Jim & Rodney: Thank you so much for the recent organ purchase experience. I feel fortunate to have discovered Keyboard Exchange International (KEI) in Sanford, FL, so close to home. I like the '1-stop shop' concept you offer (purchase, repair, restoration, service, upgrades, lifecycle support of all things organs & Leslie cabinets, organ lessons, advice, & friendship). I especially appreciate how cooperative & easy-going your 'just-right' salesmanship is. I never felt pressured or disregarded. I think that your business-model works well.
Organ Purchase Experience: You should know that I chose to buy from you primarily because KEI is a reputable, full-service organ source who stands behind the deal. When I looked at organs from various sources, the price range seemed inexplicably wide, with some examples of direct sales from individuals seeming 'too good to be true' when compared to the prices from established dealers. But when I thought through the scenario from a 'total ownership cost' perspective, I realized that going with KEI was actually the best bargain. You get what you pay for in life... To Continue Reading
Please accept this E-mail endorsement as being totally unsolicited and completely voluntary on my part. Rodney completed his delivery just over an hour ago and I couldn't wait to send you these comments: We are delighted beyond words with the thorough job of restoration that Keyboard Exchange International did on my C-2 Hammond Organ. In a day when so many people simply will not do what they promise, it is totally refreshing to deal with someone who does more than they promise. You kept me informed on every stage of progress of the restoration, completed the work sooner that I expected and made the delivery exactly on time. I was able to get some volunteers to help with the unloading and no time was wasted in waiting for the delivery to arrive. I will be more than happy to endorse your work to anyone who may be considering doing business with you. I look forward to the day when we may have a business relationship again.
Thanks Again, Stanley Strickland!
Greetings, potential Hammond organ owners. This may seem like a long story, but to a Hammond B3 devotee I think you'll find it's worth the read.
Does this sound familiar?
When was the last time you bought a car from a dealership? When's the last time you bought a house? Think back on the experience. You're all excited about the purchase, you're bubbling with anticipation of getting behind the wheel or your new car that is just what you wanted or pulling into the driveway of your new home. Enter the "joy patrol!" The people who just have to suck the fun right out of the experience. For the car purchase, it's the sales manager - you know him (and it's always a "him") - the person in the office somewhere out of sight who really makes the price decisions. For the home purchase, enter the "house closing" meeting - the one where the figures just aren't right somewhere or some document is missing that ruins the joy of the moment. If you're like me, you'd rather take a beating than deal with either of those situations and the personalities involved.
Well once and a great while,
you experience something so enjoyable that you must tell as many people as you can. So here's one that will restore your faith in how a business transaction can be. I told Jim Huss halfway through my organ purchase, "Once this is done, if you would like a written testimonial for your Website on how excellent your service and support has been in this purchase, I’d be thrilled to write something up for you. I have never experienced a company or someone like yourself who takes as much personal interest in a customer’s purchase and ensuring they get the what they want as you and Keyboard Exchange have done. This has been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable large item purchases I’ve ever experienced. If car dealers did this, people would stick with them for life. To Continue Reading
I have dealt with a lot of organ players all over the US and all of them have said that if I ever need anything Hammond that the ‘B3 guys on Orlando’ are the people to deal with. That they are fair and reputable and will never give you a bad deal. I have to agree wholeheartedly and you now have someone new singing your praise. Anything that I need, I will get from you in the future.
Hi Jim, I am writing to express not only my gratitude in my purchase from your company, but the excellent condition and sound of this B-3 and 22R Leslie speaker. It should be noted, that I live in the state of Pennsylvania. The entire transaction was done over the phone or via the internet. You sent pictures and made a video demo before we came to terms. You assured me that you tried all of your in-store inventory and this was the best sounding match you had. Your assessment was absolutely correct. I have owned several B-3's and Leslies, the sound quality on this equipment compared to the others isn't close. Not to mention, the equipment is in mint condition. Again, the purchase was made upon your recommendation. You suggested a Trek II string bass unit be installed for a much richer bass response. I agreed without hearing it. Your tech installed the unit, I couldn't be more pleased. In closing, thank you for your total honesty and delivering on your promises. I would never think of buying from another company after the experience I have had with you. Keyboard Exchange Rocks!
