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New Organs

We approach new organ opportunities with great dedication and ability and have much to offer. We can be very flexible in our design approach and custom building methods according to the wishes and opportunities presented by the client and the intended auditorium.

 


 

Tuning and Maintenance

SIOC offers a nationwide tuning and maintenance service. We focus on raising the performance and reliability of each instrument to it's full potential. SIOC never encourages unnecessary restoration, rebuilding or replacement when good maintenance and tuning will keep the wheels turning.

Clients have the choice of a 6-weekly, 3-monthly, 6-monthly, annual or on-request service.

Most instruments are tuned in equal temperament at the established pitch of the organ concerned. Unequal temperaments are available on request.

In Australia SIOC tunes and maintains 17 organs in 3 states around Perth, Melbourne and Sydney on a 6-monthly basis, with appropriate back-up from our local service providers. We firmly believe in the value of maintaining our work and find it highly rewarding and educational.

Click here to Learn more about the process and techniques involved in the tuning of a pipe organ.

Temperature and Humidity Guidelines for Pipe Organs

Please share this information with all the appropriate people. In doing so, you are helping us to give you our best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Organ Rebuilds

Our rebuilding philosophy has been to minimize the revealed weaknesses and maximize the potential strengths of the core instrument, to transform it into the most appropriate, enduring and artistic organ for its intended building and associated music-making.

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Presentations

John Hargraves is available to give presentations or lectures on a wide range of technical topics. SIOC has a collection of around 30,000 colour photos of New Zealand and Australian organs and video documentation and drawings of a significant number of major restorations and rebuilds. Visitors or tour groups are welcome to visit the Washdyke factory at any time, but we strongly recommend making an appointment by telephone to ensure that the timing of your visit enables us to make it fully enjoyable and informative.

 

Voicing

Voicing is used to describe the loudness, softness, or the harmonic or tone quality of a pipe. It's the process by which tone quality of the pipe is regulated (as opposed to tuning, which regulates the pitch). Techniques include adjusting the shape of the tone-producing mouth of a flue pipe, cutting small nicks into the mouth, regulating the shape of the reed in a reed pipe, adjusting the size of the toe hole where air enters the pipe, and others.

For a visual explanation of voicing and quick tour of the pipe organ voicing shop, view our video here.

The voicing shop is a large climate controlled room with entrances to both the workshop and the assembly shop. Two walls are lined with a double tier of pipe bins. In the centre of the room stands the 56-note, five-slider, two-pressure, mechanical action, voicing machine, with electric blower delivering up to 12” wg. Pressure and two bass blocks (single and 12 note). A large workbench lines the 3 rd wall, whilst a video monitor, telephone, shelves for brass, sheet metal, tuning-slide machine and stocks, and mandrels line the 4 th wall. A large work table stands next to the end of the voicing machine. John Gray (HN&B London) has been the Company's flue and reed voicer and is currently teaching his wonderful skills to Christopher Templeton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Historic Restorations

Our restoration philosophy is to conserve the original fabric and character of the instrument as far as possible and reconstruct missing, worn-out or modified parts in facsimile style and materials except where this is no longer practicable. In most cases we aim to restore the organ as a working instrument rather than a museum exhibit and to recreate the original sound and feel of the organ where this has been lost or compromised.

In some cases we remove accretions and modifications and in others we retain or increase them if it is important to the continued artistic use of the organ and does not compromise its construction or future maintenance in any permanent way. We are committed to research unknown areas of construction technique, musical style, and architectural detail before embarking on a restoration project, and are particularly attentive to what the organ can teach us and wary of what assumptions we try to impose on it.

 

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Reed organs

We keep a large range of spares on hand and can tackle any type of

reed organ restoration

and overhaul even if as often happens, considerable reconstruction is necessary.

 

 


 

Piano Tuning

SIOC's involvement in Piano tuning and overhauls is the particular interest of Director John Gray, who through his personal skill developed over the years, has built up an impressive client base and is well represented all over New Zealand.

 

 


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