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  • New Digital Installations?

    I am curious. For a while I was regularly reading quite a bit about new M&O, Walker and Phoenix installations (and others too) and their companies in general, plus energy generated by discussions/"soap box" talks on this forum and elsewhere on the web. Now, not so much, other than the new Walker at New Pres. in FL. Anyone know the general current status of this segment of the organ world? It appears that some of the sites for digital organ companies haven't been updated for a while either. I know times are tough so maybe this is just an economic slow-down. Also, if anyone knows of any new digital installations, particularly from the companies listed above, in the Colorado Springs/Denver area that would be helpful too. Thanks so much.

  • #2
    Hi,

    You don't read much about recent installs of digital organs, because relatively few are installed each year. I'm not sure what your definition of "high-end" is, but if you are talking $3K to $5K per stop, installed, using pipe organ quality materials and standards, then you are talking very, very few per year.
    Just to be clear, in high-end, I would assume the following, console with pipe organ style keyboards with long lever wood core keys, motorized stop controls, proper adjustable lighted music desk, heavy duty pedalboard with felt stops, and at minimum magnetic reed switching. As far as tone generation - have a decent number of long length samples with plenty of reserve polyphony. For audio, a minimum of 16 audio channels, preferably 20 or more, fitted to excellent speakers. If care is taken to this point, one can be sure that the tonal scheme and on-site voicing will be carefully attended to as well.

    Just meeting all the above criteria ensures that the instrument full installed will be expensive. And expensive installs only happen relatively rarely.

    As to Colorado, I have not heard of any recent high end digital installs.

    AV

    P.S. The Walker at New Presbyterian, Pompano Beach, looks to be a very similar instrument to one they installed a few years ago at 10th Pres. in Philadelphia.

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    • #3
      Perhaps I was mistaken but I thought that Phoenix organs were "relatively" less-expensive than the M&O's and Walkers. I really don't know a lot about them but do know that they tend to generate a certain amount of enthusiasm and loyalty on this site. Other installs of Johannes and Makin/Copeman Hart and the like would be of interest to me as well. I suppose a big reason this line of thinking was spurred on is because our Vicar was asking in a music ministry meeting when I thought we should upgrade the speakers for the organ. I play a Nord C2 in a custom-made console with AGO/32 pedal board. This was an inexpensive solution for a medium-large church rebuilding itself after a nasty church split, certainly not the end-all-be-all of satisfying organ sound for our congregation but okay for now. His comment got my mind whirling with the all the possibilities out there in the digital organ world and how exciting it will be when we get to run down this road for real. BTW - thanks for the clarification on what constitutes a high-end digital. Good details to be aware of for a future install.
      Last edited by robhoward; 04-28-2013, 06:59 AM.

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      • #4
        The year 2012 seems to have been a pretty low year for the organ business generally, whether you're looking at the high end companies (Walker, M&O, and others that live up to Arie's description), or the premium mass producers (Allen and Rodgers, though "mass" is a relative term these days), or the bargain brands (Viscount, A/G, for example), or even used organs. Even in the service business, we had a pretty dreadful year.

        I know that our area dealerships didn't do much last year, though there were a couple of notable large installs, both of which happened to be pipe combinations, one by Rodgers, one by Allen. In each case, a large but aging and somewhat deficient pipe organ was augmented with a new console and digital stops. Both are in traditional-worshiping congregations that happen to be growing and attracting young families. One Methodist, one Baptist (of the "liberal" variety -- CBF).

        We can only hope that last year was the bottom of the curve, and that there will be some demand now for replacing or at least repairing organs that have gone untouched for some time.
        John
        ----------
        *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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        • #5
          FWIW, a new 5 manual Allen was installed in the new worship center at First Baptist, Dallas that was opened this past Easter.

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          • #6
            Yes, that was quite a notable installation. A very big deal for Allen, I'm sure!
            John
            ----------
            *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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