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One organ manufacturer is all that is needed to build all types of organs.

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    One organ manufacturer is all that is needed to build all types of organs.

    One organ manufacturer is all that is needed to build all types of organs-pipe, hybrid pipe and digital, and all types of digital organs-church or classical, home, theater, and studio. Given the low world-wide sales of organs, even this one manufacturer would have trouble being profitable.

    #2
    This seems a rather pessimistic view of things. There are currently many pipe organ builders and they seem successful enough to stay in business--I expect many are quite profitable.

    Pipe builders don't seem too interested in pursuing digital products--and why should they? The technologies and manufacturing approaches are entirely different between electronic and pipe organs.

    Even within the pipe organ builders some specialize in electropneumatic action designs and some in tracker actions--a few will make hybrid actions.

    I don't quite see the organ building world quite as dismal as you suggest.

    Comment


      #3
      I don't see that happening, at least in regard to pipe organ building. Each manufacturer has their own certain nuances for tonal sound, speech characteristics. Some builders put a lot of "chiff" to pipe sound, others do not.

      Schlicker has a Principal pipe rank that stands all by itself in how it's voiced ... Frobenius the same way - We organists can almost determine the builder by hearing what the pipe organ sounds like. Then there are tracker and electropnuematic actions and Wicks [famous] direct electric action.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Piperdane View Post
        Schlicker has a Principal pipe rank that stands all by itself in how it's voiced ... Frobenius the same way - We organists can almost determine the builder by hearing what the pipe organ sounds like. Then there are tracker and electropnuematic actions and Wicks [famous] direct electric action.
        I think the initial premise is that one builder could build any type of organ. While I disagree with the premise, it is conceivable the Schlicker Principal ranks could be produce by someone else, as long as it isn't a trade secret.

        BTW, I went by the Schlicker factory several years ago, and it was closed. Is it still in business? I'll never forget my tour of their factory several decades ago.

        Michael
        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

        Comment


          #5
          Considering that most pipe organ guys want nothing to do with any pipeless technology, I don't see how the original commenter could make that statement. Although we hope that the end result is the same- a musical instrument made for the playing of true organ music in a fashion that no other medium can duplicate-we are talking here about two different technologies.

          Likewise, it is true that those involved in pipleless organ manufacturing technology really don't have the capability to handle manufacturing and installing pipe organs. As far as I know, Wicks and Rodgers and the only two that have really tried to make it in both fields. i understand, from those who are in the know, that Wicks' electronic organs are not competitive with other brands who specialize in digital organs. likewise, Rodgers did not really do well with building pipe organs. I have heard from more than one source that their magnum opus, at Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, had so much trouble with the electronic connections from console to chambers, that for a long time Rodgers had to leave one of their factory technicians there to keep the organ going. Of course we know what has happened with Rodgers.

          Also consider that, within my home state of New York, there are at least six pipe organ firms available to build, refurbish, and maintain and tune pipe organs, and it is easy to say that the pipe organ business must have at least some profit to it.
          Mike

          My home organ is a circa 1990 Galanti Praeludium III, with Wicks/Viscount CM-100 module supplying extra voices. I also have an Allen MDS Theatre II (princess pedalboard!) with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

          Comment


            #6
            The firm that built the pipe organ in the church I'm a member of (Orgelbau Johannes Klais in Bonn) is still in business after 136 years and 4 generations of leadership. They seem to be doing enough business to kjeep going.

            David

            Comment


              #7
              Klais build a large German Romantic organ for the University of Iowa recently--it replaced a 1970's Phelps Casavant Northern Germanic inspired tracker instrument which was salvage from a flood that damaged the university's music building. The Casavant was about $130,000 cost when new--removal, restoration, and relocation is costing about $1 million.

              How times have changed--neo-baroque to romantic--and costs and risen!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                . . . BTW, I went by the Schlicker factory several years ago, and it was closed. Is it still in business? I'll never forget my tour of their factory several decades ago.

                Michael
                Could possibly be true. Read this from the Schlicker website this evening:
                Following Herman's untimely death in 1974, the Schlicker Organ Company was directed by his son-in-law, Ralph Dinwiddie. Not being an organ builder, he sold the company in the early 1980's. The company again changed hands in 1992 and was acquired by Matters, Inc., an innovative supplier to pipe organ builders in September, 2002


                Further down on that same page reads this:


                Source: Schlicker Organ Company Website

                Comment


                  #9
                  The OP statement is ridiculous! This poster spewed doom and gloom in the Home Organ section of our forum, until it was a dead horse. Now he's here in General Conversation, kicking that same dead horse again.

