Schober Organ Notes No. 58

To Organ Notes via email subscribers: Organ Notes # 58 involves pictures as well as text. The pictures are available from me for downloading, or on paper if requested (and you send some postage or a SASE to Alex.)

I don't know how he did it, but Alex has got the file down to a very small size and it still has good resolution. It is in .jpg format, and took me about 3 minutes with a 28.8 modem to download it. Email me back if you want me to attempt to send it to you. Seasons Greetings, Jack Gildar.

Disclaimer: We accept no responsibility for any unfavorable consequences resulting from following our advice.


Some time ago I purchased several types of very thin leather and man made materials from organ supply houses and player piano parts houses for experimentation in the construction of the little "air bags" used in the "puff of air" Theatre presets. I never started as there seemed not to be any interest from any of you in the project. Now, someone on our web page made some inquiries about Theatre presets of this type. Is there any interest out there from any one else? Let me know please.


Jack Gildar sent information about the Home Organ Festival "ASILOMAR 2000" to be held September 10-14, 2000. It will be held in Pacific Grove, CA. A discount of $25 is offered for registration before December 31, 1999. Contact Judy Laine (Registrar) Home Organ Festival PO Box 10820 Salinas, CA 93912 Phone: (831) 784-0331 Fax: (209) 796-4398


Our member Alan McFarlane wrote: "You were discussing Caig sprays - wonder if you are aware of their ProGold G5? It is made expressly for gold contacts in switches etc. and it seemed to clear my problems with a few bad key contacts... It's a bit pricey, about $14 for 6 oz. can, but sure easier than dismantling the keyboard! I bought mine from Tech America (now changed to Radio". Another of our members, Dave Gairo writes: "Just read the Schober newsletter and I see talk about contact cleaning again. That made me remember that my key contacts have been working very well for a few years. Here is my treatment: First, clean the contacts with any contact cleaner. Then rub on RAIL ZIP, a contact enhancing product that model railroaders have been using for a number of years. Get it in any decent hobby shop that has a good train department. Evidently, the RAIL ZIP leaves a coating (or something attaches to the contacts) and remains there. As I said, I did this a few years ago and have not had to touch the contacts since...".


Fred Henn, our founder, pointed out to me that ATOS is having auctions of surplus recordings every second month. This newsletter will reach you after the deadline of Dec. 1; however, the first of the alphabetical lists was only up to "C". The next deadline will be February. The list is sent out with THEATRE ORGAN. If you are not a member of ATOS you can get a list from: ATOS Special Services 785 Palomino Court San Marcos, CA 92069-2102


Fred Henn also wrote that the Organ Historical Society just mailed out a catalog featuring Theatre Organ recordings and books. You can e-mail them to get one at: or write or phone: Organ Historical Society PO Box 26811 Richmond, VA 23261 Tel.: (804) 353-9226


Bill Kohrumel writes that the Organ Historical Society web site catalog has quite a selection of CD's at a good price. Their web site address is: Membership, which includes their publication The Tracker, is $35 per year regular, $29 for age 65 and over, and $19 for students under age 25.


All sorts of books, new and used (some hard to find) as well as new and used recordings can be found at The Organ Literature Foundation. Send for their catalog at: 45 Norfolk Road, Braintree, MA 02184 Fax: (781) 848-7655


When I got my Theatre, I gave away my Consolette II, (I had already given away a tube Consolette). The recipients were a family consisting of grandparents, parents and three youngsters. Well, they saw the Theatre and were a little disappointed in the lesser capabilities of the Consolette II, and that they would not have the room for a Theatre model even if I could find one for them. I told them I would "jazz up" the Consolette and so it stayed in my place for another year or so. With the exception of the pedal generator, the tone generators, and preamplifier, I removed all the Consolette PC boards, keyboards and stop tabs and replaced them with Recital versions, also adding a mixer. The Consolette preamplifier along with the keyboard balance switch was retained because only one swell shoe was to be used. A new stop board was cut, as the stop tablet assembly for the Recital needed a lower and wider slot. Six stop tab spaces were cut from the stop tab mechanism, as the retained Consolette pedal generator has only four voices and the pedal couplers were eliminated since the Consolette pedal division was monophonic. The new board had barely enough room left on the sides to accommodate the switches for vibrato (3 depth), keyboard balance switch and pilot on the left and the Reverbatape, percussion controls and percussion pilot on the right. [See photo]. 

