Schober Organ Notes No. 56
Disclaimer: We accept no responsibility for any unfavorable consequences
resulting from following our advice!
It has been suggested by a member, and I fully agree, that it would be
a great idea for us, lovers of organ and theatre organ music, to take our
kids or grand children to an organ concert. They might just like it and
start listening to and enjoying real music (as opposed to the noise which
is touted to be music these days). The saying "I know what I like" should
actually be "I like what I know." All kids know today is R&R and Rap,
(which in my opinion deserves a "C" preceding it).
KEYBOARDS & CONTACTS
One problem, probably the most frequent that many Schober owners run into
is dirty keyboard contacts. Schober became aware of the problem and published
two Information Bulletins in regard to this matter. (BM-043 and BN-043A).
In the earlier Bulletin, removal of the busses is recommended (and good
instructions towards that end are given) and then cleaning with Nev-R-Dull
(impregnated cotton waste) is recommended, The manufacturer, George Basch
Co. Inc., is still in Freeport, NY 11520, at 19 Hanse Ave. (516) 378-8100.
Contact them if you cannot find this polish locally.
In the second Bulletin, a good description is given as to how the gold
keyboard buses and springs should be cleaned with Cramolin Spray R. This
is a much less complicated matter. I cannot find the manufacturer Caig
Laboratories in Westbury NY any more, (a Video Transfer Co. is at their
former address) however fine contact cleaning sprays are available in electronic
parts places everywhere. Be sure that they are safe for plastics, or be
very careful not to spray the key covers. There also is a special spray
for GOLD contacts.
If some of your notes don't play at certain registers yet play at other
registers, cleaning the contacts would probably cure the problem. If you
would like a copy of the bulletins, send me a SASE. ak
In the diagram of the Pratt & Reed keyboard, you will see the names
of all the mechanical parts. If you need any part to fix your keyboard,
let me know what you need. I have a complete stock. Any part I have is
yours for the postage. ak
I have a keyboard from an organ that was stored in a shed. Something leaked
on it, or mice misbehaved, and some of the keys would not return to their
normal position. I found that the water ran onto the bellcrank. The bellcrank
pivots on a pivot rod, which runs the length of the entire keyboard through
all 61 bellcranks. The pivot hole is lined with felt. This felt apparently
got wet, held the moisture and caused the rod to rust. The rust bonded
the felt to the rod, so that the bellcrank could no longer pivot. These
bellcranks can be replaced. The rod has to be polished to remove all rust.
This cures the problem.
To change a bellcrank and polish the rod, the keyboard has to be disassembled.
The switch arm actuators have to be disconnected from the bellcranks. The
plastic key caps have to be removed. The key springs have to be removed.
The key channels then have to be removed. Each key channel sits on top
of a bellcrank. The top of the bellcrank has a little protrusion, that
holds a small plastic cap. These bellcrank caps fit inside of the metal
key channels. Don't lose them. They are heavily greased. Some will stay
in the key channel; some will stay on the bellcrank when you remove the
channels from the frame. The clamps that hold the bellcrank rod have to
be removed. Then the rod with all the bellcranks can be lifted up. There
is a bellcrank spring under the top of each bellcrank. They will fall all
over the place. Don't lose them, and replace them after the bellcrank rod
is reattached with the clamps.
This repair is tedious and time consuming, but it can be done. ak
A message on our Web Page reads in part: "The keyboard keys will get very
stiff to push after a day or two of inactivity. The longer the stiffer.
I run up and down the keyboard a few times and then they are smoother again.
More and more are getting clackity..." I also ran into sticky keys, and
found it to be the grease in the channels. After many years, in some keyboards,
the grease has hardened, sometimes the bellcrank elbow caps (or bushings)
are worn. This is a relatively simple problem to correct. Remove the key
caps. Remove the key return springs. Then remove the key channels. Be careful
not to loose the bellcrank caps, they may stay on the bellcrank, or they
may stick in the grease in the channel. Take all the bellcrank caps and
clean off the old grease. Clean all the old grease out of the key channels.
Now replace the caps and grease them liberally. Replace the key channels,
springs and key caps. If a key does not feel right, check to make sure
the bellcrank cap did not slip off. Note that the white (natural) keys
use a silver colored key return spring, the black (sharp) keys use a blue
colored key return spring. I phoned Mr. Woody Comstalk, president of Pratt
Read & Co. to ask him if he remembered what grease was used on the
keyboards his company manufactured. He did not remember. To the rescue
came Ray DeVault of DEVTRONIX, the same man who rescued Schober owners
who had not completed the purchase of kits when Schober folded. He gave
me the name of an outfit that sells the grease and the bellcrank caps.
ORGAN SERVICE CORP. PO Box 372, Marengo, IN 47140-0372, (800) 457-4408.
