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Collection of Digital organs -- how can I have fun with them?

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  • Collection of Digital organs -- how can I have fun with them?

    At this late stage of life I find myself owning and/or having access to a lot of organs. Mostly old ones, but some not so bad. Allens from MOS to Renaissance. The odd Rodgers, Johannus, Content. And others hardly worth mentioning. And several that exist only in software.

    Sometimes I feel like a kid raised in poverty, perpetually hungry and always hoping for a scrap of food from somebody's table -- who suddenly finds himself living in luxury and supplied with more food than anyone could possibly need. So accustomed to eating whatever he could get his hands on, he over-eats and becomes obese. Hoards food. Hides food. Stores it until it ruins. How did I ever get like this?

    Fifty years ago when I first got interested in the organ I couldn't find a lousy Montgomery Ward spinet to play. I wanted an organ so badly I'd have brought home ANY organ if I could've found one. Forty years ago I bought a clunker Connsonata for $50 and fixed it up. I thought I was in organ heaven, at least for a while. I wound up selling it to a little church when I got short of cash.

    Then, about twenty-five years ago a dealer awarded me a Wurlitzer 4700 spinet when I helped him sell a new Baldwin/Viscount to a church, and thus my modern collection began. By twenty years ago, I had a little warehouse where I was storing an old Rodgers analog, a big Baldwin analog, and a couple of Hammond transistor spinets, an old Conn or two. None of them were much good, but I was able to keep some kind of working organ supplied to the church where I played. And I'd fix one up and sell it now and then.

    Then fifteen years ago, I started to have good organs at home and at church. Out of the blue a church gave me a Rodgers 660. Someone gave me a Conn 651. And another church gave me a huge old Baldwin D-422, which I had at home for a while. Then I was given a really nice Rodgers 890, then an Allen ADC-4000, than a Renaissance. Then a string of other organs followed, until today I have the nice Allen MDS to play at church and a decent Rodgers Cheetah at home. And a dozen or more organs at the shop, some of which actually play.

    Though I'm 65 and looking at drawing Social Security next year, I still don't feel like retiring, and don't think I can afford to lose all my income from servicing and selling organs. But the business certainly isn't what it once was. I have enough work to do three or four good service calls a week, and I'll sell an organ now and then for enough money to keep the shop rent paid up for a few months.

    I hope I'll have time now to catch up on fixing some of these old organs in the shop. It's a shame that so many of them just need a few hours TLC to become a good starter organ for a church or a good home practice organ. So maybe I'll make some headway with that in the next year.

    Anyway, I'm just sitting here on Sunday afternoon pondering the next stage of my life, and putting some things down in words helps me think it through. Peace!
    John
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    *** 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

  • #2
    In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king.:-) I would enjoy just being a little mouse living in your shop.
    Until The Next Dimension,
    Admiral Coluch.

    -1929 Wangerin Pipe Organ Historian
    -Owner 1982 Rogers Specification 990

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    • #3
      Combine them all into one super organ: two sets of 5 manuals in a V configuration with some kind of double extended pedal board (one expanded 40 pedal, and one 32 more board above or built into the rear half of the main pedals.

      Giving me the johannus might be pretty fun too :->

      Turn them all into self playing haunted organs is a good way to both tinker and have fun.
      Allen 530A

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      • #4
        If any of them have self-playing capability, set one up to play one part and do some of the Soler organ works for 2 organs.

        David

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        • #5
          It's too bad I don't have a big old house so I could set up several of them. Unfortunately, just a small house with room for one organ. As long as I keep the shop open I can have a few of them set up there to enjoy. But when real retirement comes I'll let the shop go because I won't be able to afford the rent and utilities once it stops generating income.

          I'm thinking it might be good to get as many of them as possible into playing condition, then making recordings of each. I've always wanted to compare a variety of organs side by side, and this may be my only chance ever. So maybe that will be my goal the next few months.
          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

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