• novachord2
  • novachord
The Mobile Media Lab acquired an early model Hammond Novachord which is the process of being restored.

January 17th, 2010 the MML acquired a Hammond Novachord, serial #123. The instrument dates from approximately 1938, and was one of only 1069 that were produced. It uses over 150 vacuum tubes to generate electronic sounds playable over a 6 octave keyboard. Unlike other electronic instruments from the same era, the Novachord was/is polyphonic, meaning that it can be played very much like a piano. Many have called the Novachord the first commercially available polyphonic synthesizer. We are in the process of replacing over 1000 original wax and paper capacitors and similarly vintage resistors with modern components, along with overhauling the power supply, amp and vibrato mechanism. The entire wood frame has been restored by local artisan Robert Prenevault and awaits the completion of the electronic component replacements work, with consultation from Jean Landry.

Principal Investigator:

Owen Chapman, Communication Studies, Concordia University, Montreal

Previous Research Assistants

Laura Newman, B.A. Communication Studies, Concordia University, graduated 2013
Cynthia Wong, B.A. Communication Studies, Concordia University, graduated 2013
Andrew Simpson, B.A. Communication Studies, Concordia University, graduated 2013


radio, restoration, sound, hammond organ, music