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Unknown Parie Organ model

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  • #16
    Hey Indy, this is a European organ - no rubber wiring! But what it will probably have is shorted reservoir and smoother caps, hence the burnup. I'm looking foward to Niall's pics to see exactly what's in there. Another thing in its favour is that the generators are well enclosed, it's quite hard for dirt to get in. The HT in these is not very high, just typical B+ voltage. It does not need to be because the generators have a large capacitance modulation and they are fully energised all the time because it uses audio keying. Something like the french Dereux with its very fine waveform traces and polarisation keying has to start out with higher voltage, my model AB runs at 900V which as you rightly point out is not current limited and therefore fairly lethal.

    For anyone who didn't get the audio links to work try these - it's the organ in the Flickr pictures:


    • #17
      Hi Lucien,

      Here is the link to my dropbox folder -https://www.dropbox.com/sh/y26pfxvmluz73zl/PU01SKKDU2

      the images are large so I chose to upload them there instead of adding them directly to the thread (not sure of the size limit).
      I hope they help and if you need more, that's no problem.
      I listened to the audio clips above and it sounds amazing. hopefully mine will sound that good too some day

      - a quick edit to say that you can download the images from there too if you want the full size versions


      • #18

        You have a lot of work ahead if you want to restore it. Most people would not bother, because the finished organ would still be worth next to nothing, i.e. it falls squarely into the 'labour of love' category. I fear the damp has taken its toll more than anything else, and the parts we can't see are as likely to have been damaged as the parts we can. The Parie is a very simple organ but like every old piece of kit there are certain components that are difficult to replace or substitute if damaged, so you must be prepared to find you run into a roadblock and have to engineer your way round it. If you are lucky you will get an instrument that works reasonably well within its limitations. It was a low-cost home organ that is now of interest primarily for its unusual technology rather than for any specific musical qualities. I like mine, although not very versatile it has a cheerful sound that makes it fun to play. Yours has a more comprehensive set of drawbars, probably another octave on the generators and should have more tonal flexibility and crispness as a result.

        Let's have a look at the obvious problems and concerns:

        The reservoir capacitors on the power supply PCB attached to the transformer have split open. They will be shorted and were probably the cause of the smoking transformer. All the other Ducati (yellow) electrolytics should be changed. The Philips (blue) ones will be deteriorated too although some of the small ones could perhaps be left until later in the overhaul as they are probably at least semi-working. They would not cause carnage in the same way as the large ones when faulty. The transformer might be OK, might work for a while and then fail, or might already have been killed by the shorted caps. For safety's sake, it needs careful testing. Some or all of the following might have been damaged by the damp and dirt: Speakers, key contacts, reverb, generator bearings, key mechanics (e.g. keybed warped). The generator belt might be fine, or it might have set into the position it's been in for so many years without moving. Be prepared that it might not be up to snuff, the organ is no good without it so you would probably need to have something made specially. The drawbars look wonky - perhaps they are OK or maybe something is broken. The keying busbars are covered with a conductive plastic coating which is an essential part of their operation. Hopefully they have survived exposure to the elements without harm but they (and the contact wires) will need careful cleaning in order to work reliably which is a slow and fiddly process. If the conductive coating is damaged you may have to find other makes of organ to cannibalise some from and adapt it to suit. I cannot comment much on the case as it is difficult to see but there appears to be some cosmetic damage from the moisture, quite apart from the warped particleboard shelves. You will have to factor in whatever degree of cosmetic restoration you think worthwhile. There are a few small parts missing e.g. scanner belt.

        If I were restoring it I would tackle it it as follows: Electronics can always be fixed so I would leave those until last. I would first clean and check the manuals and key contacts for insurmountable problems. Maybe not overhaul them yet but at least confirm they are usable. The I would take out the tone generator chassis, clean it, check over the bearings and get it running smoothly using an external source of power and preamp. Then I would do whatever needed doing to the case and finish the manuals and pedals, then reassemble, change the suspect capacitors, and try to get the whole thing working well with its own electronics.

        OTOH if you simply want to hear it make some noise, you will have to start with the electronics. Are you familiar with using a multimeter to carry out voltage and resistance checks? How about soldering parts on PCBs? How do you fancy testing the transformer and recapping the PSU and amp for starters...?


        • #19
          thanks for the reply.
          I understand what you are saying - it will never be worth money. Selling it was never my goal, I just think it would be a shame to lose any instrument if there is a possibility of getting it to play.
          So I'm going to do it, but I am going to take my time. I am not in any hurry to hear it make noise so I'm going to start with your advice and check all the manual controls first. the drawbars look wonky because the board above it has warped up into a bow. I'm not sure what can be done there.
          the tone generator assembly actually moves quite freely, I was also amazed to feel elasticity in the belt. But I will definitely take it out and clean it up.

