Electrokinetica The Electro-mechanical Museum

The Compton ‘Draper’ model

An Electrone for all styles...

Front view of console

Here’s something a little more flamboyant that would look quite at home in a cinema, yet is actually a high-spec custom home organ. This three-manual special is called the ‘Draper’ model, because the first of its type was commissioned by a Mr. C.R. Draper of Teddington, Middlesex, for his own private use. Only three or four Drapers were built, all slightly different in detail. The original Compton voicing chart for Mr. Draper’s own organ describes it as: ‘A straight three-manual organ with provision for the performance of light music by an orchestral division which can be switched to the Swell.’

Our Draper is dated 1964 and may be the only one with stoptabs coloured in the theatre-organ style. Mr. Draper included a good variety of accessories to make the instrument an all-rounder, suitable for classical and popular music alike; Ours is very similar in specification and is almost certainly the most comprehensive Electrone ever built using the 2.5-inch 7-octave generators. Unlike the ‘Special Series’ organs it is completely self-contained, with the entire generator system mounted in the back of the console. This results in such a deep console that it must be split in two to fit through a doorway, once the generator rack has been removed.

Specification of Special 3-manual design

Colour-coded stop-keys. Manual Compass CC-c (61 notes), Pedalboard CCC-G (32 notes)

PEDAL

  • Contra Bourdon 32
  • Open Wood 16
  • Bourdon 16
  • Echo Bass 16
  • Octave 8
  • Violoncello 8
  • Flute 8
  • Choral Bass 4
  • Harmonics IV Rks.
  • Contra Bombarde 32
  • Ophicleide 16
  • Trumpet 8
  • Tympani
  • Triangle
  • Choir-Pedal coupler
  • Great-Pedal coupler
  • Swell-Pedal coupler

CHOIR

  • Double Dulciana 16
  • Quintadena 8
  • Concert Flute 8
  • Gamba 8
  • Dulciana 8
  • Suabe Flute 4
  • Dulcet 4
  • Nazard 2 2/3
  • Piccolo 2
  • Tierce 1 3/5
  • Dulcet Mixture III Rks.
  • Cor Anglais 16
  • Tuba Horn 8
  • Clarinet 8
  • Orchestral Harp

ACCESSORIES

  • 6 toe pistons to Pedals with Great combination on second touch
  • 6 pistons to Choir with Pedal combination on second touch
  • 6 pistons to Great with Pedal combination on second touch
  • 6 pistons to Swell with Pedal combination on second touch
  • 4 pistons to Orchestral division
  • Reversible toe piston for Great-Pedal coupler
  • Thumb pistons for Choir-Pedal, Great-Pedal and Swell-Pedal with cancellation of other couplers at second touch
  • General cancel thumb piston
  • Divisional cancel on all stoptab second touches, with inhibit switch
  • Balanced expression pedal to Swell
  • Balanced expression pedal to Choir, switchable to control also Great and Pedal
  • General Crescendo pedal of 24 steps acting on Pedal, Great and Swell
  • Vibrato to all divisions
  • Vibrato speed selector fast / slow
  • Vibrato depth selector light / heavy
  • Reverberation (electroacoustic spring unit)
  • Bass sustain (lower three octaves)
  • Treble sustain (upper four octaves)
  • Presence control (Rotofon drive)

GREAT

  • Double Diapason 16
  • First Diapason 8
  • Second Diapason 8
  • Hohl Flute 8
  • Gemshorn 8
  • Octave 4
  • Harmonic Flute 4
  • Twelfth 2 2/3
  • Superoctave 2
  • Mixture IV Rks.
  • Tuba 8
  • Tuba Clarion 4
  • Swell-Great coupler

SWELL

  • Contra Geigen 16
  • Geigen Diapason 8
  • Lieblich Gedeckt 8
  • Salicional 8
  • Principal 4
  • Lieblich Flöte 4
  • Salicet 4
  • Fifteenth 2
  • Cornet III Rks.
  • Mixture III Rks.
  • Contra Fagotto 16
  • Trumpet 8
  • Oboe 8

ORCHESTRAL

Playable from manual III

  • Trombone 16
  • Tibia 16
  • Solo Trumpet 8
  • Tibia 8
  • Saxophone 8
  • Solo String 8
  • Orchestral Oboe 8
  • Clarinet 8
  • Vox Humana 8
  • Muted Trumpet 8
  • Tibia 4
  • Tibia Twelfth 2 2/3
  • Ocarina 2
  • Vibraphone
  • Chimes
  • Chimes Mute
  • Xylophone
  • Percussion Odd
  • Percussion Even
  • Percussion Reiterate
  • Orchestral to Manual III

The action and circuitry

Inside the console

Inside the console

In many respects the action and tone generation components of the Draper are similar to those of the 363, however the entire action is electric, i.e. none of the voicing signals are switched directly by the keyboards and stops. The console circuitry is therefore exactly like that of a pipe organ, delivering one switched 18V DC output per key and per stop. The only real exceptions to this are the two swell pedals, which work as potentiometers to control the polarising voltage feeds to their respective divisions. The pedal for Choir, Great and Swell operates two independent potentiometers, to permit the latter two divisions to be removed from its control without affecting the Choir. The audio system was originally based on two separate single-channel valve amplifiers of a type used individually in the CH/2 model; these have long since been substituted by a solid-state unit.

Percussions

Stops are included in the specification that represent both tuned and untuned percussions, although all effects are created via the tone generators. Various different methods are used to key and voice these effects as follows:

Overhauling the Draper

A complete rebuild is in progress, entailing overhaul of the generators, relays, console action and casework. News of this follows soon.

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