A-100 - best in its class
"The best B-3's are A-100's" - now what does this statement mean? It points to the fact that a Hammond A-100 organ is in fact the exact same organ as the legendary B-3, and then some. As many may know, the A-100 is the home version of the B-3/C-3 organs. The cabinets of the A-100 models were all, with one exception, tailored for home use: No locking top, built-in speakers and reverb, and a wider selection of wood finishes and stylings. Today, the A-100 series organs have become increasingly sought after because they are generally well kept and less played than B/C-3 organs previously owned by churches or professional musicians. Also, the slimmer profile of the A-100 cabinet (especially the 'plain Jane' A-100 model) is prefered over the B-style cabinet for taking on the road.

A quick history review
The first A-100 organs were produced in 1959. They had the necklace type reverb as found in contemporary Hammond Tone Cabinets. The A-100 was the first tonewheel console with built-in reverb. In the early 60's a few more models of the A-100 theme were issued, the French Provincial A-102 and the spiffy 'Contemporary' A-101. Also, the C-3 cabinet was adapted to contain the A-100 speaker system, creating model A-105 (complete with a locking top). In late 1964 the last two models, the A-122 in Patina Walnut and the the Early American A-143, were issued and in 1965 the A-100 series was discontinued. However, the A-105 remained in production until the very last tonewheel organs were made in the mid 70's. Since the A-105 was still around after 1965, the special parts needed to make it  - i.e. the speakers, power amplifier etc. - were too, so regular A-100 organs were actually being produced well into the 70's in the U.K., Belgium and Germany.


Model Design name Finishes available Features
A-100 Traditional Red mahogany, light walnut First model to be introduced in 1959. First version had the 'necklace' type reverb
A-101 Contemporary Grey mahogany, brown mahogany, translucent black Leslie models 51 and later 251 could be ordered to match the finish of your A-100 organ
A-102 French Provincial Light and dark cherry Not recommended for road or church use because of the relatively fragile, thin, sculptured legs
A-105 Tudor Light oak, dark walnut C-style 'church' cabinet with locking top, very similar to C-3. In production until 1975
A-122 Contemporary Patina walnut A slightly altered version of A-101, only produced for a short period in 1964/65
A-143 Early American Maple This model and model A-122 are the rarest A-100 versions

Below is a nice brochure from the early 60's, kindly scanned by Don Resor Jr. of California, U.S.A.










A wonderful A-100 in rosewood. This one was custom made by Hammond Organ Co. in the UK in the 1960s. Picture kindly supplied by Bevis Peters, United Kingdom.


Connecting a Leslie speaker to A-100 organs

There were a few options available when it came to connecting an A-100 organ to a Leslie speaker. Because the organ had its own dual channel sound system, the console could be regarded as a self contained organ with two output channels (main and reverb) or a single channel organ with a separate tone cabinet built into the lower part of the cabinet. Depending on the setting and/or application of the organ, four basic setups could be used:

Hook-up type Leslie model(s)* Leslie kit # Features Pros Cons
Single channel, Hammond 122, 22H 8101 Connects directly to the preamp Exactly the same sound as a B-3, compatible with Hammond tone cabs No reverb in the Leslie
Dual channel, Conn 251, 351 8253 Reverb is routed to a separate stationary channel Fullest reproduction of the A-100 reverb sound Somewhat non-standard hookup
Single channel, universal 147, 145, (760) 7271
Only main channel is sent to Leslie (from power amp) Simple connection, no non-standard components needed The A-100 power amp has a bass-boost circuit to help the pedal notes through the internal speakers. This bass boost may be undesirable in the Leslie signal.
Dual channel mixed, universal 8444** Main and reverb channels are mixed together and sent to Leslie Reverb is available in the Leslie Reverb is 'spun around'
*  Please note, the Leslie models mentioned are only examples, other models with specs similar to those listed will work as well
**Kit # 8444 is for speaker models 147/145/125 (and compatible). There was no Leslie kit for connecting both channels of an A-100 to a 9-pin Leslie such as model 760

More details on how to connect Leslies to an A-100 are availabe in the Leslie 122, 147 and 251 manuals that you can download here


Above is a model A-122 with a Leslie 22H and 31H. Picture kindly donated by Peter Abrams in Florida, USA.

Below is an A-143. Picture supplied by George Fish of Fish Organs in San Diego, California, USA.