Tons of Electronics
A huge theatre-style organ. It is said, that Lowrey took all the best technology they had until then and mounted into this organ. Opening the back cover you will get a breath-taking view: two huge metal back planes, on both sides fully covered by circuit boards! This organ has so many cables, that Lowrey obviously decided not to use connectors, but wire-wrapping for secure connections between the printed circuit boards. This makes the connections more reliable, but harder to repair.
When I got mine, a couple of things did not work. Most obvious were the capacitors of the main voltage board. Click here to read my repair reports I have posted to the Lowrey Forum. One of the forum members, Ed.K. even replaced rigorously all voicing filter capacitors/resistors to reach the sound of a brand new C500. In my case I just replaced not more than 20 parts. Common issues are defect capacitors of the power unit which need replacement and the speaker cones.
One of the twelve divider chips of the master generator stopped working, it is no longer in production and no replacement available! I found out that this chip can be replaced by a CD4024. The pins do not match and have to be rewired.
What is unique about this organ it its sound! Even if it has a tone generator based on divider technology, you will not hear a single rectangle wave (“cheap clarinet-“) sound originating from the main dividers. It has both ample sine filters (two separate sine filters per octave) and electronic keyers which individually change the waveforms to either saw-tooth or time-varying pulse and wave shaping modulation (symphonizer section). Under some aspect it is a kind of a 61-note polyphonic synthesizer.
Strings section is superb! Three chorus units are integrated, for the strings, symphonizer and some other tabs. The best sparkling bells I have heard on electronic organs. And the Diapason sounds like a dream. The only minus with this organ is the unweighted springy keyboard.
Last year the main speakers went bad. The foam rings fastening the speaker cones fell off. This was fixed by replacing the foam. However, it is difficult to reach these parts hidden down inside the organ. The trick: the organ has a second service position! The whole electronic cage together with the keayboard can be slipped out of the console, and then you can reach the speakers better.
Here you can download the C500 4-pages sales brochure (in German).
|My personal ranking||***** (5 Stars of 5)|
|plus||Richness of Sound, sweet tibias, sparcling voices.|