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Thread: Pizzicato Touch.

  1. #1


    Pizzicato Touch.

    How does Pizzicato touch work? If available can someone send in a diagram or a blueprint.

  2. #2
    ff Fortissimo toodles's Avatar
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    I can only guess about this, and internet searches don't come up with any specific details. A few pieces of information give me a "suspicion" of how it works, and those are:

    1) It is described as an electro-pneumatic device.
    2) Arndt Organ Supply's catalog lists a discontinue pizzicato action magnet, which describes it has having an adjustable shutter, or an adjustable air leak.
    3) I've only heard of it referred to as an intermanual coupler, not a specific stop action.

    So, my suspicion is that an electromagnet picks up a valve on an auxiliary chamber to trigger the coupling switch, but the shutter allows a leak which drops out the valve after a short time.

    Many theatre pipe organs now have computerized controls, which would handle the job in the software.

  3. #3
    mp Mezzo-Piano AllenAnalog's Avatar
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    The more deluxe theater organs had pizzicato and/or sostenuto features. They were implemented in the electro-pneumatic relay and required extra pneumatic switches (one per note for each function). Because of all of that extra mechanism and wiring, these were expensive options. Sometimes they were couplers (so you could register stops that would then provide the "blip" of momentary sounding on top of your registration for that keyboard) and other times (as in Link theater organs) they affected all of the stops drawn on that manual.

    The Atlantic City Midmer-Losh organ has pizzicato couplers and I can tell you that the relay rooms have rows of pneumatic switches to provide that function.

    Another feature found in Atlantic City are bass and treble couplers. Lots more individual pneumatic switches provide those functions. The lowest (bass) or highest (treble) note of a chord would be coupled to another manual and its registration.

    As noted by Toodles, today any of these functions can be part of an electronic organ relay and it is all done in firmware. My Britson/Johannus has bass and treble couplers. They are useful for pianists playing an organ in a church because you can play all of the notes of the hymn on one manual, just like a piano, and the organ automatically plays the lowest note on the pedal and the melody note on a manual with a louder/brighter registration.
    Larry

    Main: Allen RMWTHEA.3 with Rocky Mount piano, Allen 423-C + Gyro cabinet, Britson Opus OEM38, Saville Series IV Opus 209, Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI, Moller Artiste organ roll player
    Lower Level: Hammond 9812H with roll player, Gulbransen Rialto, Roland E-200, Vintage Moog
    Shop: Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with 18 speakers, 4 matching Allen tone cabinets (including 2 Gyros, but don't call me Gyro Gearloose!).

  4. #4
    ff Fortissimo paulj0557's Avatar
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    Wow, it never occurred to me that organ pipes could be ' sustained' (sostenuto) by using pneumatics...
    'valve air leaks' is like the capacitor bleeding off on an electronic organs SUSTAIN, no?
    Wurlitzer '46' Model 31 Orgatron & 310 rotary cab, 56' 4410 , 65' 4300
    Hammond '55' S6 Chord Organ,HR-40,ER-20, 1971 X66/& 12-77 tone cabinet w/ 122 kit & TREK Transposer- of which I've retrofitted a Wurlitzer/Lowrey 'PedAL gLIdE' awesome!
    Gulbransen 61' 1132 '76' Rialto II & Leslie 705 + two 540
    Conn '57' 406 Caprice '59' 815 Classic (the 29th 815)
    PLEASE SAVE THE WURLITZER ELECTROSTATIC CONTINUOUS-FREE-REED ORGANS 1953'-1961' Hammond TW's ONLY TRUE COMPETITOR! (Ggl> NSHOS WURLI 4600)

  5. #5


    I saw a video with a nice picture of it, the poster did not demo it but the main relay.

