PipeChat Digest #1312 - Sunday, March 19, 2000
 
(not really) Re: Pipes and Bytes
  by "Tim Bovard" <tmbovard@arkansas.net>
Re: Pipes and Bytes
  by "Robert Ehrhardt" <r_ehrh@bellsouth.net>
Pipes & Bytes
  by "DP" <dpitzer@sonic.net>
Pipedreams Radio on Real Player
  by "ldpatte@attglobal.net" <ldpatte@attglobal.net>
Re: Pipes and Bytes
  by "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@stlnet.com>
Re: An elongated "Pipes and Bytes"
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
If I had any sense ...
  by <Quilisma@socal.rr.com>
Re: Pipes & Bytes
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
 



(back) Subject: (not really) Re: Pipes and Bytes From: "Tim Bovard" <tmbovard@arkansas.net> Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 19:36:58 -0600   --=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D_12457097= =3D=3D_.ALT Content-Type: text/plain; charset=3D"us-ascii"   At 3/19/00 03:12 PM, DeserTBoob wrote:   >>Hope they are not risking their membership in APOBA.... (just = kidding)<snip> > >Who cares? I don't think Wicks even participates in APOBA. I think this >stems from eons of "A-poobah" members "dissing" of their DE action with = all >sorts of lies and half-truths about it.   <SNIP>   Bob:   For the record, APOBA is an organization comprised of some of the finest organbuilding firms currently active in the United States. Membership in = APOBA is "by invitation", and their "rules" not only deal with the quality of = work produced by any given firm, but several other factors, including the size = of the firm and amount of work produced in an average year. These = 'requirements' are not at all taken lightly (nor should they be). Firms who are APOBA = members have proven, beyond any doubt, that their work is absolutely first rate. = >>The whole point of all this is to insure to potential clients that their investments with APOBA firms will be safe -- that the considerable sums of money invested in new organ projects will be used to the best possible advantage in the production of truly fine pipe organs, which will have long-lasting value.<<   So, I ask you -- what the h*** is so bad about this idea?? Why should = such an organization NOT exist?? And, perhaps more importantly, why do YOU seem = to be so against the idea of good organs being built?? Would you really rather = that the world become filled with mediocre, ill-specified, and mechanically = unsound instruments?? REALLY???   Perhaps you are against the idea of APOBA for the same reason that you = seem to be so against Piporg-L...apparently you dislike ANY organization that = utilizes the *brain* and *intellect* to try to produce a better world (not only for = the present, but for the future).   And, for the record (again), the APOBA regulations that deal with digital augmentations of pipe organs are in place for one and only one reason: to insure that any new pipe organ will be able to stand "on its own" without = said electronic "ranks" -- that is, such that when the electronic components deteriorate and expire, the rest of the instrument will continue to be a viable, usable, and complete instrument. Before you start a rant against electronic relay/switching systems, I point out that such systems are NOT tonally-producing portions of the instrument -- and as thus, are built and installed such that they CAN be replaced in their entirety (if necessary) WITHOUT affecting ANY tonal aspect of an organ.   As far as Wicks and their non-APOBA status...I will not even begin to hypothesize why or why not they do not belong (as I have absolutely no = idea, nor is it any of my business). I have seen, heard, and played (and worked = on) many Wicks organs -- some quite nice, others wretched. I *would* wonder, though, about the future of any particular one of their "Allegro" system organs...what will the customer be left with in +/-25 years or so, when = only the 3 rks of real pipes remains reliably functional?? I suppose that, = even in this case, the electronic voices could be replaced...but if there's not a = good basis of REAL organ there, why would anyone want to bother?? Seems as = though it would probably be more practical to throw it all away and start over.   Is this REALLY the kind of legacy we want to leave to our future = generations?? What is wrong with the idea of a fine pipe organ outliving its builders?? = Is this not one of the most fundamental aspects of the art of building pipe organs???   I doubt that you will have any intelligent response to any of these points (with list history as my guide), but I make them anyway, for the benefit = of the rest of the membership of Pipechat. I see it as unfair for any more of = your ill-informed rants to go unquestioned. The good folks of Pipechat should = know that there are other, REAL, reasons why such things are so.   SOME OF US *DO* CARE!!!!!   