Farfisa: Spinets

Spinets???!!!  Hey, what's going on here?  Well, there's no way these can be considered combo organs, but I'm including them here because they're electronically (and, presumably, sonically) near-twins to the Mini-Compact, Compact and Compact Duo.  Also, these three may very well have been the immediate predecessors to the Compact series.  I've been told that the Ballata was made in 1963, whereas the earliest date I've seen in reference to any of the Compacts was 1964.  Note also that the Foyer and Rhapsody correspond, feature-wise, to the very earliest versions of the Mini and Compact, while the Ballata is a hybrid of the Duo and a late Compact / early Deluxe.   It's possible that Farfisa just took the internals of their already-in-production spinet organs, and stuffed them into portable cabinets to form the Compacts.  At any rate, if you do run across one of them, you could use it either a) to bring the combo sound into your living room with spinet respectability, or b) for parts.  Enough said.


The Foyer appears to be a basic Mini-Compact, built into a spinet cabinet, with amp and speakers. - look at the panel - it's pretty much identical to the Mini.  Click on the picture below to go to a web site with much more information.  It's got Reverb, but is missing the Vibrato Heavy/Light tab (like the Mini-Deluxe), and does not have the selectable octave of grey keys.  Instead, it has a "Chords" tab.  I'll let Jonas Petrini explain:

"The chords tab is for a separate box that mounts on the far left side of the keyboard. (that's what the two holes are there for) With the chords tab on, the first octave becomes single tones. this is for the chord box that mounts on top. when pressing a button (ie. Ab or G#) on the chord box, two or more keys are pressed thus producing a minor or major chord. Kinda like an accordion I guess"

"The black "chords" tab is for making the lowest octave of the keyboard play single bass notes instead of the combination of 16' 8' 4' ́ and vibrato settings you've skillfully applied. The thing is though, that it won't play the 16' plays 8' !!! so if you only have 16' on and "chords" on, you will get two octaves of identical notes (same octave)."

(Pictures (c) Panu Pentikäinen, Pulu Studio, Helsinki)


Jonas expounds on the internal amp/speakers: 

"The tube Amp has a good warm sound and it takes about 30-40 seconds to get it warm and start making any noise. Its quite loud too. It drives the 2 internal 10" speakers. There doesn't seem to be a "Line out" jack on it but I guess if you were to gig with it, then miking it up will probably give a more authentic 60's sound (dirty that is)."

Another specimen, (which can be found at www.farfisa.org, has the word "Cromwell" on the top panel, instead of "Foyer", but is otherwise identical. On the back, however, it's labeled "Foyer".


The Rhapsody is the early, "four-green-tab" version of a Compact in spinet clothes. I don't know if there is a knee lever.  Foot pedal and bass pedals look identical to those provided with the Compact.

The block-diagram schematics page (dwg. SE-10) for the Compact has in the title box: Electronic Organs Mod "COMPACT" and "RHAPSODY"



Not exactly a Compact Duo in a spinet case, the Ballata is more like a Compact I or early Deluxe with the lower manual from the Compact Duo.  It's missing the 2-2/3'-2' mixture and 2-2/3' booster voices as well as the Brilliant tab of the Duo. 

I understand there was another version that lacks the Percussion and Reverb tabs.

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