Author Topic: Compton Electrones  (Read 19129 times)

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revtonynewnham

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2012, 10:15:31 AM »
Hi

Another railway enthusiast here.  I have a soft spot for the old Southern EMU's, having travelled to school on them every day for 5 years back in the 1960's.  But I was annoyed at the end of steam - especially in winter, as the one station that we could travel on the Brighton-Horsham train was a good way to warm up - the heating was far more effective than on the electrics!

Every Blessing

Tony

chrislawtonorganist

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2012, 11:02:30 AM »
Think the title of this thread now needs changing!  ;D

David Pinnegar

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2012, 11:29:05 AM »
Sorry - I apologise. I was trying to be as derogatory about Electrones as people are towards DMUs - but in the good humoured knowledge that one can have a soft spot for things that are ugliy ducklings. I hope to be forgiven too for referring to high voltages that some find exciting. . .

However, the forerunner of the Electrone was the Melotone which gave good service in cinemas and a sound that was liked . . . and on account of availability of higher harmonics
http://www.zyworld.com/IvorBuckingham/Melotone.htm
was something much more interesting than the Hammond in equivalent service.

Whether or not one is a pipe organ purist, one must have the greatest of respect for the ingenuity of Comptons not only for being willing to drive the instrument into aural and technological territories unknown before, but for the sheer technological ingenuity of the system and difficulties in getting the system to work . . .

However, their ideas weren't always wholly original. Their Solo Cello
http://www.zyworld.com/IvorBuckingham/Page6.htm derived clearly from the Hupfield automatic violin, of which I have childhood memories from the Musical Museum at Kew:
http://www.mechanicalmusicpress.com/history/hupfeld/hh_index.htm

Best wishes

David P
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 11:43:56 AM by David Pinnegar »
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

chrislawtonorganist

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2012, 12:24:26 PM »
No need to apologise David.  I meant the title should be changed to 'Great Electrone and Rail Expeditions' or something like that!  LOL

High voltages that some find exciting....I have this image in my head of a mad professor in a science lab getting a thrill from blowing things up!  :D

I am now yearning for a train ride to London on a tilting Pendolino class 390 and a good ride around on the tube after reading the last few posts........and maybe visit a few Compton equipped churches en route!

David Pinnegar

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2012, 04:09:20 PM »
No need to apologise David.  I meant the title should be changed to 'Great Electrone and Rail Expeditions' or something like that!  LOL

I am now yearning for a train ride to London on a tilting Pendolino class 390 and a good ride around on the tube after reading the last few posts........and maybe visit a few Compton equipped churches en route!

No - merely Compton Electone and Train spotting . . .

Quote
High voltages that some find exciting....I have this image in my head of a mad professor in a science lab getting a thrill from blowing things up!  :D

The jerks caused by electrocution . . .

:-)

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

Lucien Nunes

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2012, 04:25:25 PM »
I will begin by saying that I don't have a clue about trains, stationary steam being much more my cup of tea. Returning to the topic of finding Electrones...

Quote
they were wondrous things of their time and opportunities should be taken to preserve examples

I agree, the Compton Electrone is a museum-piece nowadays; some would argue that they were museum-pieces back in the 1960s when solid-state tone generation was becoming a practical reality. It will be the end of an era when the last one in a church is finally decommissioned but that time will surely come. The Electrone story will not quite end there, because at Electrokinetica we are conserving a selection, and there are a few others doing likewise. See http://www.electrokinetica.org/d8/1/index.php for a tour!

In this connection it is fair to say that Robert Cook of Compton Organ Specialists has been very helpful and supportive of the project. Although many of the Electrones he encounters are only fit to be stripped down for parts, he singles out the best examples for enthusiasts and collectors such as ourselves to be kept complete and will go to some lengths to prevent these being broken up. Indeed only last week I got a call from Robert with the enthusiastic message that he had obtained an instrument with an unusual type of action that we had been looking for, which I now need to pick up. He has also kindly sent us all sorts of information, brochures, pictures, spares etc. Any reluctance on his part to provide information regarding Electrones is, I am sure, down to the customer-specific nature of the information requested. Clearly Electrones are just a sideline for Robert now that they are thin on the ground, however I know nothing of his main business selling digital organs as I have never been in the market for one.

We are also indebted to David Fetterman of Makin Organs for technical information etc. His wilingness to answer my many questions reflects well on the company's support policy and I suspect that it was again just the particular details being asked for that they would not give out.

To conclude, I would say that most of the large instruments are now gone, many broken up relatively recently. Please help us find and document for posterity any sleepers that you know of - I'm thinking of 3-4 manual jobs or ones with drawstops or external generator cabinets. In the meantime if you visit the Electrone Pages at Electrokinetica I hope you enjoy seeing what we have done so far to conserve the marque.

