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Robert Hoppe & Associates is perhaps unique among organ builders in that we are able to provide a full range of church organ products: new pipe organs, digital-pipe “combination” organs, and Viscount all-digital organs. We also do organ rebuilding, expansion, and modernization projects, including pipe rank additions, voicing services, new consoles, new electrical systems and MIDI upgrades. Those seeking our input from early-on can be assured of an objective evaluation of the options available within given financial parameters, and the finest musical result possible.

We believe that the traditional pipe organ, from a high-quality builder, is the ideal investment in terms of artistic integrity and longevity. Whenever possible, we advocate the preservation of existing instruments and, when deemed necessary by their owners, to modernize, expand or revise these instruments in a manner sympathetic to their overall style. Occasionally we encounter failing pipe organs which cannot be economically rebuilt, or whose overall quality does not merit preservation.

Used pipe organs frequently become available. However, the would-be buyer needs to be cautioned that getting a reliable and musically satisfactory installation out of such a scenario typically involves far more than just the purchase price of a used organ. Such instruments, by virtue of their age, will sometimes need substantial rebuilding. Some instances might dictate enlargement or revision of a tonal specification, while other instances might require re-configuration of an organ to fit into its new setting. Non-tracker instruments oftentimes will require new electrical systems and possible re-leathering of actions. Even more recent, mechanically sound pipe organs lack such modern conveniences as multi-level combination actions, easily moveable consoles, and MIDI, which most organists have come to expect.

Where space and budget allow, we encourage churches in search of new organs to consider a traditional, all-pipe organ. Prices for modest instruments by any of the better American builders may start as high as $200,000. The savings resulting from the purchase of a comparable used, rebuilt pipe organ might range from one-half to one-third. Where budgets are significantly less than this, or where available space is limited, we would encourage the consideration of a new organ that is comprised of a combination of both pipe and digital stops. For those whose budget is under $50,000, a new all-digital organ may be the only realistic option.

The pipe organ industry, as well as many organists, have long-shunned non-pipe substitutes. Twenty years ago, we did as well... for musical reasons above all others. The past decade has seen remarkable advances in digital technology, and convincing alternative organs have been introduced by a variety of builders.

At present, great controversy regarding the combining of electronic and pipe voices exists within the organ building industry. To be sure, a “pipe-combination” organ, where an extensive number of electronic voices comprise the stop list, is not the same as a true pipe organ, and should not be marketed as such. Nevertheless, we feel that there is a legitimate place for such instruments in the organ market. Robert Hoppe & Associates embrace these instruments, as well as all-digital alternatives. We firmly believe that those with adequate financial resources will choose an all-pipe instrument, and those whose budget is less should be encouraged to make the best use of available funds.

Whatever the instrument, we are committed to making that instrument the best that it can be.

Robert D. Hoppe & Associates
PO Box 116 Algoma, Wisconsin 54201
Phone: 920-265-9394
United States Of America
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