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Toaster Help


madorganist
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I wonder if anyone can help me out. A friend of mine has recently rescued a toaster from one of our redundant chapels and has installed in his house. All was working fine until today when his son managed to kill it. For some bizarre reason he managed to connect up the speakers and the output from the organ to the mains – result bang!

 

Does anyone know of anybody in the Kent or East Sussex area that services/repairs electronic organs?

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
he managed to connect up the speakers and the output from the organ to the mains – result bang!

 

I shall pass this excellent advice on to my parish church. I give grateful thanks for the National Grid.

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I shall pass this excellent advice on to my parish church. I give grateful thanks for the National Grid.

 

One gets a little tired of all these tedious Luddites making snide remarks about "toasters". I've just had a lovely afternoon polishing up my Bach trios on my 3 manual GEM digital, and without a) freezing to death or :rolleyes: being badgered by christians! If you don't like electronics, then don't play them; most of us can't afford a house organ, nor would we have the room, and to be able to play at home when one wishes is very convenient, especially if we don't have the time or the patience to put up with a church job.

 

I can recommend two repairers,

 

http://www.classicorgans.co.uk/ is Ron Coates' website, he is a very experienced technician in Surrey.

 

David S Houlgate > Musical Instruments in Brighton

Tel: 01273 846789 - Claycroft Farmhouse Beacon Rd, Ditchling, Hassocks, West Sussex, BN6 8XB

 

David recently put new digital pedal stops into the Dome Organ at Brighton Pavilion.

 

 

 

Both are very knowledgeable and friendly, and while neither is cheap, it pays to get an expert in for these things.

 

Good luck with getting it fixed....although it doesn't sound too hopeful, mains voltage into a solid state circuit is not to be recommended......

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Guest Barry Williams

"One gets a little tired of all these tedious Luddites making snide remarks about "toasters". I've just had a lovely afternoon polishing up my Bach trios on my 3 manual GEM digital, and without a) freezing to death or being badgered by christians! If you don't like electronics, then don't play them; most of us can't afford a house organ, nor would we have the room, and to be able to play at home when one wishes is very convenient, especially if we don't have the time or the patience to put up with a church job."

 

I heartily concur with these sensible remarks. It is a great pity that the organ has become wedded to churches, for church appointments often bring great unhappiness to organists.

 

Whilst a house organ is the ideal, home practice on an electronic is far better than nothing and a good adjunct to a church pipe organ in the cold weather.

 

Some teachers have claimed that they can tell when their pupils have been practising on an electronic. One even claimed to be able to tell if practice has been done on an electronic action pipe organ instead of the prescribed tracker. Comprehensive experiments in America have debunked this nonsense well and truly. Whilst pipe organs are the ideal, I cannot see that it is unacceptable to use one in the home. Plenty of professional organists have one.

 

Barry Williams

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
One gets a little tired of all these tedious Luddites making snide remarks about "toasters". I've just had a lovely afternoon polishing up my Bach trios on my 3 manual GEM digital, and without a) freezing to death or :rolleyes: being badgered by Christians! If you don't like electronics, then don't play them; most of us can't afford a house organ, nor would we have the room, and to be able to play at home when one wishes is very convenient, especially if we don't have the time or the patience to put up with a church job.

 

You slightly mis-understand my position. Sorry. It was written quickly.

I certainly do not play one in church and resigned immediately from my village church (where I helped out) when the PCC and P P decided to throw out the pipe organ and get something from Bradford. My remarks - not snide - were to get rid of what I must hear every Sunday. It is the sound that I hear every time I am in church. The parish is extremely wealthy with countless people able to purchase an organ without much hurt to their wallet. After 11 years this computing organ is making even more foul sounds and the organist (from London) has the reverberation on full to smooth out the gruesomeness.

Of course, they have their place, and as you say, in the home in the warmth. That is perfect.

All the best,

N

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There was a time when `toasters' were not very good to listen to and I was amongst the first to deride them when compared with a pipe organ, but now over the last couple of decades ditigal involvement has made all the difference and one can have quite a good representation at home and quite often in a church.

 

No matter what your home instrument is when you get into a church you still have to rethink what you have done at home to suit the instrument and acoustics.

 

At home, you can at least get the notes right in the warm. In all my life in organs, prejudice (often ill informed) has been rife and it is intrested to see that it still raises its head in this forum - but that is what makes it so interesting and entertaining.

 

Happy Christmas,

 

FF

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....it pays to get an expert in for these things.

Hear, hear!

 

Several years ago my elderly toaster (built in the 1970s) had become increasingly unplayable due to a number of faults. I contacted the local chap who seemed to do all manner of things with electronic instruments and amps, and he seemed quite confident in his ability to renovate the instrument. Unfortunately, he and his side-kick managed to make things even worse, and rendered the organ totally unplayable. They wouldn't return to put matters right, and eventually even tried billing me for the time they spent wrecking the instrument. It seemed that it was way beyond their ability.

 

Fortunately, there was a happy ending. I've always had a bit of an interest in electronics and happily the organ wasn't too sophisticated. Consequently, although on a steep learning curve, I managed to totally rebuild the instrument. After hours and hours spent on it, it eventually worked better than it ever had done before in the time that I had owned it. In fact, it worked so well that I sold it on to a pupil of mine, who uses it on a daily basis. And it's still in A1 working condition several years later. :)

 

However, apart from the basics, I probably wouldn't know where to start with my modern electrone! :rolleyes:

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Some teachers have claimed that they can tell when their pupils have been practising on an electronic. One even claimed to be able to tell if practice has been done on an electronic action pipe organ instead of the prescribed tracker. Comprehensive experiments in America have debunked this nonsense well and truly. Whilst pipe organs are the ideal, I cannot see that it is unacceptable to use one in the home. Plenty of professional organists have one.

 

Barry Williams

 

I'd be interested in following up these studies, Barry. Are you able to point me in their direction, please?

 

Certainly, in my student days, sitting through the early stages of competitions or masterclasses, some of us would amuse ourselves by competing to predict who would pass to the next round, or who practiced on a mechanical action or otherwise organ, within a few bars of each participant's first piece. It was always astonishing how accurate one could be, but that was partially because the instruments being used were mechanical action and because we were used to listening for the differences in the playing.

 

Even though 'my' organ is a reasonable three manual English style instrument, I have regular practice times each week on a couple of mechanical action instruments. My session, once a week, on a large Rieger is the highlight of the week for me, and I am extremely grateful to the incumbents who generously allow me time on their instruments. I certainly know when I've missed these practices.

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An excellent way to improve technique is to play a harpischord - you have worry about note release as well.

 

FF

 

Once when playing continuo for a Messiah some goon moved the harpsichord near to a radiator between rehearsal and performance - the tuning was so bad by then that 2 bars of the Overture was all they got. I went and sang bass!

 

AJJ

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