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Is it ethical to hire am organ builder to renovate our tacker/semi-pneuma pipe organ

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  • Is it ethical to hire am organ builder to renovate our tacker/semi-pneuma pipe organ

    Hello out there.

    My church is undergoing a renovation and is now considering renovating the organ as well.Tthe company hired to dismantle, clean/wrap and make maintenance repairs (apx. $27,000) has made a bid just shy of $100,000.00, which would include additional electrical/midi upgrades and a new console. When I saw the photograph , I was a bit disapointed : It seemed .. cheap. I have spoken to several organist and all agree its a very reputable company. but one person did mention that everyone who plays on their consoles complain about the materials ( cheap) and constant repairs to the keyboards, pedals, etc. but that the organ repair work is great. Would it be ethical to buy a combo organ from another company yet let them make renovations to the pipe organ itself?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

  • #2
    I don't understand the question. Are you proposing to let a company bid on some work, but not all? Nothing wrong with that. I don't understand why it would be unethical to buy some equipment from some and pay someone to else to repair/renovate some other equipment. It is not unethical for you to spend your money wisely. If you are going to accept their current bid and then ask them after the fact to lower their price because you have changed your mind then that would be unethical.

    I always assumed "ethical" was a moral term but have seen it used over and over as a legal term. If you are asking what is legal a lawyer should be consulted. If you are asking if something is ethical you probably shouldn't do it as I don't think you should let others decide what your morals are.
    When I become dictator, those who preach intolerance will not be tolerated.

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    • #3
      Having a QUALITY console is very important. That is the interface between the organist and the sound-producing parts of the organ. It is imperative that this be a positive and comfortable experience for the organist and also that the console be dependable, reliable, and durable. This may cost more initially, but will save money eventually. A quality two-manual console can cost $50,000 and is well worth it.

      Good luck and God bless!

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      • #4
        Like ShadyJoe I think your question is more a legal one than an ethical one. If there is a separate bid for the maintenance and the renovation/new work then I do not see how it could be an ethical problem. You want the best for those spending the money. And yes, sometimes those doing repair maintenance are not the best for new work. Nothing wrong with that.

        On the other hand, you only saw a photo and have the opinion of a single person. Maybe (and maybe not so maybe) you should try to get references and then contact those people and some others that were not given as a reference. And you should try to see their work with your own eyes. And best would be if you would take others (experienced organ people) with you on such visits. A photo can look cheap, and someone may have problems but very often that isn't the whole story.

        So it isn't a problem splitting the job between several bidders. But in that case you better be prepared to be able to give them good reasons WHY you did so. If you tell them they only get a part of the job and can give no reason why you didn't accept the rest is one thing. But if you can tell them that you went somewhere else because X, Y and Z that's a different story. Remember their repair work is great and if you only contract them for that you will want them to do their best work. It could also be a great help if it came to nasty things later (talk to a lawyer).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Directora13 View Post
          Hello out there.

          My church is undergoing a renovation and is now considering renovating the organ as well.Tthe company hired to dismantle, clean/wrap and make maintenance repairs (apx. $27,000) has made a bid just shy of $100,000.00, which would include additional electrical/midi upgrades and a new console. When I saw the photograph , I was a bit disapointed : It seemed .. cheap. I have spoken to several organist and all agree its a very reputable company. but one person did mention that everyone who plays on their consoles complain about the materials ( cheap) and constant repairs to the keyboards, pedals, etc. but that the organ repair work is great. Would it be ethical to buy a combo organ from another company yet let them make renovations to the pipe organ itself?

          Thanks in advance for your input.
          You didn't say what your role in this project is, whether you are the organist, or just an interested bystander. If you are concerned about the build quality of a proposed new console, the best thing to do is to go see >first hand< the work of the builder in question. Play the organ yourself (if you play that is) or take the church's organist along to test play the builders other work. ou described the organ in somewhat oblique terms...is the organ a mechanical-action (tracker) organ, an electro-pneumatic organ, an electro-mechanical action organ (i.e. Wicks type action)? what is the new console intended to do? is the existing shell of the console rebuildable? What do you mean by "....buy a combo organ from another company..." ?

          were I bidding on this project, i would want a lot more specific information about what the church really wants done to/with the organ.

          Rick in VA

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          • #6
            Directora13,

            I agree with all the previous posts here, however, please consider the implications of mixing builders' bids. I'm not sure many builders would want to work on a project with 1 or 2 other builders. If you have problems with the final product, it's only too easy to have one builder blame another for the failure, and your church is left with an inferior product.

            By combo organ, if you're talking about a digital instrument that will play the pipes via digital interface, that could be an option. Not all companies (or dealers) are created equal, though. You could also consider hiring an organ consultant. This person would represent your interests and help ensure you receive the best product for your investment.

            Hope this helps.

            Michael
            Originally posted by Directora13 View Post
            Hello out there.

            My church is undergoing a renovation and is now considering renovating the organ as well.Tthe company hired to dismantle, clean/wrap and make maintenance repairs (apx. $27,000) has made a bid just shy of $100,000.00, which would include additional electrical/midi upgrades and a new console. When I saw the photograph , I was a bit disapointed : It seemed .. cheap. I have spoken to several organist and all agree its a very reputable company. but one person did mention that everyone who plays on their consoles complain about the materials ( cheap) and constant repairs to the keyboards, pedals, etc. but that the organ repair work is great. Would it be ethical to buy a combo organ from another company yet let them make renovations to the pipe organ itself?

            Thanks in advance for your input.
            Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
            • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
            • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
            • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

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            • #7
              Dear ShadyJoe, Menschenstimme, Havoc, VaPipeorgantuner and MyOrgan,
              Thanks for your relplies,

              Just to clarify , I am the Music Director/Organist at my church. The and here are the specs on the instrument:

              Reuben Midmer & Sons
              Brooklyn, N.Y. (1878/1917)
              Electro-pneumatic action
              2 manuals, 20 stops, 20 ranks

              There is no legal issue: the contractor has been paid for the wrapping/repair/etc. ( 50%, balance due upon reinstallation). The bid is a separate issue and nothing has been signed. I have contacted other references (none listed by the contractors themselves) and they were very pleased. The problem is that in addition to a poor photo of the console, the person who warned me about their consoles and cheap materials is an intimate friend of my boss and plays the organ himself.

              Your advice is excellent. Rather than second guessing myself and joining the 'organ renovation disaster' club, I am putting this on hold and will suggest to my pastor that we contract an organ consultant. This will give some time to try, first-hand, the organ builders work. We are undergoing a church renovation and aam planning for Easter and the Rededication and Consecration of the Altar, so we are all pretty busy.. The organ can wait.

              Thanks again for your advice.

              Peace,

              Directora13

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