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Repairs and Problems on Old Organs

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  • Repairs and Problems on Old Organs

    I have been looking to purchase an electronic organ for use at home and found a rather good-looking Eminent organ that is fully functioning, and is at a very good price, but is thirty years old.

    What I'm worried about is, given its age, what could likely go wrong in the future as it ages more? What sort of things tend to break or malfunction on electronic organs and what tends to be the cost of repairs (assuming parts are available)?

  • #2
    Eminent is one brand I have no experience with. If it is sold in the US, I've never seen one. But from what I've seen on the forum, it is better known in other places. If I were you, I'd check with a local electronic organ tech to see if he or she is familiar with it and capable of servicing it. Most likely, if that brand is or has been popular in your area, there will be someone who services them.

    Thirty years old could be thought of as pretty old for an electronic device, but in reality many of the best digital organs in the US (such as Allen ADC series) are now that age or older. We don't have any trouble getting parts or keeping these organs in perfect working order. If Eminent is well-represented in your area, it should likewise be serviceable.

    An organ of that age can have various problems, and what problems crop up is going to be related to whatever were the weaknesses of the design and the manufacturing practices of the builder. Some instruments develop key contact problems as they age, particularly those designed with simple coil spring or wire whisker key switches. Often these can be cleaned easily or replaced one by one if needed.

    Other organs may have failed or failing power supply components or amplifier transistors at that age, also generally replaceable. Organs with a lot of cable inter-connects may have troubles caused by the connectors getting corroded or loose over time, and that problem may require a lot of disassembly and cleaning and tweaking of those connectors. Speakers used in various organs may have deteriorated or rotted out and will require repairs or replacement. So you might have to talk to a tech or organ owner who has actual experience with Eminent organs of that era.

    All that aside, if the organ looks good, seems to have solid keys and pedals and stop controls, and if you hear sounds that you enjoy and think you can live with, it may be a good choice for you, if the price is right. But if you don't feel comfortable about it in some way, just keep looking around. There seem to be a steady supply of good used church organs over here, though it may be different where you live.

    Good luck!
    *** 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!


    • #3
      The Eminent Company has been bought and sold many times. I know people who have had them and the current Eminent Company is not much help on the older instruments. Replacement boards are not available. Once they die, it may be impossible to fix. You would be far better off with an Allen MOS 1 or 2 instrument. They can be found at very reasonable prices. Best wishes.