Advice to purchase a church organ

The choice to purchase a (new) church organ for your church is not an easy one. Many questions will come to you: is a pipe organ the right instrument or do we need a digital organ? What space do we have for an organ in our church hall? What function will the organ fulfill in the liturgy in the future? How many stops does the organ need? On this page we give you some advice to make buying a church organ easier for your congregation.

Content Orgels Advice to purchase a church organ(FAQ)

1. Which organ is the right organ for your church?

When thinking of a church organ, one initially thinks of a large pipe organ, as can be found in many large historic churches in different countries. Our home-based country, The Netherlands, is known for a rich organ history, and every major city has one or more well-known organs. Think of the well-known organs in Amsterdam: the Vater-Müller organ in the Oude Kerk, but also the famous Duyschot organ in the Westerkerk. But also the Willis organs in the UK and the great Cavaille Coll organs in France are examples of famous pipe organs. Such organs are of course beautiful, but not feasible for many current churches, in terms of space, budget and function. A suitable church organ can be recommended for every church space, with some estimates an organ builder uses. Depending on your church space, this can range from a small portative to a larger two- or three-manual instrument. Of course, the size of a pipe organ has a direct influence on its affordability as well as its function to support the liturgy. There are therefore many 'variables' with a pipe organ that must be taken into account in order to be able to proceed with the right purchase.

With a digital church organ, these choices are easier. A digital organ can be adjusted (with its own intonation software) to any desired church. The choice for a smaller or larger organ is therefore less dependent on the situation in the church building. Budget also plays a secondary role, the differences in large and smaller digital church organs are minimal. The most important point of departure is the function of the digital instrument: to accompany the congregational singing or to give substance to the liturgy in some other way. Thanks to years of experience, Content Organs can deliver a custom-built and intonated digital organ in every church. In addition to standard audio solutions, you can also contact Content for real digital pipe organs (resonator systems) and hybrid organs. Watch our Church Organs! »


2. A digital pipe organ?

Pipes are not there for decoration!

To approach the pipe organ as closely as possible, especially for use in worship. With this objective, Content Organs has been developing its digital (church) organs for many years, with an eye for craftsmanship and sound quality. Through a unique collaboration with Kienle® Pipe Resonator Systems, the real digital pipe organ is closer than ever. Kienle® Pipe Resonator Systems are developed by a German engineering firm and are built and installed by Content Organs. The system works as follows: a loudspeaker is mounted under each pipe in an organ front or other arrangement, which can reproduce the sound of the various frequencies in a (digital) organ. These frequencies then resonate in the pipe, which gives an amplifying effect resulting in a very natural and realistic reproduction! A real digital pipe organ. Over the years, these systems have been used in various churches and halls, and are highly valued by renowned organists. More information about Kienle! »

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3. A hybrid organ?

Where pipe and speaker meet each other!

Content Organs is also your partner in the realization of hybrid instruments. A hybrid organ is an organs where both speaking pipes and speakers are responsible for the entire sound of an organ.
In addition to adding digital voices to an existing pipe organ, or linking a digital organ to existing pipe work, Content Organs also offers completely new hybrid installations. To this end, Content has an excellent collaboration with the Italian organ builder Consoli. They build (parts of) pipe organs, which configure optimally with the digital organs of Content. For example, the basis of your church organ (for example the Principals 8' and 4' and 2') comes from real pipe work, while the other voices speak digitally. More information about audio solutions! »

Consoli System in Old English Church - 1

4. Which organ? And how many stops?

Which organ and how many stops suit our congregration?

The choice of an organ and number of stops depends on the function of the organ in your worship services. In addition, this also depends on the personal taste of organists and the wishes with regard to (future) concert artist use of your church organ. On average, a two-manual instrument is sufficient, with about 30 – 40 voices.
The digital (pipe) organs of Content Orgels are all equipped with four different organ styles, which makes it possible to combine multiple wishes and styles. Is music by great masters from the Baroque appreciated in your church? Then this organ style will be intonated clearly and with a rich overtone in your room. Are there – in addition – lovers of the English Symphonic style? In that case, Content Organs can also fully into your church space in the same instrument, with an eye for carrying capacity as well as the warmth of the reeds and Open Diapasons that are characteristic of this style period.

As for the number of stops: This should fit the size of your church. A small 80-seat chapel wouldn't need a four-manual organ with 76 voices, while a large church with perhaps 1000 seats wouldn't get away with a modest one-manual organ. Content Organs will consider together with you, possibly after a visit on location, the size of the disposition and its composition. Of course, coordination with the organist team is important. Thanks to the software-based basis of digital church organs, Content Organs offers a lot of flexibility in this regard. More information about audio solutions! »


5. What does your church organ look like?

The look and finish of a digital church organ

Not only the sound of your new organ is important, the eye wants something too. When it comes to the outside of your (new) church organ, a number of things are important:

The quality and finish of the organ furniture
A new church organ has a long life. It is therefore important that both the organ furniture and the parts used are of very high quality. After all, in the church, only the best is good enough.

Content Organs has a high standard when it comes to building and finishing its organ furniture. The Content furniture maker is internationally recognized as a high-quality builder, and sources wood from forests that are planted and managed by himself. All our organs are built of oak. This guarantees a long lifespan. So reliable!

Finishing the speaker systems
In addition to choosing the right speakers for the most optimal sound, the construction of these speaker systems is also important. The Content Speaker Systems (CSS) are always supplied in a wooden housing, with sufficient damping material to prevent resonances. These housings can be installed or mounted anywhere. When choosing the right speaker systems and setup, reliability is a keyword.

Reuse of existing material or a new organ case?
If you attach great importance to the existing pipe front, there is always the option to place the audio systems behind, or in the already existing organ case. This way your organ front, which may be decades old, remains intact, with new interior. When placing audio systems in an existing cabinet, we always try to leave the existing situation intact. With hybrid solutions, Content always strives to keep the new situation as similar as possible to the existing situation.

You can also choose to have a new organ case built. Thanks to Content's experience, we can have any desired organ front made to measure, exactly the way you want it. Another option is an organ that is mobile. More and more churches value flexibility. Placing a church organ on a movable platform is therefore certainly an option. Watch some installations here! »


6. Come to play and listen!

Come by with your church or organ committee!

The most important advice for buying a church organ is probably the own experience and the experience of (colleague) organists. Therefore: visit Ermelo, the Netherlands (or one of our local dealers) to play and listen to Content organs. A lot can be said with words, but you have to experience the experience and sound yourself! Contact us for an appointment in the organ factory! Contact us for a visit! »

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Video: Church Organs from Content

In this video (Dutch spoken, English subtitles) we explain in detail the advantages of a church organ from Content Orgels. You will also hear a sound demonstration in with different registrations! Click here to watch the video! »

Chapel 236 - Naaldwijk 5