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Toaster


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I've seen the word 'toaster' used in these pages. It seems to mean organ - any organ or a specific type/style of organ and why ?

Here's a clue from another device. In the early days of computers, say up to 25 years ago, mainframes were huge and had large power supplies which ran very hot. The operators on one night shift were in the habit of bringing in pies and putting them into the power supply cabinet to heat them up. One night they dropped a foil tray which shorted out the power, and in the morning they had to explain why the computer was out of action.

 

Early electronic organs also tended to run very hot, often to the detriment of the tuning. As for organists' culinary habits, I can't answer.

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It's a (fairly derrogatory) term for an electronic/digital/"pipeless" organ. In addition to Davidh's response, I would note:

 

1. Just like Toasters, electronic organs are electrical appliances

2. Just like Toasters, electronic organs occasionally go wrong and when you look for the part, you find it's been discontinued

3. Just like Toasters, new models of electronic organs are updated every 2 or 3 years to keep up with the latest fashions

4. Just like Toasters, new electronic organs are sold with the latest gizmo that offers to revolutionise the way we experience toast/organ music. The salesman truly believes that this new gizmo is as important as the apocalyse/second coming of Jesus to electronic organs/toasters. After a few years, it just makes ordinary toast/organ-like-sounds like every normal toaster.

5. Just like Toasters, one day the electronic organ will start to malfunction, with clouds of smoke billowing everywhere.

6. Just like Toasters, when you first get your electronic organ, it looks and sounds amazing and everyone in the house is really excited by it.

7. Just like Toasters, electronic organs look and sound rather naff after a couple of years.

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It's a (fairly derrogatory) term for an electronic/digital/"pipeless" organ. In addition to Davidh's response, I would note:

 

1. Just like Toasters, electronic organs are electrical appliances

2. Just like Toasters, electronic organs occasionally go wrong and when you look for the part, you find it's been discontinued

3. Just like Toasters, new models of electronic organs are updated every 2 or 3 years to keep up with the latest fashions

4. Just like Toasters, new electronic organs are sold with the latest gizmo that offers to revolutionise the way we experience toast/organ music. The salesman truly believes that this new gizmo is as important as the apocalyse/second coming of Jesus to electronic organs/toasters. After a few years, it just makes ordinary toast/organ-like-sounds like every normal toaster.

5. Just like Toasters, one day the electronic organ will start to malfunction, with clouds of smoke billowing everywhere.

6. Just like Toasters, when you first get your electronic organ, it looks and sounds amazing and everyone in the house is really excited by it.

7. Just like Toasters, electronic organs look and sound rather naff after a couple of years.

 

 

=============================

 

 

On the other hand, no pop-composer has ever referred to a drum-machine as "a washer".

 

Like "drum machines", washing machines are plug in appliances that get updated every two years, the parts are unobtainable and you find yourself rummaging around rubbish tips, they do no better job than tracker-action peggy-tubs or bass-drums, and when they go wrong, they not only catch fire, they make a hell of a noise in the process.

 

As for the salesman, and any guarantee, you discover that he's fled to another major outlet following the financial collapse of the original supplier.

 

Personally, I prefer the old valve-analogue organs, in which it is possible to make proper toast (which breaks like crispbread), and is also able to bake bread, pizzas and cakes; whilst keeping the room warm.

 

Now about electric guitars........

 

 

MM

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It may be observed that the correct way to make toast is to cut slices of bread by hand, to impale them on a toasting fork (there is some dispute about whether this should have two, three or four prongs), to rake over a coal fire until exactly the right combination of glowing coals is visible, and then to hold the bread in the correct position until it is toasted to perfection.

 

It is physically impossible for any electric or electronic device to produce authentic toast, and no connoisseur of toast would ever consider that the product of these substitutes deserves to be called food. People who cannot afford coal fires or do not have sufficient space for a proper grate may be forced to use these inferior means, but they should not pretend that the results are real toast.

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It may be observed that the correct way to make toast is to cut slices of bread by hand, to impale them on a toasting fork (there is some dispute about whether this should have two, three or four prongs), to rake over a coal fire until exactly the right combination of glowing coals is visible, and then to hold the bread in the correct position until it is toasted to perfection.

