The Schober Theatre Organ


If you are old enough to remember the sounds of the theatre organ during and after the days of the silent cinema, you will immediately recognize the authenticity and versatility of this newest Schober Organ. Created with modern technology, it is thoroughly faithful to a musical tradition which many people believe made possible the most delightful and satisfying way for one player to produce light music.

The Schober Theatre Organ is not merely a routine electronic organ dressed up to suggest the cinema instrument. It was designed from the ground up to provide that marvelous palette of tone colors and pitch registers that makes even the simplest effort result in musical satisfaction that warms the heart. Indeed, few but the largest theatre organs of yesteryear could provide the variety of effects, the gamut of emotional expression which is now available to you in the Schober Theatre Organ.

THE STANDARD THEATRE ORGAN

The Schober Theatre Organ has two 61-note standard pipe-organ keyboards with overhanging keys, with the normal appearance and touch but heavy steel construction of all Schober manuals. The rugged plastic key caps resist breakage and do not discolor but any one can quickly and cheaply be replaced in case of a cigarette burn or accident. The 2-octave, flat, radiating pedal clavier is practically impervious to damage, with its unbreakable sharps and heavy construction.

The organ provides eight octaves of tone and has five pitch registers for its 35 speaking organ stops and eight percussions. There are four couplers. Vibrato (three different intensities) can be placed on either manual or both, but does not affect the pedal tones, a traditional Schober advantage. Other standard controls include pedal balance (three degrees of pedal volume), manual balance (accentuates either manual), and percussion balance (three degrees of percussion volume). The 48 stop tablets are color-coded according to traditional theatre practice.

The Theatre Organ console is among the most graceful to be found anywhere, with the curved stop board that identifies the theatre organ, and beautifully grained, genuine walnut veneers and solids.
The circuitry of the Theatre Organ is fully transistorized, with regulated power supply, and all electronic components are of typical high Schober quality. The organ contains nothing to wear out or need periodic replacement.

Typical total cost of all the kits and parts you need for a complete basic Theatre Organ is $1730 (which you don't have to spend all at once), but this can vary up or down depending on your console choice, as explained in the Price List. Regardless of this choice, the result will be a complete organ ready to play - except for amplifier and speaker system. If you purchase amplifier and speakers from Schober, typical total cost is $204 for a sound system built into the console or $278 for an external system, though the latter figure can vary as explained in the Price Lists. If you have a good high-fidelity or stereo system you can play the organ through it and do not need to buy sound equipment from Schober. There are also optional accessories you may want now or later, but the organ is complete without them.
 

THEATRE ORGAN VOICING

There is a well-established pattern for theatre pipe organ voicing which requires, if anything, a greater variety than classic playing.

Tibias, for example, are of basic importance. These very round and full flute voices are provided in two pitch registers on the lower manual and three on the upper. Flute voices with slightly more harmonic development are present in additional pitch registers, so that the all-important flute choruses can be had in many different ways.

Reeds are essential for solos and for ensemble reinforcement; they are here in all the essential registers, on both manuals and pedals, including the highly effective characteristic 16' reeds. Diapasons, less important here than in classic instruments, are present nonetheless, as are strings of differing types and pitches.

The upper manual has five pitch registers, including the 1-foot pitch so effective in adding brilliance. (Generated fundamental tones in this organ actually extend to almost 8,000 cycles!) The lower manual has three pitch registers - its main function is accompaniment, as its name implies - and the pedals have two. Three intramanual couplers greatly enhance the upper (Solo) manual by making it possible to add tones an octave higher or lower - or both - to the normal ones, or even to have these higher and lower pitches without the normal pitch.

It has often been said that the voicing of the theatre organ concentrated on individual stops without much attention to the effects of ensembles or combinations of stops. That an organ can be designed to give large numbers of beautiful solo combinations and can also afford great varieties of perfect ensembles is amply proven by Schober Theatre Organ voicing.
 

THEATRE ORGAN SOUND PRODUCTION

Every electronic organ sounds best with an external speaker system If you have a really good high fidelity or stereo system play the organ through that Otherwise we strongly recommend the Schober LSS 10A Speaker System, with a TR-2 amplifier.

