Farfisa Compact Duo (second version) LEGEND!!!

Coming Soon!!!
Coming Soon!!!
Coming Soon!!!
Coming Soon!!!
Coming Soon!!!






Compact Duo http://www.combo-organ.com

The Big Kahuna of the Compact line, the Compact Duo (Mod. "CD /30=COMPACT Duo") has all the features of the Deluxe (second version), plus a whole 'nother keyboard on the bottom!  The lower manual has the two bass octaves of the Deluxe, and a meager selection of three voices (at least they're not all 8', though).  There's actually a bit more than that to be had - you get the cool red lights under the top keyboard, and the later version added Tremolo and Percussion to the arsenal.  Plus, one version of the Duo has a mixture tab not found on any other Compact!

F-AR2.jpg (22793 bytes)The Duo is a bit unusual, in that its power supply, preamp and reverb unit are all contained in an outboard box, the F/A-R, shown here (I believe the letters stand for "Farfisa/Amp-Reverb").  Why they chose to do it this way is anybody's guess, but it's been trouble for would-be Duo owners these days, since many a Duo has been separated from its F/A-R over the years,  Still, unlike combo organ legs, a great many of these little beasties have managed to remain attached to their benefactors.  And since they were also used with the Transicord accordion, there apparently are a fair number of them still around, and can often be found by themselves on eBay, though typically not cheaply.Fortunately, however, the power supply portion (the really critical part) is relatively easy to duplicate (unlike that wretched Gibson G201 amp/power supply!), being basically just a single-voltage DC power supply and a couple of wires for the audio output (well, it's also got a 9VAC output for the volume pedal bulb).  Click here for more information, including a schematic
The F/A-R included a full-size Hammond-style reverb tank, which does not need to be driven by tubes, so it's a fully-transistorized unit
Unlike its lesser brethren, The Duo, was only available in a paltry two versions, detailed as follows:


Compact Duo (first version)
DuoBasic.jpg (40833 bytes)
Really just a Deluxe Compact with a 2nd keyboard,  the Compact Duo (first version) was introduced in 1965.  It does have one significant improvement: the 2-2/3 + 2' mixture tab (more on this below)
The Duos also came with a plexiglass music rack (which this one has managed to retain).  Now THAT's a good reason to own a Duo!
(thanks for the picture, Brent!)
Controls
    Percussion: Off/On, Long/Short
    Pedal: pp, p, mf
    Vibrato: Slow/Fast, Light/Heavy, Vibrato Off/On
    Reverb: Off/Off
   
 Multi-Tone Booster: 16', 8', 4', 2-2/3', All Booster Off/On, Multi-Tone Booster Off/On
    Voice Tabs: Bass 16', Strings 16', Flute 8', Oboe 8', Trumpet 8', Strings 8', Flute 4', Strings 4', 2-2/3' - 2'
    Brilliant Tab    Grey Keys Selector: Treble/Bass
    Lower manual voices: Dolce 8’, Principale 8’, Ottava 4’
    Knobs: Bass Manual Balance, Lower Manual Balance
The last white voice tab is actually a mixture of 2' and 2-2/3' footages.  Apparently, this mixture voice is not filtered to be as "soft" as the 2-2/3' tab on the Deluxe (or the other version of the Duo, below), and can be used to produce a more "Vox-ish" sound.    I'm told this version of the Duo was the one Rick Wright used on some of the earlier Pink Floyd albums, and that "See Emily Play" is a good example.  As in the Deluxe, the Brilliant tab affects only this mixture voice.
Rear Panel:  There isn't one!  All the output controls are on the F/AR!
Lights:  The three lights under the top keyboard are as follows:
    First: Always on
    Second: Lights up when the Grey Keys selector is set for Treble
    Third: Lights up when the Grey Keys Selector is set for Bass (and the 2nd one goes out)

