50 years of the Hammond B3

"The Hammond Organ is Alive & Kicking....there's just no substitute for the real Thing!" British Broadcasting Corporation

PURE Hammond
"1955. Introduction of the model B3" one small line in Hammond's history, but so greater statement for popular music. In the past 50 years the Hammond B3 has been; and continues to be the keyboard instrument of choice for some of the greatest names in the world of Music.

B-3 design specifications
A "Back to the drawing board" approach means the fundamental design ideas of Laurens Hammonds most famous of all Hammond Organs is back to stay!


Sound generator system
The unique B-3 sound is reproduced by a revolutionary newly designed sound generator system (96DigitalToneWheels
), which recreates all of those wonderful idiosyncrasies of the Tone wheel generator which have eluded all previous digital systems.

Waterfall keys & harmonic drawbars
Two, 61 note, B-3 style, waterfall key, keyboards allow for the essential performance characteristics of the Hammond masters, especially effortless palm glissandos. While four  complete sets of nine traditional harmonic drawbars and twenty four reverse colour key presets achieve total ease of set up.

Mechanical multi-contact system
It is by utilising several tone varying features that the B-3 performs so uniquely. Upper and lower pitch foldback subtly effects the overall sound, while, probably, the most important and interesting feature is the nine key contact system operating on each key. These contacts connect from each of the nine drawbar pitches and by pressing a key slowly each pitch level can be determined, high to low. This system created the earliest form of touch response for tone variance as well as expression.  This mechanical contact system is also responsible for Hammond´s famous key click noise, an unintended feature that became an essential component of  the B-3 character. The new B-3 incorporates a complete mechanical contact system, totally unique in a modern instrument.

B-3 expression curve
Sound dynamics are controlled by an exact copy of the original B-3 expression curve  incorporated in the new instruments foot volume controller.


The challenge for many years has been to recreate the look, sound and feel of this legendary keyboard instrument. Only Hammond has the qualifications  and knowledge to accurately achieve this

Now the B-3 is re- born...






These are the terms that best describe the Hammond

New B-3 Organ. This brochure is dedicated to all performers

and lovers of organ music who demand nothing less than the

finest in tonal reproduction whether their appreciation is for

the classic masterpieces of Bach or the sparkling modern

arrangements of contemporary composers and artists.

The Hammond New B-3 Organ offers conservative styling

that lends gracious dignity to any décor. Notice the variety

of timeless finishes carefully executed on choice hand

selected woods. Observe the superb craftsmanship that

represents the epitome of the cabinetmaker’s art.

You can literally "feel" the built-in quality that characterizes

all of the craftsmanship that is represented in the Hammond

New B-3 Organ- from the finish on the superb cabinet to the

precious metal palladium contacts in the heart of this truly

magnificent instrument.

Finally! Someone got it right!


The Heart and Soul of the New B-3

Digital Tone Wheel™ Sound Engine
Direct Analogue Keying™

Let us now consider the new digital tone generator and see how it produces the sound. The unique Hammond B-3 sound is reproduced by a revolutionary newly designed sound generator system (96 digital Tone Wheels). This new digital Tone Wheel generator perfectly generates pure tones that is tones which have no harmonic content of their own. This purity is essential in order to attain a desirable tonal cohesion between the fundamental and its harmonics when they are mixed through the use of the drawbars.

When a manual key is pressed, it closes 10 small electrical switch contacts. These contacts are connected to the digital Tone Wheel generator as well as to the drawbars. The positions of the
drawbars (which are under control of the player) determine the intensities of the individual electrical currents corresponding to the fundamental and its harmonics.

After leaving the drawbars,
the various electrical currents are connected together (or "mixed") to form a single complex current which flows from the console to the Leslie cabinet where it is amplified and caused to operate the
speakers. The swell pedal varies the intensity (or volume) of this complex
current before it reaches the speakers.

Pre-Set Combinations

Each manual of the organ is equipped with nine pre-set combination keys. In addition, there are two sets of manually adjustable controls for each keyboard, thus making twenty-two different registrations which are instantly available, in addition, of course, to the many thousands of variations available by adjustment of the "harmonic drawbars." "VIBRATO AND CHORUS" has six possible positions corresponding to three degrees of vibrato and three degrees of vibrato chorus. The control pre-selects the extent of vibrato or vibrato chorus which will be obtained when either of the manual vibrato "ON-OFF" stops is used.

