Used Lowrey Prestige Plus Organ
David Cooper (owner and organ expert) says:
“The Lowrey Prestige offers so much more than any other Lowrey organ. Combining authentic sounds with amazing easy play features this organ has to be one of the best organs around.
With thousands of easy to use presets and an array of rhythm styles, the prestige is a musical machine that will give you hours of fun. Offering a unique combination of high performance music making capability and easy play technology. “
Lowrey Prestige Plus Additions
The Lowrey Prestige Plus is a Prestige that has got lots of new styles and presets.
The organ came about when Lowrey relocated a few years ago from their Chicago base, to California. Lowrey had their technicians upgrade a small selection of their prestiges. They factory refurbished them, and they made a small number of them available to their dealers. We had a small batch of them come over into the UK.
The additions to the organ make it a much bigger specification and sound than that of the standard prestige.
The beauty of the prestige plus, is that it looks and operates like a normal Lowrey Prestige organ. So for all those Lowrey prestige owners out there, if you wanted to upgrade and get lots of great new features, this is absolutely ideal as you will be able to work it all the same!
This is also a fantastic organ to upgrade from the Holiday Classic, Stardust, Sensation, Royale, and so on..
About The Organ
The Lowrey Prestige Plus is a sophisticated musical instrument that looks as good as it sounds. With an elegant design and graceful curves, the Lowrey Prestige adds a luxurious touch to your home. The organ no longer just sounds like a great Lowrey organ. It has hundreds of authentic orchestral sounds and rhythms to choose from.
With thousands of easy-to-use presets and an array of rhythm styles , our used Lowrey Prestige organ is a musical machine that will give you hours of fun. The Prestige is a unique combination of high-performance music-making capability and easy play technology.
- 216 Fully-Orchestrated Styles
- 5,799 Total Presets. General Presets-11 Category Presets-231, 11 per Category
- Full Colour – 320 X 240 Liquid Crystal Display “Touch Sensitive” Screen
- Orchestral Sounds & Features And Solo Sounds & Features
- Tab Controls
53.5″ Wide X 29.5″ Deep X 44.25 High With Music Rack Removed / 53″ with Music Rack Installed
RHYTHM PLUS ORCHESTRATION
216 FULLY-ORCHESTRATED STYLES, CONTROL FEATURES INCLUDE: ALPHA STYLE LISTING, DRUM VARIATION, TEMPO, ALTER STYLE, DRUM ONLY, MCS (MUSIC CHORD SYSTEM), MEMORY, EASY, VARIATION 1-2 MORE, INTRO/ENDING 1 & 2, FADE IN/OUT, MINOR CHORD INTROS, START/STOP, FC DRUM VOLUME, RHYTHM PRESET-NORMAL & ORGAN
STYLE & LOCK
STYLE = AUTO BASS 1 & 2, GENIE & ORCH PLUS, ORCH PLUS VOLUME
LOCK = CONTROL, ACCOMPANIMENT, TEMPO, HARMONY, BASS VOLUME, ORCH PLUS VOLUME, LOWER VOLUME