                  We are in changing times, changing musical tastes, and changing musical demands. The organ will remain with us....perhaps on a more diminished scale, but it will remain.

                  I would encourage the OP to take a more positive attitude toward our love, our passions, our music. As long as there are organists, there will be organs!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by toodles View Post
                    This seems a rather pessimistic view of things. There are currently many pipe organ builders and they seem successful enough to stay in business--I expect many are quite profitable.

                    Pipe builders don't seem too interested in pursuing digital products--and why should they? The technologies and manufacturing approaches are entirely different between electronic and pipe organs.

                    Even within the pipe organ builders some specialize in electropneumatic action designs and some in tracker actions--a few will make hybrid actions.

                    I don't quite see the organ building world quite as dismal as you suggest.

                    Digital organ sales continue to decline each year, and annual saales of all types of digital organ are quite low. With such low annual sales, and little apparent intest in organs, where are the future organist going to come from; including those interested and capable of playing pipe organ professionally? Purchasing, assembling, and properly setting up a pipe organ is surely more expensive than purchasing a digital sampled pipe organ. Therefore I am sure annual sales of pipe organ are quite low worldwide; possibly lower than their digital organ counterparts. . How do you know that many pipe organ builders are quite profitable? There profits must be coming from annual service and maintenance of existing pipe organs-if they are quite profitable. Competition, from multiple pipe and digital organ builders is always desirable. If pipe organ annual sales are as bad as digital organ sales, how can all these pipe organ builders and digital organ manufacturers, in the long run, stay in business? Perhaps my statement was poorly worded. But given the poor and continuing declining sales, even one manufacturer, formed through mergers of pipe and digital organ builders, would, in the long term, have trouble being profitable.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Jay999 View Post
                      The OP statement is ridiculous! This poster spewed doom and gloom in the Home Organ section of our forum, until it was a dead horse. Now he's here in General Conversation, kicking that same dead horse again.

                      We are in changing times, changing musical tastes, and changing musical demands. The organ will remain with us....perhaps on a more diminished scale, but it will remain.

                      I would encourage the OP to take a more positive attitude toward our love, our passions, our music. As long as there are organists, there will be organs!
                      I would like to see the organ industry, both pipe and digital survive. You have to be realistic though. Keyboard manufacturers, through the use of very large scale integration technology and other modern design and manufacturing technologies, along with building digital keyboard in lower wage countries, have kept the prices down. Digital organ builders did not. How many keyboards would be sold, annually, if the selling price of keyboards were in the price range of $20,00 to $100,000?

                      I did not make the decision to terminate the Lowrey Organ division. I did not cause Wersi to go bankrupt several times. I did not cause Roland to exit the organ business. High prices, low or no profits, and low and declining annual sales created the current situation.

                      if current organist are unwilling or unable to purchase new pipe or digital organs, there could be zero business left, evidently, producing pipe or digital organs. There are certainly plenty of rich people, in the world, able to sustain the industry. However, few apparently are interested in learning to play the organ.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by daryljeffreyl View Post
                        if current organist are unwilling or unable to purchase new pipe or digital organs, there could be zero business left, evidently, producing pipe or digital organs. There are certainly plenty of rich people, in the world, able to sustain the industry. However, few apparently are interested in learning to play the organ.
                        Herein lies the fallacy of your thought processes.

                        Originally posted by daryljeffreyl View Post
                        if current organist are unwilling or unable to purchase new pipe or digital organs, there could be zero business left, evidently, producing pipe or digital organs.
                        You make the assumption that organists are the only market for new pipe or digital organs. There are other markets you left out: Churches, auditoriums, theatres (who mostly restore instruments), concert artists, concert halls, and I'm sure I left other purchasers out. You also make the assumption that new is the only profitable market. From the new items I've purchased over the last couple of decades, planned obsolescence appears to be alive and well. You neglect to mention how part of any organ company's profit comes from maintenance, upgrades, and rebuilds. Oh, I guess that's not profitable.

                        Originally posted by daryljeffreyl View Post
                        However, few apparently are interested in learning to play the organ.
                        An odd statement. In my area alone, there are several organ students studying with various teachers. It's been my experience new students are born often when they hear an organ played well for the first time. They've never heard anything like it and want to learn.

                        While I realize you're floating a theory you've come up with, it has been interesting to me that while asking everyone else to quote evidence, you make statements through questions and at the same time fail to quote your own sources for making those statements. Hmmm.

                        Michael
                        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                        • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                        • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                        • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                          Herein lies the fallacy of your thought processes.

