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  • Everett Orgatron?

    I have come upon an instrument called an Everett Orgatron. It has one keyboard and sounds like a pump organ but it's electronic. Anyone heard of this?

  • #2
    Yes, interesting, not terribly rare, but they do appear from time to time. 1940s or so as they can be seen advertised in trade papers of that era. Loosely related to reed organs, but others with a keener interest than I in this product will chime in with more info. I believe the principles within flowed into the early Wurlitzer electrostatic organs.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, interesting, not terribly rare, but they do appear from time to time. 1940s or so as they can be seen advertised in trade papers of that era. Loosely related to reed organs, but others with a keener interest than I in this product will chime in with more info. I believe the principles within flowed into the early Wurlitzer electrostatic organs.
    Larry K

    Hammond BV+22H+DR-20, Celviano for piano practice
    Retired: Hammond L-102, M-3, S-6, H-112, B-2+21H+PR-40, B-3+21H, Hammond Aurora Custom, Colonnade.

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    • #3
      Hello, Juanita, Larry and All;

      The Orgatrons were built by the Everett Piano Co. starting before World War II and were based on patents which were later sold to Wurlitzer. If interested you may want to consider joining our Electronic Organ History Group at Yahoo; you can subscribe by sending an "empty" email to electronicorganhistory-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

      . . . Jan
      the OrganGrinder

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      • #4
        These were electrostatic instruments with the reeds as the frequency source. I believe that keying in these organs was done on a reed by reed basis, whereas in the Wurlitzer versions, the reeds were free-running and keying was done on the audio signal itself.

        I played one of these for about six months as a church organist over forty years ago. The speech was extremely sluggish which may be one of the reason Wurlitzer went to a free-running approach. I mentioned this once and someone said that the speech characteristics of the Orgatron were not slow provided that there were no air leaks.

        The instrument I played was two full manuals with 32 note pedalboard.

        The only other thing I can tell you is that they are extremely heavy.

        They show up in our classifieds here from time to time. Search the forum or scroll down to the Similar Threads heading for related posts.
        -Admin

        Allen 965
        Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
        Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
        Hauptwerk 4.2

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        • #5
          In one instrument they combined the shortcomings of a reed organ (slow speech) with an electric key/valve action and dodgy very early electronics, which of course by now are probably dead, although since based on discrete components which are repairable. "although why anyone would bother..."
          Casey

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          • #6
            In 1941 at St John the Divine in New York City an Everett Orgatron was aquired along with 6 tone cabinets from the New York Wanamaker store while the Skinner Organ was being moved from the chancel floor to the chambers above and was used for services.What I always found interesting about them was that when the key was released, the tone not only rather faded away but also rose on pitch slightly. The reeds were operated by small direct electric magnets and the sound pickup was always alive but the reeds were silent untill you pressed a key or had a cypher.I had one at one time and all the plastic stopkeys were crumbling away and I replaced them with new stopkeys from Organ Supply.



            Jerry F Bacon - Dallas,Tx ♫
            Jerry F Bacon-Dallas,Tx

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            • #7
              A small correction to Admin;
              The first Wurlitzer Orgatrons used keyed reeds, almost identical to the Everetts (1945-1947). The first free-running reed Wurlitzers came out in 1953 with the model 44 spinet, then the 4600 and 4800 consoles in 1954 and 1955. All this information and much more is in the Electronic Organ Reference List, Version 8.2 available from me at jan@theorgangrinder.net

              . . . Jan
              the OrganGrinder

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              • #8
                We have one that is being resusitated at the Conklin Organ Museum, in Hanover, Michigan. Quite a daunting task with electronics and pneumatics and blowers that look like they came out of a star wars movie. And yes, it is quite heavy. This one is a two manual and pedal version. Excuse me for not offering more info, but I haven't worked on this one and don't know much about it. However, if you would like to know more, PM me your personal email and I'll forward it to the person who is handling that project. I'm sure he could be of more help and would also be interested in hearing from others involved with such projects.

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                • #9
                  searchinferu:

                  I have several original Everett Orgatron service manuals for sale from my collection. Here are descriptions: Orgatron Model 600 (rare!) $16 + shipping; Orgatron Model 700 (rare!) $16 + shipping. These are factory-published documents, not scans or xerox copies. If interested contact me at jan@theorgangrinder.net

                  . . . Jan
                  the OrganGrinder

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                  • #10
                    I know Roger, the volunteer technician working on this beast, has a service manual, as he has said a lot of the material doesn't seem to match way the organ is laid out. If you can give me a better idea of what you have, I'll forword it to him and perhaps it might be something he has yet to see. Thanks for the help.

