Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Tuning a Wurlitzer

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • AllenAnalog
    replied
    Your long-time organ tuner was 100% familiar with the organ and probably got a lot more efficient at the job over time. He also knew which ranks and pipes tended to drift out of tune more than others. Not every tuning session requires tuning every pipe in every rank.

    It sounds like the company you called has never seen the organ chambers before so it seems logical and prudent to me that they would give an estimate on the higher side in case there are tuning and access issues they do not normally encounter in the classical organs they service. Better they give a realistic estimate and come in lower than give a low-ball number and exceed it.

    As noted above, certainly the number of pipes per rank and the resulting use of offset chests is very different in a theater organ than in a classical organ.

    Leave a comment:


  • VaPipeorgantuner
    replied
    Originally posted by John Vanderlee View Post
    I take care of a little 2/10 Wurli. We had a tuner for a while, but he no longer does that. Out of curiousity Iasked a local Pipe organ firm (classical) if they ever tuned a theater organ. They said they never did but were willing to “try”. Hmm..
    Their rates are not cheap - but it’s a respected firm. So I wonder, how different is it? I heard of special attention to tremmed Tibias. But I always thought: just get everything up to pitch like a classical pipe organ and all is fine? Perhaps it’s all the unification on theater pipe organs that throws them off.
    I’d love to hear from others on this topic.
    John
    With respect to tuning, a theatre organ and a classical organ have the same tuning procedures. Really, any competent tuner can do a decent job. The time factor is a bit different for theatre organs because almost all of the ranks have extensions, and that will cause more time to be needed. The most critical pipes to "get right" are the trebles of each set, and that takes more time as a tiny move of a tuning slide can result in significant pitch change. Keep in mind that the organ will only be "in tune" at the temperature at which it is tuned. High pressure reeds, for the most part are pretty stable if they have been properly regulated AND the chambers are at the proper temperature. I have tuned both classical (church) organs and theatre organs. Tuning rates, of course, vary from one firm to the next even within the same geographic area, so rates aren't necessarily a good way to compare one to the next. Not to pick a fight, but ALL ranks should be tuned with the trems >OFF<...there is no pair of ears good enough to tune trebles with the trebles being shaken bu a theatre organ style trem...you wouldn't be able to hear the beats.

    Rick in VA

    Leave a comment:


  • John Vanderlee
    replied
    Very helpful suggestions, thanks!

    Could I ask what hourly rate I might expect?
    The volunteer who did it previously has aged out. He was very good.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pipeorganbuilder
    replied
    I agree with toodles. The theater pipe organ is a highly unified organ and many ranks have 73 and 85 pipe ranks. The scale of the pipes are much larger than a church organ and often have the larger pipes on offset chests and are difficult to climb up to reach the tunings slides. Most theater organs are shoe horned into very close spaces and make it difficult to reach the pipes being tuned. Having tuned theater organs for over 40 years, these are some of the things I have experienced.

    A second opinion is not a bad idea. Hope this helps.

    Michael

    Leave a comment:


  • toodles
    replied
    That amounts to half an hour for a rank, and if the ranks were 61 notes each (probably the least number of pipes) , that is about half a minute per pipe. This does not seem inordinate to me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Madison
    commented on 's reply
    Strange, what i would do is invite a person who has the credentials with theatre pipe organs, inspect the situation it is best to get a second opinion im not say you are not clueless just get a second opinion.

    Have them inspect the entire organ, is the blower getting the right pressure out, are the regulators working properly once that stuff has been identified, get it fixed.

    Then look at tuning.

    Have this person stay and have oversight over the process and tuning, do more research on the company that is on your radar. Do the extra homework to make sure that a good pipe organ is not ruined.

  • John Vanderlee
    replied
    No, they just sent me that estimate site unseen. It's been tuned a year ago but the seasons make it shift.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Madison
    commented on 's reply
    Kind of depends on the tuner. Did they do a break down on what they want to do?

  • John Vanderlee
    replied
    The firm now quoted us for 5 hours. Seems long for just 10 ranks. The previous did it in 3 hrs or less.

    Leave a comment:


  • toodles
    replied
    Walt Strony indicates that some Tibias that have had their trebles re-voiced for a smaller room than originally installed can go very sharp when used off-trem. In such cases the trebles are usually tuned with the trem on so they are not out of tune when trem is used.

    I'm sure you could hear the difference--play the treble range of your tibia with and without trem and see if the tuning shifts--if not, then tune normally without trem.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pipeorganbuilder
    replied
    Theater organs are tuned like their classical cousins. I wear ear plugs due to the high pressure and super loud sounds. As far as the trems for the tibia, pipes are tuned with all trems turned off. I would have no problem what so ever letting these guys tune this organ.

    Michael

    Leave a comment:


  • John Vanderlee
    started a topic Tuning a Wurlitzer

    Tuning a Wurlitzer

    I take care of a little 2/10 Wurli. We had a tuner for a while, but he no longer does that. Out of curiousity Iasked a local Pipe organ firm (classical) if they ever tuned a theater organ. They said they never did but were willing to “try”. Hmm..
    Their rates are not cheap - but it’s a respected firm. So I wonder, how different is it? I heard of special attention to tremmed Tibias. But I always thought: just get everything up to pitch like a classical pipe organ and all is fine? Perhaps it’s all the unification on theater pipe organs that throws them off.
    I’d love to hear from others on this topic.
    John
Working...
X