Choosing the Right Schober Organ for You

The five Schober Organ models represent a wide range of sizes, prices, and types. If, like most people, you are not an organ expert, choosing the model best suited for your particular needs and desires could be a confusing job. On this page we have tried to help you make up your mind. However, if you are troubled about the choice, please write to us, telling us about yourself, your background, and your musical desires in as much detail as you can. Our staff has a long and wide experience of music and has had a great deal of personal contact with organ owners over many years. Drawing on that knowledge and experience, we will consider what you say very carefully and make a recommendation, backed up by our reasons, for the model we believe will best suit you. It is just as important to us as to you that your Schober Organ give you long-term satisfaction. The steady growth of our business over a decade and a half would not have been possible without the satisfaction and enthusiasm of our customers.

If you are interested in music more than in gadgetry, obsolescence is not a factor with a Schober Organ. In later years, new electronic developments may make it possible to create musical tones and voices in different ways, perhaps even more economical ways. But music is music, and no future developments will improve on the essential sounds and playing facilities of what is today a fine organ. In addition, solid-state circuitry and conservative electronic and mechanical design of the kind Schober employs assure that the life of your organ will not be shortened by breakdowns. If you build a Schober Organ today, you can expect to keep it and play it for many years.

IF YOU ARE A BEGINNER - Don't make the mistake of thinking that the smallest organ is the most suitable for you if you are a beginner. The exact opposite is actually true. the organ with the greatest number of voices, keys, pedals, and other facilities is actually more suitable, because such an organ does more for you. It gives you the most possible results for the least amount of ability and knowledge on your part. On your first look at a larger organ you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantities of things - stop tablets, keys, pedals, etc. Learning what to do with those, however, is the easiest part of organ playing; you will know them from top to bottom inside a week. But if your instrument lacks some keys and has too few voices and controls, you will have to overcome these lacks by pure playing ability, to get the same musical enjoyment you would have with an instrument more fully equipped.

THE RECITAL ORGAN

The  Recital Organ is primarily designed for playing serious music - anything written for the organ. If you want to play the works of the great masters, you have no other choice. It is also the model by far the most suitable for playing all church music. And if you are looking for an instrument for your children to use in serious study, again the Recital is the only one that is a replica of the standard pipe organ and can therefore be recommended. Anyone who studies, practices, or learns music on the Recital Organ will be equipped to play a pipe organ. Conversely, an organist accustomed to pipe instruments will find the Recital immediately familiar and fully acceptable as an organ for practice, for enjoyment in the home, or for installation in a church.

Only an organ like the Recital can satisfy these requirements, because of its 32-note concave, radiating pedal clavier, 61-note overhanging manuals, and traditional sounds and playing facilities, all of which correspond to a pipe organ.

If you like to play light music as well as more serious compositions, the Recital is also a good choice. You will find that when you change your playing style, the Recital will respond beautifully, especially since the Library of Stops principle allows you to change the voicing any way you like. It has a good vibrato (though not as intense as the Theatre Organ), and you can add the Percussion Group, Dynabeat, and Leslie speaker to augment the theatrical quality. However, if your interest is primarily in popular and theatrical music, you will probably prefer the Theatre Organ.

If you are a beginner, choose the Recital Organ if your taste is for the classics, and the Theatre Organ if you like only light music.

For a church, choose the Recital unless cost is an important factor, in which case the Consolette II can be used.

THE THEATRE ORGAN

If your musical taste runs mainly to light music of all kinds, the Theatre Organ  is your obvious choice. This does not mean that playing serious music is impossible on Theatre Organ; it is possible and with excellent effect, though more limited in variety than on the Recital. It means that the Theatre Organ was basically designed for theatre, popular, modern, and "standard" music, in the choice of voices, couplers, controls, and console styling.

Just the basic organ, with a good standard Schober amplifier and speaker system, will give you more authentic, varied, and enjoyable light music than any instrument you could find at twice the price. And the accessories you can add at any time - Percussions, Dynabeat, Leslie speaker - are all designed to enhance this theatrical quality, to the point where many people comment that they have not heard sound like this since the days of movie-theatre organs!

Make no mistake. If you like theatre-organ music, this is the instrument for you if you can possibly afford it. It is not, like some other electronic organs, both kit and ready-built, just an ordinary instrument built into a theatre-type console. It was designed from the ground up, in every detail, by theatre organ enthusiasts to satisfy their own desires. Its price is somewhat less than that of the Recital, but don't let that fool you into thinking it is less ideal for its purpose.

Here again, if you are a beginner don't be put off by the completeness of the Theatre Organ. You will find it easier to learn on, giving more results for less work, than any smaller model.

THE CONSOLETTE Il

The  Consolette II Consolette II is Schober's largest and best organ which has the small size and low silhouette of the usual "spinet." Unlike spinets, however, it has full 61-key manuals and 17 pedals, and a complement of 22 widely varied and pleasing voices. It is musically a much larger and more versatile instrument than the usual "home size."

If you prefer an organ which looks smaller than the Theatre and Recital, the Consolette II is a good choice. Its voicing is definitely theatrical, but it is also quite suitable, and often used, for a church or chapel where small size (and less cost) is important, and where the liturgical music is confined to hymns. For light music you can add the Percussion Group, Dynabeat, and Leslie speaker; and the Consolette II will give you more results and better ones than any commercial spinet.

If you cannot or prefer not to have a really full size organ, the Consolette II is the logical choice. Unless you choose to go to a much larger model at some future time, you will continue to enjoy the Consolette's rich resources and will not feel any need to replace it.

THE SPINET

Like all Schober Organs, the  Spinet Organ  has voicing of true variety and versatility and its 18 organ voices in three pitch registers give better tonal results than most spinets. Like other spinets, it has 44 keys per manual and 13 pedals. As is also true with all other spinet organs, these short keyboards are present for the sole purpose of reducing the cost, they have no advantage musically or in making learning easier. The Spinet is, in fact, a model specifically created to satisfy the needs of those who prefer to pay less, while at the same time giving more satisfying results than usual for an instrument of its size.

If, therefore, your financial resources are limited but you want an organ as close as possible to what people usually have in their homes, the Spinet is a good choice.

THE STUDIO ORGAN

The  Studio Organ was designed for those who wish to spend the absolute minimum and yet obtain an organ which gives respectable musical results and is by no means a toy. If your organ aspirations are ambitious, you will find the Studio Organ limited. But, if you simply want an instrument for light-hearted use or for some specialized purpose such as accompaniment, hymn or background music in a chapel, or as part of a musical ensemble, the Studio Organ is small, light, and inexpensive. Despite its low price, however, the Studio Organ console is beautifully designed of choice walnut wood and its appearance as a piece of furniture is good enough to go with the best you have.

Though the Studio Organ is, as we have said, limited in comparison to larger Schober Organs, in the sense that the two keyboards are shorter than those of the Spinet and the voices fewer and in a single pitch register, this limitation has its effect only in musical versatility. The 14 Studio voices are good ones, with a wide range of tone colors, and the built-in reverberation and excellent vibrato make the sound eminently pleasing. To make the sound bigger, you can easily connect your hi-fi or stereo system to the organ.

While, therefore, your choice of the Studio Organ would probably be based on its small cost and size, you can safely feel that if you do choose it you will be pleased with the way it sounds, especially in comparison to other organs coating as much as twice its price.