                          You make the assumption that organists are the only market for new pipe or digital organs. There are other markets you left out: Churches, auditoriums, theatres (who mostly restore instruments), concert artists, concert halls, and I'm sure I left other purchasers out. You also make the assumption that new is the only profitable market. From the new items I've purchased over the last couple of decades, planned obsolescence appears to be alive and well. You neglect to mention how part of any organ company's profit comes from maintenance, upgrades, and rebuilds. Oh, I guess that's not profitable.

                          An odd statement. In my area alone, there are several organ students studying with various teachers. It's been my experience new students are born often when they hear an organ played well for the first time. They've never heard anything like it and want to learn.

                          While I realize you're floating a theory you've come up with, it has been interesting to me that while asking everyone else to quote evidence, you make statements through questions and at the same time fail to quote your own sources for making those statements. Hmmm.

                          Michael
                          Annual sales, per Music Trades Magazine, show declining institutional and home organ sales. Institutional Sales: Year 2017, 790 sales; Year 2016, 820 sales: Year 2015, 900 sales; Year 2014, 940 sales; Year 2013, 1,000 sales; Year 2008 2,420 sales for the US. Home sales: Year 2017, 1,150 sales; 2016, 1,400 sales; 2015, 1,440; 2014, 1,450 sales; 2013 1,500; 2008, 4,870 sales, for the US. Allen Organ's, annual sales, for the world, are around 800 organs-Theater, Studio, Classical, and Church . They once were selling around 2,000 organs per year, worldwide sales. As you can see, sales of all types of organs continue to decline. I don't know if the institutional organ sales include pipe organs. Kawai recently terminated the Lowrey organ brand. Also Music Trades magazine, in the January 2019 issue, has an article about Kawai terminating the Lowrey Organ brand, and the decline of the home organ industry, over the years, in the US. Probably a very small number of pipe organ builders may survive on pipe organ maintenance, and on a very small number of sales, worldwide, but only time will tell. Pipe organ tend to be more expensive to purchase and install than digital organs in institutional locations.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                            Herein lies the fallacy of your thought processes.

                            You make the assumption that organists are the only market for new pipe or digital organs. There are other markets you left out: Churches, auditoriums, theatres (who mostly restore instruments), concert artists, concert halls, and I'm sure I left other purchasers out. You also make the assumption that new is the only profitable market. From the new items I've purchased over the last couple of decades, planned obsolescence appears to be alive and well. You neglect to mention how part of any organ company's profit comes from maintenance, upgrades, and rebuilds. Oh, I guess that's not profitable.

                            An odd statement. In my area alone, there are several organ students studying with various teachers. It's been my experience new students are born often when they hear an organ played well for the first time. They've never heard anything like it and want to learn.

                            While I realize you're floating a theory you've come up with, it has been interesting to me that while asking everyone else to quote evidence, you make statements through questions and at the same time fail to quote your own sources for making those statements. Hmmm.

                            Michael
                            Michael



                            Annual sales, per Music Trades Magazine, show declining institutional and home organ sales. Institutional Sales: Year 2017, 790 sales; Year 2016, 820 sales: Year 2015, 900 sales; Year 2014, 940 sales; Year 2013, 1,000 sales; Year 2008 2,420 sales for the US. Home sales: Year 2017, 1,150 sales; 2016, 1,400 sales; 2015, 1,440; 2014, 1,450 sales; 2013 1,500; 2008, 4,870 sales, for the US. Allen Organ's, annual sales, for the world, are around 800 organs-Theater, Studio, Classical, and Church . They once were selling around 2,000 organs per year, worldwide sales. As you can see, sales of all types of organs continue to decline. I don't know if the institutional organ sales include pipe organs. Kawai recently terminated the Lowrey organ brand. Also Music Trades magazine, in the January 2019 issue, has an article about Kawai terminating the Lowrey Organ brand, and the decline of the home organ industry, over the years, in the US. Probably a very small number of pipe organ builders may survive on pipe organ maintenance, and on a very small number of sales, worldwide, but only time will tell. Pipe organ tend to be more expensive to purchase and install than digital organs in institutional locations.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by daryljeffreyl View Post
                              Annual sales, per Music Trades Magazine, show declining institutional and home organ sales.
                              That is certainly true, but it is true of all keyboard instruments, not just organs. I suspect that the sales of most musical instruments are either flat or down as the number of effortless entertainment options continues to increase, and schools drop music programs due to budget constraints.

                              The numbers don't tell the whole story, though, especially with organs. Solid state electronics have made organs more reliable, and sampling has been a mature technology for well over 25 years. This means there is less incentive to replace older instruments with new ones as the improvement in sound will be incremental and oblivious to most non-organists.
                              Last edited by Admin; 12-28-2018, 12:45 PM.
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