Frequently Asked Questions
1. What type of products does Organ Service Company, Inc. handle?
We handle service parts, technical service manuals and owner manuals (playing guides) for the Hammond Organs manufactured by the original Hammond Organ Company between 1935 and 1985, when the company ceased all manufacturing processes. We also carry many service parts for the Leslie tone cabinets made until 1985, along with many common parts for tone cabinets manufactured thereafter.
2. Is the Hammond Organ Company still in business?
No! It is not. The original Hammond Organ Company went out of business in 1985. It is rumored that the company was sold to Hammond Suzuki, the company which is currently manufacturing keyboard organs and instruments under the Hammond name. That is not exactly the case.
The only items sold by the original Hammond Organ Company were the "Hammond" name and the rights and patents which belonged to them. The name "Hammond" was sold to one of their international distributors, Mr. Noel Crabbe, located in Australia. There were no assets involved in the sale. Mr. Crabbe sold the name to Suzuki Corporation. Hammond Organ Suzuki USA is currently manufacturing Hammond Organ Products and Leslie Products.
3. What happened to the Hammond Organ Company service parts?
All completed manufactured products were sold to Hammond Dealers, Distributors or company employees. Service parts, which were then part of the Service Department inventory within the Hammond Organ Company, were retained by a separate company. This was done to enable fulfillment of the remaining warranty obligations of the company. All those obligations were officially fulfilled by the end of the year 1990. That company was the Hammond Organ Service Company. (Due to the sale of the name Hammond, it was required that the Organ Service Company drop the name "Hammond"). Jerry Welch had been the Director of Product Services for the Hammond Organ Company and headed up the Organ Service Company. He still remains the owner of the Organ Service Company, Incorporated and continues the business operations to this day. Many of the original parts are still in the service inventory and continue to be sold to this day.
4. What happened to all the Hammond Organ Company factory manufacturing and test equipment?
All of the manufacturing, engineering, sales and marketing office equipment, office machines, test equipment, tooling and machinery were auctioned off to the highest bidder. The auction was held at the 4200 West Diversey Avenue plant in Chicago Illinois and lasted for several days. Bidders represented many companies from small individual entrepreneurs to large manufacturing companies and facilities. A great deal of state of the art test equipment, computers, printing presses, office equipment, tooling and maintenance equipment was all sold to professional and amateur interested parties. Some Hammond Dealers and service technicians from the local area were in attendance and entered successful bids for some items.
From a first hand and on site observer, it was an extremely difficult and emotionally charged situation to watch the heart and soul of the famous Hammond Organ Company being sold out... lock, stock and barrel... or in this case, tone wheels. Over the years, thousands of loyal and hardworking Hammond Organ employees gave their all to the making of some of the world's most famous musical instruments. The writer personally gave 21 years of his life to the cause; more than most, less than many. It was not a happy occasion!
5. Is Organ Repair Service available from the Organ Service Company, Inc.?
Sorry! We do not perform "in home" organ service. We refer all local Hammond Organ and Leslie tone cabinet service to independent service technicians and companies and or dealers in and around the Chicago metropolitan area. We also provide recommendations for service on Hammond Organ and Leslie products around the country.
6. How Can I obtain Hammond Oil for my Hammond Organ?
The famous Hammond Organ tone generator organs require very little regular maintenance. However, because they contain an electro-mechanical tone generation system, this tone generator and the motor which drives it do require annual lubrication. Often, the owner schedules a technician visit to check out the instrument's operation and, at the same time, oil the generator system on a yearly basis. In other situations where the owner is a handy person or there is not a technician in the area, one might handle the adding of the lubrication to the instrument on their own. In any event, it is a necessity that the lubrication be done on a yearly basis. The oil is a special blend of lubricants in order to accommodate the unique oiling system within the tone generator. A massive network of wicking is installed to enable the many bearings and tone wheel drives to be automatically lubricated when the Hammond oil is added to the assembly. Organ Service Company, Inc. supplies the special oil for the Hammond tone generator in two different size containers. Individual oiling tubes, containing sufficient lubrication for one year, is available under the part number 015-025581. The oil is also available in pint cans which are equipped with a handy spout to enable more efficient lubrication. The pint cans are available under part number 015-002446. The oil is available in quantity (50 tubes) at special quantity pricing for dealers and service technicians and music companies.