 

It is physically impossible for any electric or electronic device to produce authentic toast, and no connoisseur of toast would ever consider that the product of these substitutes deserves to be called food. People who cannot afford coal fires or do not have sufficient space for a proper grate may be forced to use these inferior means, but they should not pretend that the results are real toast.

 

 

=============================

 

 

I inherited one from my parents and still have it. No doubt a utility version, it has two prongs and a painted wooden handle, probably using lead based paint.

 

My father used until almost the day he died, for a quite different purpose.

 

Having gone over to a gas-fire, (the flame of which lurked behind a metal grill), he had been forced into finding an alternative to that of lighting his cigarettes from the red-embers at the bottom of the old coal-fire. In what I can only describe as a flash of creative genius, he rooted around in the kitchen drawer one day and shuffled back into the living room. Relieved that he didn't immediately stab me in the neck with the two-pronged toasting-fork, he then proceeded to impale his cigarette on the end of the said item, whereupon he thrust it through the metal grill, and onto the gas flame.

 

Now that the gas-fire has been replaced with a new one of different construction, I keep the toasting-fork for sentimental reasons. Nevertheless, it is very useful for stabbing the top of instant microwave meals when I am feeling particularly lazy.

 

The only other use I found for this splendid device, was when a potato rolled under the fridge-freezer.

 

MM

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toasted to perfection.

 

real toast.

As one who, as a child, only knew toast made by this method (I was amazed enough that my father actually permitted electricity in the house at all), I can assure you that these terms are mutually exclusive. However you arrange the embers of the fire it simply is not possible to produce evenly toasted toast by this means because the rising heat means that one is unable to present a piece of bread so that all points of the slice are equidistant from the heat source. The essential first step in attempting to achieve this equidistance is inevitably to hold the toasting fork at a downward angle. This does at least ensure that the trainee toaster quickly becomes very adept at scraping coal dust, ash and cinders off bread that has fallen from the fork into the fire.

 

As for breaking like crispbread, the bread in our house does that without being toasted... :)

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Toasted to perfection.

As one who, as a child, only knew toast made by this method ... I can assure you that these terms are mutually exclusive. However you arrange the embers of the fire it simply is not possible to produce evenly toasted toast by this means because the rising heat means that one is unable to present a piece of bread so that all points of the slice are equidistant from the heat source.

 

Yes, the musical(?) toaster can produce stops which are wonderfully even, just as pipe organ voicers for perhaps the last 150 years have produced very even reeds.

 

I wouldn't swap any of these for the baroque reeds of Germany, Holland or France. Even? No. Extremely beautiful? Yes.

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On the subject of "toasters", could anyone indicate the practicality of using a digital organ (a Wyvern) to control Hauptwerk? Is this possible?

In theory, Yes. HW can be played from anything that has a MIDI-Out connection.

The manuals and pedals should certainly work. How much of the rest of it will work with HW depends on the age of your Wyvern and what kind of MIDI messages (if any) are sent by the stops, pistons and swell pedal(s).

 

Drop me a PM if you need more info.

 

Douglas.

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Toasted to perfection.

Yes, the musical(?) toaster can produce stops which are wonderfully even, just as pipe organ voicers for perhaps the last 150 years have produced very even reeds.

 

I wouldn't swap any of these for the baroque reeds of Germany, Holland or France. Even? No. Extremely beautiful? Yes.

 

 

===================================

 

 

You do baroque reeds a disservice, I suspect.

 

Haarlem may not be typical (there has been much revoicing), but the pressures are low enough to make the reeds qualify as "baroque" in essence. They are wonderfully even throughout. Similarly, the much more authentic reeds at Alkmaar and elsewhere.

 

Not quite on-topic, but I recall marvelling at the "orchestral" imitation of the baroque reeds, I think if I recall correctly, at Bolsward in the Netherlands. They were incredibly close to the real instruments tonally, and probably better copies of "orchestral" instruents than anything made in the romantic era.

 

One of the most haunting and beautiful sounds I ever heard, was a genuine baroque Vox Humana, with a 4ft Flute and a slow tremulant drawn with it as a solo voice.

 

MM

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It's a (fairly derrogatory) term for an electronic/digital/"pipeless" organ. In addition to Davidh's response, I would note:

 

3. Just like Toasters, new models of electronic organs are updated every 2 or 3 years to keep up with the latest fashions

 

I would agree with this in that since I have been married, we have gone through 3 toasters, but only one (er!) organ.

