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Denis O'Connor

electric swell engines

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I am looking into getting an electric swell engine as the wind pressure available is not sufficient to work the existing machine. Any words of advice would be appreciated. The instrument in question

has a detached console at the east end--the organ itself is in a west gallery..I was informed that the price of a well known American system was in the region of £2,000 before installation costs.

Are there British or Continental alternatives at a competitive price?

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Yes there are a number of local options, in particular the system made by A J & L Taylor.  Presumably there was enough pressure once upon a time so what has changed?   Fitting an electric machine is a very involved process indeed, both at console and job end - which organ builder looks after the organ, surely this is for them to organise?  

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We had electric swell engines fitted at Belfast Cathedral - I think they were supplied by Taylor.  It was an easy job, accomplished in less than a day for both Swell and Solo boxes.  They worked very well, the only downside being that the inertia of the shutters caused a very small time lag, but they were quite large shutter fronts (15 stops in the Swell, 9 in the Solo.

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Nicholsons have included interesting developments in their swell engines at Llandaff etc. Maybe get in contact with Andrew Caskie their MD. organ builder and excellent player too!

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