7. How can I get Technical Information regarding Hammond Organ Products?
We are willing to provide limited technical information over the telephone or via mail or fax or e-mail. We do have one simple requirement. The person requesting the information must have the technical service manual for the product which is the subject of their inquiry. Technical questions should be made using specific schematic references, page numbers, part numbers, part identification, etc. This information will help reduce the amount of time spent in technical problem troubleshooting. In addition, several of the service manuals contain updates and technical bulletins which were implemented for general service problems which occurred in the field or production.
We are most familiar with the products manufactured prior to 1980, since we had much more hands-on experience with those products. We will continue to help whenever and however we can.
8. How Do I Contact The Organ Service Company, Inc.?
The company is available by phone, fax, mail or e-mail.
PHONE: ( 708 ) 352-8011 -- Generally, the best time to phone and hope to talk to someone is from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Central Time Zone. There is voice mail on the phone lines and your inquiry will be handled as soon as possible. One should leave as much information as possible as for the reason for the call..... Name, phone number, Hammond or Leslie model number, parts, manuals or information you are looking for, etc. We will make return calls to the inquiries which are the most complete on a priority basis. If you are placing an order, you should leave complete parts or manual information, shipping and payment details.
FAX: ( 708 ) 482-9626 -- With this means of communication, it is most helpful to include as much information as possible. Since you are sending a written piece of information, completeness is best to eliminate or minimize the need for multiple responses or follow-ups. If you are placing an order, be sure to include all shipping and payment detail. We receive credit card numbers regularly by fax. Be sure to include the card type (VISA, Master Charge, and American Express), card number, expiration date and card holder name in the fax. In addition, we need the authorization code from the signature section of Master and Visa credit cards (last 3 numbers in signature section). For American Express cards, the 4 digit code is impressed on the front of the card above the last embossed digits. In case of inquiries, we will often write a response on the fax and return it right away.
MAIL: Send all inquiries and orders to:
Organ Service Company, Inc.
1210 West 55th Place
Countryside Illinois 60525 U.S.A.
Since you are sending a written piece of information, completeness is best to eliminate or minimize the need for multiple responses or follow-ups. If you are placing an order, be sure to include all shipping and payment detail. Also, please include all specific Hammond model information and outline exactly what information or part you are seeking or ordering.
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org - The same helpful hints related above for the fax or phone order are applicable for the e-mail messages. We receive credit card numbers regularly over this media as well. If you have a concern for your interface media, you may feel free to phone or fax the card number and all the required information to us. We urge you to string your messages together during our communication. This is done by clicking on reply to e-mail messages rather than starting a new message each time you respond regarding the same subject matter. This will enable both communication parties to easily reference earlier postings, which might contain inquiries, shipping information, part numbers, descriptions, price quotes and other general discussions. The only exception to this procedure would be photographs. Photos are 'memory hogs' and tend to slow transmission time significantly. Once they have served their purpose, they should be detached or disconnected from the posting.
9. What Forms of Payment are accepted by the Organ Service Company, Inc.?
Credit Card: We accept American Express, VISA, DISCOVER and Master Charge credit cards. This is our preferred method of payment. (SUPPLY CREDIT CARD NUMBER, EXPIRATION DATE AND CARDHOLDER NAME, AND AUTHORIZATION CODE (Last 3 numbers in signature section) FROM BACK OF MASTER, DISCOVER OR VISA - FRONT OF AMERICAN EXPRESS CARD (4 numbers).
Prepaid Orders: Our preferred method of payment for this type of order payment is by Postal Money Order or Cashier Check. We will provide quotes for orders in advance in order that exact amounts may be remitted with an order.