  6. #6
    mp Mezzo-Piano AllenAnalog's Avatar
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    Paul, the sustain function required an additional control - sometimes a knee switch and sometimes a kick switch on one of the swell shoes. It did not create a decay like an electronic organ (impossible with pipes) but held the notes as long as that extra switch was engaged. That allowed the organist to play a chord on one manual and, with the sustain stop tab on, press the sustain switch and then move on to play with both hands on another manual. The sustained notes would hold until the sustain switch was released.

    The 80-rank organ at Jasper Sanfilippo's house in Illinois has this feature but I don't remember which method they use for the sustain switch.
    Larry

    Main: Allen RMWTHEA.3 with Rocky Mount piano, Allen 423-C + Gyro cabinet, Britson Opus OEM38, Saville Series IV Opus 209, Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI, Moller Artiste organ roll player
    Lower Level: Hammond 9812H with roll player, Gulbransen Rialto, Roland E-200, Vintage Moog
    Shop: Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with 18 speakers, 4 matching Allen tone cabinets (including 2 Gyros, but don't call me Gyro Gearloose!).

  7. #7
    ff Fortissimo paulj0557's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenAnalog View Post
    Paul, the sustain function required an additional control - sometimes a knee switch and sometimes a kick switch on one of the swell shoes. It did not create a decay like an electronic organ (impossible with pipes) but held the notes as long as that extra switch was engaged. That allowed the organist to play a chord on one manual and, with the sustain stop tab on, press the sustain switch and then move on to play with both hands on another manual. The sustained notes would hold until the sustain switch was released.

    The 80-rank organ at Jasper Sanfilippo's house in Illinois has this feature but I don't remember which method they use for the sustain switch.
    Ah' okay My THOMAS PALACE 901 three manual theater organ had the ' sostenuto' knee lever, which basically switched the sustain capacitors on/off not unlike the SUSTAIN tab. I have a WURLITZER 4300 that happened to have SOLENOID ACTIVATED, SUSTAIN BOX [ box w/ caps in it], instead of the previous- red bicycle brake cable to do the activation via linkage to the sustain tabs. Interestingly they used the red cables 64'-65', but when the WURLITZER 4520 THEATER ORGAN arrived in 66' ( their first), this was also the year they switched to the solenoid activation of the sustain boxes. This lead me to the possibility that maybe Wurlitzer considered a SOSTENUTO knee lever on their 4520 theater organ... which was their very first horseshoe cabinet theater organ. in 64' the 4500 was introduced. It was actually the same organ as the 4520 theater organ would become, just less toy counter effects and the 4500 was in a straight cabinet. The 4300 is identical internally as well, with identical controls as the 4500 console, just less keys and pedals, and all rocker tabs.
    Wurlitzer '46' Model 31 Orgatron & 310 rotary cab, 56' 4410 , 65' 4300
    Hammond '55' S6 Chord Organ,HR-40,ER-20, 1971 X66/& 12-77 tone cabinet w/ 122 kit & TREK Transposer- of which I've retrofitted a Wurlitzer/Lowrey 'PedAL gLIdE' awesome!
    Gulbransen 61' 1132 '76' Rialto II & Leslie 705 + two 540
    Conn '57' 406 Caprice '59' 815 Classic (the 29th 815)
    PLEASE SAVE THE WURLITZER ELECTROSTATIC CONTINUOUS-FREE-REED ORGANS 1953'-1961' Hammond TW's ONLY TRUE COMPETITOR! (Ggl> NSHOS WURLI 4600)

  8. #8
    ff Fortissimo toodles's Avatar
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    The Wurlitzer solenoid driven sustain switch was just a means to activate a 61-pole (or 44-pole) shorting switch. Nothing special at all about it. My 4500 had the same thing. It wasn't intended for a sostenuto (notes held via kick or knee switch) but to connect all the sustain circuits to a common bus.

    At the time it was designed, the keying wires, rotating bus, and solenoid might have been cheaper than just using a diode on each note. I think the choice of a rotating rod and wires was also influenced by this being the means by which they activated their couplers, so the hardware was all designed and used existing parts, except, perhaps, for the box itself and solenoid.

