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 Post subject: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Thu 01, 2013 2:20 pm 
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Location: irmo, sc
Moderator note: This was originally an ad in the Radio Classified section. Since the item is so unique and there are at least two members who have said they will take the item, rather than lock the thread we have moved it here for further discussion.

I picked this up years ago hoping to restore it as a retirement project but decided it's just not my cup of tea.

The cabinet and electrics seem to be complete with the exception of some of the larger capacitors from the rack section. Amp and power supply are there. Of course, it is sold NON-WORKING and AS IS. The Novachord is dismantled and stored in a spare room at my home. It's quite large and heavy so it will take a pick-up and a couple of strong folks to move. I do have manuals and schematics. This is PICK UP ONLY - NO SHIPPING. Novachord is located in Irmo, SC 29063.

The photos were taken when I picked the Novachord up around 2007 in its original dusty, dirty condition. Email with any questions. I can try to take more photos of it in its stored condition but it is difficult to move and I have back problems. PM with questions.

Not many of these left and definitely not many in the South. If you've been looking for one to restore without driving to California or the Midwest - here it is! Asking $450 for the entire Novachord. I do
not want to part it out. Thanks for looking.

ken


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 Post subject: Re: FS: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored. Asking $450
PostPosted: Aug Thu 01, 2013 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Jul Thu 19, 2007 4:47 am
Posts: 838
Location: North Chili, New York
My God in heaven in the 7 years I have been a Hammond player I have never seen one of these for sale! For those of you who don't know what this is it is the first commercially available electronic synthesizer. IIRC it has about 170 tubes, push pull 2A3s and weighs about 500lbs. It would take quite a while to restore but it is a museum piece no less. Only 1069 were ever made. They were a commercial failure because they were rather unreliable (hundreds of oil and wax paper capacitors) and there was no synthesizer music genre at the time. How did you play something that was formatted like a piano but had stops on an organ? They were used a lot in sci-fi/horror films but actually the first public debut was in gone with the wind. If you listen to the music in the intermission, its a duet with a harp and a novachord. The capacitors and resistors were really its only weakness once you replace those it should be quite reliable.

Sorry I had to splurge all that this is like the keyboard equivalent of a Zenith Stratosphere.
If you don't have any luck selling it you might want to try the Organ Forum. I can almost guarantee someone will take it off your hands over there.

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 Post subject: Re: FS: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored. Asking $450
PostPosted: Aug Thu 01, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Location: irmo, sc
No need for apologies at all - glad to have the input! As I said, I'm not sure what possessed me to
add a Novachord to my collection of old stuff. I also have a theremin and the Novachord pops up
often when searching theremin related topics. I found a few great websites on the subject and a
couple that detailed the restoration efforts. "Saw it in a cartoon - though I could do it...". A friend
and I drove to Maryland and back to Columbia, SC in 24 hours to pick it up (gas was a bit cheaper
then) and the two of us wrestled it in pieces on and off his pick up. Unfortunately, I went through
two more cervical disc surgeries since then and restoring the beast is no longer an option.
Never mind, the fact that I don't play keyboard worth a nickel. Definitely not the best idea that I've
had...

Thanks for the tip about the Organ Forum. I remember visiting there years ago when I first got the
Novachord. It had completely skipped my mind. I'll post there and see if anyone is interested and
close enough to come get it. I'd still love to hear it play again even if in someone else's home.

Thanks again for the input!

ken


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 Post subject: Re: FS: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored. Asking $450
PostPosted: Aug Thu 01, 2013 8:59 pm 
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Michael,

Just tried to register at the Organ Forum but I need a referrer by username. Would you mind if
I used you as a referrer (and what is your username there)?

ken


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 Post subject: Re: FS: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored. Asking $450
PostPosted: Aug Thu 01, 2013 10:12 pm 
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Location: Dayton Ohio
Holy Moley! And iI've been wanting a Novachord!

WellI i supposI should say
ill take it? Granted how soon does it need picked up?

pm to come

-Steve

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Radio Interests
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-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: FS: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored. Asking $450
PostPosted: Aug Thu 01, 2013 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Jul Thu 19, 2007 4:47 am
Posts: 838
Location: North Chili, New York
My name at the organ forum is Hammondlover, haven't been there in a long while but it should still work.

I'm glad someone here wants it, good to see it go to a good home.

