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Need Advice On Baldwin 645

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  • Need Advice On Baldwin 645



    Hello,</p>

    I have the opportunity to get a free Baldwin 645 organ, which is an AGO 3-manual. However, the owner says a tree in his yard was hit by lightning. Afterwards there are missing notes on every other octave on certain stops. His words:</p>

    <font>Several years ago I had lightening strike a tree in the front yard and it has
    caused some dead notes to appear. The dead notes are D-F# every other octave,
    which alternate with 8, 4, 2 etc stops. You probably cannot play it with one
    stop on. </font>
    </p>

    I am wondering if anyone has any ideas what could cause this, and what would be involved in fixing it. Can anyone tell me anything about this organ? I've e-mailed the owner and he's going to e-mail me more specs on the organ.</p>

    Your thoughts would be most appreciated.</p>

    Thanks,</p>

    Jon</p>

  • #2
    Re: Need Advice On Baldwin 645

    Does this one have drawknobs?

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    • #3
      Re: Need Advice On Baldwin 645



      I don't know. That's one of the questions in my e-mail to the seller. I found a service manual for the 600 series and it showed a picture of an organ with draw knobs on the front, but I don't know if that means that all 600 series have it or not. I know the 601-C does.</p>

      Thanks,</p>

      Jon</p>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Need Advice On Baldwin 645

        You would think that a numerically higher model number would mean that the instrument is more feature-laden, as is often the case. Perhaps it has more stops/pistons.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Need Advice On Baldwin 645



          Baldwin 645 is a "Silent Touch" series AGO 3-manualorgan, the largest of that type built by Baldwin. It was built in the mid-80's in the USA plant near Fayetteville, Arkansas. These were the last analog organs produced by Baldwin before they went digital in the late 80's and then started having them made in Italyin the 90's. The technology uses multiple top-octave-synthesizer chips and dividers. Advantages are that the tuning is rock solid,and there are subtle differences in tuning from stop to stop, very nice full-bodied chorus. The celeste rank is also permanently in tune at the proper degree of sharpness. The keying and stop controls use a type of microprocessor system, even though the tone generators are technically analog.</P>


          No drawknobs on this model. It has the tongue tabs that you press downward to engage and press upward to disengage. A little light above each stop tab shows when that stop is on, as the tabs "spring back" and don't stay in position when you push on them. This is not a bad action, just different from most others. A bit like the Rodgers lighted tab actions.</P>


          The 645 has a large elaborate capture action with some surprising features, such as the ability to set pedal stops with the divisionals if you wish. Two memories with a locking key. Quite crisp keyboards, not sloppy like the older Baldwins. The standard audio system is the EA-5/M-5 setup which has a 5-channel amp driving a subwoofer plus a set of smaller speakers.There may or may not be a secondary set of speakers for the reverb system, which was an option.</P>


          The symptom you describe could mean that one of the top octave synthesizer chips has gone bad and is not putting out a range of notes. It could also be caused by one or two divider chips having been zapped by the lightning, or even by a malfunction in the multiplexer system. You will need a technician who is familiar with this system and he (or she) will need to consult with the Baldwin service people. All the parts are available, but some are a little expensive. You may spend a few hundred dollars getting this up and running. (Baldwin service is now provided through a company called "MusicElectronics" in Springdale, Arkansas. Phone number 479-927-0822. At the very least you need to order the service manual from them. You also may want to order a few of the stop lamps, as they tend to burn out now and then.)</P>


          It's possible that the owner is misdiagnosing the problem completely. You can turn on the stops one at a time and play each key. If you write it all down, a pattern should appear that will tell you what is really happening. For example, the Great principal stops are a "unit" rank and you may discover that in reality there are only 4 or 5 dead pitches and they just happen to be used in the various octaves of various principal stops. The same applies to the flute ranks, one for the swell and one for the great. Or you may discover that there are truly "dead keys" which is an entirely different problem. Either way, a competent tech can fix it.</P>


          You are doing well to get this one free because it really doesn't have any value in its present condition. However, all fixed up and working such an organ would probably still be worth a few thousand dollars retail. It ought to be worth getting despite the cost of the repairs.</P>


          Another thing you may have to do right away is replace the woofer cones. These are of the foam surround type and the foam rots out over time. The result is a horribly distorted and raspy bass, or possibly no bass at all. You'll know it if you hear it.</P>


          Good luck.</P>


          John</P>
          <P mce_keep="true"></P>
          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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          • #6
            Re: Need Advice On Baldwin 645



            Hello,</p>


            Well, it looks like I'm not going to be able to go ahead with this organ as it is over 6 hours away from me. That's pretty far when you consider I would have to rent a u-haul, pay for gas, plus pay their "per mile" charge. That gets to be pretty expensive, especially when I've never seen the organ before, and don't really know what I'm dealing with. Plus, I'd have to pay for a tech to come out and fix it.</p>

            I just don't have enough money to do all this, being the struggling musician that I am. I guess I'll just have to keep searching, in the hopes that something better comes along. I can only think that the right one will come along eventually.</p>

            -Jon
            </p>

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