PipeChat Digest #1418 - Thursday, May 25, 2000
 
Re: linguistic soup
  by <Cremona502@cs.com>
theatre organs
  by "jeff korns" <jakorns@worldnet.att.net>
Re: theatre organs
  by "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net>
Re: theatre organs
  by "Ray Thursby" <raythursby@earthlink.net>
RE: theatre organs
  by "jeff korns" <jakorns@worldnet.att.net>
straight theatre organs
  by "jeff korns" <jakorns@worldnet.att.net>
 


(back) Subject: Re: linguistic soup From: <Cremona502@cs.com> Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 00:05:31 EDT   In a message dated 5/24/00 2:02:52 PM Eastern Daylight Time, quilisma@socal.rr.com writes:   > I agree ... my point was that a Schalmei can be made as a good = all-purpose > reed. > > I have railed against silly multi-lingual stoplists for years ... = mostly it > gets > me flamed (grin). Not railing against you, you understand, but a Schalmei is a Schalmei. They are good all-purpose reeds because of their ability to blend and = change character to be complimented by the stops it's combined with. This is = also true of musettes, and other short length reeds.   They have a very distinctive "organ" sound to them and I enjoy organs with =   them. Of course, I also like the romantic semi-imitative and imitative reeds as well.   Bruce .. . . .in the Beagles' Nest with the Baskerbeagles Molly, Duncan, and Miles Cremona502@cs.com HOWLING ACRES: http://ourworld.cs.com/Brucon502  
(back) Subject: theatre organs From: "jeff korns" <jakorns@worldnet.att.net> Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 23:10:55 -0500   In his post dated Tuesday 5/22/00 Ray Thursby writes:   "The unit organ--which I love--was created as a matter of expediency. It does indeed allow more tonal variety (not all of it good!) than a straight organ of equal size, but its primary reason for being was financial, not artistic. It's a way of getting more for less,"   I agree with Ray up to a point. If you look at the various cost sheets from the organ builders that Dave Juncheon put in his encylopedia on the theatre organ, you'll see that the unit organs actually cost more to build than the straight organs. Many theatres in fact purchased large (20+ rank) straight or duplexed organs from companies like Moeller because the smaller unit organs built by those companies were more expensive. Why was this? Maybe, because it was cheaper to mass produce the ranks of pipes in a straight organ on pitman chests? With a unit organ you added the labor cost involved in winding magnets and wiring relays (remember in a unit chest each pipe gets a magnet, as well as thousands of soldering points on an relay and its junction board). In our day and age, in part due to higher labor costs involved in building a tracker and custom building ranks of pipes and lower cost, mass produced magnets, it is the reverse of the 20's. What do the organ builders think? Jeff    
(back) Subject: Re: theatre organs From: "Bob Scarborough" <desertbob@rglobal.net> Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 21:25:31   At 11:10 PM 5/24/2000 -0500, you wrote: >I agree with Ray up to a point. If you look at the various cost sheets >from the organ builders that Dave Juncheon put in his encylopedia on >the theatre organ, you'll see that the unit organs actually cost more to >build than the straight organs. Many theatres in fact purchased large >(20+ rank) straight or duplexed organs from companies like Moeller >because the smaller unit organs built by those companies were more >expensive. >Why was this?<snipping more stuff>   I don't THINK so. It's called "supply and demand". Unit orchestras were all the rage, and the builders just jacked their prices up to what the market would bear. When the theaters started going to M=F6ller for duplexed organs, etc., they'd lower the price a bit. It's just plain business garbage. Wurlies got way cheaper after Vitaphone introduced sound in '27.   As large as Junchen's works were, I don't think all of the commercial info in them is essentially accurate, and was a lot of conjecture.   DeserTBoB  
(back) Subject: Re: theatre organs From: "Ray Thursby" <raythursby@earthlink.net> Date: Wed, 24 May 2000 22:01:00 -0700   It may well be, as Jeff Korns says, that unit organs were more in theory expensive to build than straight and/or duplexed organs. Seems logical = when you factor in all the subsidiary parts (relays, magnets, additional chest actions, and the like). I stand corrected, at least to a degree.   The larger theater organ builders--especially Wurlitzer and Robert Morton--did however apply techniques of mass production in a way far = beyond anything dreamed of by the organ-building "establishment" (or were there "stock" E.M. Skinner organs that I don't know about?) and that must have = had an effect on the bottom line. Yes, they had to build more complex chests, but they were cranking them out by the zillions, and doing so with relatively low-paid labor. Ditto for consoles, pipes, and everything else. These were the Fords and Chevies of the organ world, and were very often sold (at least in Wurlitzer's case) at substantial discounts from the published prices.   So why did unit organs take over the theater market? I have my thoughts on this, but would love to see comments from other list-folk.   A final comment just to provide kindling for some new fires on the list: A few original Wurlitzers I've heard over the years strike me as bearing a strong resemblance (when played by someone who knows how) to French-cum-Romantic concert and church organs. Which leads me to conclude that with some unification and nice, deep tremolos a 20s-vintage Skinner would make one hell of a good T.O.....!   Ray      
(back) Subject: RE: theatre organs From: "jeff korns" <jakorns@worldnet.att.net> Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 00:17:13 -0500   To my post DeserTBoB responded:   "I don't THINK so. It's called "supply and demand". Unit orchestras were all the rage, and the builders just jacked their prices up to what the market would bear."   While I agree with you 99% of the time Bob I must beg to differ a little. The higher prices began with WurliTzer. Even early on Wurlies cost more than their tracker competitors (before the others jumped on the wagon, it was not a brilliant way to introduce a new product by charging more for less). Hinners, Kilgen, Kimball, and Moeller all charged more for unit organs put into theaters than for straight instruments. Quite often large straight organs got replaced by small unit instruments (the 4m/ 42 rank Kilgens in the Minneapolis State and St Paul Capitol theaters were replaced with 3/12 Wurlies, which cost more than the Kilgens) I would suspect it was a combination of "demand", but also of volume, after all straight church organs were the staple for the large companies (they were building the straight organs en masse for churches -no pun :-). Also with unit organs you had relays, with a straight organ on pitman chests you don't need relays, or large volume blowers. But I do agree, that prices did get jacked up, just like when computers, vcrs, camcorders, and dvd players first came out. Jeff    
(back) Subject: straight theatre organs From: "jeff korns" <jakorns@worldnet.att.net> Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 00:32:16 -0500   On a different (slightly) thread. Regarding straight T/Os: George Wright had an early job at a radio station that had a non unified organ. George wanted a Tibia chorus, so he removed some ranks and added tibias at 16' 8' and 4' pitches, each as a seperate rank.