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What on earth is this beast?

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  • What on earth is this beast?

    This has to be one of the strangest looking musical instruments I've ever seen listed for sale.

    "This grand piano/ organ was made for Rachmaninoff and we have patent. Had the piano soundboard fixed and tuned. Rest of organ not currently working. Needs to be fixed. Free but have to move." Brand: Knabe.

    Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Saville Series IV Opus 209; Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Gulbransen Rialto; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI.

  • #2
    Franz Liszt had several of these made for use in his performances In his case, it was a two manual reed organ underneath a grand piano. The current issue of The American Organist has an article entitled " Liszt's organs".

    I presume that this is somewhat similar, but with the organ, maybe electronic, on top of the piano. It sure is beat up. Knabe pianos were very good for their time, but I wouldn't want this one.
    Mike

    My home organ is a circa 1990 Galanti Praeludium III, with Wicks/Viscount CM-100 module supplying extra voices. I also have an Allen MDS Theatre II (princess pedalboard!) with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

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    • #3
      So how do you operate the piano pedals when your feet are busy pumping the reed organ? Or was there a separate suction mechanism operated by an assistant?
      Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Saville Series IV Opus 209; Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Gulbransen Rialto; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI.

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      • #4
        Beats me. I would presume that you just wouldn't use the piano pedals while you are pumping the organ. Maybe you would play a solo on the piano, accompanying it on the organ, the same way you do on a theatre organ. Or maybe an assistant did occasionally help out with the pump. Of course, with the one in the ad, the organ part may have been electronic, or was a reed organ but with an electric pump.
        Mike

        My home organ is a circa 1990 Galanti Praeludium III, with Wicks/Viscount CM-100 module supplying extra voices. I also have an Allen MDS Theatre II (princess pedalboard!) with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

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        • #5
          I wonder if they could be unmated - get one grand piano and one reed organ out of it. I'm looking for a cheap fixer-upper grand. It would need to be a near wreck for me to afford it.
          -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic project, 1899 Kimball project
          -- 5 melodicas, Rodgers W5000, RD300NX, Juno DS-61/88, FA-06 - Conn 643 - Hammond M3 - Hauptwerk
          -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

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          • #6
            Well this one is free but the shipping cost would probably kill the deal. Upon closer inspection of that fuzzy photograph, it looks like there may be a white ordinary wall switch to the right of the top keyboard and a dial to the left that has an "electronic" look to it. I can't make out what is on the panel directly above the top keyboard - could be more controls.

            The drawknobs look very reed organ-ish but hey, it was built for Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) so it could very well be an electronic organ, not a reed organ.
            Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Saville Series IV Opus 209; Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Gulbransen Rialto; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI.

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