How to unload a "vintage" Hammond organ
  • We are planning to move house within a year or two, definitely down-sizing. We acquired a 1960s Hammond organ five years ago and it has been great for our organist-children to use to practice at home. But they are moving on and we would like to get rid of this organ asap. It needed some repair when we got it; now it needs more work. We are looking for someone who would, like we did, just pick it up and take it away. How best to go about this?

  • TCJ
    Posts: 703
    Good luck finding someone because I think most people are trying to get rid of them. I see ads for free Hammond (or Conn, etc.) organs all the time. In the five years I have been at my school, we have been offered no less than five free organs (probably more like seven). I also frequently see them in second-hand stores, but I doubt most of them would pick up the item for you.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,643
    Try here:
    Also craigslist.

    If it's just "a Hammond", it's not worth much. If you have a B3 or something else with full drawbars, there's a market in African-American pentecostal churches.
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 290
    Look at this site here:

    If you've got one of the following: A100, B, B2, or B3; C, C2, C3 RT, RT2, RT3 – don't part with it for less thank $5k (since it needs work), seriously. These are still greatly desired by jazz/rock/gospel musicians and produce what has become the Hammond Sound, which no digital instrument can replicate completely. The tone generators, chorus/vibrato, and percussion units in these are all the same; the only difference is between 32 (R) and 25 (A/B/C( pedals and whether they have internal speakers (A does, others don't).

    If you've got an M3 or M100, these have the same guts as the B3/A100/C3, and are particularly usable as a quasi-portable instrument for rock groups. Without the full 61-key manuals, they're less desirable than the A/B/C/Rs, but you could still clear at least $1,000.

    The other models are in various ways less desirable than those I named, since they lack some component of the B3.

    If you post it here, you may get some bites, or else more advice about where to sell.

  • Take it to church and mark “free” on it. It will be gone in five minutes. That’s what I do with my stuff I don’t want that’s too good for Value Village. Is there a thrift store you can unload it on? Preferably one that takes everything no questions asked?
  • Ours in an E3. It is VERY heavy, not easily "dropped off" at church.

    880 x 880 - 145K
  • Perhaps you could pay someone to take it away.
  • I'd use it for firewood before I'd pay anyone to take it away.
  • Amro in Memphis generally sold them very well and might be interested in it. They’re used extensively in the COGIC churches there.
    Thanked by 1teachermom24
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,598
    Where's Ethel Smith when you need her?
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • Put it out on the curb, wrap it in clear plastic like it is really worth something and stand back.


    If asked about it, say you used it, it needed work and probably needs some more but you just can't take it with you.

    Preferably, hide when people stop to see it. And it will disappear.

    Thanked by 2Gamba teachermom24
  • [the E3 abandoned the tried and true mechanical tone generator that made the Hammond famous, replaced it with analog parts which deteriorate over time]
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,912
    If you're near a marina, post a note there. People might be looking for boat anchors.
  • Put it out on the curb, wrap it in clear plastic like it is really worth something and stand back.

    Might try that. It's amazing what people will take from the "curb" (we don't have "curbs" here, though, just ditches). We got rid of a bad TV (and bikes, and half-rotten watermelons) that way.
    Thanked by 1cesarfranck
  • ...looking for boat anchors.
    Speaking of anchors. A once-upon-a-time friend who was a Wicks representative told of how, after WWII, the US military had hundreds of these 'organs' which had been used at field chapels and services on their hands. No longer needed, they were taken out and dumped at sea (the Pacific Ocean) by the US Navy. My friend should have known what he was talking about - he was in the navy and saw it.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,598
    I remember going to the Boys Club in the fifties, and they had surplus military organs. The military donated any number of them to non-profits.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,353
    Before recycling any instruments as boat anchors, artificial reefs, etc., please contact your state EPA for info on any applicable environmental regulations.
  • >> Before recycling any instruments as boat anchors, artificial reefs, etc., please contact your state EPA for info on any applicable environmental regulations.

    right! - instead of dumping them in the Pacific Ocean,
    they might be more useful in the Florida Keys.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,937
    I would like a b3 please

    Do not dump it…

    Do not scrap it...

    It is a prized possession for an entirely different genre of music… And I would like to have one… PM me if you have one,

    Unfortunately, the E3 does not have tone wheel generators...
    Thanked by 1Marc Cerisier
  • RCS333
    Posts: 39
    Deleted - missed the post that it was an E
  • We are ratcheting up our efforts to sell our house which means getting rid of this organ. What about eBay? Anyone know of anyone who's bought or sold an organ that way?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,220
    Craigslist has both a free section and a musical instrument section.
  • davido
    Posts: 311
    I once put a piano out on the curb in a large northeastern city. Everyone who walked by played it, and finally after dark someone came by, got very excited that it was free, pushed it off down the street and I never saw it again!

