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Thread: If reed organs were still manufactered.

  1. #1
    p Piano Eddy67716's Avatar
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    If reed organs were still manufactered.

    I wander what playing the organ would be liked if they still made reed organs. It's a pitty they went obselete after the electric osilater and hammond organs took over. I love the sweet sould they make and no electric instrument I've played has a decent reed organ effect. In my perfect world I'd have a new reed organ with this registration,

    Range; F1 - F6

    Bass:
    Bass Coupler, Diapason 8, (Cor Anglais 8), Principal 4, (Viola 4), Piccolo 2, Aoline (Celeste) 2 and a Subbass 16.

    Effect:
    Forte, (Opens the back swell with the 8' Diapasons and Clarinet next to the latter mentioned), Vox Humana

    Treble from ten A,
    Clarinet 16, (Krumhorn 8), Voix Celeste 8, Piccolo 2, (Gemshorn 4), Principal 4, (Oboe 8), Diapason 8, and a Treble coupler.
    All stops in brackets borrow from the stop to the left in the bass and to the right in the treble.

    The 8' Diapasons, and the Clarinet 16 would be in the rear swell and the rest would be in the front. The Swell leaver would open both the front and the back swells and the grand organ leaver would add the 8 (Inc celeste), 4, 2 (excluding the celeste) stops and the subbass.

    What do you think would happen if reed organs were still made?
    Last edited by Eddy67716; 04-20-2018 at 07:51 AM.

  2. #2
    ff Fortissimo SubBase's Avatar
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    Well, they are not going to make them, not to a niche specification as you list above. I could see Yamaha or some Asian manufacturer ramping production back up, but it would be a two row 8 + 4, or an 8/4 + 8/8 stoplist.
    Find a good Estey Artist's organ, or a Mason & Hamlin that will have the sounds you want, learn to restore and tune, or pay somebody to restore it, and enjoy.
    Search "Mason & Hamlin 93bf" (also 86K) or "Estey Artist's Organ" on youtube.

  3. #3
    ff Fortissimo Havoc's Avatar
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    Compared to what the real great repertoire that was written for those instruments, you will need something far more impressive than that. It would be such a niche product that it would be very expensive. Even when they were at their height it was a niche product.

  4. #4
    pp Pianissimo Rodney's Avatar
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    I like your specification, it has some colourful aspects to it for freelance or improvisational work. Your description has some flavour of a Dominion Organ Co. chapel organ with 17 or more stops. Those larger organs often had the Diapason/Melodia rank at the rear which would not be in a swell, but speaking into qualifying tubes. A muted Diapason would not make sense for the player if it was labelled Oboe or Cor Anglais though, as an Oboe will have a thin, reedy sound, and the CA will have a loud reedy sound - the mute will round the tone off to more of the quieter flute sound.

    If reed organs were still made, I think they would be even harder to sell than the old used ones. Price will be in the tens of thousands of dollars or euros or whatever, since the equipment required for reeds would have to be made again, then to find someone that has spent years voicing reeds could be another issue. It never hurts to dream though...

    Rodney
    To play a reed organ or harmonium, it helps to disconnect your feet from your brain and connect them to your emotions.
    Most of all, be creative, make music and have fun...


    Website: http://www.rodneyjantzi.com/

  5. #5
    ff Fortissimo Havoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
    If reed organs were still made, I think they would be even harder to sell than the old used ones. Price will be in the tens of thousands of dollars or euros or whatever, since the equipment required for reeds would have to be made again, then to find someone that has spent years voicing reeds could be another issue. It never hurts to dream though...

    Rodney
    Making reeds does not need much equipment. Pretty sure this equipment is still in daily use today! And a voicer for them wouldn't be that hard to find either. Reeds are still being made and used in large quantities! Every accordion, mouth organ and reed organ pipe uses some kind of reed as used in "reed organs".

    When I needed someone to get my Busson Harmoniflüte repaired/restored I just turned it in at a local accordion repairer. The biggest trouble he had were finding the leather fine enough to remake the bellows and that the reed block didn't fitted his tuning setup for accordion reeds so he had to swap it in and out of the instrument.

  6. #6
    mp Mezzo-Piano KC9UDX's Avatar
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    If I didn't have to work for a living, and if I had a bunch of spare cash laying round, I'm confident that I could manufacture a complete reed organ at home. I'd have to hire someone to do the voicing though.

    Sooo... If you're got 6 or 7 figures you don't need for anything else, I'm sure we could start up a mass production shop.

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