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    Is this organ overpriced?

    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/msg/2031452531.html

    They are asking $12,500. I called and offered what I thought was a reasonable price (quite a bit less than the asking price), and he said he was the local Allen dealer. Are these 90s digitals really worth that much?

    #2
    The MDS organs were definitely nice instruments. I wish the listing had included a model number--without it, determining a value is tough because the MDS organs came in two major series: early models that were a modest improvement over the predecessor ADC series, and late models that were a considerable improvement over the ADCs.

    With only built-in speakers, two manuals, and a relatively modest specification, this instrument would command no more than about $7000 regardless of its vintage, in my opinion. Others will undoubtedly be adding their views shortly!

    Don

    Comment


      #3
      The ad says the organ has 45 stops?? With Pedal 8, Swell 12 and Gt 9, that looks more like 29 stops.

      This organ is a really abbreviated econo home organ, with

      - minimal stops

      - cheap low end economy console

      - no general pistons or toe studs

      - Internal speakers only . . single channel?

      - Age coming up to 20 years?

      While not a very attractive instrument, it might reasonably fetch $2,000 to $2,500 at the most.
      2008: Phoenix III/44

      Comment


        #4
        Somehow I overlooked the pictures in the ad! Yes, I agree this is a fairly bottom-end organ. Maybe $3000 tops.

        Clarion, I suspect that the thumb pistons you see ARE the generals. Allen liked to center them on the manual rails when divisionals were not installed. The giveaway is the lack of studs or pistons for the pedals.

        Don

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Clarion View Post
          The ad says the organ has 45 stops?? With Pedal 8, Swell 12 and Gt 9, that looks more like 29 stops.

          This organ is a really abbreviated econo home organ, with

          - minimal stops

          - cheap low end economy console

          - no general pistons or toe studs

          - Internal speakers only . . single channel?

          - Age coming up to 20 years?

          While not a very attractive instrument, it might reasonably fetch $2,000 to $2,500 at the most.
          Clarion,

          I see you have a hard time hiding your disgust for this instrument. Have you ever seen one of these or heard one?

          I'm not sure what your problem is with this organ, but from what I have seen, Allen makes good solid consoles, they are nicely built and finished, and typically last a long, long time.

          Is there anything wrong with a 29 stop organ? It may not be the biggest, but surely it should be fine for lots of music and situations. Vast majority of pipe organs built have less than 29 stops.

          This organ does state it has internal speakers - Allen put 2 channels minimum on all their instruments. It is easy to add external speakers to them if desired.

          This organ has general pistons - but not divisional pistons. This is not a handicap really on a small organ. In my experience, toe studs on many installed organs are rarely used if at all.

          If this organ is an MDS model, it may be close to 20 years old, or it may be as recent as 13 years old. Without stating what model it is, and the serial number it is hard to know the age of it.

          I'm sure it is a desirable organ to somebody, and the price of it depends on the location to a degree. My guess is it may be worth $5,000, but likely to sell for less.

          In any case this organ is far better than any Conn organ, the brand you speak so highly of.

          AV

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by arie v View Post
            Clarion,

            I see you have a hard time hiding your disgust for this instrument.
            Your wild fantasies concerning my feelings regarding this instrument, are just that . . . wild totally absurd fantasies. This organ doesn't stir up any kind of emotion for me.


            I have merely listed a few objective observations regarding this very basic home organ. It is a pretty close match in every way to the rather superior Johannus Opus 17 SE which sells new right now for $8000. How much do you figure an $8000 organ will be worth in 20 years!?? Basically . . . nothing!
            2008: Phoenix III/44

            Comment


              #7
              my opinion 2k max. sorry but used organs have no resale value except to those that very much want a particular model.

              Irregardless of how it sounds, it is a stoptab organ with only 2 manuals....thus not much resale value. my 2 cents

              Comment


                #8
                Dealers who have space to let an instrument sit are always on a fishing expedition! They are waiting for a small church that hasn't had this quality instrument before and possibly use some of the pricing to offer a trade in on a truly worthless instrument. The last dealer who rejected an offer from me assured me the right church would come along if he just waited. Realistic pricing and dealerships are miles apart these days. (Yes, I understand overhead and service commitments but they should exceed value just a reasonable percentage - 40% perhaps)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by NYCFarmboy View Post
                  my opinion 2k max. sorry but used organs have no resale value except to those that very much want a particular model.

                  Irregardless of how it sounds, it is a stoptab organ with only 2 manuals....thus not much resale value. my 2 cents
                  NYCFarmboy,

                  I disagree with your post here. It seems that there are those on this list that have a death wish for the industry. I think their wish is coming true. The dominoes will start falling soon. Most companies that produce digital organs are in a state of distress.

                  In this case, the asking price from the dealer for this particular organ is high. I think everybody on this list would agree with that. But I have no problem with a decent realistic price, which includes delivery, warranty, support etc. From a dealer's point of view, he/she has to deal with it as a business proposition. If they give it away, they can't be in business.
                  Also, there are individuals and more likely churches that want an instrument that is professionally dealt with. And they will spend extra for that.

