Search:
Submit Search


Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Existing and forthcoming Hauptwerk instruments, recommendations, ...

Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby sonar11 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:28 pm

I'm in the market for another sample. I'm looking for an American sound this time around to join my collection.

I've narrowed it down to 3 samples from SP:
- Rosales Oregon (61 stops, 540 Euro)
- Reuter Oregon (77 stops, 430 Euro)
- Aeolian Skinner (46 stops, 249 Euro)

Does anybody have any knowledge to compare these sets against eachother, including the strengths and weekneses?

I'm sort of curious about the pricing too; the Reuter is the biggest but cheaper then the Rosales, and the Skinner is half price of the Rosales but is 3/4 the size. So it appears the Rosales is the most expensive, by far, when looking at cost-per-pipe; not that it really matters, I can afford any one of them, but _something_ must be driving up the cost of the Rosales that I'm not aware of. Is it quality?

I kind of like what I'm hearing from the Rosales, but honestly jumping back and forth between the 3 I lose my ability to compare them against eachother, especially the Skinner vs the Rosales which seem very close in tone; the Reuter seems to have a darker flavour with less detail, unless I'm mistaken.

I like to hear detail in the pipe attacks, for example with an 8' and 2' flute combo and some 16'th staccato notes, I like hearing the detail and precision.

I also like warm and rich strings, "pure" flutes (as opposed to "breathy" flutes), and nice rounded trumpets (as opposed to thin and nasally), and some mixtures that add more color and less shrill.
sonar11
Member
 
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 4:03 pm

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby josq » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:36 pm

The Reuters has many stops, but many unifications too... there are about 45 ranks only, so maybe that explains partly why the cost is lower.

The Reuters is (from my European point of view) a very Romantic organ, with lots of strings and little brightness. With tremulants, it sounds like a theater organ. I have it and I like it because the concept is so different from other sample sets.

The other two organs will take baroque music better.
josq
Member
 
Posts: 710
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:11 pm

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby sonar11 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:58 pm

Thanks josq, that explains what I'm hearing from the Reuters. I think I'm going to stick with one of the other 2 then, especially because I will be playing baroque from time to time on it (I'm far from being a purist :shock: :) but, to be fair, since this is the sound I grew up with and play on, I see no reason why Bach can't be played on these kinds of organs. I do enjoy a high quality baroque sound though, and will purchase another sample like that hopefully within a year).
sonar11
Member
 
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 4:03 pm

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby steverose » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:33 pm

I have the Aeoline Skinner and am very happy with it, of course I have only had it a week. There is a third party extension available if you look at the update tabs. It adds some stops, including a few celeste stops and a small 4th division as a Solo. You might take a look at it as it may fill what you perceive to be some holes in the stoplist. Either way I enjoy the original even without the extension.
User avatar
steverose
Member
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:54 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby adri » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:58 am

The Rosales is in a very dry room; keep that in mind.
adri
Member
 
Posts: 1352
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 7:33 am
Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby IainStinson » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:50 am

I have both the A-S Oakland and Rosales virtual instruments and they are both excellent, but different.

I have used the A-S Oakland for my main practice instrument for a few months: it is very clear and with suitable registration it each line can be distinctly heard. (It does not mask mistakes with an overabundance of reverberation.) The sounds are not forced and I find that can play one or two stops for quite long periods without tiring from the sound. There is a good range of voices for playing beyond practice (performing?). like this instrument a lot.

From the perspective on someone from the UK, I think that the A-S Oakland is an example of a good (very good) local church instrument from one of the more famous US builders from a time when there was significant influence on their work from the neo-baroque (as there was on a number of instruments in the UK). As it sounds in its second home (the organ was moved from St John's Berkeley); I think a very fine instrument.

The Rosales organ is a grander instrument, designed to make a statement in a different type of space - Portland Cathedral. The description of the instrument in the history tab on the SP website sets the expectation of this to be a very special instrument - and it is. I think of it as a much bigger instrument than the A-S Oakland, less intimate, and perhaps bolder in speech. The sound has more reverberation (although SP say the reverberation time for both buildings in two seconds) and bolder. There is a good selection of voices for performing different styles of the organ repertoire. In my opinion, this instrument as more of an international flavour than the A-S Oakland: there are similarities to the Mander organ in St Ignatius Loyola New York. . I like this instrument a lot too.

