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What makes pipes superior?

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    #46
    Re: What makes pipes superior?



    [quote user="al"]Right now there is very little difference between pipe and good toaster.[/quote]</P>


    Sorry Al, but I completely disagree.</P>


    My entire life's workis built around on playing the organ, and I have played the best and worst of them.</P>


    I find a huge difference between a pipe organ andits imitators. An electronic will never satisfy my requirements.</P>


    A cubic zirconium is not a diamond; never was, never can be, and never will be.</P>

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      #47
      Re: What makes pipes superior?



      Hi, SB32, However for most of us poor folk, the CZ is just fine. []</P>


      The cost difference between pipe and toaster is considerable and the sound while objectional to experts is fine for most congrigational use. You don't need the 100 rank pipe to accompany a service. Isn't that the purpose of a church organ, whether it be Skinner, Allen or Hammond?</P>


      Now, My Allen R311 has some very fine sounds like Ezhaler sampled fron a Skinner. It is gorgeous until you play many notes when the difference to pipe becomes clear. Remember I have pipe right there so it's very clear to me. Now, in a huge live sanctuary whether this difference is obvious is not clear to me. Remember, I am also talking about only the newest Allens, or Walkers, or Rogers.</P>


      Believe me, I'm with you, I remember Gaylord Carter and Anne Leaf at the gorgeous Kimball at the Los Angeles Wiltern Theatre. It brings tears when I think of the destruction of thatwonderful instrument, and for that matter any good pipe organ.</P>


      I was disappointed at the sound of the new Morales pipe organ at the Disney concert hall. This was an early recital and maybe they've improved it now. It looks funny with pipes sticking out randomly and those 32 foot curved pipes. The chambers are stacked at one end, with no spaciality. An antiphonal or echo organ might help this.</P>


      Atoaster is good for 10-20 years and must be replaced whereas pipe lasts forever, maintence and repairs excepted but there are some situations where a toaster is a better choice.</P>


      For many churches, I would rather see a small toaster than none at all.</P>


      Remember Jesse Crawford said that he played a Hammond because it pays for groceries!</P>


      Regards, Al Johnson</P>
      <P mce_keep="true"></P>
      <P mce_keep="true"></P>

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        #48
        Re: What makes pipes superior?

        [quote user="soubasse32"]


        [quote user="radagast"]It's amazing how many people here would prefer ANY pipe over ANY digital.[/quote]</P>


        There's nothing amazing about it at all. A pipe organ - even a bad one- is real. That is the important thing for most people who feel strongly about this subject.</P>


        I feel the same way about pianos. I'd rather play ajunker of apiano than an electronic keyboard. Ialways manage to make music on the junker, whereas on the electronic keyboard there is something very cheesy and 'fake' about it - it detracts from my experience of making music.</P>


        [/quote]</P>


        While I understand your feelings, I don't feel the same way. Sound, after all, is why I like organs, and pianos. I would hate spending, or have my church spend, $35,000 per rank on a pipe organ and then not like the sound. Even with voicing and/or finishing, there is so much one can do with improving the sound of a pipe. At least with modern digital organs, an unacceptable sound can be swapped out with a better one for a relatively small price.</P>


        I've played junker pianos and hated every minute of it. I would rather play a decent digital piano. But compared to a good or great grand piano? NO CONTEST. There is nothing like a good, real piano.</P>


        Bill</P>

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          #49
          Re: What makes pipes superior?

          <P mce_keep="true"></P>
          <P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">[quote user="al"] <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o></SPAN></P><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">


          Right now there is very little difference between pipe and good toaster.</P>


          </SPAN><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Atoaster is good for 10-20 years and must be replaced whereas pipe lasts forever, maintence and repairs excepted but there are some situations where a toaster is a better choice.<o></o></SPAN></P>


          <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Regards, Al Johnson<o></o></SPAN></P>
          <P mce_keep="true"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">[/quote]<o></o></SPAN></P>
          <P mce_keep="true"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I can't agree. There are many electronic organs that are older than 20 years that are still going strong. A pipe organ doesn't last forever either.<o></o></SPAN></P>
          <P mce_keep="true"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">I also don't agree that there is little difference between pipes and digital. Digitals keep getting better and closer. But the spatial qualities of many different pipes sounding at the same timeis still difficult for digitals. With more and more channels, it gets closer. I know you have mentioned this as well, but it is important when making general statements of the sound of organs.</SPAN></P>
          <P mce_keep="true"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Bill<o></o></SPAN></P>
          <P mce_keep="true"></P>

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            #50
            Re: What makes pipes superior?

            There are many electronic organs that are older than 20 years that are still going strong. A pipe organ doesn't last forever either.

            Comment


              #51
              Re: What makes pipes superior?



              [quote user="Havoc"]
              There are many electronic organs that are older than 20 years that are still going strong. A pipe organ doesn't last forever either.
              There are very little of them that still sound acceptable, play accetable and they are all unrepairable the day they break down. The old hammonds might be the ones holding up the best. But they have little electronics in them...

