It goes without saying that music equipment (just like every other electronic or mechanical device) needs maintenance. My Hammond XK-2 organ is a staple at Skinny Moo gigs, and recently it needed some attention to see if there were any broken connections on the circuit board inside.
I opened it up to clean it out and check the connections on the circuit boards (I’m sure everybody knows this, but just in case: taking apart gear can be dangerous and if you don’t know what you’re doing you can void warranties, ruin gear, or get hurt, so think before you jump into opening your gear!).
The XK-2 is pretty uncluttered inside. There’s one big section that houses the drawbars, pitch and mod wheels, and vibrato/chorus/leslie switches. Behind that is a small circuit board that handles the expression pedal and footswitch inputs. That connects to the brains of the organ, which also houses the MIDI ins and outs. Beside the main board is the large board that handles the majority of the audio in and out, and lastly there’s the power transformer. The keys take up the rest of the space in the cabinet.
As it turned out, everything tested out just fine. So that leaves the other links in the audio chain to examine: power quality (incorrect voltage can cause issues with the unit performing correctly), bad cables, a bad expression pedal, a bad channel on the board. The list goes on.
And you though music was all booze, babes and trashing hotel suites…