From my perspective I value the A-S Oakland as very fine American style instrument from the late 1950s in a local church and the Rosales Portland as a more eclectic / international example of a cathedral organ built at the end of the 20th century.

Iain
User avatar
IainStinson
Member
 
Posts: 582
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:08 pm
Location: NW England, UK

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby jharmon » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:55 am

The A-S Oakland is an excellent organ if the extensions supplied by Jake are added. The small additional cost makes the extended set a good investment.
jharmon
Member
 
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 7:13 pm
Location: Fernandina Beach, Florida

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby mnailor » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:23 am

I found the registrational compromises to play Franck, for example, on Oakland too cumbersome. It's a fairly limited instrument compared to Portland in terms of what music it can play convincingly.

Portland can handle 3 manual French symphonic music, though a string on the Positiv would have been nice. It's complete for baroque music, even French baroque composers that most American instruments can't do. The voicing isn't the same as any specific historical style, but it works well and is always interesting.

Oakland is a fine organ, but the somewhat neo-baroque design makes it hard to fit a lot of literature for me. I also like the manuals to be closer to each other in dynamic range, but this has the typical American/English balance where the Great is too loud and the Choir is too soft.

Both samplesets are high quality.

Just my opinions. Haven't looked at Reuter, since I don't play any music suited for it.
mnailor
Member
 
Posts: 404
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:57 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby 1961TC4ME » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:22 pm

Interesting you ask about this as I too have been contemplating nearly the same as of late, comparing these instruments and I'm in the market for a Christmas gift for myself. :wink: So far I've only used the Skinner and Rosales demos and have also listened pretty extensively to both the audio demos on the SP site and on CCH. I agree with Josq, the Reuter is nice, but for my tastes is a bit too romantic, lacks the brightness, and perhaps is a bit on the dark sounding side as well, so I've ruled that one out.

As for the Skinner..... At first I thought the acoustic was too dry, however it has a very similar acoustic to the MDA St. Eucaire which I have and actually find quite pleasing. In fact, I've found both the Skinner and St. Eucaire to have some similar sounding stops that I enjoy, they're both very clear sounding and make excellent practice instruments, where when you goof up you're going to hear it and there's no skimming over mistakes like you can get away with or maybe not even notice on much wetter instruments, which is really not a good thing if you strive to play the best you can. As like the St. Eucaire, the Skinner has very nice strings and an ample amount of additional stops as is, but can be added to with the extension which wouldn't bother me as I'm not much of a strict purist as long as it sounds good. And yes, it is an example of a very nice overall 'church organ' for hymns and much more. Due to the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Euro right now I also like the price much better! :lol:

As for the Rosales..... Also very clear sounding, but a bit dry, in my opinion for an instrument of this size it should also have the larger acoustic to really fully enjoy it, but don't get me wrong, for where it is, it's nice, but is maybe just a bit too much. It reminds me of a local rather large organ that is situated in a small space, http://pipeorganlist.com/Organ_Webpages ... nd_sp.html my previous teacher used to play there and he liked to play 'LOUD' and it certainly did that and then some. The Rosales has many interesting stops with the ability to go out of the norm so to speak and sounds like you can get away with some french baroque and so on, as well as having many stops for just good old church repertoire, so it is perhaps much more flexible, however for French baroque I already have St. Max for that and is my 'go to' instrument. The Rosales can be a very powerful instrument if you want it to be, in a way maybe a bit too powerful or too much bite (at least for me anyways), and I wonder if I would actually want to use it in that fashion much. One other consideration is the amount of memory required, I'm currently maxed out at 32 GB so I could not load the 6 channel variant, only the wet version which kind of defeats my current audio set-up which I've built around the 6 channel idea. After the exchange rate it is also much more expensive.

I'm leaning Skinner right now.

