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Is there a cure for OAD?

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  • Is there a cure for OAD?



    Organ Acquisition Disorder...at least that's the way I think I've seen it described. A while back I decided that I needed to learn some music theory so I could become a better blues bassist. So I bought a relatively inexpensive digital keyboard, since most theory tutorials were directed toward piano. I really didn't care for the piano voice, so I started going thru its different voices. I found one called "Jazz Organ." I really liked that. I started doing all my theory lessons and practicing using that voice. After some checking I found that it was an attempt to replicate the Hammond tonewheel organ sound. It was fair, but not great, especially the way the keyboard was split to emulate two manuals. But I'd begun to fall in love with that sound.
    </p>

    Not to long after the discovery of this voice, A Hammond M-101 seemed to fall from the sky. Not literally, but... Anyway, I got it for $50 and spent the next 10 days getting oil worked into the bearings so that the tonewheel shaft could run without screaming like a banshee in heat. It sings like a bird now. I love it. It's in very good condition; I'm the 3rd owner and it's in it's 3rd location since the 60s. (I'd love to find a Leslie for it. Anyone in the Utah area got one?)
    </p>


    If only it had stopped there. This morning I got a call from a woman who's giving away a Wurlitzer of some sort. She had no idea of what model or any other information, only that one manual works and the other doesn't. Ok. Price is right. I can handle free. I'm off on a hundred-mile drive to pick it up and find out what I have. </p>

    There are many 12-step groups which deal with various addictions. Most of them have some sort of a statement (in AA it's in the 3rd Tradition) like, "the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop...." I guess I don't qualify. I've done the same thing with old Chevrolets (and a Model A Ford) and now it's organs. At least organs of the musical variety. God help me if I ever decide to start acquiring body parts (well, except those for my cars and trucks.) </p>

    Is there a doctor in the house?</p>


    </p>

  • #2
    Re: Is there a cure for OAD?



    RatMan,</P>


    LOL [:)] No, I am not a Dr., but does having 12 different organs qualify for my addiction? I guess the 12 steps hashappened literally here. I now have just six here in my small house, but it is all mine to do with whenever I please or take the notion. You mentioned Wurlitzer, and I am more than eager to know what you will acquire there. I am a big Wurlitzer fan. Their slogan for many years was, "makes music for millions." I am in the process of having a tech bring a vintage tube Wurlitzer back into good playing shape. I have posted some pics on here, and this project is something to look forward to since I have wanted one of these for a good while.</P>


    I once had a Hammond M100, yes a nice organ, but I grew tired of it after many years. Our interest in music differs somewhat, but still the enjoyment of organs is understood. Each brand of organ offers their own type of features some similiar and some very different. I am fascinated to no end over any type of organ. It is a great hobby, and my talent is or once was what someone called anaccomplished musician.</P>


    My Best to you, and I look forward to your post soon.</P>


    James</P>
    Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
    Baldwin Spinet 58R
    Lowrey Spinet SCL
    Wurlitzer 4100A
    Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


    Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

    Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
    Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
    Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Is there a cure for OAD?

      I don't have OAD but I know where a Helpenstill roadgoing piano is for cheap. I already own two organs and an accordion. I did once have a problem with bicycles. My fleet numbered nine and only one was rideable. So when I started bringing them up to roadworthyness, the number magically decreased. I now only have two.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Is there a cure for OAD?



        Well, it's home...sorta. </p>

        Here's a photo of it before I picked it up. Looks like a 70s "disco-era" thing like a "350 Funmaker Super Sprite" model I found a picture of. Close, but no cigar. Here's what it looked like in its native habitat:</p>


        </p>

        And where it sits now:</p>

        </p>


        At least until I can find some willing victims to help me unload it.</p>

        I'd hoped it might have been a "theater organ" type, but at the price, I can't complain too much.</p>

        </p>

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Is there a cure for OAD?



          RatMan,</P>


          It looks good, and I hope it works for you or you can get it going like itshould. It does have some interesting features that will differ from the Hammond. I do remember these when new on the dealer's floor.</P>


          Keep us posted.</P>


          James</P>
          Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
          Baldwin Spinet 58R
          Lowrey Spinet SCL
          Wurlitzer 4100A
          Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


          Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

          Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
          Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
          Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Is there a cure for OAD?