Touch Response Percussion Control

Percussion tones may be produced with a key-controlled "touch-response" in which desired notes of a melody may be accentuated. Now at your touch are effects like harp, chimes, orchestral bells, celeste, xylophone, marimba and a whole new world of fascinating percussion tones, which may be expressively introduced in a manner not found on any other organ.

Information Center

The drawbars, control tablets and rotary controls affect the operations necessary for performance on the organ. Advanced features such as drawbar voice mode, pedal sustain length etc., are accessed using the Information Center. This allows the player to see and make changes. The Information Center Display and touch buttons are located on a drawer unit positioned under the right side of the lower manual.

The Selective Vibrato Stops

The great and swell manuals are provided with separate "ONOFF" vibrato
controls in the form of tilting stop tablets. The rotating control "VIBRATO AND CHORUS" has six possible positions corresponding to three degrees of vibrato and three degrees of vibrato chorus. The control pre-selects the extent of vibrato or vibrato chorus which will be obtained when either of the manual vibrato "ON-OFF" stops is used.

Rotary Control Panel

The new Hammond B-3 has a Rotary Control Panel which is located underneath the manuals on the extreme left side. The organist can use these controls to adjust the sound of the instrument such as: master volume, bass, treble, reverb, overdrive etc.


The New Hammond B-3 has a MIDI OUT jack which is located underneath the organ on the left side. To control another MIDI instrument (synthesizer, sound module, etc.) from the organ, connect the MIDI OUT from the organ to the MIDI IN of the instrument you want to control.
Due to the unique tone-generation system of the New Hammond B-3, it does not implement MIDI IN or MIDI THRU.

The Registration Principle
of the
Hammond Organ

This is the original, unique feature of the Hammond Organ which makes it completely different from any other organ. In the Hammond Organ, the basic elements of all musical tones (the fundamental and its harmonic overtones) are made separately available to the organist. Furthermore, their relative strengths may be adjusted at the will by the organist. The drawbars of the Hammond Organ are provided for this purpose. Flute-like tones, for instance, may be produced by a certain combination of these drawbars; string-like effects by another combination; or the effects of both strings and
flutes by still a different combination of the same drawbars. Thus, the drawbars provide the tonal ingredients from which the various registrations may be compounded.




Speaker Connection

The New B-3 Hammond Organ has two 11-pin Leslie connectors, one marked MAIN and the other marked ECHO, making it easy to connect multiple Leslie Speakers to the organ.

  Speed Switch

A Leslie Speed Switch is provided with the New B-3 Hammond Organ to allow control of the Leslie Speaker rotors from the organ console.




Main/Echo Switch

When two Leslie Speakers are connected to the organ, the optional Main/Echo switch will allow the sound to come from only the Main cabinet, only the Echo cabinet, or both cabinets simultaneously.


KEYBOARDS 61-61-25 61-61-25
PRESET KEY  12keys 12keys
Mechanical Latch Mechanical Latch
SWELL DRAWBARS (UPPER) 9 pitches 2 sets 9 pitches 2 sets
GREAT DRAWBARS (LOWER)  9 pitches 2 sets 9 pitches 2 sets
PEDAL DRAWBARS 2 pitches 2 pitches
PRESET MEMORY Compact Flash card Change by Preset Panel
KEYING METHOD Direct Analog Keying Direct Analog Keying
CONTACT 10-Mechanical contacts 9-Mechanical contacts
+Rubber contacts w/velocity
POLYPHONY Full Polyphony Full Polyphony
GENERATOR (Manual) 96-Digital Tone Wheels 91-Tone Wheels
GEN. WAVEFORM Changeable by CFcard Fixed
(Flash ROM)
GENERATOR (Pedal) VASE II Tone Wheels
VIBRATO/CHORUS V1, V2, V3, C1, C2 ,C3 V1, V2, V3, C1, C2 ,C3
DISPLAY 20x2 digits LCD
WEIGHT 132 kg 190 kg
DIMENSIONS Closed, without pedal keyboard 123 cm wide, 73 cm deep, 97 cm high..

Open and with pedal keyboard and bench 123 cm wide, 126 cm deep, 117 cm high.