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Thread: Lowrey closing?

  1. #21
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    How long before a shoddy Chinese organ-shaped-object shows up in some Gulf Coast strip mall store with the "Lowrey" nameplate?

    I have limited experience with current model Lowreys, but the few I've seen and played on have seemed rather decent. Even if the controls are obscure to this old guy who knows and prefers regular stop tabs and such, I do know that with some futzing you can get lovely organ sounds of all kinds out of them. And the service department people have been very nice and helpful when we needed something for a warranty repair.

    Sad to think that the music stores that continued to sponsor organ clubs and monthly champagne parties for their customers and prospects will be winding down, as the whole thing was of course sales driven, and with nothing left to sell, they may be little inclined to keep on having the regular parties. And to a few old organ nerds I know, those parties were the highlight of the month!
    John
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    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
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  2. #22
    pp Pianissimo terryp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregp View Post
    I was told this yesterday by a dealer friend in the US. Closing at the end of the year apparently.
    I verified with an ex-dealer friend. By end of year.
    Current: Roland AT-900/ATUP-EX, Rodgers 340 Century, Wersi CD700T Spectra
    Past: Rodgers 321 Trio, Conn 552 Theaterette, Hammond RT3/122/HR40, Thomas/Heathkit GD-325D, Hammond S6

  3. #23
    ff Fortissimo seamaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andyg View Post
    The letter says that they 'tried mightily' to find a buyer and a colleague of mine who's worked for various makers in Japan has just said that Kawai have been trying to offload Lowrey for some years. Hammond Suzuki have a niche market, albeit one with some considerable competition these days, for the 'clonewheel organs' and keyboards. If that market ever became too saturated and they stopped making enough money from it, who knows what would happen.
    I wonder if Lowrey's demise creates a space for Suzuki to offer a home organ derived from their clonewheels again? There's been chatter about that for years.

    Yamaha could consider doing more a little more internationally with Electone?

  4. #24
    Moderator andyg's Avatar
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    There will be a hole to fill somewhere. Trouble is, its' the E-Z play elderly market and I can't see many of those Lowrey owners being tempted by anything else. Wersi and Bohm would be too complex and Bemore is still too much of a niche make. Could Ringway take over the reins? Of course if they had been interested they could have bought the line from Kawai.

    As well as the 'dead pool' we need a 'birthing pool'!
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

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    Retired Leslies, 147, 145, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.

  5. #25
    ff Fortissimo seamaster's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Has a single Bemore been sold?

    The issue now is that all we're left with are niche players: Wersi, Böhm, Bemore, Ringway — these are not brands to inspire confidence when plunking down five figures. That's the opportunity for Yamaha and/or Hammond. But if Kawai couldn't make it work, how could they?

  6. #26
    f Forte abacus's Avatar
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    I think Yamaha could get it to work, judging by the number that have been imported into Europe, (There is obviously a demand) however their Genos would probably take a hit as users bought the StageA in place of the Genos TRX system.
    Hammond is as strong as ever in its traditional market (Just look at the popularity of their SK/XK ranges) even though there are a lot of clones out there. (Doubt if they will ever move back into the entertainment market though)
    Bemore appears to be selling quite well for a new instrument if the various Facebook pages are anything to go by, (There are quite a number of customers shown who have taken delivery) plus its design objective was to be easy to register and play even for a beginner.
    Ringway already have high end models available in China, so these may come over when Lowrey goes.
    Bohm were also shown and played in one of the various Allen’s Music shows, so perhaps they will take those on as well. (Currently there is no Bohm UK dealer and everything goes through Keyswerk in Germany)
    If you want a Lowrey then best to get one now, as I would imagine there will be even bigger discounts than usual.
    Wersi when they get their act together (The latest V2.00 software is a disaster) could take quite a few sales, but are best avoided at the moment.

    Bill

  7. #27
    mf Mezzo-Forte lparsons21's Avatar
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    I hate that Lowrey will shut down, but I fully understand why. As with all the others here in the US, there just isn't enough market for home organs. It is actually amazing that they outlasted the other brands that are long gone. As for someone else coming in to fill the void, well that void has been shrinking for many years. I keep remembering some article from a couple years ago or so that stated that the total home sales for 2017(?) was something less than 2K units. Don't remember if that was US or worldwide.

    I wonder if this will make my Palladium a collector's item with a rising price instead of the massive drop it has been suffering from?
    Lloyd
    Lowrey SU-630 Palladium, Lowrey GX-1, Hammond Aurora

  8. #28
    ff Fortissimo seamaster's Avatar
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    Given the way Roland residual prices fell off a cliff after they pulled the plug on the Atelier range, I'd imagine something similar happening to Lowrey. I've occasionally had a notion to pick up a late Holiday spinet, but they've stayed stubbornly north of £5K which is far too salty. Half that and I might bite.

  9. #29
    mf Mezzo-Forte lparsons21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seamaster View Post
    Given the way Roland residual prices fell off a cliff after they pulled the plug on the Atelier range, I'd imagine something similar happening to Lowrey. I've occasionally had a notion to pick up a late Holiday spinet, but they've stayed stubbornly north of £5K which is far too salty. Half that and I might bite.
    I haven't really followed pricing on used organs much for a long time. But the last Palladium I saw that actually sold went for something around $5K US and I've seen newer models of their flagships sell for about that too in private sales. If I were a younger man I would be worried about repairs and such going forward. I don't play as much as I used to, hands take a couple hours in the morning to loosen up and quit hurting.
    Lloyd
    Lowrey SU-630 Palladium, Lowrey GX-1, Hammond Aurora

  10. #30
    Moderator andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abacus View Post
    Bohm were also shown and played in one of the various Allen’s Music shows, so perhaps they will take those on as well. (Currently there is no Bohm UK dealer and everything goes through Keyswerk in Germany)
    I think Paul Carman at Music Traders would disagree with you there, Bill, unless he's stopped dealing with them!

    I'm sure Yamaha UK would still love to handle the Stagea and D-Deck. Maybe this might persuade Yamaha Japan to run a separate non-Asian spec production line, which has always been the issue. If they can make enough money, I'm sure they'll think about it.
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

    Current organ: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition
    Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball something-or-other.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.

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