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Pipe Vs Digital Cost Of Ownership


Tony Newnham
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Hi

 

I'm talking with a Baptist church that has had its 3m pipe organ destroyed in a major fire (along with significant building damage). Currently they are looking at the digital option to "save space and maintenance costs" (the building will probably be significantly altered during reconstruction). Does anyone have any hard figures for cost of ownership of pipe organs vs. digital? (i.e. capital cost, maintenance, life expectancy (probably 15-20 years for a good digital))

 

Thanks in advance

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Sorry, I haven't got any up to date figures (though I suspect I will need them soone!), however the reports from consultants and builders I have read recently suggest that a great deal will depend on the choice of action for a pipe organ.

 

For example, the life of electronic components involved in detached consoles, playing aids, etc., could be deemed to have a similar life to those in a digital instrument.

 

A good mechanical action could well last into double figures of decades with fairly minimal maintenance.

 

(Of course, those two examples are looking at the opposite ends of lifetime spectra - worst to best.)

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Whilst a good mechanical action organ is to be preferred at all costs, reading Tony's original post, it is also mentioned that the church wish to save space as well as costs. It is reasonable also to suggest that the church's worship pattern might change significantly over the years, maybe to the point that an organ (or organist) is no longer required. So many church organs are not being replaced at all in favour of band-led music (or worse, some digital hymnal) these days, I am led to wonder that by the time I shuffle off this mortal coil, the pipe (or any for that matter) organ may well be heard only in our Cathedrals and churches where a quality music is really honoured criterion.

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As well as TCO, would it be possible to factor into the discussion such areas as how easy or difficult it is to attract a good organist or deputies to a church with a digital organ, whether young people are more or less likely to show an interest in learning the instrument, whether the sound the instrument makes has a positive or negative effect on a singing congregation? I am aware that "hard facts" in these areas will be hard to come by.

 

If space is an issue, then a much smaller real instrument might be preferable. A mechanical-action one manual and pedal instrument with 7 or 8 stops could be very elegant. To increase the versatility of such an instrument the stops could be divided. And such an instrument wouldn't need many "playing aids" and could be extremely simple to maintain.

 

I've not seen or heard either instrument, but Robin Jennings’s organs in Pluckley and Streatley seem to be very compact. See here.

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Some good points raised about ease/difficulty of finding someone to play competently once installed, space saved if digital, inspiration to learn to practice if good instrument, modern worship trends tending to need more flexibility etc.

 

Whilst continuing to respond to the original thread on costs of pipe v digital, why go for new? How would the cost of rehousing a redundant pipe organ stack up against a digital organ? Obviously careful selection is needed (e.g. many modern churches are heavily carpetted and have pretty dead acoustics) but if an instrument in good working order becomes reduntant, is it that expensive to dismantle, clean and repair, and re-erect?

 

Contrabombarde

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Whilst I can see some reasoning behind the experimentation and production of simulated organs (for practice mainly), the long-term pros and cons are considerable in my opinion. Having had first-hand knowledge of churches installing digital simulators for Liturgy and Repertoire the longevity of the digitals never seem to be very long - in fact in a number of cases shorter than was first explained upon purchase. My own village has now spent around £11,000 10 years ago and around £27,000 in the past year. There is no collateral at the end of the life-span really. Some consoles might be re-usable in one way or another. Certainly speakers cannot.

But in the end, it is a question of basic integrity; an artistic and financial integrity coupled to an acoustical one. A new pipe organ which (other than the blower and console light) is designed using age-old principles will just be beautifully maturing when the the digital version is being carried out for burial. The following might be helpful for a start in coming to terms with the arguments that abound; - it is a public judgment made by one of the highest-ranking Law Lords and Appeal Judges in the land and made by him at a Consistory Court in which I was a witness to preserve the organ and not allow in a digital alternative. The church did not want to spend around £700/800 a year on pipe-organ maintenance and made the excuse that a Vestry had to come from the space occupied by the organ. Another underlying reason for its proposed ousting was that a number of influential people in the running of the Parish wanted alternative musical things and thus, digital.

