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Oban Parish Church

Kilmore and Oban Parish Church of Scotland Oban Parish Church

Late in 2009, it was clear that our old Ingram pipe organ was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain, and that if it were to regain a measure of reliability it would require a major overhaul and upgrade.  Estimates of the probable cost were prohibitive, and reluctantly we agreed that we should purchase a new organ for our church.

To achieve this a small committee was established which included our two organists and others with a key interest in the project.  We have a traditional church, which seats about 350, and were replacing a two manual pneumatic action instrument which had served us well for the past 85 years with one previous major overhaul and rebuild.

Our first decision was to indentify as many manufacturers of suitable digital electronic instruments that we could, and we found six companies that produced organs that appeared to meet our needs.  We then asked these companies for literature about their organs together with DVD or CD examples of them in action.  All six companies responded, and after further consideration, we narrowed our choice to four possibilities.

We recognized that CD or DVD reproductions of the sound of the organs were in no way a substitute for hearing the instruments for ourselves, so we decided to travel to see for ourselves the four most likely options and in each case gain an opportunity to play them in a church environment.  From this process, we were able to narrow our choice to a short list of two.  The two that were eliminated at this stage were thought by us to have significantly poorer quality of sound reproduction, and one of those was also eliminated because of cost.

Of the final short leet, one namely Viscount, was thought to be the finer instrument, but we realized that it was important to hear the organs in our church with our acoustics before making a final decision.

Both companies readily agreed to supply a trial instrument for our use over several weeks, and this proved crucial in making our final decision.  As a result of our on site comparison, we unanimously agreed that the Viscount was the finest and most appropriate organ for our church.

Purchase was arranged and within 2 months, we had our new organ fully installed and operational.  During that time, we had the long-term loan of the trial instrument, which was particularly helpful.

The factors that led to our decision were many, but most important from our viewpoint were:

1 The tonal variety and quality of the Viscount Regent 247 was noticeably the best that we trialed.

2 The flexibility and individuality of the voicing of the Viscount organ for our church was detailed and highly impressive.

3 The amplification and speaker systems of the Viscount Unico was considerably more substantial than the systems of its rivals.

4 The installation programme for the Viscount was individualized for our church and more time allowed for the process.

5 Costs for the final two organs in the short list were similar, though the Viscount worked out marginally less expensive.

6 Viscount offered a service for removal of the console of our old organ with the new console replaced in the same situation.  The carpentry work done by Viscount at the time of installation was of a vey high quality and the resulting match of oak with our fine organ screen was very pleasing indeed.

7 After sales service has been exemplary to date.

Pedal Great Swell 
Double Open Wood32Double Diapason16Bourdon16
Open Wood16Open Diapason I8Geigen Diapason8
Open Metal16Open Diapason II8Chimney Flute8
Violone16Claribel Flute8Lieblich Gedackt8
Bourdon16Stopped Diapason8Echo Gamba8
Principal8Principal4Vox Angelica8
Bass Flute8Harmonic Flute4Geigen Principal4
Choral Bass4Twelfth2-2/3Wald Flute4
Contra Bombarde32Great CornetVFifteenth2
Bassoon16Sharp MixtureMixtureIV
Trumpet8Double Trumpet16Contra Fagotto16
Clarion4Vox Humana8
Great to PedalTremulantTremulant
Swell to PedalSwell to Great