5,799 TOTAL PRESETS
CATEGORY PRESETS -231, 11 PER CATEGORY: THEATRE, COUNTRY, BIG BAND, SHOW, LATIN, MORE = SACRED, MODERN, BELLS, HOLIDAYS, JAZZ, BRASS, NOSTALGIC, LUSH, HARMONY ORGANS, AROUND THE WORLD, SMOOTH FLUTES, PIANOS PLUS, DIAPASONS, PERCUSSION, ORGAN STRINGS, SOUND EFFECTS
BANK PRESETS – 55: 11 PER BANK: A, B, C, D, E (PROGRAMMABLE)
RHYTHM PRESETS – 2,376 NORMAL, 2,376 ORGAN (11 NORMAL + 11 ORGAN PRESETS FOR EACH RHYTHM STYLE)
SONG SET UP PRESETS – 750
FULL COLOUR – 320 x 240 LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY “TOUCH SENSITIVE” SCREEN
ORCHESTRAL SOUNDS & FEATURES
PIANO, JAZZ GUITAR, BANJO, ACCORDION, VIBES, ELECTRIC PIANO, COUNTRY GUITAR, STRINGS, TROMBONE, MARIMBA, HARP, HAWAIIAN, BIG BAND ENSEMBLE, GENUS 1, GENIUS 2
ORCH VOLUME, UPPER ON, LOWER LEFT, LOWER RIGHT, DYNAMIC KEYING, REPEAT, UPPER OCTAVE, TRANSPOSE
SOLO SOUNDS & FEATURES
SOCIETY PIANO, TRUMPET, VIOLIN, SCAT, BELLS, SAX, JAZZ FLUTE, HARMONICA, CHIMES, CLARINET, GENIUS 1, GENIUS 2,
SOLO VOLUME, UPPER ON, LOWER RIGHT, LOWER OCTAVE, DYNAMIC KEYING, PORTAMENTO, UPPER OCTAVE, TRANSPOSE
BASS SUSTAIN, BASS 16, BASS 8, ENSEMBLE BASS, DIAPHONE 16, PEDAL GENIUS 1, PEDAL FLUTE DRAWBARS
THEATRE GENIUS 2, HORN 8, DIAPASON 8, VOX HUMANA 8, LOWER GENUS 1, VOCAL ENSEMBLE, STRINGS 8, STRINGS 4, STRING VOCAL SUSTAN, FLUTE 8, FLUTE 4, FLUTE 2 2/3, FLUTE 2, FLUTE 1, LOWER FLUTE SUSTAIN, LOWER MASTER ON/OFF, LOWER FLUTE DRAWBARS
UPPER FLUTE SUSTAIN, FLUTE 16, FLUTE 8, FLUTE 5 1/3, FLUTE 4, FLUTE 2 2/3, FLUTE 2, FLUTE 1 3/5, FLUTE 1 1/3, FLUTE 1, FLUTE PERCUSSION, STRING VOCAL SUSTAIN, STRINGS 16, STRINGS 8, STRINGS 4, VOCAL ENSEMBLE, UPPER GENIUS, UPPER MASTER ON/OFF, UPPER FLUTE DRAWBARS, FLUTE PERCUSSION, DRAWBAR
UPPER THEATRE TABS
THEATRE TREM, REED 16, REED 8, DIAPASON 8, THEATRE DRUMS, THEATRE GENIUS 2
FLUTE VIBRA TREM UPPER & LOWER (Slow-Fast), FLUTE CHORUS, CHORUS/CELESTE, MASTER LOWER & UPPER TABS, THEATRE DRUMS,
FLUTE TAB SELECT: LOWREY, TIBIA, JAZZ + MORE = SMOOTH, DIAPASON, STRINGS
ASSIGN SOUNDS FROM THE MENU OF 432 GENIUS SOUNDS TO THE GOLDEN HARP GENIUS, SOLO GENIUS 1-2, ORCHESTRAL GENUS 1-2, UPPER GENUS TAB, LOWER GENIUS TAB, AND PEDAL GENIUS TAB
(2) THEATRE GENIUS
ASSIGN SOUNDS FROM THE MENU OF 32 THEATRE GENIUS SOUNDS TO THE LOWER THEATRE AND UPPER THEATRE GENUS TABS
ASSIGN SOUNDS FROM THE MENU OF 171 GENIUS SOUND EFFECTS & DRUMS SOUNDS TO THE SOUND EFFECTS GENIUS 1 OR 2
LEFT & RIGHT PROGRAMMABLE TOUCH BARS (19 SELECTABLE FUNCTIONS)
USB MEMORY STICK: RECORD/PLAYBACK A5000 PERFORMANCE, PLAYBACK GENERAL MIDI, GENERAL MIDI w/LYRICS, CAPTURE PRESETS, DISPLAY LYRICS FROM KARAOKE/MEDIA
RECORD/PLAYBACK PERFORMANCE, PLAYBACK AUDIO CD
VOLUME CONTROLS: MASTER, BASS, LOWER, UPPER STRING/VOCAL, REVERB AMOUNT
EIGHT PRESET, DYNAMIC EQUALIZER SETTINGS
SEVEN AMPLIFIERS, 340 TOTAL WATTS. FOUR AUDIO SEGMENTS: MAIN, BASS, CHORUS, MONITOR.
