In 2009, a Korean church located near Seoul, Korea seating approximately 3,000 people purchased a large four-manual organ built by a firm in Holland. As pictured, from a distance it looks impressive. However, the experience the church encountered with this organ indicates that beauty is indeed often only skin deep.
The church reported that the organ malfunctioned one year after its purchase. After various attempts by the manufacturer and dealer, it remained unrepaired. In 2016, the church decided to cut its losses and replaced the defective organ with a 3-manual Allen Organ.
In order for an organ to serve its congregation for the long term, it must be manufactured with high-quality components and technology. It must also have the manufacturer’s commitment to long-term support. The first requirement can easily be determined prior to purchasing an instrument by inspecting the insides of an organ. As indicated in the photographs below, this Dutch organ was not manufactured to high quality standards. This is demonstrated by shortcuts the manufacturer took in the organ’s construction, which includes unfinished wood interior that will lead to the wood absorbing moisture, as well as circuit boards and even high power circuitry mounted directly on wood, shortcuts that are inappropriate for professional-grade quality.