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date: 26 February 2021

Rangertone organlocked

  • Hugh Davies


Two-manual electronic organ with pedals, developed by Richard H. Ranger in Newark, New Jersey, up to 1931. The sounds were generated by 12 sets of rotating electromagnetic tone-wheels, each set producing all the octave registers of a single note; the tone-wheels were maintained at a constant speed by circuits incorporating tuning forks (intonation could be altered by replacing individual forks). An unusual aspect of the instrument was the provision of six amplifiers with loudspeakers, each of which imposed different tremolo and timbre profiles on the sounds passed through it. The timbre controls were operated by the right hand beside the keyboard, and resembled the buttons on an adding machine. The Rangertone organ contained more than 50,000 electrical circuits, including 150 valves and 900 relays. Its size meant that it was never moved from Ranger’s home, though it was used in private recitals and broadcasts. In about 1933 Ranger built a single-manual Rangertone organ for use in concerts. At least one 32′ Rangertone pedal unit was added to an existing pipe organ—that at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York....

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