Digital organs are offered at different price ranges and a wide range of build and sound quality. The challenge for consumers is to compare different products and choose the best value. Value is the combination of superior sound and build quality leading to superior musicality and product longevity. Without either, an organ has low value.
Digital organ manufacturers build to two different standards. Most emphasize price at the expense of quality and product longevity. Often these organs are made to look big for the price. Premium organ builders focus on quality and product longevity.
Remove the backs and look inside organs manufactured in Europe. They all look similar with limited tone generation resources, electronic assemblies not enclosed in protective cages, audio systems not capable of producing high-fidelity sound, and console construction more typical of knockdown furniture. This Blog includes photographs of the innards of including Viscount, Rodgers, Johannus, Allen organs. Un-doctored photographs are an objective method for comparing the quality of construction.
An example of a large organ with little internal assets is the three-manual Viscount Unico 500. For context, the photographs below contrast the Unico 500 with an Allen organ of similar size. The difference is clear.
Also are side-by-side photographs showing insides of the Viscount 3-manual Unico 500 and Vivace 90, one of Viscount’s smaller 3-manual organs. While priced quite differently, the internal assets seem similar between the two organs.
Organ construction quality is an indication of the manufacturer’s philosophy towards organ building, customers, and product support.