The rotary on-off switch was replaced with a Recital type, relocated in the upper left cheek board. To make room for the stop tab assembly and the plug in voicing filters, the component board had to be lowered several inches. The organ has the library of stops capabilities of the Recital, and is voiced exactly as Schober recommended for its theatre voiced Recital, with white, red, yellow and black tabs. There are no couplers for the pedals, but the keyboard couplers are Recital. Since the original tone generators were retained, one extra octave at 2' is repeated on the keyboards, the same with the lowest octave at 16', but individual Recital tone generators would have created a space problem as they are wider than the Consolette type. An Allen 50-watt amplifier feeds the standard Schober LSS-10A speaker. After all this was done the trouble started. NOISE! What a horrible disappointment that was! So here are some solutions which made all the difference in the world. Firstly, the registration circuits PC boards have the ground busses interrupted. The busses run from a mechanical connection (the long thin screw and nut that holds the PC board to the tablet assembly) and end just before the next mechanical connection where the bus restarts! The mechanical connection, if not tight, causes noise. If over-tightened, the thin copper of the printed circuit board breaks and completely severs the connection. The solution was a heavy copper wire (#12) run along the top of the stop tablet assembly connected to ground, and thin wires run to every ground point on the Swell and Great PC boards. A lot less noise; however, some hash noise (every pitch in the book as background noise) was still there. Now, if you have this problem, here is something that might help. The shielded wires from the swell pedal potentiometers ran right below the tone generators, the full length of the organ, and then up to the preamp and mixer boards in the original Schober design. One would think that shielded wires would not pick up anything, but do they ever! Those shielded wires were rerun from the potentiometer up to the PC boards along the front of the console, far away from the TG's and the difference was stunning. Now the Schober percussion system was added. The keyer boards are mounted on the back of the console and this part of the back is hinged and the boards can be swung back out and up for servicing. The voicing board is mounted on the treble side of the component board. The percussion was another noise nightmare. I had wired it to the power supply as per original Schober instructions; two wires running directly to the power supply and internally connected at two points of the rectifier section. Fortunately, I found a change notice amongst my Schober papers which connected these wires to a decoupler. The Consolette decoupler is a single capacitor and a resistor. Connecting it there reduced the noise somewhat, but a Recital type decoupler was added and this helped some more. A 3300 mf capacitor was added to the mixer, which again reduced the noise. Finally a metal enclosure was built for the voicing board and again the difference was amazing. Unfortunately I did not have a solid state reverberation unit. A good Reverbatape sounds great in my opinion, it's just the matter of changing tapes that is a pain. So I put in a Reverbatape. It is located on the floor of the console on the far left. [See photo]. Noise again why? It was a great working unit. What it was is that the tape heads were picking up signals from the tone generators above! The solution was a metal shield between the tone generators and the Reverbatape. [See photo]. The organ now had minute background noise and sounded really good in my opinion. The new owners are happy with it. ak


Recital Available

A Recital with two sets of tone generators is available from Mac Hayes, who says he now has enough parts to build a real pipe organ. There is no speaker and Mac would prefer to keep his Carver amplifier. He could deliver within a reasonable distance. He is located about 75 miles north of Los Angeles. For information contact him at: 5419 64th St. W Rosamond, CA 93560 Tel.: (661) 256-3162 Email:

Theatre Genius John Janco writes that he is rejuvenating a Theatre Schober. He is having some problems and would like to communicate with an electronic genius "with a lot of patience...who does not mind a score or two of stupid questions...". Send him an email at:


A MITA service man for the Fox Valley area of WI got in touch with me. He is familiar with Schober Organs. If you need a technician contact: Jeremy Tourville 3492 Aerts Lane DePere, WI 54115 phone toll free: (888) 910-8863 or e-mail:


Book Available

PC WORLD's Word for Windows 6 Handbook by Brent Heslop & David Angell, IDG Books (free for cost of shipping). Contact your editor.


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