    I suspect that in earlier models the sustain switching might have been located on the keyboard switch assembly--on the 4500 they probably ran out of key switch fingers to do it, thus the separate box, since the 4500 had 8 key switch fingers (I think: 16-8-4-2 percussible; 16-8-4 & 5-1/3 non-percussible; and maybe one for ssh-boom?).

    The first 4500 and 4520 didn't have any extra toy counter effects past Ssh-Boom. Other toy counter effects came a little later and were added to the 4500 and other models.

  9. #9
    ppp Pianississmo chuckstarck's Avatar
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    help please with my 901, just can't find a person with a 901 and the right thread

    Quote Originally Posted by paulj0557 View Post
    Ah' okay My THOMAS PALACE 901 three manual theater organ had the ' sostenuto' knee lever, which basically switched the sustain capacitors on/off not unlike the SUSTAIN tab. I have a WURLITZER 4300 that happened to have SOLENOID ACTIVATED, SUSTAIN BOX [ box w/ caps in it], instead of the previous- red bicycle brake cable to do the activation via linkage to the sustain tabs. Interestingly they used the red cables 64'-65', but when the WURLITZER 4520 THEATER ORGAN arrived in 66' ( their first), this was also the year they switched to the solenoid activation of the sustain boxes. This lead me to the possibility that maybe Wurlitzer considered a SOSTENUTO knee lever on their 4520 theater organ... which was their very first horseshoe cabinet theater organ. in 64' the 4500 was introduced. It was actually the same organ as the 4520 theater organ would become, just less toy counter effects and the 4500 was in a straight cabinet. The 4300 is identical internally as well, with identical controls as the 4500 console, just less keys and pedals, and all rocker tabs.
    Paul, I see you have a 901. I need some input. I use to service these in the 60's, I have the schematics but have a weird issue that I just can't pin down.
    Simple description: Accomp kbd... If you have 8' cello down and add either english or french horn, the signal level reduces to about 30% (coming from those voices). Looking at the schematic, it's the English and French that are also filtered along with the Tibias and don't follow the same path as the other voices. I've looked a signal cancelling (it's not). I found that if you open the connection from the tibia amp (in the schematic, it's below the accomp switching) that goes up to the other voice outputs, the drop from the other voices goes back to normal. I've checked coupling caps with my curve tracer, been all over the place. How does your 901 act? It seems to be the 8' voice signal that is the issue. The English horn is the worst offender but that's because it has the least resistance in its wave forming circuit. I see this as design but only someone with another 901 would know.
    Any other voice that's 8' other than the tibias (uneffected) do the same thing, the cello is the worst case comparison. Keep the Horns off and it all works correctly.
    Thanks in advance
    chuck

  10. #10
    mp Mezzo-Piano VaPipeorgantuner's Avatar
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    all done in the wiring

    Quote Originally Posted by paulj0557 View Post
    Wow, it never occurred to me that organ pipes could be ' sustained' (sostenuto) by using pneumatics...
    'valve air leaks' is like the capacitor bleeding off on an electronic organs SUSTAIN, no?
    With the sostenuto feature found on larger theatre pipe organs, the way it works is that a switch on the switchstack for a given keyboard (i.e. 'solo' 'orchestral') is wired so that it would feed current back to the keying magnets for that specific keyboard in a loop, so that once the keying magnet is energized for a given note, that note would be continuously fed current from a contact inside the relay until the sostenuto switch is released...think of it as a continuous feed-back loop. With solid-state circuitry, essentially the same thing happens, but it is done with internal logic instead of hard wiring.

    With the pizzicato feature, there is a separate relay involved using special magnets with an adjustable 'bleed' function in the original electro-pneumatic relays...with solid-state, a programmable "pulse" is initiated for the Pizzicato feature, and the duration of the pulse is adjustable in the software.

    Rick in VA

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