From what I’ve gathered from various sources online, the Hammond J100 series organs are described as “not having that Hammond sound” … So what exactly do they sound like? I know it’s difficult to describe, but how it is it different in relation to the “Hammond Sound?” I know this is a loooooong shot, but if any straightdoper has a J100 – can you record / post a sound clip?
The original Hammond organs used tonewheeels to create the notes, with tube preamp and power amps. The J100 is a transistor organ without tonewheels (I assume that it uses oscillator circuits to create the notes.) Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a sound clip either.
And to round it out, the Vox Continental was the third most popular 60s rock organ sound.
The B3 was the most famous of the bunch, but there’s a whole series of tonewheel organs–the C3 and A-100 probably being the most popular–that were used in rock/blues/gospel/jazz music at the time. The B3 and the C3 are exactly the same organ internally, just look different from the outside. The other ones also have the distinctive tonewheel Hammond sound.
I was hoping to add something helpful to this, since I’m writing my thesis on organ music in the NHL, and have a chapter looking at the Hammond organ sound as a “hockey synecdoche” so to speak.
I have a book on my shelf that’s a very nostalgic rehashing of the history of the instruments (The Hammond Organ: Beauty in The B). In their index, they have about close to a hundred different model numbers listed, and yet there is no mention of J-100; there’s a strange gap in between Model H and Model L.
So, judging by this one (authoritative-ish) source on Hammond organs not even bothering to mention the J-100, one could probably guess that it wasn’t an especially popular model.
Interesting bit about the L models, which may be applicable to Js, as well:
I’ve never heard of a J model, either, but there is a reference to it here
You’ll note that it and the K-100 have virtually no other information available about them.
Wait, I found a little more info here.
Thanks for the replies. I know that the J100 is almost frowned upon but I have the chance of getting one for free… What I’d really like to know if it’s worth my trouble of moving it if I’m going to be disappointed because it does have that Hammond sound one attributes to that name. I know it works differently as far as how the sound is generated and everything… I’ve even see some people say it’s the worst Hammond out there!
I’d say that judging by how ridiculously rare it seems to be (this thread comes up on the first page of a google search, lol), that alone makes it worthwhile to get it. The fact that it might not have the fullest vibrato, or whatever, doesn’t mean that it’s not a novel investment in and of itself. If the Hammond timbre is your only requirement, you can get a much more portable synthesizer that emulates it pretty faithfully. That’s my two cents!
My dad bought me a J 100 at the Toon Shop in Prairie Village, KS. It was definitely for beginners, we paid about $800 for it. It came with a system of 100 pieces of sheet music that gradually got more difficult. I didn’t make it through all 100 because I liked to play by ear. The longevity of the organ was bad- the sound deteriorated in about six years so bad you couldn’t play it. It was a short lived electronic organ without the flywheels.
Cue Bach’s Requiem for a Zombie. On a Hammond J-100 of course.
Thanks. I enjoyed it. Very compelling music. I didn’t know that title even existed. I know they are very popular nowadays, but I’m just not into the undead.