Henk Kooiker Loudspeakers and organ music
Het ORGEL 97 (2001), nr. 1, 13-17 [summary]

Many organists have reached a high level because electronic organ imitations enabled them to study intensively. Furthermore, many organists make cd’s. To what extent are loudspeakers fit to reproduce organ sound?

It is clear that electronic organ-imitations are quite different from real organs with respect to aspects like the balance between stops, background noises, the way the stops interact, and the distribution of the volume in the room. Moreover, the sound-producing ‘surface’ of a set of speakers is much smaller than that of an organ.

A speaker that is required to reproduce organ recordings should have range of at least 32 to 18,000 Hz; the distortion should be very little (0,1 % is already audible, but most speakers are not able to reach values below 1 %); transitions between a midrange speaker and a tweeter in the critical frequency range of 1.500-4.500 Hz have a negative influence. Diffuseness and differences in height are hard to reproduce with speakers. The acoustic circumstances in the listening room affect the sound reproduction as well.

Sound reproduction by speakers is still in its infancy. Listeners who realize this can enjoy it indeed, but will not easily be seduced to accept the sound quality of loudspeakers as a standard for judging live music.