More on the Johnson Style 163 Band Organ in the Carousel Pavilion,
Riverfront Park, Salem, Oregon, USA.
Hello all: At last, I have been able to speak with the technician who
is attending to the problems at the Salem, OR Riverfront Park Carousel
Band Organ. Hopefully, I pass along his opinions and comments
1. The Band Organ has been much too loud in the predominately glass
pavilion, and especially with the doors to the outdoors closed during
the winter season. The technician has lowered the wind pressure on the
organ as much as possible. Plexiglas has been installed across the
entire front of the casework.
2. The technician has made sound level measurements throughout the
pavilion and they run 80-85 decibels in the loudest areas. The
technician insists that the organ is not the problem, but the building
acoustics are troublesome. A large plate glass window with operable
louvers/shutters may be the next venture. This will be tried across
the entire balcony opening that houses the band organ.
3. The technician has improved the design on several "crudely" designed
components in the band organ. For instance, the drum beaters have been
improved to sound better and provide longer service. I believe that he
also improved the roll player mechanism as well. However, the organ has
some sort of imitation Wurlitzer player piano valves that came from a
well known player piano supply house. The tech feels that this design
is far from the ideal and has and will be troublesome in the future.
Apparently, it has been the opinion that at least two other contemporary
manufacturers of band organs are doing a much better job with design
At this point, the organ sounds quite respectable following the
modifications. The technician also insists that it is not as "churchy"
as some Gavioli's! Management is using the organ part of the time, but
also resorts to canned music due to the loudness. The staff consists
of many young folks, those with a bolt through the nose and not too
much love for the music of the Carousel band organ.
I am encouraged by the latest, and hopefully a good marriage will
result between all concerned with the loudness. Also, the technician
indicated that many of the much smaller older original organs would be
much, much louder in this building.
If things should continue in a turmoil, the technician guarantees a
good home for this instrument will be easily found elsewhere if that