The Law

The legal principles applicable where a re-ordering scheme is proposed are to

be found in the judgment of the Court of Arches in Re St Luke the Evangelist,

Maidstone 1995 Fam 1. Giving the judgment of the court, the Dean, Sir John

Owen, cited with approval the questions posed by Chancellor Cameron QC in

Re St Helen's Bishopsgate of 26 November 1993. Those questions are:

"(1) Have the Petitioners proved a necessity for some or all of the

proposed works, either because they are necessary for the pastoral wellbeing

of St Helen's or for some other compelling reason?

(2) Will some or all of the works adversely affect the character of the

church as a building of special architectural and historic interest?

(3) If the answer to (2) is yes, then is the necessity proved by the

Petitioners such that in the exercise of the court's discretion a Faculty

should be granted for all or some of the works?"

 

The Organ

The legal principles expressed above, as I have already stated, apply as well to

the organ as to the other facets of the re-ordering. In addition, I have

considered whether any other legal principles are engaged in respect of the

organ. It is possible to argue that it is not a fixture, but a separate article or

chattel. The test as to whether an article is a fixture or chattel is dependant on

two tests (see Berkeley v Poulet [1977] 1 EGLR 86). These two tests depend

upon:

(1) the method and degree of annexation; and

(2) the object and purpose of the annexation.

 

Although the organ is free-standing, for myself I would hold that the organ

was a fixture. As I have said, it is obviously an object of considerable weight.

It was re-built and enlarged specifically for St Nicolas. In my view it bears all

the characteristics of a fixture.

However, the distinction between the organ as a fixture and as a chattel is in

this case of little or no significance. To remove it and replace it with a vestry

plainly forms part of the scheme of re-ordering and so is subject to the in Re St

Luke the Evangelist principles. Even if it is a chattel, the Petitioners must

prove a good and sufficient reason for disposing of it (see Re St Gregory's,

Tredington 1972 Fam 236). In my judgment, when considering whether an

article such as this organ should be disposed of, the tests of "a proved

necessity" and "good and sufficient reason" come to much the same thing; in

each case there is a balancing process to be carried out. As with the exercise

of any judicial discretion involving a balance of various factors, the more

important and significant the artefact, chattel or other item, the more

significant must be the countervailing necessity or reason for disposing of it.

I have not found the decision in respect of the organ at all easy. I have great

sympathy for the Petitioners and am prepared to accept that their views

represent the majority of the congregation, possibly a large majority. I have

no doubt that they feel that the only solution to a new vestry is to be found by

removing the organ from its site inthe north aisle. Self-evidently, they regard

the importance of having a convenient vestry as greater than retaining the

organ.

On the other hand, the organ is, in my judgment, an item of historic interest.

It was originally built by a local organ builder, which gives it a special

connection with the locality. The fact that it was rebuilt in 1951 does not

diminish that historic connection. I accept Mr Allcoat's evidence that the

organ is probably far and away the most valuable artefact in the church. There

is, in my opinion, considerable force in his strongly held view that" ... to throw

out this fine instrument in its present working state is hard to comprehend".

 

In my judgment those responsible for a church and all its artefacts have a duty

to preserve for future generations, so far as is possible, not only the future of

the church building but also its important artefacts. It is for that reason that

the Dean of Arches in Re St Luke the Evangelist and Chancellor Cameron QC

in Re St Helen's stressed the importance of observing the principles applicable

to re-ordering.

There are factors which cause me some anxiety about the case for removing

the organ. First, the annual cost of maintaining the organ is not large by

comparison with other costs of upkeep. Secondly, it has not been well

maintained and more work is necessary. But the cost of buying a digital organ

is, on any view, substantial. The life of such an organ is finite and, I believe,

compares unfavourably with the life of this pipe organ if it were properly

maintained.

