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Help for choosing a digital organ for a small church (Viscount Vivace 60 vs Ahlborn Praeludium III)

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  • Help for choosing a digital organ for a small church (Viscount Vivace 60 vs Ahlborn Praeludium III)



    Hello.</P>


    A friend of mine asked me an advice about a new digital organ for the church. They have no organist, just somone able to play a keyboard, anyway thye want to have a 2 manuals + pedalboard instrument, also because it looks nicer.</P>


    Their budget is quite low: 5.000 -6-000 euros.</P>


    I made a search and in that price range I can see the Viscount Vivace 60 and Ahlborn Praeludium III.</P>


    Now I know that these are not top of the series and moreover I would better create a console for Hauptwerk, but these people wants this kind of Organ.</P>


    I read somewhere on this forum that Viscount cheap line models are newer than Ahlborn,does this mean they have a better sound since they use a more advanced sound generation technology? If this is true Viscount wins in "digital sound quality".</P>


    TheAhlborn moreover has 1x140W + 2x70W, while Viscount has 3x70W. So Ahlborn "wins" in amplification.</P>


    I played 2 Viscount in my life and both of them had terrible electronic problems after fewyears... So Ahlborn wins because at least hope is there... Ok, statistical studies on 2 cases it is enoughbut...</P>


    Any comment?</P>


    (Please remember this is not a concert organ, just a simple mass accompainment tool for a low budget parish)</P>

  • #2
    Re: Help for choosing a digital organ for a small church (Viscount Vivace 60 vs Ahlborn Praeludium III)



    Hello,</P>


    My guess is that the Ahlborn will definitely sound better. Ahlborn only makes a single series of organs, using the same platform technical throughout. From what I have heard the Ahlborn competes easily with the Viscount Prestige line, whereas the Vivace line from Viscount is purely entry level, and a noticeable step down from the Prestige. </P>


    I can't comment on reliability of organs in Europe, but in North America, I have not had many problems with the Ahlborn organs, as I used to sell them and am a service technician. </P>


    I do know that some of the first generation Viscount organs in North America had a lot of issues over time. But I think over the last 5 to 10 years, most of the newer models don't have many problems with them.</P>


    AV</P>

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    • #3
      Re: Help for choosing a digital organ for a small church (Viscount Vivace 60 vs Ahlborn Praeludium III)



      I am organist of a medium sized church in southern UK. We have had a Viscount for about four years. No real problems but, I find the layout of the console with the Sw to Gt piston over at the right hand end of the Gt makes service playing very difficult. There are other anomalies that would put me off buying a Viscount. Including the very unpleasant person in their showroom, I presume they are not interested in selling organs. The sound is not bad for the romantic type that I like - I never play Bach or contemporary music - but I do not like the reeds. Go for the Ahlborn is my advice for it is a better organ.
      </p>

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      • #4
        Re: Help for choosing a digital organ for a small church (Viscount Vivace 60 vs Ahlborn Praeludium III)



        Thanks for your comments.I think Iwill go for the Ahlborn, expecially because they use the same technology in both Prealudium and Organum series.</P>

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        • #5
          Re: Help for choosing a digital organ for a small church (Viscount Vivace 60 vs Ahlborn Praeludium III)



          I just traded my old Domus (Viscount) Jubileum for a new Vivace 90, and I can say it's more than adequate for my living room. But quite some small churches around here have Vivace organs installed, even the tiny model 20. </p>

          You say that Praeludium and Organum series are based on the same technology, well so are the Prestige and Vivace series, there's only a difference in the lenght &amp; amount of samples used per stop, which will be about the same difference as with the Praeludium and Organum series. Also, forget your opinions on Viscount organs if you played only Jubileum/Jubilate or similar series from the early digital days. Of all the organ companies I've heard, they definately have improved the most in 10 years time.

