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Daniel Moult ... world renowned recitalist
The Makin at King’s school is by far the best digital organ I’ve ever played - you’re right to be proud of it.
St Stephen’s Methodist Church, Cannock, Eric Brooks:
Our ailing old Binns pipe organ was well past its use by date and would have cost some £100,000 to rebuild. This was not considered a feasible proposition for a cut down (it had at one time been a three manual organ of considerable bigger specification) two manual 22 stop instrument where many stops sounded similar and there was no variety of sound.
A group of us were tasked with finding a more cost-effective instrument. Preferably three manual with a good all around specification in the style of an English pipe organ, suitable for our building. We took some considerable time to visit, listen to and play a variety of digital instruments by different makers before deciding upon Makin. We were determined to get it right and we are convinced that we did.
Your company did everything possible to be helpful and informative with no pushy sales talk. You were fast to respond to my request for literature and just as fast to my request for a visit and a survey of the building.
We were impressed that you as Managing Director came along with a colleague to do the survey and to make some very sound recommendations as to possible layouts and set up of an installation, should we decide to appoint Makin. However, there were no suggestions that we should actually purchase from you, just helpful advice. Your written report arrived swiftly just one week following your survey.
Whenever I telephoned your office I was always greeted like a friend rather than a potential customer. When I telephoned to ask what might have been a simple question to you, but a worrying one for us, I was always put straight through to you or, on one occasion you were out, to someone else who was instantly able to answer all my questions. On the single occasion that my question could not be answered instantly I was told that I would be called back with the answer and unlike many companies I deal with I was, with the answer required. It seemed that there was no problem too large to be overcome in a way to suit our building and us.
We were invited to visit your showroom at Mixbury to listen to Professor Ian Tracey demonstrating different organs. On that visit we were able to talk to Professor Ian Tracey, staff and engineers of both Makin and Copeman Hart about what was needed and what to look for in our research expeditions. We asked if we could go up to your HQ and showroom in Shaw, Lancashire, to try out different instruments and consoles. I made a call to the office and within a one minute of asking if a particular Saturday date was possible to visit, I was told that the showroom would be closed and available for our sole use and all its instruments available to us for a whole afternoon. I was amazed.
We asked if it might be possible to have a loan organ, of similar specification to what we were thinking of, to hear it in our surroundings. No sooner asked than one was installed on loan for a few weeks.
We asked a variety of local church organists and a couple of cathedral organist to come and play it and collected their comments and feelings to add to our own. All were very complimentary about the instrument and its great pipe sound. Some thought the jambs a little cramped but this would be solved by having the large console instead of a compact one. More space on the large console, so could we extend the specification and add more stops? No problem. We particularly wanted illuminated thumb pistons and again no problem. The decision was made and the order placed.
On the day of installation all happened speedily and efficiently. We worried about the long extension speaker cable to the extra socket at the front of church, enabling us to move the console on its platform to the front for recitals. A long cable was required and it worried us that it might be unsightly. We need not have worried. Steve and his installation team did not want it to be seen either and went to great lengths and some discomfort to hide the cable so effectively that none of the congregation even know that it exists.
You did the initial voicing yourself and we then we had some weeks using the organ both from the front and the back of the church. We again invited our organ testers to try it out and give their feelings about it. All were complimentary about the quality of woodwork, the feel of the key action, the stop specification and all the great pipe sounds. We made notes of everyone’s comments and these were taken on board when the instrument received its final voicing with you and Professor Tracey. We now have a superb instrument of great power and quality of sound. The instrument is a delight to listen to and to play.
Thank you all for everything you have done for us.