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  • Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house



    Hi all. I am a new organist with an opportunity to buy a Allen TC-3S. I would love to use this organ. However, it comes with two huge speakers that will not fit in my house. As near as I can tell, these organs do not have console speakers (i haven't played it yet). Is there a reasonable way to rig up smaller speakers?</p>

    If it makes any difference, I have an 70's Kimball Camelot that could donate speakers.
    </p>

  • #2
    Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house



    A few years back I had a TC-3s, and I definitely miss it! It is certainly possible to tap the tone generator outputs and run them into a sound system. You will lose the low end without the big woofers, but saving that, it still can sound great even if you don't have a way to use the original speakers. There are no internal speakers.
    </p>

    Also, you'll want to get a reverb unit or two if you can - it will greatly improve the sound, unless you have a house with acoustics like a cathedral - but then the speakers probably wouldn't be an issue.
    </p>
    Corey

    Allen MDS-41-S with MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Schulmerich Carillon Americana - 61 notes Flemish / Harp / Celesta / Quadra / Minor Tierce
    - MIDI Retrofit finally underway & Moller console in need of refurbishment
    Schulmerich Campanile Digital Carillon (Cast & Harp)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house

      If you're pretty crafty with wood working, you could graft the cones from the giant speaker cabs and build more compact ones. I've used the high grade birch plywood from lowes, its heavy enough to carry the bass. I'd save the original cabs and keep them in storage just in case you decide at a later date to sell the organ. I take it the cabs are gyros and those are extremely bulky.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house



        Those are both helpful ideas. I will consider both when I check out the organ.</p>

        I am not an organ service person, but I want to learn to care for this organ. Can you give me some hints on where to start with taping the tone generators and/or general servicing (how to's, manuals, photographs of your work)?
        </p>

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house

          you can contact the allen organ company www.allenorgan.com and they have service manuals/schematics that they can email you in pdf form free of charge. if you take off the back you can trace wires coming off of the expression pedal going into a silver colored box and then into cables coming out of the back of the organ. if you remove the cover of the box there are terminal strips that you can use to wire up a cable with RCA plugs. I took a 14 foot cable I got at pep boys that was intended for use to hook subs up in a car for the luxury to be able to move the amp around and ran it through an EQ and into a high powered stereo receiver, and from there went into 2 custom made cabs. sounds a heck of alot better than the factory amps, but I would stick to speaker cones that are meant for organ reproduction vs standard stereo speakers. I would also do a note by note stop by stop check and clean all of the contact wires. although usually "playing the organ to death" seems to work just fine. let me know if you need any more assistance i'll be glad to help.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house

            oh send me your email address and i'll take a few pics first thing in the am. I've got the back off the organ so i'll try and send some detailed photos.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house



              Sadly, I no longer have the organ - I had to sell it when my parents divorced and I was still in school with no place to keep it for the long term. Now that I have my own place, I'm looking around to find a nice practice instrument again.</p>

              I can tell you, however, that on the tone generator racks (which you see when you take the rear panel off the organ (done by twisting the three clips so they sit horizontally) there are cables with standard RCA connectors that come off the rack and down to the inside floor of the console. These are the main line outputs, which is one place to add the reverb.</p>

              telecoustic83 has provided you with the final output location as well in the above post, where the signal will have expression on it. You may wish to add the reverb here as well.</p>

              This organ isn't terribly difficult to service and they were built like tanks (in durability and weight). I found that powering the instrument when I was around and playing it frequently over a few weeks time, that most of the issues disappeared. The old capacitors can come back to life, but if not they are cheap enough and easy to replace if a few notes are missing.</p>

              I had the NAR (Rockwell Sequential Capture Action) that draws stops one division at a time. It had a few quirks, but I still remember how to adjust it if your TC-3s has it. Let us know how the organ is equipped and if you decide to get it.</p>

              Keep in mind, too, that the market has been fairly soft lately. I sold mine for $700-800 a few years back now, if I recall, in working condition. I suspect they won't bring nearly as much these days.
              </p>
              Corey

              Allen MDS-41-S with MIDI-DIVISION-II
              Schulmerich Carillon Americana - 61 notes Flemish / Harp / Celesta / Quadra / Minor Tierce
              - MIDI Retrofit finally underway & Moller console in need of refurbishment
              Schulmerich Campanile Digital Carillon (Cast & Harp)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house



                Thanks telecoustic83 and CarillonBells for the descriptions. This info is very helpful.</p>


                This organ is being offered in working condition for 150. I hope to spend less than 200 on parts to fit the organ in the house. The two options seem to be </p>


                1) to build a new external sound system and connect it the way you describe, or </p>


                2) build new cases for the speakers that fit vertically next to the organ. I would build them with a triangular shape (with one side against the organ and one side against the wall). Are there heat and space considerations in these cases?</p>


                A last option has appeared. A newer digital Allen with fewer features has come for sale on craigslist for $250. I don't know the model ... anyone recognize the model below? The owner says it is from the 70's and says 100-300 on it. How does it compare with the TC-3s? Everyone seems to have loved their TC-3s. Currently I lean toward the TC-3s with the new speaker cases.
                </p>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house



                  Glad to be of help - as far as heat considerations, the amplifiers will likely put off some heat. I don't know if tube amplifiers were ever included with the non-tube generators, but those will have a larger amount of heat output. Likely, you have solid state amps and while they need some ventilation I never experienced them getting really hot.</p>

                  Space-wise you will need proper spacing for the woofers to accurately reproduce the lowest range of sounds. Otherwise, the external speakers will still be better than if the organ had internals. You can position them to better fill the room with sound (and not have it all at your legs).</p>

