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Never the same day twice and we love it that way. Read more about our international summer with pictures.
We had been looking for a UK-spec Hammond Chord Organ for some time. Then one turned up as things do out of the blue. Once in the workshop we found many of the functions not working, out of tune and scale etc.
Once stripped down it revealed the technology of over 40 years ago. This model was made in 1965. The sound is familiar to us but still unique. On the web they describe this like the Solovox as the first synthesiser: not true. A natural earthy sound and in some ways reminds you of a MiniMoog and Hammond organ combined. We fitted a jack output then into our Custom PR40 cabinets. Now the Hammond Chord Organ can breathe.
We noticed on a recent TV clip for the BBC 2 program London Calling Jools Holland being shown a Hammond Chord Organ. So the cat is out of the bag to discover an old sound in a new era.
Wurlitzer EP300 Blonde
The Wurlitzer was completely restored after water damage many years ago. A complete restoration was done at the Zoo in Coventry over a few months. The 300 model is rare and was only available in the UK and Europe.This is the only known restored Wurlitzer EP300 and in a rare Blonde. Photos here.
A customer on an impulse purchased the piano from eBay as a restored Piano. It was made up of many parts, the case and lid didn’t match and the reed harps were from different pianos. The wiring was frayed and dangerous. A complete strip to components. Keys, bush felts, action reeds, preamp, mains wiring all restored. The custom black case looked like a black mirror and had taken over 2 months to create the stunning finish.
The c1959 Hammond B3, UK spec in factory white (photo right), the only known one to exist. On hire at AIR studios London. We have the largest collection of Hammond organs in the UK for hire.
April was and May so far have been Hohner months, some rare, some famous. The Hohner Cembalet Mk1 is a very rare Hohner and deserves its own section. Again a customer purchased this from the web. It didn’t work and was in a very bad state. He saw the custom black Wurlitzer case on our website and asked could he have it in black. We have undertaken the restoration and a new case in the mirror-black finish.
We have almost built a complete Cembalet from parts. Photos on the Hohner restorations page.
The Hammond RT3 Leslie 147 and Hammond PR40 cabinet restoration. Here are just some of the photos taken during the restoration. It apparently came from Winchester Cathedral then to a private home. As you can see it was in a poor state and someone had tried to restore the case with the manuals and everything still fitted. The restoration complete it is now on its way to Sweden.
If there was any Rock and Roll spirit left, the Sex Pistols would be playing the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee gig?
It's news for you but not for us.
Being reminded that we haven’t had a news update for this year by those that have time to read it here it is its news for you but not for us?
Custom work and developing new, 'never-been-seen-before' items has taken up so much time, the year has rolled on so fast.
The H Box and The Spin Doctor had a thorough work-out with numerous keyboard players bringing in their organ clones. "Clones" would be an exaggeration if there ever was one. Imitations or poor copies ... but not a "clone". They all serve a purpose, but none replace a real tonewheel Hammond.
Everyone agreed that going through the H Box, The Spin Doctor and our custom Hammond PR-40 Cabinets, they had never sounded so good.
Then it was the chance for different guitarists and guitars. Various Les Pauls; Fender Tele; Strats 6-string and 12-string; .Electric; Acoustic etc, the list went on and on. Everyone with a smile on their faces getting the sound they have looked for and discovering a whole new world.
We didn’t stop there. The Rhodes, Wurlys and Synths all had their work-out through our custom set up.
So if you want to find out what they do come and try them out for yourselves.
Hohner instruments are an ever-growing interest, such as the Clavinet D6, Pianet N, Pianet T plus a rare Valve Cembalet, in for service or full restoration.
The restoration of a Hammond RT3 rig from Winchester Cathedral is completed and a classical organ recital is planned for next month at our beautiful hall in Coventry.
With everyone getting ready for touring the Wurlys and Rhodes and Clav D6 etc come in at the oddest of times day and night but that’s why we are here.
Next month the photos and unveiling of our custom Hammond. The smallest lightest Hammond chop to be seen.
On that note the end of the news if you are still awake.
Always busy but never too busy to care. This year has been great and as always, different ...
