The organ on the LEFT is a counterfeit, and the one on the right is a Genuine Vintage Hammond B3 and the one below the other two is also a counterfeit. COULD YOU TELL?
As Members of the Better Business Bureau we cannot condone this. The value of a Counterfeit B3 is VERY LOW in the $1000-2000 range and when you go to sell it you will find out in a hurry that you have a counterfeit on your hands. If you have fallen victim to the purchase of an undisclosed counterfeit B3, contact the state Attorney General office in the state the dealer is doing business in. If in doubt, send us email and photos of the inside and outside of the cabinetry and we will help you determine this. Some counterfeits are better than others, but we know what to look for. Preferably contact us BEFORE you buy to avoid any problems. Getting your money back from slysters that do this is nearly impossible. It is not criminal to sell one of these counterfeits provided it is disclosed that it is not, in fact, a Genuine B3 organ but an organ put together from parts or some other way distinguished. Watch for folks dodging the question "Is this a Genuine B3?" with misleading answers. If in doubt, shop elsewhere. A Counterfeit B3 is no bargain at any price and has little to no resale value compared to a Genuine B3. Please submit any photos you have of a counterfeit B3 that you have or know of so we can post them to help the public awareness of this latest fraud.
Here are some telltale signs. If you haven't been around a Genuine Hammond B3 much then how could you be expected to know what they look like? You can't and the crooks are counting on this. The collection of photos here will grow as users submit them and we find them also. Generally a counterfeit B3 will have the guts and keyboards of a cheap Hammond A-100 organ installed into a cabinet that looks like a B3 cabinet.
1. We are tipped off immediately by the B3 on the left because there is no keyhole in the photograph.
An Original B3, Above, and Counterfeits, Below
Another counterfeit B3
Let's take out those drywall screws and see what we have here. Hmmm. The back falls off in our hand. A real B3 back will stay in place as it has little wood blocks on the back of it to hold it in place even if the thumbscrews are removed.
What does an original back look like? If you've never seen one, how would you know?
5. A good clue is that the wood the cabinet is made from is NEW. Genuine Hammond B3s will have wood that is at least 40 years old. You can see that the wood is new in this counterfeit.
8. The wiring harness for the shielded wires is also excessive in length. Before 1969 we never saw this in a Genuine B3, but after 1969 you will find Hammond B3's that are original that have the long length shielded wires. Here is a photo of our counterfeit:
The above photos show long shielded lines indicating that most likely these are A-100 guts in a B3 counterfeit cabinet.
Above is original B3, Below Another view of the counterfeit preamp held in by wood screws
10. Another clue is the height of the generator spring holding rail. The A-100 uses shorter springs than an original B3. Below is a picture of a counterfeit, where they have adjusted the rail to a lower position so it will work with the shorter springs that accompany the generator from an A-100 organ.
11. A Genuine B3 also has unfinished inside wood surfaces. This particular counterfeit has finished inside wood surfaces on the side panels.
13. The counterfeit shown in #11 also has a square wood brace instead of the professional Original B3 triangle shaped wood pieces to help secure the lid to the sides. Original B3 is shown here:
14. If we look around we find other problems with counterfeit B3 organs. The B3 organs had plastic pipes for wires to run up and down in that are brown in color and secured into place by brackets. This counterfeit has metal pipes, and no method to secure the pipes to the organ so they bounce around freely.
The above shows the pipes painted clearly the wrong color. They are made of metal. The original B3 depicted below shows the retaining brackets that hold the pipe in place, and the original brown color plastic tubes.
The Above is a Counterfeit, the Below is an Original B3
20. A-100 organs often (but not always) used a single clip assembly to hold the front piece of wood that runs in front of the lower keyboard, to the keyboards. B3s had a more robust clip arrangement. Without this clip, if one picked up the organ or pulled on that piece of wood it would break off. It could also vibrate or generally be loose.
A Counterfeit B3 above, and an original B3 Below.
21. Another common "counterfeit" B3 involves putting A-100 guts into an older BC or BV style cabinet. This is obvious immediately by looking at the legs. The old organ is gutted out, its insides destroyed (which should be a criminal offense in our opinion as there aren't going to ever be any more old fashioned Hammonds) and A-100 guts put into the cabinet. This destroys two organs, the A-100 and the victim BC. The original A-100 cabinet is thrown away and the guts for the old BC, BV or whatever organ are discarded also. These photographs show the true B3 leg fluting, and also the same leg on a BC, BV. Notice how more profound the fluting is on the older organs. The benches will be the same way for each model. Don't buy anything like this, it will have no heritage or resale value unless its priced accordingly.
These pictures show another counterfeit, this time an obvious A-100 transplanted into an old BV Case. Sad that a BV was murdered, and A-100 was murdered to make a non authentic Hammond. There aren't going to be any more original Hammonds so it sure is sad to see this happen so someone can shyster someone else out of a few $$.
Help us keep this page up to date, send us pictures and tales of counterfeits, and alas, corrections, that you know of for inclusion.