organ repair Archives - Heidi Bender

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Saville organ gets repaired and the pistons can be used!

Saville organ gets repaired and the pistons can be used!

Last week, Bill from Midwest Organ Systems visited my home and repaired my Saville organ. As a result of the repairs, I am now able to use the four pre-programmed pistons.

Saville organ gets repaired and the pistons can be used!

For the non-organists reading this, pushing a piston turns on many stops at one time. In the picture, the pistons are numbered 1 through 4 on the white buttons under the bottom manual (keyboard). In between the two keyboards are a row of numbers with lights under them. A red light indicates that piston is in use.

With this Saville model, only an organ technician can change the stops associated with each position. Once a piston is activated, additional stops can be added.

Due to there always being a problem with the at least one stop included in the piston setup, I haven’t used them in the past. I am excited that the pistons are finally working (I’ve had the organ for over seven years).

Other repair work

Some of the stops were not working properly. One of the pedal keys was out of tune since I’ve had the organ. When the previous repairman was here a few years ago, I forgot to mention this issue to him, so it didn’t get fixed.

Bill fixed all the problems, tuned the organ, and cleaned the key contacts. He also explained in detail how he could install a Hauptwerk Virtual Organ system into the console. When the Saville wears out, I will likely make the switch.

My cat Taco, was the only one of my cats intersted in “helping” Bill.

Seeing inside the organ was neat. There were many very small parts that had worn out.  There were more broken parts than pictured. Bill was prepared and able to replace them all.

Saville organ repair

Hear the Saville presets!

I made a recording of “Crown Him with Many Crowns” using a different position for each stop.

I got a little distracted when my cat jumped on the organ bench during the third verse!

This is the best that my organ has ever sounded. I know it’s old and electronic and doesn’t sound like a pipe organ. However, I love the convenience of being able to practice at home.

I am planning to have my next organ lesson in a few weeks! Due to socialing the feral kittens in my garage (which was very time consuming), I haven’t had a lesson since my lesson in June. We did keep one of the kittens (if you were wondering).

In the picture above that shows Bill working, you can see a board held in place over the expression pedals. This is to keep the cats out! Our two ginger cats still want to play and hide inside as they did when they were kittens and moved into the house in 2014 (they were also rescued from my yard). Violet, their mother, is seen in the video.

If you play an instrument at home, do your cats like to watch?

September 18, 2013

Anonymous electronic organ repair

Keyboards have been pull out and turned up for a repair to D# key.

Keyboards have been pulled out and turned up for a repair to the middle D# key.

Last week, I had an electronic organ technician make some repairs to my Saville organ. The tech traveled a considerable distance and asked to remain anonymous. He doesn’t desire to have regular customers in my area as he has plenty of business closer to home.

This was my first time to have an organ technician perform work on my organ. When I first received the organ back in 2009, I had a guy check out my organ as it would randomly turn off. He didn’t do any actual work (he was quite elderly). He took the top off, looked inside, said he couldn’t help, and left. Amazingly, I have not had that particular problem since that day!

I had procrastinated about having work done to the organ since then. With it being from the 1970’s, I didn’t want to risk making the problems worse. Also, I had received an estimate that seemed high. And it felt like it was a challenge to find someone willing to come to Adrian. In hindsight, I realize I could have identified a church in Adrian with an electronic organ and found out who they were using for maintenance and service. I could still do this! I was encouraged by a lady I met at the AGO convention in July to have my organ serviced.

You may be wondering, why I am specifically referring to electronic organs. Pipe organ and electronic organ technology is very different. Finding someone that services both pipe and electronic organs would be rare.

Here are the issues with my organ that were fixed:

  • Spitzflöte 4′ stop now works! Previously, when this stop was on one note sounded continuously. It turns out that it was a F.
  • Octave 4′ stop no longer sounds like a tea kettle!
  • Lowest 6 keys on the keyboards have never worked on some of the stops. I didn’t even realize this problem could be fixed.
  • Increased the tension on the pedals making them a bit stiffer to play.
  • Fixed the delay when D# key is depressed on great manual (lower keyboard).
  • Tuned the organ and it now sounds better than ever!

Thank you anonymous organ repair man!