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  • Wanted Dead or Alive (Prefer Live)

    A couple of months ago my church made an offer for some Walker Technical equipment. It was in a working organ at another church. We wanted to buy the Walker equipment to augment our small Estey organ. The other church hasn't figured out what they need to do, so things are in a holding pattern.

    We've budgeted the money to add the Walker Technical sound module to our instrument. This was based on obtaining the module and speakers mentioned above at a particular price.

    I've been combing the web for months to see what we can do if the other church decides not to sell the unit. Walker Technical prefers to work directly with the organ technicians. So getting any information is sketchy at best. Search engines point me to every kind of walker for the elderly you can imagine. There are also some engineering companies that use the name Walker. I've combed eBay and Craigslist. I found a music store that had some older Walker speakers. But they would be little use without the modules.

    So here are some rambling questions - especially to the organ techs here:

    1. The older Walker Tech module contained (I believe) up to 11 samples. Was this unit called the DP3, or something like that? These are pre-programed with 11 samples. But Walker told our Tech that they do not change the samples on used equipment. So we would be stuck with whatever sounds were already there. I think they could change the sounds, but this position encourages people to buy the newer modules.

    What can you folks tell me about this unit?

    Do any of you know ANYONE who has any of these for sale?

    2. Our Tech says the newest Walker Technical sound module would cost in the neighborhood of $25,000. I think this was just for the sound module, not including amps, speakers, and certainly not the cost of installation. It also doesn't include the cost of having Walker come and do the final voicing. This, was his way of saying we couldn't afford it. I had the impression we were looking at $50,000 and up. And it does sound well beyond our budget. I've seen costs like $50,000 mentioned just to add a Walker setup for 32 foot pedal sounds. That's nothing short of obscene!

    But the truth is that buying an older sound module that cannot be customized to our needs with older amps and speakers that may be marginal doesn't sound like a super wonderful plan either.

    Can any of the organ techs here point me to used equipment or recommend other options? I think we could pay a bounty if the equipment led to our purchasing the equipment.

    I generally try to know what I'm talking about. But there is so little info available to the unwashed masses on the Walker Technical stuff that I just don't feel like I do. I feel an obligation to give my church good advice. Our Organ Tech is adamant that Walker is the only way to go. Sticking a Hauptwerk package on there just doesn't seem practical. I don't think it can be folded into the Peterson based console.

    I suspect Allen and Rodgers will want to sell us a digital organ and make it the heart of the organ - with our current pipes left in place for sentimental value. I have some members who would be revolted over such a possibility. Money was given in memory of family members. It would seem like a slap in the face.

    I've looked at a Viscount sound module. But I don't have the impression that it sounds all that great. I can't recommend some sort of Rube Goldberg package that would totally confuse any organist that followed me there.

    Someone at Walker has now created a Facebook page called Friends of Walker Organs. But this mainly seems to be a place where one of their agents or techs posts demos of arrangements played on Walker Instruments.

    I know much of this reads like a rambling jumble. As you can tell, I'm frustrated. HELP!!! :'(

    As always, any and all help, guidance, advice is appreciated.

    Bach On
    Make being happy a way of traveling, not just a destination.

    Church organ - 2 manual 12 rank Estey Pipe Organ with 12 Artisan Digital Stops
    Home organ - Allen R-230 organ (We also have 48 pipes in a facade)
    We have a Yamaha 6' 8" Grand
    Have used an older Korg T3 keyboard and MIDI for doing musical arrangements.
    I'm a Methodist organist.
    I taught high school chorus, elementary music and middle school music.
    Became a Technology Specialist.
    Retired from Education after 32 years.

  • #2
    At the very least you should investigate Artisan products--they provide technical documentation on how to use their products, and you should be able to find tech info on the Peterson control system to allow for complete interface between them. A sound engine with 10 to 19 voices is about $2250; if you need the Artisan control system, it's probably another $2500 or so; and in the end, you'll have a system with full documentation.

    Artisan will provide control systems with normal pipe-organ/organist interface. http://artisanorgans.intartists.com/...gans/Home.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, toodles. I'll do some research.

      BO
      Make being happy a way of traveling, not just a destination.

      Church organ - 2 manual 12 rank Estey Pipe Organ with 12 Artisan Digital Stops
      Home organ - Allen R-230 organ (We also have 48 pipes in a facade)
      We have a Yamaha 6' 8" Grand
      Have used an older Korg T3 keyboard and MIDI for doing musical arrangements.
      I'm a Methodist organist.
      I taught high school chorus, elementary music and middle school music.
      Became a Technology Specialist.
      Retired from Education after 32 years.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bach-On View Post
        Thanks, toodles. I'll do some research.

