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DIY Organ Gallery

Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...

DIY Organ Gallery

Postby Nonius » Mon May 29, 2006 7:00 am


As more and more people are publishing their DIY projects, would it not be nice to have a special 'corner' in this forum to get an overview?
Either with links to peoples websites or place to put some photographs and description. This is what I gathered through the last few years:

If people on this forum would publish, including tips, costs etc. it would help future builders?

Forum posts:
Francesco Pasetto, Italy:
James Williams, Sheffield:
Christopher James Quinn:
Jason Edge:
Bob Collins:
Mike "Midiwriter":
Joerg Glebe: (German: ... 0133#10133)
Randall Mullin:

Personal websites
Jiri Zurek:
Neil Craig:
Cole Votaw -- Springfield, Ohio, USA:
Martin Greenwood: see Midi Boutique Gallery (below)
Rudolf Schwartz, Karlsbad:
James R. Knight Memorial Organ: ... index.html
Al Morse:
Brian Wolfe: ... Setup.html
Jim Reid:
Bob Collins Zion Lutheran Church:
Pierre Jacquet: ... _article=6
Christopher James Quinn:
Aart Saly:
Attila Simonfalvi, Budapest:
Gérard Lefranc: ... rgues.html
Randall Mullin:
Kenneth Spencer:
Jeff Gagnon:

Not necessarily HW:
Mick Berg: (dutch)
Colin Pykett:
Steffen Andrews:
Scott Duncan in Canton, Ohio:
Paul Solek: or here:
Jefferson Ogata:
MIDI Gadgets Boutique Gallery: ... llery.html
Classic Midi Works gallery: (already on martin's link pages)
International Organ Foundation: (already on martin's link pages)
Nick Appleton, Sydney: ... index.html
Ed, Illinois USA: ... sp?TID=694
Kent Allman:
Stephen Malinowski:
J. Kumičák:
Stefan Kiessling: ... sc&start=0,
Last edited by Nonius on Fri May 22, 2009 9:38 am, edited 20 times in total.
Have a nice day,
Amnon Mayer
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Location: Israel

Postby PeterD » Mon May 29, 2006 12:39 pm

Good Idea!
Here's mine: - My manuals were the original keyboards in Neil Craig's console - which was originally part of a very large Pipe organ installed in somebody's house. Manuals are by Kimber and Allen - not the greatest quality you've ever seen - quite surprising considering their previous role. The keyboards and pistons were midified by Ron Coates, - I'm not entirely averse to DIY but in a few months of madness twenty years ago I built a Wersi ( remember them!)and 20,000 soldered joints later -well let's say a soldering iron isn't something I reach for with joy even now.

The pedalboard, bench and music stand came from a Compton Melotone I took apart - very good quality here - no wonder Compton's ran out of money. The pedalboard was rather crudely midified using one of those kid's 36 note mini keyboards. Small contacts operated by steel strips attached to the pedals and wired directly to the switches in the mini keyboard itself - hardly technically sophisticated but works perfectly. The Compton had two very nice ivory keyboards with a lovely touch - just looking for another couple now - but that's for the future

Computer is a HPx4000 workstation which was fairly old when I bought it, but did have 4Gbs of Ram ( and as with all the above items all from e-bay) After a couple of rather uncertain bios flashes I've managed to get the motherboard to accept a pair of 2.8 Xeons and it multithreads quite happily with HW2. I've added the 3/Gb switch to XP Pro. St Anne's runs perfectly with the CPU's never exceeding 40% but Jiri's Litomysyl Grigar with everything coupled down to the Great is running close to 100% even with my modest fingerwork.

Soundcard is a 1010LT and the aim was to output the SPDIF to a Yamaha DSP-AX1 8 channel amp- but SPDIF out from soundcards isn't, I'm told quite the same as the SPDIF in home cinema amps. That's work in progress - the aim is to have it playing through Bose double cubes + a couple of subs provided I can match up all the crossovers and overcome a certain amount of domestic opposition to 850 Watts in the hall!

Currently adding an Audigy ZS - mainly to add reverb for the Virginia - I have'nt had much to do with dry samples as yet.

The whole project is built into a corner of the study- so there is some workspace on both sides of the organ. On the right side is a 17'' touch screen - originally I think part of a failed gaming project ( another e-bay acquisition) it is a heavy duty device in a steel frame now rather elegantly presented in an oak frame to match.

Hope this encourages those like myself who simply don't have the technical and DIY skills to achieve the sort of magnificent result as say G'Day's. You can still have a decent little cathedral organ in the corner of your room !

Here are the pics

With best regards to all - hasn't this been fun

Last edited by PeterD on Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby BachsFugue » Mon May 29, 2006 2:31 pm

Well done, Amnon! This is an excellent idea.
Cole Votaw -- Springfield, Ohio, USA
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Postby BachsFugue » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:56 pm

Everyone, please note the new url for my website:!
Cole Votaw -- Springfield, Ohio, USA
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Postby NicholasA » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:27 pm

I've got my little DIY site (also has the info for the St. Stephen's organ) here:

I designed an expandible organ controller for integration into an old analogue organ where matrix scanning is impossible. I'll be obtaining an organ soon enough which i'll be building it into :-)
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Postby engrssc » Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:30 pm

I placed a fairly extensive description of the implementation of MIDI to my Rodgers 340 analogue theatre organ. Here is a link: ... sp?TID=694
Included are several pictures describing various phases of the project. Even tho the instrument began as a theatre organ, it has adapted nicely to classical music thanks to the many fine sample sets found here.

