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Thread: Livingston Electronic Organ

  1. #1
    Captain of Water Music JONESEY's Avatar
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    Livingston Electronic Organ

    Hi - I have the chance of getting a Livingston organ for an absolute bargain.
    Here's the problems:

    1) Can't test it - no power in the disused chapel where it resides
    2) They *think* it's not 100% functional due to some mice chewing it way back when
    3) How to transport it the hundred or so miles from there to me.

    Has anyone here had any experience of Livinston organs? - I'm afraid I have no model numbers or anything, so this is a real shot in the dark.

    Do I take the gamble and have a practice organ at home, or pass on it?

    Advice please fellow Organists.
    ---
    Twitter: Jonesey789
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  2. #2
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    One thought springs to mind, if it's not working, would the manual(s) and pedals (if any) be useable to drive a Virtual pipe organ, download Grande Orgue and some samples and tailor it to suit you.

    I'd say get it home have a tinker with it, give the innards a good inspection, mouse damage should be fairly visible, mice would usually chew the insulation from cables, that should be fairly easy to sort then decide if to repair/refurbish or try and use it as a VPO.

    For transport hire a van, one with a tail lift, and a wheeled dolly to move it from the chapel to the vehicle and vehicle into your house, plus a strong man to help.
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

  3. #3
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    Might borrow a portable generator and test it out. That way you will know where you stand. and Mike's idea sounds good..
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.

    Bill

  4. #4
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso wljmrbill's Avatar
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    maybe help:
    I have found a couple of weblinks which might be useful to a potential purchaser:
    http://www.organforum.com/forums/showthread.php?24288-Anyone-know-anything-about-Livingston-Organs
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wooden-Livingston-Chor-30-Church-Organ-/200606513973- an old listing for what looks like a similar organ

    also found this posting which may help you:
    I'm not sure that this will help very much, but I think Livingstone organs were actually known as Livingstone Burge; their technical man being Kenneth Burge, a brilliant young electronics designer who eventually joined Arthur Lord to form Wyvern Organs. Arthur Lord was for some time the General Manager of Compton Organs after the death of John Compton and Jimmy Taylor, where he worked closely with their Technical Director, Leslie Bourn. On that basis, I would suggest that ALL Livingstone organs were likely to have been valve organs, but I'm afraid I do not know if they used the rotating electrostatic discs for initial tone generation, or valve oscillators.

    I cannot find any history on the net, and I don't know anyone who might know, but I had a school-friend who had a Livingstone-Burge organ, and it always had that familiar valve amplifier hum when it was switched on.

    For basic information, you might like to try looking at the Wyvern Organs website, but it doesn't tell us a great deal about Burge. I'm fairly sure that Livinstone-Burge didn't last all that long as a company, and because valve amplifiers were the norm until the mid to late 1960's or so, when everything started going transitor, I'm failry sure that all the Burge designed organs would be valve machines.
    ....To play only what is written is the domain of science. To realize what is not written is the domain of art."
    - Jean Langlais

    I wish you the Best for each day, now and always.

    Bill

  5. #5
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    Suggest that you make the first trip yourself. If it appears viable (simply a power cord replacement), spend the money to have your local organ repairperson make the second trip with you - I think it would be well worth the fee vs. angst down the road.

  6. #6
    Captain of Water Music JONESEY's Avatar
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    Thanks all for your advice. In the end I decided to pass on it.
    I can see it being a great project, but possibly a bottomless pit of money which I just don't have.

    Back to saving my hard earned pennies for a new practice organ - as my good old Dad says 'if it looks too good to be true, it probably is'
    ---
    Twitter: Jonesey789
    http://jonesey73.wordpress.com/

  7. Likes wljmrbill, Krummhorn liked this post
  8. #7
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
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    What town was it in?
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

  9. #8
    Captain of Water Music JONESEY's Avatar
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    It was in Corsham
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  10. #9
    Civilian
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    Free to good home

    I know it's a while ago that you were looking at acquiring a Livingston organ but did you get yourself a practice organ in the end? I have Livingston organ that needs a home. I rescued it about 2 years ago from a church that had no further use for it where tt was in use up to the day we removed. My idea was to gift it to a church in Romania through the charity I support but so far we have had no takers. Now the warehouse near Cardiff where the organ is stored has to be vacated. The organ is complete with its large speakers and can be tested. It will be dusty!

    I can't bear the thought of it being broken up for scrap so whoever wants it can come and take it away. Anyone interested?

    Quote Originally Posted by JONESEY View Post
    Hi - I have the chance of getting a Livingston organ for an absolute bargain.
    Here's the problems:

    1) Can't test it - no power in the disused chapel where it resides
    2) They *think* it's not 100% functional due to some mice chewing it way back when
    3) How to transport it the hundred or so miles from there to me.

    Has anyone here had any experience of Livinston organs? - I'm afraid I have no model numbers or anything, so this is a real shot in the dark.

    Do I take the gamble and have a practice organ at home, or pass on it?

    Advice please fellow Organists.

  11. #10
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    Re: free to a good home

    Hi Toppers, is your Livingstone still available? We live about an hour from Cardiff and I'm looking for a practise organ for my 14 year old. We don't have the budget for a new one and even second hand ones seem to cost thousands. Could collect this week. We would like to test it please because we don't have the skills to make repairs.

    Many thanks, Flora

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