Hammond 102200, courtesy of Vintage Synth Explorer

A somewhat peculiar preset synthesizer, marketed by Hammond's Japan division circa 1975. Other than the pre-WWII Novachord, it was the only synth ever made by Hammond. It was notable for having a rather more flexible architecture than most preset synths of the era.

THe 102200 was monophonic, using an oscillator of unknown design, producing a square wave and a sawtooth wave. (The review at Vintage Synth Explorer speculates that it might be a divide-down architecture; however, such is not usually the design choice for a monophonic synth). The voice had one low pass VCF, one VCA, and two AR envelope generators -- one dedicated to the VCF, and one to the VCA. The synth is equipped with a 44-key, non-velocity, non-aftertouch keyboard, and there are no performance controls.

Six hardwired presets are available, selected by radio buttons which are labeled French Horn, Tuba, Sax, Violin, Clarinet, and (no kidding) "Solar Echo". They are typical '70s cheesiness. However, a seventh button labeled "Cancel" brings into play the outstanding feature of the synth: an array of 49 pushbuttons (7 rows by 7 columns), which allows the performer to build their own voicing. The seven columns each provide seven possible settings of a particular parameter; each button has a small graphic next to it indicating what it does to that parameter. For instance, the seven buttons in the "Pitch" column select various combinations of the square and sawtooth waveforms. This is quite a bit more flexibility than most preset synths of the era provided. However, there is no patch memory for button array settings.

Like many preset synths of the era, the 102200 was packaged to sit on top of an organ; an aluminum lip, which somewhat overhangs the keys, was intended to hold sheet music. Sources indicate that only 200-300 were made, so working ones are quite rare now.

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