pcnd5584 Posted April 4, 2013 Share Posted April 4, 2013 Does anyone have any practical experience of rebuilding and refurbishing concussion units of the type supplied by J W Walker in the 1960s? Whilst I suspect that those at Blackburn Cathedral (since replaced) and Paisley Abbey (also replaced) differed slightly in detail, there must surely have been some basic similarities. It is interesting to note that the J W Walker instrument in Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral appears still to have its original winding system - which I presume employs concussion units, as opposed to reservoirs - or is this incorrect? On the evidence of a number of excellent commercial recordings, they seem to work perfectly, the instrument not exhibiting shortness of wind, for example. I am growing more concerned and dissatisfied with those here at the Minster and at present a rebuild (or even a restoration) is simply not an option. Is there anyone amongst those contributors or board readers who has ever dismantled one and therefore knows what I am likely to find? Our organ builder did once propose to install a temporary single-rise reservoir to the Positive Organ and remove, reverse-engineer and refurbish the concussion unit for this department. However, at present, we simply cannot commit to any financial outlay, even on this scale. Please note that I shall not be attempting to do this on my own - but to assist our organ builder, should he agree to undertake exploratory work. However, as far as I know, he has never seen inside a Walker concussion unit before, and so neither of us really know what to expect. We need to avoid (at all costs) damaging the instrument or rendering it partially inoperable, or compromising the integrity of any of the concussion units. Consequently, if anyone is willing and able to give us some preliminary advice, it would be appreciated greatly. For reference, the problems are as follows: The wind system is (and apparently has always been) inadequate for the instrument. Not only do big chords sag in pitch (and occasionally volume), but there is some robbing between ranks (which may of course be soundboard or pipe planting problems). However, one only has to draw the Swell 8ft. and 4ft. flutes, play a three-note chord, then play one note on the Pedal Bourdon, in order to hear the pitch drop. It has got to the stage where it is beginning to be more noticeable - and irritating. What we would like to achieve is a more steady wind supply, with concussion units which actually react instantly to varying demands on the wind system. Does anyone know if it is even worth attempting to do this - or is there anything else we could do, temporarily to alleviate this distressing fault, until such time as we have the financial resources to effect a complete overhaul and restoration? Thank you. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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