                  Most individuals on this list think craigslist or kijiji, or even establishes a price. To a degree it does. People have something to get rid of, they don't know what the true value may be, want to make a quick sale, and a buyer who is willing to do the grunt work and pick it up, and to pay as little as possible for it. Most of the time there are at least some minor issues that require some technical assistance. And of course the information should be given for free. And so it goes.

                  I can say, that the organ in question, if I had it, I could sell it for $7,500 installed in a church with external speakers added. I have a list of churches, about half a dozen, that would upgrade to a newer used organ, have around $10,000 or less to spend, but I have nothing at the moment that is a match. The used organ market around where I am, just does not have a good supply of used church organs available. At this point in time, I am not interested in any analog organs, except maybe the odd larger Classic organs ( as I helped make them), not interested in Allens, unless they are at least late ADC and AGO consoles, no Rodgers prior to the digital ones, and also not interested in low end Rodgers from the 90s. Interested in the better European made modes by Johannus, Viscount, and Ahlborn-Galanti. For all others, I would say, they are not worth it for me to be involved in as there is no money in it for me.

                  If someone wants to engage me in moving an organ and re-installing it, I charge on a per job basis. Usually it ends up costing between $2K and $3K.

                  Also, from the posts, I am not sure why a 2 manual stop tab organ is considered to be near value-less. I consider the vintage, the sound, the audio system more important than the fact it has only 2 keyboards, or the fact it has stop tabs. Also, whether the organ is MIDI capable should make a difference in the price.

                  NYCFarmboy, I suppose you have at least a 3 manual drawstop instrument to make you feel happy.

                  I'm glad, that in my neck of the woods there are still some good used organs going for decent money. About 2 years ago, I moved a 2 manual lighted drawstop Ahlborn-Galanti organ, with a full audio system. The church paid $20,000 or close to it, and are very happy with it. I did not sell the organ, only moved it, serviced it, re-installed it, voiced it. The organ is now 12 years old, looks like a new console, and still sounds as good or better than some of the latest ones.

                  A year or so ago, I transplanted an old Classic, most of which dated back to 1978, the latest additions from 1986. I don't know what the church paid for the instrument, but I do know that when all was said and done, the amount came to over $10,000. I do believe that was a high price, but after I was done with it, it sounded very good, and the church was more than happy with the result. They don't think they paid too much for it.

                  One reason why used organ prices have declined in the last year or so, is that new organs are discounted to move them. If a new organ costs no more than a slightly used one, the value of the used one will go down. And when new organs are discounted, you can be sure that dealers are hurting and manufacturers are not doing well either - as it is viewed that there is little demand for the product.

                  AV

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Our Church owns an MDS-20 which is probably about 20 years old now. The model in the picture has less features than our MDS-20, we only paid about $15,000 for that instrument new. I'm guessing $12,000 has to be close to what this organ sold for new. The dealer definitely has some costs involved in future upkeep and maintenance but $12,000 dollars US is way over what I would pay for this organ. I have an MDC(classic)-20 that I bought used about 20 years ago and paid only $6,000 for it then from an Allen dealer for home use (and I think I probably over paid a little then). I can't tell you what you should pay for this one because I don't know enough about it, but I recently saw a new Rodger's organ in a show room with similar specifications to this one for less than $10,000. If you're going to Spend $12,000 I believe you can get a new instrument with an AGO pedal board for that amount. Look at some of the smaller home/chapel organs by Allen, Rodgers, Johannus, etc. and compare. I think at 12,000 this guy is asking way too much. I would guess 50% of it's original retail price is about appropriate + possibly a reasonable fee for delivery and setup that should put this organs price well below $12,000.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by arie v View Post
                      A year or so ago, I transplanted an old Classic, most of which dated back to 1978, the latest additions from 1986. I don't know what the church paid for the instrument, but I do know that when all was said and done, the amount came to over $10,000. I do believe that was a high price, but after I was done with it, it sounded very good, and the church was more than happy with the result. They don't think they paid too much for it.
                      I would sincerely hope that the church didn't actually pay anything for an old relic like that!!

                      When I tried to get rid of my old fully operational 1983 Classic, I couldn't even give it away!! So I was actually stuck with a liability which would cost me $$$ to have it carted away! I ended up sticking Phoenix with the problem! Without first getting rid of the old Classic to make room for the new organ, there was no room to install the new organ. So they reluctantly agreed to cart away the old organ when the new one arrived.

                      The old Classic organ console really wasn't worth much to Phoenix. They get stuck with dealing with these old junkers on a regular basis; and have far more than they can ever manage to deal with. They actually recycled the console for a pretty much pro bono kind endeavor. The aged electronics and keyboards were assigned to the local dump. Not sure how they dealt with the cheap chipboard seat that was ready to collapse at any moment, but I expect that they would have to start from scratch, and build a quality seat that wasn't about to invade yer entrails in a most uncomfortable manner at any moment!!.