It presently speaks well of itself through 10 audio channels.

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MIDIfication of Yamaha E-3R

Postby philip77 » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:46 pm

Thank you Nonius for starting this DIY post.

I MIDIfied a vintage Electone Yamaha E-3R to run Hauptwerk 2, Studio version, and it's working spectacularly.

The whole story with photo album is posted on the MIDIbox Forum at:

All the best to all the Hauptwerkians around the world,
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Postby Don » Tue May 08, 2007 2:38 am

A couple of photos of my residence organ.

5 ranks of pipes, 3 on the Great
Principal 8'
Octave 4'
Harmonic Flute 4'

and 2 on the Swell
Rohr Flute 8'
Principal 4' (Gemshorn)

Bottom octave of Pedal
Principal 16'

Organ Overall
Great Soundboard (Speakers at back are for Fifteenth and Mixture)
Computer and blower/bellows are in and on top of kitchen cupboards!

Cheers, Don.
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Postby Attila Simonfalvi » Tue May 22, 2007 10:27 am

Attila Simonfalvi
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Location: Budapest, Hungary


Postby Attila Simonfalvi » Tue May 22, 2007 10:50 am

Attila Simonfalvi
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:57 pm
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Postby Attila Simonfalvi » Tue May 22, 2007 10:56 am

I apologize fort he previous messages, I tried to show some photos,
but I made anything wrong. Can anybody help me, how can I do that?
(step by step, please) Thanks:
Attila Simonfalvi
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Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:57 pm
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Postby pwhodges » Tue May 22, 2007 11:38 am

Like this (where I have replaced the [] brackets with {} so that you can see; your problem is that file names are case-sensitive on many web servers, and so you should have put .JPG instead of .jpg. But please make smaller images before putting them in so that everyone gets to download them - they're nearly 1MB each.


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Project Finished!

Postby eajohnson » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:42 pm

Just put the near final touch on my project. I used an old Schober my father and I built from a kit back in the 70's. I took out the old electronics, replaced the pedal switches with a kit from Petersen (very easy to do), replaced the stop switches with SAMs (not too difficult but tedious!) and wired it all through a MIDI system from Devtronix (VERY tedious!). I use a 5.1 surround system and, when needed, a Lexicon reverb. The computer has been updated to a dual core AMD running Vista 64 bit, 8 gb memory. There is currently an EMU 1212m soundcard installed.

All told took four years and maybe $3,000 including the samples. If anyone is looking to do a project with Hauptwerk, check out the Yahoo group for Schober Orphans. There will often be someone with an old Schober Recital willing to part with it for the cost of shipping. This will give you a good solid console and 32 note AGO pedal board. I saved money by rewiring the Schober keyboards for MIDI compatibility but a better way to go would probably be to put in the new MIDI keyboards now available.

The next step is to add moving stop tab capability to the SAMs using the MIDI out function of Hauptwerk. Hope that will be working soon.

Now, if only my playing could live up to Bach's music and Hauptwerk's sound.....more practice! for a picture.

Last edited by eajohnson on Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:43 am, edited 3 times in total.
Owner of an old Schober homebuilt, midified and Hauptwerkified.
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Postby engrssc » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:34 pm

In terms of a MIDI control boards, check out a web site by Peter Stark.

Here you will find all the information, software and all else needed to construct a very fine MIDI control system. I built 5 such boards as described by Pete at a cost of approx $55 USD each including all the parts and the PC board itself. The software (on the website) can be downloaded into the finished boards. The construction time for each board was less than 3 hours. Loading the software took approx 10 minutes (per board).

They have worked flawlessly on my Rodgers 340 (3 manual theatre instrument). BTW, I was able to leave all the original Rodgers analogue circuitry intact (still playable) with the added MIDI conversion. After the conversion, I can play 2 - MIDI organs as well as the original Rodgers instrument simultaneously (altho I rarely do that).

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Postby Attila Simonfalvi » Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:52 pm

Hello Hauptwerkians!
The Hungarian Homebuilt Hauptwerk Organ was born!
It has two manuals, a parallel concave BDO pedalboard
and 44 stopswitches (12 to ped, 16 to HW, 16 to SW).
There are 8 switches for couplers (P+I, P+II, I+II, octave
and suboctave and pleno). The switches send "note ON-OFF"
signals by "LPT to MIDI" from Francesco Pasetto.
For manuals I used two Fatar TMK 61's keyboards and
encoders in wooden consol. For crescendo and swell pedals
I used Fatar's Modulation Wheel potmeters, it works fine.
The pedalboard is home made from oak according BDO, with
30 tone. For contacts I used microswitches, the encoder is
mpc40x from J. Petkov. The MIDI signals are going to soundcard's
MIDI In across a Quadramerge box from MIDI Solution.
The PC is placed in the consol, it's a Pentium IV, 2,6MHz with
2GB Ram and 160GB SATA Winchester, running Winwows XP32.
Soundcard is EMU 1212m. For audio I use two homebuilt Quad
405 stereo amplifiers, the speakers are Jamo and JBL and a Koda
active subwoofer. In my room it's enough.
I have only studio edition, therefore I haven't MIDI Out signals to
controll stopswitches, if I use combinations. Hence I use a touch-
screen monitor too.
Let see the attached pictures:
Attila Simonfalvi
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:57 pm
Location: Budapest, Hungary


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