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New life for the Viscount CL40 in the church museum

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  • New life for the Viscount CL40 in the church museum

    I'd like to share with you all with my current project. The Viscount CL40 in the museum went silent. The last time I played on it was with a classic and church music festival held in the historic church building. Since then the organ was moved around in the building by people not knowledgeable on the instruments and the organ fell to neglect. The idiots shuffled the organ with the pedal board still attached and caused damage to the organ.

    Each time I went there to inquire if I can play there, the answer was no... till I managed to have a serious talk with the curator. I stated the neglected condition of the organ and threatened to have it removed from their care. I did "upset the apple cart". Finally I got permission to keep the organ clean and neat and place it on a proper display... a platform with red carpet.

    After I completed the platform and placed the organ on it... dead... The people working in the museum is not employees of the museum setup and earn their wages from local government and the curator was all on top of them. I do work on organs and started my repair checklist from the top.
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    This week I'll finish with the organ and as part of the display will use a computer to replay organ MP3's of recordings I did with church organs in this part of rural South Africa. Here at home I sit late nights preparing the "museum PC". (Will remain my property.) I intend to add to the Viscount a decent set of stage type amplifiers and speaker cabinets that should give a nice full sound to the organ. Next picture... My loaded room where I record organ music.
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    I'll post pictures when the display is completed... maybe a video as well!

  • #2

    Thank you for sharing your attempts to preserve the organ for the museum, and for your offer to keep us posted. Best of luck in your work.

    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos


    • #3
      I've just serviced // reworked the switch contacts and connector of a CL40 . The new spring (wiper) contacts as supplied by Viscount are now gold flashed (unbeatable for corrosion proofing!) and have a different spring rate (i.e. coil spacing now close-wound over full length). - Shame the piano wire fixed contact is still just piano wire but were given a good polish with 2500 grit wet & dry used dry).

      I stripped most of the pcb tracking and hard wired it to a 37w D-type mounted in a cut-out in the pcb support rail...

      also fitted heavy duty metal brackets to the composite wood-chip back plate to reduce the risk of damage to the relocated connector or flying lead should the unit be mishandled during relocation.

      I'm no organist or musician (well, I made it to Grade 111 piano & was boy soprano in many choirs till the voice broke ~ 1/2 a century ago, I now sometimes sing church choral baritone / tenor & I sometimes play the harmonica badly) - equalizing the pedal returns and the contact tread-depth seemed quite simple... subsequent to a bit of ingenuity...

      Will see and hear what the organist thinks of it when I've fitted the other 37w D-type to the flying harness... and maybes tried to solve or reduce some mains hum - suspect the psu big electrolytics on their way out.....

      Cheers & God bless,