Thirdly, there is no evidence that the Petitioners have given any thought to the

difficulties expressed by Mr Allcoat in removing the organ, nor what will be

done with it. Self-evidently not every church could accommodate an organ

such as this. There is no evidence of any plan to see that it is preserved. At

the very least, before its removal is sanctioned, I would have expected to see

evidence of it being re-located and preserved.

Fourthly, I am not satisfied that there is no other site available for the vestry

than that presently occupied by the organ. The most obvious site would

appear to be one of the two rooms to be constructed in the south aisle. These

rooms are said by the Petitioners to be unsuitable. One is said to be too small;

the other unsuitable because as a vestry it could not be used as a meeting

room. I find neither of these reasons very persuasive. In any event, in my

judgment, they are not of sufficient strength to outweigh what in my opinion

would be the very detrimental effect of removing and disposing of this organ.

For the above reasons I have concluded that the Petitioners have not proved a

necessity of sufficient weight or a sufficiently good reason for me to sanction

the removal of the organ.

 

I have reached this conclusion only after giving the

matter anxious consideration. I suspect that the Petitioners will not only be

disappointed but feel that their aims have, to some considerable extent, been

thwarted. However, I hope that they will reconsider the siting of the vestry in

a constructive way. The whole development of the community hall, linked to

the church and the old grammar school will provide more space. In my view,

with careful and constructive thought it ought to be possible to find a suitable

alternative site for a new vestry without removing the organ from its existing

position in the church.

 

I see that one of the large problems of today's age is that we no longer see much further than a few years into the future and therefore what legacy we are leaving for future generations. In my mind Priests , Churchwardens and PCCs are custodians of the benevolence from previous generations. I know that what they have might not fit in with present trends but sometimes meeting that challenge can produce some surprising yet positive results. With a true understanding of the proper spending of money and the more free way in which it is donated to the Church, we should not be in such a pickle. You try telling people that they should give one hour's worth of their earnings a week as their giving to the church! I think that is around £685 for somebody on £24,000 a year and working 35 hours per week. If donated as a taxpayer, the tax would then also be recovered under the national scheme. Furthermore, without being morbid, less and less folk provide generously in their wills. I know parishes are different, but in my own parish the amounts given in death duties from parishioners in my lifetime could have purchased a new pipe organ many times over. Our ability to educate and enthuse (in the right quarters) seems rather lacking in many parts of our society.

 

But with new experiments in Liturgy, I suggest that we should never forget the foundations of our heritage. I for one, only played the organ as I was attracted by the extraordinary sound. I only joined the choir so that I could get nearer to it. I couldn't wait for the final prayer at the choir practice so that I could have 15 minutes playing the organ. I know for certain that as a burgeoning musician of 10, my ears would not have had much interest in speakers as they certainly haven't in old age. My extra thrill is the architectural vision of an instrument. It is (and should be for me) a thing of beauty. For at a conservatively generous 95% of the time it is seen and not heard. That should be considered too when designing and placing it.

 

In conclusion, if you feel that to some degree you can be somewhat profligate with precious funds, by all means buy a digital device for £30,000 with so many things that never even get used (my village can go from English Cathedral or German Baroque to French Romantic at the flick of switch). It will last perhaps 20 years. Therefore, it is like asking the Treasurer to write a cheque each year for £1500 with very little to show for it at the end. Not many ordinary pipe organs demand that kind of money for yearly upkeep. However, I have said to churches where only a digital replacement is being considered - by all means get one but also purchase a pipe organ (small and exquisite) so that we never lose sight of the future and those who need to play the organ and be fired by its mystery, beauty and its music. It comes as a glorious shock to churches when you tell them that the organ as an instrument is certainly older than Christianity. Our educating of others is lamentable sometimes.

 

Best wishes, (and as you see, my N Y resolution is not ever to be brief),

 

Nigel

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Whilst I can see some reasoning behind the experimentation and production of simulated organs ...