On the hire side, we have helped a lot of old friends and some new, reminding them how and why they love a great instrument. The Rough B3 Hammond. Was at Birmingham for jazz royalty, Carla Bley, who gave us the biggest smile and was so pleased to have, as she said, the finest Hammond.
On the restoration side it’s been a rare and one off custom keyboard that has dominated the workshop since summer. The Wurlitzer EP300, probably the first and only restored Wurlitzer 300 Wurlitzer around. The custom Black Wurlitzer 200. The custom Black Hohner Cembalet MK1. The Vox Cont MK1 with factory percussion, the first and only one made. On the synths side, 2 very famous Mimimoog D. Ex Manticore. An Ob4V with 4V Expander. From the the original space cowboy.
The past month we have had one after another Stereo Rhodes and Fender Rhodes. One very special to me. The Stereo Mk1 73 of Max Middleton. Which to me was the Rhodes sound that inspired all others? Jeff Beck, Blow by Blow, Wired, Hummingbird, but that’s my choice. It was interesting having it besides the Miles Davis Stereo Rhodes 73 and the Fender Rhodes Stereo 73 from BBC Maida Vale Studio 5.
In the music room Neol Davies from AKA THE SELECTER listening to the final mix of DOLLA FE DOLLA his new release.
Keeping it real continues into summer.
We will break our own rules about mentioning artists we have helped, as it’s been an interesting week at HHC. The “Rough B” our restored c1970 UK Hammond B3 becomes even more loved and appreciated. Ian ‘Mac’ McLagan of The Faces had the Rough B3 and One 122 Leslie. Booker T Once again got behind the Rough B3 and two 122 Leslies. His favourite Hammond in the UK. Last Friday we were glad to help out at the Sunflower Superjam 2011 at the Royal Albert Hall. John Lord on the Rough B Hammond and two 122 Leslies and Don Airey on the Blonde c1965 C3 and two Blonde 122 Leslies. Maybe a first, two double rigs at the RAH. Most definitely the first Blonde double rig ever seen in the UK. Each artist with their own distinctive styles. All looking for something different in the Hammond and all finding what they want. A real Hammond inspires the player.
Ron our chief eng is 70 this month, 23rd.
What happened to winter? Well after having only 8 days break the whole of 2010 we once again haven’t stopped. So, position available. Looking for someone to update and develop the website. Help in the Music room In Coventry, and the Zoo as well. So if you're interested contact us
In the workshop
The theme, if there is ever is one, is keeping it real. We get asked on a weekly basis about copy, reissued or soft keyboard synths. We are lucky, even privileged to have been around when all the vintage analogue etc. were new and still developing. Some have now become classics, iconic even. The reason is they got it right the first time and still stand the test of time. With so much new kit being released there seems to be more tech than talent. Reading the magazines you wonder what or who it’s all aimed at. In the workshop this month we have 10 Minimoogs in for service and some for restoration. Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric Pianos come in ever-increasing numbers. There is no argument: the originals are the real deal. The Zoo London. We have had numerous sessions tracking the classic keys and in Coventry and the Zoo. We have had a classical organ recital on the Hammond RT3. The Hammond RT3 is becoming popular. Our own light oak RT3 is being restored and having MIDI fitted to both manuals and pedals. Customer RT3's are being restored, one for Sweden and another for South Africa.
Many years ago we purchased 3 studio desks Studio 1 Maison Rouge a 32 into 24 Helios. Studio 1 Morgan (Morgan sound studios) CADAC Studio 3 Morgan (Morgan sound studios) CADAC Both 24 into 24. Read more on our Red Kite page
For sale: c1966 Hammond B3
Stunning Hammond B3 in mid cherry with 122 Leslie Bench and Pedals. More details on our for sale page.
It's been an interesting period for restorations and service as we have seen an increase of customers from abroad, A Stereo Rhodes 73 from New Jersey USA. (The shipping crates were huge). Four Wurlitzer ep200 from Holland and a whole bunch of kit. Synths wurlys and Clavinet D6 from Germany and Valve mics and Neve channels from France.
The Minimoog is one of our all-time favourites. More arrive for restoration each month. Some from famous owners, some are a customers first synth but all much loved. Stock takes. People ask us how many Hammond organs do we have. We just don’t know but as we progress with the clearing of one of our storage units, 26 Leslie cabinets, 40 Hammond organs was the last count.
