Solo Cello (Compton) English

This stop was brought to my attention by Christopher Thompson, who wrote:

Exclusively used by the John Compton Organ Company, England in the early 1930's. It was a patent of this firm and available at 4ft only and until the last few years was never found outside the UK. The Solo Cello was employed exclusively on the Solo manual of the firm's theatre organs up until 1935 when it was replaced by the more versatile Melotone unit. The Solo Cello was an amplified cello string whereby a rotating resin wheel touched the string as soon as this stop was applied. Mechanical fingers at the desired harmonic points touched the string as the notes were played. Due to the complexity of this device it was prone to failure and also impossible to keep in tune with the rest of the organ which is most probably why it fell out of favour almost from the start. Today only 3 or 4 survive in working order in the United Kingdom.

There is also a conventional flue string stop called Solo 'Cello.

Examples

Solo Cello 8' (37 notes), Solo; Astoria Cinema, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England; Compton 1935. This is the only known example. This instrument also included a Melotone.

Bibliography

Ivor Buckingham's Compton List at http://www.zyworld.com/IvorBuckingham
 
Original website compiled by Edward L. Stauff. For educational use only.
SoloCello_Compton.html - Last updated 9 March 2005.
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