 

Best wishes, (and as you see, my N Y resolution is not ever to be brief),

 

Nigel

Well, as Churchill once intimated, there isn't always time to write a shorter submission :lol: Thank you for this shower of common sense. Lovely judgment too.

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The legal principles applicable where a re-ordering scheme is proposed are to

be found in the judgment of the Court of Arches in Re St Luke the Evangelist,

Maidstone 1995 Fam 1.

 

Nigel

In 2008 it was awarded a Historic Organ Certificate Grade II*. I wonder if it is still in use. It doesn't seem to get a mention or a picture on the church's website.

 

David

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In 2008 it was awarded a Historic Organ Certificate Grade II*. I wonder if it is still in use. It doesn't seem to get a mention or a picture on the church's website.

 

David

So far as I know, it's only used for the 9:00am service on Sundays, which I'm told is more traditional. There hasn't been a choir there for years. Most of their worship services are led by a band (albeit a good one) and bear little resemblance to Anglican rites. The Vicar is a well-known evangelist and preacher. I had to play a wedding there about 18 months ago. There were so many missing notes that the requested music would have been impossible to play. Fortunately I discovered this at the rehearsal a couple of days previously, so I took my Hauptwerk rig instead. I was told that they have no desire to spend any money on repairs/restoration of the pipe organ and would rather replace it with something pipeless and portable.

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We must think to the future. Can you imagine if you bought something like this:

 

http://pipedreams.publicradio.org/gallery/...caanonymous.jpg

 

and kept and maintained it for a similar length of time? It would, of course, be priceless.

 

Can you imagine what an electronic substitute would be like after six hundred years?

 

And it seems to fit the bill with regard to size, too!

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We must think to the future. Can you imagine if you bought something like this:

 

http://pipedreams.publicradio.org/gallery/...caanonymous.jpg

 

and kept and maintained it for a similar length of time? It would, of course, be priceless.

 

Can you imagine what an electronic substitute would be like after six hundred years?

 

And it seems to fit the bill with regard to size, too!

 

After six hundred years? Surely - it would be toast....

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Whilst I can see some reasoning behind the experimentation and production of simulated organs (for practice mainly), the long-term pros and cons are considerable in my opinion. Having had first-hand knowledge of churches installing digital simulators for Liturgy and Repertoire ....

 

I see that one of the large problems of today's age is that we no longer see much further than a few years into the future and therefore what legacy we are leaving for future generations. In my mind Priests , Churchwardens and PCCs are custodians of the benevolence from previous generations. I know that what they have might not fit in with present trends but sometimes meeting that challenge can produce some surprising yet positive results. With a true understanding of the proper spending of money and the more free way in which it is donated to the Church, we should not be in such a pickle.

 

However, I have said to churches where only a digital replacement is being considered - by all means get one but also purchase a pipe organ (small and exquisite) so that we never lose sight of the future and those who need to play the organ and be fired by its mystery, beauty and its music. It comes as a glorious shock to churches when you tell them that the organ as an instrument is certainly older than Christianity. Our educating of others is lamentable sometimes.

 

Best wishes, (and as you see, my N Y resolution is not ever to be brief),

 

Nigel

Nigel

 

Thank you for your wonderful post - and for reproducing the judgment of the case above, which I think is an important ruling if there are future cases.

 

The argument of custodianship for future generations is an important one, which carries much weight with many church people who may not fully grasp the muscial arguments.

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Hi

 

Thanks for the replies so far. I'll take a proper look at them in the week. I'm well aware of the life argument - it's one reason why we still have a pipe organ in my church! The Anglican church law is irrelevant to the situation - although there looks like some worthwhile points in the judgement that I may be able to use. The fact is that Baptist churches have no outside control (except for listed buildings) - the church meeting has the final say - and there's no requirement for them to even ask for advice.

