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Classic car man

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  1. I am afraid £60k won't touch the sides for a complete restoration of an organ, including flooding the soundboards, releathering the action motors, releathering the reservoirs, releathering the drawstop machines or replacing with solenoids, fitting a new transmission and capture system, generally updating the console electrics (drawstop solenoids, contacts etc), repiecing the pedal sticks . . . . . the list goes on and on! Certainly any work done should last the test of time, however when work is done on an organ, it is often labelled as an overhaul or restoration when, in reality, the work was actually quite narrow in its scope. The only way to know for sure is to get hold of the contract/schedule of the work done and perhaps ask the local DOA for advice or ask another Organ Builder to come and inspect the organ. Blown air heating systems are dreadful things and can make trying to tune tricky. Adrian
  2. If you have a silk purse from the outset, the end result is somewhat different to starting with a sow's ear and both Guildford and Chester have outstanding material as the heart of each instrument. At Chester, some of the R&D additions/work is well done, but some is a bit rough and ready, IMHO. As part of the DWOB work at Guildford, lots of leatherwork was done - reservoirs, actions, etc. and the Choir division spec was tweaked along with lots of other little bits and pieces here and there. The console received a lot of attention with the woodwork being re-finished in its original white oak style, a new piston system fitted and the layout of the stops & pistons rationalised. Adrian
  3. I wouldn't miss the notes from a playing point of view. Is the chest by Hunter as well? If the chest had been 32 notes I'd have said get two new top notes made (it wouldn't be that expensive) but if the chest is 30 notes, keep the compass 30. Adding a two note chest or borrowing from somewhere else would spoilt the integrity of the instrument IMHO.
  4. Organ Builders are not usually allowed to carry out mains electrical work. Whilst any changes/additions to mains electrical installations may be specified by Organ Builders, it is generally the institute in question which is in charge of engaging contractors, arranging for the work to be carried out and signing it off. Likewise with regard to Transmission and Capture systems, the Organ Builders may specify some of the details but will buy them from specialist manufacturers. The manufacturer of Worcester's transmission also supplied systems to St. Paul's, a year or two earlier I believe, and I understand that their system was not without problems either. St. P's threw in the towel a few years ago and replaced theirs with a system by a different manufacturer so if Worcester are having problems with or replacing their system, I think it should reflect on the manufacture not the Organ Builder.
  5. I can't remember all the details off-hand but I am sure many of the 32' pipes at SGH were replaced in either 1896 or 1931 as they were cast-iron iirc. At any rate, behind the current fronts is an elaborate system of springs and hooks to help support the weight of the pipes. I am sure I have a photo somewhere which I will try and dig out. Adrian
  6. I have hardly missed a recital here for the last 30 years and every one has had a very respectable number in the audience, although in this Great Space where the capacity of each area is so huge, even respectable numbers can look thin! The Well, as the Nave is known, is an important part of the building. It is used as a stand-alone space for concerts, services and exhibitions as well as overspill seating for major services and concerts. The Palm Sunday service starts off here and moves into the main space, and Maundy Thursday services are usually held here to name but two. A large toaster provides service since the planned Bridge Organ never materialised. When this area is in use as overspill for services and concerts, screens (and sound re-inforcement) are set up so that the people can have an idea what is going on half a mile in front of them! Certainly for the major Christmas services every part of the building is full - Well, Transepts, the lot, and last year two sittings of Christmas Eve afternoon were needed. I have sung at many incredible services and events in this wonderful place but the Darkness to Light service, (Advent Sunday) where the Choir gradually processes from West to East and ends up on the Altar steps looking West, with a Cathedral full of candles held by the congregation, is the most magical sight. Adrian
  7. David's playing was astonishing and his mastery of the music quite amazing. The organ sounded fabulous and he really threw it around the building all night, so much so that top g# of the solo tromba blew out of its boot - I found it lying on the passage board when I tuned today!
  8. Yes there are a number of local options, in particular the system made by A J & L Taylor. Presumably there was enough pressure once upon a time so what has changed? Fitting an electric machine is a very involved process indeed, both at console and job end - which organ builder looks after the organ, surely this is for them to organise?
  9. Liverpool Cathedral and Georgie Hall both have external humidification feeding into each swell box. Given humidity is usually around 30% every little helps! LC has two W&W D16s per side and SGH has one D16 each side - glad I'm not paying the water bill!
  10. I agree with ajsphead. At Liverpool all the undulating ranks are tuned with slightly different speeds according to their voicing and the effect they give. I tune the unda maris with the slowest beat, keeping it even to the top. solo strings, which are the most biting, the fastest, getting slightly faster in the trebles. the strings are angelicas so tuned flat. Interesting idea from Friedrich, will have a go sometime and see how it sounds.
  11. HTC is a wonderfully historic place , very light and airy, but with no ideal place for an organ. The H&H in Leigh is a superb example of organ building and whilst it isn't really my place to say more . . . . . . . you may think that it has been bought by HTC, removed from Leigh church and stored in a secure location but I couldn't possibly comment . This has all the makings of something really special and I hope enough money can be found, and a decent scheme drawn up, to bring it to fruition.
  12. I have many memories of the old organ, none of them good. . . I remember trying to practice on it in the early '90s and regularly giving up as it constantly ciphered. I forget what temperament it was tuned to but given the roles it had to fulfil I didn't find it pleasant. There isn't much space there so it will be interesting to see the design.
  13. Down at the bass end it is relatively easy to distinguish the different pitches but as you rise through the keyboard, and/or more ranks are added, so doubling pitches, I eventually blank them off with a pipe cleaner or a wooden peg.
  14. Whilst the Tuba Magna at Liverpool Cathedral doesn't go down to 16' pitch, there is a Contral Tromba 16 on the Solo, on 20" and a Contra Tuba 16 on the Bombarde on 30" Both are independant ranks so the organ doesn't lack punch at that pitch SGH Tuba Mirabilis is indeed a wonderful sound.
  15. Did anyone from the forum make the recital at Liverpool today? I recon today was my 30th consecutive anniversary recital and I thought Ian played fantastically well and made amazing use of the organ. Despite being written for the organ at the other end of Hope Street, the Mathias Invocations worked brilliantly. I really enjoyed the registrations of both Debussy transcriptions which really showed off the strings and solo flutes. A more apt hymn (Angel Voices) could not be sung at this occasion - craftsman's art and music's measure for thy pleasure all combine.
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