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Baldwin 81D Fantom fingers.

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  • Baldwin 81D Fantom fingers.

    I bought this Baldwin 81D Fantom fingers the other day for 20 dollars. I was wondering how to tell the year and also how to work the selector with the tempo knob and buttons with the different beats. Sorry I don't know what it is called. I always wanted to learn to play so I thought this would be a good organ to start with. Thank you for your help.

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  • #2
    Early 1970s.

    Press a rhythm button like Waltz and press the On/Off button. The rhythm should start to play. The two knobs should control the volume and speed but it looks like another knob is missing. It may be that the top row of buttons control the sounds that the rhythm uses, so press Bass Drum and Snare Drum. One some organs these sounds are linked to the lower manual and pedals for the organist to play manually. Black sounds for pedals and white sounds for lower manual if that's the case.

    It's very likely that various sounds and effects in the organ won't play due to old age. You could try to fix these, but to be honest, I wouldn't bother. Have some fun with it as it is, if the organ 'bug' bites, then get something rather newer and consider the $20 well spent for getting into a great hobby!
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

    Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
    Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
    Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1


    • #3
      Welcome to the Forum.

      As Andy says, do not be too much concerned with the symptoms you describe. You may pick up more problems fiddling there. Those organs have a very nice sound and exceptionally good bass. You might want to check the pedal contacts - those are prone to cause some bad contact and distorted sounds. They all have tiny single spring extensions making contact with a rigid inverted U-shape base and often build up dust and muck. Try to clean those with de-Oxit or similar being careful not to disturb them as they very easily develop a constant contact resulting in a permanently sounding note. When you have done that, check under the keyboard bed for the contacts (similar to the pedals) for the lower manual, if they are sounding some distorted, otherwise leave them be. Somehow they are also more prone to collecting dirt than does the upper manual contacts. They are covered by a cardboard case which is removed by four little screws - lying on your back might make working upside down easier.

      My one has a wrist lever for shutting off the rhythm if/when needed without operating the switch, not unlike the foot switch on the expression pedal found on some other models.

      "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...