"I am pleased to say, that after a complete summer season of operation with the new Stinson MIDI conversion, our Wurlitzer 153 band organ ran 6 to 12 hours each day, has never sounded better, run with greater reliability, or been less trouble. The addition of MIDI equipment has not compromised the integrity (or historic value) of our original Wurlitzer 153."
MIDI Conversion - "I am writing to let you know how pleased the Greenbelt Conservancy is with the MIDI conversion to our Stinson (JB66M-1) carousel (band) organ. Music once again fills the air at the splendid Carousel For All Children here in Staten Island" Willowbrook Park. The carousel staff is pleased with the (band) organ's new technology." ...
“On Budget, and on time - 13 weeks as I
recall (in the 1980’s) Stinson
built the one and only MIGHTY PAN (Band Organ) for our client
Pan American World Airways. Why have we remembered you so fondly
over the years, Don? Because you are an astute professional and
a dedicated perfectionist to boot!” ...
In 1995, I purchased a Stinson Organ. The music brings events to life and puts people in a festive spending mood. Any time I called you went out of your way to
assist me, Don. The organ travels very well and is light
maintenance. The live (band organ) music adds a magical
ingredient to my performance.”
“Without question, it (the Stinson Organ Company’s exhibit at IAAPA 2000) was the
finest manufacturer’s presentation of band organs at a
conference in the United States since Wurlitzer appeared at the
1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition.”
"The New England Band Organ is destined to become a musical tradition at Eastern States Exposition for years to come. The Stinson Band Organ Company produced on schedule on budget a MIDI controlled band organ that will measure up in quality to the finest American or European organs built over the last 50 years. Don Stinson represents a level of craftsmanship and quality seldom seen in America today. Eastern States Exposition is proud of its ownership of the New England Band Organ and consider it a privilege to recommend Don Stinson."...
delivery of our Model 2000M Concert (Band Organ) in August
(2000) we have been inundated with praise by both the
general public and our committees. Children are mesmerized by
the moving figurines, the elderly patrons enjoy the old time
tunes, and families sit and watch in amusement. The (Mighty
2000M) is not only a band organ, but an attraction. To the
carnival owner, this piece is a selling point to their festival
and fair sponsors and can be a contact signer. And if that
isn’t enough, the band organ requires (no paper rolls)
and no operator so the show does not worry about providing an
In 1991, I received delivery of my Stinson Mighty Model 187 Concert Band Organ.
Since that time this masterpiece has entertained children of all
ages at band organ rallies, played at the Sea Breeze Amusement
Park in Rochester NY, and been featured on Carnival and State
Fair Midways to include the Eastern States Exposition The Big E in Springfield MA in the year 2000 with an invite to return this year, 2001. I am very anxious, Don, for you to
convert My Model 187 to the new State of the Art MIDI system. My
Model C52, and JB66, Stinson Band Organs have also entertained
huge audiences while playing for thousands of hours throughout
the United States.
My (Stinson) Band Organ has been running flawlessly for eighteen years and continues to be one of the major attractions in my show. I cannot recall any malfunctioning or need of repairs other than a few minor adjustments that I was able to make myself. I am so pleased with my Stinson Organ that I am now ordering one of your large (concert) models. ...
There are several thousand parts needed to make up a complete carousel or concert band organ instrument and the only way Stinson can ensure the high degree of quality the company is known for is to fabricate the parts in house.
Lets consider that the smallest flute pipe has four sides, the block containing the windway, the foot that the wind travels through, the tuning slug and the leather sealing it, and the cap. The total is nine parts, each one cut to precision tolerance then glued together. After that comes voicing which means the height of the mouth has to be considered along with the angle, the type edge on the pipe lip, the width of the windway, and many other involvements. The man-hours required to produce band organ instruments would shock the majority of those who are unfamiliar with the process.
|One more interesting example revolves around the time and patience required to produce a band organ component called a glockenspiel. Stinson glockenspiels are produced with flat metal bars called bells. After the bell stock is cut to length the second step is to drill the hole the bell hands on. The bell is then tuned to a point where the triple plating will bring it very close to A-440 pitch. If the bell is sharp from the chrome shop a small indentation is drilled in the back of the bell. If the bell produces a flat sound a precision grinding operation becomes necessary. Each bell must be in tune with the rest of the organ. If you were to take a whole note and divide it into 100 parts each part is referred to in tuners language as one cent. Each bell, of which there are 22 within a Stinson glockenspiel, is tuned to within one-quarter of one cent before they are installed!
This brief explanation involves only a couple of instruments but will hopefully assist those who may not understand the complexity and cost involved to produce high quality music instrumentation. Add to the cost to produce instrumentation, the music system that drives the instruments, masterpiece cabinetry with ornate carvings, figurines, and hand painted scenery, and one quickly determines the value.