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Makin takes over Copeman Hart

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It has just been announced that Makin acquired Copeman Hart yesterday.

The two companies are to be run as separate entities, though Dr Keith Harrington will be Managing Director of both, and Ernest Hart will remain as a Director of CH.

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It has just been announced that Makin acquired Copeman Hart yesterday.

The two companies are to be run as separate entities, though Dr Keith Harrington will be Managing Director of both, and Ernest Hart will remain as a Director of CH.

QB wonders what to make of this news, but then, he is a proud owner of a groovy Wyvern organ! :blink:

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It has just been announced that Makin acquired Copeman Hart yesterday.

The two companies are to be run as separate entities, though Dr Keith Harrington will be Managing Director of both, and Ernest Hart will remain as a Director of CH.

 

Interesting - when I had lunch with Ernest a few weeks back (because he was helping me convert our CH toaster to Hauptwerk a job which has transformed the toaster into an instrument), we talked about the future of the company and he said it "was all planned for". I guess this must have been it.

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Despite this post being 'off topic' (it's been said before by our hosts that electronic organ chat isn't supposed to be held on this forum) I do think this important news to the organ industry in general.

 

It doesn't seem long ago that Copeman Hart organs were regarded by many as the best digital instruments available. The console design by that firm was of the best quality too. Do others agree with me in thinking that the sounds of Copeman Hart instruments have started to lag behind the competition recently? Is the C-H name still going to be available?

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It has just been announced that Makin acquired Copeman Hart yesterday.

The two companies are to be run as separate entities, though Dr Keith Harrington will be Managing Director of both, and Ernest Hart will remain as a Director of CH.

 

 

This puts both my church, and myself, in a strange position. Our C-H is but a mile from Makin HQ, and I used to work for that company! It's a bit like the Rolls Royce situation- the best quality by reputation being owned by a competitor. I do hope the ethos of C-H can be maintained. As their technologies are quite different, I suspect that one may give way to the other, depending on which is considered the 'best'. The reputations of both companies has been founded on their own systems, of which both have equal claims to superiority! It could be an interesting scenario.

 

CP

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This puts both my church, and myself, in a strange position. Our C-H is but a mile from Makin HQ, and I used to work for that company! It's a bit like the Rolls Royce situation- the best quality by reputation being owned by a competitor. I do hope the ethos of C-H can be maintained. As their technologies are quite different, I suspect that one may give way to the other, depending on which is considered the 'best'. The reputations of both companies has been founded on their own systems, of which both have equal claims to superiority! It could be an interesting scenario.

 

CP

 

Except that as I understood it, Makin uses Johnannus' sound technology. Conceptually an electronic organ is a console, a sound generating system (normally digitally sampled or digitally constructed) and a sound-producing system (ie amp and speakers). You can build a handsome console, but if the samples are poor it will sound dreadful. Equally you can have fantastic samples, but if played through tinny speakers in the kneeboard it just doesn't sound right either.

 

The genie in the bottle though is Hauptwerk, and I don't think any of the British digital organ building companies are set up to build consoles for Hauptwerk as yet. Meaning that to play a reproduction of a complete and real organ you must either commission a specialist console builder or put the bits together yourself, which I suspect is why it has been perhaps slow to catch on, especially in churches. Forum rules understandably restrict discussion of electronic organs, though I think it is worth mentioning that part of the cost of buying many of the sampled organs for Hauptwerk goes back to the original organ, and for the more "popular" instruments it has apparently brought in a lot of income for the care of the real instrument. Plus you are not dependent on kneeboard speakers and indeed some of the more spectacular systems spend a small fortune on multiple serious quality hifi speakers.

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As their technologies are quite different, I suspect that one may give way to the other, depending on which is considered the 'best'. The reputations of both companies has been founded on their own systems, of which both have equal claims to superiority! It could be an interesting scenario.

Although it is a bit like arguing which clear plastic receptacle is best for drinking beer.

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Guest Patrick Coleman
Although it is a bit like arguing which clear plastic receptacle is best for drinking beer.

:blink:

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Except that as I understood it, Makin uses Johnannus' sound technology.

Correct. It's sample-based, as are all the European and American mass-producers, except Eminent.

CH, to the best of my knowledge, still uses Musicom hardware which is a variant of the Bradford University additive synthesis system (which, even though now seriously out-dated, can produce very good results in the hands of a voicer who knows how to get the best out of it, of which there are 2 or 3 in the country).

 

The genie in the bottle though is Hauptwerk, and I don't think any of the British digital organ building companies are set up to build consoles for Hauptwerk as yet.

More's the pity, though I think material and labour costs would make a UK product uncompetitive price-wise compared to the German and Canadian suppliers to which we are currently limited.

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Correct. It's sample-based, as are all the European and American mass-producers, except Eminent.

CH, to the best of my knowledge, still uses Musicom hardware which is a variant of the Bradford University additive synthesis system (which, even though now seriously out-dated, can produce very good results in the hands of a voicer who knows how to get the best out of it, of which there are 2 or 3 in the country).

 

 

More's the pity, though I think material and labour costs would make a UK product uncompetitive price-wise compared to the German and Canadian suppliers to which we are currently limited.

 

Johannus introduced their 'multi-sample' system in 2007, and Makin, being manufactured at Ede, also use this technology in their top range organs. Copeman Hart have a long association with the Musicom system, which can produce remarkable results in the right hands. George Sixsmith has also used it in hybrid instruments to great effect.

 

Our C-H of 1990 still holds up against other builders for its sheer drive and energy- there is an element of life to it that is quite absent in many other organs; certainly those of that era before the Rockwell patents were released in 1991, and sampling became available to everyone else. I gather the Bradford system was a result of the patent restrictions, and the need to find an alternative.