    I don’t know how they moved it down the street on those castor wheels, it made a heck of a racket.
    Thanked by 2teachermom24 Carol
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,937
    just one of the greats
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Thanks, we'll give Craigslist a try.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • Carol
    Posts: 603
    So Francis is that a Hammond B3? I do love that sound! This Musica Sacra forum is "like a bowl of chocolates...!"
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,598
    Some of those Hammonds can command a fair price. I remember that we paid $4,000+ for one to go in a school chapel and this was 15 years ago.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,937

    Yes, that is the B... the pinnacle of jazz organ instruments... it was also the main keyboard used for rock music in the 70s and beyond. I had a C3 (purchased when I was 17), which is exactly the same thing without the percussion unit.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Well, jazz, pop music, really weird sounds, and all that, plus it made (makes?) no attempt at all to mimic an organ, nor any claim to being any kind of variety thereof - does this make it a thing in and of itself, having all the integrity of a distinct instrument, say, like the Ondes Martinot??? Or is it a thing below even an organ simulacrum?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,598
    I have heard, don't know if it was true, that Hammond was marketed as a new type of instrument, not an organ. Later when they built some "church" instruments they got away from that. The last Hammond I even saw or played was by Suzuki, if I remember correctly.

    Or is it a thing below even of an organ simulacrum?

    You'll have to ask Ethel Smith that one. As I recall she cried all the way to the bank over Hammonds.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,937

    IMHO it really is a unique instrument unto itself although it really is inseparable from its very famous speaking counterpart, the Leslie tone cabinet. I don’t think I have ever seen music manuscripts by any of its “users” as the music was largely improvisatory in nature. It also is used in a lot of Gospel music. It has a “warm” sound as compared to a lot of electronic instruments and displays an oddly human character when attatched to a particular performer. There were a lot of B3 knockoffs which never attained the full bodied sound of the B which arose chiefly from the use of tone generators. I used to practice Bach’s organ works on it, although it really was ounly for gaining accuracy of technique.

    I never tire of hearing good B3 afficianados.

    Basic tutorial
  • Who is/was Ethel Smith?
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Hammonds are extremely nice and versatile instruments in their own right, but have little to nothing in common with what we would consider an "organ" sound. Even the best attempts sound like terrible 1950s playing in bad taste, if they sound like our organs at all.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,598
    Ethel Smith starred in several 1940-50s era movies, playing Hammond, of course. She had a successful music publishing business, Ethel Smith Music Corp. and I believe she passed away in 1996 at the age of 93. I think the music publishing business may still be around since Amazon offers selections from its catalog. Her most famous number on the mighty Hammond was "Tico Tico" from the movie "Bathing Beauty" in 1944. She was regarded as the queen of the Hammond. She published some method books for the Hammond, a collection of wedding music, and many more.

  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,093
    You can, of course, now buy a simulacrum of a b3 the "new b-3". The tonewheels are carefully simulated, the appearance is carefully simulated, I don't know whether the 'Leslies' are different technology. And they simulate the Start switch to give the same momentary surge to the pitch. Lacking the electro-mechanical parts, the instrument is easier to move.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,937
    think i would go for vintage as opposed to the 'new' one
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,598
    Francis, those Hammonds were some of the most durable instruments I have ever seen. No wonder the army and schools wanted them. Many of them are still playing years after.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • Just put a sign on it, "Free to good home!"
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 290
    a_f_hawkins: the Leslie brand is now also part of Hammond Suzuki.

    You can get several different new speaker models in varying powers – ones on the same lines as the old Leslies, with actually-rotating horn and drum, or some with no moving parts that attempt to digitally replicate the rotary effect. Hammond-Suzuki and various other companies (Neo comes to mind) also make stand-alone Leslie effect boxes; plug the keyboard/organ/guitar in one end and run the output straight into the soundboard.

    I think they still aren’t to the point of matching the sound of a real, vintage tube-amp Leslie physically moving air around. That’s something pretty special and unmatched by other electronic instruments. For the best possible effect, though, I hear one needs 5 Leslies spread across the building, thus far only to be heard at the First Church of Deliverance, Chicago. (Music starts 30” in)
    Thanked by 2francis Carol
  • Guitar Center has 269 locations in the US - I see that they sell Leslie towers, pedalboards etc for Hammond - so the people who own and use Hammonds shop there - they might take it off your hands, or at least have a bulletin board where likely buyers might see a listing.