The digital organ was introduced in 1971 by Allen Organ Company in Pennsylvania USA.  Since that time, digital technology has become significantly more sophisticated with the highest quality digital organs now producing sounds that are indistinguishable from fine pipe organs.

Most digital organs include dedicated tone generation circuitry for sound production.  This approach results in better sound quality, as well as offering greater reliability and longer-term product viability.

As general-purpose Personal Computers increased in capability, PCs can now produce organ sounds.  However, while PC-based tone generation offers cost benefits to suppliers, it includes tonal compromises and support issues that are detrimental for end-users.

Organs with PC-based tone generation are referred to as “virtual organs”.  Most are created by hobbyists who purchase components from different suppliers in an effort to create lower-cost solutions than real organs.  However, in reality, often these PC-based solutions offer little savings.

Small companies also market PC-based organs.  One located in Europe is Noorlander.  Below is a photograph of a Noorlander organ’s insides.  While the level of quality found in digital organs varies significantly from builder to builder, and is often dependent on price, the photo below demonstrates a quality level that should be unacceptable at any price.

Noorlander Organ Quality
Noorlander Organ Quality



7 thoughts on “Hauptwerk-Based Organ Quality

  1. I wouldn’t have it,that’;s for sure! You are right,…that quality is unacceptable,and the photo doesn’t lie! I mean,…look at it,…wires and cables strewn all over the place,…how does anyone know what cable goes to what? Nope,…I’ll take an Allen ANY day,and twice on Sunday!

  2. I haven’t been on here for a long time. I have a couple of nice Hauptwerk builds. But it would be nice if Allen would market an organ with their unsurpassed quality but a uaser expandable platform that is PC based. It has it’s merits. I love to see old otherwise ussless consoles have new life in them. Allen could take old consoles of theirs ib trade and rebuild them with PC based tech and market tip drawer organs.

    1. Allen Organ Company will not offer organs that cannot be supported for the long-run. PC-based organ solutions cannot meet this basic requirement. This offsets their attributes. With a PC-based organ, seeking a quality console, etc. is in conflict the relatively short lifespan of the overall product.

      1. True. I undrrstand. Would love to see expandable system eben with Allen’s computer systems.

  3. Oh by the way these pictures reveal what a piece of garbage this organ is. A 9th grader in shop class could do better

  4. I was reading this blog again and people want a virtual organ and cobble together a hap hazard unit. Nothing worse than power strips and extension cords. I know the new Allen organs sound better than the MOS. But if you do it right you can get a better sound with quality buikd for less than a virtual organ. I mixed down all the channels into a single tone cabinet and sound processor. Sounds realistic and avlot of purists think that it has to be new to be authentic. I want a MOS 1 theatre. I love the green tabs. And the sound.

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