Tim Bovard Nichols and Simpson, Organbuilders Little Rock, AR (a firm which is also *not* an APOBA member...but I would truly hope that = our work will eventually result in our being asked to join)     --=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D_12457097= =3D=3D_.ALT Content-Type: text/html; charset=3D"us-ascii"   <html> At 3/19/00&nbsp; 03:12 PM, DeserTBoob wrote:<br> <br> &gt;&gt;Hope they are not risking their membership in APOBA.... (just kidding)&lt;snip&gt;<br> &gt;<br> &gt;Who cares?&nbsp; I don't think Wicks even participates in APOBA.&nbsp; I think this<br> &gt;stems from eons of &quot;A-poobah&quot; members &quot;dissing&quot; of their DE action with all<br> &gt;sorts of lies and half-truths about it.&nbsp; <br> <br> &lt;SNIP&gt;<br> <br> Bob:<br> <br> For the record, APOBA is an organization comprised of some of the finest organbuilding firms currently active in the United States.&nbsp; Membership in APOBA is &quot;by invitation&quot;, and their &quot;rules&quot; not only deal with the quality of work produced by any given firm, but several other factors, including the size of the firm and amount of work produced in an average year.&nbsp; These 'requirements' are not at all taken lightly (nor should they be).&nbsp; Firms who are APOBA members have proven, beyond any doubt, that their work is absolutely first rate.&nbsp; &gt;&gt;<b>The whole point of all this is to insure to potential clients that their investments with APOBA firms will be safe -- that the considerable sums of money invested in new organ projects will be used to the best possible advantage in the production of truly fine pipe organs, which will have long-lasting value.</b>&lt;&lt;<br> <br> So, I ask you -- what the h*** is so bad about this idea??&nbsp; Why should such an organization NOT exist??&nbsp; And, perhaps more importantly, why do YOU seem to be so against the idea of good organs being built??&nbsp; Would you really rather that the world become filled with mediocre, ill-specified, and mechanically unsound instruments??&nbsp; REALLY???&nbsp; <br> <br> Perhaps you are against the idea of APOBA for the same reason that you seem to be so against Piporg-L...apparently you dislike ANY organization that utilizes the *brain* and *intellect* to try to produce a better world (not only for the present, but for the future).&nbsp; <br> <br> And, for the record (again), the APOBA regulations that deal with digital augmentations of pipe organs are in place for one and only one reason:&nbsp; to insure that any new pipe organ will be able to stand &quot;on its own&quot; without said electronic &quot;ranks&quot; -- that is, such that when the electronic components deteriorate and expire, the rest of the instrument will continue to be a viable, usable, and complete instrument.&nbsp; Before you start a rant against electronic relay/switching systems, I point out that such systems are NOT tonally-producing portions of the instrument -- and as thus, are built and installed such that they CAN be replaced in their entirety (if necessary) WITHOUT affecting ANY tonal aspect of an organ.&nbsp; <br> <br> As far as Wicks and their non-APOBA status...I will not even begin to hypothesize why or why not they do not belong (as I have absolutely no idea, nor is it any of my business).&nbsp; I have seen, heard, and played (and worked on) many Wicks organs -- some quite nice, others wretched.&nbsp; I *would* wonder, though, about the future of any particular one of their &quot;Allegro&quot; system organs...what will the customer be left with in +/-25 years or so, when only the 3 rks of real pipes remains reliably functional??&nbsp; I suppose that, even in this case, the electronic voices could be replaced...but if there's not a good basis of REAL organ there, why would anyone want to bother??&nbsp; Seems as though it would probably be more practical to throw it all away and start over.&nbsp; <br> <br> Is this REALLY the kind of legacy we want to leave to our future generations??&nbsp; What is wrong with the idea of a fine pipe organ outliving its builders??&nbsp; Is this not one of the most fundamental aspects of the art of building pipe organs??? <br> <br> I doubt that you will have any intelligent response to any of these points (with list history as my guide), but I make them anyway, for the benefit of the rest of the membership of Pipechat.&nbsp; I see it as unfair for any more of your ill-informed rants to go unquestioned.&nbsp; The good folks of Pipechat should know that there are other, REAL, reasons why such things are so.&nbsp; <br> <br> <b>SOME OF US *DO* CARE!!!!! <br> <br> </b>Tim Bovard<br> Nichols and Simpson, Organbuilders<br> Little Rock, AR<br> (a firm which is also *not* an APOBA member...but I would truly hope that our work will eventually result in our being asked to join)<br> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br> <br> &nbsp;&nbsp; <br> <br> &nbsp;<br> &nbsp; </html>   --=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D_12457097= =3D=3D_.ALT--    
