There are two types of organ suppliers: Manufacturers and Micro-Assemblers. They are very different in capabilities and customer commitment.
An Organ Manufacturer offers a range of organs built in their own facilities requiring the company to commit to ongoing investment. A fully-integrated Organ Manufacturer produces its own organ consoles, circuit boards, power supplies, keyboards, stop controls, digital tone generation technology and much more, and can supply superior quality control and support. A more limited organ manufacturer relies on third-party suppliers for important organ assemblies.
The world’s most integrated organ manufacturing facility is located in Macungie, PA and is owned by Allen Organ Company. At this location the Company also maintains millions of dollars’ worth of service parts for Allen Organs of all vintages.
When the world’s first digital musical instrument in the 1970s (by Allen Organ Company), only large and well-capitalized companies commanded the technical resources to design and build digital organs. More recently, as digital technology has become more common, small firms (Micro-Suppliers) started offering digital organs, often based on technology from third-party suppliers. The limited scope and resources of Organ Micro-Assemblers makes the value proposition of their products very different from an instrument built and supplied by a real Organ Manufacturer.
- Because Organ Micro-Assemblers lack manufacturing capabilities, they cannot control future parts availability. They are dependent upon the suppliers from whom they purchase consoles, stop controls, circuit boards, power supplies, amplifiers, and keyboards, a tenuous proposition for long-term customer support. Most third-party suppliers to Organ Micro-Assembles are also small and poorly capitalized, bringing into question their own long-term product support capabilities.
- The lifespan of instruments supplied by Organ Micro-Assemblers can be severely shortened by support and parts availability issues.
- Organ Micro-Assemblers lack the resources to create and maintain service support documentation, service manuals and technical records.
- Organ Micro-Assemblers often lack local factory-trained technicians capable of servicing the high-tech circuitry and complex mechanical assemblies that make up an organ. Without local service long-term reliability is questionable.
Thoroughly researching an organ supplier’s reputation for quality, corporate and financial stability and investment in their business, is the only way for customers to ensure that their large investment in a new organ can be protected for the long-term.