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Swell manual not working on Schantz pipe organ

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  • Swell manual not working on Schantz pipe organ

    I am not an organist, just a pianist who is interested in learning. I play our church pipe organ occasionally for my own enjoyment. This week, the swell manual produces no sound. I tried various levers and knobs to no avail. The organ was installed in 1987. It was tuned and some mechanical problems fixed earlier this year. Any ideas what could be wrong?

  • #2
    Please look for a knob or tablet labelled "Swell Unison Off" and verify that it is not in the active position. You might also look for a "manual transfer" albeit a manual transfer is generally used to swap the positions of the Choir and the Great manuals rather than the Swell. Hope this helps.

    Unless you find the solution, may I urge you to contact the regular organist immediately so that they have time to address this issue in time for the weekend.

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    • #3
      There are many reasons why the Swell might not work, most of which are not easily fixable by amateurs. If it is not a problem of the Swell Unison Off being in the active position, it could possibly be a problem with the wind supply to the Swell division, or a wiring problem of some type affecting only the Swell division, assuming that this is not a tracker organ.
      Mike

      My home organ is a Theatre III with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

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      • #4
        If it just quit, then look inside the console for a possible blown fuse.

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        • #5
          I urge you to contact the regular organist immediately so that they have time to address this issue in time for the weekend.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Menschenstimme View Post
            I urge you to contact the regular organist immediately so that they have time to address this issue in time for the weekend.
            Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I will check out each possibility. There is unfortunately no regular organist and no regular use of this lovely instrument in our church, but I am promoting using the instrument wherever I can. When we do use the organ, we bring in an accomplished musician. If none of these suggestions seem to work, we'll contact our technician.

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            • #7
              Is there a separate blower for the Swell? Perhaps that blower was not turned on. Is this a tracker action, electric action, electro pneumatic?

              About the only thing that could silence a tracker manual would be a blower not being on.

              Electric and electro pneumatic require power supplies--one of those could be out. Many other possibilities.

              You might call the technician who services the instrument to see if there are any secrets to turning on the organ.

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              • #8
                Listen, I went through exactly this same thing with a Schantz of the same vintage. They used a relay / combination action system made by a British outfit during that period instead of the old, reliable Peterson. One of their designers objected to this but they did it anyway because it was a "more modern system."

                I checked every fuse, connection and part in that thing to no avail. What it came down to was the main controller had a problem and the only way to fix it was to replace it. Schantz sent someone out and swapped in a spare that they keep for such occasions.

                The Unison Off coupler was the first thing I thought of as well but the Octave, Sub and intermanual couplers would work on the Swell manual through the Crescendo Pedal. This is more the sort of organist mistake you see on old Austins with their "Unison On" couplers.

                First check the unison off and if that isn't the problem, tell your service person what I said about the control system. They need to call Schantz and ask for the console department. This will save them hours of trying to troubleshoot the problem.

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                • #9
                  So did you ever find out what was wrong?
                  Jerry F Bacon-Dallas,Tx

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