In Rehearsal we have a home grown talent . Neol Davies. THE SELECTER. No longer a one tone. The creator and originator with J.Dammers. They started Coventry’s own sound TWO TONE. Neol Davies the original writer now has a whole new band and gets the chance to explore new avenues.
Bath Jazz Festival
Once again we were personally asked to supply the real thing. Our c1970 UK spec B3 (THE ROUGH B). Born under a bad sign and Green Onions once again screamed from the man himself. Always an honour.
New music room opens
With our new music room and workshop facility open we can finally go through the 500sqft of equipment in storage.
We will be offering some items for sale with the option of a full restoration or just an overhaul but with a difference. For the first time all the classic Hammonds will be guaranteed and available in our period music room.
You can come and play, sit, relax and discuss what you really need.
- Hammond C3
- Hammond A100
- Hammond RT3
- Hammond M102
- Hammond T series these will be available as they are or serviced
Photo right: the music room - inspiration can come in many disguises
1 Neumann M49 complete with power supply cradle and leads. never been used
in a recording environment from a test lab in Germany.
2 Yamaha CS60 serviced.
3 Prophet 600 serviced.
Work finally started in Oct last year on the London premises. “Yes it’s been a long time coming”. Excavation of the foundations to find the old basement revealed lots of artefacts. Earthenware bottles, inkwells, milk jugs all from the early 19th century. Then as the last spade full of earth was lifted what does Tiny find? A Human skull then more bones. “What do we do?” came from the builders. Tiny’s reply. “I’m going to get a bacon sandwich as I’m hungry. Then I will call then Police as once this is revealed we won't be able to get to eat for ages.”
So there we are, 20 policemen and the murder squad. The next day 5 women arrive from the London Museum. They dig and brush just like Time Team, then is revealed. It’s not a musician waiting to get his first number one and to get on TOTP, but a collection belonging to a previous owner from 1924 who was into anthropology. Amongst the bones was a dinosaur toe. And before any one puts their hand up, it does not belong to a musician from a band prior to 1977.
We have also been restoring our new premises at Cottage Hospital built in 1933. The main hall has a 16ft arch ceiling with so much natural light we are spoilt. Marble, Stone and parquet floors. Just waiting for that Classic church Hammond sound. A new workshop and showroom. For the first time in the UK one place where you can hear and play all the great classic keys from the 1950s to the 1980s. Hear the difference in the years. Restored and unrestored. Rare and some just special.
We are launching our new showroom with the sale of a beautiful overhauled 1966 Hammond B3 in mid cherry with a 122 Leslie bench and pedals. All guaranteed.
Well once again slow with the news but busy with work.
The recent BBC program Synth Britannia reminded us of a decade many seem to forget when talking about music, a period usually remembered for poor music and bad Barnets, but it’s not true or fair as one can never generalise about Music or try to pigeonhole a type or period. Read more in our history page
Also, as it's Xmas, a BIG thanks to all we met in the year. Have a happy holiday and a great decade. News for the new year: big news and a great surprise we have been waiting for a long time. News and photos to come in Jan 2010.
July goes out on a soulful note
In Shepherds Bush tonight a well-filled hall had their socks rocked and their ears cut by the subtle master of Green Onions. One of our real Hammond B3s c1974 and two 122 Leslies once again were requested to help the night along. Thanks for asking us to help
Mid summer almost here. "Each year passes more quickly" we all seem to say as we get a little bit older. On the 10 May this year we celebrated our 36th year but that's only partly true. Read more about our history here.
Hammond B3 in 3D? In May we where asked to supply a real Hammond B3 for a special film. The original work was by Lawrence Hammond of the Hammond organ and Clock Company. In fact he was responsible for two films and pioneering 2D and 3D Film. So if you go to the BFI South Bank Gallery in London you will be able to see
Directed by Ian Forsyth & Jane Pollard
And Our Hammond B3 c1974 In 3D.
In June we gladly helped CHILDLINE ROCKS for the BBC at the Indigo 2. A senior spandex evening was had by many. The "ROUGH B" our restored c1970 Hammond B3 and 2 122 Leslie cabinets putting out 117db. Woke up many in Greenwich and put a smile on many Hammond players that evening.
