Oban Parish Church 2010
Oban parish church had struggled with a failing pipe organ for a number of years and the decision was taken reluctantly to move to digital technology. In some of the worst winter weather in many years with the journey from Glasgow to Oban taking 5 hours we arrived in December to undertake this more complex installation that required the removal of the pipe organ keyboards before we could begin the job.
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.
|Double Open Wood||32||Double Diapason||16||Bourdon||16|
|Open Wood||16||Open Diapason I||8||Geigen Diapason||8|
|Open Metal||16||Open Diapason II||8||Chimney Flute||8|
|Violone||16||Claribel Flute||8||Lieblich Gedackt||8|
|Bourdon||16||Stopped Diapason||8||Echo Gamba||8|
|Bass Flute||8||Harmonic Flute||4||Geigen Principal||4|
|Choral Bass||4||Twelfth||2-2/3||Wald Flute||4|
|Contra Bombarde||32||Great Cornet||V||Fifteenth||2|
|Trumpet||8||Double Trumpet||16||Contra Fagotto||16|
|Great to Pedal||Tremulant||Tremulant|
|Swell to Pedal||Swell to Great|