The Schoenstein Expansion Cell - Individual Wind Valve Chest
Speed and precision of both key and stop action are critical to the success of an organ. Key action must be lightning fast on both attack and release and respond uniformly from all keys regardless of the number of stops or couplers employed. Stop action must be fast and clean, i.e., without any hesitation or gulping on draw or release. The system must be silent.

To meet these requirements we use electric-pneumatic action with an individual-valve windchest. The expansion cell provides a cushioning effect similar to that of a note channel in a slider chest. It also allows placement of all action components near one another on the bottom board to reduce action channeling and increase speed. View an illustration of the Expansion Cell™ Wind Chest.

The most important musical advantage of individual valves is the elimination of interdependence of pipes. With the exception of mixtures, where all pipes of a given note always speak together, we consider it a serious musical defect to place pipes on a common channel where the wind characteristics are different depending on the number of stops drawn and where there is a possibility of negative interaction within the channel. Each pipe should produce the same sound each time it is played, no matter how many others are combined with it.

The most important reason for absolute uniformity of chest response under all conditions is the fact that pipes do not have the flexibility to adjust for variations in attack, wind supply, and release as do other wind instruments. By maintaining absolute uniformity, the performer knows what will happen every time a pipe is played. The best way for an artist to achieve lyrical phrasing, clear articulation, and accent is through absolute control of timing, therefore, it is important to enhance speed and accuracy of response.

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