Take Care of Your Vintage Pipe Organs With Viscount Organs


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Pipe organs produce a magnificent sound that can instill great emotion. Just like any other instrument, the sound is dependent on being properly tuned. Did you know it can take 10 to 12 hours to properly tune an organ? Pipe organs are incredibly complex sound systems and present an additional challenge when it comes to tuning. Here are a few common signs that your pipe organ needs to be tuned.

Keys Do Not Rebound Properly

Any organ, especially vintage organs, could have key contact issues. When an organ key is played, it should connect with a wire that will relay the note through the pipe and various amp settings will allow the note to be heard in a specific tone. Dirty key contacts show up as crackling or whooshing noises when you press certain keys. Some keys may work only intermittently, some won’t work at all, or some will work only on certain settings. No matter the case, it’s essential that you consult a professional to examine the problem.

Close up of lit pipe organ keyboard.

Large set of pipes for an organ in a cathedral.

Major Chords Do Not Sound Harmonious

The last thing you want is for your pipe organ to be so out of tune that chords don’t sound harmonious. This is a telltale sign that your organ needs to be tuned. This tuning issue could be connected to each key’s individual tune setting or an issue somewhere else within the pipe flue. If an entire rank (group of pipes) is out of tune, major adjustments will need to be made by a sound or electrical engineer that knows how pipe organs work.

There Is a Dead Note

If you go to play a note and don’t hear any sound come from the pipes, you have a dead note issue. The source of this issue could be a sign that the magnets are corroded, causing the coils to burn out and cease to function, which leads to the armature valves (small round disks) that allow air in or out of a pouch may not sealing properly. It could also mean that you need updated console technology, which is a very common reason for pipe organ dead notes. Speak to one of our team members today to return beautiful music to your pipe organ.

A pipe organ in a large church with sheet music.

Vintage Hammond organ covered in leaves with broken keys and damage.

Recent Environmental Changes

Pipe organs and church organs are very sensitive musical instruments, especially to temperature, because the expansion and contraction of pipes can lead to a disturbance in pitch. It’s recommended to have your pipe organ tuned after each season change to reduce these problems. If the main room or building with your organ has a problem with consistent temperature control, you may need to have your organ tuned more frequently.

Looking for trustable and experienced professionals to help you tune your pipe organ? Then look no further! Viscount Organs is your go-to location for all things organ-related — musical organs that is. Viscount Organs holds vast experience in the manufacturing and maintenance of organs and can assist you in upkeep of your instruments. Contact us today to learn more!

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