 

CP

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CH, to the best of my knowledge, still uses Musicom hardware which is a variant of the Bradford University additive synthesis system (which, even though now seriously out-dated, can produce very good results in the hands of a voicer who knows how to get the best out of it, of which there are 2 or 3 in the country).

 

Hi

 

For completeness and accuracy, both C-H and Bradford use the same basic system of "real time synthesis" - in effect building up the required sound from a series of sine waves (plus a LOT of very clever voicing software to manipulate the sound - both steady state, and during the all-important start and end transients). Where they differ significantly is in the basic hardware (C_H Musicom AFAIK. Bradford is based on their own designs.) and voicing software, which also differs between the two.

 

The end result of ANY real-time synthesis system is down to the ears (and patience) of the person doing the voicing - but the variables allow more range of possibilities than the manipulation open to users of sample-based technology.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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The genie in the bottle though is Hauptwerk, and I don't think any of the British digital organ building companies are set up to build consoles for Hauptwerk as yet. Meaning that to play a reproduction of a complete and real organ you must either commission a specialist console builder or put the bits together yourself, which I suspect is why it has been perhaps slow to catch on, especially in churches.

 

Should anyone wish to, do come have a play with our church Hauptwerk installation (Boldre, near Lymington, Hampshire - PM me if likely to be passing by). Proper drawknob console, no computer screens in sight. I would never advocate Hauptwerk over a pipe organ, but I would definitely push Hauptwerk over any other organ substitute. I'm sure that the toaster makers could get something that sounds as good, given a lot of time and a lot of money, but out of the box (assuming you choose the right sampleset), Hauptwerk sounds very good indeed. Converting our toaster to Hauptwerk cost us £2000.

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I hope it's not too off topic to ask whether any company is offering a ready made Hauptwerk organ or can sell a kit to adapt an existing non-midi toaster console to run the system.

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Anyone wanting to see/hear/try a Hauptwerk system in a private house in Brighton (mine) are welcome to PM me.

 

Malcolm

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Copeman Hart have a long association with the Musicom system, which can produce remarkable results in the right hands............

 

Our C-H of 1990 still holds up against other builders for its sheer drive and energy- there is an element of life to it that is quite absent in many other organs;

 

Another firm recently to appear on the 'custom build' scene is Phoenix Organs (I am aware of number of board members who have Phoenix organs at home), I had some time on one of their large instalations last year and was very impressed indeed, but after a while it all starts to sound too perfect.

A builder I know works with both Musicom and Phoenix systems, according to him the Phoenix is a less expensive system but does not offer anywhere near the same levels of adjustability of just about every parameter that Musicom does.

CPs comment about Musicoms 'element of life' rings true in my experience, possibly due to their high levels of 'randomisation'.

 

Musicom also supply whole-organ control systems for pipe organs; Worcester and St. Paul's run on these, I'll be surprised if Llandaff doesn't run on one also.

 

DT

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Another firm recently to appear on the 'custom build' scene is Phoenix Organs (I am aware of number of board members who have Phoenix organs at home), I had some time on one of their large instalations last year and was very impressed indeed, but after a while it all starts to sound too perfect.

They have been around for a number of years now; not that recent. But I agree, they're pretty good.

A builder I know works with both Musicom and Phoenix systems, according to him the Phoenix is a less expensive system but does not offer anywhere near the same levels of adjustability of just about every parameter that Musicom does.

Might his initials by either HB or GB? I was a customer of the former and at university with the latter.

CPs comment about Musicoms 'element of life' rings true in my experience, possibly due to their high levels of 'randomisation'.

But still not in the same league as the other system mentioned above (which anyone in reach of Rochester is welcome to come and try out).

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According to a well-known (but anonymous) organ builder west of London, Ernest Hart has been wanting to 'offload' CH for quite some time........

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I'm not sure 'off-load' is quite the politest way of expressing it. But who can bame Ernest - 51 years of a working life is surely enough for anyone! I hope he finds his (semi) retirement enjoyable.

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Anyone wanting to see/hear/try a Hauptwerk system in a private house in Brighton (mine) are welcome to PM me.

 

Ditto in Gloucestershire

Steve

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Copeman Hart have a new website and also ernest hart

has posted a message about the the recent take over

 

http://www.copemanhart.co.uk/

 

 

And similarities to the Makin site are not coincidental. I have been told (from 'inside') that as and when C-H organs require a rebuild, they will be converted to sampling technology, and I know full well that Makin has no interest in using synthesis sytems. As at least one member has already commented, the Makin site clearly deprecates those who use the Bradford/Musicom system, and I suspect that the true motive behind all this is not to secure the long-term future of C-H, but to acquire the ethos of the company name and reputation. It may be down to C-H devotees to insist on repairs rather than 'transplant surgery'!

 

CP

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And similarities to the Makin site are not coincidental. I have been told (from 'inside') that as and when C-H organs require a rebuild, they will be converted to sampling technology, and I know full well that Makin has no interest in using synthesis sytems. As at least one member has already commented, the Makin site clearly deprecates those who use the Bradford/Musicom system, and I suspect that the true motive behind all this is not to secure the long-term future of C-H, but to acquire the ethos of the company name and reputation. It may be down to C-H devotees to insist on repairs rather than 'transplant surgery'!

 

CP

 

Or in the case of Sheffield Cathedral where their C-H was entrusted to Phoenix. What has happened with C-H has had parallels in the pipe organ-building field and where companies have been acquired in order to substantially expand the tuning round. Whatever happens to the goodwill that has been built up over many years it sometimes takes a bit of a dive.

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