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Guest Barry Williams
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Guest Barry Williams

Dear All,

 

As promised elsewhere, I give the stop list and a few details of our House Organ as it will be in a month or two - slightly modified from the entry on NPOR.

 

Anyone contemplating building a house organ is welcome to visit. Please send an email and we will fix up a date.

 

Later this year the tonal finishing will have been completed and then perhaps we can arrange an Open Day for Board Members to visit.

 

The joy of having real pipes to play is immense. I am very fortunate that the project was driven by June (when she was not driving steam engines!)

 

I hope the details will be of interest and I apologise if anyone finds them otherwise.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Barry Williams

 

 

 

Great Organ

 

Open Diapason 8’ 61 pipes

Stopped Diapason 8’ 49 pipes (1 – 12 from Lieblich Gedeckt)

Salicional 8' 61 pipes

Principal 4’ 61 pipes

Flute 4’ 61 pipes

 

Choir Organ

 

Lieblich Gedeckt 8’ 61 pipes

Keraulophon 8’ 49 pipes (1 – 12 from Salicional)

Lieblich Flute 4’ 61 pipes

Flageolet 2’ 61 pipes

 

Pedal Organ

 

Bourdon 16’ 30 pipes

Principal 8 30 pipes (Prepared for - borrowed from Great at the moment)

Bass Flute 8’ 12 pipes

Salicional 8’ Duplexed from Great

Octave 4’ 12 pipes (Prepared for - borrowed from Great at the moment)

Flute 4’ 12 pipes

Salicet 4’ Duplexed from Great

 

Couplers

 

Great to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

Choir to Great

 

Blower

 

Sine Qua Non

 

Four thumb pistons each to Choir and Great.

 

Reversible thumb pistons for Choir to Great and Great to Pedal.

 

Mechlin pedal board. There is no pedal light.

 

Compass: 61 and 30 notes.

 

Keys, stops and departmental labels are of ivory.

 

All wind trunkings of wood to avoid rustle.

 

Blower is 0.6 horse power but soon to be replaced with another of 0.3 horsepower.

 

There are two single rise reservoirs, one at 3" WP for the manuals basses and pedal pipes; the other is 2.75" WP for everything else.

 

The manual chests and bottom octave of Salicional all have direct electric pallet magnets, but are carefully grooved to avoid 'plop'. The bottom 17 pipes fo the Bourdon and the basses of the Open Diapason and Principal are on electro-pneumatic chests.

 

The action has a solid state microprocessor powered by a transformer/rectifier delivering 18 volts at 20 amperes.

 

Pipework is ex Gray & Davison 1868 (except Lieblich Flute 4' which has a date of 1790 on it.) Paul Isom (Organs Adviser in Rochester Diocese) told us about the availability of the pipes and advised about the design.

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Dear All,

 

As promised elsewhere, I give the stop list and a few details of our House Organ as it will be in a month or two - slightly modified from the entry on NPOR.

 

Anyone contemplating building a house organ is welcome to visit. Please send an email and we will fix up a date.

 

Later this year the tonal finishing will have been completed and then perhaps we can arrange an Open Day for Board Members to visit.

 

The joy of having real pipes to play is immense. I am very fortunate that the project was driven by June (when she was not driving steam engines!)

 

I hope the details will be of interest and I apologise if anyone finds them otherwise.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Barry Williams

Great Organ

 

Open Diapason 8’ 61 pipes

Stopped Diapason 8’ 49 pipes (1 – 12 from Lieblich Gedeckt)

Salicional 8' 61 pipes

Principal 4’ 61 pipes

Flute 4’ 61 pipes

 

Choir Organ

 

Lieblich Gedeckt 8’ 61 pipes

Keraulophon 8’ 49 pipes (1 – 12 from Salicional)

Lieblich Flute 4’ 61 pipes

Flageolet 2’ 61 pipes

 

Pedal Organ

 

Bourdon 16’ 30 pipes

Principal 8 30 pipes (Prepared for - borrowed from Great at the moment)

Bass Flute 8’ 12 pipes

Salicional 8’ Duplexed from Great

Octave 4’ 12 pipes (Prepared for - borrowed from Great at the moment)

Flute 4’ 12 pipes

Salicet 4’ Duplexed from Great

 

Couplers

 

Great to Pedal

Choir to Pedal

Choir to Great

 

Blower

 

Sine Qua Non

 

Four thumb pistons each to Choir and Great.

 

Reversible thumb pistons for Choir to Great and Great to Pedal.

 

Mechlin pedal board. There is no pedal light.

 

Compass: 61 and 30 notes.

 

Keys, stops and departmental labels are of ivory.

 

All wind trunkings of wood to avoid rustle.

