KIRK A. WILSON & ASSOCIATES, L.L.C.
Meticulous Care for Electro-pneumatic Pipe Organs

Our Uniform Fee Schedule:

We truly believe in the concept of no surprises in matters of billing for our services. To our knowledge, we are the only Pipe Organ Maintenance firm in the United States that posts their fee schedule in a public place for all to see. 

Through tunings are billed at the rate of $15 per rank.

Touch up tunings are billed at the rate of $35 per hour.

• Travel to and from your church is billed at the rate of .37 per mile.

What’s the difference between a Stop and a Rank?

Many church organists use the terms Stop and Rank interchangeably whereas the two terms are quite different. The term stop” is the mechanical device that operates a given set of pipes. The term “rank” refers to the set of pipes itself.

In a mechanical or “Tracker” action pipe organ determining the number of ranks can be quite simple. Each stop tablet/drawknob activates a corresponding set (or rank) of pipes. The name of the stop is engraved on the stop tablet/drawknob followed by an Arabic numeral such as 16', 8', 4', 2' or a fractional pitch such as 2.2/3', 1.3/5', 1.1/3' and so forth.  If the name engraved on the stop tablet/drawknob is Mixture, Scharf, Zimbel, Sesquailtera, Rauschpfeife, etc. followed by a Roman numeral, this means that more than one rank of pipes is brought into play when the given stop is drawn— the actual number of ranks corresponds to the Roman numeral. Therefore, if “Mixture IV” is engraved on a stop tablet/drawknob in the Great division, this means that four independent ranks of pipes are brought into play when the Mixture is drawn.

Enter electricity into the equation and everything can change. The application of electricity to the action of a pipe organ brought with it much abuse— this abuse has given electro-pneumatic action a “black eye” in some quarters. The most serious objection is wholesale unification of every rank of pipes in an organ to play at multiple pitches on every keyboard and in the pedal division as well. This is NEVER a sound practice and should be discouraged in any situation. However, simple unification can lend flexibility to a small organ and is justifiable.

As an example, it is typical to add an additional octave of pipes to the low end of a typical Swell 8' Flute and wire the resulting rank to play at both 16' and 8' in the Pedal and 8' only in the Swell. The result is a soft 16' stop to “sit under” the Swell Strings or to provide a soft foundation for mezzo choral and vocal accompaniments.
Since the bulk of the expense of any rank is in the lowest two octaves, this provides a luxury that is now common place in modern organs
at a fraction of the cost of additional 16' and 8' Pedal stops. Although there are new THREE stop tablets/drawknobs to operate the pipes, there is still only ONE rank of pipes from which all three stops are drawn.

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