The V304 Jaguar Tone Generator Circuit Card - Overview

A view of one of the twelve tone generator
cards in the V304 organ

A view of one of the twelve tone generator
cards in the V304E2 organ

The Jaguar Organ had twelve compact solid state tone generator printed circuit cards, one for each note of the musical scale. These cards generate the "sound" of the organ.

Each of these twelve cards was fitted with eight electrical contacts that mated with a corresponding eight connector socket in the organ chassis. The card was held in place by one screw.

Each of these twelve tone generator cards had a "master oscillator" and a three stage frequency "divider" circuit.

The master oscillator circuit used a pair of germanium transistors, several capacitors and a tuning coil. The master oscillator was the frequency tunable part of the circuit. The master oscillator also produces the organ's highest pitched tones. The pitch or frequency of the tone generator is tunable by adjusting the tuning coil.

The output from the master oscillator is fed serially through three slave divider circuits. Each divider drops the input frequency in half or by one octave. Each of these six divider circuits had a pair of germanium transistors and a network of resistors and capacitors to accomplish this task. The output from the master oscillator and three serial dividers provided four individual and discrete octaves of tones that would be combined and assigned to keys by the signal distribution board.

It is important to note that each of the twelve tone generator cards has a limited tuning range. This tuning range is dictated by the value of the tuning coil and a related capacitor on the tone generator. As an example, the "C" tone generator card will be adjustable only about one note above and below the "C" tone. One cannot substitute the "F" tone generator for the "C" tone generator, there would not be adequate tuning adjustment in the "F" generator to generate a "C" pitch.

Germanium transistors were not very dependable, as evidenced by anyone in the early 1960s that had a small transistor radio that failed. The germanium transistors used in the tone generator cards of Jaguar organs were no stranger to the problems of germanium transistors. For these reasons, Vox Jaguars tended to visit the repair shop often. If you decide to buy, or already own a Jaguar Organ, you can expect that the organ will need periodic service.

In web pages to follow, I will explain the basics of V304 Jaguar Organ repair so you can handle some of this maintenance yourself.


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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music

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