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Lowrey on "Let It Be"

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    Lowrey on "Let It Be"

    A friend of mine was saying that he found it impossible to dial in the organ sound on The Beatles' song "Let It Be," so I was trying to help him out. Some sources online say that it was Billy Preston playing Abbey Road's Lowrey DSO-1 and not a Hammond. I sat down at my TBO, which is very similar in features to the DSO-1 and was able to come up with something that seems to capture it, though it was probably played through a Leslie as well.

    Did the DSO-1 have onboard spring reverb?
    I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.


    The DSO-1 doesn't have onboard spring reverb. All that exists is the onboard sustain. There is also an onboard Leslie, unless someone connected the external Leslie 125, 127, 145, or 147. I believe they were all compatible with Lowrey's plug available in the back of the DSO-1 organ.

    Hopefully that helps.

    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos


      AFAIK, it was indeed the studio DSO-1 - there are photos of the Beatles using it on line. When I've been in studio, as opposed to recording for the BBC at home, we always used the studio's reverb system rather than the one in the organ. It was better quality and we could play around with things until we got the sound we wanted. Back in the 60s studios would have have analogue units like springs and plates available for reverb.

      As to who played it on Let it Be, we'd have to ask Paul McCartney! He only lives a few miles along the coast from me, but I don't have his number!
      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 -

      Current organ: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition
      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.


        Wow, thanks, Andy! What was Abbey Road's studio reverb system based on? Was it spring, plate, or some combination thereof?
        I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.


          Here you go David
          Hammond BC (Factory 50 Hz) With TrekII Reverb, Perc and Preamp
          Leslie 147
          MK2 Farfisa Compact Duo/Binson Echorec 2 T7E
          MK1 Korg CX3/Neo Ventilator
          Yamaha KX88/Roland D550/Kurzweil K2000R/Korg M1R/Korg X3R


            And all these years I thought I was hearing a Hammond when I would hear that song!
            Late 1980's Rodgers Essex 640