Service Tips

We are offering these tips to help you and us work together more efficiently to provide quality service for your organ.

Tuning Day Procedures—On the day that we are to tune the organ we require the HVAC system be at the same conditions as it is during the time that the organ is used. Temperature affects the pipe work in the organ. If the HVAC system is not working properly or the settings for the visit have been forgotten, it is imperative that the technicians be informed in advance. If technicians arrive and the conditions of the room are not correct, time and money will have been wasted. We also ask that the building be reasonably quiet during the tuning visit. Vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, and other machinery as well as people talking in the room can be very disturbing to the technicians while they are tuning.

Temperature— Organ pipes are like all other wind instruments: their pitch varies with the temperature. The air inside the pipe is less dense when it is warm and therefore oscillates faster making the pipe sound sharp. When the air in the pipes is cool, they will sound flat. When the temperature changes a few degrees, an organ will go out of tune. Lights create extra heat and ceiling fans move the air around and both of these will affect the room conditions. It is not necessary to keep the building/room at a constant temperature during the week. Lowering the temperature during the week or not using the air conditioning will not damage the organ. The organ will sound out of tune if the temperature is not correct but regardless of how sour it may sound, it will quickly come back into tune at the designated temperature used during playing time.  For this reason the temperature must be the same when the organ is tuned as when it is played and the lights and ceiling fans that are used during playing time on as well. These things are not asked for our personal comfort, but so that the organ may be tuned properly in the conditions for which it will be used.

Humidity—Humidity extremes can cause problems with some organ components. As humidity rises and falls, wood expands, contracts and twists. If the humidity falls, wood becomes dry and cracks and the leather dries out. Humidity should be above 30% during the winter and below 80% during the summer.

Communication—When there is a maintenance problem, the organist should communicate directly with us. Often when a message is relayed through staff members, part of the message is deleted or misinterpreted. Contact with us may be by phone, fax or email. Knowing every detail ahead of time allows us to decide what materials to bring, whether a helper is needed or not, how much time should be scheduled, etc. When you experience a problem, try to remember every detail and jot it down, and this extra note may be left at the console. This is especially helpful when a problem is intermittent. As you know, such problems will not occur when we are present. Contact us as soon as you experience a problem.

Accessibility—We many need to come at hours that the staff is not available to let us in either for an emergency call or scheduled visit. A full set of keys would be a great asset. If technicians have to wait for someone to arrive to let them in, a lot of time and money are wasted. Ladders/scaffolding and lighting are tools that allow us to do our job. Using the organ chamber and/or blower room as storage space can cause damage by people walking around or materials falling into the organ and damaging pipes; it also adds extra time to our visit as we need to move the items out of the way.

Repairs—Repairs made by any one other than us may cause further harm to the organ or cost more in time and money for us to figure out what was done and repair it correctly. We are normally only a phone call away and if we are not able to come right away we may be able to give you helpful tips about what to do until we can get there.

Technicians—We know your organ and will use our best judgment and experience in when not to tune and what repairs to make at certain times. We are willing to consult with you on matters pertaining to your pipe organ. If you have problems with our service, please communicate with us quickly and clearly, and give us a chance to explain or rectify the situation. If you are thinking of making changes or additions to the organ, consult with us and give us the opportunity to propose on the work. If you wish to get another opinion, please inform us before you act.

Guarantees—Organ tuning and maintenance can only be guaranteed to a certain extent. Temperature change or a small speck of dust can put a pipe out of tune just minutes after a successful tuning visit. Older organs may have mechanical problems that recur despite our best efforts to solve it.  We can guarantee that we will do what is in the best interest of you, our customer, and the organ. We will provide you with quality service to make sure that your instrument is providing you with the playing and listening experience that you would like to have.

  • What others are saying…

    Irving Lawless, having been involved with our Möller organ since 1976 and its principal caretaker since 1998, knows every inch of this instrument and has deeply invested himself in its care. He and his knowledgeable tuning, maintenance, and office staff provide exemplary service, listen carefully to our needs, and always go well above and beyond the call of duty to make this pipe organ sound glorious each and every week. We could not ask for anything, or anyone, finer and would highly recommend this firm to any church!
    Charles Miller
    Minister of Music and Organist
    National City Christian Church
    Washington, D.C.
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