Links and other Resources
Combo Organs and other Vintage keyboards
Transanalog - HUGE collection of photos of organs, synths and other assorted stuff. You may prefer to browse at his Flickr page, which is more organized. He's got lots of closeups of various organ parts, inside and out, including lots of circuit board pictures. Might be just the thing for figuring out where that yellow wire was supposed to connect to.
Organ69hiko - Another collection of photos, this time almost exclusively combo organs. The link on the left is to his Pinterest site. He also has done a ton of YouTube videos many of them of organs you've probably never seen before.
FarfisaProfessional.com - The name says it all! Plenty of pics, ads, info, even schematics for the Farfisa Professional, Professional Duo, and Professional Piano, as well as some amps and other Farfisa oddities.
Pow-Wow Central: Some musings from a former owner of a Fast-5, a few picurtres, and some Farfisa literature scans. Worth visiting!
Alpha-Entek: This site has some excellent information on the Vox Continental, from Ron Lebar, who actually worked at JMI in the early days and was involved in production of the Continental
www.farfisa.org A great web site devoted to the fabulous Farfisa's!
The Vox Showroom The "official" Vox site.
VintageKustom Tons of great pics and info on the old tuck'n'roll Kustoms, including the organs.
Dave's Combo Organs Dave Amels' personal collection
Melbourne Music Great info and witty reviews of Combo Organs and other oddities of the music world. Once you're there, click on the "Vintage Articles" link for the good stuff.
Synthmuseum Mostly analog synths, but an excellent coverage of RMI's full line of instruments, and a combo here and there to be found.
Audities Mark Vail and Dave Amels, among others, are behind this site devoted to the "preservation of electronic musical instruments and the documentation associated with them". Lots of great vintage keyboards, and a fair number of combos among them.
Simon's Hall of Electric Pianos An excellent treatment of these unusual and collectible instruments from the same time period as the Combo's. Simon has also created a Windows screen saver featuring custom-designed images of four vintage keyboards. Click here to get the demo version. The full version, which has images of TWELVE different keyboards, can be purchased by going to Control Panel/Display/Screen Saver/Settings. You can also check out Simon's new business venture, AlphaBeck Designs where he does web sites, CD', screen savers and such.
Das Hohner Haus &
Weltmeister Abbey: Lenny G's page features Hohner keyboards,
including scans of several Hohner flyers AND MP-3's made from a Hohner
Very interesting site covering the extremely unusual and
interesting instrument, the Electronic Sackbut - the world's first
Information in Print
A good place to buy these books is at half.com If they have it, you can usually get it for half retail price or less. They can also sometimes be found on eBay. Otherwise, just look for them at your favorite book seller (you won't find the Peter Forrest books there, though).
Vox Amplifiers: The JMI Years: By Jim Elya. Probably the most complete, accurate coverage of the history of Vox amps through the late 1960s.
"Vintage Synthesizers", by Mark Vail: Mostly a treatment of the history and features of analog synths, but there's a great article on Combo Organs by Barry Carson (re-printed from his 1993 article in Keyboard Mag), plus an entire chapter by Mark Vail on the Vox Continental.
"A-Z of Analogue Synthesisers", by Peter Forrest. Divided into two sections, A-M and N-Z. N-Z is currently out of print but should be out in a revised edition by mid-2001. A revised edition of A-M is currently available for 21 pounds UK or $30 US, Visa/MasterCard, from Star House, Sandford, Crediton, Devon, EX17 4LR, UK. This is a great reference work. Info on more synths than you can shake a stick at. Lots of combo organs, too.
"The Vox Story", by David Peterson. History and info on Vox Guitars, amps and organs. Primarily focused on the amps, but there's some good stuff about the organs, too. Available at J.K. Lutherie (click on "Guitar Books", "Other Brands", then "Vox") and from the publisher, The Bold Strummer
"Rock Hardware", by Tony Bacon. Not a great book, in my opinion, but some pretty good pictures and some useful information. Not a lot on Combo Organs, though - they're mentioned almost in passing. One good picture of the DC5 with an un-plugged UK Continental.
JK Lutherie Sells numerous books about guitars and guitar history. They carry "Beatles Gear", "The Vox Story", and a few Vox catalog and price list reprints.
Good places to buy and sell
Harmony Central Classifieds Use "Search the Classified Ads" and search for "organ"
Guitar Base Mostly guitar stuff, but they have a "keyboards" section.
Theatre Organs Classifieds Good place to find/place want ads for organs
Oak Tree Lots of vintage gear, and usually a good selection of keyboards, plus a small collection of salvage items and parts.
Vintage Electric Musical Instrument Auction Stuff seems to be mostly in Europe, but judging by the past sales listed, the prices seem reasonable. They run two auctions each year, in November and April. The auctions run for about 2 weeks.
Palm Guitars Mostly stringed instruments, but they have a small selection of keyboards including some combo-organs and similar beasties - click on "Miscellaneous Instr.", and "Keyboards" under that.
The Chicago Store: I've been told of this place, located in Tucson, AZ. It's apparently "an old pawn shop turned musical instrument second hand shop", and has been described as "Acres of dust and instruments!". As recently as December, 2002, they had an RMI Lark for sale.
Other (somewhat-topical) Links
21Frets: Excellent site with tons of information about Fender guitars and amps. Check out the "Catalogs & Manuals" section (under the "Information" menu) for complete scans of both the 1968 and 1969 catalogs, both of which include the Contempo combo organ (sadly, the Starmaster never made it into any of the catalogs)
MyRareGuitars.com: Great web site devoted to the "combo organs of the guitar world" (my terminology) All the lesser-known but really cool looking guitars of the 60's onward. Teisco's, Eko's, and the like - no Strats or Les Pauls here, pal!
Completely un-related link - click here if you dare!
Jacque's Stompboxes - More stompboxes than you can shake a stick at. Check out his "vintage collection" page for lots of photos and neat information on effects, amps, guitars, etc.
BLTSound Guitarist in the band I play in, Bernie Timbrook also sells a great line of speakers, cabinets, amps and such, that you can play your combo organs (or whatever) through. Check 'em out!
Fake Bands Here you'll find documented tons of fake bands from TV shows and the like.
Completely off-topic Links
Trackrock Stables: Great place for horseback riding in North Georgia