Haven 61 Portable Organ
on the new Haven 61 portable.
TEST ON: Haven 61 Portable Organ
DATE October 1975
PRICE £1,106.49 Ex VAT
HAVEN'S 61 organ is the most useful and versatile portable organ I have ever played.
Designed (musically) by Alan Haven and engineered by Crumar of Italy, it has all the facilities that a professional organist needs and a nice 'feel' to the keyboards and pedalboard.
FIVE OCTAVES (61 notes) overhanging keys.
Flute drawbars pitched at 16ft., 5-1/3ft., 8ft., 4ft., 2-2/3ft., 2ft., 1-3/5ft., 1ft.
4ft., 2-2/3ft., 2ft., 1-3/5ft. and PIK (Key-click sound) controlled by an illuminated switch for each percussion voice. A 'decay-time' drawbar and a 'percussion volume' drawbar control these voices.
3. Treble 'n Bass (16ft. x 1ft.)
The 'Presets' can be used in any combination or singly and all can be used with the percussions.
The piano effects can be selected to play on either or both manuals and a switch controlling the upper manual flute voices is located next to the 'piano' switches, making it easy to cancel the organ sound on the upper manual, leaving just the piano voices.
These four voices can be used in any combination or singly.
Four octave (49 note) manual keyboard.
Flute drawbars pitched at 8ft., 4ft., 2-2/3ft., 2ft., 1-1/3ft., and 1ft.
3) Flute Chorus
Can be selected in any combination or singly.
As previously described.
18 notes (C1 to F2). A short 'spinet' pedalboard unit which also houses the organ swell pedal and a sustain pedal for the 'pianos'. It is connected to the main organ console by a single multicore cable and a 20 contact non-reversible (self-cleaning contours) plug.
Sustain is available with short and long decay times.
A very effective vibrato, which varies both the pitch and volume, is available at two different speeds on all the 'flute' drawbar voices.
A potentiometer at the back of the organ gives a remarkable wide range of adjustment. On the particular organ we tested, it enabled us to tune over an interval of an eleventh (18 semi-tones)
No tests were carried out to check the pitch stability of the instrument but we observed no hint of 'drift' during our tests.
This device can best be divided into three separate facilities.
a) Waltz, jazz, tango, march.
b) Slow rock, fox-trot, swing, rhythm 'n blues, shake.
c) Afro, rhumba, beguine, cha-cha, samba, bossa-nova.
The rhythms in each section can be combined but mixtures of rhythms in different sections cannot be selected. Separate tempo & volume controls are incorporated.
a) Next to each rhythm button is another which selects whether or not an automated rhythm section 'plays along'.
This works by combining the notes of the chords and bass with the rhythm information emanating from the autodrummer and a pre-set memory of what accompaniment belongs to each rhythm.
The resulting 'backing' must make the less advanced organist sound very advanced indeed, having the effect of several 'sidemen' 'sitting-in' with the organist.
Entirely separate from the built in "piano" voices previously mentioned, the auto-pianos have their own voice selectors.
A 'decay' timer is incorporated which enables one to go from a very short (rhythm-guitar) sound to a softly sustained piano playing in time with the electronic drummer unit, in a similar way to the automatic accompaniment.
The entire nerve centre can be started by switching on the green off/on button or by the key-start method. (Selected by means of a pair of switches labelled continuous|key-start).
In addition, the following operational modes are available.
1) Pianos (off/on)
2) Bass (off/on)
3) Chords (off/on)
4) Add rhythm (off/on)
230 volt A.C. (50 or 60 Herz) mains supply via a correctly colour loaded mains lead which comes with a non-reversible euro-plug moulded onto it.
A switch with built in indicator tight is located at the rear of the instrument.
(Organ) An organ output jack socket for the drawbar voices and percussions is fitted at the rear of the organ.
(Bass) Two sockets are provided, one taking the bass pedals out before it passes through the swell pedal and giving a predetermined volume of bass regardless of where the swell pedal is positioned.
The other socket takes the bass pedals out after the swell pedal, the bass being controlled by the 'swell'
(Pianos) Two 'pianos' output sockets are also provided, one being a 'constant level'socket and the other controlled by the swell pedal.
The output sockets all gave out enough signal to fully drive a slave amp.
One of the good things about this organ is that it feels very much 'under control' all the time. This is achieved partly by having all the separate sections of the organ pretty well balanced volume wise and partly by giving each section its own volume drawbar. (Two in the case of the lower manual drawbars).
1) "Lower Manual" drawbar
1a) "Lower Manual" master drawbar
2) "Pianos" volume drawbar.
3) "Auto-Pianos" volume drawbar.
4) "Pedals" master volume drawbar.
5) Master volume drawbar for the entire organ.
Inaudible (at full volume-setting).
Slight susceptibility to mainsborne 'spikes' but not offensively so.
* Tested in conjunction with a Fender 100w Bassman amplifier and loudspeaker and a Leslie Pro 900 sound cabinet.
Built in strong vinyl covered plywood, this instrument is very sturdy indeed, it is mounted on two tubular steel 'kite' shaped end units and the top console can be tilted to anyone of four different angles and fixed tightly by two man-sized bolts.
The end leg-units are kept in place by a strong black metal spacer assembly and a lid is supplied with the organ to protect the keyboards and controls when travelling.
Two plastic handles are fitted to the front edge and it has three lockable catches to keep the lid in place.
Because this organ is of the 'Sine-wave Harmonic Synthesizer' type, no comparison of voices (except the 'pianos' which are superb) is relevant other than to say that all the pop, jazz, theatre organ and church organ sounds you could ever want are available.
The percussion voices are very powerful, so, to get a genuine Jimmy-Smith sound, one must use a modicum of discretion when setting-up the perc. volume drawbar.
Best points on the Haven 67 are:-
a) it is very easy to control and manage.
b) The clean-cut separation of the 'bass' and 'pianos' gets rid of the muddied sound so often heard on large organs.
c) The extended pedalboard means that one can follow through a bass-line or riff and allows for much more imaginative bass parts to be played by the more advanced musician.
d) The five octave upper manual gives one the scope to play concert and liturgical music authentically.
e) The nice dean lower end of the piano voices enables one to play a boogie left hand or stride piano if desired.
This can be equally useful for Jerry Lee Lewis type rock 'n' roll or backs three part inventions.
f) The 5—1/3ft. drawbar on the pedalboard enables one to duplicate the slightly overemphasised 3rd harmonic which helps give the most popular bass guitars (Gibson Ebo & Fender Jazz) their characteristic sound.
The best portable organ I've ever played and, because of the constant level bass and piano outputs, it is likely to become a highly desirable professional portable within the next two years.
My only minor criticisms are that it has no bass-guitar sound (with a bit of plectrum noise) and that no built-in reverberation is included, but these facilities could easily be added in the MK II Haven 61 if the public demand is there, I also think that it should have a 110 volt mains transformer tapping. All in all, a beautiful beast.
Review by George Gibbs
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