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Conn Artist 720 VS 721

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  • Conn Artist 720 VS 721

    Hi. I would like to know the major difference of Conn Artist 720 and 721. Thanks! :-)

  • #2
    IIRC, the 720 is a tube-type organ with tubes in the oscillators and in the power supply/amp chassis. The keyers for the flutes and diapasons are solid-state however. The 721 is fully transistorized throughout.

    Also, the 720 has rocker-style tablets while the 721 has tongue-tabs. The 721 has a little better stoplist, as I recall, more like a standard classical organ. It may have had a few blind presets too.

    The older 720 has one plus -- the truly distinct diapason tone. It was one of the very few Conn organs ever built with a discrete diapason output on each oscillator, so there is a character to the tone that is not quite matched by the 721 or any other models of the Artist series, which use formant circuits on the pulse outputs to derive a diapason. However, the 720s are getting very old now, and the last one I saw was in pretty sad shape. The tubes in the amp run hot and will have cooked everything pretty well by now. A 721 might be in better condition.

    Both models share the poor direct-keyed strings and reeds, so likely to have very erratic keying of those stops. Both have electronic keying for flutes and diapasons, though, so those stops generally work very well.

    There may be other differences, perhaps the 721 has chiff on the flutes, not sure. It's also possible that the 721 had more audio channels, maybe four instead of three (separate amps for the high and low ranges of the flute/pedal division). The 720 had only three channels -- diapason, reed, and flute/pedal -- with a crossover network at the output of the flute/pedal channel to send the highs to the Leslie and the lows to the 15" woofer. (I think there was also a switch to swap the strings into the Leslie.)

    All this is from memory, but I'm fairly confident. I played a 720 in church for several years and a good friend of mine had a 721 in his home, so spent quite a bit of time with both models. Someone correct me if I'm wrong about details.
    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!



    • #3
      The 721 does indeed have 4 audio channels (the flute and pedal are separate) and flute chiff via a set of extra keyers (controlled by rocker switches on one of the keycheeks). There were differences between the Type 1 and 2 models that I can't recall; the blind presets might be one of them.

      Installed a good dozen of these with external 255/256 tone cabs and pipe speakers in churches in my tech days.

      --- Tom
      Rodgers 660 with additional analog rack sets (practice), 36D/C in digital conversion, Yamaha CVP-107


      • #4
        One of the nice features of the 720 was that the diapason could be directed to the Leslie speaker as well as the flutes. Lent authenticity to the classical registration. I had a cipher in mine when I gave it away and learned a few weeks later the new owner had disconnected the diapason somehow. Turned out he really wanted an all flute organ anyway. He called me several times to discuss his search for a Hammond. I met him when he purchased my H22 Leslie cabinet.

        The last time I called his home his wife told me he was ill so I'm imagining that he has left the organ hobby and the 720 probably is no more. It was the first organ I ever got free. The thrift that had it said it was too heavy to take off the truck and show in the store so they just wanted rid of it.

        I had never had a Conn before and was really impressed with the rich pipe-like depth of its sound. Got lazy about restoring it with so many other organs becoming available. But I have the memories! What fun my Mom and I had playing together on the Artist and an Allen Custom Carousel.