15 SPEAKERS TOTAL: SIX MID RANGE, EIGHT HIGH RANGE, ONE BASS IN A TUNED PORT ENCLOSURE, INCLUDES MONITOR SPEAKERS WITH INDEPENDENT VOLUME CONTROL
EIGHT ARPEGGIO PATTERNS, GOLDEN HARP GENIUS
TOUCH SENSITIVE ARPEGGIO KEYPAD, SOUND SOURCE AND PATTERN SELECTIONS
15 HARMONY SELECTIONS: AOC, DUET, 3 PART, 4 PART, COUNTRY, POLKA, BLOCK, HYMN, BARBERSHOPPE, 5 PART, 4THS & 5THS, OCTAVE, FULL AOC, GROUPED AOC, OCTAVE AOC
SURF, BELL TREE, SNARE ROLL, CYMBAL CRASH, APPLAUSE, GENIUS 1, GENIUS 2
LOWER SOUND EFX
ASSIGN SOUNDS FROM THE MENU OF 171 SOUND EFFECTS & DRUM SOUNDS TO CERTAIN LOWER KEYBOARD KEYS AND SELECT SOUNDS FOR THEATRE DRUMS
TWO 61-NOTE UPPER AND LOWER MANUALS
25-NOTE, SPINET STYLE
MATCHING WOOD (LIGHTED), Music RACK EXTENDER WITH SMOKED PLEXI RACK (LIGHTED)
RIGHT END BLOCK: STEREO HEADPHONE, MICROPHONE, PLUS SEPARATE VOLUME CONTROLS
REAR PANEL: MIDI IN-OUT-THRU, AUX OUT RIGHT-LEFT/MONO, AUX IN RIGHT-LEFT/MONO, VIDEO OUT
53.5″ WIDE x 29.5″ DEEP x 44.25″ HIGH WITH MUSIC RACK REMOVED 53″ WITH MUSIC RACK INSTALLED
512 LBS. – CRATED SHIPPING WEIGHT INCLUDING BENCH
A review of the Used Lowrey Prestige Plus Organ – Oak Finish by Michael Wooldridge
This month’s new organ very much stands out from amongst the crowd in many ways. It is most notable because, unlike a great many recent new products, which have shared cabinets and stop panels with their predecessors and made it hard to spot the difference, this new Lowrey is an entirely new product, with a new cabinet design and a completely new tone engine. Of course, much of the layout is in the same style as it has always been on Lowreys, so existing Lowrey players won’t find any trouble in moving across to the Prestige and, indeed, it is straightforward enough that non-Lowrey players should also find their way around fairly swiftly.
The new cabinet is huge, luxurious and, to me, looks slightly art deco, due to its graceful curves. It is made of wood, a choice of high gloss cherry, which I saw, or of oak. Consequently, the consoles with their curves have had to be made by real craftsmen steam-bending the wood. This organ directly replaces the Lowrey Stardust and, to my eyes, looks newer, fresher, more stylish and more grand but, at the same time, is actually two inches lower overall.
Completing the woodwork is a real wood roll-top fall. The prestige has two 61-note keyboards. These are very good quality, as they feel really nice to play. Unusually, it has a 25-note pedalboard, but they are still spinet style, rather than full length. This seems to work well.
There is a new panel layout with larger, clearer buttons and even better illumination than the festoon of lights that was already on the previous model! The new lighting uses lots of LEDs and has a rotary dimmer knob so you can set it to just the level of brightness you require. The control buttons all light up, as do the names of each note, just above the keyboards. There is a strip of lights to illuminate the (now longer) music desk for you but, if it seems too far away, you can pull out the extending music rest and, as you do this, the lights turn off of the main one and a new set of lighting illuminates for the extending music rack!
As I think you can already tell by now, even just from its lavish appearance this is an exceptional instrument and this design makes it an organ that you want to play and know is going to be special. Besides the visible improvements, the amplification and speakers have also been upgraded and now total 340 watts. This power comes by way of a seven channel amplifier, which drives fifteen speakers, six of which are monitors in the top half of the console, with an independent volume control so that they can be adjusted to suit the player. Whilst yes, this can be loud, it is actually all about quality rather than volume. There is a whole organ ‘equaliser’ function, which allows you to instantly and simply adjust the sound of the whole organ. The various settings offered include Less Bass, Mellow and Sparkle.