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                    • #11
                      I suggest you or Roger start by trying to find a model or builder's plate and determine which model it is. From the Mother List, here is a list of the 2-manual Everetts:
                      EVERETT MD 1935 KR 32 pedals : 10 ranks of reeds, separate spkr.
                      EVERETT STM 1936 KR 32 : 5 ranks of reeds, separate spkr.
                      EVERETT 600 1940 KR 32 : 5 reed ranks, electric action, separate spkr.
                      EVERETT 700 1941 KR 32 : 2.5 reed ranks, electric action, separate spkr.

                      A few photos would be useful, as well.

                      . . . Jan
                      the OrganGrinder

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SubBase View Post
                        In one instrument they combined the shortcomings of a reed organ (slow speech) with an electric key/valve action and dodgy very early electronics, which of course by now are probably dead, although since based on discrete components which are repairable. "although why anyone would bother..."
                        Casey
                        I stumble on these old threads when doing research for certain organs and I can't just go by without setting a few things straight for those who might not be aware of the great sound that the electrostatic reed organs can deliver. They really are amazing sounding organs and just like a fine piano over time you might need to rebuild them. It seems that the people who only have passing experience with the organs have the least good to say about them. Although I am not fully aware of the Everette models I am aware of the Wurlitzer electrostatic reed models. Wurlitzer bought the patent from Everette and kept the Orgatron name until they switched from a keyed reed system to a free reed system. To learn all about both systems go to http://www.nshos.com/Wurli1.htm The North Suburban Hammond Organ Society has assembled an excellent article on several models including the Wurlitzer 4600 series, which was Wurlitzer's first console sized free reed organ. The 4602 was the church model and had 32 pedals, the 4600 had 25 pedals and was the home model.
                        These organs were built extremely well, nothing 'dodgy' whatsoever. Perhaps Everette had a questionable arrangement, but I find this hard to believe. Honestly, some people just don't get these organs. So why would anyone bother Casey? Because NOTHING can sound like an electrostatic reed organ except an electrostatic reed organ. Note, these are not reeds being miked, they are used purely electronically. The administrator will quickly say there are newer better easier more reliable...ways to produce tones. Phoohy! If this really made a difference then Stradivarius and Martin stringed instruments could quite easily be replaced by $98 instruments from Music Go Round. Organs are no different than any other instrument, subtleties matter!
                        Wurlitzer '46' Model 31 Orgatron & 310 rotary cab, 56' 4410 , 65' 4300
                        Hammond '55' S6 Chord Organ,HR-40,ER-20, 1971 X66/& 12-77 tone cabinet w/ 122 kit & TREK Transposer- of which I've retrofitted a Wurlitzer/Lowrey 'PedAL gLIdE' awesome!
                        Gulbransen 61' 1132 '76' Rialto II & Leslie 705 + two 540
                        Conn '57' 406 Caprice '59' 815 Classic (the 29th 815)
                        PLEASE SAVE THE WURLITZER ELECTROSTATIC CONTINUOUS-FREE-REED ORGANS 1953'-1961' Hammond TW's ONLY TRUE COMPETITOR! (Ggl> NSHOS WURLI 4600)

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                        • #13
                          I have an extremely nice 1945 Wurlitzer Model 30 Organtron I purchased in the early 60's as a practice organ - I played it for years and then it went into "conditioned" storage for a decade plus - I now have it in my home once again - it hasn't been plugged in or even attempted to be serviced since the early 90's. I belong to this forum and had posted sometime back with pictures and someone was going to give me the name of a place "down south" that had schematics and parts but nothing ever came of it. Most of the pipe organ "service" companies have absolutely no interest in restoring these old organs - any input would be greatly appreciated (meanwhile I see if I can find my post for a year or so ago). thanks

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                          • #14
                            It is Morelock's in Rienzi, Mississippi.
                            Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
                            Baldwin Spinet 58R
                            Lowrey Spinet SCL
                            Wurlitzer 4100A
                            Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


                            Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

                            Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
                            Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
                            Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

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                            • #15
                              Morelock's Organ Parts Wurlitzer
                              37A Main Street
                              Rienzi
                              MS
                              Phone Number:*
                              (662) 462-7611
                              38865
                              US
                              Fax Number:*
                              (662) 462-7611
                              Web Address:*
                              http://mitatechs.org/morelock
                              Products and Services:*
                              Pre-1990 Service Manuals available for Wurlitzer Organs, Wurlitzer-Omni Organs, Wurlitzer Player Pianos, Wurlitzer Tone Cabinets and Specaility Items. We also carry parts and repair subassemblies for the above Wurlitzer models
                              email:*
                              morelocksorgan@frontiernet.net

                              - - - Updated - - -

                              dleeman, may I suggest you move your discussion over to Classic & Church Electronic Organs?

                              I think you will find lots of help with your "new" Orgatron.

                              . . . Jan
                              the OrganGrinder

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