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Audible test for M3 percussion?

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  • Audible test for M3 percussion?

    100% newbie non-organ player so I'm not sure what the percussion function should do or sound like. On my M3 it sounds like it does nothing except lower the volume when I turn it on. I have tried multiple settings, removing my fingers quickly after attack, moving the drawbars and I just can't hear any variations.

    Is there an audible way I can positively tell whether it is functioning correctly or even at all?

  • #2
    If you hear drawbars,we can assume the organ works and plays.
    If you don't hear a 'thunk' when an upper note is played while the drawbars are at 0 volume you have an issue.
    This also assumes all four tabs on the percussion block are 'forward' or 'on'.That would be the classic setting,others are used too.
    Might need clean switches,dendrites will short them out.

    If you don't hear clean drawbar sounds,that 60 year old most likely needs new power supply filter caps etc.
    New to you? Seldom does a free M3 work from the get go. I replace the AC cable first. Never takes me more than an hour to troubleshoot.
    On the bench and off in a few hours while the naptha frees up the genny if I'm in a hurry.
    Still working on the mall organ coffee table book for cork sniffers

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    • #3
      To test for Percussion function, push in all the drawbars. You should still hear the Percussion tone since it is independent of the drawbars.

      In my experience, Percussion is the most common feature malfunction of 3-series organs. It can happen when zinc whiskers short out the controls. If you hold a key down and flip the Percussion On/Off tab back and forth, you can often get one ping.
      I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.

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      • #4
        People have many expectations when they see the word "percussion". If there is an expectation of a face slapping heart pounding change in some way, it is not so with the 4 tab Hammond percussion. It is subtle, and quite narrow in application and usefulness. Push all the drawbars in. The second harmonic is simple a "plink" which dies away while you hold the key down. If you play another note while still holding that original note, you get nothing. You must play detached or staccato. The fast decay makes the plink go away faster, and the other harmonic makes a plink a third higher. Thats it. What and how you get effects combing the plinks with drawbars has to flow from your talent. Jazz, marimba, xylophone effects are among a few but there are not a huge number of variants that stand out. Remember-this was 1930's derivative technology and not the digital cornucopia of sounds that later generations come to expect.
        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.

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        • #5
          I 100% understand what you are saying. At the same time I have several quality B3 emulations and the whole thing that drove me to get a 'real' Hammond was that edge that the emulations can't capture which, to my ear, was that slight percussive attack. In trying to learn about this instrument in watching many videos I can see and hear something (besides my newbie skill level...lol) that is missing. I will have a chance to try out these test tonight to see if what I suspect is true.

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          • #6
            I did confirm that there is no sound at all from the percussion function with all drawbars in. No plinks or thunks or anything. I marked then rotated adjustment screws on back and nothing happened. Didn't know what to do after that.

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