The comment of the day was "WHAT GUITAR"
It has and always is busy so much so it's March and we are just getting the web site updates loaded.
Added to the Service gallery: a snapshot of the varied types of synths we have seen in the workshop this year.
Four KORG.MS20.This year so far. YAMAHA CS60, CS80. ROLAND favourites Juno 106. JP6.SH101 a TR808 restoration. A 201
A Prophet 600 a fine and rare example.
The phone goes and you never know where the call will take you: enquiries about rare synths, a studio having trouble with their own kit just as they start to record, asking for help, restoration of that once loved Fender Rhodes purchased new in 1974 and put in the garage since 1980.
The hire department again involved with so many varied projects. Advice on the sounds used in Blade Runner. We supplied many of the keys for the original recording of the album. The hire of a Hammond organ and then helping with the translation of the music score as the original composer has put in his own Hammond notation in the score.
Jason's c.1966 Hammond B3 in such a stunning light walnut case. She sounds so smooth. We had to replace over two thirds of the manual wiring owing to the old foam eating away at the resistance wire, we have now found our own solution to neturalise and wash away the foam.
An A100 c.1974 - a major service and a failed pickup in the TWG.
We have also had an unusual amount of Hohner Clavinets (D6 and E7) coming in for restoration.
A Vox Continental Mk1 Slimline had a major service by the original Vox engineer our own Rocket Ron. It is now sold.
In for restoration a Hammond M3 in a beautiful light flamed oak case.
Nick's Farfisa Compact Duo in for a major service.
It’s been busy, busy, busy as usual and lots of interesting keys have arrived at our workshops in London and Coventry (see photo gallery for pics)
Currently being restored for customers
Our own restorations
2 Vox cont. mk1 slimline one with percussion c1966 and c1963
c1966 Hammond B3 24Ov and a Wurlitzer 300 Piano.
It has to be said and not many know that our own chief engineer Ron Lebar was responsible for the VOX CONT MK1 SLIM LINE ORGAN. When Ron was at Jennings,Vox in Dartford, he was making the original Vox Cont. Mk1 and came up with the idea of slimming it down and making it more attractive. He made one and everyone loved it and there it is, history. He then set up the service dept. So we can say that we are the only company where you can get your VOX organ restored or serviced by an original VOX engineer.
A recent addition to our hire stock is a very rare BLONDE 1955 HAMMOND B3 with matching pair of Blonde 122 Leslie Cabinets and Pr 40 Hammond cabinet. The first BLONDE HAMMOND B3 rig to be seen in the UK.
And a lovely 1974 Hammond B3 and 122 Leslie 240 V only 6 serial numbers from our other 1974 Hammond B3
Also a very, very rare Mini Moog - we restored this Moog for the original owner 4 years ago. (See photos) It was built by ROBERT MOOG at the Moog factory for a well known artist in the 1970s. It has many unique features: a fourth oscillator, ribbon controller, midi added later. Its one of the fattest MINI MOOG’S you will ever hear.
The Hire has been as varied as ever. Artists flying in from abroad wanting to record the real thing Hammond B3 stereo Rhodes etc. The BBC Proms, the Liverpool cultural year, Guy Barker’s AMADEUS Project ... are just a few that have made 2008 so far a very interesting year
WANTED: enthusiastic person interested in classic keyboards. A player or programmer to help with the hammondhire.com web site, updating and generally developing the site on a part time basis. Must live in London, preferably north, will also help with the keyboards and synths etc. For more details Contact us here or phone 07967 754115.
Taken just before Xmas
1 photo of Junior Walker signed to Tiny 1975
2 a programe 1975 Led Zep Earls Court
Both very personal and when I let you into our premises we trust you, they can't be put on dislay by any one as they are signed to Tiny. Please return, thank you
New items added to our for sale page
The 1959 white Hammond has been popular and the ever faithful Hammond A100 was playing understudy to a great and famous British Hammond player at Durham cathedral celebrating the University's 175th year. It was a great weekend but the big surprise was hearing the Hamond A100 in a cathedral: such a big amazing sound that stunned all around (even John was taken aback) and a true testament to Don Leslie as after the rehersal had finnished the Cathedral organ started playing I had to look around to see who was playing the Hammond as the slow Leslie was so convincingly accurate to the sound of the big pipes on slow.