C.O.D. Order: We will ship COD orders with expected payment as agreed upon in advance or at the time of the order. Since UPS will not accept cash in payment of COD shipments, we prefer that payment be made with Postal Money Order. On some occasions, a personal check will be accepted if prior arrangements are made. (NOTE: A $35.00 charge will be assessed for any check returned by our bank due to lack of payment by the issuing bank. Immediate restitution will be required in the form of a money order or cashier's check or credit card. No further shipments will be made until the matter is completely and satisfactorily resolved.
OPEN ACCOUNT: Open account customers may continue with such status as long as payments are maintained on an up to date status. Delinquent accounts may result in additional finance charges being assessed and discontinuance of open account privileges. Payments for open accounts are due within 30 days of the invoice date, which is also the shipping date. All requests for open account must be made in writing, including suitable bank and credit references.
PAY PAL: This form of payment was recently added to our payment method list to accommodate our many international customers who might not otherwise be able to conveniently pay for service parts and manual information orders. We are finding that many United States customers like this method of payment as well. All that is necessary is to access www.paypal.com and indicate that you wish to make a payment in US Dollars. Enter our e-mail address email@example.com, when prompted, to direct payment to us. After you complete the pay pal payment process, it is recommended that you fax or e-mail us to inform us that payment has been initiated so that we can verify receipt and process an order for you. This method of payment is generally less costly for international organ service customers than making bank transfers.
10. Are HAMMOND ORGANS and Leslie products still being manufactured?
Yes! Hammond Organ Suzuki U.S.A. manufactures Hammond Organs and Leslie tone cabinets. They are located in Addison Illinois and can be reached at ( 630 ) 543-0277. Contact them regarding all current Hammond Organ and Leslie products and the names and locations for Hammond Suzuki Dealers.
11. What is the status and availability of Hammond Organ Run Motors and Repairs?
There are two basic motor types used in Hammond Organ tone generator type organs made prior to 1975, Non Self Starting Motors and Self Starting Motors.
NON SELF STARTING RUN MOTORS - The earliest Hammond tone generator organs utilized a two switch combination system of starting the organ -- START SWITCH and RUN SWITCH. These organs actually have two motors in them -- A start motor and a run motor. The start motor rarely fails and does not generally require replacement or repair. The run motor, on the other hand contains two coils and these motors do require repair from time to time due to coil failure or mechanical problems.
We do perform the repair on these motors and the scanners attached to them. The scanner may or may not require repair when a motor fails. If it is determined that the scanner is not defective or if the tech does the scanner repair locally, it is only necessary to pack up and return the motor to us for repair. The two assemblies, motor and scanner, can be carefully separated, thus saving a great deal of wire unsoldering in the repair process. The Hammond Organs using the two switch and two motor system include all the A, A-100, B, BV, BC, B-2, B-3, CV, C-2, C-3, D, DV, D-100, E, M, M-2, M-3, and M-100.
Note: The motor, with or without the scanner assembly attached, must be packed very carefully and should be insured for return to us. We do not have any new motors for sale. We only do return and repair service for the non self starting motors and or scanners.
SELF STARTING RUN MOTORS - These are either blue, bluish green or gray in color and require the use of a motor starting capacitor, which is mounted adjacent to the motor itself. For this style of motor, we are no longer able to perform repairs.
Our long time repair person passed away almost a year ago and we have not been able to find another person or company to perform the electrical and mechanical repairs in the same manner as he did. As a result, the primary source for these styles of motors is from salvage instruments or suppliers who do salvage work.
We do stock the start capacitors. There are several values of start capacitors. The correct value can be checked by looking at the label on the motor itself. The value of the capacitor is indicated as being 2, 3, 4 or 5 MFD. on the label.
The organs which used these motors included E-100, E-200, E-300, G-100, H-100, H-200, H-300, L-100, L-200, Porta-B ( a portable model L series organ), R-100, T-100, T-200, T-300, T-400, T-500, XTP ( a T series organ with removable speaker cabinets), X-66, X-77 and X-77GT.Note: The X-66 motor runs at 3600 rpm while all the others run at 1800 rpm. There are two configurations of the 1800 rpm version.... single drive shaft and double drive shaft. The double shaft motor can be substituted for a single or a double shaft.
