Alexander Schuke says:

The restoration of the Stertzing organ 1702 honored a master absolutely equal to
Arp Schnitger
No organ builder shows such a connection with
Johann Sebastian Bach

Sample Set from the Stertzing organ

Sample sets are made to play in the living room with the pipe sounds of a church organ. The most beautiful organ sounds come from historic organs from the baroque era with their vocal sounds. Organs with 20 to 30 registers built around 1600 – 1790 in the golden age of organ art. At the end of the last century, the organ builders were able to restore it to its original baroque style.

My traditional knowledge of organ building I have also applied to designing house pipe organs. Organs for the living room are not miniaturized church organs, but are specially designed for the living room. Church organ pipes cannot be used in a house organ. The wind pressure of the house organ is low and the pipes have a low upper labium. This creates a tone with a clear blowing sound (chiff) that change into a fluctuating development of the tone; a very musical effect that inspires to play. Please switch off the unnatural wind model.
The organist sits a short distance away and can hear every nuance of the tone.

Sample sets are made from church organs and sound like miniaturized church organs in the living room. With the voicing I try to approach the sounds of my house pipe organ, but I only succeed to a limited extent. I achieve the best result with samples of baroque organs in small churches, preferably in southern European places. The wind pressure is lower and the acoustics are better than with the Northern organs.

A striking example is the sample set of the Stertzing organ from Büßleben. Stertzing's workshop was in Eisenach, where Johann Sebastian Bach was born. The organ from Büßleben was built in 1702 and is still in its original state. The sounds hardly differ from those of a house pipe organ.

Piotr Grabowski chose this organ to store the sounds in a sample set and voiced the samples so perfectly that the sounds I hear correspond to my house pipe organ. The sample set of the Stertzing organ is the most successful set for a Hauptwerk organ and Piotr Grabowski delivered a top result. I play this organ every day.

                                                                             Stertzing organ ----->

Choices when buying an organ for the living room


When choosing an organ for the living room, the most important aspect should come first. Those are the loudspeakers! The sounds must match the sounds of the pipe organ as perfectly as possible. Therefore, the organ does not have to look like a pipe organ, but it must sound like a pipe organ. And because the sounds are reproduced by loudspeakers, they are the most important parts of a home organ.

An organ case with a pipe front is expensive, although the pipes contribute nothing to the sound; so it is a useless investment. Some buyers of a home organ find many draw stops interesting, but that is also an investment without return. The sounds don't get any better and usually those pull knobs are also in the ideal place for the speakers. Loudspeakers are not allowed in the organ case, because good loudspeakers of optimal quality have already been placed in a housing specially tailored to that loudspeaker. The quality gain is canceled out if they are placed inside the case.

First look and listen to a specialist in hi-fi reproduction. Both speakers of a stereo pair are never hidden in a case. Why should an organist do that? The case of the organ in the church has the task of bundling the sounds of the pipes to radiate them from the front in one broad stream. The top of an organ case is always closed. Yet there are house organs where the speakers are directed upwards.

To distribute the weight of the pipes evenly, they are placed in C and Cis windchest. Sometimes this is audible, but the aim is for one broad, balanced stream of sounds. The photo shows my organ, where the speakers are clearly visible in the best place.

Of the samples I only use the DRY sample, which is a recording that reproduces the pipe sound as directly as possible. Two channels in stereo are sufficient to reproduce a wide sound area. The low tones sound from a subwoofer. The speakers have been chosen in such a way that the frequencies between 32 and 130 Hz are reproduced evenly. The lowest notes are more tangible than audible. It is a costly investment, but the profit is great: the sounds do not deviate from my pipe organ.

I have visited the churches in most European countries. Sometimes to get to know the organ, but also to voice the pipes or carry out repairs. Of my favorite sample sets, I often played the original organ in the church. In my living room I want to hear the sounds like I heard them in church.

It is necessary to voice the sounds from the samples. I have described how to make this adjustment in a book that every applicant receives for free, provided they ask for their name and address. The difficulty in voicing pipes cannot be explained in writing, but the sounds in the samples are from pipes that have already been voiced. With the help of the book, the adjustment can be made by anyone.

                                                                                                              zie: Hauptwerk books