            No, there's no cure for OAD!</P>


            That Wurli is capable of making some nice theatre-ish sounds. Been a long time since I played one, though.</P>


            Andy</P>
            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 Genos, 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

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Is there a cure for OAD?



              Thanks, James. </p>

              A little checking found a tag that says it's a model 545D. Apparently it's part of the "Funmaker" model line. I'll keep ya up to date as progress (or lack of it) moves along.</p>

              And thanks to you, Andy. Apparently you're right. No cure. Same as with cars and guitars (but not bars. &lt;G&gt;) I look forward to seeing what kinda sounds it can make.</p>

              If anyone knows about this 545, I'd appreciate any info on it.</p>

              </p>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Is there a cure for OAD?



                RatMan, and Andy,</P>


                Yes this is from the era of the Funmaker series. Note how the lower keyboard starts out with "A" such as most Lowreys did until a later date.There is no cure for OAD. When my Wurlitzer gets going I might be on the prowl to replace a couple in here that need the city landfill or parts for some technician since they are too far gone to spend any $$$$$ on. This organ will have some interesting sounds, and the touch will be smooth. You will note the difference when playing the Hammond then the Wurlitzer.</P>


                Andy,</P>


                Why did Lowrey, some Wurlitzers, maybe a few start their lower keyboard with "A?" It just always seemed odd to me although I like the sound of the Lowrey organs, this plus the fact the keys don't overhang were somewhat of a drawback on my ever wanting to purchase one.Baldwin, Lowrey, early Hammond spinets didn't have the over hanging keys as well as the famous Hammonds.</P>


                The one I have is like that, but it was acquired by trading two for one which I really played the "fool" that day for letting my Wurlitzer go. I am just thankful I got one like it back, and now the question when will the tech finally get finished working on it for me.</P>
                <P mce_keep="true"></P>


                James</P>
                Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
                Baldwin Spinet 58R
                Lowrey Spinet SCL
                Wurlitzer 4100A
                Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


                Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

                Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
                Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
                Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Is there a cure for OAD?



                  Interesting question James, and one that I'm still investigating. Maybe to correlate with a piano, indeed Lowrey said in their blurb that 'your new Lowrey spinet has 88 keys from A to C, just like a fine concert grand'.</P>


                  As for the non-overhanging keys, I think it was partly down to cost and partly the fact that a waterfall type key is physically stronger than a 'diving board' key.Less likely to break, they say, though I've never broken a key on a T, L or any other Hammond with those keys, and I've 'hammered' them! At least that may have been the case when plastics were less advanced. Organ keyboards have traditionally been overhanging, which allows bridging techniques to be used.</P>


                  Andy</P>
                  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 Genos, 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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Is there a cure for OAD?



                    Andy,</P>


                    Thanks for the info. I did break a key once on a Hammond T by pure accident. I was very lucky that I was able to glue it back into place with super glue.My thoughts have centered around the fact they were less likely to be broken. However, I have noted that on the lower manual of the Lowrey you can play 8va and there are enough keys to do that, but on the usual 44/44 keyboard arrangement most of the keys in the lower end are not likely to be used that much..</P>


                    I still feel awkard with the Lowrey I have, but do like its tone as well as some of the features. I noticed that Baldwin did tilt their waterfall keys, but Hammond,and Lowrey did not. I also noticed that when Hammond went to theM100 series they were overhanging, but did not tilt. Then I have noticedsome Conn spinets did the same. I do think they are nice when they both tilt and overhang. On the Wurlitzer 4100 Series I note that they use the same sturdy type plastice keys that were used on the reed models. They are still pearly white, and my printed info tells me they are a Urea plastic. They are not hollow, very sturdy as mentioned as well as have a design underneath which looks like reinforecement. Now, that is close observation as a detective.</P>


                    James</P>
                    Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
                    Baldwin Spinet 58R
                    Lowrey Spinet SCL
                    Wurlitzer 4100A
                    Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


                    Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

                    Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
                    Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
                    Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Is there a cure for OAD?