 

Blower is 0.6 horse power but soon to be replaced with another of 0.3 horsepower.

 

There are two single rise reservoirs, one at 3" WP for the manuals basses and pedal pipes; the other is 2.75" WP for everything else.

 

The manual chests and bottom octave of Salicional all have direct electric pallet magnets, but are carefully grooved to avoid 'plop'. The bottom 17 pipes fo the Bourdon and the basses of the Open Diapason and Principal are on electro-pneumatic chests.

 

The action has a solid state microprocessor powered by a transformer/rectifier delivering 18 volts at 20 amperes.

 

Pipework is ex Gray & Davison 1868 (except Lieblich Flute 4' which has a date of 1790 on it.) Paul Isom (Organs Adviser in Rochester Diocese) told us about the availability of the pipes and advised about the design.

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Guest Barry Williams

Thank you for your response.

 

We were going to build the organ ourselves, but with my very heavy litigation programme (including several Consistory Courts,) we had to get professional organ builders to do the work.

 

In the event, June took early retirement from the RSCM and became their full-time apprentice. She was already well skilled, having built a thirty foot cabin cruiser (and fallen in the Thames when it was first launched.) So various well-qualified professional organ builders, all of whom had at some time worked for our hosts (on this Board), did the work, with June doing much of the work between their visits. She learned how to wire up windchests and solid state; how to knock dents out of pipes, how to repair pipes, both metal and wood, etc and many other things, including re-leathering bellows and making wind trunking. The organ is therefore professionally built in every respect.

 

We have already had many informal concerts. It has been played by many cathedral and concert organists. (I am legal adviser to the Cathedral Organists' Association, so there is a fairly constant stream of rather good players in this house!) We have had all the major organ works rendered on it, including Liszt, Reger, Reubke and Rheinberger.

 

There are two photographs of the stop jambs on the NPOR:

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...71#PhotoSection

 

I am reluctant to clutter this very valuable Website with personal photographs. There are couple of photographs in 'Piping the News, published in Organists' Review, November 2001.

 

At present the organ has no casework, mainly because we will be moving in a year or two. The new Pedal Open Diapason 8' + 4' will almost certainly then become the main casework.

 

Incidently, all the manual chests are 3' x 1' x 1' so that they can be re-configured to suit whatever house we end up in. They can be winded from either end.

 

Barry Williams

 

PS I hope Board Members will not mind me sharing the good news that my wife, who is Registrar to the Guild of Church Musicians, is to be made Hon GCM in Canterbury Cathedral by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 3rd May in recognition of her services to church music. This is especially nice because Paul Isom, who advised us about the design of the organ, has an Hon GCM wife too.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest spottedmetal

Hi!

 

There's a house friendly organ on Ebay -

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...em=110236311683

 

Op Dia 8

Lieb Gedact 8

Echo Gamba 8

Voix Celestes 8

Principal 4

 

The central array of pipes is a nice A shape and on either side the 8fts which start as near the ground as possible are set as semi-circular towers - a bit like the old RSCM Hunter - "huggable".

 

I'd better go and hug my other organ and nurse it's cables and ventils . . . . another night's work which I'm not relishing. I'd hate to be an organ builder. New lit buttons not working first time, faulty DIL reed relays - or overheated due to high temperature of horrible lead free solder. It might teach me to stick to pipes!

 

Best wishes

 

Spot

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Sounds like a very nice small instrument.

 

I am, however, intrigued by the "Mechlin" pedal board and wonder of you could describe it since I have never heard of such a thing and cannot find any references to it.

 

Hi

 

Having played the organ in question - the pedalboard is straight, flat, and rather wider whan the typical English 19th Century straight/flat examples. Once I got the feel of it, I found it quite straightforward (but then, I'm no fan of RCO boards anyway).

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Barry Williams
Sounds like a very nice small instrument.

 

I am, however, intrigued by the "Mechlin" pedal board and wonder of you could describe it since I have never heard of such a thing and cannot find any references to it.

 

 

Thank you.

 

The 'Mechlin' pedalboard looks like an ordinary straight and flat board. We were informed that it was designed by Flor Peeters. Apparently they are often found in Holland. Our model we have came from an electronic instrument. We find the dimensions and layout very comfortable, though it does not accomodate lazy pedal technique.

 

June and I hope that it will be possible to have an Open Day sometime, so that Board members can play the organ for themselves.

 

Barry Williams

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Guest spottedmetal

Hi!

 

There's another house friendly organ on ebay - one of those Positive Organ Company instruments:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...em=120238741505

 

 

I asked the seller for the spec . . . :

Hi. On the left hand side, there are under the word SWELL, 3 buttons with

"Tremulant" "Swell Octave" and "Fifteenth 2". There are 2 buttons under the

word PEDAL, "Flute 8" and"Sur bass 16".

