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Stop Control

For most applications touch screens are generally used and there are several models available from various different manufacturers. Whilst traditional physical drawstops or tabs are aesthetically pleasing, their main drawback lies in their cost and weight. Since Hauptwerk allows for so many different organ libraries to be used a further limitation lies in the fact that physical stops cannot be changed easily either in number or nomenclature. Whilst there are developments which allow for the nomenclature to be changed this still doesn't allow for differing numbers of stops.

The various electrical units required for stop control are manufactured by only a few companies such as Kimber Allen, Peterson, Syndyne etc. These units have been developed over many years by the companies concerned and are more a case of personal choice rather than specific design. Kimber Allen units tend to be the standard choice in European instruments where solenoid controlled stop units are required. Instruments in the USA and elsewhere generally use units from American manufacturers. There are also alternative button controls designed for use in other fields which may be suitable for use in a organ console.

In general, we prefer to supply units from K.A. however, we can source units from other manufacturers as required.

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Touch screens offer a very economical alternative to the traditional stop control unit. The main advantages apart from price from the Hauptwerk perspective lies in the ability of the screen to be able to represent many different specifications according to which sample library might be loaded. Although it might be aeshetically pleasing to install touch screens in a sloping, angled design within any console, due consideration should be given to the effect of overhead lighting on screens which may make them more difficult or impossible to see. We recommend an angled vertical arrangement in our consoles which might not look as nice but minimises this problem.

Another application for touch screens which is becoming increasingly popular is installation within the music desk as an alternative to conventional printed music. Not only does it save having piles of musty music hanging about but turning pages is more easily accomplished either by physical touch or in some cases, by a remote thumb piston control.

Touch screens represent an economical solution depending on manufacture and the environment that they are in. This may dictate whether a simple domestic type model is chosen or whether a more rugged version designed for commercial use is chosen. There are two different systems generally available; resistive and capacitive. Recent developments in the field have allowed the use of multiple touch control which is especially useful for our purposes. Previously, touch screens were limited to one or two simultaneous touch instigation whereas now 10 or more is common.

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Drawstop & Stop Tab Units

KIMBER ALLEN solenoid drawstops and tabs are used worldwide and are the standard choice for many cathedrals, concert halls and churches. PETERSON manufacture an attractive alternative based on a slightly different design which some may find preferable. SYNDYNE manufacture a wide range of units including non-moving, illuminated head models. There are several other manufacturers manufacturing units but in some cases these are merely re-branded units from the above established manufacturers.

Drawstop heads and shanks are a slightly different matter and there are several manufacturers who manufacture their own designs designed to be fitted on to standard electro-mechanical units available from the above suppliers.

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Thumb & Toe Pistons etc.

Unlike the physical stop controllers, there is a wider selection of thumb pistons available from several different specialist manufacturers or indeed, standard electrical switches used for other industries apart from organ building. We tend to favour the standard KIMBER ALLEN units which have proved themselves over the years and are used worldwide. Toe pistons are available from a smaller group of manufacturers since they are specifically designed for organ building applications. Yet again, we tend to favour the units manufactured by K.A. which are available in several different designs. However, we are happy to source units from other suppliers. We recommend that all piston units be fitted with  reed switches.


Representative examples of toe pistons

Thumb pistons are mounted on solid wood slips as described under keyboards. Toe pistons are mounted on curved / swept fascia boards above the pedalboard.

Swell / expression pedals are available from several manufacturers including those manufactured for domestic keyboard products.

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Last modified: 25-06-2019