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Allen Organs--general chat

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  • Allen Organs--general chat

    I can't help but notice that there seems to be more general discussion about Allen Organs from a negative view point. Why? They are good. They work. They sound good. They have very little maintenance compared to pipe organs. What is the flack? I have heard some very fine pipe organs played iby ndividuals who have no idea how to play them. Pipes are pipes. Electronics are electronics. Allem gives you the best sound for the buck. Period. Why poo-poo- Allen. They are great instruments. There are doctorial students performing on them. Allen instruments are great alternatives to pipe organ which cost so much that they are out of reach for many organizations, churches, auditoriums, and individuals. Just answer-why dislike Allen? dec

  • #2
    Re: Allen Organs--general chat

    I have several and they are good. An Allen is a workhorse like a Mack Truck. Not flashy but powerful and very reliable. Plus Allen has service and support for most models made in the last 30 years. They are not cheap but are a viable alternative to pipe.

    There are those who criticize and find fault with anything nice and successful. Actually this criticism might be interpreted as admiration.

    Believe me, Allen has plenty of supporters here.


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    • #3
      Re: Allen Organs--general chat

      We have an Allen Quantum in my church and I love it. This is the third Allen my church has had, the first one being purchased in 1964, then 1976 and now 2005. The 1964 and 1976 models were still working just fine and were replaced because of the new technologies.
      Mike

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      • #4
        Re: Allen Organs--general chat

        I dont dislike Allen, I just like Rodgers more. I prefer their sounds.

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        • #5
          Re: Allen Organs--general chat

          I dont dislike Allen, I just like Rodgers more. I prefer their sounds.

          I couldn't agree more...

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          • #6
            Re: Allen Organs--general chat

            Ten years ago Allen, IMO(NH), Allen still had a very artificial sound compared to Rogers. More recently they have improved, expecially in the cheaper (If there is such a thing) models.
            The analog Allens for their day and compared to the competition were also very near the top, If not all the way there. But Today I still like Rogers better.

            Lee

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            • #7
              Re: Allen Organs--general chat

              I used to really dislike the older Allen digitals, they always seemed to have a 'harmonic jangle' to them. Their newer organs are much nicer. But they are expensive.

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              • #8
                Re: Allen Organs--general chat

                I purchased a new Allen a few years ago for my residence and have been very happy with it. I think it sounds great. Allen's maintence/support staff has a good reputation---it is good to know that there are Allen representatives that can service your instrument on the spot. \

                By the way, my instrument has wooden keys which, as noted by the poster below, is highly preferable to plastic.

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                • #9
                  Re: Allen Organs--general chat

                  I'd like to start off by saying I don't DISlike Allen, but there is something that Allen, along with other builders of digital organs should pay attention to, and that is the quality of their keyboards.
                  Nearly all of the Allens in this area are fairly old.... TC and MOS1 series. The MOS Allens I have played had the worst keyboards I had ever laid hands on- cheap, thin, hollow plastic which felt like it could break, spongy action, and the sharps were so narrow at the top they looked like the keys from a $100.00 Casio. It's such a shame, since their consoles are otherwise rock-solid. And whoever came up with the idea that white keys should be APPLIANCE white, fer cryin' out loud!?

                  This message is for Allen, Rodgers, and anyone else. Your least expensive instruments START at around ten thousand dollars. Put a real keyboard in them, with wood keysticks underneath the plastic. tone down the ultra-white to something a bit closer to ivory or bone, and take away the shininess- give it a matte finish like the real thing. It CAN'T cost THAT much more. I want an organ that feels substantial under my hands, without having to pay a premium price for premium keyboards which should be standard. Even the automakers are putting automatic locks and power windows in low-end cars now. The keyboards are the component that the player becomes most intimately connected to, so the focus should be there, as well as the sound quality, no matter what other bells and whistles you add to the thing.

                  When I purchased my home practice organ, I was very impressed by one I saw at the dealership. It had the most convincing keyboard I had ever seen- matte finished, ivory color, solid feel. Crisp action. Even the key depth felt so right. Trouble is, it was a Baldwin (Church Organ Systems) and the company was out of business, and I did not care for it tonally either. The dealer offered me an incredible price to take it, but I knew I'd rather have better sound quality in the end. I still would love to have THAT keyboard on the Rodgers I ended up buying, although I am very satisfied with my Rodgers.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Allen Organs--general chat

                    I have always liked the sound of Allen over Rodgers. Also, Rodgers puts those lighted drawknobs on their organs. I haven't heard a rodgers in person, but I have heard two allens and the sound is incredible.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Allen Organs--general chat

                      Rodgers will build an organ with moving drawknobs if you want it that way. Costs more.

                      Toodles.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Allen Organs--general chat

                        While on the subject of keyboards, are there any artificial organs around that have a good keyboard? I would like to have one with real wood, very short travel (4-6mm) and the sound should start playing one you press the key (lets say after 1mm travel, not at the bottom like everything I found until now). If any maker has that, I would like to know.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Allen Organs--general chat

                          I know Wicks is building an "All Electronic organ" now. I think they use Walker stuff for the sounds. I bet they are quite nice, for electronic organs, and the console is probably the same as a console for a pipe.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Allen Organs--general chat

                            http://organ.wicks.com/display_page?p=208

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                            • #15
                              Re: Allen Organs--general chat

                              back to the thread topic...

                              and why there is perhaps some negative feelings towards Allen (or any electronic organ maker).

                              A lot of historic, good (and yes bad) pipe organs got hauled off to landfills because the cheap/easy solution was to replace a church's pipe organ with an electronic. That factor will always be there in terms of any electric organ maker's perception amongst SOME in the organ world who care about historic pipe organs.

                              As to Allen themselves, I have a 123C from the early 1970's presumeably, it mostly works just fine over 30 years later, so they are built very well. It is a early digital and the sounds are quite harsh unless you add reverberation which I did by having a Reverb unit added to it. I have some recordings of it at the NYCFarmboy.com website where I added LOTS of reverb to make it sound as good as I could, but in person it is overly harsh/schrill, but that was the taste in the 70's. I vastly prefer Rodgers analog sounds over early Allen digitals. I'd never recommend a early digital except as a practice instrument.

                              My main pet peave with Allen is the semi-opaque milk carton plastic they use on their base grade keyboards. My church got a Renaisance (spelling?) 2 manual about 3 years ago now, and the keyboards it came with were extremely disappointing. The woodwork of the console is beautiful though. On my older 1970's Allen the keys are just fine. , but to repeat, the woodwork on the new Allen Rennaisance (Spelling?) is BEAUTIFUL.

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