FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
TRACKER FACT SHEET
WHAT DOES TRACKER ACTION MEAN?
Tracker action means that all the connections in the organ are mechanical rather than electrical.
It is similar to the linkage in a manual typewriter.
WHAT ARE TRACKERS?
Trackers are slender rods which connect the keys to the valves under the pipes. Our
trackers are made of the finest sugar pine, cedar and bronze wire. We also use such
space-age materials as teflon to assure long-lasting performance for our action
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF TRACKER ACTION?
LONGEVITY - While electric and electropneumatic parts have a relatively short
life span and often require major overhauling or replacement, tracker parts are
designed and made to last for centuries.
TRACKER PARTS ARE NEVER OBSOLETE - Electric components are rapidly changing
as technology expands. This makes replacement parts difficult or impossible to
find. Tracker parts are always available because they are being made today the way
they have been made for centuries.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE ORGANIST?
Sensitivity! As soon as you touch a key something happens. It's as if the organ
were alive! For the organist this translates into greater variety in articulation
and more control of pipe speech.
||AREN'T TRACKER ACTIONS HEAVY?|
In some old organs they are. However, we pride ourselves in building the lightest
actions possible. You have to play a Ruggles organ to believe it. Our actions are
ARE TRACKER ORGANS JUST FOR BAROQUE MUSIC?
Not at all. Tracker action was the only type of action available until the late 19th
century. Romantic composers such as Franck and Widor wrote for tracker organs,
albeit large ones. Our instruments are designed, built and voiced to meet the needs
of a modern congregation and a modern organist doing a variety of
CAN WE SEPARATE THE CONSOLE FROM THE ORGAN?
Yes! it is possible to build detached and reversed detached consoles and still have
tracker action, without losing desired sensitivity and reliability.
ARE TRACKER ORGANS MOVEABLE?
Generally, large tracker organs are fixed in one location, either as one unit or
with a detached console. They can be moved if placed on an "air cushion." We do,
however, build small positive and continuo organs of up to 8 stops, which rest on a
frame with wheels. This allows the organ to be moved around on a stage or from
chapel to church.
WHAT ABOUT DESIGN?
Be creative! Tracker organs can be traditional or modern. They can be built around
a window or doorway. They can be symmetrical or asymmetrical and designed to fill
any space, even a small one. Each of our instruments is custom-designed to satisfy
WHERE SHOULD THE ORGAN BE PLACED?
Tracker organs are housed in their own free-standing cases, in the room, rather than
in a chamber. Generally an organ sounds best when placed in a high location along
the central axis of the room, as in a rear gallery. Many other positions may be
considered, but acoustics should always be kept in mind when choosing a
CAN WE HAVE AN "AGO" STYLE PEDALBOARD?
Certainly. We Build "AGO" style and flat pedalboards as well as several types of
benches; whatever is comfortable for the organist.
CAN A TRACKER ORGAN HAVE A SWELL BOX?
Of course! It is possible to have one or more divisions under expression. Swell
shades can be horizontal, vertical or sliding. Simple doors which open are another
WHAT ABOUT VALUE?
Tracker organs are the best value on the market. While the initial cost is high,
tracker organs are less expensive in the long run because they last. Tracker organs
also appreciate rather than depreciate in value. That means your instrument is a
good investment for the future.
IS THERE A LOT OF COSTLY MAINTENANCE INVOLVED?
No, much less than for any other kind of organ, and that's where you save. All
organs need periodic tuning and we utilize cone-tuning on our metal pipes for
greater tuning stability. Minor adjustments to the action need to be made as the
organ settles, but basically tracker organs perform maintenance free for many
Come Visit Us and Let Us Show You Why We Believe
Tracker Action is the Way of the Future!
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