willy Posted May 28, 2005 Share Posted May 28, 2005 Whilst not wishing to sully this discussion board with such impure a subject as electronics...........but..............somebody out there may be interested in the 3 manual compton "Electrone" I have at home. Built in 1952, it was originally installed in the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, and was sister to the organ originally put into the Royal Festival Hall before the Harrison instrument was ready. I bought it off a chap who had rescued it in the early 70's, and who made a wonderful job of restoring it, scaling down its enormous output for domestic use, and rebuilt the console in a more elegant style than the original. It has 100 speaking stops (slightly more than originally, i have converted some of the accessory stops into speaking stops) spread over 3 manuals and pedals. The source of the sound is 2 sets of revolving generators, one running at normal speed, and 1 at double speed. This generates 6 "ranks" of differing tone/colour running from 32 ft to half-foot pitch (some are restricted), with all the appropriate mutations, and to create a particular stop you simply mix the tones together at appropriate pitch lengths to get the right harmonics. Each pitch can be set at 21 different dynamic levels so every single stop is individually voices - no duplication, duplexing, extension - everything completely straight. There are off pitch ranks for celestes, and other to add a bit of freshness (otherwise it would be too dead in tune). The specification is English concert hall - with 5 32-foots on the pedal! The synoptic specification is: CH: 16 16 8 8 8 8 8 8 4 4 4 4 22/3 2 11/3 1 IV 16 8 8 8 8 8 8 Trem (all encl) GT: 16 16 16 8 8 8 8 8 51/3 4 4 4 22/3 2 2 V IV 16 8 8 4 SW: 16 8 8 8 8 8 8 4 4 4 2 13/5 11/3 1 III IV V 16 16 8 8 8 8 4 Trem (all encl) PD: 32 32 32 16 16 16 16 16 16 8 8 8 8 8 51/3 4 IV IX 32 32 16 16 16 16 16 8 8 4 6 pistons to each manual, 6 toe pistons to Ped, 6 toe pistons to Sw (all double touch acting on pedal and adjustable at a setter board inside the console). There is also a general crescendo pedal. It has 3 big (really BIG) banks of speakers which are hidden behind a pipe facade along with the cabinet containing the generators and the hundreds of relays for the top and key action. It is pretty well all in working order (fixes are generally not difficult). the slight problem is that the generators should ideally be in another room (because of the noise), but this just isn't possible. How does it sound? Well, some of the stops - especially the quieter flutes, strings and reeds are really quite beautiful and not bad at all for 1952 technology. The great diapasons are quite virile (2 separate choruses 16 to mixtures), and full swell is really pretty good. The great chorus reeds (a trio of trombas and a posaune) colour rather than overpower, whereas the swell reeds ar more fiery/snarly and come through full great really well. I have made a French Horn for the choir (a bit too loud but not bad), and a Tuba - which is OK. The normal speed generator drives the great and most of the pedal, while the double speed ones drive swell, choir and the secondary pedal . With the 2 sets coupled together - because they are never 100% in tune, the sound is really "lively", and quite convincing. Full organ is thunderous - the 32 flues really coming though without having to have the reeds (dble sackbut 32 and contra trombone 32). I am not a skilled organist (can bash through a service in an emergency - and christmas carols (Wilcocks arrangements of course) with 100 people singing their heads off is quite a thrill). If anyone is near Jcn 3 of the M3 and wants to have a go I would be happy to hear somebody who can play better than me put the old girl through her paces. Also anyone who is familiar with the technology and willing to give some advice now and then would also be very welcome. Bill Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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