This Blog has been informed of an unfortunate situation for a church and its organ purchase. About three years ago a California church contracted with a West Coast Hauptwerk assembler, Martin Digital Organs, to purchase an organ based on PC tone generation technology. The instrument was never delivered, the definition of a virtual organ. The church suffered a significant loss of funds.
Purchasing an instrument from a small organ assembler is risky. While the builder’s concerns should be for instrument reliability and long-term support, these undercapitalized companies instead often use funds collected for one customer to pay other bills. This type of financing typically ends badly for customers.
While the church in this Case Study never received the organ, the builder delivered the instrument’s speaker cabinets, pictured below. The outrageously low quality demonstrated in these photographs speaks for itself.
It is difficult to understand why a church would risk purchasing an organ that is supposed to last for decades from a garage-type organization. Often this is the result of a personality at the church pushing an agenda not be in the best interest of the congregation. Possibly this Case Study will help churches avoid this kind of tragedy in the future.