 

I hope that I can persuade the church in question that a new or recycled pipe organ is the best long-term answer - we#ll have to see. In the meantime, if anyone does have any hard figures for capital and running costs, I'd like to see them.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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I hope that I can persuade the church in question that a new or recycled pipe organ is the best long-term answer - we'll have to see. In the meantime, if anyone does have any hard figures for capital and running costs, I'd like to see them.

Not sure if this point has been made yet: a pipe organ with mechanical action can normally work usefully, particularly to accompany hymn-singing, even if there are small faults waiting to be fixed, whereas a digital instrument will generally be unusable if there is a fault. A mechanical action pipe organ can even work without electricity if there is a built-in option of hand- or foot-operated bellows, which is worth bearing in mind while the world is focussed on reducing energy use. In the future many electric devices will be powerable by solar power but as far as digital organs installed in churches are concerned I suspect that day is a long way off.

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...A pipe organ with mechanical action can normally work usefully, particularly to accompany hymn-singing, even if there are small faults waiting to be fixed, whereas a digital instrument will generally be unusable if there is a fault. A mechanical action pipe organ can even work without electricity if there is a built-in option of hand- or foot-operated bellows, which is worth bearing in mind while the world is focussed on reducing energy use. In the future many electric devices will be powerable by solar power but as far as digital organs installed in churches are concerned I suspect that day is a long way off.

If money and space are limited, why not go for a decent piano, as we have in my own Church. Low running costs, low energy, total reliability and, hopefully, extremely long life.

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Hi

 

I'm talking with a Baptist church that has had its 3m pipe organ destroyed in a major fire (along with significant building damage).

Tony

 

I am hopeful that this church was correctly insured. If so, it seems that the figure to be on the claim for the organ will be about £10,000 - £12,000 per stop. A church in my 'care' has been told (for their 9 stops) £100,000. Now, for saving space as we know, a new organ takes up very little room on the ground if properly designed. Victorian instruments often are like a small house. On the ethical side, I would think it dreadful that the organ builders are being displaced in the proposals by, in comparison, short-lived electronics. And anyway, I am wondering if insurance would come their way if it was not replacing like-for-like in this situation.

As for running costs, most digital devices have a 10 year warranty. But I know that maintenance is sometimes necessary to correct sound and to replace parts. More than that (and the cost of that) I have no idea. Others in the world must have figures somewhere to help.

 

I hope that they soon find a solution to their loss.

 

Nigel

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A 10 year warranty is all well and good, but what happens thereafter? Digital technology moves on very quickly. Will parts be available at any price? Or will you be faced with having to buy a new instrument (or a substantial part thereof) once one component fails?

 

Dewsbury Minster were quoted (IIRC) £18,000 to get their digital organ working again a few years ago. I don't think it was a particularly ancient machine either. The prospect of having to spend that sort of money every decade made them reconsider whether a pipe organ might not be the cheaper option in the long run. On investigation they found there was a suitable instrument going begging in a nearby church, and it was going to cost in the region of £30,000 to install it.

 

It didn't seem to take very long from mooting the idea to work actually starting, from which one might gather that raising the funds was not all that difficult (maybe those involved will say otherwise!). Perhaps it's easier to raise £30k to install a pipe organ than to raise £18k to repair a digital one - especially if the latter appeal is going to recur at intervals of 10-15 years.

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A 10 year warranty is all well and good, but what happens thereafter? Digital technology moves on very quickly. Will parts be available at any price? Or will you be faced with having to buy a new instrument (or a substantial part thereof) once one component fails?

 

It didn't seem to take very long from mooting the idea to work actually starting, from which one might gather that raising the funds was not all that difficult (maybe those involved will say otherwise!). Perhaps it's easier to raise £30k to install a pipe organ than to raise £18k to repair a digital one - especially if the latter appeal is going to recur at intervals of 10-15 years.

