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iVF Combo Organ - A  Two Manual Transistor Organ Simulation

A combo organ is an electronic portable organ, usually transistorized (although some older designs used tubes; and later models, integrated circuits), that was designed for use on stage, usually in the context of a band or group. A combo organ is usually supported on a removable or folding stand or legs; these originally would have been supplied as part of the instrument. Combo organs were best known for their bright, reedy sound; their portability; surprising versatility; and relatively low cost. Most such instruments have no built-in amplification.
A typical combo organ has one manual (keyboard), covering four or five octaves, though a few models had two manuals of three or four octaves. A number of different pitches and tone-colours ("voices") were featured, often using rocker-switches, tabs or drawbars to function as "stops" to select them. Although the sounds may bear such names as "flute", "string" or "horn", they are not intended to sound like their orchestral namesakes - the nomenclature is borrowed from pipe organ tradition. Some instruments allow the keyboard to be split, the lowest octave or two producing a pedal-like bass tone. Most combo organs offer vibrato as a special effect; a few feature more unusual effects such as "repeat percussion" (tremolo), "slalom" (pitch bend) or wah-wah. A volume pedal is normally used to vary the volume while playing. Less frequently an optional set of bass pedals could be attached.
Soundwise, combo organs are very similar to each other, although there are definite discernible tonal characteristics that differ between models that might be considered "default" for each model. For instance, the Vox Continental tends toward having somewhat of a Hammond-like, or "sine wave"-like sound (only thinner); while the Farfisa Combo Compact has an aggressive, raspy quality to some of its boosted tones, and the Gibson G-101 has a cleaner, contoured, more "sawtooth wave"-like tone, with harpsichord-like, percussive sound capabilities and a slight "after-jingle", with Sustain selected, on some voice settings.
To collectors, players and enthusiasts, the visual aesthetic is often as important as the sound. Originally, the instruments were often available in bright and unusual colors (orange, blue, bright red, green) with showy chrome legs, multi-colored stop-tabs, and reverse-colored or gray-and-white keys. Towards the mid-1970s, combo organs began to take on a more muted appearance, with woodgrain or black covering and conventional keyboard colors. Many combo organs were produced in such countries as Italy or Japan, yet some more common models used by major acts were manufactured in the United Kingdom or the United States.

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