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#152534 06/02/05 12:03 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
Trumpy Offline OP
Posted for Jooles:

What I've been offered for free is a Hammond X-66.

It has things wrong with it, according to the donor.

I've looked it up, and the X66 is a tonewheel organ that uses electronics to reduce the classic 96 tonewheels to 12 only. How it does so is doubtless facinating, but it is the tonewheel mechanism I am focussed on for the present.

By his description of the fault (it was in German, which is about my fourth tongue) it sounds either a simple bad contact or else a rewinding of a bad coil on one of the wheels. I think the organ has often had glasses of beer, if you see what I mean [Linked Image]

What I want to ask is whether anybody here has experience of fixing these things. I certainly don't, though I have a certain rapport with 1960s electronics because of mending old radios, audio amplifiers, restoring loudspeakers, and fixing turntables and tape recorders of that era as a hobby. I also liked tinkering with old 405-line B+W tellies when I was a kid :-) And occasionally I still mend small appliances too, because they are fun :-)

What would cause a "dreadfully out of tune" and a "bad sound" in certain pieces of music on that organ?

There is a Leslie Cabinet that goes with it, apparently, and I've wanted to poke about inside one of those for years. So the spare bedroom already has a "reserved" notice hanging on the doorhandle, and it stays whatever happens :-) If you don't hear from me after 07-Jul then do assume that Household Managment has completed Operation Purge :-).

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 06-02-2005).]

#152535 06/02/05 02:13 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 806
Jooles wrote:

What would cause a "dreadfully out of tune" and a "bad sound" in certain pieces of music on that organ?

The problem as described to you in regards to a bad contact or bad coil rewind is the answer.

The Hammond tonewheel organs used combinations of the outputs of the various tonewheels to generate the desired notes. The early 96 wheel units simply added the tones together.

If I recall correctly, the X-66 and other "hybrid" Hammonds used the solid state electronics as multipliers to get the desired notes. So any failure of the electronics (dead/out-of-tolerance) would alter the tones radically.

If you were to do an online search, there are several companies out there who specialize in Hammonds and could guide you further. I believe Organ Service Company in Illinois here in the US could even provide a service manual for your organ.

I have a Hammond BCV waiting to be restored myself. [Linked Image]

Good luck and keep us posted!

Stupid should be painful.
#152536 06/30/05 04:58 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 11
The 96 wheel Hammond organs used a starting motor and a synchronous running motor.

You hold the momentary starter switch until the wheels reach running speed then turn on the running motor and release starting motor switch.

The synchronous running motor has little torque and is very sensitive to dry or dirty bearings.

Any speed instability would produce a dreadful out of tune.

I am familiar with 96 wheel organs and leslie speakers, email me if you have questions.

#152537 08/04/05 10:17 AM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
Trumpy Offline OP
Sorry I just dug this out of my e-mail box.
Hi, fellow x-66 owner.

I found your question on the Internet on a discussion forum.

If you live in europe and have 230 V 50 cycle AC the organ will be out of tune because the electric motor on the 12 tone tonewheel generator is running at the wrong speed. The Hammond X-66 is about the most beautiful sounding hammond organ ever made.

TO make it run in tune it must have 120 volt 60 cycle current.

If there are other problems and you are trying to fix it I will gladly try to talk you through the process via e-mail.

If you are keen to contact this guy, sent me an e-mail and I'll give you his e-mail address. [Linked Image]

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