 

Most valid points. It seems that no matter what make of electronic instrument it is, some go well whilst others don't. I use the analogies of ordinary day-to-day things to provide clarity to the decision-making of Churches. Therefore as examples off the top of my head: How many computers have you had in 10 years? How long has your microwave lasted and has it lost power? Do you still have the same television after 10 years, radio or hi-fi? etc.

I can also say that I know of a person who possess a perfectly working (mechanical) bicycle that is from just post WW1.

 

And as it's Monday I shall gripe and write!

Why is it that most churches who purchase digital equipment have something far too large and loud? The company also mainly place the speakers in a position (West wall) that once might have been the ideal place for a pipe organ. The latter would be designed, scaled and voiced to be the perfect fit, speaking with optimum clarity into the largest space. However, speakers are ugly and provide very flat sounds after a time. Even unmusical folk will observe this - and say so. But the specification seems to bear no relationship to the pipe organ it is replacing in that position. Why? As Diocesan Adviser I once suggested to a tiny 18th Century church a specification for around 16 stops maximum for their digital organ. The company rep had an apoplectic fit on the spot when I handed this over. His initial specification for the church seating 80 and with a Wedgwood-like interior included a 32ft Contra Bombarde and a Festal Trumpet en Chamade. (How the latter can be so named on such an organ with speakers, defeats me!)

I think that most, if not all of the companies make standard specifications with some minor room for manoeuvrings. To have something bespoke each time would increase the cost considerably and thus be not a quick solution to an organ problem. Once Art comes into it (as in the building of pipe organs of course), the costs become almost prohibitive when one realizes the longevity of the equipment.

These are thoughts that frequently occur to me as I certainly don't want to see the fruits of hard fund-raising labours being frittered away in the short-term.

 

I would heartily like to encourage (certainly C of E) churches to become more mediaeval in their use of the (often) largest building in their community. Secular use of the Nave is wonderful. Concerts and the like (for children as well as Music Clubs) make tremendous use of it. A lovely organ to be part of this as Solo, or in Continuo or Ensemble - not solely for Church use (remember its origins in Greek and Roman times?) - is so exciting. I am not thinking huge instruments here. I am thinking along the lines of an extension of Tudor times when small organs in larger places were dotted around to be part of worship in Guild Chapels or Lady Chapels. The advent of new actions after mechanical, allowed vast machines to appear. Let's keep the best of course. But is it really necessary to always think that a new organ now has to emulate that particular time in its evolution? Who knows, a new breed of pipe organ in these circumstances might spark a resurgence in composition and liturgical music. The use in small churches with three or four singers could at least be a solution to those places that are now no longer Tractarian. The occasional instrument could join forces too. The work of the organist in smaller places would become an exciting time that could use the resources of the Parish again.

 

I am not lampooning the work done by the digital people. But I do get so aggravated that we have to only have mostly what they produce - and often with the most ridiculous names like cars or a reference number like a filing cabinet and with photos of it standing in some grand cathedral. To get back to Tony's original request - it is rather hard to put one alongside the other to determine costs and perhaps use whatever figures come up in a debate. It is no different for me than having my Steinway C and my Roland HP-1700L. The former is a joy whilst the other is a toy. With my thrice yearly tune of the former put alongside the pence of switching on the electronic substitute, the financial difference is vast.The Roland though, is just a piece of kit that enables me to put chords and notes into Sibelius and to make my latest piece sound ridiculous in Marimba mode. But the results and possession of the former are priceless. I would never have had the calibre of student to teach had I sat them down to an extension of the National Grid.

 

Best wishes,

Nigel

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... The Anglican church law is irrelevant to the situation - although there looks like some worthwhile points in the judgement that I may be able to use. The fact is that Baptist churches have no outside control (except for listed buildings) - the church meeting has the final say - and there's no requirement for them to even ask for advice. ...

These are clearly important points. As you say, perhaps you will be able to persuade the church authorities that rescuing a redundant pipe organ is worth considering.

 

I hope that following may be of some use.