          As far as soldering and multimeter testing goes, I have previous experience with both and should be ok there but I'm generally a disaster when it comes to electricity - I nearly fried myself a couple of years ago wiring up an outside sensor light for the house. So before I tackle anything like that I may need your advice.

          I am not sure how often I will get to it or how fast I will work so I hope you stay patient with me and check back from time to time. I can't seem to find the option to email me when this thread is updated, hopefully you do get updates.

          So thanks for all your advice so far and I will definitely keep you posted with photos when I can.


          • #20
            Some assorted suggestions:

            Key contacts - take great care with the black conductive plastic covering on the busbars. Its function is to make contact gradually over the millisecond or two it takes for the wire to press against it. Bare metal would make contact instantly and cause a crackle or pop sound every time you pressed a key. Don't scrape it or attack it with chemicals! Likewise at this stage don't bother with cleaning the contact wires. Brush the dust off for now and check that the key action all works correctly without keys jamming or contacts failing to meet their busbars. Leave serious repairs in this area until you have the organ playing, when you can judge the keying performance by whether any notes are weak, variable or missing some footages that would indicate poor contact. It's sometimes sufficient to rotate the busbars to bring new un-worn plastic in line with the wires.

            Large electrolytic capacitors - change them, ask if you want any guidance on correct substitutes. Use only good quality new replacements, electrolytics are not all alike. Keep the old ones for now until the whole job is done, in case of error or discrepancies later. While you have the old Ducatis on hand, check them for date codes, they may be the easiest way to date your organ.

            Transformer - (CAUTION! - dangerous voltages present - risk of electric shock and fire - proceed only if competent to do so and with suitable safety precautions). There are different ways to test your suspect transformer but this is what I would do if it were on my bench:
            Disconnect all leads marking what goes where and taking photos. Identify the leads that connect to the AC power line - these are for the primary winding. Carry out an insulation test at 500V using an insulation tester (Megger) from the primary to all the other leads and the frame for 10 seconds. (Any electrician will have an insulation tester, perhaps you know someone who would lend you theirs or do the test for you). If acceptable, connect only the primary back up to the mains supply via an RCD (Powerbreaker), but with a 60w tungsten light bulb connected IN SERIES with the primary (must be a filament lamp not low energy!) and all other leads disconnected and separated from each other. The lamp should either not glow at all or very dimly. Leave energised but under supervision for 1 hour. If the lamp lights brightly, there are shorted turns and the transformer is useless. Disconnect and feel transfomer - should only be lukewarm. If all these tests OK, then probably usable and secondaries can be re-connected but still at increased risk of burnout due to earlier incident.

            Generators - do not dismantle. If they turn freely, lubricate very sparingly with good quality machine oil and leave it at that. Lubricate motor likewise, don't use cheap household oil.

            Electronics on PCB - while working on and around PCB, do not disturb the settings of the presets. A couple of them are for biasing the amplifier, if they are maladjusted they can cause multiple transistor failure when power is next applied.

            Drawbars - The sliding contacts probably won't work correctly with the warped board, which in turn will make the organ almost useless. I have had success with clamping a board between flat metal plates and leaving in a warm place for 6 months. You might get quicker results at higher temperatures but if the tracks peel off you are in trouble!

            I hope you have fun with your project. I have had a lot of fun repairing organs although the amount of work required can be surprising, even for a small instrument like the Parie. And please post pictures of your progress


            • #21
              wow, thanks for the advice. when you break it down into steps for me, it doesn't seem that daunting - one step at a time eh
              I am nervous about the transformer part but my brother is an electrician so I might try persuading him to have a look
              I will be taking photos along the way so I will keep you up to date.
              how do I set this thread to notify me of updates?

              edit - I think I figured the notifications part out
              Last edited by onefortynine; 10-09-2013, 02:08 AM.


              • #22
                That is a pretty extreme insulation test on the transformer. Transformers that put out 450 VDC (typical B+ rating) are usually built with 600 vac rated wire, so any ringing could subject the insulation to rather extreme voltage. Mostly people on diyaudio recommend on tube power tranformers that any conection to the Mains AC should involve putting at least a 1000 ohm 3 watt resistor across the B+ winding to damp down any ringing and keep the voltage in the rated zone.
                Other than that, concur. The megger test is great, if you can get ahold of one. I had use of one at work, but it was never loaned out.
                city Hammond H-182 organ (2 ea),A100,10-82 TC, Wurlitzer 4500, Schober Recital Organ, Steinway 40" console , Sohmer 39" pianos, Ensoniq EPS, ; country Hammond H112