The grease is D-C #7, item 642-002-00, 5.3oz. $15.95, The bellcrank caps
(also called bellcrank bushings or key bushings) are item number 72320-264,
$.20 each. ak
Doug Steeves, one of our Canadian members has built three Recitals and
a Theatre Schober! He has B.Sc. in chemistry and math, B. Ed and M.Ed.
degrees and learned electronics while teaching math to electronic engineering
students. Before retiring in May '97, he had been Director of Administration
and Vice Principal for 14 years. In 1972 he and his wife flew to New York
to visit the Schober establishment. Jim Ramsey took them to his home to
hear his Theatre installation. It was very impressive. Doug bought the
electronics for his first Recital in the Summer of '72. He built his own
console and speaker cabinets and used the pedal board from an old pipe
organ. He convinced the local church, where he was and is still organist
and choir director since 1964, to purchase a Recital to replace a Hammond
E-5. This entire organ was built from Schober kits in 1973. At the same
time he was also building a Theatre Schober for Bob Large (another of our
members). "Thus in the Summer and early Fall of 1973 I had three Schober
organs in our living room...my wife is a patient woman!!!" "I sold my first
Recital to a friend of Bob Large in the province of PEI to have in the
lobby of his motel. I then bought another complete Recital for my house
and took great care to finish even the inside of the console (it too was
walnut!!) thinking it would be the last instrument I would ever have. A
nearby church made me an offer I couldn't refuse and I then bought my first
Allen Digital Computer organ. I have had two other Allen's since and bought
the last one in October 1984...the one I still have."
"In 1986, the Recital at the church was giving us a lot of reliability
problems (not good for a church organ!), so the church decided to replace
it with an Allen. Quite a change!! I repurchased the Recital and very shortly
thereafter was able to repurchase the other Recital at the local church
(they never did have anyone to play an organ!), thus I had two identical
Recital organs." With these Doug started a project of building a three
manual. "I dismantled both totally, including the consoles and with much
careful design found I could use all Schober console parts to construct
my three manual organ in the same overall design of the originals. The
top lid had to be cut back somewhat and other carpentry challenges were
overcome, but nothing was impossible." Doug used the regular boards of
the standard 1973 Recital, plus another voicing bus amp board for the Choir
manual, all running off one set of 12 tone generators. With some simple
mechanical tricks, a little glue, some wiring etc. he added a Choir to
Pedal coupler and a Choir to Great coupler. The original Great to Swell
coupler was eliminated. The vibrato is wired into the Swell and Choir only,
but couples to the Great with the intramanual couplers. "The wiring is
not impossible, but a few tricks are necessary. Anyone who is interested
can obtain details from me." "The Swell and Great are on one channel, the
Choir on another, while the pedal appears on either or both. Both channels
have the schober Rototone and when manuals are coupled the sound is nicely
'chorused', even enabling 'celestes'...strings, flutes, etc. The whole
organ audio then goes to a Radio Shack mixer, with one output to a Alesis
Microverb unit (far better and MUCH quieter than the Reverbatape system).
The final power amp provides 40 watts RMS per channel into two Schober
LSS-10A's with HF-1 tweeters. The sound is very grand in my opinion."
Doug likes his three manual Schober much better than his Allen computer
organ. So he is selling his Allen. ak
Cornelius deKam (ETONES), is starting to build a computer/digital organ.
He will share his designs and progress with us. Right now he is looking
for a 3 manual Theatre style console. He has not found one, and now has
the DEVTRONIX plans for one, which he will build. Does anyone know of an
already build 3 manual Theatre style that is available in the Southfield
MI area? If so, let Cornelius know. Dekamcor@hotmail.com (248) 356-8233.
SCHOBER RELATED ITEMS
A Theatre Schober, with percussion Reverbatape and Recital pedals(!!!),
is available for free in Commack, LI NY. Also, a Leslie Model 110 speaker
is for sale. If interested, call Thomas Cybula, (516) 499-1046 or email:
Recital Schober parts. Registration circuits, stop filters, tone generator
set (12), control assembly, pedal switch kit (some springs damaged), decoupler,
power supply, preamp/vibrato unit, pedal clavier and instruction manual
are available. Any reasonable offer accepted (plus shipping). Contact Henry
Vollenweider, Fernandina Beach Fl. (904) 261-7114 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NON SCHOBER SWAP, SELL, OR GIVE AWAY ADS
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Fred Henn is looking for someone who can handle the e-mail version of his
new Alternative Medicine newsletter. He has almost given up on finding
someone. If you can help, please contact Fred. Oranur@juno.com.
Besides my organ hobby, I have many more. Fixing and collecting old radios
and cameras are amongst them. If you have any old junkers hanging around,
I would be glad to pay for the shipping. Alexander Kruedener (Your editor)
If you are "subscribing" to the printed version of Organ Notes, please
send me as many SASE's as copies that you want, PLUS two extra stamps for
every six issues you send SASE's for. When I mail you your last issue,
I will let you know that I have no more SASE's for you. Email Subscribers
need only notify Jack Gildar if your Email address changes.
One item that was to be in ON 56 was inadvertently omitted from the
e-mail version only. It was to read:
A Stop Switch Assembly for a Consolette II is badly needed by Alan McFarlane.
If you can help, please call Alan (605) 225-2410, or email him at: email@example.com.
my address (if anyone wants to send SASE's or wants any of the books that
I have to give away) Alexander Kruedener, 73 N Lamphear Rd., Jamaica, VT
05343, (802) 874-4894. E-mail Kruedener@Juno.com