Monday, February 08, 2010

Acquired a Gulbransen Premiere Theatre Organ

After an arduous pickup operation on friday night, I am now the owner of a broken Gulbransen Premiere Theater Organ.

David came over Sunday and pulled the parts that he wanted from the
organ. Leaving me with a hulk containing 2 61 note keyboards, a bunch of transistorized electronics and a Leslie speaker.

David was a super nice guy. We both graduated from Cary High in 1978. He
has grandchildren. I have an 8 year old and a 13 year old. Different life paths.

The keyboards on the organ may be too complicated for my purposes, but
I'll hang on to them for now. Hoping to get rid of as much of the rest
as possible. The mechanics inside the organ are pretty amazing....like
"I would never want to fix this" amazing. There is a huge speaker in
there, hidden behind a bunch of filter boards. Will check the
condition as soon as I get in there. The amp is transistorized, with
paper capacitors which are probably shot.

What is most interesting is the stuff that David brought me in exchange for the parts he wanted :

Two 61 note keyboards with replacement tone generators from a Schoeber
Recital Organ :

http://www.users.cloud9.net/~pastark/sorecita.htm

Schoeber Organs were built from kits. The original tone generators
were transistorized and kind of unreliable. Along with these keyboards
I got are the original tone generators PLUS replacement tone
generators built by Devtronix (Model 243-3).

Mentioned here :

http://www.users.cloud9.net/~pastark/sotnot7.htm

They both use top octave chip technology like the Paia OZ Organ :

http://www.synthmuseum.com/paia/paioz01.html

These replacement tone generator boards were also built from kits.

So, assuming they work (David said they did), I have the guts of two
61 note organs. They boards are not that big. I could build a super
compact, standalone organ. I was thinking of something that I could
mount to the wall in Aidan's room, and he could fold up out of the
way.

He also brought in a bunch of filter boards for the original stops.
And full documentation for everything, including an article on how to
design your own organ stops. I have all those stop buttons from the
Baldwin. Perhaps they would work with this.

Perhaps you can scan these docs for me...they are double sided and I'm
not sure how I would reassemble them after scanning on the Epson you
gave me.

I believe there is also another tone generator for the pedalboard,
which may work well with the Baldwin pedals.

Interesting stuff.

2 comments:

Susan said...

We have a working Gulbransen Premiere Organ at our church and we are trying to sell it. Do you know the value of such a piece? The casing in just beautiful!!! I believe that there are 2 keys that do not work right. If you have any information on the value or an interested party, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Susan Edwards

Tom Karches said...

If it is just 2 keys, repair may not be too bad. The problem is that failures will continue to occur. How much is it worth to continue to repair? If you really like how it looks, but want more reliability, you could remove most of the electronics and convert it into a virtual organ like this :

http://oldbaldwinmidiified.wordpress.com

--tom