Tonewheel Hammond Service and Rebuilding

Nothing sounds quite like a classic tonewheel Hammond, but with even the newest of the B-3s, C-3s, and A-100s hitting their 40s – and with the bulk of the production runs of most of these models being 50 years old or more – even a lot of the classic Hammonds don’t sound that “classic” any more! Scratchy drawbars, intermittent key contacts, “lumpy” vibrato, missing tones, and other common problems can rob your favourite instrument of its true voice. Don’t despair, though – parts are readily available and virtually any problem is fixable on these fine examples of American over-engineering. We at Golden Eagle specialize in repairing these great old organs, and we have years of experience. We can repair or rebuild your treasured Hammond so that it’ll be wailing for decades to come, and we can help you to keep it at its best.

Hammond Tonewheel Organ Repair Services

The classic “tube and tonewheel” organs are the most eagerly sought-after of the vintage Hammonds. All of them were produced before 1975, and they’re a specialty here. These feature Hammond’s famous (and unique) electromechanical tonewheel generator, as well as all-vacuum-tube amplification. Specifically, this group includes all of the “two-switch” (Start/Run) organs, as well as the L-100 series, and they are some of the finest examples of twentieth-century American industrial production. All are characterized by outstanding engineering, design, and construction, as well as the inimitable Hammond sound, and they’re destined to be repairable far into the future. Any replacement components that might be needed for them are still readily available, and we have an extensive inventory of repair parts on site.

To keep them playing, though, these organs do require periodic maintenance (especially annual oiling with the correct lubricants) – and because even the newest of them are now over forty years old, many could use some attention. Trust your classic Hammond to us, and we’ll get it sounding great, and keep it that way!

Here’s a partial list of the most common service, repair and rebuilding procedures that we offer for these great old instruments, and the problems that they address:

  • Generator oiling – for annual maintenance (we sell genuine Hammond oil and we’ll help you out if you’d like to do this yourself)
  • Generator flushing and re-lubrication – to quiet squealing bearings and restore proper oil flow through the generator thread-oiling system for years to come
  • Keyboard and pedal buss-bar cleaning and lubrication – to restore missing, intermittent, and noisy tones
  • Drawbar contact cleaning – to quiet scratchy and intermittent drawbar action
  • Vibrato scanner cleaning and rebuilding – to restore that silvery quality to vibrato systems that have taken on a “choppy” or “lumpy” sound
  • Pre-amplifier and amplifier repair and rebuilding – to eliminate hum and intermittent noise, and to restore missing vibrato and/or percussion
  • Switch replacements – for faulty Start and Run switches that can silence your organ altogether
  • Percussion and Vibrato switch cleaning – to restore proper operation of these functions
  • Vibrato line-box re-capping (i.e., capacitor replacement) – for the ultimate in smooth vibrato performance
  • Start- and run-motor repair and replacements – for generators that fail to start, or fail to keep running
  • Zinc whisker (“dendrite”) removal – for a variety of hard-to-diagnose problems, especially in the percussion and vibrato circuits
  • Generator re-capping and re-calibration – to restore missing brilliance, and to even out tones that may have become softer and/or louder over the years
  • Pedal re-tensioning – to provide firm and even pedal action and to adjust it to an individual player’s taste
  • Removal of the infamous “gooey black foam” from later-model tonewheel Hammond manuals.

We are also one of the very few organizations in Canada able to repair defective Hammond tonewheel generators, including renewal of oiling threads, replacement of out-of-tolerance bearings, and replacement of defective pickup coils and/or filters.