              On the other hand there are lots of pipe organs 200 years old (and older) still going strong. And if they need repair tomorrow there is no problem fixing them. I fear that even the "wood" used on 90% of the toasters won't last 100 years.
              [/quote]</p>

              I hear you Havoc......</p>

              Look at it like this.......a toaster has a "shelf" life on it. A pipe organ doesn't. We're playing a Skinner in Atlanta right now that has 50 year original leather on it. Show me toasters that have held up that well. But like you said Havoc the old Hammonds might be holding up best but they have all had tube, etc. replacements. </p>

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                #52
                Re: What makes pipes superior?



                From a purely technical perspective, it seems to me that the useful life of an electronic rarely exceeds 40 - 50years. The actual limiting factor may be the rubber or plastic insulation on the internal wiring. Once that material begins to break down, which will inevitably happen due to normal aging and much more so in the presence of heat from vacuum tubes, repairs become almost impossible. Sure, you could pull out every wire, of which there are certainly "miles" in many old analog consoles, and put in new. But why spend more money doing that than the cost of a brand new organ?</P>


                Leaving outtonewheel Hammonds, the very oldest organs I service that are still in regular usage areConns from the 1950's.These have had regular care and still sound pretty much like they did when first installed, as far as I know. After all, the "sound" of an electronic is just a function of the oscillator design, filters, and audio equipment. Maintenance costs for these old organs is actually minimal until some expensive part such as a power transformer burns up. At that point I try to talk the customer into retiring it, but sometimes they don't want to.</P>


                Other than the old Conns, which apparently were very well built, I know of a few Rodgers and Allen analogs from the 60's, scads of Rodgers analogs from the 70's and 80's, more scads of MOS1 Allens.All of these instruments are solid state, so their wiring still looks pretty good, except for some that have been in unheated/uncooled churches. Barring some catastrophic event, most organs like this will probably live to see 50.</P>


                Everything else I service is fairly modern digital -- PDI and newer Rodgers, ADC and later Allen, etc. As long as the speaker cones are replaced when the surrounds deteriorate, and amps and other non-digital components are kept repaired, these organs will always sound as they did when installed. Sure the key-actions show some wear after 20 or 30 years of hard use, and other mechanical parts need adjusting, re-felting, cleaning, lubrication, and other such maintenance (much as a pipe organ console does).</P>


                Bottom line -- an electronic organ has a certain time limit, as do all things made by human hands. If properly cared for, an electronic organ will serve a church with minimal maintenance cost for that useful lifetime. Perhaps the most important reason to replace an electronic after only 20 or 25 years is the rapid advance of technology. A new digital from any builderis a pretty significant improvement over anything one could buy 25 years ago.</P>


                That's off-topic for sure, but I started this thread anyway . . . []</P>


                Thanks to all who have brought their wisdom to bear.</P>


                John</P>
                <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                John
                ----------
                Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
                Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
                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
                https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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                  #53
                  Re: What makes pipes superior?



                  [quote user="Don Furr"]We're playing a Skinner in Atlanta right now that has 50 year original leather on it.[/quote]</P>


                  I've played an organ that had 100 year old leather - the entire organ was original from 1902!</P>


                  The pipes, voicing, console, etc. - all original.</P>


                  The combination setter was entirely functional, although a bit inconvenient (you had to go inside the organ to set it).</P>


                  Nevertheless, the whole installation was (and is) superb - just as its builder left it.</P>


                  [quote user="jbird604"]Perhaps the most important reason to replace an electronic after only 20 or 25 years is the rapid advance of technology.[/quote]</P>


                  Technology moves a lot faster than that! I'd imagine a church with a busy music program will feel unsatisfied with their 'toaster' as soon as the next best thing comes out.</P>


                  I don't get that sense from folks who've installed a pipe organ. Thosetechnological advances (as exist in pipe organs) are implemented periodically, such as upgrades to a capture system's memory; however, yourarely see a church toss their entire pipe organ in the name of technology. []</P>


                  I'd say that is one more thing that makes pipes superior.</P>

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                    #54

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                      #55
                      Re: What makes pipes superior?



                      Reviving this old thread, I'd like to throw out a reason that became apparent to me this week. Matt and I just spent a couple of days servicing and tuning a pipe organ, parts of which are about 100 years old, with numerous accretions along the way.</P>


                      Remarkably,we were able to put this organ into excellent shape, despite the fact that it had been neglected for who knows how many years and was sounding incredibly awful when we first heard it Monday.</P>


                      But what is even more remarkable is that Matt and I are not really pipe organ technicians. We spend most of our time on Allen and Rodgers organs and have no real training orspecific knowledge about pipes. But we were able to work on this wonderful old organ, with about 29 ranks and some marvelous sounds -- to fix problems with couplers and switches and such, and bring it into tune, just using our heads and common sense.</P>


                      We both reflected on the fact that it is quite impossible to do this kind of extensive work on anyelectronic without considerable training and very specific knowledge of the computer systems and other exotic components of such an organ.</P>


                      But a pipe organ is just wood and metal and leather and wires and other ordinarystuff, and you only need your hands, ears, and head to do one a world of good.</P>


                      John</P>
                      <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                      John
                      ----------
                      Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
                      Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
                      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
                      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                      Comment


                        #56
                        Re: What makes pipes superior?

                        Well said John[Y]

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