However, in recognition of the fact that most Theatre Organs go into homes where space may be at a premium, we have designed the optional LSS-5 speaker system for mounting inside the Theatre Organ console. The LSS-5 will not give the "distance" effect of an external system, but it is of the same high quality as the Schober LSS-10A. It is actually a complete speaker enclosure, designed according to the best physical principles, which has been mated to parts in this console 50 as to form a sub-enclosure acoustically independent of the console itself. The same speaker units and crossover network are used as in the LSS-10A; sound radiates from the Console rear. The console should be placed a few inches from a hard wall which will diffuse the sound.

The Schober TR-2 amplifier is required with the built-in LSS-5 Speaker System.

You must always have a good main speaker system - your own hi-fi or stereo, the LSS-10A, or the LSS-5 - but with any of these you may wish to add the juicy theatrical effects of the famous rotating Leslie Organ Speaker. This is an external unit and it requires no additional amplifier. Details are on the page which describes sound equipment.

The two manuals of the Theatre Organ always sound through the same speaker system, but if you have the Percussion Group and/or the Organ Dynabeat you may want them to sound through a separate speaker system. If so, you need another amplifier and speaker system, as explained in the Price List.
 

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT

The most important optional accessory for any electronic organ is the Schober Reverbatape Unit described on page 15. It is highly recommended as your first optional addition.

For the Theatre Organ in particular the Schober Percussion Group is a very definite asset, and the Organ Dynabeat is a close second. (The standard organ comes with the Percussion stop tablets, but they do not have any effect until you add the optional Percussion Group electronic equipment.) The standard Theatre Organ includes a Mixer-Compressor, so you need not consider that. The Headphone System furnishes excellent sound for "silent" practice when you don't want to disturb others. We recommend you order an Organ Tester if you do not have electronic test equipment. The Tuning Record included in your basic kits is adequate for tuning if you have a good turntable, but you may wish to have an Autotuner or Electronic Tuning Fork. All these accessories can be added after the organ is completed and are described on other pages.

The Combination Action (sometimes called "presets") is not necessary, but it is a help to quick changes of registration in an organ as large as this. It has 10 buttons (shown below the lower keyboard in the photo) which may be set up in advance so that pressing each causes stop tablets to go up or down according to the combination desired for each button. There is also a cancel button, which turns all stops off.

The Combination Action is a new electropneumatic type, quiet and reliable. It has a setterboard rather than a Capture system. It is not interchangeable with the action for the Recital Organ. It can be installed at any time and need not be included in the initial assembly.
 

SPECIFICATIONS

SOLO (Upper Manual)
Tibia 16'
Cello 16'
Stentorphone 16'
Tuba Mirabilis 16'
Viola d'Amore 8'
Vox Humana 8'
Solo String 8'
Clarinet 8'
Tibia 8'
Oboe 8'
Diapason 8'
Brass Trumpet 8'
Violina 4'
Tibia 4'
Tromba Clarion 4'
Piccolo 2'
Fifteenth 2'
Flageolet 1'
Fife 1'
ACCOMPANIMENT (Lower Manual)
Tibia 16'
Dulciana 5'
Vox Humana 8'
Tibia 8'
Orchestral Strings III
Diapason 8'
Harmonic Tuba 8'
Harmonic Flute 4'
Octave 4'
Tuba Clarion 4'
PEDAL
Dulciana 16'
Tibia 16'
Diaphone 16'
Tuba Profunda 16'
Bass Flute 8'
Tuba 8'
COUPLERS
Solo to Solo 16'
Solo to Solo 4'
Solo Unison Off
Solo to Accompaniment 8'
CONTROLS
Power (On-Off)
Manual Balance (Acc-Normal-Solo)
Pedal Balance (Min-Normal-Max)
Vibrato (Min-Med-Max)
Vibrato (Acc-Both-Solo)
Percussion Group (Optional)
Celesta
Chrysoglott
Orchestra Bells
Orchestra Bells (Reit)
Piano
Harpsichord
Xylophone
Mandolin
OTHER OPTIONS
Combination Action
Reverbatape Unit
Organ Dynabeat
Dynamaster.
CONSOLE:
Width:  50 inches.
Depth:  29 inches without pedals; 41 inches with pedals.
Height: 44 inches plus 10-1/4-inch clear plastic music rack.
Bench:  Theatre type, with heel rest, storage Compartment.
Weight: About 225 pounds fully assembled.