        BO
        Bach-On, I have a pipe/digital with an Artisan pipe interface and Artisan digitals. Let me know if I can help.

        Comment


        • #5
          Why do you think that the Viscount module would not sound very good? It uses the same physical modeling algorithms that Viscount employs in their high-end Unico organs. You can select stops from a large on-board library and can have any 12 of them available on the front panel tabs. I would say that it beats the Walker module for price and flexibility by a long shot.

          I agree that the Artisan system would also be an option for you.

          Comment


          • #6
            I've heard that the Viscount module is good for individual voices but not as effective at ensembles--just what I've heard, though, not anything I've experienced.

            In the USA, the Viscount module is only available from Wicks, I think.

            Comment


            • #7
              Any Viscount dealer can order the module from the factory. I believe Wicks recently picked up Viscount as an adjunct to their pipe sales and service, which are not doing so well, but they are not an exclusive dealer for any of the Viscount products.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'll add my vote for Artisan as well. To be honest, I haven't done this myself, but I know a couple of different guys in the upper midwest who swear by Artisan and have converted a number of consoles, both pipe and electronic, to Artisan. Best i can tell from their descriptions, the Artisan unit will wire directly to your existing console, stop tabs, and other control devices, and will play just like pipe ranks. And I understand that the people at Artisan are very friendly and helpful. And the system is relatively inexpensive too. So it sounds like something that could do the job for you.
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  The o.p. doesn't strike me as the overly sentimental sort. The situation presented on the other hand reeks of it. This is not the first thread on this issue and the common chord in all of them is the need to preserve this Estey as the core of... ... I don't think it can be done. I recently heard the Rieger instrument at Sunnyside Adventist Church in South East Portland, OR. That instrument is augmented with a half dozen or so Walker voices. I am certain that that Reiger is in the 3/4 to 1M price range. Organs in that price range usually use Walker voices when digital augments are considered at all and nothing less will do. I will stop short of saying what the o.p. should do. I am merely making the point (again) that using Walker, even used Walker, equipment will be costly, and probably worth it... but for some other instrument. I think what we have never seen in all this time is a stoplist of the present instrument and what exactly tonal augments would be expected from the digital sound engine.

                  H

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by don60 View Post
                    Any Viscount dealer can order the module from the factory. I believe Wicks recently picked up Viscount as an adjunct to their pipe sales and service, which are not doing so well, but they are not an exclusive dealer for any of the Viscount products.
                    When I inquired of Viscount directly a few years ago, I was referred to Wicks as sole source--things may have changed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi,

                      The Wicks organ company, is no longer the same company. Basically they went out of business, only to be reconstituted as a mainly service company. At the same time me, just about all the physical assets were sold off at an auction. It is my understandinguys that the Wicks/Viscount relationship was severed. I know for a fact that all the Royal Classic (Viscount built digital) organ were sold in the auction. The modules I gather were sold off before or at the auction. I seriously doubt that one can obtain a module from Wicks.

                      The distributor in the US, has the module listed as a special order - in other words they do not stock them. They are available from Classic Organworks in Canada, and they have them in stock.

                      AV

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Arie: Thank you for the update.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Two weeks ago I requested information on the CM-100 Module via the Wicks website, wicks.com. They have not responded. According to the website they are once again building organs and the CM-100 Module is still listed. They obviousy are having some troubling times. Let's hope they survive.
                          Sam

                          Allen ADC5400, 1910 Chickering QuarterGrand
                          Past---Allen ADC4000, Galanti Praeludium II, Yamaha Clavinova, Hammond A102, W.W. Putnam Reed Organ

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Viscount has information about the CM100 on their corporate site:

                            http://www.viscountinstruments.us/accupipe-cm100.html

                            If you want to purchase one and cannot find a local dealer, I can help you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It just struck me that the Estey pipe organs I have played were completely tubular pneumatic, both notes and stop action, and no pistons at all. Adding anything electronic will require lots of new contacts and wiring since (if the organ in question is TP) there is nothing in place already to wire to. I would not be sentimental about any of the ones I played. They seemed like something you would sell off the back of a truck in the middle of nowhere. The only power needed was to run a blower, no reeds so no maintenance due to dead flies or drifting tuning between reeds and flues.

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