Lucien

revtonynewnham

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2012, 06:14:01 PM »
Hi

I would say that it was at least the mid-'70's before transistorised generators really caught uptonally  - with a few notable exceptions.

Good to see the museum web page - hopefully I may get to visit in person one day.

Every Blessing

Tony

David Pinnegar

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2012, 12:37:30 AM »
Dear Lucien

Thanks for drawing threads together here - it is for the sorts of reasons outlined here that it has been a particular pleasure to have brought about the circumstances for the preservation of the Lancaster Priory instrument - a four manual analogue Makin - which could possibly have been conceived using Compton generators but which were and are solid state designed by David Fetterman.

It is a sobering thought that knowledge of so much vintage technology is with just one man whose loss when he retires will be to a whole swathe of instruments.

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

chrislawtonorganist

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2012, 01:26:53 AM »
Well folks - im pleased to say I have been given a list of just under TWENTY Compton electrone installations still working in churches of all denominations in various parts of the country that have been seen in the last six months!  Three of these I already knew about so thats another 17 potential ones to visit in hopefully the not to distant future. 

These instruments comprise of 357, 363 and CH2 models and 3 'Sonatina' models.

Proves there are still quite a few out there! 
« Last Edit: May 25, 2012, 01:30:41 AM by chrislawtonorganist »

flared_ophicleide

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2012, 05:08:23 AM »
Well a lot of organ enthusiasts also have an interest in railways (myself included) so why not?


Why do you suppose that is?  What's the connection?  Organs and trains are both large, complex things. *shrug*

I've been interested in both since I was little.  I'm involved in two organ projects right now.  Restoring one and building the other.  As for railroads, though not a priority now, I would go on trainspotting trips with my scanner & camera.  Chase trains.  Stay up very late watching them, and all that.

Altoona, PA, is a major spot.  Then, I would visit their cathedral to see their 1931 Steinmeyer (there!  back on the organ topic. lol)

btw...  Chris.  Thanks for all those youtube clips about Comptons you've played.  As far as voicing and tonal design goes, J. Compton was a bloody genius!  I have a lot of respect for him.

KB7DQH

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2012, 11:34:48 AM »
Quote
I've been interested in both since I was little.

Ditto... See www.youtube.com/user/kb7dqh

http://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,447.0.html


There have been some other threads correlating these two interests on this forum... and worthy of investigating if you haven't already ;)

http://www.organmatters.com/index.php/topic,447.0.html

I have also noticed a fair number of Amateur radio operators similarly interested in the Pipe organ also ??? ;) ;D

Eric
KB7DQH
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 11:56:57 AM by KB7DQH »
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flared_ophicleide

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2012, 02:08:20 PM »
I watched the Beatles Movie last night after reading your comment and at about 6 minutes into the film is the organ scene.

Since I'm not able to quote off my own post, I'll do my best from this one.
Recalling that P. McCartney was briefly playing the Compton, one might wonder if he's ever played a pipe organ?

From what I know....   close to it.

Ian Tracey was working on an organ transcription, or portion (don't remember), of McCartney's Ecce Cor Meum with McC. helping him in determining the registrations.  According to Ian, Paul was indeed interested in the big Willis.  Awesome, huh?

David Pinnegar

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2012, 11:18:44 PM »
David Pinnegar, BSc ARCS

chrislawtonorganist

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2012, 01:54:04 AM »

btw...  Chris.  Thanks for all those youtube clips about Comptons you've played.  As far as voicing and tonal design goes, J. Compton was a bloody genius!  I have a lot of respect for him.


Thank you Flared_Ophicleide.  Im nowt special really - just a hymn machine but im a big believer in archiving and preservation and since I was 15, Compton electrones and Compton organs in general be it pipes, cinema, melotone, electrone, miniatura etc etc I have found fascinating.  Digital organs are great but I find them 'functional' but not 'interesting' if that makes sense.

Im the proud owner of a 357 electrone at home and wouldnt swop it for any other electronic instrument.  With 2 spare belts, a complete set of spare generators and a complete set of spare valves plus a few other bits and bobs I have no doubt that the organ will outlive me!

David Morrell

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2013, 05:28:32 PM »
Ive got a Compton electrone got it for the 2 manuals, to add to the other two in a digital build, the remains are for sale console contains an original valve amplifier, and generators and stop keys,

if anyone is interested. email conachertrust

Compton Organs(R)

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Re: Compton Electrones
« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2013, 06:39:57 AM »
Hello, have you still got the Compton Electrone valve amplifier please.

 


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