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MMD > Archives > November 1997 > 1997.11.24 > 06Prev  Next

Deleika Drehorgel DF 26/44
By Mike Knudsen

Congratulations on acquiring a "basket case" Deleika organ!  Or perhaps
a "kit" with no instructions.  I have a smaller Deleika 20/31 that I got
fully assembled, but have had completely apart to rework the valve
action.  It now plays very well and is a lot of fun, even if not as
musically sophisticated as my larger Raffin 31/84.

Sorry to hear Deleika did not respond.  Anyone know whether they're
still in business?  Now for your questions:

>   1. What is the pitch of the lowest center pipe and are they chromatic?

I *think* someone said the 26-note Deleika scale is the same as their
20-note scale, with the extra 6 notes filling in missing sharp and flat
notes.  If so, *and if* the pitch is the same, your lowest pipe is F below
Middle C.  The second largest would be B-flat.  The organ's natural key
would be B-flat also.

Even in the 26-note scale you cannot expect all "black" chromatic
notes to be present.

Generally, the pitch of a pipe is whatever chromatic note is
closest to the pitch it plays now, when blown by mouth and
checked against a piano.  That assumes the stopper is in its
natural position -- pushed in far enough to be secure, but with
enough handle protruding beyond the pipe end to give you a good grip.

Don't mouth-blow the pipes any more than needed; it gets moisture
into the wood.

On my Deleika the front pipes' foot stems are glued into a single block
of wood, like an inverted Pan Pipes set.  No way to get them out of
order.  Apparently someone unglued yours, or maybe you really do
have an unbuilt kit.

>   2. Is the next pitch up, to the right or left of the center pipe
>      facing the front of the bank of pipes?

Only someone with another Deleika 26 (or a good photo) can tell
for sure.  But seriously, you can mount the pipes in either order
and make them play correctly by how you route the tracker bar tubing.

>   3. What are the tubing connections from the tracker bar to the top of
>      the pipe box? There are 26 connections to be made and I need to
>      know the sequences at both ends. A drawing would be most helpful.

Melvyn Wright, a great roll arranger in England, knows all these "scales"
and can give you the exact tracker hole ordering.

You didn't say whether you had any rolls.  If so, you could ultimately
find the connection order by intelligent experimentation -- assuming your
sanity and your family last that long :-)

I managed to figure out the order of bells on a music box that way, but
there were only 7 of them!

>   4. What are the connections between the bellows and the pipe box? Is
>      anything connected to the 10 holes in the side of the bellows? I
>      understand that the large tube is the pressure source for the pipes.

Glad to tell you that the side holes are the air inlets and should be
left as is.  Yes, the large hole (on top in my 20) gets a flexible
paper/foil hose to carry wind to the windchest (pipe box).  Hope you
have that piece of hose.

>   5. On the bottom of the pipe box are 11 brass tubes and on the top
>      left side are 2 similar ones. Are they connected to anything?

Yes!  The bottom nipples feed the bass and accompaniment pipes, some of
which should mount horizontally under the case bottom.  The side ones
probably feed two bass pipes.

>   6. On the top of the pipe box are 26 screws (adjusters?) What are they for?

Those adjust the bleed vents, which control how fast your notes can
release (stop playing) and repeat again.  Modern organ rolls use *very*
fast repetitions and trills for an almost percussive effect unlike
anything you'd think possible on a pipe organ.  Hal O'Rourke has
written up the detailed adjustment procedure, but you basically want
to set the screws as far closed as you can without slowing down the

>   7. Does the tracker bar have a constant vacuum or is it pressure
>      operated to open the valves to play the pipes when the roll
>      openings are over the holes?  Either vacuum or pressure, what is
>      the source? The tracker bar has 26 holes.

It's pretty simple, whew!  The tracker holes are individually pressurized
thru their bleed holes (the adjustment screws in #6), using the same wind
pressure in the pipe chest that sounds the pipes.

That's why the metal roller that rides on the roll paper over the tracker
bar -- to hold the paper on the bar against the pressure.

> My wife and I visited Germany several years ago and went to a fantastic
> mechanical music instrument museum in Bruchsal. Most of their instruments

Great to hear about this.  What large cities is Bruchsal near?

Hope you get your organ playing.  You'll love it, and have fun showing
it to friends and serenading the neighborhood on July 4th, etc.  The
Musical Box Society (MBSI) sponsors rallies where we gather outdoors
and show off for each other and the public.

--Mike Knudsen

(Message sent Mon 24 Nov 1997, 17:21:52 GMT, from time zone GMT-0600.)

Key Words in Subject:  26, 44, Deleika, DF, Drehorgel

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