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C3 vs CV... which one would you choose ?

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    C3 vs CV... which one would you choose ?


    I'm on my way to get a console and I have the choice between those 2 beast:

    In white, a 1947 Hammond CV which will come with a Trek II percussion kit.
    In Black, a Hammond C3 that have played a lot for bands, according to the cosmetic.

    Else than cosmetic, both organ are in really good shape. All notes, all drawbars, vibrato, etc... everything is working.

    All lamps have been verified.

    Both organ are coming from the same friend who is giving it to me. I have the choice.

    I have a 122 that is waiting for the organ I choose........

    Which one would you choose and why ?

    Thanks for your comments,


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    I'd take the C-3, strip off that horrible coat of paint, re-stain it and then apply an oil finish. Why? Because even with the TREK percussion kit the CV won't function quite the same, and the "-3 series" functionality is what I like to have.
    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


      The CV is adequate.

      The C-3 is better.

      Especially down the road when you have to find that strange fault somewhere. It's easier to get knowledge on a "C-3" than "a CV with some mods done to it."


        Oh my, that C-3 looks like it's been to war (and lost a few battles). But it remains a C-3


          Had a professionally restored BV with Trek II percussion added, and had it hooked up to a 222 leslie. Also had a C3 with fisher reverb, through a leslie 122.
          If I had a chance to get either back, It would have been the BV, if nothing else, because it was beautiful and pristine, and was a great living room organ. The C3 saw many one night stands on the road and was pretty whipped but still played well.
          It seemed that the BV had better bass response but I'm comparing with two distinctly different leslie's, so ??


          • jfleuran
            jfleuran commented
            Editing a comment
            This is basically why I'm asking !!! Bass response from CV sounds rich..... but C3 is a C3.... Impossible to only flip a coin !

          Wes can help he is right in Canada


            I have a CV and an A100, the main differences I experience are the vibrato on the CV affects both manuals when in use, a C3 has independent switching for each manual. The CV vibrato is maybe a little less intense to me and with chorus sounds pleasant. The A100 (C3) vibrato is more prominent and I don’t often use it. The CV seems to have more punch to the bass than the A100, not sure why, it just does. Even with a 20 watt 21H, it shakes the Leslie, the organ case, the bench, me and everything around it 8) I like that.
            All that being said, the “rode hard, put away wet” C3 might be the first choice because of the flexible effects switching. Can’t you just take both?
            Tom in Tulsa

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


            • jfleuran
              jfleuran commented
              Editing a comment
              If I had place, I would take both for sure !

            I'd take the C3 -- UNLESS the C3's manuals have been played to death or damaged by gooey foam, which you will not find in a CV.

            Manual repairs, as many forum members can attest, can get very time-consuming and difficult.
            I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.


            • jfleuran
              jfleuran commented
              Editing a comment
              Correct me if I'm wrong... I believe there is no foam in this C3.....

              Serial number is 57266 and according to Tonewheel General Hospital age list ( it was manufactured in 1955.

              I've played on the C3 yesterday and it sounds pretty good. Compared to the CV, I could feel that is has been played a lot but it still respond well.
              Last edited by jfleuran; 01-14-2020, 08:07 AM.

            I currently have a CV with the Trek II, and it's nice, but I still can't get over the ratcheting drawbars. For that reason alone I would choose the C3, doing drawbar changes while playing doesn't really work because the sound clips in and out as the contacts do. The Trek II percussion also isn't quite perfect, and receives vibrato, which is kind of weird. However I do have to say, it has a nasty generator curve, I love beefy bass and extra treble cuts through very well.
            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


            • tpappano
              tpappano commented
              Editing a comment
              If you can get a set of 'smooth' drawbars, it only takes a couple hours to put them in. I did it, so it can't be too hard 8)

            My vote is for the C3 since I have always thought that if there is a 3 at the end of a model designation, it adds a lot to the potential resale value.

            While I like the idea of stripping the paint and refinishing it, my guess is that the paint job was done to hide some battle scarred veneer, which probably won't be restorable. That said, you could still strip it, fill the scratches, and give it a nice paint job in the color of your choice.
            Hammond RT-3, Estey circa 1903, Baldwin Acrosonic spinet piano, Fender Rhodes Mark I 73 stage piano.


              I finally decided to go with the C3. On my spair times, I'll strip the ugly black paint out and refinish it.

              Thanks for your comments.

              This morning, I've just found somebody to take the M3 with a 770: My daughter is a teacher at an elementary school and I offered them the kit for free. The music teacher said he could not pass on the offer. Really happy it will help kids learn music.

              Will receive my "new" C3 later this month.

              What a great day !


                Good going. I've had a C3, and currently a B3 and A100. I would find it hard to switch to ratcheting drawbars. If you think the vibrato is too pronounced, you could put a pot across it. I have had that wired in to my B3 and the knob sits out of sight below the bottom manual.
                1955 B3, Leslie 21H and 147. Hammond A100 with weird Leslie 205. 1976 Rhodes. Wurlitzer 200A. Yamaha DX7/TX7. Korg M1. Yamaha C3 grand, 67 Tele blond neck, Les Paul Standard, PRS 24, Gibson classical electric, Breedlove acoustic electric, Strat, P Bass, Rogers drum kit, Roland TD 12 digital drums, Apollo quad, older blackfaced Fender Twin, other amps, mics and bits and pieces cluttering up the "studio."


                  Another thing !

                  My friend offered me to install an Organ Mate Reverb unit for 100$.

                  I've read few posts about the fact that it could cause "hum" interference.... is there a way to install it in the space left inside the C3 ?

                  Would I run after trouble by installing this reverb unit or should I stand to the standard C3 setup ?



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                    $100 Canadian is certainly a lot less than the price of a Trek II RV-1D. Try it, but I am fairly sure there is a small tube amp in that enclosure which will need to be serviced, if it hasn’t recently been so. Try mounting it on treble end away from the Matching Transformer to minimize hum. If you want a quieter reverb amp that is almost guaranteed to not introduce any hum, get the RV-1D.