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Thread: Vox Continental wooden key transplants?

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo AdrianHunjet's Avatar
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    Vox Continental wooden key transplants?

    If the wooden keys of UK/USA Continentals contribute greatly to the overall feel and mojo of the organ, why don't I hear about more people outfitting their more affordable Italian Connies with wooden keys?

    Surely such a process couldn't be impossible? Why do you think it isn't more common?

    - Adrian

  2. #2
    fff Fortississimo jdoc's Avatar
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    and where would they get the correct wooden keys 50+ years later?
    1956 M3, (2)51 Leslie under upgrade, 860 (130 powered)Leslie with Preamp, S08 Yamaha and two K2000S, Young Chang spinet, Korg Trinity
    and Korg KRONOS X73
    Looking for that mythical cheap or free A, BV, CV, C2, C3 or A100 but wouldn't say no to a free B3

  3. #3
    ppp Pianississmo AdrianHunjet's Avatar
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    I can't say that's the vein of thought I was in.

    How hard would it be for someone to alter pre-existing wooden keys or simply make some? Something tells me there isn't a HELL of a lot to a rectangular prism made of wood.

    Then again, I don't know for sure. Hence my asking.

    Thanks

    - Adrian

  4. #4
    fff Fortississimo jdoc's Avatar
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    not wooden rectangles, multiple different custom keyskeys.jpgas per Google, 47 seconds
    1956 M3, (2)51 Leslie under upgrade, 860 (130 powered)Leslie with Preamp, S08 Yamaha and two K2000S, Young Chang spinet, Korg Trinity
    and Korg KRONOS X73
    Looking for that mythical cheap or free A, BV, CV, C2, C3 or A100 but wouldn't say no to a free B3

  5. #5
    ppp Pianississmo AdrianHunjet's Avatar
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    Thanks for speedy reply jdoc, but I can't say that it's quelling my query.

    Is there anybody else with a deeper understanding into these machines who could offer a more informative answer? I hope it's clear that I'm naive in regards to this topic.

    Thanks all in advance!

    - Adrian

  6. #6
    fff Fortississimo jdoc's Avatar
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    2012-11-09-12.48.15.jpg Adrian: if you look at the keys in the picture they are quite complex in design, not a wooden prism, several different for different notes and not easily built, as they are cut and not molded. Likely hard to find anything close, where the ones with plastic probably saved $ and were used on other Italian and on the American made Thomas Vox organ models, iirc some Vox Jaguars were also wood keys, I think mine was but that was 52 years ago so I am not sure???? There are other differences in the components used and build quality of the 3 or so different manufacturers of Connies> way more than just the keys!
    1956 M3, (2)51 Leslie under upgrade, 860 (130 powered)Leslie with Preamp, S08 Yamaha and two K2000S, Young Chang spinet, Korg Trinity
    and Korg KRONOS X73
    Looking for that mythical cheap or free A, BV, CV, C2, C3 or A100 but wouldn't say no to a free B3

  7. #7
    ppp Pianississmo AdrianHunjet's Avatar
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    So would it be reasonable to conclude that -even with a general understanding of woodworking and electronics- that such a project would not be possible?

  8. #8
    fff Fortississimo jdoc's Avatar
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    not in my personal opinion, and as noted there are other component differences, subtle, but sonically the various builds from the different factories will sound different with the ones pictures being the best version. Cost cutting and outsourcing seldom creates a better instrument. Cost cutting and factory changes devalued both Hammond, Rhodes and Leslie products in latter years as well. I recently read the same about Peavey products.
    If any brits know of other instruments that use the same keys that could be sacrificed please speak up.
    1956 M3, (2)51 Leslie under upgrade, 860 (130 powered)Leslie with Preamp, S08 Yamaha and two K2000S, Young Chang spinet, Korg Trinity
    and Korg KRONOS X73
    Looking for that mythical cheap or free A, BV, CV, C2, C3 or A100 but wouldn't say no to a free B3

  9. #9
    ppp Pianississmo AdrianHunjet's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your thoughts, jdoc. It's unfortunate that degradation seems to go hand in hand with quality, in any court.

    To anybody else with an opinion, I'm still interested to hear what everyone thinks!

    - Adrian

  10. #10
    fff Fortississimo David Anderson's Avatar
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    With the advent of computer-controlled milling machines, making wooden keys might be easier than it was in the past -- if you had access to such a device. Then you've got to have the reverse black/white plastic key tops made, which might be more challenging because you'd have to pay someone to set up and do a production run, most likely with a minimum purchase.

    Then, you'd have to know whether or not the rest of the key contact mechanism of the Italian models is the same as the British or American. How much further would you have to go? At what point would the cost far exceed the value of the organ, wooden keys or not? (This would probably kick in with the plastic key tops.)

    There's a reason why many current-production keyboards use the same keys, actions, and contact strips. Setting up to make these is expensive.

    I honestly prefer the American V-301H Continental (with wooden keys). Mine has been pretty reliable for >20 years. I've worked on an Italian-made Super Continental that was a nightmare. Every time I thought I had it finished, something else would stop working, an endless game of whack-a-mole.
    I'm David. 'Dave' is someone else's name.

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