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Thread: How to identify reeds

  1. #11
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silken Path View Post
    Ah. I thought I'd seen a Kimball on YouTube that that had that arch in the keyboard cover...
    All,

    Is that arch on the keyboard cover unique to Kimball? I've only seen it approximately 2-3 times in the last half-century. However, that could be because I don't get out much.

    Michael
    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)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  2. #12
    ppp Pianississmo cdm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myorgan View Post
    CDM,

    Welcome to the Forum! I'm assuming you've seen the empty reed cells and are referring to those, rather than reeds that don't speak. If there is a reed in the cell for a not that doesn't speak, it can often be a speck of dust causing the issue. As already advised in this thread, be careful. Often a puff of air will be enough to dislodge the obstruction. I just blow on them--but not too close because the breath can also cause issues.

    Best with your organ.

    Michael
    Yes, I am referring to empty cells as 'missing'. I have removed the reeds and have them mounted in order as can be seen on the attached pics. It's interesting that the lower rank 1-61 and the upper rank 116-176 are all Hammond reeds. As expected they decline in length uniformly toward the treble. However, the bass end of the middle rank, 62-115 looks like possible trouble to me. There is some other brand of reed mixed in. My inclination is to replace these oddballs and the missing reeds with Hammonds if I can find them in the correct octave (not sure where to begin to look).

    In the meantime I will clean the existing reeds (with great care!) while beginning the search for replacements. Any hints where they might be found would be appreciated.
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  3. #13
    ff Fortissimo Silken Path's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myorgan View Post
    All,

    Is that arch on the keyboard cover unique to Kimball? I've only seen it approximately 2-3 times in the last half-century. However, that could be because I don't get out much.

    Michael
    Well, I certainly don't know. I looked through all the Kimballs at rsoc, and not a single soul pictured theirs with the cover down.

    #205629 near the bottom of that list is mine. It's actually a 1899 model, and the entry and membership number belonged to the previous owner. I saw the ad for that organ here on the forum. The guy's dog really liked me, too, but I suspect that it liked everybody.
    -- I'm Lamar - 1967 Allen TC-4 Project (forum thread)
    -- Rodgers W5000C and Hauptwerk - Conn 643 Theater - Hammond M3 and E-112
    -- Roland RD300nx stage piano - 1899 Kimball reed organ (forum thread)
    -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

  4. #14
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    CDM,

    I have seen some reed banks with out of place reeds and at the time put it down to the builders/designers inserting these "off-tune" reeds for special effects but I just don't know. Perhaps Casey has an explanation for this phenomenon. However, in the case of your Kimball, being that the off ones are non-standard (Hammond) perhaps someone just wanted to get rid of his spares reeds and shoved them in there. You might want to record their pitch and exactly where they came out of just in case - and for interest...

    Look on EBay for reed sets. There are sometimes full of part sets on offer. Even if you should end up with some spare ones - you can always offer them here to some of us with ham hands which broke or damaged some in the fiddling process.... Luck.

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  5. #15
    ppp Pianississmo cdm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Organfella View Post
    CDM,

    I have seen some reed banks with out of place reeds and at the time put it down to the builders/designers inserting these "off-tune" reeds for special effects but I just don't know. Perhaps Casey has an explanation for this phenomenon. However, in the case of your Kimball, being that the off ones are non-standard (Hammond) perhaps someone just wanted to get rid of his spares reeds and shoved them in there. You might want to record their pitch and exactly where they came out of just in case - and for interest...

    Look on EBay for reed sets. There are sometimes full of part sets on offer. Even if you should end up with some spare ones - you can always offer them here to some of us with ham hands which broke or damaged some in the fiddling process.... Luck.

    Nico
    I have numbered all the reeds on the back of the heel as to exact location. Since they are numbered sequentially 1-176 they are easy to reinstall where they came from. Last night I found some very faint writing on the backs of some of the keys that indicate someone attempted to 'restore' this instrument; the date inscribed is August 1945. I have to assume that the oddball reed assortment in the second rank was either that way then or that these were on hand and shoved in to fill empty spaces which makes it even more odd that 3 reeds are still missing. In any event I will probably take your advice and buy a set from ebay. I need 10 reeds and can donate the leftovers to others who need them. Will let you know how it works out when I move some wind through them.

  6. #16
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdm View Post
    Last night I found some very faint writing on the backs of some of the keys that indicate someone attempted to 'restore' this instrument; the date inscribed is August 1945.
    If the organ was "restored" at that time, it would certainly explain the mishmash of reed types--especially if the "restorer" didn't know what (s)he was doing and broke a few in the process. Hence our cautions regarding the handling of the reeds.

    Michael
    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)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  7. #17
    ff Fortissimo Organfella's Avatar
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    We must admit that these old beauties still have the resources to thrill us all the way to the bone! Even mismatching reeds and empty cells make us sit still for a moment to ponder on why... the old folks did not have access to all the modern stuff we take for granted in repairing or restoring the old'uns. They had to make do with what was available - even mismatching reeds... Then there is the exceptional workmanship and ingenuity that they had to produce instruments still capable of beautiful music more than a century ago! My non-existing hat off to them! Bless their kindly souls and thanks for leaving us a rich heritage!

    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

  8. #18
    ff Fortissimo SubBase's Avatar
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    Could you post the names of the stops, in order, L-R?
    Casey

  9. #19
    ppp Pianississmo cdm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubBase View Post
    Could you post the names of the stops, in order, L-R?
    Casey
    Here you go left (bass end) to right; 1. Principal 2. Sub Bass 3. Diapason 4. Dulcet 5. Bass Coupler 6. Diapason Forte 7. Vox Humana 8. Flute Forte 9. Treble Coupler 10. Echo Horn 11. Melodia 12. Cello 13. Flute. If it's helpful here is a pic of the reed board.

    As a matter of interest the vox humana mechanism is physically absent. There is just a ghost shadow where it was mounted. If I can't find one to buy at a reasonable price I am going to make one and guess it would be the round style.
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  10. #20
    ppp Pianississmo cdm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Organfella View Post
    We must admit that these old beauties still have the resources to thrill us all the way to the bone! Even mismatching reeds and empty cells make us sit still for a moment to ponder on why... the old folks did not have access to all the modern stuff we take for granted in repairing or restoring the old'uns. They had to make do with what was available - even mismatching reeds... Then there is the exceptional workmanship and ingenuity that they had to produce instruments still capable of beautiful music more than a century ago! My non-existing hat off to them! Bless their kindly souls and thanks for leaving us a rich heritage!

    Nico
    Indeed. I have been restoring Model T Fords most of my adult life and always marveled at the ingenuity and cleverness of those inventive people. Of course, to them they were in the forefront of 'modern times'. This organ is among the most fascinating mechanisms I have ever seen not so much for it's intricate workmanship (when compared to the machining in an engine or planetary transmission for example) but because of the galactically clever assemblage of so many parts to accomplish such a precise task; making mathematically coordinated and correct sounds. Doing this electronically as we do today, for me anyway, is childs play by comparison.

    I can't wait to hear this old machine sing.

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