                  I don't know which model, or generation that Allen would be. I have never heard the earliest (MOS-1 or MOS-2) digital organs in person, but an organist friend of mine said he thought the analogs sounded better than the first generation digitals. This isn't completely unbelievable, but I'll let someone more experienced than myself comment. If it is a later digital organ, such as an ADC model - it will sound more realistic and be a lot lighter weight wise. I suspect it isn't much newer than that, as MDS organs seem to be few and far between, not to mention have a much higher resale value.
                  </p>
                  Corey

                  Allen MDS-41-S with MIDI-DIVISION-II
                  Schulmerich Carillon Americana - 61 notes Flemish / Harp / Celesta / Quadra / Minor Tierce
                  - MIDI Retrofit finally underway & Moller console in need of refurbishment
                  Schulmerich Campanile Digital Carillon (Cast & Harp)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house



                    .... And the comment that that other organ is digital is based on the craigslist description. I can't say for sure. Where would I find a model number when I check it out?
                    </p>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house



                      Usually the model number is on the removable back panel, or just above it inside the organ. You would normally access that by lifting up the top lid, where you could see the nameplate. However, that looks like the "contemporary" console, and I don't believe it opens like that, so it may just be on the back side of the instrument. From what I can tell, it is most likely a MOS-1 generation organ.
                      </p>
                      Corey

                      Allen MDS-41-S with MIDI-DIVISION-II
                      Schulmerich Carillon Americana - 61 notes Flemish / Harp / Celesta / Quadra / Minor Tierce
                      - MIDI Retrofit finally underway & Moller console in need of refurbishment
                      Schulmerich Campanile Digital Carillon (Cast & Harp)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house

                        I believe it's an MOS-120 series organ. Tone will not be much better than the TC3s, perhaps worse, as it will all be blasting out at your feet. Also the TC3 has a 32' in the pedal and a real celeste, so depending on the price/condition of the two, I miht be tempted to choose the TC3s.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house



                          Just the type of information I need. Wow a 32' stop. I don't work a lot with the bigger organs. I am moving from the organs that were made for homes (the Kimball Camelot/Swinger/Entertainer) to the real thing. I am excited about this step. I am also leaning to the TC-3s. I am a student with a family. We are in a smaller rental home. I will have to move the organ again in the next year. I have friends to help move it, but size and weight is a consideration. Still it would be nice to have the better sound.</p>

                          What does temperature do to these organs? I may have to play it in the garage for a couple of months while I work on the speaker cases. Our temperatures here in AZ range from 40 to 115.
                          </p>

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house



                            This will definitely feel like a huge step. The TC-3S has a full sized console, and definitely makes a statement. The stoplist is also quite substantial. The organ does weigh a ton, but if you buy yourself two of the furniture dollies with four wheels on them (found at most hardware / home improvement stores) they will go a long way to making it easier to move. The time I moved the console without dollies it took 6 people and in comparison we were able to manage much better with 3 people (and not as strong) once I had them.</p>

                            You will be spoiled by the quality of the console and the feel of the instrument. When I first got it, I actually was in an apartment building with a garage (talk about nuts) and it was out there over a winter. Your temperature range goes higher, and mine went lower. I suspect it should be fine for the most part, maybe save for the extreme heat.</p>

                            Good luck to you, and let us know how you make out!
                            </p>
                            Corey

                            Allen MDS-41-S with MIDI-DIVISION-II
                            Schulmerich Carillon Americana - 61 notes Flemish / Harp / Celesta / Quadra / Minor Tierce
                            - MIDI Retrofit finally underway & Moller console in need of refurbishment
                            Schulmerich Campanile Digital Carillon (Cast & Harp)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Allen TC-3S - sound system to fit in the house

                              [quote user="CarillonBells"]

                              This will definitely feel like a huge step. The TC-3S has a full sized console, and definitely makes a statement. The stoplist is also quite substantial. The organ does weigh a ton, but if you buy yourself two of the furniture dollies with four wheels on them (found at most hardware / home improvement stores) they will go a long way to making it easier to move. The time I moved the console without dollies it took 6 people and in comparison we were able to manage much better with 3 people (and not as strong) once I had them.</p>

                              You will be spoiled by the quality of the console and the feel of the instrument.</p>

                              Good luck to you, and let us know how you make out!
                              </p>

                              [/quote]</p>

                              The TC-3S and has a lovely console which feels incredibly solid and of quality not found on many new comparably priced and specced digital organ today (including Allen) - unless you opt for something custom. In fact the console, in itself, is a rather nice piece of furniture.</p>

                              I agree CarillonBells, dollies are the way to go - that is how I maneuevred my own TC-3S. Standard ones from hardware shops should suffice, just check the loading capacity. IIRC A standard TC-3S console (no pedal board and bench) ways in at around 350-400kg - I've got the exact figures at home if you need them. I purchased two large ones and placed on at each end of the console thus turning a six man heave-ho job into a two man exercise (the only difficulty being lifting the organ on to the dollies, but x1000 easier than walking several feet with the organ dolly-less!)</p>

                              Does you TC-3S have the sequential capture system or the older system with drawers?</p>

                              Have fun and let us know how it goes. [:)]</p>

                              Unfortunately mine is in storage as we have no aperture big enough in our house to get it through. But I am happy to pay the yearly storage fee (which far exceeds the value of the organ) because it was the first instrument that I learnt the organ on and it has great sentimental value to me. </p>

                              PS - Adding reverb is a great idea. Even the latest digital organs can sounding tiring and uninspiring after a short period sitting in close proximity to the speakers. Using a little reverb makes the sound much more enjoyable in this situation. I had thought that I would try and hook it through my computer and run it through a nice Convolution Reverb app that I have. All I need is a bigger house to get it in!
                              </p>
                              1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
                              Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

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