                      Notwithstanding, if you actually have a quality console, major big $$$ savings can be realized by recycling your old console, and having it gutted and rebuilt with 2010 keyboards and electronics.

                      Market value is always linked together with market interest; and when it comes to $000 market value for twenty year old organs, . . . .
                      Last edited by Clarion; 11-02-2010, 06:39 AM.
                      2008: Phoenix III/44

                      Comment


                        #12
                        AV: I'm very aware my opinions are not "liked" by organ resellers. I'm very aware there are exceptions to selling prices. Certainly a quality installation with an appropriate speaker placement would well be worth MUCH more than what these organs sell for on ebay.

                        I'm just giving my opinion based on what I see the organs actually sell for on ebay. I follow ebay as it is a true gauge of what items are quickly sellable for.

                        I.E. a Hammond B3 is worth 2,500 to 4k on ebay in a quick sale. Thus my opinion a B3 is worth 2,500 to 4k max in mint condition as that is what you can quickly and easily sell it for.

                        If it is in a music store somewhere it could sell for 12,000 to 20,000.00 but only to someone who wants it and doesn't know any better on how to get it, or has the money and doesn't want to mess with setting up shipping etc, or is not sure the organ is working etc.

                        That is a huge price discrepency.....and life.....good or bad that is how it is.

                        I give my opinions here based soley on what the ebay price is. I'm sure I'm wrong on some stuff on occasion, but it is just my opinion.

                        My general rule before the recession was:

                        ANALOG & pre 1990 digital:
                        3 manual, drawknob 3 to 5k
                        2 manual, drawknob 2 to 3k

                        3 manual, stoptab 2k
                        2 manual, stoptab 1k max


                        Paying anything more than that for a organ built before 1990 is not justified by resale prices on ebay in my opinion.


                        for post 1990 digitals add more....its to the point now in this recession those prices would apply to ANYTHING pre 2000..even with MIDI.

                        I have dear friends who paid big money for large digital organs, and they come to me asking me to help sell them, but I can't.
                        Big digital organs today are no different than brand new cars.

                        When you go buy a car, the second you drive it off the car lot it loses 50% of its value. In my opinion new digital organs are the same....it is the same with buying a new computer. Once you buy it and take it out of the box, it no longer has its full resale value.

                        A digital organ today is a computer.

                        Try selling your slightly used mint condition laptop computer for what you paid for it.

                        ................

                        That will upset some, so i'll repeat.>I realize retail stores/dealers are selling a service, and stand behind their products. And will install them correctly and back them up for years to come. I'm not talking about prices they sell their wares for.

                        I'm only talking about what the market dictates the quick resale price be. sorry.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          NYCFarmboy, I agree with you that paying a lot over E-Bay prices isn't a smart idea. If it were an organ that I really wanted and a local retailer had it, and was going to deliver it, have a technician voice it, and set it up, give me a 30 day warranty, etc. I would be willing to pay a couple thousand more than the E-Bay price, for the piece of mind of knowing I was going to get something in working order for my money. Keep in mind a said a couple thousand more not $5,000 or $10,000.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by NYCFarmboy View Post
                            I'm just giving my opinion based on what I see the organs actually sell for on ebay. I follow ebay as it is a true gauge of what items are quickly sellable for.

                            {...}

                            I'm only talking about what the market dictates the quick resale price be.
                            This is the most sensible thing I've read in all the countless (and usually pointless) exchanges over organ value. Ebay is an excellent guide to valuation, IF you watch completed sales over the long term and appropriate to the region in question. The selling price in every case represents the maximum anyone was willing to pay at the time - so over time Ebay provides a very useful benchmark to real values, on the street so to speak.
                            Last edited by toasterDude; 11-02-2010, 11:18 PM. Reason: dontGoThere
                            Nobody loves me but my mother,
                            And she could be jivin' too...

                            --BB King

                            Comment


                              #15
                              As a simple matter of business, the selling price on ebay is not at all reflective of what a used organ from a dealer should sell for: dealers normally provide delivery, setup, and a warranty, and their expertise in all this which all has a cost to the dealer, which he must recover in the sale. So what we are really talking about are the selling of two different types of items (apples versus oranges). As mentioned before, a dealer has to include a trade-in allowance in his price. Offer him cash, ask for no warranty, and pick it up yourself, and you'll probably find him receptive to a much lower offer.

                              In spite of this, many dealers seem to want far too much for their used instruments, especially when selling used instruments of the brand they represent--I think they are trying to prop up the used market values.

                              FYI, I just purchased a used Rodgers 755 analog organ for $1,500, and will pay about as much to have it shipped to me. I got a good value, as far as I'm concerned. Others will not agree with me, but then, they didn't buy it! I would have preferred an Allen MDS-38/39/40S, but haven't seen any of these for sale ever, and am sure any seller would have wanted far in excess of what I paid.

                              Toodles.

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