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Wurlitzer 3 Manual Church Organ??

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  • Wurlitzer 3 Manual Church Organ??



    Hey Guys, take a look at this one:</p>

    It's a 3 manual Wurlitzer church organ! It appears to be pretty new. The look seems roughly familiar with an Ahlborn-Galanti I've seen recently, especially the stop tabs. In the auction it does mention that it's made in Italy. I assume this is another example of rebranding. Also notice the digital reverb. Particularly strange to me is the master volume and great/pedal volume knobs! That seems like heresy. Never heard of that before.</p>

    I'd be curious to hear what others think.</p>

    -Jon</p>

  • #2
    Re: Wurlitzer 3 Manual Church Organ??



    Jon,</P>


    These organs were made in Italy when all Baldwin/Wurlitzer organs were produced after Baldwin bought out Wurlitzer. They are indeed "rebranded" organs.</P>


    I was in a music store in a metro area where the salesman after learning I was not interested in buying an organ of any kind that day told me that the new Baldwin Organs in the store that day were made in Italy by Viscount which he just literally said which equals, "no count."</P>


    Baldwin bought out Wurlitzer, and kept the Wurlitzer name on some of the organs for awhile. No doubt you could find the same organ with a Baldwin label yet, but it might have been just a series of organs with the Wurlitzer nameplate. Wurlitzer had been having their organs made by Hohner in Europe, and labeled the organs Wurlitzer/Hohner. These were fine organs, and seemed to be built like a battleship. They also have a great sound. However, they were a far cry from the old line Wurlitzer organs I remember so well.</P>


    James</P>
    Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
    Baldwin Spinet 58R
    Lowrey Spinet SCL
    Wurlitzer 4100A
    Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


    Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

    Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
    Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
    Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Wurlitzer 3 Manual Church Organ??



      Jon,</P>


      I bought a used Wurlitzer C-380 about 2 years ago (1 1996 model, I believe). It is a 3-manual of nearly identical design, but with a fuller stop list (I have 2-32' stops in the pedal, for instance) and controls. The cabinet, stop layout, and finish appear nearly identical. I was warned before I bought mine that these instruments were not very good on a number of fronts (reliability, sound, build quality). Mine plays well and sounds quite good with external amps and speakers, but not with the internal amps/speakers. I have had no reliability issues, except fora stop tab light that flickers on and off randomly. My organ has eight channels, soI have eight separate amps and speakers for each. It is very versatile in that you can have it hooked up to just two external channels (from a stereo receiver and speakers, say) or any combination, up to all eight. If your amps and speakers are high quality and of adequate range, the sound is very authentic in most respects, especially considering the technology is over 10 years old.. </P>


      These organs are indeed made by Viscount in Italy. Viscount has been in business for a long time, but the previous importer went out of business, so if you do need service, a tech may be hard to find. I live in Minnesota, and there is a tech nearby in Wisconsin who services these instruments. There must be techs in other parts of the country too. Parts are available from Viscount.</P>


      The big selling point of buying one of these instruments used is, of course, the price. (The one on e-bay to which you referred went for just $1850!!!) I would recommend them as an economical practice organ with good "feel" and good sound if amplified externally. I probably would not recommend them for church use, given the harder usage and spottiness of tech support. But for a reasonably priced home practice instrument, they are just fine, and if you can get one in good condition and as cheap as this one went for, you will be pleasantly surprised. The build quality is not as good as Allen, but is considerably better than a Rodgers 530 I looked at before buying this one.</P>


      Gary</P>
      Gary

      Wurlitzer/Viscount C-380 3 manual with Conn pipes.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Wurlitzer 3 Manual Church Organ??



        Gary,</P>


        Thanks for the post. It's good to hear from someone who owns a similar organ. I'm glad you like it. That does seem very reasonable if it's a decent organ. A practice organ would seem like the ideal role for this. Is yours a true AGO organ?</P>


        -Jon</P>

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Wurlitzer 3 Manual Church Organ??



          Jon,</P>


          I find this most interesting. It is nice that Gary is most pleased with this "Wurlitzer." I have seen several Baldwin Church Organs with almost the exact stop list. The largest old line Wurlitzer Organs I know so well were the 4800 Series, and the 4700 series. The 4800 was an ES organ, and the 4700 was an all transistor organ by Wurlitzer.</P>


          James</P>
          Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
          Baldwin Spinet 58R
          Lowrey Spinet SCL
          Wurlitzer 4100A
          Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


          Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

          Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
          Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
          Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Wurlitzer 3 Manual Church Organ??



            James,</P>


            I am not familiar with the 4700 and 4800 series. Are they like a larger version of the 4500, or are they more like church organs? Do you have any pictures or information on them?</P>


            Thanks,</P>


            Jon</P>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Wurlitzer 3 Manual Church Organ??



              Hi,</p>

              The organ just sold on E-bay is a Baldwin (Wurlitzer) A-260 (Alpha Series), at least judging by the picture. This series was not as good as the C-Series, of which the C-380 was one model. These organs were made by Viscount in the early to mid 90s.</p>

              The Alpha Series was built down to a price, so nothing mattered but the low price. So in effect they had precious little hardware inside. The C-Series was better in that for the same number of stops, they used at least double the amount of hardware, so there were more samples used, less using sample blending, and a better overall ensemble. In both series, manual stops had 8 note polyphony.</p>

              The only major problem with them was the pedalboard, and that was a problem until fairly recently with all Viscount pedalboards. They were cheaply made, suffered from premature felt wear, rubber bumpers on the up and down stops going stone hard, contact springs going twang upon note release and also going intermittant all too frequently. Over the years I have totally rebuilt at least a half a dozen of them. A long days work, but in the end worth it. Electronics were usually pretty solid for at least the first ten years. The potentiometers in a lot of the controls were of the very cheap variety, and I have replaced a number of them.</p>

              The big problem with Viscount is that they made such a bewildering number of lines and models of rather mediocre to lousy musical and build quality, that their reputation is still of builders of inferior products. Starting in 1998, with the Prestige line, they finally started building organs that at least sounded decent. Then in the early 90s, the distributor, Church Organs Systems ran into problems of one sort or another, and for awhile very little Viscount product was sold in North America.</p>

              Their new Presitge line is actually quite good. Unfortunately for them, they are basically starting over from almost nothing, and the market for new organs is poor, I don't think they are moving much product. Unless they start improving their brand name, and doing some serious promotion, my guess is they will remain a very marginal player.</p>

              BTW, all older Baldwin/Wurlitzer/Viscount product is still able to be fixed, repaired, supported, as Viscount has setup Norm Ninneman to be their service technician and parts man. He is in Wisconsin somewhere.</p>

              Arie V
              </p>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Wurlitzer 3 Manual Church Organ??



                I have a Wurlitzer 3-manual organ at home; I bought it new in 1993/1994 (?). Mine has drawknobs and a larger stoplist (two 32' stops).</P>


                Though I've seen better electronic organs, mine is quite adequate for practice purposes. And of course, it looks nice to have lots of drawknobs in one's living room. [8-|]</P>


                As was mentioned, it is nice to know there are others out there who own something similar.</P>


                By the way, Wurlitzer did make church pipe organs. Once upon a time... [:)]</P>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Wurlitzer 3 Manual Church Organ??



                  Jon,</P>


                  Yes, it is true AGO.</P>


                  Gary</P>
                  Gary

                  Wurlitzer/Viscount C-380 3 manual with Conn pipes.

                  Comment

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