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  • Model A Repair Issues

    Long time lurker, first time poster here, I own a Hammond Model A from the 30s. I have cared for her and oiled her regularly since I got her 10 years ago. Unfortunately, I can't get the run motor to run anymore. The start motor kicks in beautifully but when I switch it to run she just turns off. I tried a number of things that I read about here and saw on YouTube videos to no avail. Everything seems to be working as it should, well oiled, freely spinning, etc. I am not even remotely knowledgeable when it comes to repair and do not feel comfortable ripping her apart to try to figure it out myself. I contacted the only local (Maryland) Hammond repair company I could find about fixing her and am having no luck having them come out and do the repair. (They responded once with an estimate [around $1800], I said let me think about it, I got back to them 2 weeks later with a yes, but they haven't responded since, despite emails and phone calls. It has been over a month now. I suspect they just don't want to bother.)

    At this point, I fear I will have to get rid of her, but I have no idea really how to do that either. Is a Model A even worth anything if it won't run? It has the old HR-40 type tone cabinet, the oil mechanism has been removed and replaced with some newer Trek II electronics. I have no idea whether that is good or bad (I know the majority of Hammond lovers prefer Leslies), just trying to give you guys an idea of what I've got.

    In all honesty, I am a church/classical organist so my Hammond doesn't really meet my needs organ-wise but I have grown fond of her over the years and can't bear to just give up on her and take her to the dump. I don't expect to get a lot of money for her, just hoping to find somebody that might want to give her some love or even use her for parts. There are always a ton of Hammonds for sale on Craigslist around here and they never seem to sell, so I'm worried that my location might be an issue in finding her a new home.

    So my many questions are as follows:
    Should I keep trying to contact this repair company?
    Is it possible that it's just an easy fix that I am missing due to my inexperience?
    Does anyone know of any Hammond repair folks in the Baltimore, MD/Washington DC metro area?
    Is there even a market for a Hammond this old?
    Is something like Craigslist my best bet if I decide to part with her?

    TLDR: I have a very old Hammond Model A. She is broken, I can't find anyone to fix her, I am scared to do it myself, but also don't want to just throw her away. See questions above.

  • #2
    At the worst it may just need a new "run" motor, about $40 for a serviceable used one...

    edit: the "A" has a "tremulant" device which makes the motor replacement more involved if you want to keep the tremulant function. You could also replace the motor and just remove the tremulant.

    Don't discard, it is a collectors item and someone will want it!
    Tom in Tulsa

    Fooling with: 1969 E100, 1955 M3, 1963 M100, Leslie 720

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    • #3
      Please keep it! Too many Hammond's have gone to the dump already, and with only 3,000 or so Model A organs produced, who can say how many are left? It's a piece of history, and somebody will definitely want it. (That's admittedly coming from someone who lives in the Bible Belt and has been working on making room to buy a Model A from a friend, but I digress.)

      There may be some techs on here from your area or folks who know some, so let's see if they chime in. With a replacement run motor, it likely isn't a difficult fix, so you could keep it or sell it much easier as a functioning organ.
      '52 Hammond C2 w/ JR-20, Leslie 251 (home rig)
      '58 Hammond M3 w/ Leslie 21H converted to 147 (gig rig)
      '63 L-102, '62 M3, '65 E-182 (repaired / re-homed)

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      • #4
        Some basic testing needs to be done to find the reason it won't run. It could be the motor, but it could also simply be the 'run' switch, for example. Do you have any friends or associates that have any experience with small hand tools and a basic "multimeter" for electrical testing? I'm currently restoring a 1938 model "BC" which had two dead motors. Your problem can probably be identified in about 10 minutes with a screwdriver and a meter, then the next steps can be worked out. If it is the motor, repairing/replacing one that has a tremulant requires a bit of craftiness. One possible approach might be to remove the motor (not hard to do) and ship it to someone that can rebuild it. I would be happy to do it but I must first succeed at repairing my own (are you in a hurry?) 8)
        Tom in Tulsa

        Fooling with: 1969 E100, 1955 M3, 1963 M100, Leslie 720

        Comment


        • limeyland
          limeyland commented
          Editing a comment
          I definitely have a multimeter and a screwdriver. How do I go about diagnosing the problem with those?

      • #5
        Hi Limeyland,I sent you a PM.

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        • #6
          These are the same run motors as used in model bc. There are a few posts about bc run motors on here.
          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
          www.drawbardave.co.uk

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          • #7
            There will definitely be people that will want it, but for a model A that doesn't work my guess would be $500. My first diagnostic for this would be to see if the amp turns on when you flip the run switch, if it doesn't turn on then it's likely the switch.
            1949 Hammond CV w/1960 Leslie 45 (converted to 145), using H-1 and Leslie 25 amp
            1958 & 63 Hammond M3
            1963 Hammond L100 with 70s Leslie 120
            1979 Rhodes Piano

            Comment


            • limeyland
              limeyland commented
              Editing a comment
              The amp doesn't turn on. That gives me hope that I might actually be able to fix this myself. Yay! Off to research run switch replacement.

          • #8
            Tonewheel General sells them. They are not cheap but they are good quality switches. These are actually two switches in one assembly and are very unusual, so hard to find drop-in replacements from general electronics suppliers.

            Comment


            • #9
              There's probably some fun things you can do with that $1800, too 8)
              Tom in Tulsa

              Fooling with: 1969 E100, 1955 M3, 1963 M100, Leslie 720

              Comment


              • limeyland
                limeyland commented
                Editing a comment
                Very true indeed. :-D

            • #10
              Just gonna chime in here and plead you to keep that A! I love mine; they're a unique beast in the Hammond family. I've seen working ones priced around $800, and bought mine in unknown state with a Leslie for $600. As others have said, a run motor is not a hugely involved repair and you should be on your way before long.

              Comment


              • #11
                Originally posted by muckelroy View Post
                Tonewheel General sells them. They are not cheap but they are good quality switches. These are actually two switches in one assembly and are very unusual, so hard to find drop-in replacements from general electronics suppliers.
                I bought one from them for my BC. They're bigger than the original (the toggle part is the same as the original) so you need to lift the drawbar base rather than remove the switch plate.
                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
                www.drawbardave.co.uk

                Comment


                • #12
                  The run switch on my BCV is a replacement from the 1970's.With a Leslie hanging off it,won't last much longer I suspect.
                  Access by lifting drawbar base like DD says!
                  Had to 'size' an M3 run motor(remove scanner gear) to get the chorus generator to work.Worth the effort? You bet!
                  Nice of you to save another 80+ year old model.This BCV lived in a church sanctuary for most of its existence.
                  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!

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