 

Several years ago, I spent two years as assistant at a large and well-known church (the history of the organs in this building is also common knowledge). The instrument was, at the time of its inception, state-of-the-art. Following a major rebuilding after accidental damage rendered it unusable, it was rebuilt with the then-new form of tone generation, and an enlarged and altered stoplist. There were two sites for the numerous speakers and the console was both substantial and sumptuous, with Herrburger-Brooks ivory claviers and over one hundred drawstops.

 

However, even during my time there, this substitute organ needed regular (and occasionally extensive) work. The maintenance team were often there - once, because the entire piston system had failed on a Saturday night. Leaving aside the (rather unsatisfactory) sound of the organ, the maintenance required was probably more frequent than that for a comparable pipe organ.

 

Whilst I cannot give a cost comparison (part of the deal negotiated in the 1970s was that the maintenance was free for the life of the instrument. I am not even certain that the church in question paid for it.

 

I am aware that there is a certain firm of electronic organ manufacturers which claims to be able to provide any part needed for any of their instruments still functioning. However, I have yet to see any figures which would give an idea of how much replacement parts of various types would cost. Would this also mean that the firm in question has to maintain expensive manufacturing units to produce parts which the electronics industry would have regarded as obsolete for decades?

 

I realise that the latter point is not necessarily relevant - except that, I have observed that some churches seem just as reluctant to pay for maintenance of a digital substitute as others are for a pipe organ. As another contributor has mentioned - it is possible that some problems on a digital organ would render it unplayable until they were repaired, whereas a pipe organ may well still be playable under many conditions.

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I haven't seen many examples of costs of rehousing organs on this thread so far, though plenty of ideas circulating about the relative cost of new pipe and new digital. Do any members have figures that could be shared to help balance the discussion a bit? It always strikes me as a bit of a pity that some lucky churches seem to manage to find hundreds of thousands on a new organ when there are plenty of fine reduncant organs floating around, whilst other churches just go for the digital option. Without wanting to take new business away from our very fne organ builders, I wonder whether rehoused organs are considered often enough in the churches that have recently had brand new instruments installed? Is it really that despite the organs available, none were considered suitable for a transplant? In these eco-aware days, we should all be doing our part to encourage recycling...

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I haven't seen many examples of costs of rehousing organs on this thread so far, though plenty of ideas circulating about the relative cost of new pipe and new digital. Do any members have figures that could be shared to help balance the discussion a bit? It always strikes me as a bit of a pity that some lucky churches seem to manage to find hundreds of thousands on a new organ when there are plenty of fine reduncant organs floating around, whilst other churches just go for the digital option. Without wanting to take new business away from our very fne organ builders, I wonder whether rehoused organs are considered often enough in the churches that have recently had brand new instruments installed? Is it really that despite the organs available, none were considered suitable for a transplant? In these eco-aware days, we should all be doing our part to encourage recycling...

 

If it helps you, my church acquired a 2 manual 21 stop mechanical action instrument from the MOD in 2002, only 26 years old and very low-mileage. It was a simple process of submitting sealed bids, with a minimum bid of £3000. The total cost of dismantling, storing (for 15 months), cleaning, overhaul, installing digital combination system, adding 2 brand new ranks and a cymbelstern, adapting casework to fit the building, final installation, etc, came to just less than £60,000. The price of a comparable new instrument at that time was roughly £185,000 ex vat.

 

Graham

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If it helps you, my church acquired a 2 manual 21 stop mechanical action instrument from the MOD in 2002, only 26 years old and very low-mileage. It was a simple process of submitting sealed bids, with a minimum bid of £3000. The total cost of dismantling, storing (for 15 months), cleaning, overhaul, installing digital combination system, adding 2 brand new ranks and a cymbelstern, adapting casework to fit the building, final installation, etc, came to just less than £60,000. The price of a comparable new instrument at that time was roughly £185,000 ex vat.

And very nice it looks too, Graham. :rolleyes:

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