One helpful layout change from previous models is that the preset buttons have swapped places with the organ tab stops, so the presets are now immediately above the upper keyboard. There are a huge number of preset registrations on this organ. The first group I tried were the Category Presets. There are 21 Categories and, within each category, there are actually 11 registrations. Some quick maths tells us there are 231 actual preset sounds here. Category presets are so called because all of the voices fit within a certain grouping. They do not include any rhythm settings, so you can use them for any piece of music you like!
The first bank are Theatre Presets. Whilst there are 32 extra theatre voices now available, these presets do not really attempt to recreate the sound of a theatre pipe organ but, more, to make a big, rich, powerful organ sound, perhaps as an improvement upon the sound of the best electronic organs of the 70s and early 80s. That said, the presets do include a nice soft percussion setting with a reiterating Xylophone and a Vox Humana. A nice option is to have the touch screen displaying what is in the preset bank selected. This is great, especially as it also tells you what voice is set on the right hand end of the lower keyboard using the keyboard split facility.
Big Band includes a Trombone on the top with a Muted Trumpet on the split and a breathy sax with scat down below. There is also a Brass Section, which is very big, full and impressive. Country includes a great Acoustic Guitar and Chet’s Guitar, which is, yet again, a very rich sound. Lowrey have chosen not to confuse the sounds with slide and fret noise effects, as they require good technique to use them properly and Lowrey, probably correctly, think most players tend to sound better without them. One group I found a slight misnomer is the Show family. I expected to hear a pit orchestra hard at work but instead the sounds include Zither, Calliope, Harp and Soprano Sax. There are five category preset selectors on the rail, and then a sixth marked More, which brings a menu on screen offering the other groups. These include Sacred, which has some beautiful small and big church organ sounds, including a superb Full Reeds combination.
The Nostalgic category offers us a good Tijuana Brass sound complete with marimba on the lower split section and a preset especially for playing the Whistler and His Dog!
Probably the most fascinating category is called Sound Effects. This includes one with Guitars on the upper and Animal Sounds, yes, Animal Sounds (!) on the lower split. These include Cows mooing, Dogs barking and even a Cock-A-Doodle-Doo! There is the most wonderful huge Cathedral organ along with Scary sound effects and, for Sci-Fi, a wonderful space singing voice, much as used by keyboard genius Tomita.
Going through these presets gives a great tour of the organ and its new voices. There are actually 450 orchestral voices, all of which can be edited with the very easy to use on screen controls. It is nice that there is the option to properly control the vibrato setting, something which has become off limits to us on many modern products. Amongst the best of the new sounds are some fabulous Trumpets, including a big lead sound and a Shake Trumpet to wail over the top of the Big Band presets. There are some marvellous Strings, which provide a big, rich, silky sound, and a realistic new Flute.
There is also a goodly range of simple to use Digital Effects, including Flanger and Delay to add that extra something to your sounds. The Organ voices have been updated and there are now six different sets of sounds for them. The first is called Lowrey and provides that lovely warm rich organ tone with a good tremulant that the brand has been renowned for over a great many years. There is also Jazz, which makes the flutes a bit more edgy, Tibia, which gives them a more theatrical trem, and even Strings, which makes them sound like a stringy 70s organ sound.
If you press an organ stop whilst holding the Feature button, the display changes to show Digital Drawbars. It is great that this option is available, though on the prototype organ I tested you seemed to have to press the point where you would like them to be rather than to be able to slide them in and out.
There are many more presets tied in with the backing styles. Called Rhythm Presets, there are 11 orchestral and 11 organ to go with each style. As there are 216 styles on the organ, that means there are 4,752 Rhythm Presets available, all named and many making use of the split keyboard to create the effect of a third manual. Incidentally, the reason there are 11 presets each time is that there are 10 preset buttons and then there is also a different preset for when none of the presets, 1 to 10, are in selected.
