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My B3 Replica Project
....All of your musical life you've heard it on your favorite recordings. That gut wrenching,
goose bumps on the flesh, hairs on the back of the neck standing on end sound, that is
distinctly a Hammond organ. Intensified by its soul mate, the Leslie speaker, this
combination creates a totally unique voice. Though many have tried to copy, sample and
digitize, most attempts have fallen short of the mark. How many times have you heard
the expression, "...sounds almost like a B3"? For myself like most musicians, almost has
never been good enough. So one day I decided I would try to find "the real thing".
However I soon found out that this was easier said than done. Hammond B3's and C3's are
becoming rare and very expensive. But then I discovered a little gem made by Hammond called the M3. That's what this page is all about. To present an
option to people starting out on this journey who may want "the sound" but don't have
Often refered to as the "Baby B", this model in particular is
responsible for getting many players started into the world of tonewheel generated bliss.
It's cheap, still easy to find (some people will give them away) and with the aid of a Leslie (as is true for its big brothers) sounds
great! Most Hammond technicians will tell you that an M3 has many of the same internal eliments of a B3/C3, with the main exception of a few less tonewheels. This is because it has 44 key manuals as
opposed to the 61 key manuals of a B3. The other main differences are the absence of what is
known as "foldback" and drawbar presets, but more about those things later. It may
surprise you to find out that many well known recordings featured the M-3 (would you
believe Booker T and the MG's "Green Onions" or perhaps somthing by 70's rock sensation "Boston"?). Having said all that, hopefully we will be able to provide some
useful information about the mighty little M3.
This M-3 was made in 1961 and had the optional "Electro-Tone" preset selector installed by the dealer (lower right). This adds 16 preset registrations on each manual. There are a few of these and several other simular type units around, but most "M" series organs will not have this option. As mentioned above, all "M" models came from the factory with no presets. On the lower left the four switches that you can see are the percussion controls. This is what distinguishes a model M-3 from an M-2 or M. The percussion feature on this organ and the larger B3/C3 console is what makes these models appeal to jazz players. The Leslie is a model 147, two speed, that was designed for single channel organs. This one was made in 1964. To connect the Leslie a connector kit model #6147 was required. But depending on the Leslie model, other kits are available and can be obtained through any number of Hammond parts suppliers. It should be noted that even though a 147 and a 122 Leslie use 6 pin connectors between organ and cabinet, they are totally different! The 147 is a unbalanced signal and the 122 is balanced. MISMATCHING THIS CONNECTION WILL CAUSE SERIOUS DAMMAGE TO YOUR EQUIPMENT! (For more information on Leslie hookups, check with an experienced hammond technician. There are several listed in my "LINKS" section below.) If you buy this kit you will get a switching unit that controls Leslie speed, and audio signal control between organ and Leslie. You can use this if you like, but most players are fond of what are known as "Half Moon" switches (lower left). The one on the left controls where your audio signal is going to (main organ speaker, leslie, or both). The one on the right controls the Leslie speed (chorale, or tremolo). Although harder to find, these are much easier to use, plus they create that great vintage Hammond feel. (Recently, Hammond/Suzuki company has started to re-manufacture these, but their apperance is slightly different from traditional Half Moon's). Anyway, together this M3 and Leslie make a great combination and let me tell ya, this "Baby" screams! (By the way, my girlfriend Ronna and I found the M-3 at a flea market and paid $55 dollars for it. The 147...well that's a different story. If you are looking for one expect to pay between $500-$1000, depending on condition. Still, the final package is a great deal.) HAPPY HAMMOND HUNTING!
Geoffs HAMMOND Page
*Learn about "foldback" and how you can add it to your M3.
Captan Foldback's Hammond Page
*Homepage of Lars Mikael Verholt. Great collection of M3, Leslie,
and other Hammond schematics.
Hammond/Leslie FAQ Site Index
Hammond and Leslie Age Determination List
The Doodlin' Lounge Online
Hammond bass pedal instruction by Scott Hawthorn
...All you wanted to know about Hammond bass pedals
but where afraid to ask.
The Jazz Resource Center
...Music theory and notation.
Outside Shore Music...A Jazz Improvisation Primer by Marc Sabatella
...Jazz and improvisation primer and theory.
"Teoria"..Practical Music Theory
...Music theory and interactive Java theory instruction.
Rhodes Super Site
...The best Rhodes info on the net.
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