Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Lowery-Jubilee/w Magic Genie

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QUESTION: Hello, I have a Lowery organ that's been in my family most likely since the seventies.  Its a Lowery Jubilee w/Magic Genie,
Model M-300. Serial # 2300-100H7-41016. (110 Amps 115 Watts)...
My grad children really enjoy playing it. However, it has no sound,  when I turn it on I can hear something running (Like a motor)not sure what the sound is but that's it!
Can you give me any ideas, what is wrong and if it can be fixed.
also, Is it something my husband can I can fix if we bought the parts? It seems almost impossible to find a repair person in our area to fix it, I would definately be willing to have someone repair it.  Thank you, Helen

ANSWER: Hello Helen!  The first thing to check on the organ is the headphone jack.  If something has been pushed into the jack, the main speakers will not work, rendering the organ silent.  When troubleshooting the organ, the first place to start is the power supply.  This is the heart of the organ.  If the neccessary voltages are not there or are altogether missing, the organ cannot operate.  The problem could be something as simple as a burned out fuse, a loose wire, plug or contact.  Sometimes just taking the back off and visually inspecting the electronics can reveal the problem  Another simple technique is to turn the organ on and turn all the stops and finctions off.  Turn a single speaking stop on and hold a note down on the respective keyboard with a wedge or pencil.  In other words, turn a flute stop on that is supposed to play on the upper manual and wedge a key down on the top manual.  Then from behind, start firmly reseating any plugs you may find, gently tugging on cables, contacts, pushing on exposed components until the sound suddenly springs to life. When this happens, you will have located the source of the problem.

Another place you can check is the large expression shoe.  It could be there is a broken wire or link on this assembly that could also cause the organ to go silent.

If all else fails, check out http://mitatechs.org/service-locator

I wish you success!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi, Thank you for all your excellent troubleshooting suggestions.
We took the back off couldn't locate any loose wires.
I did gently vacuume 35 yrs of dust and remembered the foot petal (volume)
was the first thing to fail back many months ago, after I put it all the way down from behind we had sound, but its very very low.
Can you suggest what this means? (I checked the headphone Jack for any objects.) Nothing!
The closest repairman is 50 or 60 miles away........is it possible they will travel this far?
Thank you so Much.
Helen

Answer
The volume pedal on these organs consists of a potentiometer which is the same thing as a volume control on a radio.  Sometimes these "pots" spin around if they break from their moorings.  When this happens they take the three wires that are soldered to them and spin them around as well shorting them together.  See if you can access the pedal so you can visualize the pot.  You may have to remove the protective cardboard cover around the shoe.  There should be 3 terminals on the pot.  Make certain the terminals are not touching each other and place a drop of oil on the shoft where it enters the pots body.

As for the service person being 60 miles away: the service charge will likely cost more than the organ is worth unless the tech happens to be in your local area anyway on another job.  If you can, it might be better to take the organ to the shop with the understanding the tech would look at the organ while you wait, to at least determine what the problem is.  If the problem is simple, then you're good.  If not, it will be a matter of deciding whether you should find another organ that works or pay the price of an in-depth service fee.  

Techs have to understand that these little spinet organs are not worth very much.  Charging exorbidant prices to work on them just isn't appropriate unless there is something that justifies it.  

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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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