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  • Choices choices



    So based on the posts to my previous question, (yes a Gulbransen President is worth buying) I decided to plan a trip to Calgary (200 miles) to check it out. Soooo, figgerin, I might as well see if there is anything else worth looking at, I find listed in various ads, an Electone EL60 (700 bux);
    </p>

    A Kawai "theatre organ" which they tell me is an R4, which I can't find any information on, but the custodians tell me has three manuals, a full pedal board with at least 25 pedals , maybe more, and is supposedly a professional model. It apparently belonged to mom who is now in a home, and the daughter does not know anything about organs. This one is free. </p>

    There is also a console baldwin that has 25 pedals and two 5 octave manuals, model # unknown, sounds like it may be a tube model (old guy, not an organist is selling), about 250. </p>

    What to do? I am leaning to the Electone cause it has midi, (I could play miditzer or hauptwerk just by plugging it into my PC), however it only has 49 key manuals and spinet pedals, but there are 20 of the little fellows.
    </p>

    Assuming that price is not a factor here, which would you choose? Is there such a thing as a full console 3 manual theatre organ Kawai? An honest to goodness theatre organ would be a nice addition, but I live in a very small house :-) Fortunately my neighbours are not the complaining sort (people living in glass houses don't throw stones.)
    </p>


    Obviously I will check em all out, and make a decision when I am there, based on condition etc., but it would be nice to have some information that would help. TIA
    </p>

  • #2
    Re: Choices choices



    If old time theater sound is your main interest stick with the Gulbransen. You'll have cabinet styling, theater tabs (very useful in registration changes), and rich tibias. The Kawai is much newer and more orchestral than true theater. (The third manual is 25 note with smaller keys -- useful only for some solo note registrations: also mainly orchestral)</P>


    The Baldwin is of limited interest, mostly to people who have had a background in Baldwin organs from the distant past.The CT and HT family are their best effort in theater organs. Organs before 1975 were also very decent "church" organs. But prices today -- and especially for tube models -- shouldn't top $100. Discount what you see on Ebay: organs priced higher usually don't sell.</P>


    If possible see them all before you decide.</P>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Choices choices



      EL60 for $700. Way too much. Divide by 10 and that would be more like it.</P>


      There is no Kawai R4, as far as I know. I certainly never designed one of those when I was with them, but I did come up with an SR4. That's a nice sounding, if a bit dated, mid range spinet. This, however, sounds like it could bean SR7 or SR70 console model. I designed those two as well and they are still good, even by today's standards. If it's working and free, grab it while it's there. It has MIDI and will blow the EL60 away big time. It's not a 'theatre organ' as such, but has drawbars, leslie, great strings, brass, winds and percussion, duophonic orchestralsynths on the 3rd manual and a good sounding drum unit. The 3rd manual is actually 44 notes, not 25, and you can shift some of the polyphonic voicing upstairs too, not just the synths!The only other 3 manual Kawai consoles are theolder but still goodDX1900,(another one of mine, but pre-MIDI and definitely capable of some nice theatre type sounds), therare XR7000 and the even rarer T5. </P>


      A tube Baldwin for $250? Divide by 10 again - at least! It's over 45 years old.</P>


      You may have no choice at all. If it's an SR7 or SR70 it just has to be the Kawai! [;)]</P>


      Andy</P>
      It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

      New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

      Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha Genos, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
      Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
      Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
      Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Choices choices

        Thanks Andy, that's good advice, I will check out the Kawai first. I can find very little information on the web on non hammond electric/electronic organs.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Choices choices



          Sorry, Andy. I had shopped the Kawai 3 manual at a local thrift and it reminded me of my previous Yamaha FX spinet 3 manual so I didn't really count the keys, except to note that the two lower manuals were console size and it had a 25 note full pedalboard. The thrift store started the sale at $1900 US, but it was getting below $600 -- one of those stores with weekly markdowns -- when it disappeared.</P>


          One question for you, please. Was there a special reason that Yamaha, Kawai, and Wurlitzer chose to use small keys on the 3rd manual. I've always thought it might be a space problem related to using existing cabinetry or something, but I've never heard anyone tell exactly how the choice was made. Sounds like you would be the expert as a designer.</P>


          Thanks for your valuable input into this forum!</P>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Choices choices



            Wurli and Yamaha did indeed use the mini keys (toy keys in the case of the Wurli) and I have no definite info as to why! Yamaha started the tiddly keys on the DK40 and Wurli on the 4073. Cost cutting? Probably in the case of the Wurli (everything was on just one LSI chip) but not so likely for the Yammy. Space saving. Probably, as it had the potential to shave an inch or two off the total depth of the organ.</P>


            When I first sketched a rough plan of what I called theE580, that was to become the DX900, back in February 1979, I said that we already had the organ 'base' in the E550 model, and we also produced a great monophonic synth in the S100P. (clone ARP Pro Soloist, but with more features, better sounds and improved reliability!) So, I told the head R&amp;D man that there was no need for small keys. We'd save money by not tooling up to make them and we'd have an advantage over the competition. I got my way, but the organ was about 1/2" deeper than we'd thought. That wasn't just my fault for putting in full sized keys, but also the acoustic team deciding they wanted more room downstairs for the speakers! </P>


            By the time we got to the SR6/7, they said there was no problem with having a 44 note solo manual. In fact I'm sure that the electronics allowed for 3 x 61 note manuals and I'd have loved to have seen the SR7 so equipped, but that would have meant the cost increasing very substantially.Of course we stayed with the full sized keys for these as well.</P>


            Andy</P>
            It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

            New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

            Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha Genos, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
            Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
            Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
            Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Choices choices

              Did you get to look at the Gulbransen you were considering?

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              • #8
                Re: Choices choices

                I leave tommorrow (saturday)

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                • #9
                  Re: Choices choices

                  Got a call last night, the kawai is no longer available. Decided to put the whole console thing on hold for a while. I need to finish my renovations so I actually have room for one!

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