In a mechanical action organ, each key on the keyboard is permanently attached through rollers, trackers and stickers to pallets that move to allow air into the pipes. With an electric action, the keys have contacts fitted to them and the pallets are moved by an electric current (sometimes with a pneumatic system in between).

With a modern switching system the console can be a distance away and the only connection between the organ and the console is a small cable. In the past there have been fears that this funnelling of all the note and stop information down one cable would slow down the organ, but with the latest systems, the lag is less than any other switching systems, and can be almost as fast as a good mechanical action.

Each key is not permanently assigned to each pallet any more - this means that coupling, transposition and borrowing can easily be assigned, and if there is a problem, changes can be made on site with minimal hassle and cost.

Many organs have electric or electro-pneumatic action where the wiring is old, or the mechanical ‘ladder’ switches are failing. We have many years experience in fitting and maintaining these older systems, but it is usually much more cost effective to replace these with a modern system and, with the major advances in organ technology, the newer systems are much more reliable.

With the associated labour costs of fitting a new system versus an older mechanical switching system, it is usually considerably cheaper to fit the newer systems, even for a small addition to an existing system.

Present generation systems are considerably smaller than mechanical switching systems, so taking up far less space and allowing easier access within the organ.

With a new system there are many more playing aids available:

  1. Pistons with many levels

  2. Sequencers and steppers

  3. USB or card storage of settings so each organist has their own individual setup

  4. Intelligent blower control - in many situations it is possible to save power and decrease blower noise by slowing the blower or stopping it automatically when not required

  5. MIDI control and recording of the organ, with transposition if required

  6. Basses of pedal stops provided electronically if necessary with suitable speakers and amplification


Is older always better?

We are happy to fit systems from a variety of manufacturers.

We would see your requirements and make suggestions as to which would best suit your needs, or we will fit a system from your chosen supplier.