I had the great experience of having a 1927 Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ installed in my Florida Studio during the past several months. After acquiring the organ components, doing all my technical homework, asking people in the theatre pipe organ industry and speaking with colleagues, I entrusted Zollman Pipe Organ Services of Wichita, Kansas with the massive undertaking.
My organ, Opus 1773, no longer had its original Wurlitzer electro-pneumatic relay and due to some additions that we planned to make, the electronic relay system that was presently installed in the organ was in need of upgrades.
I prioritized my specific needs prior to engaging Zollman Pipe Organ Services to do the work and those deal breaker items were:
The relay system had to be reliable with a proven track record in the pipe organ industry.
- It was desired that the relay system have simple technical architecture using common input circuit cards and common output circuit cards.
- There had to be support for multiple users (organists) with multiple levels of memory for each user.
- The relay had to have 100% true record and playback features capturing every nuance of a performance.
- The relay had to communicate with my 1894 restored 6’3” grand piano with a new Piano Disc system via Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) with expression.
The above wish list meant that a newer relay system would be needed and immediately Ed Zollman instructed me to review the Uniflex features.
Well, nearly two years since we first began, the organ is installed and playing well in my studio. The ease of use of the Uniflex system exceeded my expectations and every item on my priority list is now a reality. One of my most favorite features is the “Jump To Transposer” that was programmed, and added as a feature in the most current software release, for me by Mr. Wilcox. I have the ability to select, via Up and Down buttons, the key that I want to end up in (5 presses of the UP button puts the organ in the key of F major) – but the organ does not change keys until I turn on the Transpose stop tab on the back rail. Musically, it works very well and you never have to worry about turning a transposer dial too many (or not enough) clicks.
The computer chosen to run the system has a touch panel screen which makes the system very easy to run, even for visitors. The whole installation is sleek and non-obtrusive in my studio.
On several occasions I had the opportunity to work directly with Mr. Wilcox as we talked about system enhancements and I found that making upgrades to the software on my computer was easy. Mr. Wilcox was always available by telephone and communicated through email as well.
I’m very pleased with the results and feel that the Uniflex relay system contributed greatly to our success with this project
Fort Myers, FL