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Mander Organs

Classic car man

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Everything posted by Classic car man

  1. I can't help picking up on this: "...the mindset of "so-and-so makes good enough pipes, so we'll use those. There's no need to make our own". This isn't the attitude of an artist or a worthy craftsman, this is the attitude of a chancer, a jobsworth, someone with a superficial understanding of quality and little desire to improve their craft." I quite agree with this, HOWEVER the majority of firms that do not, for all sorts of practical reasons already discussed, make their own pipes do not fall into this category. Don't tar us all with the same brush. How many IBO members cast their own metal? How many make their own pipes from their own cast metal? not many, 4 or 5 if that! It is the input details that are crucial, not whose pair of hands puts the irons in the fire. There is probably more discussion and interaction between an organbuilding firm and a pipe making firm than between the office and the metalshop. I would argue that the presence of a fully equiped voicing shop is far more important than having a casting bench. Having a casting bench does not guarantee quality, neither does not having one make you a cowboy. " felt tremendously dispirited that this board had reached a consensus so quickly that there was really nothing wrong with subbed out pipes without any dissention or any real discussion of the subject " That's because, in the majority of cases, there really isn't anything wrong with dedicated, trained, skilled, independant pipemakes making pipes to firm's detailed specifications.
  2. Were they in a completed instrument or one under construction? Could the extra hole be used to work another roller via a sticker and thus onto another soundboard? Or could it be part of a coupler system that connects directly to the roller? Was the front or the back hole 'empty'? If the back hole was empty, and given the movement of a pedal key is more than that of a manual one, could the front hole come from a manual key, and the back hole come from a pedal?
  3. I have been biting my tongue and at the risk of saying something I shouldn't. . . . 'Re-voicing' , like 're-build' are words which mean many different things to many different people. The readers of the Liverpool Echo which ran the article which started this thread, will interpret them quite differently to people on this forum. The plan, as I understand it, is to thoroughly clean the reeds, and re-regulate their speech. The resonators are full of dust and debris due to the various major building works which have gone on in the last 6 years, quite apart from the general build up of dust since their last cleaning. The reeds will then be re-regulated for speech i.e. even volume and tone throughout the compass. AFAIK there are no plans to change the character of the reeds. Bazuin, were you there a.m.? The sparrow mass is a strange piece isn't it? I forget the exact details of the cental organ pipes but there really isn't any difference between them and those of the main organ. One of the Principal pipes actually has the signature of Henry III on it. I must say I am surprised you don't think the mixture works well. What was it that didn't sound right? It is always going to sound 'brilliant', especially in the treble as it is VI ranks but when I have heard it down the building I thought it fitted in very well. On Easter Monday I.T. played the Healey Willan Gelobt sei Gott, on just Central Space Organ and Tompette Militaire and it was quite simply electric.
  4. Not at all Jim. The pipes ARE quite hidden from view. Best view point is to stand under the West End Bridge and look towards the altar. . . then up a bit. You can just see the tops of the bass pipes, gleaming high up in the Corona Gallery. Talking of pipes hidden from view, if you stand with your back towards the glass door into the refectory and look across to the gallery below the tower window, you can just make out some of the 600odd pipes of the Central Organ through the stonework tracery.
  5. The Milly was removed just before Christmas for safety, as much of the stonework above it needed remedial work. It has now been cleaned and re-instated.
  6. Have a look in Maplins or somewhere similar for a digital hygrometer so you can measure the humidity. - don't forget to put the thing inside the organ rather than just at the console - you will be amazed at the differences! Surely one humidifier unit with two outlets feeding LP and HP wind would have worked, as long as the backflaps are working properly? 60% is the setting I usually use. As DW said, first thing is to find out why your HP one has been turned off. It is also worth checking that there are bleed valves at the end of each wind run as otherwise the nice moist wind can't circulate properly. Runnings and murmurs are a sure sign of humidity problems, ciphers less so, depending on the action - what action is it?
  7. Pipes come under a huge amount of stress when being cone tuned. Whether you sharpen or flatten them, you bash hell out of them. Whilst pipes made properly, with good thick metal for the feet, initially bear up well to the stresses, in the long term they all seem to suffer either from metal fatigue or inexperienced tuners. IMHO I don't believe that coned pipes stay in tune better than slid pipes - there are far too many other factors, temperature stability (obviously), scale, voicing etc etc which all contribute. Although, I have to say, I have seen far too many pipes 'crimped' by being fitted with tuning slides which were far too tight, it is not as many as have been destroyed by cone tuning, and don't get me started on poor tip regulation!
  8. "I thought that you ought to be made aware that there is an intention by Warrington Borough Council to have the Parr Hall’s Cavaillé-Coll concert organ dismantled and removed, so that the hall stage area can be widened and deepened as part of refurbishment proposals." This implies that the organ is going to be scrapped. Far from it! There are plans to move it to another place, somewhere where it will get daily use and have rather more importance than the authorities in Warrington have ever given it. This is a fabulous organ and deserves to be used regularly.
  9. The last time I played Beverley, well before the re-build, every time you pressed a piston the TV camera went on the blink - it was an interesting service! St. George's Hall, Liverpool must surely rank at the top of the list for imposing case and a stunning setting. The hall itself is opulence itself and the organ, quite apart from being an astonishing instrument, looks amazing. Shame (to put it mildly) it is in the state that it is. St John's, Tuebrook liverpool is another stunning case - fabulous Hill organ, likewise Arundel Cathedral and Manchester Holy Name. Beautifully coloured front pipes. The flamed copper front pipes of the Tickell organ in St Barnabus Dulwich are very impressive. I also have a particular affinity with the cases in Oakham Parish Church and Douai Abbey, also by Tickell.
  10. Classic car man