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Michael T. Downes
KD2FXU


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 Post subject: Re: FS: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored. Asking $450
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2013 1:48 am 
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Joined: Jun Fri 20, 2008 3:41 pm
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Location: Pueblo West Colorado
Hi,
If the deal doesn't work out with Steve...I'll take it.
Eric

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 Post subject: Re: FS: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored. Asking $450
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2013 2:05 am 
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I couldnt resist posting this link for anyone like myself who didnt know what a Novachord was/is. Amazing piece!
http://discretesynthesizers.com/nova/intro.htm

Be sure to check out the audio clips at the end of the page. Unbelievable!

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Bill W


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 Post subject: Re: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2013 1:52 pm 
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Location: irmo, sc
Eric,

I'll keep you listed in the number two spot but it looks like Steve is going to take it.
Funny - I can't play it, can't move it now to restore it - but I still get attached! When it
goes I'm sure there will be a frog in my throat (but I'm also sure my wife won't feel that
way!) :wink:

...now if I can just find someone that wants a Philco 38-3-3pc I can reclaim some MORE
household real estate!


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 Post subject: Re: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2013 7:03 pm 
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Location: Woodinville, WA USA
O-M-G !

I have restored a Clavioline and a Hammond Solovox, but the Novachord is sort of a holy grail among devices of this sort. (You can read restoration articles about those simpler devices on my website.)

Glad to hear that someone will be (I hope) restoring it. There aren't many of these around. It would be a shame to see it stripped for parts, as many old tube organs are.

Phil Nelson
Phil's Old Radios
http://antiqueradio.org/index.html


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 Post subject: Re: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2013 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 18, 2010 2:13 am
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Location: Dayton Ohio
I want to thank you Ken, for giving me the opportunity to own your Hammond Novachord.

Rest assured, I do plan on restoring it and keeping it fully intact. I do have a couple Hammond amplifiers to help out in the restoration if I need some amplifier parts.

I will gladly post about the efforts in this thread.
I have been working on cleaning up and making room at home, so it looks as if the newly acquired room is going to be taken up already! :lol:

Just means I need to keep up the momentum to be sure the Novachord has a good place to live.

I am quite excited about this!

Thanks
-Steve

_________________
Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Fri 02, 2013 8:29 pm 
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Steve, You know I'm gonna want free Novachord concert tickets. Please, just don't have Justin
Bieber open for you! :roll:

ken


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 Post subject: Re: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Sat 03, 2013 3:28 am 
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Wonderful, Gents. Fired up my relatively modern C3 last night and I am a really lousy musician (as a poiitition, I was once upon a time a half a**d programmer.) Give a MP3 to us when you get it fixed up!


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 Post subject: Re: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Sat 03, 2013 8:54 am 
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Location: Black Hills, SD 57745
I went to the linked website and grabbed some of the sound files. Wow, what an instrument, I love the rich harmonics and varied timbre and vibrato. I'm no keyboardist, but my brother is and he once owned the Yamaha keyboard model that was used in the movie 2001 and he currently owns several other modern synthesizers. We had a Hammond C-3 in the house for a while back in the 1970's, plus the old reed organ my dad rescued from the church, so I've gotten in some good audience time over the years listening to these wonderful music-makers.

The sound of the Novachord makes me wonder if some rock groups didn't use it. Keith Emerson of ELP and King Crimson, or maybe Yes or some early Pink Floyd music certainly seems to fit the sound. I am at a loss as to why it was not more widely accepted and relegated to sci-fi sound effects or scary music soundtracks.

-Ed


Last edited by Ed in SoDak on Aug Sat 03, 2013 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Sat 03, 2013 9:51 am 
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kenbarbdae wrote:
Steve, You know I'm gonna want free Novachord concert tickets. Please, just don't have Justin
Bieber open for you! :roll:

ken


Could be the start of something really big for Steve! Congrats for landing this great instrument.

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 Post subject: Re: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Sat 03, 2013 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 14, 2008 3:29 am
Posts: 699
Location: The scorching Arizona Desert
Crimony, I can't believe one of these has surfaced!
I've seen every published site and video of the Novachord on the 'net, never expecting someone would have offered one right here on the ARF.

I'm pretty deep into music, and have built a lot of instrument MIDI automation related to the venue.
These Novachords are entirely in a class all by themselves.
Seller; please be *very* choosy about who you let this go to, and perhaps ask them for a track record of what they've done. There's a herd of folks who will want it, with only a couple who actually possess the resources and time to bring it back to life. Even I don't have 100% confidence in having the necessary time.