                      [quote user="andyg"]


                      Interesting question James, and one that I'm still investigating. Maybe to correlate with a piano, indeed Lowrey said in their blurb that 'your new Lowrey spinet has 88 keys from A to C, just like a fine concert grand'.</P>


                      [/quote]</P>


                      Think I can answer that one, fellas.</P>


                      When Maurice Berlin, then CEO of Chicago Musical Instrument Co. purchased Lowrey Organ in the early 50's all he got was a few prototypes &amp; some patents for what was then considered a ridiculous price of $US250,000. As it happened CMI already owned, amongst other things, the Story &amp; Clark Piano Co. and it was the piano keyboard that was "chopped" in half to create the Lowrey spinet organ - and the A-E/F-C lower/upper arrangement continued with all Lowrey US made 2 keyboard spinetsuntil MX1 was released in 1981. If you check out the keys on any US built Lowrey prior to the 1973 TG series you'll find that the keys are indeed plastic covered wood with a centre pivot pin a la piano. CMI also went on to market the Story &amp; Clark organ - a re-badged Lowrey minus the AOC feature, and the Lowrey piano - a re-badged Story &amp; Clark - gave their dealers a story to tell having two instrument types carrying the same brand. Lowrey was Berlin's/CMI's greatest success story, but he had also made his name in other areas of the industry, acquiring Gibson Guitars &amp; Olds Band Instruments for the CMI stable. He is also credited with developing the world's first Cheapo plastic recorder - hate to think of how many zillion of those rotten things ended up in the hands of school kids. Yamaha even had the gall to include a recorder voice in some of the "H" models YUK!</P>


                      As for waterfall keys, it's recorded somewhere that Laurens H used them because of cost and and I would imagine that Baldwin used them for similar reasons to Lowrey - they were/are after all, first &amp; foremost a piano manufacturer.</P>


                      Kam-pai Chaps,</P>


                      Ian</P>
                      <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                      sigpic
                      Hammond X77GT & Leslie 77P
                      Lowrey C500 & Leslie 720/540
                      Hammond T524 & Leslie 710
                      Gulbransen Theatrum & Leslie 700
                      Yamaha EL90T

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Is there a cure for OAD?



                        Well, cured or not, the Wurli has landed:</p>

                        </p>


                        Five friends and I congregated to unload it from my Burb and carry it through the garage and into my "studio" (what else do you call a "family room" when ya live alone and all yer instruments and computers are there?) I plugged it in, turned it on and began getting sounds out of it. Not great sounds. but more than I expected. I'd been told that the lower manual and the switch bank didn't work. Sorta true, but the lower manual (which begins with an A) works only then the tibia 8' switch is on. So right there is an indication that the manual has SOME life in it and that some of the switches work...especially the rhythm switches. Can't hardly get 'em to STOP working. I finally got rid of the rhythm sound, but even with the speed all the way down and all the switches off, the rhythm light still pulsates. </p>

                        Some of the switches for the upper manual work, others seem to be non-functional. But I'm encouraged by the fact that some things work...like all the keys in the manuals. It sure does sound different than the Hammond. I've found that some of the switches (particularly the Hawaiian guitar) seem to not wanna shut off sometimes. Hitting the switch a few times seemed to help a bit. I'd guess dirty or corroded contacts in 'em. I spose I need to figger out how to take the switch assembly apart. </p>

                        But it's home, semi functional and I seem to be enjoying myself. What else could a fella ask for?</p>


                        </p>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Is there a cure for OAD?



                          Ian,</P>


                          Thanks a bushel!!!! I have seen inside Lowrey Organs at the tech's shop when I used to work there some. I do remember the keys were wood covered with plastic, and also now remember how they were on a pivot pinlike those inside a piano. I have seen the insides of a good number of pianoes when I used to work in the music store and the dealer was a piano technician.</P>


                          Yes, those organ companies were out to make the big bucks as fast as they could, and as cheap on themselves as they could. there was a lot of "snake oil" salesmanship in selling organssince it was atought market.When I worked in the music store I had to sell Thomas organs which were some of the poorest excuses for an organ I could ever have seen anywhere. I just hated to sell those cheap models to people when many times before we could put them on the show room floor we had to call a technician. The Thomas respresentative literally had a fit the day he walked into the store, and we had taken on Gulbransen organs. I told him we had to sell something that worked in order to keep the doors open. The owner of the store raised his eyebrows when I spoke up and made that blunt statement. At that time we might have been better off with the Lowrey since the other big dealer in town had the Baldwin and later Wurlitzer. Lawrence Welk seemed to push the Thomas organs right in front each and every week, and the older folks really were our best customers. The representative of the company just couldn't believe it when he thought they would reach the younger generation with all those wonderful features. Well, I told him the younger people didn't have the money or used their little money for otherthings they liked better.</P>
                          <P mce_keep="true"></P>