          </p>

          Vivace has 14 more selectable stops than the Praeludium, but that one has a larger voice library.
          Vivace 60dlx has coupler pistons as standard,
          Praeludium has stronger amplification, but I would consider additional amplification in both of the organs anyway.
          In this area there is a very helpful Viscount dealer, but no Ahlborn dealer.
          </p>


          But as with any organ, whether you spend €6000 or €60000 on it, the final decision will be purely personal taste, just let your friend go on and try them both. Maybe you might find the Praeludium more technologically advanced, but if you say they want an organ instead of a keyboard "because it looks nicer", who knows they might find the finishing of the Viscount more appealing and buy it just for that?
          I as a humble amateur organist, will vouch for the Viscount though.
          </p>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Help for choosing a digital organ for a small church (Viscount Vivace 60 vs Ahlborn Praeludium III)



            Exquies,</p>

            I'm glad to read that you are satisfied with your Vivace 90. I'm sure it is a major step up from what you had before.</p>

            You mention the improvements that Viscount has made over the years. Well that is a mighty good thing, as they could have done with a lot of improvements. In the 90s, Viscount had so many models, technical platforms, series of organs, it was bewildering. And most of those organs did not sound very good. In fact most sounded pretty awful. It wasn't until they came out with the first generation Prestige (5xx series in North America, models I to VIII in Europe), that they started sounding competitive. Even those models sounded somewhat rough at first. The eventual second line the Jubilate (or the 4xx series Prestige), sound cheap and were cheap as well. But they sold a lot of them in North America. </p>

            If the new Prestige and Vivace use the same technical platform (meaning the same circuit boards, CPU board, mother board etc.) that is a good thing from a long term support point of view. The more technology and parts that are shared among models, the easier it is for companies to stock spare parts.</p>

            As far as Ahlborn is concerned, at least from a North American viewpoint, they generally only had 1 technical platform in production. From the cheapest models to the largest ones, the ICs, circuit boards, power supplies, etc. were the same. They did use slightly different keyboards on the SL line from the Hymnus models, as well as different stop controls. But the basic electronics was the same. Even the sample quality and length was the same throughout, in every generation of organ. I know this because I used to swap samples between the various lines and the Archive modules without problems. In the new organs, from what I have seen the samples sound the same to me.</p>

            In North America, I have a number of friends who are Viscount dealers, and some of them sell both, and they pretty much agree the Ahlborn organs sound more pipe-like in tone, but they prefer the Viscount sound as it is a fatter, more North American sound.
            </p>

            Always best to physically try out any organ that one might purchase. Nothing worse than buyer's regret. It is like marrying the wrong woman, and finding out the "wrong" part after the wedding.</p>

            Cheers</p>

            AV
            </p>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Help for choosing a digital organ for a small church (Viscount Vivace 60 vs Ahlborn Praeludium III)



              The problems I had with Viscount were with a Domusseries bought in 1989, but also with a 3 manuals (I suppose the equivalent of the Vivace 90 bought 7 years ago). The Domus had also a terrible keyboard problem, after 2 years (just after warantee expiring) some keys started behaving bad, assistance said "there is ntohing to do" (I suppose anyway it was not an official Viscount service... I was too young in 1991 to judge, the priest called this man), The "OldVivace90" instead has terrible problems with stops control: all the free combination behave randomly, like if they are corrupted, moreover ligthing some stop switches off randomly others... I played on this instrument before and after the problem appear. May be is is just a small Circuit Board to change, anyway it was quite annoying.</P>


              Anyway in that church there is no organist, they want to buy an organ because it looks nicer and also because it sounds better than a keyboard. And I think that it is a good idea, because for less than 5000 euro all you can have is second-hand (I wouldn't suggest unless you personally know the buyer) or some home-made systems (table + MIDI keyboard + laptop with Hauptwerk + pc keyboard for changing stops + amplification... May sound better than Viscount/Ahlborn, but defintely it is more a home setup than a church one).</P>


              Amplification can always be added later, I heard an electronic organ time ago (one with the solenoid drawknobs, I think it was the Organum III by Ahlborn, but may be also the top Prestige model) without external amplification and it was not sounding bad in a quite big church... Anyway of course full organ never sounds good... It is simply impossible with 3 speakes, even if they are the top of top.</P>


              After these comments anyway I would really say "it is the same", anyway I'll suggest them the Ahlborn because of the greater amplification, even if I agree that probably there is a taste difference mainly (if not I would imagine that one of the 2 companies should be out of business...).</P>

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