This project started out as a quest to find and purchase a practice pipe organ for my home.
After looking at dozens of pre-owned organs that fit my specifications (they need to be AGO standard, at least 2 manuals with a 32 note AGO standard pedalboard, in playable condition) both on craigslist and eBay, I’ve found 2 possible ones that I thought were worth looking into, so I posted on Facebook to ask my trusty fellow organists for their opinions on which they would get.
The response was really great. Everyone was so helpful!!! There are so many things that needed to be taken into account when purchasing a new organ that I hadn’t thought of.
Of the two, one was what I found out later is a 60s analog Allen organ. It looked great, and I thought I had hit the jackpot. But after hearing it in action via video, as well as talking to friends as well as an Allen rep, I learned that the organ was only worth about $500 on today’s market in perfect condition. It was suggested that I go see them anyway and offer to buy the organ as parts instead of the whole console and speakers:
The other was a Möller Artiste organ, with pipes. It looked absolutely beautiful. But after taking into consideration the moving cost, possible need for releathering and the yearly maintenance and tuning cost, it was not a good option for me.
NYC AGO specs on the Möller Artiste
At the end of my visit to an owner of a 1960s Allen analog organ all the way in Long Island who insisted that her organ was worth at least 4 times its current market value, I’ve come to the conclusion that building my own organ to practice on was the way to go.
By building my own, the initial cost to build a playable, functional practice organ is more within my budget. I can upgrade and expand the organ as my resources allow, and also customize it to my needs. Since the organ will be sitting in my bedroom, I could
1. Customize it to match the rest of my room, and 2. Forego the big bulky and heavy organ console that you get with factory made electric organs.
So, onward with my research on how to successfully build a Hauptwerk Organ!