THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT A REED ORGAN IS THE ELABORATELY CARVED CABINET. Sometimes standing six to eight feet tall, they usually have one keyboard, with stops above it, and treadles below which pump the organ. Built from the 1850s to the beginning of World War I, the reed organ should not be confused with the electronic organs popular in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Rechel Piano Company repairs, services, rebuilds and refinishes these elegant instruments. Please call or e-mail us to schedule an appointment or ask a question not answered below...

 

 





HOW DO I TELL IF I HAVE A REED ORGAN? It won’t have a cord to plug it into the wall. Reed Organs are pumped with the feet, like a player piano. The only exceptions are very large reed organs (which often have foot pedals like a pipe organ) and a reed organ with an after market blower, which would have a cord, but would still has the foot treadles for pumping.

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CAN I ELECTRIFY MY REED ORGAN? Yes, small electric centrifugal blowers are available for reed organs. They create the same vacuum that the foot treadles would for operating the organ. The blower contains a one way valve, so that you may operate the reed organ by either pumping with your feet, or turning on the blower. 

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WHAT IF MY STOP FACES ARE MISSING? Rechel Piano can replace any missing faces (labels) on the organ stops. We also have many reed organ manufacturers’ lists of different stop names and their function, so that we might accurately replace faces where the original stop name is gone.

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WHAT IF MY REED ORGAN DOES NOT MAINTAIN A VACUUM, OR DOES NOT PLAY AT ALL? Many materials used in the construction of the reed organ tend to disintegrate with age. These include the bellows cloth (rubber covered cotton twill), and the leather in gaskets. Many times these materials have developed sufficient leaks that the organ can no longer hold the vacuum which it uses to make the reeds sound. These reeds can also become clogged with dirt or debris, and stop sounding. In all these cases repairs, or if necessary, complete restorations may be made to the instrument to allow it to be easily pumped once again.

 

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