Electronic Organs: the old school analog synths

Conn 580 Organ

Conn 580 Organ

Conn 580 Organ side view

Conn 580 Organ side view

Because indulging impulses and ridiculosity are both things that are fundamental to my being, I purchased, off of the craigslistnettertubes, an electronic organ. Most specifically, I purchased, for my apartment place-thing, a used Conn 580 manual organ. There was a wonderful alcove in our apartment that was the perfect size for an upright piano or similar; I was browsing the interwebworknettubes and went to the craigslisternettertubewebworks and happened to find this wonderful organ for sale. To my advantage, the man I bought the organ from was nice enough to deliver it to our apartment. Of course, hauling the organ up two flights of stairs was quite a hastle but it's here now and it's not moving again for a very long time.

Conn 580 internals

Conn 580 internals

This organ, much like most other electronic organs, is a complex device composed of gobs and gobs of analog electronics. It would be accurate to describe the device as an early analog synthesizer. Amongst the many other awesome things about this organ, the top can be flipped up exposing the crazy mass of wires, oscillators and other circuit craziness. The number of switches, buttons, keys, and such on this organ is rather mind-boggling and I'm only starting to figure out what half of the stuff does. That said, I've been pretty successful at tossing out some pretty awesome sounds without knowing what I'm doing.

With luck, having a keyboard in the house with provide me sufficient impetus to get around to relearning how to play a keyboard. I feel like I want to get back to knowing how to play the piano (or, in this case, organ). Failing that, though, I've got the potential to make some pretty fun sounds.

Comments

I do not think you are a mad man at all. The Conn 580 is a great instrument. I had a Conn 718 (?) Rapsody organ. It is more of the classical church type of organ. I wished that it had an AGO full pedal board. I now have installed in the lower level of my home a real Wicks 5 rank pipe organ. However, I do miss the old Conn. It was a fun instrument. I kind of envy your Theater 580! Enjoy it! U-tube has a few videos of people playing them. Really a nice sound and fun to watch and listen to them play! So, one day... let me know when you will be on U-tube!