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Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Story and Clark electric organ repair

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QUESTION: My 1972 Story and Clark organ will turn on but does not play.  I am the original owner and play it often, the failure was sudden- it worked fine one day and no sound the next.  I checked the electric current at the switch and it is live but the current stops at the motor box (for lack of the correct term) in the back of the organ.

ANSWER: Hello Pam!  You did not include a model number which would have been helpful.  All Story and Clark instruments were made by Lowery.  I believe the last year for Story and Clark instruments was 1971.  When you say the organ will turn on, I need to know how this is apparent.  Do indicator lights light, or a pedal light comes on?  When you say the power stops at the motor box, how did you arrive at this conclusion?  Are you referring to an actual spinning motor?

Speaking generically, most electronics of this age develop electrolytic capacitor failure which can lead to many different kinds of problems depending on where they are located in the circuitry.  The most common area of failure would be the filter capacitors in the power supply.  Of course, other failures like the rectifier and power transformer can also be culprits but it will take an organ technician familiar with the technology to determine the actual cause of the problem.

Check out the following website if you need help locating a service technician: http://mitatechs.org/service-locator

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QUESTION: Thank you for your information.  I took the back off and did find a date - December 1970 (I hope you can remember back that far - I was 11 when my mother bought the organ!)  I can't find a model number and it appears the booklet that came with the organ is long gone.  I used a power tester that my handy husband has and the wires indicate electricity and then the power stops at what I believe is called the Amplifier and Power supply.   The existing Amplifier and Power supply has TLOK on a sticker.  Do you know where inside the instrument I could find a model number?  The indicator light comes on and I can hear it humming but no sound when you press the keys or pedals.  The Amplifier Power supply is cold to the touch and the connection wires, although dusty, appear to be attached.  I found a company called Organ Service Corporation which shows a picture of an Amplifier and Power supply which looks exactly the same as mine.  If it could be a fuse that is the problem that would be great and considerably cheaper. Thank you again for your insight.  Pam

Answer
If you are hearing obvious hum it is probable the organ has some bad electrolytic capacitors in the power supply or the voltages are not correct or missing...or the rectifier is bad.  The model number should be on a label underneath the key desk.  I suspect it is a model 45, 150 or 200 since those were the Story and Clark organs built in 1970.  Story and Clark organs were simply repackaged Lowery organs.  For this reason, the Lowery model numbers would be IC44, GAK, GA25K/H25R2, respectfully.  

Fuses were not used much in these organs.  As I recall there was only a single power fuse.  Therefore, if the pilot light comes on, at least the power fuse is not the problem.

Make certain nothing is plugged into the headphone jack since it disconnects the internal speakers.  You might try plugging some headphones into the jack to determine if the problem involves the headphone switch itself.  If you can hear sound through the headphones but not through the internal speakers, the switch on the jack is at fault.  

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Thomas Britanyak

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I am a full time organ/piano technician who has been actively involved with the design, building, repair, maintenance and installation of organs and pianos for 35 years. I began as a keyboard instrument apprentice and hold degrees in music and electronics. If you need a piano's date of manufacture, please go to http://www.pianoexchange.com/howold.htm or http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/pianoage.html I am happy to answer musical or technical questions, however, I CANNOT offer appraisals on pianos or organs. Please do not ask what an instrument is worth. For this service please contact an experienced local appraiser or try the following links: https://mmm1100.verio-web.com/blueb1/appraisal.html or http://www.57piano.com/questions.htm

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I am a full time organ/piano technician who has been actively involved with the design, building, repair, maintenance and installation of organs and pianos for 35 years. I began as a keyboard instrument apprentice and hold degrees in music and electronics.

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I am a full time organ/piano technician who has been actively involved with the design, building, repair, maintenance and installation of organs and pianos for 35 years. I began as a keyboard instrument apprentice and hold degrees in music and electronics.

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