vintage. The electronic speed control works very well and gets up to speed faster than the 122. The high frequencies are very pronounced on the XB and the bass is a little less than the 122. Your 122A will match the balanced lines from the "G" terminals and may have better bass than the XB because of the conversion transformer in the XB. I would expect with your B3 that the 122A should be a very good match especially if you like a boost in the higher frequencies. It may even sound better than an older leslie with a V21 driver depending on what you like. Remember you have a tone control in your B3 you can adjust to your liking. Also make sure your tone generator is floating on springs after the delivery.




                the

                Comment


                  #9
                  We don't necessarily disagree, David. Of course a vintage model - ANY vintage model - would be preferable to the 122XB. But 56B3 was talking about getting a factory new Leslie, and I really see no point getting a new Leslie 122A, with the old complicated "6H" interface, in this day and age. It will still have the modern complicated control boards and iffy motors and all that, it's just that it also adds a complicated interface in the organ for no good reason.
                  Current organs: AV, BC, A-100
                  Current Leslies: 22H, 142, 147, 760
                  Organs in the past: L-100 (several), M-100 (x2), T-100, E-100, CV
                  Other keyboards: Roland FP-4, Yamaha DX7, Yamaha TX81Z, Yamaha Motif ES Rack, Korg Krome, Novation Mininova

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My advice: Don't get the new Leslie. Vintage Leslies come up somewhat often, and I'd just wait a little while if I were you. I got a 145 for $250 (granted it didn't have a bass speaker, amp or upper motor assembly) and I was waiting for one for probably just a couple months, and that doesn't count all the ones that I passed up because they were over $1000, but I think it'd be worth it to wait, and you have the tone cabinet for the time being. If you've already been looking and no luck it could just be your area, but there are also probably stores within not too far a drive with vintage leslies, might just be kind of hard to find. Again, it could just be your area. In any case, I'd wait. Though of course you could always just get thee 122A or 122XB and sell it when a vintage leslie comes up, and in that case I'd get the 122A since I believe it uses a 6H interface? Please correct me if I'm wrong with that, but then you wouldn't need to worry about the 11-pin system which would become useless if you get a vintage leslie. Bottom line, vintage leslie is the ultimate goal, just keep your eyes on the prize and you'll get it, one day...

                    Where you can look: Obviously there's craigslist and I seem to have the best luck in finding Leslies on craigslist. I'd advise not just looking for leslies but also looking for just organs, and sometimes you can find a cheapo organ to ditch or sell and keep the leslie. Also eBay of course, that's where I got my 145 actually, but usually those posts are few and far away.

                    I wish you luck in your leslie journey! And I hope all is well with the organ.
                    (2x) Hammond M3 Leslie 145
                    Hammond L100 Leslie 120

                    Fender telecaster, Stratocaster, twin reverb
                    Epiphone Les Paul, Carvin

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by 56B3 View Post
                      Thanks David, I've got a great price on a new 122A, haven't had any luck finding a vintage one. Has anyone done a side by side comparison? What is lacking on the new one, besides one motor?
                      I repair them professionally, so I've been all through them. There is just so much about a 122A that is not as robustly-made as a 122, despite the fact that a 122A is heavier because it's made from MDF instead of lumber-core. I've never seen a 122A that had motors as quiet as a properly-serviced 122. The 122As that source DC from the 6550 cathodes for the motor control boards tend to suffer domino-effect issues where a failure on the motor board triggers multiple component failures in the amps. The stock 122A woofers are inferior to the originals. The crossovers are more cheaply made. The 122A horn bearings fail in ways that you never see in the old ones. I could go on and on.
                      I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        What model is the tone cabinet that came with the organ? If it's a PR-20 or -40 I wouldn't be so quick to get rid of it. Hammond tone cabinets were specifically designed to compliment the organ, bringing out the the crosstalk and other nuances that tend to get lost through Leslies, and when used in conjunction with a Leslie provide a really well mix of straight and rotary sound.
                        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


                          #13
                          Congrats on your B3! Getting what you've always wanted is a big thing.
                          Over the long production of the B3 many ways were found to cut manufacturing costs.
                          A '56 is about as good as you can get IMO.I had one from '73 that was not as well made overall.
                          Both were B3's however many subtle nuances come and go during a twenty year run.
                          The late preamps are actually better,and post '64 generators have better filter caps.
                          Still overall,the early ones have better wood,and nicer feeling playing keys so I would still prefer the '56 too.

                          Why would you pair that beauty with a non matching modern style 122?
                          The convenience of it being available will never make that a good choice IMO.
                          You waited how long to get your 'prize' and now you are in danger of ending up 'shorted' on your rig.
                          A vintage 145/147/122/142 are what you are looking for my friend.

                          A nice one will come along and you'll be stuck with a less desirable model if you spring for the modern one.
                          Even a punter like me can service a vintage tube Leslie .
                          If the most experienced techs on here advise you to wait,as a player I heartily endorse those who know better!
                          I just had a 142 in the studio and it got the job done!

                          I bet that B3 sounds great through that tone cab too.
                          sigpic A100/251 A100/147 A102/222 B2/147 BCV/122 M3/145 M102/145
                          Various modern keyboards and modules.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Hook it up to a 1971 Marshall 100w Superlead Plexi stack and get some Jon Lord riffage cranking!!!!!!
                            Current:
                            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.

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

                            Comment


                              #15
                              After more investigation, I have an HR-40 Tone cabinet. Is this earlier than the PR series? What years? AFAIK its always been with this 1956 organ. Less desirable than the PR? It's a beast! How would I use this in conjunction with a Leslie?
                              Attached Files

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