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Compton Electrone 363 Organ

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  • Compton Electrone 363 Organ

    I have just acquired one of these organs which has the tone generators and amplifiers in a large, separate cabinet. Before I begin a full restoration, I am looking for circuits, mechanical information etc about it so that I don't go into the rather daunting task "flying blind". can anyone help please.


  • #2
    Like this?

    Seems what is now being called Compton is interested in the older models, so maybe contact whoever this is:

    You may be be able to get info here:

    Hammond M-102 #21000.
    Leslie 147 #F7453.
    Hammond S-6 #72421


    • #3
      Hello JohnD and welcome. I will gladly help you with this. Please could you tell us more about your organ and post some pictures to help us identify it? If it has the tone generators and amplifiers in a separate cabinet, it is not a standard model 363, where everything was inside the console except the speakers. The most common models with external generators were the 347, 348 and 365, although there are some variants made to special order with non-standard configurations so nothing is impossible. I wonder how many were exported to NZ? Out of interest, I just searched the factory records of special orders but none were shown as destined for NZ, but this file does not show any of the standard models, only the ones commissioned directly from Compton.​

      The amount of technical information published was quite limited. There was not, for example, a comprehensive service manual for the 347, and even the widely available manuals for the later models including the 363 are generic and explain the operational principles without offering full schematics. There is a huge amount of wiring in the larger models but once you understand the principles, it is not hard to work out. The main problems you are likely to encounter that are not easy to solve with a screwdriver and a soldering iron are with the internals of the tone generators. These are getting old, in some cases fragile, and can require delicate attention to get them working at their best.

      FWIW I am the person behind the Electrokinetica website linked by gtc and have been researching, collecting, servicing and restoring Comptons for a long time. My collection now exceeds 30 organs covering all the main models from 1938 to 1971, including serial No. 1 and the last known to have been produced. ​I have a stock of spares but obviously I am on the other side of the world.


      • #4
        Hi Lucien,
        The organ is stored in a container in Timaru (I am in Christchurch) so until I get it back to ChCh I can't answer your questions. Hopefully that will happen at the end of the month and hopefully, I will learn more of the history of this particular organ. The console is is quite good condition but I don't have any details of the tone cabinet.
        It's great to have made contact.



        • #5
          OK cool I will stand by for your update when the organ arrives in Christchurch. In the meantime, anticipation always increases expectations, and Compton's excellent build quality tempts you to expect excellent tonal fidelity. But don't forget that with vintage electronic organs you get vintage electronic voicings, so it has to be judged by 1950s standards, not today's. The 363 was a case in point, where the spec looks impressive on paper but was overreaching what the internal generators were capable of producing. OTOH, the fact that you have an external generator cabinet suggests that your organ is not a standard 363, so I can't tell you what to expect. I look forward to learning more about itt soon.