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How to Fix a Kimball Organ

Kimball organs include 88 piano keys to play.
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Kimball organs have been used in music venues around the world for over a century. (Reference 1) The organs gained popularity in movie theaters during the 1930s and 1940s where organists would often play before a feature film. Like any electronic component, Kimball organs can break down. Fortunately, you can often repair the organ without sending the device in for repairs. Use this quick guide to get you started.

Things You'll Need:

  • Flashlight
  • Bowl
  • Soft Cloth
  • Multimeter
  • Cleaning Solution

Poor Sound Quality

Turn off and unplug the Kimball organ. Move the power switch towards the "Off" position. Unplug the organ's cord from the power outlet.

Lift up the top cover of the organ with two hands. Shine a flashlight into the device and look for signs of damage to the vacuum tubes. (Reference 2) A damaged tube will flicker or shine dimly compared to other tubes. (Reference 2) Unscrew any damaged tubes and make a note of their part number so you can order replacements from Kimball.

Unscrew all functioning tubes from the organ and place them on the ground.

Dip a soft cloth into a bowl filled with cleaning solution. The cloth should only be damp from the liquid and not dripping wet. (Reference 2) Wipe all dust and dirt you see inside the organ. Clean thoroughly inside and around all tubes. Dust often collects inside the tubes and dulls the sound of the organ notes. (Reference 2)

Organ Will Not Turn On

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Attach the red and black ends of the multimeter to the metallic prongs of the organ's power cable. (Reference 3)

Set the multimeter's dial switch to the "Voltage" setting. Kimball organs should be sending and receiving 120 volts of electricity. If the multimeter gives a reading below this, the power cable is not functioning properly. (Reference 3)

Unplug the power cable from the back of the Kimball organ.

Contact Kimball International and provide them with the model number of your organ. This will be listed on the backside of the device. Kimball will ship you a new power cable suited for your organ. Plug in the new cable to the power outlet and try playing the organ.

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