Marc
1961TC4ME
Member
 
Posts: 2744
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:45 pm
Location: Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby lupham » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:21 pm

I have the Rosales and had the pleasure Manuel visiting and doing some reed voicing. I have never been a Skinner fan maybe bigger ones in live rooms. Opus 11 is a wonderful organ to have in ones living room, powerful or soft, clear and beautiful. I've also been lucky enough to play almost half of the Rosales Opus list so I might be a little prejudiced.
lupham
Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:38 pm

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby Artorg » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:55 pm

Since I live only about 20 miles away from Oakland Covenant Church in which the A-S 1301 is currently installed, and since that church is the “mother church” of my church, I bought the A-S as soon as it was released last year. I have thoroughly enjoyed playing it over the last year and can vouch for its realism, if that matters to you. My church held its 70th anniversary celebration this past summer at Oakland Covenant Church and I got to play the real organ for the service. I was amazed at how there were no “surprises” when I sat down to play the prelude music; every stop and registration sounded like I expected from my practicing on the Sonus Paradisi product. I’ve also played the A-S VPO through the house sound system at my church on a couple of occasions when the 30+ year old Rodgers wasn’t quite up to doing justice to the piece that I wanted to play. Because of its clarity and the relatively dry acoustic it worked much better than when I tried the same thing with other sets.
Artorg
Member
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:45 pm
Location: Walnut Creek, CA

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby sonar11 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:30 pm

Thanks everyone for your comments so far; I'm still leaning towards Rosales at the moment.

@adri and others regarding the samples being "dry".

This is totally a subjective thing, but I like the acoustics of Rosales, a lot. I wouldn't mind another second of reverb, but I am not a fan of these large swampy acoustics which sound like you are sitting in the pews instead of sitting on the bench. I like that clear, direct, and fast precision that comes with a close miking. In too many samples, the reverb is unnatural from the organists position, it doesn't like that in real life.

The acoustics are also what I'm very familiar with; it's what I grew up on and have access to. The large reverb is a downside to me in many samples.
sonar11
Member
 
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 4:03 pm

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby telemanr » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:54 pm

I would think one of the joys of Hauptwerk is that we can play organs that are precisely not what we grew up with or are personally familiar with.

I grew up in and continue in a church with absolutely no reverb. Carpeted throughput and with seat cushions etc. After all, the dwindling older congregation must be comfortable.

So It’s nice to play an organ or two at home with at least some life to the sound. And I get to feel what it would be like to play in Salisbury Cathedral. Something I’ll never get to do in the actual venue. That’s glorious.
On the other hand I can also still practice on dryer samples more like my home church. Best of all possible words to paraphrase Voltaire.
Rob Enns
User avatar
telemanr
Member
 
Posts: 1534
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:18 pm
Location: Brampton, ON, Canada

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby 1961TC4ME » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:18 pm

I listened to audio examples of both the Skinner and Rosales over the lunch hour today and I like both but there are some definite differences. Both have great detail to their sound, I heard some nice chiff from some of the stops on the Skinner which I really like, both have sweet strings, the Rosales has more powerful reeds and so on. To use an analogy, the Rosales strikes me more as the modern day fine tuned high winding hyper sports car sound with the V-12 engine, the Skinner more the good old pleasing sound of a finely tuned but older school V 8 from the good old days.

You mentioned being able to afford either so why not get both?

Always nice to have both in the garage and be able to decide which one you want to drive! :wink:

Marc
1961TC4ME
Member
 
Posts: 2744
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:45 pm
Location: Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

Re: Comparing 3 American organs from SP

Postby sonar11 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:36 pm

telemanr wrote:I would think one of the joys of Hauptwerk is that we can play organs that are precisely not what we grew up with or are personally familiar with.

I grew up in and continue in a church with absolutely no reverb. Carpeted throughput and with seat cushions etc. After all, the dwindling older congregation must be comfortable.

So It’s nice to play an organ or two at home with at least some life to the sound. And I get to feel what it would be like to play in Salisbury Cathedral. Something I’ll never get to do in the actual venue. That’s glorious.
On the other hand I can also still practice on dryer samples more like my home church. Best of all possible words to paraphrase Voltaire.


Agreed, it's nice to be able to try something different, and I do have other samples as well. Tholen gets a lot right, and is one of the main ones I have played since it was released.
sonar11
Member
 
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 4:03 pm

Next

Return to Hauptwerk instruments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests