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Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/restoring sound from 30 yr. old elect. organ

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I have a Thomas elect. organ that is over 30 yrs. old. For the last 15 yrs. it has been used as a piece of furniture and hasn't been used as an instrument. I want to try and restore the sound. I donot think there is anything critally wrong with it, it just needs a thorough cleaning.If you have a basic procedure to troubleshoot this and any recommendation as to which type of electronic cleaner to use, it would be greatly appreciated.I do have a basic background in electronics as I was an electrician for 35 yrs. if needed.

Answer
Hello Nick!  The number one concern with an aging organ that has not been turned on for a long time would be the electrolytic filter capacitors in the power supply.  If you are serious about restoring the organ, then you should consider replacing them.  After that, it becomes a matter of troubleshooting the non-functioning sections.  

Cleaning can often cause more problems than not.  This is due to simply spraying a cleaner onto the contacts and busses expecting the spray to somehow magically remove the surface dirt without manually wiping the loosened dirt from the surfaces.  More commonly, the cleaner fluid loosens the dirt and simply redeposits it in another location.  Commonly this location ends up being the worst place possible for the dirt to accumulate. So, if you are going to use a spray cleaner, make certain you wipe the residue up immediately.  This removes the dirt from the surfaces and helps to assure clean contacts. You can use cotton tipped sticks, pipe cleaners or pledgets...whatever works best for the application.

Usually, vacuuming with a grounded vacuum cleaner and brush is sufficient. Just be careful while working around any IC's, that you observe static precautions due to potentially damaging static charges. Keep touching a ground or use an anti-static wrist strap while you work.

Lastly, without any specific questions, check the speakers for rubbing noises when gently depressing the cones.  If it's not too inconvenient, disconnect one of the speaker leads to each speaker and connect a 3 volt AC voltage to the speaker.  This is called "buzzing". You should hear a clean, pure 60 cycle hum.  If you hear a lot of noise, the speaker should be replaced with one that's the same size and impedance (Note: never apply a DC voltage to a speaker!).

I wish you success!  

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

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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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