                          Since Baldwin and Lowrey had the piano company background it is just common reasoning that the influence to cut cost would move over into their organ production. I know for a fact I do NOT like Baldwin's voicing at all, and Ihave read where the early Lowrey Organs used the same technique. However, I must admit I did like the sound of the early Lowrey's much better.I like the Lowrey I have somewhat, and sometimes I just don't for several reasons. I always feel awkward at the keyboard which seem so far apart on the model I have, and I can't get used to that lower keyboard no matter what. I guess that is just a personal thing with me.</P>


                          I have read somewhere that Lowrey and Thomas were the ones that pushed Hammond back quite a bit due to their advertising as well as more features for the money. Hammond then entered into trying to hang on to their drawbars as well as become transistor which was a big downfall for them. I had one of the Hammond T Series which was nothing but a headache from day one. I was so glad to get rid of it, and I have never wanted another Hammond since then. I have grown tired of them since I played them for many years. The best Hammond Spinet on the market was the M100 Series. I bought the last one a dealer would have new in their store in June of 1968. My Dad made thestatement that was a whole lot ofmoney for the type of sound I had for an organ. I had played them for a few years prior to that at church on the C2, and C3 models.</P>


                          As a tech and I were talking most recently it stands to reason that most organ companies did not make their organs from the ground up. I wondered about that many times since electrical parts were already made for all kinds of electronics as well as organs. The tech also told me that the large Baldwin church organ I have is nothing but a Thomas under the hood. I do like the sound of it much better than their old line Baldwin's which are so brassy and buzzy. They just sound way too electronic and very artificial. I read where they used the Eccles-Jordan type of electronic tone generator to create a "clarinet-like" sound to form all the other tones from this square wave. Both of my Baldwins as well as the Thomas do have that "clarinety" sound on many of the individual stops. The tech said as organs age those tones just seemed to mush together because of the wear and tear as well as time on all the electric components used. </P>


                          Well, I have rattled on this post, but I do like to share info with everyone. Guys, if you will tell me your favorite brands. I find them all interesting, but I do have my favorites. Mine are the following, Wurlitzer big time favorite, Gulbransen, and some of the early tubeConn.</P>
                          <P mce_keep="true"></P>


                          James</P>
                          Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
                          Baldwin Spinet 58R
                          Lowrey Spinet SCL
                          Wurlitzer 4100A
                          Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


                          Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

                          Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
                          Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
                          Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Is there a cure for OAD?



                            Ian,</P>


                            Thanks a bushel!!!! I have seen inside Lowrey Organs at the tech's shop when I used to work there some. I do remember the keys were wood covered with plastic, and also now remember how they were on a pivot pinlike those inside a piano. I have seen the insides of a good number of pianoes when I used to work in the music store and the dealer was a piano technician.</P>


                            Yes, those organ companies were out to make the big bucks as fast as they could, and as cheap on themselves as they could. there was a lot of "snake oil" salesmanship in selling organssince it was atought market.When I worked in the music store I had to sell Thomas organs which were some of the poorest excuses for an organ I could ever have seen anywhere. I just hated to sell those cheap models to people when many times before we could put them on the show room floor we had to call a technician. The Thomas respresentative literally had a fit the day he walked into the store, and we had taken on Gulbransen organs. I told him we had to sell something that worked in order to keep the doors open. The owner of the store raised his eyebrows when I spoke up and made that blunt statement. At that time we might have been better off with the Lowrey since the other big dealer in town had the Baldwin and later Wurlitzer. Lawrence Welk seemed to push the Thomas organs right in front each and every week, and the older folks really were our best customers. The representative of the company just couldn't believe it when he thought they would reach the younger generation with all those wonderful features. Well, I told him the younger people didn't have the money or used their little money for otherthings they liked better.</P>
                            <P mce_keep="true"></P>


