HAMMOND B-3 NGR Studio Edition

This superb organ is our latest NGR instrument, and was made specifically to satisfy the demanding requirements of the professional recording industry. It represents the very best that our workshop's expertise and technical resources can create. Its supreme elegance, combined with an uncompromising standard of musical excellence probably ranks this organ as one of the finest in the world, that are for sale. The objectives of NGR work have been combined with a comprehensive emphasis on electrical safety, all the work being carried out with the utmost thoroughness and diligence.

click on these pictures for high resolution images

The incomparable Hammond B-3 NGR; a masterpiece for both the eye and the ear.

The stunning beauty of this organ is due, in part, to the richness and quality of the casework and its fittings, since the cabinet is that of a model B-C from around 1937. It was imported by the Aga-Baltic Company in Stockholm, and appointed to the hall of ceremonies in the City Hall of Tidaholm. The turned legs of the B-C have a certain slender elegance in comparison to the B-3's more stocky legs. The down pipes, connector rod and fittings are of solid bronze, copper, brass and silver. The swell pedal is a single slab of solid mahogany. The lock, which has a nickel-silver key, for the fold-up lid is located to the right, and has a polished brass cylinder. All visible screw heads and recess washers are embellished with brushed bronze or polished brass. The effect of these plush fittings against the deep walnut casework gives the unmistakable impression of ultimate quality, and forms a suitably splendid exterior for the instrument that lies within.
The electromechanical components were acquired by removing them from an A-100 which had a disfigured cabinet due to sun-fading. The entire NGR program was adhered to during the renovation work, in addition to which the following points were given special attention, for the benefit of use in recording work.

  • Valves. Every valve has been hand picked and rigorously tested for conformity to electrical spec, microphony, hum, and noise. The 6X4 rectifier has been replaced with solid-state components, thereby allowing the inclusion of an additional L-C hum filter section.
  • Leslie output. A 9-pole amphenol socket is provided to supply the organ's Leslie with audio signals and rotor speed instructions.
  • Leslie control. Since different organists have different preferences for the control of Leslie speed, an interchangeable hand control (Leslie original, half round bakelite) and footswitch control are provided. The hand control has a centre 'stop' function.
  • Line-out. To enable the use of external effects units, such as digital reverb, fuzz, chorus etc, a variable 1volt line-out jack is provided. The signal is then connected to the 122 by the high gain input jack on the power amp chassis.
  • Presets. The 18 programmable presets are ready prepared from our standard 'studio line-up', to enable inexperienced players to find exciting combinations speedily. This saves studio time. All are clearly labelled, as are the B flat and B presets together with the drawbar groups to which each is associated.

'Mad cow disease', 'piano finger blues' and 'setting the spirits free' are all aspects of high quality Hammond renovation which are discussed under The Hammond X-Files. The renovation work associated with these subjects is always completed in full on NGR organs. Additionally, the amplifier and drawbars system have been completely renovated. The key combs, which determine the sidewards free-play of the keys, were in very good condition, and were not replaced. The organ has a matching B-3 bench and a B-3 set of bass pedals (with heel rest) which are, naturally, completely renovated.


LESLIE 122 Studio Edition

Breathtaking though the sound may be from a B-3 NGR, it was felt that its full potential could not be realized using a standard renovated Leslie 122. Thus, a special Leslie cabinet was custom made for this particular organ, to match its aesthetic quality and to realize its phenomenal sound recourses. The dark walnut cabinet exactly matches the colour of the organ. The following is a brief description of those features which are over and above what one would expect of our standard renovated Leslie 122.

  • Preamplifier. The 122 power amplifier has been augmented by a 12AU7 valve preamplifier and phase splitter, thus enabling other electronic instruments to be played through the Leslie, such as a synthesizer, Fender Rhodes, guitar etc. The input is via a jack socket, whose internal switching disconnects the organ signal. When the Leslie is being used in this way, a foot switch is connected to the 9-pole amphenol plug to control the rotor speed.
  • Speaker jack. A facility is provided enabling the connection of a separate amplifier direct to the speakers, thus bypassing the 122 amplifier completely. This is most useful if a particular amplifier's tone controls or effects are sought.
  • Power soak. A switchable power soak is provided, diverting 75% of the amplifier's power, and leaving 25% for the speakers. This enables the use of full distortion without the fatiguing effect of high volume on the speakers and the ears.
  • Steppenwolf switch. This instantly converts the Leslie from double rotors to single rotor, by re-routing the output of the power amp to the bass speaker only, using it as a full range speaker. The exaggerated Leslie effect and sluggish speed-up and slow-down times of the bass rotor is the secret behind Steppenwolf's 'Born to Be Wild' sound (plus much distortion!)
  • Treble drivers. As the last step of 'setting the spirits free', we put our powerful and efficient pressure driver into the cabinet. Occasionally though, an organist recording classical, theatrical or gospel music may request a more soothing sound. For this reason, a second treble driver accompanies the Leslie, having characteristics more appropriate to these musical styles...the original Jensen V-21! This second driver is ready fitted with its own rotor axle, enabling the change-over to take only a couple of minutes.
  • Indicator lamps. Three flush-fitting indicator lamps are placed on the front of the cabinet, showing (1) Power On, (2) Rotors Slow, (3) Rotors Fast. These provide a clear visual indication to both the organist and the recording personnel the exact status of the Leslie.
  • Electronic switching. This is absolutely vital when using a Leslie cabinet in a studio, due to the ever-present risk or interference from the old motor relay reaching the control room. All our Leslie cabinets have the old speed control system completely removed, which is replaced by state-of-the-art control electronics, controlled by low voltage. A stop function is always provided. See 'Hammond X-files/Leslie cabinets'.
  • Mike point indicators. To reduce set-up time, discrete indicators on the exterior of the cabinet show ideal microphone locations, where slow motor hum and rotor turbulence are least. In general, though, distance miking is recommended since the Leslie creates a more cohesive sound field some distance away. In this case, hum and turbulence are unnoticeable.

Specially made Leslie 122, with many extra features to enhance its performance and usefulness in the studio.