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Thread: Conn Spinet

  1. #1
    Senior Member james's Avatar
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    Conn Spinet

    What model is this Conn Spinet?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    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

  2. #2
    Member twnelson's Avatar
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    Appears to be an early Minuet (500-series, tube). Jan might be able to come up with a more specific model.

    --- Tom
    Rodgers 660 with additional analog rack sets (practice), 36D/C in digital conversion, Yamaha CVP-107

  3. #3
    Senior Member paulj0557's Avatar
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    See http://ia700202.us.archive.org/9/ite...-Pt.1_text.pdf scroll down to C13

    It appears to be a Conn 540 Minuet from 1961. Undoubtedly a fantastic organ! My newly acquired Conn 406 is from 1957 and sounds amazing. Even though these are smaller organs than the Conn console organs they still have the awesome vacuum tube individual oscillator (VI)tone generators. This allows the organ to speak out very clearly and yet have a nice ensemble quality.

    HAS:
    2 44-Key Manuals
    13 Pedals Vibrato
    Sustain
    Acoustic Tremolo
    •Attack & Repeat Percussio

    The tabs can be tricky because they function when they are NOT making contact. Practice safety and list manuals up and clean, and adjust the tabs contacts. You might have to slightly bend to make contact. These B&W tabs are easy to lose contact so tabs will play even though they are depressed off. It can be confusing especially on the coupling.

    Let me know if you need any help understanding the coupling of the UPPER and LOWER manual.

    The TREMOLO on you CONN might have the 'giggle' speakers mounted on the volume (swell) pedal since it says in the list of features " ACOUSTIC TREMOLO". These speakers oscillate back and forth to simulate tremolo and they operate by changing the electricity going to the electromagnets on the speakers themselves ( field coil speakers don't have magnets, but are magnetized by electricity. Early speakers were made this way because the rare earth metals were not as readily available, but in this application it serves a secondary purpose.
    You will know if you have the giggle tremolo if you can see the speakers mounted there or just listen. The speakers sound goes back and forth and are actually controlled by the same circuit that oscillates the non-giggle tremolo, like on my 406, the Conn 550, etc.

    TUNING
    You can tune these Conn organs easily and if you tune slightly ( very slightly) sharp or flat it can give a thicker tone to the organ, almost a chorus effect. I've found that since my 406 is not a huge number of oscillators that I am better off keeping it tuned pretty much dead on. I use a Korg Chromatic tuner. It has a Green LED in the center and a RED led for flat and another red LED for sharp. Then there is an LCD display with a pointer that helps you zero it in. Tuning is just a matter of pressing the note and turning the little nut on the transformer that corresponds to the note. Each note has it's own transformer and each tube has two identical triodes inside the one tube, so when looking at the back of the organ look at a tube ( the ones pointing straight out). The tube's transformers are to the immediate left and immediate right. You can press a note on the organ with just the FLUTE 8' depressed for that manual. Make sure couplers are off. Then if you start pulling out tubes ( & putting back...just barely pull out), when the note goes off then that is the tube! Since the Korg ( or similar tuner) is an auto tuner it will already be close to your note. Start by figuring out which of the two transformers it is that you must tune by slightly pushing on the nut, if you hear a slight pitch change then you know that's the right one ( of the two).

    Ultimately it will have many nice sounds like you can hear on the larger models like this-
    http://youtu.be/DlFR5vOjnh8
    BIG SCORE 5/9/14! FOUND $80 WURLITZER BRASS HORN IN CASE WITH STAND,LONG & SHORT BELL
    Wurlitzer '46' Model 31 Orgatron & 310 rotary cab, 56' 4410 , 65' 4300
    Hammond '55' S6 Chord Organ,HR-40,ER-20, Altec A-7(SOLD but missed). '6?-7?' X66 & 12-77 tone cabinet & L112 spinet [latest addition to my collection]...my RT2,Elegante,Leslie 31H sold
    Gulbransen 61' 1132 '76' Rialto II & Leslie 705 + two 540
    Conn'68' 543 Minuet '57' 406 Caprice '59' 815 Classic (the 29th 815)

  4. #4
    Senior Member james's Avatar
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    PaulJ,

    Thanks,

    This info has been most interesting. Now I can search the Blue Book easily. I do need to call about this organ which is about 35 miles from me. I have not had a reply from my emails. It makes me wonder if it is in a church that no longer uses it since the keys and tabs show very little use in the pictures.

    James
    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

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jan Girardot's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    The 541 was ALL tubes, lots of 12AU7s in the tone generators. Pretty easy to fix, IMO.

    Re: tuning: unlike the transistor generator models that followed about 1968, the tube generators are not nearly as stable, tuning-wise. I suggest you tune them "dead-on" as described in the tech manual and they will wander a bit sharp and flat on their own, imparting the random ensemble quality most of us dearly love.

    . . . Jan
    the OrganGrinder

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