 

On the right hand side, there

are 6 buttons under the word GREAT, these are "Principal 4", "Dulciana 8",

"Open Diapason 8", "Swell to great", "Swell to pedal" and "Great to

pedal".

 

Best wishes

 

Spot

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Hi!

There's another house friendly organ on ebay - one of those Positive Organ Company instruments:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...em=120238741505

I asked the seller for the spec . . . :

 

I asked the seller where it was. I often find that when the person selling knows nothing about pipe organs the NPOR comes up trumps and makes sense of what they have written. This job is at http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=R01254. Of course if it is not NPOR listed, ebay and the seller can be a good place to get some details of unlisted organs before they get lost in the mists of time (or broken up or sold to on to Europe or beyond [thinking mainly of Japan and Australia]).

PJW

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So when is a an organ a house organ? An answer of "when it can fit in a house" isn't particularly helpful since there are houses like mine (decent sized modern detached), and houses like Lord Montagu's at Beaulieu. So in general, what are the characteristics of a house organ in terms of dimensions? Is a chamber organ a house organ minus the pedals?

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Guest Cynic
So when is a an organ a house organ? An answer of "when it can fit in a house" isn't particularly helpful since there are houses like mine (decent sized modern detached), and houses like Lord Montagu's at Beaulieu. So in general, what are the characteristics of a house organ in terms of dimensions? Is a chamber organ a house organ minus the pedals?

 

 

It looks as if you are not the only one who might have considered spot's suggestion a mite optimistic/over enthusiastic! I certainly did.

 

I would define a house organ as one deliberately constructed and voiced for a smaller than usual site (and acoustic). Typical in a house organ might be an attempt to keep the height down to 8' or slightly less, and the largest part, such as console so narrow that it will easily move through a normal doorway and so on. A successful house organ will represent 'The King of Instruments' but within the restrictions of budget, space and the necessity to preserve one's sanity and hearing.

 

One of the hardest things to get right in a domestic environment IMHO is the character of the principal ranks - too soft and they sound fluty (or should that be flutey?) too loud and they sound aggressive at close quarters. A softened flute still sounds like a flute (albeit sometimes rather dull), a softened principal rank looses its vital character. As a case in point: in a small extension organ I am engaged upon at the moment (in someone's spare bedroom, which measures roughly 12' square), all the pipes are (as usual) second-hand rescued ranks. The 'principal' we have settled upon is actually a keraulophon rank. It is a little larger in scale than your average Dulciana; its usefulness in this scheme is that there is still that masculine edge in the tone that I both expect and need from a principal, even though the volume level is low.

Pipework voiced for your average church therefore presents problems unless you have a stately home to rehouse it in. There are two answers when the instrument is moved into a house,

1. enclose everything!

2. replace anything that is going to dominate the room with something of smaller scale.

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"One of the hardest things to get right in a domestic environment IMHO is the character of the principal ranks - too soft and they sound fluty (or should that be flutey?) too loud and they sound aggressive at close quarters. A softened flute still sounds like a flute (albeit sometimes rather dull), a softened principal rank looses its vital character"

 

(Quote)

 

Why not hide a Dulciana behind an "Open Diapason" tag ?

(I mean the 18th century version, of course, not the later,

a bit stringy one).

 

Pierre

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Pipework voiced for your average church therefore presents problems unless you have a stately home to rehouse it in. There are two answers when the instrument is moved into a house,

1. enclose everything!

2. replace anything that is going to dominate the room with something of smaller scale.

 

I have heard of something similar in the US where a house organ had a Bourdon, String plus Celeste and Flute at 8', a 4' tapered open rank and a soft Oboe together with some sort of 16 facility for the pedals. In combination or alone the ranks worked well for whatever was needed. All was enclosed and over two manuals.

 

AJJ

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Guest Barry Williams

Paul (Cynic) has raised two interesting issues.

 

Firstly, that of a Swell Box. We were advised that in terms of space we would lose three stops to be able to make an effective Swell Box. This would have made the instrument very small indeed. All the organ builders and Professor Peter Williams said a Swell Box was unnecessary on a house organ. We have found it musically unnecessary.

 

Secondly, the Keraulophon rank, which we have on the Choir Organ, is an unusual tone and does serve as a quasi-diapason. It will support the Lieblich Flute 4' or the Flageolet 2', whilst still adding much to the 'pleno' of the Choir Organ. However, the pipes are of soft metal and therefore need careful handling. The languids are slightly prone to dropping with consequent effect on the speech and the problems with the tuning slides need no rehearsal here.

 

Barry Williams

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