Should I buy and part out an old Hammond tube organ? - diyAudio
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Old 3rd September 2009, 04:01 PM   #1
dogfish is offline dogfish  United States
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Question Should I buy and part out an old Hammond tube organ?

A friend wants to get rid of a Hammond S-6 chord organ she bought at a garage sale for $50. It's got a pile of not-rare tubes in it, probably all original (1950's), certainly some of them are not in great shape.

I don't have a tube tester.

Is it worthwhile to buy the organ, disassemble it, and sell the used, untested tubes here or on eBay? Is it a reasonable bet that I'll get my money back (she wants $50)?

The tube complement is:


1 5U4G/GB
18 12AU7
3 12BH7
2 6BA6
2 12AX7
1 6C4
1 6BJ7
2 6V6
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Old 3rd September 2009, 04:05 PM   #2
m6tt is offline m6tt  United States
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I don't know if you'll get your money or not, but there's certainly a bit of iron & tubes in there to experiment with. Of course, it might also be a collector's piece. If it's not worth saving though (my Hammond M2 is still going strong after being rescued from the dump & repaired) then it's a great source for transformers. The key contact hairs are palladium. The tubes are interesting too. Still, make sure it's not a collector's piece. Unlike pianos, they'll never make another organ like that.
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Old 3rd September 2009, 11:20 PM   #3
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If there's any chance at all that could be returned to working order, I'd do so. Working, it should be worth a whole lot more than $50, and as m6tt says, they don't make 'em like that any more.

I'd go for music over parts.
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Old 4th September 2009, 12:22 AM   #4
dogfish is offline dogfish  United States
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The S-6 has a street value, as an organ, of $0-$100, with most going for $0-50. So cleaning it up and selling it would probably be a net loss. I was thinking about parting it out, trading effort for a little cash to support my hobby (the one discussed here).
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Old 4th September 2009, 12:23 AM   #5
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http://users.rcn.com/clonk/ChordOrga...c.html#HOWMUCH

Should be some nice parts for projects. A nice PP power amp and a bunch of preamp tubes should be worth a couple of bucks. Apparently of little value (at the moment) as a collector's piece.
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Old 4th September 2009, 01:42 AM   #6
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I wouldn't do it (again). I paid $100 for a Baldwin Orgasonic. It had a pair of blackplate RCA 6L6GC in it, as well as about fifty-five twin triodes (a mix of 12AU7 and 12AX7). A pair of Jensen 12" alnico speakers and a nice big power transformer. I should have turned a pretty penny on the whole deal, but never had the energy to actually put the parts up for auction. I just ended up hoarding it all in my stash.

Besides, every musical instrument has a soul. Gutting one (even an Baldwin) destroys that instrument and puts a stain on your own soul. It's best to leave them alone, unless you intend to fix them up and learn to play them.
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Old 4th September 2009, 02:34 PM   #7
pjanda1 is offline pjanda1  United States
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The fact is that most old tube organs are headed to the dump one way or another. I parted out a Hammond CV-3 (IIRC) a few years back. The tone cab was bi-amped, so no fullrange OPT's. That amp eventually made it's way here (this was before I was building tube stuff). I got some parts from a stripped Hammond G-100, the grand daddy of them all. The guy sold the Dynaco ST-70's and most of the major parts. I have a pile of chokes from the PS. Another forum member has the 15's. Come to think of it, one of the Xformer's is still up for sale.

Two years ago I went out to a farm to look at an Allen Organ. It was gorgeous. I misidentified the amps and decided I didn't want the whole thing. I later realized what they were: giant PP fullrange 6550 amps with legendary Acrosound iron that sell for $1200 on ebay and are probably undervalued. I emailed the women, and she had taken it all to the dump and scrapped the metal. They gave her nearly $100 for the amps as scrap. Humongous old Acrosound transformers do have a bunch of copper. . .

Unless you have time on your hands, a truck, a big friend and a cheap way to get rid of heavy junk, stripping out old organs probably isn't cost effective. Its probably easier to let someone else do it and buy the amp alone on ebay. Or just buy new Edcor iron.

If you do find an old Allen tone cabinet though, jump on it. The 6550 amp is a giant, but I'd settle for the 6V6 push pull. Not as many folks after those. . .

pj
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Old 4th September 2009, 02:42 PM   #8
pjanda1 is offline pjanda1  United States
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Here's the one that got away. Don't let this happen to you!

Allen Model 75

pj
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Old 12th September 2009, 01:37 PM   #9
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I pretty much agree with what most of the posters here have stated, with one exception: PLEASE DO NOT confuse these relative "el-cheap-o" organs of the past for the Hammond Tonewheel models!! These tend to be highly valued instruments and are still sought after today...

The Hammond B-3/Leslie cabinet combo, for example, has been heard in just about every popular every music genre for the past 70 years or so (the Allman Brothers' Hot 'lanta is playing in the background as I speak). It continues to see wide use. Many of the major keyboardists have continued to play them long after scrapping their Oberheim/Korg, etc. instruments.

If you happen across one of these, please consider finding it a good home. They are wonderful old instruments that truly seem to have a life of their own. Ty_Bower is perhaps more correct than he realizes about these instruments having a "soul"!
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Old 24th September 2013, 05:43 PM   #10
JimDep is offline JimDep  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty_Bower View Post
I wouldn't do it (again). I paid $100 for a Baldwin Orgasonic. It had a pair of blackplate RCA 6L6GC in it, as well as about fifty-five twin triodes (a mix of 12AU7 and 12AX7). A pair of Jensen 12" alnico speakers and a nice big power transformer. I should have turned a pretty penny on the whole deal, but never had the energy to actually put the parts up for auction. I just ended up hoarding it all in my stash.

Besides, every musical instrument has a soul. Gutting one (even an Baldwin) destroys that instrument and puts a stain on your own soul. It's best to leave them alone, unless you intend to fix them up and learn to play them.
Exactly, Ty. Once they are gone, they're gone. If you can find the room, keep them intact for future generations.

The are from a generation that was a very special time in our country's history.
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