So you can think of them as delimiting the range of the bass section - the first two on indicate the Black keys are Bass, and the first and third on indicate the Black and Grey keys are bass.  A good picture of these lights is included in with the next version of the Duo, below.
If that's too complicated, try Henry Badowski's suggested description:  "...it has three crazy lights that
move around when you flick one of the switches"
  Yeah, now that makes sense!
Sound Samples!
These are courtesy of Antti Pitkämäki:
Demo1: 16' multitone-booster with all-booster on
Demo2: Same riff, but 16' and 8' 
Demo3: Same riff, but 16', 8' and 4' Demo4: Same riff, but 16, 8', 4' and 2 2/3' - 2' Demo5: 16', 4' and 2 2/3' - 2' multitone-booster with all-booster on Demo6: 16', 8', 4' and 2 2/3' - 2' multitone-booster with all-booster on (like demo 4) Demo7: same sound Demo 8: at first the sound is the same as on demo 3, after that 2 2/3' - 2' is added (same sound as on demo 4) Demo 9: String 16', trumpet 8' and flute 4' with lots of reverb, showing the cool sound of the Accutronics-style spring reverb of the F/AR unit Demo 10: Strings 16' and trumpet 8' with vibrato

"The tone controls from the F/AR were at maximum all the time. Some distortion happened in the sound card on some of the demos (especially the first ones). Demos 5-10 have left hand bass. Those sounds that use the 2 2/3 - 2' tab are only available on the Compact Duo "non-effects version". The rest of the sounds (demos 1-3, beginning of 8 and 9-10) are available on the basic single manual Compact too (except for the better quality spring reverb of the F/AR unit)."

Compact Duo (second version)
Compact Duo 45a.jpg (60676 bytes)The second version of the Duo (which, to my knowledge was NOT called the "Combo Duo Deluxe I Compact" ha ha), introduced in 1966, adds a couple of potentially useful features - Tremolo and Repeat Percussion.  Other than that, it's nearly identical to its little brother, except for some shuffling of control positions Oh, yeah, it looks like they had to ditch those nifty "Pedal pp, p, mf" tabs - oh, well.The 2-2/3' tab (single footage, not like the earlier Duo's mixture) on this version is pretty much like that found on the Deluxe,with its mellower sound.  I'm told that this version of the Duo was used on later (post-Syd Barret) Pink Floyd.  

Compact Duo 45i.jpg (62362 bytes)  

Compact Duo 45k.jpg (104860 bytes)
The Bass section lights.  The two lit up here indicate the bass is switched for two octaves. (note the Grey Keys Selector tab is switched down, for Bass)

Compact Duo 45f.jpg (58541 bytes)Compact Duo 45e.jpg (63819 bytes)Compact Duo 45d.jpg (56523 bytes)
Compact Duo 45c.jpg (56707 bytes)Compact Duo 45b.jpg (57963 bytes)Compact Duo 45g.jpg (73514 bytes)

(Thanks to David 'Egrefin' for these excellent Compact Duo pics.  More available here at his website)

Controls
    Lower manual voices: Dolce 8’, Principale 8’, Ottava 4’    Vibrato: Slow/Fast, Light/Heavy, Vibrato Off/On    Reverb: Off/On    Tremolo: Lower manual Off/On, Upper Manual Off/On, Speed (knob)    Repeat/Percussion: Lower Manual Off/On, Upper Manual Off/On, Repeat Speed(knob), Repeat/Percussion, Percussion Length(knob)    Multi-Tone Booster: 16', 8', 4', 2-2/3', All Booster Off/On, Multi-Tone Booster Off/On    Voice Tabs: Bass 16', Strings 16', Flute 8', Oboe 8', Trumpet 8', Strings 8', Flute 4', Strings 4', 2-2/3'
    Brilliant Tab
    Grey Keys Selector: 
Treble/Bass    Pedal Bass Manual Soft/Sharp    Percussion: Off/On, Long/Short
    Knobs: Bass Manual Balance, Lower Manual Balance