Unique and peculiar vintage analog machine, now with added polyphony Detunable and stackable oscillators; use the original Presets as additional tonal layers Modern controls can be switched in or out – play the original 102200 or bring it into the 21st Century! Comes with over 80 professionally-designed factory patches Very simply, this one just spoke to the geek in us :-D The 102200 is the Hammond Organ corporation’s only stab at producing a synthesiser. As such, it’s both very rare and very odd. Clearly Hammond had seen what Moog, Arp, Roland and others were up to, and had decided to jump on the monosynth bandwagon. The thinking must have been along the lines of, We already have keyboards. All we need to do is add the synth. Which is what they proceeded to do – but in the weirdest way possible. First of all, instead of calling it the Rogue or the Soloist or something catchy, they went for 102200 (which sounds like a Beverley Hills postcode to us). But that was just the beginning of the madness.
Instead of user-friendly knobs and sliders, the 102200 sports a matrix of 49 pushbuttons, plus six presets and a noise source on its own slider. Users could either select one of the six presets – which include the wonderful Solar Echo, the 102200’s sole moment of cool – or else deselect the presets and create their own tones using the button matrix.
The overriding impression we got from our 102200 is of an instrument that had great potential, but swerved off-reservation before attaining it. The filter is great. The oscillator is great… but there’s only one of it. And the buttons look futuristic and cool, but are actually rather weird to use. If Hammond had pursued their synth adventure just a little further, there’s every chance they could have come up with something genuinely powerful; but sadly, the 102200 became one of a kind. Which is kind of why we like it.