12. What is the Value of my Hammond Organ Product?
This is a difficult question to answer. There are many reasons as to why the value of any particular instrument might be sought. Insurance claim, a sale, or just for personal information. These are just a few of the reasons why someone might seek the value of a Hammond organ product.
One should always remember that the ultimate value of any product is only that price which someone is willing to pay for it.
An instrument that is in mint condition will always have the best chance to command the highest possible price. Mint condition is described as completely functional and with a cabinet that looks like it just appeared on the dealer show room floor.
Scratched and inoperative playing keys or control tablets, cabinet scratches or dings, worn pedals, etc. are some of the items which will, in varying degrees, all effective the setting of an organ value in a negative way.
One might visit a dealer in the area and see if there are any models like his for sale. Another possible source for seeking an estimated value might be to look on the auction site eBay (www.ebay.com) and see if there are any like organ models up for auction.
Generally speaking, the original sales price will only give you the value of the instrument at the original time of sale. Keep in mind that the newest Hammond Organ products are now over 20 years old. For example, the Elegante 340200, the flagship of the product line was last made in 1985, the B-3 and C-3 in 1975, the M-3 in 1963, The M-100 in 1968, The Piper 727 and 730 in 1970 and the T-500 series in 1972.
The Organ Service Company sells service parts and information publications. We do not sell complete organs. Since we are not in the organ sales business, we do not have any up to date value information or suggested sales prices for your instruments.
13. What kind of information is contained in the Owner and Service Manuals?
We receive questions as to the content on these publications. A quick description can be describes as follows. The owner manual or playing guide as it is sometimes called provides information for the person sitting on the bench wanting to know what the player controls on the instrument are for and how they are used. The Service manual contains information for the technician to effect repairs on the instrument. The service manual contains schematics, wiring diagrams and parts listings and layouts along with other pertinent technical information.
14. Why is my specific Hammond Organ model not listed in the service manual and owner manual publication listing?
For our listings of both the owner manuals and the service manuals, a generic number is used for the model designation. For example, the L-100 Series Models would have included cabinet styles designated as L-111 (Mahogany), L-112 (Walnut Traditional), L-114 (Pecan), L-122 (Walnut Contemporary), L-124 (Pecan Contemporary), L-133 (Cherry), L-146 (American Provincial), L-149 (Pine), L-170 (Antique White), L-172 (Theater Horseshoe), L-182 (Italian Provincial), L-195 (Mediterranean), L-262 (Institutional). The model letter designation in the example is L, but you can substitute and of the other letter model designations such as H, J, L, M, N, etc. and the cabinet style references would apply.
In the later, six number designated models such as 333172, the last three numbers of the model refer to the cabinet finish. In this case of the Colonnade model 333172, it is a Theater Horseshoe Style Walnut cabinet. The same pattern is represent in the 132 and 232 which are both the Aurora Classic models, the 123 (Romance), 124 (Romance), 125 (Romance) 126, (Romance), 134, 136, 146 (Aurora Classic), 222 (Aurora Century), 227 (Aurora Custom), 328 (Commodore), 333 (Colonnade), 810, 820 and 340 (Elegante).
Note: The 132100 model was initially introduced in 1979 and after a few months of production, the model number was changed to the 232100. The instruments are electrically the same. The owner and service manuals for the 232100 may be used for the 132100 series instruments.
There are some exceptions such as the Concorde model 2100 and 2300. In these models, the last 2 numbers represented the cabinet style. For example the 2307 was ebony and walnut while the 2312 was Walnut Traditional. The 810165 and 820165 are Oak finish institutional cabinets.
Two spinet models, the 134124 and the 136124, were produced in vinyl pecan cabinets. There were some other models made in vinyl pecan finish cabinets styles and also carried the 24 model designation.
I hope this information helps clarify the Hammond cabinet and model number designation system. The bottom line is that our publication listing is long enough without trying to incorporate all this information as well. I hope you forgive us for trying to simplify the information.
Information updated JANUARY 2011