My best wishes to the eventual lucky owner. Hopefully they will spend the time and money necessary to restore it to full glory, and not just park it to gloat over their rare acquisition.

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 Post subject: Re: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Sat 03, 2013 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Apr Mon 20, 2009 6:07 pm
Posts: 184
Location: irmo, sc
Jeff, I'm actually a little surprised at in interest in the Novachord sale. I hadn't really noticed
much Novachord respect happening on the web. Not sure if it had come up much on the
ARF either. There were a few Novachords offered on Ebay in the last year but they too
didn't seem to get much interest. Most likely because of the offering price. I think two of
them were offered for over $2500 and a third was priced about $1000. Not bad prices if
they were RESTORED and PLAYING but quite a bit if all the work was still left to be done.
- not to mention added cost of shipping.

"azenithnut" has already spoken for mine and set a tentative date to pick it up. By all accounts
it will be going to a good home - likely a much better chance at restoration than it had with me.
It turned out to be a much bigger project than I would be able to handle physically and financially
for quite a while. Not being a keyboardist doesn't help either. Still, I'm glad a small part in
getting it to its final home. I most likely saved it from a questionable fate since the person I
bought it from had sole the house it was in and was in a hurry to get it relocated. I had been
"hooked" by a couple of the restoration websites and Novachord fever took over. A friend and I
drove from South Carolina to Maryland to get it. That was in the days when I had most of the
discs in my neck and my back could still take a workout without giving up the ghost!

Like everyone else, I do look forward to the ARF post titled "Novachord Comes To Life!". Till then,
I'll have to stick to more manageable projects like reproducing the Wards Airline movie dial glasses,
fabricating a new film carrier for it and getting the films reproduced again. I should have the first mockup
of the 3 band glass done sometime next week and I can photograph it and offer it to the forum.
The print shop has a test glass now for printing. I've seen a test print on glass and it looks very good.
I've done the diffuser etching and I've got a good technique down. Looks at least as good as the original.
If you've got a broken movie dial glass, save your pennies. I should have complete examples to show
in a week or so. If I can get enough orders I should be able to keep the price close to the cost of
regular radio dials - somewhere around $25 with the "all diffuser Airline 62-277" version costing a little less.

If anyone's curious I can post a photo of the two band version of the glass (the "all diffuser" glass without any
clear side panels for the control markings). This is the glass used in the Airline 62-277.

As far as the Novachord not being used in any popular rock bands (ELO would have been great with one), its
500lb weight and 170 vacuum tube maintenance may have had something to do with that.

ken


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 Post subject: Re: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Sat 03, 2013 11:42 pm 
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Location: Dayton Ohio
Well, I just want to explain my intentions.

I am not someone who will just sit on this acquisition for bragging rights. I fully intend to restore it properly, and I feel I am fully qualified to do so.
I am not a professional musician, though I do know how to play a keyboard instrument. I don't play well, but that could change with practice. :wink:
I currently own two antique parlor reed organs and a spinet piano.

I am no stranger to complex tube type equipment and have restored many large radios, including a Zenith Stratosphere 1000Z which I own. It gets enjoyed quite often, though I don't play it as a "daily driver".

I have over 30 years experience and have worked in consumer electronics repair most of my working career.

Many here have seen my work and know that I'm not just a fly-by-night collector/restorer.
I honestly have been interested in finding a Novachord for several years and I an very happy this opportunity has come my way.

I will gladly post about the restoration as it happens.

Thank you once again, Ken. I really do appreciate it!

-Steve

_________________
Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Sat 03, 2013 11:49 pm 
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Steve,

Again, no problem at all and I'm pleased as punch to see the Novachord go to a good home. I'm probably
as excited as you are!

(pssst...I know it's probably the wrong category but you forgot to plug the movie dial glass in your post. OK -
I have been listening to Harlow Wilcox on Fibber McGee and Molly...) :roll:

ken


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 Post subject: Re: 1939 Hammond Novachord - Unrestored
PostPosted: Aug Sun 04, 2013 3:03 am 
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Here's a flyer from the New York World's Fair - 1939 I think. Steve, you'll get this with the Novachord.
(but please don't paint the Novachord white...)

ken


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