    David Clegg

    no probs - give me a week or so and I'll sort you a copy
  11. One of my ex-rectors, always used to tell the bride that for every 5 minutes she was late, he would preach for an hour. It worked every time. At my last church where the Vicar wasn't made of such stern stuff, if a bride was more than 10 minutes late I would simply stop playing and start up again with the wedding march.
  12. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7mDxKSrNdxw this is the 'new' organ in the 'new' auditorium in Santa Cruz, Tenerife. It has a write up in the current ISO magazine. I had a tour round it recently and it is absolutely stunning. Seeing the En-chamades emerge through the wall is a bit surreal, but quite something! for more info see http://www.orguesblancafort.com/
  13. Every 'commercial' humidistat I have come across has worked on 240 volts so take care!
  14. In large cathedrals etc it is not unknown for humidifiers to run for 24 hours a day during this time of year! Get a digital hygrometer from Maplins or Farnell and check what the humidity actually is. 60% is the aim. These machines are designed to run for long periods and as long as it is in good order, i.e. has been mainained regularly I shouldn't worry. However the fact that the 'lawnmower' connection is the wrong way round doesn't fill me with confidence that the system has been fitted/maintained by a professional
  15. I use an AIWA portable DAT with a pair of AKG C1000S which give a really good sound. I prefer to use 'proper' audio equipement rather than using the computer though as I don't do any fancy editing, simply copy from one DAT machine to another to remove pauses between movements etc. (or sometimes direct to a stand alone CD recorder) I also use an Alesis Quadraverb multi-effects unit to tweak the sound if recorded in a very dry accoustic. I think someone like Studio spares, HHB, or www.Thomann.de would be a good place to search what is available
  16. Worst case is that the dust has got down into the reeds and clogged the tongues putting them off speech. Dust on the key contacts can cause intermittant notes. Grit on the slides can get under upperboards causing runnings. Unfortunately this sort of thing happens regularly due to general ignorance of builders and church authorities. Dust hangs around in the air for a very long time. Leave it at least 10 days or a fortnight between the work finishing and taking the sheeting down.
  17. Although numbers are usually used to save time when writing registration details in a copy, 69 is a lot quicker to write than Solo Tuba Clarion for instance, I can't think why they are so large. If there wasn't a decent capture system and there were lots of visiting recitalists one could almost see why, but there seems to be a comprehensive capture system. I don't think much to the stop layout - whatever happened to stops ascending in pitch, with the loudest of each pitch being at the bottom? I wonder what the blank stops do?
  18. Most Cathedral organs involve a marathon to get from console to pipes, or from one side to the other. At Worcester for instance one has to go out onto the roof to eventually get to the pipes! For a tuner I think Sky Hooks come as standard with a set of doubles! Most parish organs are a nightmare to get into. Usually because the access to organs are universally perceived to be junk storerooms, normally by flower ladies. First job is often to remove 27 old flower stands, 14 vacuum cleaners (usually dating from the early 1960s) and 4 jars of unidentifiable liquid! Two of my worst experiences were Liverpool Met and Coventry Cathedral. Both have ladders which start off in the basement so you have an extremely long way to climb before you get into the job. The Met has a long ladder in a very small concrete square 'tube' - so narrow that at two points you have to go up on the diagonal as there isn't enought space for your shoulders! not good! One time as I was coming down, I felt something sliding down my leg - after a moment of panic (or was that expectation?)I realised it was my mobile phone, which ended up on my shoe. Imagine the scene - stuck up a ladder, with a mobile phone siting on your shoe. What would you do next? Anyway, Coventry is slightly better in that there is plenty of space around you, but it results in a leap of faith from the ladder to each 'platform'. I believe Blackburn Cathedral was a nightmare to get into before the 'recent' work. On a more serious note I remember, many years ago, listening to a record of Westminster Cathedral. When I read the sleeve notes I saw that the recording was dedicated to 'XXX the organ tuner who fell to his death while tuning the organ for this recording' (Ashamed to say I can't remember who it was)
  19. Interesting that the mixtures are there on the March 1922 contract. Presumably the alterations were made in the revision of February 1923 as Sidney Harvey's 'account' of the organ in, I believe, 1924 makes reference to revised mixture compositions? Certainly by 1926 the scheme seems pretty close to what is there now, at least with regards to mixtures.
  20. Do you dispute 'sadly' or are you thinking of a firm which is still traiding? I was trying to be kind - they did loose their way somewhat during the last 'few' years!! Their pneumatic jobs of yesteryear were of the highest quality and even when they started to get bogged down in extension organs they still had some excellent bench hands and reed voicers.
  21. Yes this trick went on quite often. A certain firm, sadly no longer with us, was fond of it - even doing it at an historic North West Cathedral. I don't think it was paint, rather a whitening mixture which didn't crack too much when the bellows rose.
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