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  • Tuning a Reed Organ

    Can you tune a reed organ, or is its tone permanent? I don't feel like opening it up to find out.

  • #2
    Re: Tuning a Reed Organ



    [quote user="David Eugene"]Can you tune a reed organ, or is its tone permanent? I don't feel like opening it up to find out.
    [/quote]</P>


    In a word, yes. They can be tuned, but it involves physically altering the reed and is best left to professionals who know what they're doing. I have 8 pump organs in my house and do not tune them. I'm afraid of damaging a reed.</P>


    Not sure this answers your question, but hope it does.</P>


    Michael</P>


    P.S. Welcome to the Forum!</P>
    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)
    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

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    • #3
      Re: Tuning a Reed Organ

      To raise the tone you remove metal from the free end of the reed. To lower the tone, you remove metal from the base of the reed (where it attaches to the frame). So as Michael said this is permanently altering the reed.

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      • #4
        Re: Tuning a Reed Organ



        Many reed organs may have been built in an era before A440 was standard, consequently the organ may not be in tune with surrounding instruments, but adequate in itself. You can see the consequences if you raise only one rank to modern pitch. [+o(]</P>


        Supposing you find that tuning is really necessary, If you are in a major metropolis, you may be able to find an accordion repairman. Take out your reeds individually with a reed removal tool, or even with thin needle-nose pliers in a pinch, keeping them in correct order, and take them to him. </P>


        And you might as well take the back off anyway: The mechanism will be interesting, and probably not what you expected.</P>


        Luck,</P>


        Lee</P>

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        • #5
          Re: Tuning a Reed Organ



          [quote user="back52887"] Many reed organs may have been built in an era before A440 was standard, . . .[/quote]</P>


          Lee,</P>


          What a great point. The same is true of my square grand piano coming from around the American Civil War time period. I believe it is A427, but not sure. It also depends on what country it's from. Until recently, I understand European instruments were tuned around A435, and have only recently adapted American tuning conventions.</P>


          Might I also add, to the original poster, that when you are removing material from the reed, the more you remove, the more fragile it becomes. It can also change the sound of the reed as well (not that it matters much in a pump organ).</P>


          Great ideas, guys.</P>


          Michael</P>


          P.S. Forgot to mention, if you do decide to remove any of the reeds, a reed-puller is an absolute necessity. You can gouge up the channels quite easily by not using the proper tool and improvising.</P>
          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)
          • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tuning a Reed Organ



            Michael, and Others,</P>


            I have a Crown pump organ by Geo. P. Bent. At one time I did tune some reeds as metioned above in a post. I did just fine, and also at one time I sent some reeds to a guy in NYC, NY to tune them for me. I sent him some that I had tuned and he replied that I had done an OK job. I am sure my organ is pitched at A435 since there is a difference in tonality over the other organs I have here. I remember also years back when I grew up and learned to play the piano, the old Gulbransen piano I learned on was not standard pitch. It had been at one time an old player piano, but all of the mechanisms had been removed.</P>


            It is interesting to learn how a reed organ works, and how the stops used the reeds some being just soft stops of the main stops. My organ was a complete rebuild for me, and I was able to learn as the project went on. It was so amazing and nice to have that put together and play like when new. I have a complete album of pictures from the beginning to the finished product. My reed organ was like the Phoenix a complete rise not from the ashes, but from an old storage shed. It looked like a basket case.</P>


            I would advise anyone interested in the reed organs to do a search of the website Reed Organ Society, and also check to see if Coleman Kimbrell has a website.You can find so much interesting information in these locations. Coleman Kimbrell makes those old organ looks exactly like new.</P>


            James</P>
            Baldwin Church Organ Model 48C
            Baldwin Spinet 58R
            Lowrey Spinet SCL
            Wurlitzer 4100A
            Crown Pump Organ by Geo. P. Bent, Chicago, Illinois


            Organs I hope to obtain in the future:

            Conn Tube Minuet or Caprice even a transistor Caprice with the color coded tabs
            Gulbransen H3 or G3, or V.
            Wurlitzer 44, 4410, 4420, ES Reed Models, 4300, 4500, Transistor Models

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            • #7
              Re: Tuning a Reed Organ

              Look here for a short history of A: http://www.uk-piano.org/history/pitch.html Organs are often tuned lower as they are tuned for a lower ambient temperature.

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              • #8
                Re: Tuning a Reed Organ



                <SPAN></SPAN>Yes,I`ve got one whichI restored and tuned. As others have said,it is a matter of scraping the reed carefully,either at the base or the end-depending on wether you want the pitch highered or lowered. It is a painstakingly slow process-I had to make my own reed puller by bending over a flat screwdriver. I`ve found it advisable if you have a plentiful supply of reeds from another broken up organ(make sure they are the correct reeds-as you may know,American organs suck the air through theirs,and harmoniums blow)-they are obviously voiced differently too-this is a specialist job. Those early organ builders knew a thing or two!</P>


                Anyway,after a very long period,doing a bit at a time,I finally had an instrument that looks and plays as good as the day it was built.</P>


                I replaced the bellows and valves,taking great care to note how everything was dismantled-it`s only a `tinctzy` little chapel organ,but the technology is so complicated-!</P>


                good luck,</P>
                <P mce_keep="true">Allen warrender</P>

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                • #9
                  tuning reed organs


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                  • #10
                    Re: Tuning a Reed Organ



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                    • #11
                      Re: Tuning a Reed Organ


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                      • #12
                        Re: Tuning a Reed Organ

                        how comeI am credited with this entry-it`s not mine?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Tuning a Reed Organ



                          It appearsthat you were reading James's post, hit the "quote" button by accident, and then hit the "post" button (without actually typing anything).</P>


                          It seems you did this three times in a row... (or more likely you hit the "post" button three times while waiting for the web page to refresh).</P>


                          If that is not your recollection of events, then something is indeed fishy. [*-)]</P>

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                          • #14
                            Re: Tuning a Reed Organ



                            SPAM BOTS!  HEAD FOR THE HILLS!!!</p>

                             </p>

                            :D </p>

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                            • #15
                              Re: pump organs


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