                            Since Baldwin and Lowrey had the piano company background it is just common reasoning that the influence to cut cost would move over into their organ production. I know for a fact I do NOT like Baldwin's voicing at all, and Ihave read where the early Lowrey Organs used the same technique. However, I must admit I did like the sound of the early Lowrey's much better.I like the Lowrey I have somewhat, and sometimes I just don't for several reasons. I always feel awkward at the keyboard which seem so far apart on the model I have, and I can't get used to that lower keyboard no matter what. I guess that is just a personal thing with me.</P>


                            I have read somewhere that Lowrey and Thomas were the ones that pushed Hammond back quite a bit due to their advertising as well as more features for the money. Hammond then entered into trying to hang on to their drawbars as well as become transistor which was a big downfall for them. I had one of the Hammond T Series which was nothing but a headache from day one. I was so glad to get rid of it, and I have never wanted another Hammond since then. I have grown tired of them since I played them for many years. The best Hammond Spinet on the market was the M100 Series. I bought the last one a dealer would have new in their store in June of 1968. My Dad made thestatement that was a whole lot ofmoney for the type of sound I had for an organ. I had played them for a few years prior to that at church on the C2, and C3 models.</P>


                            As a tech and I were talking most recently it stands to reason that most organ companies did not make their organs from the ground up. I wondered about that many times since electrical parts were already made for all kinds of electronics as well as organs. The tech also told me that the large Baldwin church organ I have is nothing but a Thomas under the hood. I do like the sound of it much better than their old line Baldwin's which are so brassy and buzzy. They just sound way too electronic and very artificial. I read where they used the Eccles-Jordan type of electronic tone generator to create a "clarinet-like" sound to form all the other tones from this square wave. Both of my Baldwins as well as the Thomas do have that "clarinety" sound on many of the individual stops. The tech said as organs age those tones just seemed to mush together because of the wear and tear as well as time on all the electric components used. </P>


                            Well, I have rattled on this post, but I do like to share info with everyone. Guys, if you will tell me your favorite brands. I find them all interesting, but I do have my favorites. Mine are the following, Wurlitzer big time favorite, Gulbransen, and some of the early tubeConn.</P>
                            <P mce_keep="true"></P>


                            James</P>
                            Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
                            Baldwin Spinet 58R
                            Lowrey Spinet SCL
                            Wurlitzer 4100A
                            Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


                            Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

                            Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
                            Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
                            Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Is there a cure for OAD?



                              Guys,</P>


                              Ian,</P>


                              I do remember Lowrey's slogan "your new Lowrey spinet has 88 keys from A to C just like fine grand concert grand." I will comment that it seems Wurlitzer kept their organ line for more realistic organ features using couplers, floating divisions in some of the later models, etc. Also it seems their fine pianoes were apart from the organs except for the brand logo. </P>


                              Gulbransen also had a piano background, but they kept the piano features out of their organs. They are another organ which seemed to make an organ be an organ with great sound. I really liked some oftheir all flute organ since they had some "ideas" of their own as well as the other organ manufactures. It is so interesting to hear the differences in tones as well as how they are created among the various brands. The organs have been a great hobby of mine for many years.</P>
                              <P mce_keep="true"></P>


                              RatMan,</P>


                              The Wurli looks nice very nice. You might just work the tabs back and forth somewhat and see if that helps as well as let it run awhile while doing this since the electical contacts can often clear up with just the power being on. No doubt you will need a tech unless you can do the work yourself. I, too, am in the process of getting my Wurli back up and running proper. It has several things wrong as well as the dirty contacts.What little playing as well as moving the stop tabs on my Wurli itsounded better before the tech came and took some parts out. Now, I can't play on it until he gets finishes his work.Check your pedals and see if they all function. For what you might put into it money wise I think you made a worth while trip to go get this organ.It does have some interesting sounds on it.</P>
                              <P mce_keep="true"></P>


                              James</P>
                              Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
                              Baldwin Spinet 58R
                              Lowrey Spinet SCL
                              Wurlitzer 4100A
                              Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


                              Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

                              Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
                              Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
                              Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

                              Comment

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