(back) Subject: Re: Pipes and Bytes From: "Robert Ehrhardt" <r_ehrh@bellsouth.net> Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 19:50:40 -0600   Strangely enough, they do not have a web presence!   ----- Original Message ----- From: Bob Conway <conwayb@post.queensu.ca> To: PipeChat <pipechat@pipechat.org> Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2000 1:20 PM Subject: Re: Pipes and Bytes     > Can anyone give me the Web Page URL, or an e-mail address for Walker Technical? > > I have tried searching for them but have not come up with anything that > seems to be organ oriented! > > Many thanks, > > Bob Conway      
(back) Subject: Pipes & Bytes From: "DP" <dpitzer@sonic.net> Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 18:31:54 -0800   All,   I know, I'm going to be called a reactionary, a purist, and elitist and worse but damn it, a pipe organ without pipes is an oxymoron.   I love technology. I make a good portion of my living writing books and magazine articles about it and teaching it at the college level. But when = I learn that the pipe organ craft in the US is going to digital voices, I = say that's too far.   I have fortunately lived through the "bigger is better" electro-pneumatic/all electric pipe action era and have been vindicated in =   my long-held belief that tracker action is the better way. Tracker action is now, more or less, universally acknowledged as the best connection between player and pipe valve. I thought I'd never see this happen but it has and I'm glad.   Now comes the digital pipe rank! Any such voices are, by definition, counterfeit. I chuckle to myself when I imagine a digital "pipe" organ salesman saying to a prospective customer, "Why, it sounds just like the real thing." I think, on balance, I prefer the real thing.   Dave Pitzer    
(back) Subject: Pipedreams Radio on Real Player From: "ldpatte@attglobal.net" <ldpatte@attglobal.net> Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 21:57:32 -0500   Does anybody know if any of the radio stations available through Real Player feature the Pipedreams program; and if so, where could I find a current programme. (It's not on any stations in my area).   Thanks kindly, Dave C. London, Ont.      
(back) Subject: Re: Pipes and Bytes From: "John L. Speller" <jlspeller@stlnet.com> Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 21:26:05 -0600   Bob Scarborough wrote: > > At 03:42 PM 3/19/2000 -0500, you wrote: > > >Hope they are not risking their membership in APOBA.... (just = kidding)<snip> > > Who cares? I don't think Wicks even participates in APOBA.   In fact, Wicks is no longer a member of ABOBA. The current membership is Andover, Austin, Bedient, Berghaus, Bigelow, Bond, Buzard, Casavant, Dobson, Dyer, Fisk, Goulding & Wood, Hendrickson, Holtkamp, Jaeckel, Marceau, Noack, Ott, Parsons, Quimby, Redman, Reuter, Schantz, Schoenstein, Taylor & Boody, Bisser and Wolff. All of these are fine pipe organ builders who keep to the APOBA rule of not including any digital voices above 16' pitch.   John Speller  
(back) Subject: Re: An elongated "Pipes and Bytes" From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 19:38:36   At 07:36 PM 3/19/2000 -0600, Dim Bovine wrote: >So, I ask you -- what the h*** is so bad about this idea?? Why should such an >organization NOT exist??<snip>   Oh, I think it's a dandy concept...but, after all, it's just another commercial trade organization. Remember how the Automotive Manufacturer's Association put their faith in American cars built in the late '70s and early '80...some of the worst ever to roll across the earth.   >And, perhaps more importantly, why do YOU seem to be >so against the idea of good organs being built??<snip>   I never said that...ever. Here we go...the emotionalistic kneejerking of the organ world. I'm merely pointing out that what Hope-Jones prophesied over 100 years ago is coming to fruition. He envisioned pipeless organs as early as the 1890s, Cahill built the first one in 1904, and progress just keeps marching on. However, I would never suscribe to things like particle board chests and later-generation Perflex...both hallmarks of the "cost effective" organ. Rather to have a good digital organ than a bad pipe organ, anyday. Anyone that ascribed to the philosophy that they'd rather play one of the unified nightmares of the early 20th century over any electronic equivalent is a fool.   >Would you really rather that >the world become filled with mediocre, ill-specified, and mechanically unsound >instruments?? REALLY???