What is a "Combo Organ"

It's any of a family of portable, electronic organs built during the 1960's and 70's, and used primarily by rock bands of that era. They are known for their generally thin, electronic sound, detachable or fold-up legs, and brightly colored tops and switches. Well known songs featuring the Combo Organ sound include "Light My Fire" (The Doors), "House Of The Rising Sun" (The Animals), and "96 Tears" (Question Mark and the Mysterians). It may be easier to describe what it is not.

A combo organ is not:

Perhaps a pictorial comparison will help:

This is a combo organ: (Vox Jaguar)

This is not: (Magnus Chord organ)

This is a combo organ: (Farfisa Compact)

This is not: (Korg CX-3 Hammond/Leslie "emulator")

This is a combo organ: (Gibson G101)

This is not: (Yamaha DX9 Synthesizer)

This is a combo organ: (Howard Combo)

This is not: (Hammond B3)


For additional, somewhat related, reading, check out this interesting document on a court case involving "reclassifying 5 of 38 electronic musical synthesizer models, imported by Casio, Inc"  Note the frequent mention of Montgomery Ward.  (thanks to Lenny G. for this link)