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Thread Box:
Organ Repair
Thread started by kryxtanicole at 03.7.09 - 12:42 pm

I hope people don't get confused and think I'm talking about body organs...but I bet they will. Oh well.

I have an old organ - A Gulbransen Theatrum - there is some debate about how old it is, either from the late 70's or possibly the 90's...I think it's the former, but anyway, it has an electrical short (I think). It sounds like it has a bad cold right now.

I heard that someone in the riding community likes to repair organs. But I don't know who. If anyone would be able to fix my organ, I would be so happy. Who is this mysterious organ repair hero?

reply


.



kryxtanicole
03.7.09 - 2:00 pm

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whoa!



toweliesbong
03.7.09 - 2:13 pm

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Someone in my band knows a guy who looks at '60s organs.



mikeywally
03.7.09 - 2:17 pm

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Get a hold of OvertheHill... I'll try to find his email but overthehill is his handle. He occasionally reads the forums. He used to come out w/ his family but hasn't for a while. Stand up guy.



digablesoul
03.7.09 - 2:30 pm

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i thought this was going to be about black market organ trading...why'd you get my hopes up?



DavidArchey
03.7.09 - 3:10 pm

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if it makes noise but sounds funny, it should be reasonably easy to tinker with it till it works. a proper restoration of that organ could run a cool grand - BUT you probably need to change out some capacitors and drown all the switches in contact cleaner...

maybe $50 spent wisely on parts.



Cranktankerous
03.7.09 - 5:58 pm

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I haven't worked on Gulbransens but have done some simple electronic maintenance on my Conn 650... Candidly, I can't promise much. Opening it up may take up all the floorspace of the room it's in... then one starts the electronic troubleshooting, iffy stuff... find something or make a guess and take a trip to the nearest Radio Shack (best case) for some parts then back again and back a few times around and it might be brought back... let me think about it a bit.


Meantime, you might enjoy noodling about a virtual Wurlitzer console beautifully modeled after the genuine article -- the Wurlitzer Style 216, a theatre organ with a special history specific to 1920s Southern California... using just a PC (sorry it's not a Mac program). Herezz some linkzz:



Click the Miditzer preset buttons under the keys, click the stops (those gorgeous white, yellow and red tabs), click the keys and pedals with your mouse and it plays right through your computer speakers! Drag your mouse across the keys to do a thumb glissando or across the pedals and it'll do a pedal gliss! So cool and so free! No work at all!


There's a service pro named Dick Stoney who knows lots more than me about 1970s organs. I'll see if I can find his number.


Meantime, if the Miditzer looks interesting and you reeeeeally want to play it from your Gulbransen console and you have trust fund income so you don't have to work and need a multi-month project, some folks have replaced the guts of their 1970s consoles with MIDI pickups connected to a computer running the Miditzer. Their site has more infozz and mailing listzz on that.




OverTheHill
03.8.09 - 11:08 am

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That sounds like fun, I'll check it out. I don't have a trust fund or 1,000's of empty hours....and when it comes to dealing with electronics...I'm a little bit on the incompetent side.

If one of you guys could pass along to me contact info for someone who would be willing to take a look at it, that would be awesome. Thanks!!



kryxtanicole
03.8.09 - 4:06 pm

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Not that I am an expert on anything, but I have dealt with lots of sound equipment that worked and/or didn't work from time to time.

If you are saying that it turns on but sounds "like it has a cold".

Does that mean:
1.) Sound comes out but it is muffled?
2.) Sound comes out & it is distorted ?

Also, does it have tubes (glowing thingys inside) or is it solid-state (no tubes?)

If it is from the 70's it is getting up in years and electrical devices do degrade over time. If it has tubes, you definitely need to have them checked.

Distortion can also be attributed to a bad power supply (the capacitors go bad after a while) or to a bad speaker (made of paper goes bad too).

I also would not rule out a dirty knob or switch. This is the easiest to fix, just exercise them several times (gently) to clean them.

OK, hope that helps...

Viva la organ!



jeffwr3
03.8.09 - 5:44 pm

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I could give it a try, circumstances permitting. Drop me a note, jkoerber at ix.netcom.com.


Meantime, here's a link to lots of archived Theatre Pipe Organ shows by a fellow who used to broadcast on KPCC.


And here's a link listing most of the local installations of TPOs. Except they forgot the Catalina Page!. S'true, there's a beautiful 4-manual Page theatre pipe organ (one of only 4 remaining) at the Avalon Theatre, bottom floor of the Avalon Casino. They do a silent movie there every June and someone's s'posed to play the Page every Friday and Saturday before the movie.


That 26 mile part to Catalina can be real tough to bike. Never tried it myself, it's over my head.



OverTheHill
03.8.09 - 11:27 pm

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Reply


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