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Mander Organs

Electronics


Martin Cooke

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67

To get back on topic, does anyone know anything about the Viscount "Domus 10"? I have searched on the web but found nothing useful. Reason for asking is that I have to play for a family wedding at a church in Nice in July, and all I can find out is that the above is what I have to play. (The main church in the parish apparently has a new-ish 2-man tracker, but the church with the toaster is "prettier" :( )

 

I see that some time back thee was a thread running about organs in Nice........... :rolleyes:

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TBH, an Electronic organ doesn't fool me. The Allen electronic that I had some lessons on whilst the Clifton College Chapel organ was being done up (1994, H&H) didn't sound too bad but sounded like an electric.

 

As for the electronic organ that was in the church where my Grandpa's funeral was held, that didn't fool me whatsoever.

 

IMO, an organ without pipes is not an organ - it is merely an electronic music machine.

 

Dave

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They're useful practice instruments though. :)

 

And as has been said several times before on this forum, some of these electronic machines are more musical than some pipe organs.

 

I wouldn't mind betting that one of these days you will be fooled by what you hear somewhere. I very much doubt it will be an Allen though.

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Guest Psalm 78 v.67

Could I please draw your attention to my post, #34 in this topic? Surprise has been expressed at a statement that I made - which, on investigation was caused by me using a completely wrong word, and compounding things by missing half a sentence out. (I've had a bad couple of weeks!) :P

 

My apologies to Viscount Organs for this, and thanks to the person who brought it to my attention. I have now corrected the post.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Psalm 78 v.67
To get back on topic, does anyone know anything about the Viscount "Domus 10"? I have searched on the web but found nothing useful. Reason for asking is that I have to play for a family wedding at a church in Nice in July, and all I can find out is that the above is what I have to play. (The main church in the parish apparently has a new-ish 2-man tracker, but the church with the toaster is "prettier" :( )

 

I see that some time back thee was a thread running about organs in Nice........... :(

 

I have now heard from Viscount that it was a single manual with auto-bass. Don't suppose anyone knows the whereabouts of one in this country that I could try - it's a long way to Nice!

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Is this a dangerous thread for an organists' forum?

 

Not far from where I live in Birmingham there was a rather splendid Johannus installed the year before last - three manual, horseshoe terraced illuminated drawstop console, French spec and Cavaile-Coll samples. Thrilling sound, and with the unfortunate exception of a few ranks that did sound slightly synthetic, most of the time it was fairly indistinguishable from the real thing.

 

When I went searching for a practice instrument I ended up buying second hand from a dealer in Amsterdam. I was looking for a three manual instrument and even secondhand the prices and choice in the UK were severely limited. I spent under £3 grand including transport for a digital, modified by Johannus to give me a concave radiating pedalboard instead of the original straight flat.

 

Iin the showroom I compared it against a recent (late 1990s) Sweelinck, new Rembrandt and new Monarke. IMHO it wasn't much different from the Sweelinck in sound and half the price. The (drawstop) Rembrandt three manual was a step above the Sweelinck in sound, but the Monarke was clearly the best of the lot - there again it is the luxury end of the Johannus range, but I think at that sort of price the position of the speakers actually makes the difference. For with the Rembrandt, sound was coming out from the kneeboard; with the Monarke the speakers were above the music stand pointing towards the ceiling. Even so, the price was under £10k for a two-manual, white-on-black wooden keys, wood drawstops etc baroque console style.

 

From my limited experience I would certainly countenance a Johannus again, and am currently looking at options for my church (inner city, un-noteworthy and inadequate pipe organ died and a decent electronic could be ours for half the cost of restporing the pipe instrument. It might even inspire some of our young members to learn, who understandably think the present instrument is a pile of junk...

 

Pricewise Johannus seemed to compare favourably, though I should add that I was quite astonished at the range and (low) prices of used digital organs from a number of manufacturers and dealers in Holland. It might seem a bit extreme to go looking for secondhand organs on the Continent, but in the end I discovered several dealers and websites that listed a much wider range of digital organs, and at much keener prices, than I've ever seen in the UK. Has anyone else done this?

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Guest Barry Williams

I recently heard an Allen that was properly tuned (i.e.not as out of the factory.) It was far better than other instruments in that it lacked the 'mushy' celeste effect of other Allen instruments.

 

Some makers are still offering not merely the out-dated Braford system, but the seriously archaic single cycle system. One wonders whether electronic suppliers have any idea at all about the proper tuning of organs or their tonal finishing. I am left with the impression that most suppliers/installers do not know how to use sophisticated technology to best advantage.

 

Nothing can match the effect of a pipe organ, though undoubtedly some parishes find electronic instruments more satisfactory than a bad pipe organ in a poor state of repair.

 

ALthough my wife and I were well served with electronic instruments for practise, (we had three Johannus,) the delight of having real pipes is immense. We sold each electronic instrument for about the same price as we paid for it.

 

Barry Williams

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