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  • Pipe Organ In-Home Alternatives

    What is closest organ out there that can best hold a candelabra to a full pipe organ? I adore the breathy sound of one and find myself often disappointed by many organs that fail to emulate the sound.

    Thanks,

    -TJ

    - - - Updated - - -

    Excuse me, meant to post in the classical organ section. Moved for you.
    Last edited by andyg; 05-17-2017, 08:00 AM.

  • #2
    I think you could get a wide range of responses here. I'll share mine.

    Unless I had an unlimited budget, I'd personally go with a Viscount organ which uses Physis. The Physis series videos on YouTube are impressive. I recommend you have a listen. I like their Ouverture model quite a lot.

    Edit again: This may be a better introductory video to Physis:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlWEjg3_XOc

    If you're wanting to put together a decent sounding organ on more of a budget, you could buy good quality parts (manuals, pedalboard, etc.) and use virtual organ software to produce the sound. Hauptwerk is the only commercial software available and can sound excellent (though it's dependant on the quality of the sample set you use). You can find YouTube recordings of various sample sets running on Hauptwerk. There is also GrandOrgue which is free and plenty capable, but while there are some excellent sample sets there isn't the selection there is with Hauptwerk. Even still, the most beautiful sample set I've heard from virtual organ software is the Dluga Koscielna, which you can listen to here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE029vW_Sd0

    Hope this helps a little bit.
    Last edited by rjsilva; 05-17-2017, 06:14 PM.
    Viscount C400 3-manual
    8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
    Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TJHaroulakis View Post
      What is closest organ out there that can best hold a candelabra to a full pipe organ? I adore the breathy sound of one and find myself often disappointed by many organs that fail to emulate the sound.
      TJ,

      Are you looking for Theatre or Classical sound? Allen, Rodgers, & Johannus instruments can also do the job well. You can see from my signature which I prefer.

      Keep in mind, many organs are capable of reproducing what you want, but may come to you adjusted for a different space. With proper adjustment, most current digital organs can fill the bill--some better than others. Hope this helps.

      Michael
      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)
      • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

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      • #4
        TJ, your question suggests you'd like a "full organ" sound, suggesting a large instrument equivalent, but then you go on to say you like a "breathy" sound. Usually if you hear the "wind in the pipes", you are close to the pipes and that's more typical of a smaller organ in a small-ish room.

        As Michael (myorgan) indicates, it's useful to know if you're looking for a theatre or classical type sound.

        The only commercially built theatre organs are made by Allen. So if you want theatre sounds, that's it or "roll your own" with Hauptwerk or such.

        What instruments have you heard that disappoint you?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by toodles View Post
          The only commercially built theatre organs are made by Allen. So if you want theatre sounds, that's it or "roll your own" with Hauptwerk or such.
          Apparently Walker has made a theatre organ that supposedly was much superior to Allen's best (I'm only going by what people said, and I think it might have been on this forum ... I can't remember!).

          Of course Walker is not something most individuals can afford, otherwise I would have mentioned them in my first post
          Viscount C400 3-manual
          8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
          Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

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          • #6
            Yes, Walker will do a theatre organ--they are really a custom builder, so I forgot to mention them! I haven't heard one. I've heard live Allen theatre organs, and they sound very convincing. The LL324 is, perhaps, one of the best organs I've ever heard.

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            • #7
              Walker has built a number of theater organs, most of them quite large. You can see and hear them on YouTube videos. One of the biggest was at the fabled Milhaus collection in Boca Raton, Florida. The collection was disbursed several years ago but it was, as they say, FABULOUS! Dave Wickerham was the resident organist there.

              http://pipedreams.publicradio.org/ev...ous_pics.shtml

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK7NYxijd0Q
              Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Saville Series IV Opus 209; Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Gulbransen Rialto; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI.

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              • #8
                I had heard several years ago that while Walker has great individual voices, it's not so good as an ensemble. And just the opposite with Allen. I have to admit, the trumpet stop on my Allen is just... odd. The "classical" voices on it I really do like a lot.
                John
                Allen MDS-317 at home / Allen AP-16 at Church / Allen ADC-3100 at the stake center

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                • #9
                  Hi,

                  The ensemble of a Walker organ can be set in whatever away you want. Every note can be micro pitched, so one can create a very tightly pitched ensemble, or a more detuned ensemble. Generally, Bob Walker for a classical organ tunes rather exactly, whereas he is less inclined to do so with theatre organs.

                  Also, he makes much more use of available parameters such as wind modelling, etc., than he used.

                  What I am saying, is that a new Walker today, will have a broader ensemble than say what Walker did 15 or more years ago.

                  AV

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by arie v View Post
                    What I am saying, is that a new Walker today, will have a broader ensemble than say what Walker did 15 or more years ago.
                    Arie knows a lot more than I do, and I haven't heard a Walker from 15 years ago nor have I heard one of their theatre organs (except on the link AllenAnalog posted above), but I can say that the two Walkers I have heard in person and played (classical organs, one of them I play regularly) have excellent ensembles. You can hear a decent example of the ensemble on a modest-sized Walker organ using Bach's overly popular Toccata in D minor here:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt7umlLSMCE

                    If I had no budget limits and were wanting what it sounds like the OP is describing, I'd very likely get a Walker. I'm rather partial to their particular sound, for various reasons.
                    Viscount C400 3-manual
                    8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
                    Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

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                    • #11
                      It could be conjectural, but I've read at least one committee report that indicated that Walker wasn't as crazy expensive as we might all think given the custom nature of the instruments. In this particular case, the cost of the Walker was more than competitive with that of the stock model Allen and Rodgers organs it was competing against. Perhaps this is due to the lack of dealer markup by the "middleman," as I believe (could be wrong) that Walker sales are factory direct.

                      I would also imagine that Walker's manufacturing is also more easily scalable to low-rate production like this.

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                      • #12
                        I'd go with a Hauptwerk set up using multiple channels including surround, utilizing one of the newer sample sets like the Portland Rosales or the Oakland Skinner. Oh my, either one will blow you away! I also have a newer Johannus at home and play a fairly recent Allen for a church. In a home, the Hauptwerk setup can't be beat for realism of sound or price, in my opinion.

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