The Orchestral Rhythm Presets tie in with the styles to provide Big Band sounds for the swing rhythms, Strings and the like for the Waltzes, and Guitars and things for the Latins. In every case, the Organ Rhythm Presets provide a variety of organ sounds that suit the rhythm selected.
There is another set of 750 Song Set Up Presets. These are accessed by picking the title of the song you want to play from the list (or a similar song) and then it sets up both sounds and rhythms ready to roll. Whereas on quite a few organs these song presets would just set up the most suitable of the Rhythm Presets, here they have been especially set for the songs, so really do add in more presets.
Naturally, you can set up your own registration presets and store them in the organ. If you want to save lots and lots of them, you can store them onto a USB memory stick. Rather than have this as a permanently visible socket, to the left of the keyboards is a nice little drawer with a little brass knob. Pull the knob to slide out the drawer and there, at the back of the felt lined enclosure is the USB connector. Once you have popped the stick in place, you can close the drawer and you wouldn’t know it was there. Incidentally, all presets from older Lowreys, including the Stardust and Sensation, can be copied from floppy disk onto a memory stick by the dealer for you.
In the same spot on the right hand side you will find a CD writer, which Lowrey have carefully set up so that you just press Record and it does it, straight onto the CD. Lowrey have long been masters when it comes to programming interesting style patterns and they seem to have exceeded themselves on this new model. Each of the 216 Styles has 4 variations and two introductions and endings, one of which is long and the other short. Once the main style is running, you will hear the style loops are exceptionally long, which means they are more interesting to hear, as they can add more variety as they play. The way this works is that the style will give you a nice backing, perhaps with a strumming guitar, and then at perhaps bar 4 it will add a little trombone feature, followed by one using Muted Trumpets at bar 8 and another on the piano at bar 12 etc. The intros and Endings are completely different when using minor chords to those for major chords.
When you use the rhythm fill-in (called FX on a Lowrey) you get a one bar drum fill-in if you push and release the button. Hold the FX button down for a moment and it will do a two bar drum fill-in with some interesting melodic fill-in as a part of the style. Hold it for longer and it will do a drum solo for 8, 12 or even 16 bars.
Some of the nicer styles include an old Lowrey favourite, the Swing Train, complete with clanging bell and the effect of the train speeding up at the start and slowing to the end. Then there is a wonderful full band intro for Frank and the Count, with presets including the sounds of Harry James and Benny Goodman. New York Swing is another Sinatra type backing and the Bossa Nova is also good. Under the heading Traditional you find Irish Fiddles, Bagpipes and even Red Indian sounds. Contemporary includes a fabulous Disco style, with a great plucked bass pattern and guitar backing. Incidentally, it is really simple to customise any of the styles, as the voicings currently in use can be displayed on the touch screen and then it is just a case of scrolling through the sounds list to make your change. The Broadway section includes an Epic Movie style with huge Strings, Tympani and loads of Harps, which is a brilliant sound.
Thinking of Harps, just above the upper keyboard is a sort of stick on keyboard strip which, at first glance, looks like ornamentation. It is actually the Lowrey Virtuoso Keyboard and provides arpeggios based upon your chords. This could keep me amused for hours and is a brilliant way to fill out rests in the music. Whilst it started life with Harp like percussion, it is also possible to set the sound to be the same as upper or lower keyboard and makes for some brilliant effects. I think this feature will be very much used by all owners, as it provides a really delightful enhancement. There is also the more traditional Lowrey Golden Harp feature, which itself is very pleasing.
At the very front of the organ, in front of the lower manual, there are two touch strips, which between them go from end to end of the organ. These are really useful, as, like a foot switch, they can be set to do all sorts of useful things, including changing the sound presets, adding rhythm fill-ins and all sorts of other things. I found it really useful to be able to just reach a finger out from my left-hand chord to use the style fill-in. All in all, this new Lowrey Prestige is wonderful. It does, first and foremost, play like an organ but, if it is orchestral sounds you require, it has those in abundance as well. Whichever sounds you pick to use, they will have a big, rich, high quality tone and you will feel good about playing them because of the marvellous feel of the instrument as a whole.
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