I get a LOT of email asking about the spinets... or smaller Hammond organs, and how close are they to the B3 sound... and what the differences are with the models etc.
This guide will explain some of the basic features and differences in the organs... and why if you are on a budget, and need the Hammond sound, a spinet may be just the organ for you.
OK... a Hammond tone wheel organ, of witch many are spinet organs, will have the classic "tone wheel" sound...
The closest organ in the spinet bunch is the M3... it even has waterfall keys... if you find one with reverb, or preset selector, those were add on's.
HAMMOND M3 ORGAN ABOVE SHOWING WATERFALL KEYS
M100's added reverb to the organ... however they have diving board keys, not waterfall.
HAMMOND M100 ORGAN ABOVE SHOWING DIVING BOARD KEYS
L100's were essentially the later single motor version of the M100... however there is no SCANNER in the organ, and vibrato and chorus are produced electronicly, as opposed to electro mechanicly.
HAMMOND L100 ORGAN ABOVE WITH DIVING BOARD KEYS
That being said, they all have a decent sound... all similar... all recognizably Hammond organ.
One main difference is that on ANY spinet, the tonewheels do not go down as far as on a full console organ... thus no low tones from the keyboard... can't play left hand bass.
Another difference is the drawbar foldback, which is how tones repeat for a drawbar range as you go up the keyboard, is different on the spinets... the foldback does not go all the way up the keyboards... thus a thinner overall sound is produced.
Spinets also have only 12 or 13 short bass pedals depending on the model, where as the console organs have 25 full length bass pedals... and there were even console Hammond organs made with AGO 32 tone bass pedal boards.
Spinet organs have been used in recordings over the years, and at live concert venues, and they were many times just assumed to be B3's... artists such as Booker T... Keith Emerson... Procol Harem... to name just a couple... and the list can go on and on...
#1 recommendation is to try it before you comit to buy it... always... if that is possible...
#2 learn how to maintain it yourself if at all possible
Thanks for stopping by...
More info will be added at a later date !
Tom Petro NJ