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Would you gig with a Hammond?
Old 05-10-2012, 08:06 AM
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Default Would you gig with a Hammond?

Would you gig with a Hammond? what would it take? Obviously not a lot of people would (or can) gig with a B3/Leslie 122 setup, but what about an M3 chop? What compromises would you be willing to make? what mods would it need to have? If you wouldn't gig with one, does a restored reasonably priced Hammond have a spot in your studio?
The reason I'm asking is that a friend of mine that owns a Piano business wants to expand into the vintage keys end of things with Hammonds, Rhodes etc. I've already weighed in as a gigging musician and said I don't want to be bothered carrying one around. I got enough in my live rig already. But maybe there's some other opinions that I haven't considered.
Full disclosure- I would be heading up the vintage keys end of things and I'm restoring and modifying an A102 and M3 right now for him.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:46 AM
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If I had full road crew - I would absolutely want a Hammond/leslie
Since that rarely happens - no way would I use one gigging.

For home, I'd like one, but they are big. The sound is great, but the room it takes up would be a downer for me. Chopped is an option ,but a 122 is still pretty big. If I had the room and the money, I'd get one to have at home.

As for sellability - Leslie's in particular don't last on craigslist around my place for more than a day. I'd honestly be much more willing to buy just a leslie to take around with me. Connect it to the Kronos or the CX3!

Organs are probably a bit harder to sell. With keyboards getting better and better, it is a tough sell to get someone to carry around such an expensive, heavy, and somewhat delicate piece of equipment.

my 2 cents at least
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:26 PM
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i think the time of the tonewheel/hammond/leslie on a common gig is over...

naturally there is no substitute for the real thing, the feeling of a real leslie swirling around is something that its has to be experienced, and just the physics of it, it can't completely be reproduced with a conventional speaker, but that sound can only come at great sacrifice or from large resources (or if you only play churches) but clonewheels have advanced by leap and bounds in the last five years, from nord, hammond itself, the software craze, crumar, studiologic, etc

i think the organ itself is pretty accurately reproduced by todays technology, the leslie is the hard part.

so in conclusion the chop job has lost its appeal, the clonewheels, coupled with a ventilator are the new craze, much more portable, even a chop job is still about 200+ pounds, and you need a leslie, so it dosent' make much sense, if nowadays a 2 tier clonewheel is under 50 pounds, and on some you can plug it to a leslie, so if i had a tonewheel organ i would keep it home, id rarely (never) take it out and for session work i would probably have it miked and just send the parts from home,

i think that there is still a market for them, it gives studios bragging rights (even if they don't use them) and older players LOOOOVE them.

FWIW i read somewhere that the cost of building a tone wheel organ nowadays it would be over $30K and unlike a piano or a rhodes tonewheel-hammonds are NEVER going to be made again so if i had a B3, M3, A100 etc i would restore it and keep it for humanity, and use an SK-1 and a vent for gigging.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:01 PM
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Yeah, all those vintage instruments tend to be relegated to studio only use. The same goes for Mellotrons, and many vintage synths. People want that original actual vintage sound for the albums, where people stand a better chance of noticing it, versus a large crowd and questionable PA systems. Are people at a show really going to be zoning in on whether that Moog lead was from a digital synth recreation, a vintage minimoog, or a Moog Voyager? Doubtful. They're going to simply bring the minimal of what they need to recreate the sound to a decent level. Secondly, would you rather have one of your instruments break in a random city, and have to run to a sam ash and buy a Kronos and reupload your patches, or have to find someone who randomly happens to have the parts and knowledge to repair a hammond, a mellotron, or a prophet VS for example?

Good vintage gear for studio recording will always have its place, no matter how many vst's or emulations come out. I would personally always choose to have a real Prophet VS, Oberheim OBX, CSV-80 or Hammond if I could. Of course, the price, maintenance costs all factor in as reasons why I DON'T have them, and settle for the digital emulations/samples.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:15 AM
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Thanks for the replies! Looks like everyone is about on the same page.
Since coming upon my B3 I can't stand to record without it. I will add that I've gotten a little pickier when programming organ parts for live use. Especially after comparing the nuances between the different units side by side.
@PinkFloydDudi- don't be terribly put off by size. M3's really aren't HUGE (but still a bit heavy) and the sound is very very close. With a couple popular mods it comes even closer.
We've chased after a couple leslie's and they do go quick. In fact one was out by Rochester. Line out into a Neo Ventilator is looking like the choice option.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:41 PM
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I really want to own a lesie,

Hammond yes, but more so I want to experience that sound of a lesie up loud

I got to play a real rhodes
We went into the studio and I was like, i'll just record my parts at home, lets just bash out the drums and stuff, OH MY GOD IS THAT A REAL RHODES

So we bashed out one of the songs with me playing on that
And suddenly, everything about the electric piano changed, I could feel how it played, I could hear what it sounded like, and the noise of it.

Really improved how i build electric piano sounds.

So I imagine playing through an organ and a lesie, will have that same effect on me

and i agree, I don't really want to take anything on the road, besides a minimal setup no way I would lug around any of that stuff, for just a song, and risk it going wrong
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:40 AM
awaken77 Offline
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From the occasional concert visitor point of view

I'd pay double ticket price to see Hammond in action, rather then clonewheel or other electronic junk. I know, some of clownees sound good, but they dont look and feel like Hammond. They look "hey im little plasticky thing which pretend to be a Hammond"

we had a blues band from USA in our city Odessa, Ukraine. This rarely happens.
They brought chopped L100 with Leslie. It's small, portable, but it's still Hammond. I stayed near the scene 2 hours and more, only to see how player smashes glissandos across the keyboard and pulling drawbars.. It's such a pleasure to see it
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Last edited by awaken77; 05-23-2012 at 07:44 AM..
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