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When organ repairs go wrong

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    When organ repairs go wrong

    I just heard this story from a member of the church committee selecting an organist (they picked me, hurray!). I don't even remember the names, so they are omitted without intent.

    It seems as if this church needed some serious repair on its pipe organ. The contacted the organ manufacturer, and they sent a technician. This gentleman worked five days straight on the organ, and then headed home. On Sunday, the organ was just as poor as before! A second call was made. A new technician arrived. He showed up in the church office a few minutes later. "I think I found out why the organ was not fixed last week," he said as he handed over a dozen empty bottles of whiskey.
    Allen, circa 2006

    Some organs are enough to drive a tech to drink!
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Rodgers Allegiant 677 with expanded four-channel audio
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches


      Hopefully, that first tech is now unemployed....



        Perhaps the 'engineer/tech', or more likely the son of the said 'engineer', sent out to fix a minor problem on my first Gulbransen back in 1972. Turned up smelling like a brewery, poked around inside for half an hour, muttering things like 'buffer transistors', declared that he'd fixed it and staggered off to his car!! The fault returned five minutes later. Engineer #2, who was rapidly sent out and came the following day, found the fault in less than a minute. Two enamel coated wires had been pinched are were shorting. A bit of electrical tape and a slight rerouting of the wires and it was done.

        Engineer #1 was dismissed shortly afterwards and returned home overseas. I was told many years later that he was still servicing organs, just as badly.

        I've come across two more inebriate service engineers since then. One I had to dismiss for turning up drunk just too many times despite repeated verbal and written warnings (a shame because he was a nice guy and a great engineer when he was sober - he just wouldn't admit he had a problem), and one who crazily seemed to get better at his job when he'd 'had a few'.....
        It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

        New website now live -

        Current organ: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition
        Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
        Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.