The TRUE HAMMOND SPLIT - the Hammond B3/C3 that can go in the car, a true split TWG Hammond. We can turn your C3/A100 into a true split without using your cabinet and it can be reinstalled whenever you decide to.
We will soon be featuring a section on some of the most famous classic keyboards - including history and photos of the items at the Zoo (London). We intend to correct some of the myths about these instruments and help you buy good examples. They will be available to hire and for you to try out here in London.
- VOX CONT MK1 - we have 5 examples from 1963 to 1967.
- WURLITZER ELECTRIC PIANO - 1954 111 to 1881 300
- FENDER RHODES - stage and stereo 73 and 88. Including the Miles Davis Stereo 73.
- HAMMOND ORGAN TWG versions only - 1935 Model A to 1974 B3.
- 1935 to 1974 HAMMOND B3 - Special order, all British original items.
- LESLIE TONE CABINET 145, 147, 122, 122R, 122RV- without it would we be playing them today?
- 1959 IVORY WIGHT
- 1963 ROSEWOOD
- 1966 RED WALNUT
- 1970 AMERICAN WALNUT
- 1974 TEAK AND WALNUT THE LAST UE B3 MADE
It's also strange that one day you get all Wurlitzer pianos then Fender Rhodes. This month it was all Fender Rhodes for tune and setup.
Mavis Staples tribute to Mahalia Jackson, Steve Smith on Hammond B3
It's our birthday! 10 May 1974, we are into our 34th year.
It just went mad. So many Wurlitzer pianos coming in for a service, tune and restoration all at one time.
The Essex HAMMOND B3 is nearly completed
- THE 1963 Hammond B3 though a wax cap is so mellow but still bright, it makes a soulful recording
- THE 1974 Hammond B3. Well it just sounds just like you would expect: articulate powerful
Soon you will be able to hire the 1959 white B3 and the restored 1966 B3
We simply haven't stopped, except for Christmas lunch. In December:
- a 1961 B3 was returned to the customer restored
- a 1964 A100 was refitted with our own manufactured gold bussbars
- work continued on a 1966 B3, American spec (Essex)
- P.Nuts Clavioline
And that's just the restorations...
- customer PW's kit (Jennings Vox Univox,MiniMoog Model D, Fender Rhodes Stage 73, Clavinet D and a Wurlitzer EP200 electric piano)
- work continued on the 1966 B3
A 1959 ivory Hammond B3 has just come in for restoration - this is a genuine British item, and will go in the music room next year, and is available for hire.
What a year it has been, the workshop is just non-stop and this month's restorations are coming along well
- OB 4 VOICE
- MINIMOOG D
- FENDER RHODES STAGE 73 c1979
- HAMMOND B3 c1969
- HAMMOND B3 c1959
- HAMMOND A100 c1963
All the Hammond organs are British items, nothing but the real thing!
Want something different for your party that our guests will be talking about for weeks? Then have a private air show flown by a British aerobatic champion. For more information visit http://www.yakuk.com/airdisplays.asp
Another Hammond B3, a 1963 240V model has been added to our hire dept.
We have three Hammond B3s in the workshop for major overhaul and restoration plus our own two: is this a record in England? Five B3 Hammonds in one spot!
How many British B3 Hammonds were there made? Some say 50, some say 150. For Europe no one really knows.
But we have five...
Our latest restoration project at the Zoo in London is a Hammond B3 240V British item. This Hammond B3 will be a complete restoration to better than new, starting in the new year. It can be seen and heard in the new music room at the opening in September 2006, along with many other restorations: Wurlitzer EP200, Fender Rhodes Stereo 88/73, Hohner Clavinet D6, Hammond C3,/M102, Pro 5/T8, Roland 100 System, Mini Moog, Oberheim Voice, ARP. The list is being added to all the time. We will keep you updated here for the opening.
November 2005: The Hammond Tonewheel organ will never die
We have produced our own replacement busbars, so you no longer have to worry that your much loved Hammond organ is on its last legs.
We can replace your busbars and bring that Hammond organ back to life. We can also clean your internal keyboard contacts.
The difference is amazing.
June 2005: how to find a classic keyboard
Read our advice on buying an instrument.