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Guest Barry Williams
I would agree with this in that since I have been married, we have gone through 3 toasters, but only one (er!) organ.

 

 

Our toaster (i.e. that which cooks bread) is the original one and still going strong - a wedding present, over twenty two years old.

 

In that time we have had three electronic instruments, but now have an organ.

 

Barry Williams

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Yes, but electronic organs have improved considerably over the last 22 years. And an advantage they have in the home over a pipe organ is the fact that they can be used with headphones. I could just imagine Mrs. Gedeckt's reaction if I wanted to practise when she wanted to watch TV, read, or go to sleep! And I wouldn't always want to have to restrict myself to a Stopped Diapason....

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Guest Barry Williams

Yes, for home use, especially with headphones, they are invaluable. We only acquired the pipe organ in 1999. Since then the improvement in electronic instruments has been limited as much by the lack of skill of the installers as by the technology.

 

Careless tonal finishing in a pipe organ (which is more common than one would wish) is less of a problem than careless tonal finishing (or usually non-existent tonal finishing) in the pipeless machines.

 

Perhaps I should comment no more on the pipeless machines, as I feel that it is discourteous to our hosts, except in terms of home practice instruments.

 

It seems that there is no convenient electronic alternative for steam engines, comparable to 'toasters'.

 

Barry Williams

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Mind you, the description of your pipe instrument which you've got at home Barry made me somewhat envious! I guess I certainly wasn't the only one.

 

I could do with one of those in addition to my electronic instrument..... :lol:

 

:lol:

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Guest Barry Williams

As this thread is about 'toasters' I have no hesitation is mentioning that it is perfectly possible, if one disposes of certain preconceptions, to have a small pipe organ in the house in not much more floor space than is taken up by a pipeless apparatus. Moreover, it need not be loud at all. Indeed, our organ is not as loud, outside the house, as the pianoforte - a Grotian Steinweg of some power and tone. This is not to suggest that an instrument of the proportions of Mr Cynic's magnum opus can (or ought to be) be fitted into an ordinary dwelling place.

 

Barry Williams

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Absolutely! I have a friend who had a 4 manual drawstop Wyvern installed in his front room. For the same money (very little change out of 20k about 3-4 years ago), he could have had a small real pipe organ in the same space.

Indeed, either of the wonderful chamber organs on display at our hosts' Open Day last November would take up less space than my 3 manual Hauptwerk practice setup. I've promised myself, "one day....".

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Guest Barry Williams
Absolutely! I have a friend who had a 4 manual drawstop Wyvern installed in his front room. For the same money (very little change out of 20k about 3-4 years ago), he could have had a small real pipe organ in the same space.

 

 

Three or four years ago £20,000, using some second-hand parts (mainly pipes, blower and bellows,) would make quite a large house organ.

 

I can see that some professional recitalists might need several keyboards etc to practice manual changes, but I have never been able to discern any corresponding improvement in the tone with the increased prices of the pipeless instruments. The most expensive is often the least satisfactory.

 

There was an article in The Organ in about 1963 in which Dr C A Padgham, describing his one rank (four stop) house organ, remarked that there is much pleasure in playing one rank of lightly blown pipes.

 

Barry Williams

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As this thread is about 'toasters' I have no hesitation is mentioning that it is perfectly possible, if one disposes of certain preconceptions, to have a small pipe organ in the house in not much more floor space than is taken up by a pipeless apparatus. Moreover, it need not be loud at all. Indeed, our organ is not as loud, outside the house, as the pianoforte - a Grotian Steinweg of some power and tone. This is not to suggest that an instrument of the proportions of Mr Cynic's magnum opus can (or ought to be) be fitted into an ordinary dwelling place.

 

Barry Williams

 

 

============================

 

 

One of the sweetest sounds I ever heard, was from an 18th century cabinet-organ in the home of Haite van der Schaff, Amsterdam.

 

This little treasure took up no more space than an upright piano, and yet was considerable lower, with the larger basses mounted horizontally.

 

For anyone who has cash to spare, there are often a number of house pipe-organs for sale on a Netherlands auction-site, a bit like e-bay, but working as a "Dutch Auction." It is quite amazing how many organs appear on there; both pipe and electronic.

 

MM

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