<snip>   No, not "REALLY???". Obviously, I've stuck the cattle prod in a sensitive area by making you use your head a little bit, and now it hurts. =20 >Perhaps you are against the idea of APOBA for the same reason that you seem to >be so against Piporg-L...apparently you dislike ANY organization that utilizes >the *brain* and *intellect*<snip>   Hah! Like a bunch of effete quasi-intellectual snobs of academia are going to save the world from *anything*. Pipe-ARGUE-l is a clique, not open to difference of opinion, and certainly somewhat retentive in posterior region. The proof is in the numbers. Care to compare pipe-ARGUE-l subscription numbers to here? To be fair, some very formidable and learned folks post to that list, and they have much to say that can be learned. However, they are shadowed by some completely innane ones that blather on and on about matters of great unimportance, while issues facing the instrument and its literature are fluffed off as bein already pre-determined by them.   >And, for the record (again), the APOBA regulations that deal with digital >augmentations of pipe organs are in place for one and only one reason: to >insure that any new pipe organ will be able to stand "on its own" without said >electronic "ranks"<snip>   ....and I counter that the APOBA's view is one of any trade organization...commercial protectionism. Mark my word...the digital takeover in the organ world is nigh. Those that learn and understand will profit, both musically and commercially. Those that don't...gone, along with Kilgen, Hillgreen and Lane, Hook and Hastings, M=F6ller, =C6olian-Skinn= er, and a host of others.   -- that is, such that when the electronic components >deteriorate and expire, the rest of the instrument will continue to be a >viable, usable, and complete instrument. Before you start a rant against >electronic relay/switching systems<snip>   Perhaps you are someone with no electronics or engineering background. The half-life of simple electronic components at this time is orders of magnatude greater than it was when Jerry Markowitz rolled out the first commercial Allens in 1946. Parts that needed frequent replacement, such as wax/paper capacitors, composition resistors and vacuum tubes, are gone forever from the new designs. Even the ten year lifespan of the old electrolytic capacitors has been lengthened greatly. As someone who worked in the communications business for 25 years, I can attest to the longevity of modern electronics components. As for the ESD foibles of CMOS, damage of this sort is 99% tracable to ham-fisted handling by unqualfied personnel, rather than failures of the devices themselves. If properly designed, handled and used, there is no reason to fear some catastrophic failure. Dual redundancy takes reliability a step further, and should be provided for large designs where reliability of service is paramount.   The major problem facing such a specialized application as digital organs is obsolescence of the technology itself. A true quality instrument will lend itself to upgrade and enlargement as time progresses, but will still provide the original level of performance for many years. Unfortunately, manufacturers, such as Allen, are loath to provide such "backward compatibility" to ordinary customers at reasonable cost, for it impedes the sale of whole new instruments, which is more profitable. Such is the world of big business, to which automobiles, appliances, and yes, organs, belong. One can go to any state and see the same sort of plan as it was applied to pipe organs replacing other pipe organs. Rather than save what's valuable and update the rest, many unscrupulous builders simply scrapped what was there, good or bad, in order to fatten their profit margins with a completely new instrument.   , I point out that such systems are NOT >tonally-producing portions of the instrument -- and as thus, are built and >installed such that they CAN be replaced in their entirety (if necessary) >WITHOUT affecting ANY tonal aspect of an organ.<snip>   So, electronics is fine, as long as it doesn't eliminate your precious pipes. Such as position, I still maintain, is one of protectionism and possibly emotionalism, not one based in fact. Certainly, even the latest technology cannot replace the singing of a rank of Schulze-like diapasons, or the edgy, unstable cachet of upper partials of a profound solo reed, or even perhaps the delicate piquancy of an oboe or vox humana. But, it's getting ever closer. At this time, my thoughts are that the principal chorus must be preserved intact, as should be many harmonically and dynamicly complex reeds and strings. But for those legions of muffled dulcianas, soupy unda marisii, or a little coughing bourdons and gedackts...they are quickly becoming obsolete. Porter Heaps fooled people in 1936, for heaven's sake, by making stopped flute sounds with a Hammond! Now that the average listener's ear is considerably refined from that early electronic era, the "fooling" takes a lot more study and design. But it's being done...every day. Deal with it.   >As far as Wicks and their non-APOBA status...I will not even begin to >hypothesize why or why not they do not belong (as I have absolutely no= idea, >nor is it any of my business). I have seen, heard, and played (and worked on) >many Wicks organs -- some quite nice, others wretched.<snip>   One gets what one pays for. I've seen some bargain-basement Wicks organs that cost less than a comparable Allen! The quality is lacking, but...please return to the first sentence of this paragraph.   I *would* wonder, >though, about the future of any particular one of their "Allegro" system >organs...what will the customer be left with in +/-25 years or so, when= only >the 3 rks of real pipes remains reliably functional?? I suppose that, even in >this case, the electronic voices could be replaced...but if there's not a good >basis of REAL organ there, why would anyone want to bother??<snip>   Yes, they'll bother. The reason? Cost, plain and simple. Money drives everything. It's just the way the world works. Again, deal with it.   Seems as though >it would probably be more practical to throw it all away and start over. = =20   Not good, because they'll probably "start all over again" without ANY pipes! Best to have some than none, correct?   >What is wrong with the idea of a fine pipe organ outliving its builders??<snip>   The idea of pipe organs living forever is a falacy. Leather splits and cracks, so do soldered joints, so does wood. It's nature's way. This requires constant upkeep and repair, as well as tuning, slowly becoming a lost art in itself, it seems. When the leather's all gone, the trackers are all bent and warped, the windlines are all leaking and the very pipework itself gas unracked and fallen in a disheveled heap, what do you have? A pile of hazardous scrap metal. Learned technicians nurse these heaps back into playing condition by administering days, weeks and months of caring, time-consuming restoration. At what price? Who pays for it? Who WANTS to pay for it? The organist who makes poverty wages? No. The business-minded leaders of the church pays for it, and in the final analysis, they just don't want to. For better or worse, that's the way it= is.   >I doubt that you will have any intelligent response to any of these points >(with list history as my guide), but I make them anyway, for the benefit of the >rest of the membership of Pipechat.   I don't see my response any less intelligent that your questionable attack.   >I see it as unfair for any more of your >ill-informed rants to go unquestioned.<snip>   I and others don't see my "rants" as ill-informed, and you are welcome to question them all you like. You just may not be happy with the response, is all.   >SOME OF US *DO* CARE!!!!!=20   Oh, goodie.   >Little Rock, AR   Now, THERE'S a bastion of musical knowledge and tradition! "Bubba plays Bach"...gimmie a break, kid.   DeserTBoB  
(back) Subject: If I had any sense ... From: <Quilisma@socal.rr.com> Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 19:30:41 -0800   I'd stay out of this, but I don't, so I won't. But I will limit myself to = one paragraph. I have no idea at this point which one of the combatants wrote = it (grin), but it needs answered.     > The idea of pipe organs living forever is a falacy. Leather splits and > cracks,   Oh, about every hundred years or so, if it was good leather to begin with, = and the church isn't next to a factory that produces toxic fumes. I have opened hundred-year-old pallet-boxes to find the pallet-leather as flexible as = the day the organ was built. Bellows-leather, to be sure, needs replaced more = often, but how many of you drive hundred-year-old CARS?   > so do soldered joints,   again, not if they're done right in the first place.   > so does wood.   That IS becoming a problem today, but there are creative ways around it = ... as I recall, one organ-builder salvaged a large amount of fine 19th century = lumber when he remodeled a former factory (or whatever) for his new organ-building = shop.   > It's nature's way. This > requires constant upkeep and repair, as well as tuning, slowly becoming = a > lost art in itself, it seems.   I will admit to using a strobe tuner for trebles and mixtures ... = advancing age, you know ... and I no longer set a temperament with nothing but a tuning = fork to give me the "A", but I know how.   > When the leather's all gone, the trackers > are all bent and warped,   Sure, if you expose them to the elements and/or turn kids loose to run up = and down across the pedal trackers inside the case, but I don't offhand recall = seeing any "bent" or "warped" wooden trackers, and I've been inside a LOT of 19th = century instruments, large and small, ALL of which were still playing ... and the = RC ones (in particular) had been the happy recipient of decades of "benign = neglect", which just goes to prove how sturdy those old organs are ... in most cases, they = were even still in reasonable TUNE.   > the windlines are all leaking and the very > pipework itself gas unracked and fallen in a disheveled heap, what do = you > have? A pile of hazardous scrap metal.   And the biodegradable life of computer boards is ...   Frankly, I've NEVER seen an organ in that condition, unless it was = subjected to an AMAZING amount of abuse, like the large derelict three-manual I once = examined where workmen had laid planks across the pipework in order to reach the = tower windows to get to the exterior scaffolding to sand-blast the church. And, = oh yes, they left the windows OPEN while they sandblasted. They destroyed the = organ, but I doubt that ANY organ, digital OR pipe, would have survived such gross = abuse.   > Learned technicians nurse these > heaps back into playing condition by administering days, weeks and = months > of caring, time-consuming restoration. At what price? Who pays for it? > Who WANTS to pay for it? The organist who makes poverty wages? No. = The > business-minded leaders of the church pays for it, and in the final > analysis, they just don't want to.   Unless they have a musician with some knowledge (AND principles) to lead = them.   > For better or worse, that's the way it is.   Doesn't have to be ... At least not as long as there's OHS and and Organ = Clearing House (grin).   Cheers,   Bud      
(back) Subject: Re: Pipes & Bytes From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 20:03:07   At 06:31 PM 3/19/2000 -0800, DP wrote: >I know, I'm going to be called a reactionary, a purist, and elitist and >worse<snip>   OK...you're a reactionary, a purist, and elitist and worse. And now, back to our regularly scheduled program.   ....but damn it, a pipe organ without pipes is an oxymoron.<snip>   True! It's not a pipe organ at all. It's a digital organ, as the terminology goes nowadays.   >I love technology. I make a good portion of my living writing books and >magazine articles about it and teaching it at the college level. But when = I >learn that the pipe organ craft in the US is going to digital voices, I = say >that's too far.<snip>   As I said to Dim Bovine...deal with it. It's coming, and it's driven by technology which is being driven by economics. Personally, I don't like = it either, but I've faced up to the fact that it is happening, the same way I saw the telephone industry go through wretching changes in the '80s and '90s. One lesson I learned from that whole fracas...either keep up, or drop out. If you do neither, you will be trampled.   >Tracker action >is now, more or less, universally acknowledged as the best connection >between player and pipe valve. I thought I'd never see this happen but it =   >has and I'm glad.<snip>   Maybe to a minority. I've played barely enough (should be more) tracker = to know that as the instrument gets larger, the more troublesome and = difficult such action becomes. As for the whole arguement of "controlled articulation", I think this is vastly overblown. However, on this = subject, I'm going to bow out to other, more seasoned hands who deal with it on a regular basis. > >Now comes the digital pipe rank! Any such voices are, by definition, >counterfeit.<snip>   Yup. So are the fibers in the clothes you wear. So are is the music that comes off your CD. So is more than half the food in your refrigerator. Deal with it.   >I think, on balance, I prefer the real thing.<snip>   I never said the "real thing" wasn't the ideal...to me, it most definately is! However, what will be paid for by church committees, schools, administrators of music facilities and the public is something else = again. Like their voting, they make their choices primarily by way of = pocketbook, not merit, at least when the differences get small. In organs, the differences are indeed getting much smaller.   Consider, if you will, the original MOS technology from Allen in 1971. These organs were arguably a step backward or worse from their best "TC" series of the '60s. However, as one Allen engineer explained to me after = I complained about the Hammond-like tonality of the MOS, "We have to get these in the field to see what they do wrong, and fix it. We also need sales to fund further development, so we can learn more, and analog is = just no longer cost-competitive." And, learn they did. The ADCs were somewhat better, and upstaged Rodgers' offerings at the time. They learned from ADC, and rolled out MDS. Now, Renaissance has attracted some very august names in the organ world. One thing you have to compliment Allen on...their products DO improve.   Do you see a thread here in all my posts lately? It's economics. If you have the bucks to go out and buy a 75 rank Shoenstein (and have a decent building to put it in), by all means, do it! Otherwise...deal with it.   DeserTBoB   DeserTBoB