Sincerely, Dennis Zernick Ambridge, PA
Just a note to let you know how much I am enjoying my B3 and Leslie from Keyboard Exchange International. I have to admit that I was a bit wary about purchasing them sight unseen, but our conversations along with the pictures and video you sent helped set my mind at ease. Even so, I was not prepared for the outstanding quality of the instrument when it arrived. Your technicians did an excellent job restoring the electronics as well as installing the Trek II String Bass and Reverberation units. Rodney and your father did remarkable work detailing the cabinet and keyboards, not to mention the delivery and setup. The result was an absolutely superb instrument that plays and sounds as good as it looks. I could not be more pleased. In closing, please rest assured that your knowledge, patience and craftsmanship do not go unnoticed, and are greatly appreciated. It has been a pleasure doing business with such a fine group people as yourselves.
Sincerely, Stephen M
As an enthusiast of the Hammond organ sound, a couple of years ago I got myself a modern XK3 - a nice instrument in itself. However, I'd always aspired to have a genuine tonewheel-driven vintage B3...but I just couldn't get one of those in the UK!
A quick Google search led me to the website of Keyboard Exchange International, so in November 2013 I phoned for some initial advice. Jim talked me through some Hammonds that might have met my needs, including a nice B2 as well as some B3 organs of different ages. He emailed over a couple of short videos so I could see and hear the main contenders in action. I was impressed with his patient and very well informed service. He is clearly a genuine enthusiast himself and knows a lot about the subtle differences between newer and older B3 organs, as well as questions of restoration, sensitive modification and maintenance.
The B2 offer was tempting, but I got my heart set on a genuine B3 dating back to 1959, complete with matching bench, pedalboard and a full sized Leslie speaker of the same era. From the pictures and the audio samples I could see that it was all in pretty nice condition, but Jim mentioned a couple of minor marks on the top of the Leslie which he kindly offered to refurbish at a very reasonable cost within the overall deal.
We then discussed what modifications would be needed or may be required by me. I was keen to have a machine that would essentially look, play and sound as originally intended. However, there are a couple of key differences between the USA and UK AC electricity supplies which meant that a bit of extra circuitry is required - a another matter on which Jim and his technician were already well informed. So, hidden away within the B3 he agreed to fit an AC frequency converter (to cater for the UK 50Hz AC frequency) and to supply a compact voltage transformer (for the UK 240V mains supply) which the power lead runs through on the way from the wall socket to the instrument. The frequency converter not only ensures that the organ is perfectly in tune (as I can testify by playing it alongside my digital XK3) but also means that the rotors in the Leslie run at the correct speeds for Chorale and Tremelo.
There wasn't anything else that desperately needed to be done other than a general service and clean up of the organ. However, to ensure trouble free operation for years to come, Jim's technician replaced the bass driver in the Leslie, and replaced some of the valves. The numbering had worn off a couple of the original drawbars, which remained fully functional, but a at my request Jim also agreed to fit some replacements. For me the whole set up has just the right look of a properly cared for vintage machine, without being over-restored.
There was only a couple of modifications that I really wanted to make, and they included the addition of a vintage-style genuine spring-reverb unit (so it's possible to get that big space 'ambience') when playing in a well damped domestic environment, and an extra jack output so if playing in a large public space such as with a band, the B3 can now be connected to additional amplification, (Having said that, the volume and richness of sound that comes out of the Leslie is impressive in itself).
The next big question was how to get the B3, bench and Leslie to the UK. They are not exactly designed to be portable and weigh a lot. I struggled to find useful contacts at this end who would handle the shipping of a single large item like this for private rather than commercial purposes. However, Jim managed to arrange a good deal for me with his contacts at Tigers - all included in the price. This took a lot of the concern and hassle out of it for me. The next bit of good news was that Tigers agreed to use air freight, and arranged for the crates to be transported from Heathrow airport to my home - approximately 150 miles further north.
So within about two months of my initial enquiries it arrived safely - having been very securely wrapped and packed within two large crates. With the help of a good friend I got the B3 into my home and set up - Keyboard Exchage International also having provided thorough advice on the unpacking and setting up process.
The B3 attracts many admiring comments. It's not just a wonderful vintage instrument, but also a beautiful piece of furniture.
It was thanks to the comprehensive assistance and advice of Keyboard Exchange International that I finally had the confidence to purchase an original B3 from the USA. It will be something that I treasure for many years to come.
I'll also say that If anyone else in the UK or Europe has any questions about obtaining one of these instruments from Keyboard Exchange International, I'd be happy to advise.
Thanks again to Jim and his colleagues,