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    Baldwin Multi Waveform Organ

    Has anyone had any personal experience with the Baldwin Multi Waveform Organ in the Cincinnati Music Hall?

    I heard a brief recording of it and the sound reminded me of a early to mid 20th century Austin.

    Could one say that a Multi Waveform Baldwin is an analog sampling organ?

    I read somewhere that these instruments sounded rather pipelike but had stability issues.

    http://www.spmhcincinnati.org/Music-...usXV-Organ.php

    #2
    The Baldwin was replaced with an Allen.

    I own the demo record; they were impressive for the day.

    But all four organs on the demo were replaced by something else. According to the brochure (which is here somewhere) they used servo-controlled lasers to read the optical discs. Imagine trying to repair one. Over the years two Baldwin Multiwaveforms appeared on ebay, perhaps for the Klann consoles.

    (I also know someone who owns Baldwin's master tapes.)

    The rumor was that Baldwin hired Robert Glasgow to play one at an AGO convention, perhaps the grand introduction, but the organ refused to play!

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      #3
      Thanks, Mark - this is fascinating!

      So, the recording I heard was from 1993. Was that the Allen then rather than the Baldwin?

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        #4
        If my memory is correct it's an Allen R-450. I was the Allen Organ Representative at the time. This was an Allen factory direct sale and the local dealer only received a very small installation fee from Allen. Allen built the speakers into cabinets that could be rolled off stage when not in use. It also has a quick-disconnect for the speakers and a somewhat custom stoplist. The Allen factory did the tonal finishing; I never got the opportunity to play it.

        Here is a link from the Allen Organ site:

        http://www.allenorgan.com/www/instal...085/page1.html


        Originally posted by MarkS View Post
        The Baldwin was replaced with an Allen.

        I own the demo record; they were impressive for the day.

        But all four organs on the demo were replaced by something else. According to the brochure (which is here somewhere) they used servo-controlled lasers to read the optical discs. Imagine trying to repair one. Over the years two Baldwin Multiwaveforms appeared on ebay, perhaps for the Klann consoles.

        (I also know someone who owns Baldwin's master tapes.)

        The rumor was that Baldwin hired Robert Glasgow to play one at an AGO convention, perhaps the grand introduction, but the organ refused to play!
        Last edited by Moller Artiste; 01-21-2016, 01:46 PM.

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          #5
          Allen Renaissance came later so the recording must have been the Baldwin.

          Surprising isn't it?!

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            #6
            Is there a link to the recording?


            Originally posted by MarkS View Post
            Allen Renaissance came later so the recording must have been the Baldwin.

            Surprising isn't it?!

            Comment


              #7
              I've never seen a Baldwin Multi-waveform, but I do remember the promotional talk. I suppose it was sort of an attempted answer to the digital organ. Of course, Allen held the patents to the digital organ, and basically kept anyone else from building one until the late 80's. In typical Baldwin style, they sought to do Allen one better, but in a Rube Goldberg fashion. While Allen touted the MOS organ as a system that played back actual pipe recordings, Baldwin's MW organ actually did that, though using optical disc technology similar to movie film sound in a remarkably clunky apparatus.

              Long ago, I used to know Bill Stevens, at least on the phone, and back about 2001 he sold me an old Baldwin C-601, a monster of an analog organ that I think I've even discussed on this forum somewhere. Anyway, I drove up to Fayetteville to his warehouse to pick it up and we had a great visit that day. I was curious as to how many really big organs Baldwin had ever built. What he told me was quite surprising. Though Baldwin would build hundreds of the smaller organs, especially back when home organs were all the rage, the big ones we built very sparingly. I believe he told me they built only around 70 of the C-600/601 organs like the one I got from him. And that was spread over more than 10 years of production. Each one was a little different from the last, as they were mostly custom anyway, and they were always thinking of some way to do it a little better.

              I asked him about the MW organ too, and I know he said that only a few of them were built, maybe he said 15. So, if the one in Cincinnati Music Hall was Opus 15, perhaps it was the very last one they built.

              He told me at the time that not a single one of them was still playing. Some had been scavanged to keep another one playing, but eventually they were all dismantled and junked out. It was an idea that just didn't play out as expected.

              Once upon a time, before there was digital technology, if someone had built an organ that literally played back with perfect fidelity the actual tones of pipes, it would've been a hit for sure, no matter the cost or complexity. If the Hammond organ became a hit with all of its shortcomings, how much more exciting should the MW have been, with many of the benefits and pros of the Hammond, but with authentic pipe sound to boot? But this thing was evidently too little too late, and was doomed from the start by the rapid evolution of the digital organ.
              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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                #8
                We had one of those here in Tucson. I never heard it play but helped remove it from a church and install an Allen MDS 55 in about 1994.
                I seem to remember two large cylindrical housings inside the console. I don't know what became of it.

                Didn't Kimball show that photocell organs were a bad idea about 20 years earlier?

                td

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                  #9
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pidXzX0wZf0

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I serviced one back in the late 70's or early 80's. It was a large installation with many speakers and the Baldwin pipes with speakers in them. Half the stops were out. Upon investigation I discovered the "tone generators" as being two large bins with a lamp on one end, a spinning disc in the middle, and optical sensors on the other side. The discs had tracks on them with a sensor positioned in line with each track. Turns out one of the lamps had burned out. We ordered a replacement and went back and installed it. Everything worked fine after that. I was fairly new in the organ business at that time so I don't remember much about how it sounded. I was fascinated with how it worked though.

                    We also serviced the Optigon which was a similar technology, but built more like a toy. I did see the old Kimball version once. It had multiple wheels which were interconnected with a long belt. It had tube circuits so quite old.

                    Geo

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                      #11
                      I found the service manual I have. Baldwin Multi-Waveform Organ Custom Series C-650, C-651 - Opus.
                      Dated 1972~1973. I scanned a few pictures from the manual so you can look at it.

                      Geo
                      Attached Files

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                        #12
                        When I googled it I saw some pics and someone on Amazon selling an LP:

                        http://www.amazon.com/The-Baldwin-Cu.../dp/B00E783VSY

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                          #13
                          [Didn't Kimball show that photocell organs were a bad idea about 20 years earlier?

                          td[/QUOTE]

                          I owned one of these for several years back around 1972. It had a good sound. The problem with the Kimball photocell was the tuning. As the belt that made the whole thing work aged, it stretched causing the organ to go out of tune. By 1972, belts were hard to find.

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                            #14
                            Baldwin Multi-Wave svc manual

                            Originally posted by geoelectro View Post
                            I found the service manual I have. Baldwin Multi-Waveform Organ Custom Series C-650, C-651 - Opus.
                            Dated 1972~1973. I scanned a few pictures from the manual so you can look at it.

                            Geo
                            I know this is a old post, but I recently purchased a demo record of for this technology. Is there any possibility you could scan or have the complete service manual scanned?

                            Thanks

                            Don Resor
                            Donald R. Resor
                            Tone Wheel and Tone Cabinet Service Company
                            Los Angeles, California
                            http://hammondorganservice.com

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Baldwin Multi Waveform Organ

                              Was searching around this morning and saw this thread. Just some added info... Cincinnati's Masonic Temple downtown still has and uses TWO of these organs. Opus 39. Technically is one organ with two separate consoles, one downstairs on a rolling platform and another up in the Choir loft. I'm actually running out there next week to do some repairs on it.

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