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  • Allen System 201-B



    Yet another find at the moment, I'm curious if anyone has more information on a System 201-B. It is supposedly around 30 years old, and has an unknown problem.</p>

    Are the MOS-1 organs terribly difficult to fix normally? I would hate to end up needing boards that are hard to come by, plus I'm not sure how the sound is or if there are external or internal speakers. But, the price is right... FREE</p>

    Any details or thoughts at all are appreciated. I presume it will fit through a 36" doorway.</p>

    I found a stoplist here: http://uvlarryb.com/Organ%20spec/All...ps.html#MOS201</p>

    From what I see there, this is fairly similar to a 120, but with a memory capture action (moving?) and possibly a few more stops. I presume this is a tabbed console? Also, the date shows origin of 1973, but I think I was told 30 years old. Were they still making these into the very early 80's?
    </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)

  • #2
    Re: Allen System 201-B



    My owner's manual for my Allen 301-C also covers the 100 and 200 series model organs. I could maybe try to send you a copy of it or answer any questions that you might have. I also have a couple of wiring diagrams for the 301-C that might work withtheorgan you mention as well.</P>


    According to the owner's manual the capture action of the 200 series organs is the same as the 300 series, except the 300s have toe pistions for the pedal presets and the 200 series has thumb pistons for the pedal presets. In my 301-C the stop tabs do move.</P>


    On my organ I had to replace one amp and fix the springs on a couple of stuck keys, but everything else worked just fine.</P>


    This looks like this might be the organ for you!</P>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Allen System 201-B



      I found the manual under the Allen Organ Owner's Club, and indeed it is very similar. I presume then, that this instrument also has tabs and they move, given the capture memory.</p>

      One concern I have is that I will have to move the organ about 6 hours drive, so that rolls up transportation cost with the unknown repair cost. I suspect power supply and amps first, which are simple enough repairs most of the time. Being that this is a B, meaning the regular style console I believe, it would probably require a truck.
      </p>

      The other issue is the type of speakers that come with it. I don't really have room for the huge speakers in utility finish like the TC-3S had, but I'm gathering that there are external speakers only and I think it took Allen a while to downsize the cabinets. Of course, the TC-3S also had huge woofers due to the 32' and 16' stops.
      </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


      • #4
        Re: Allen System 201-B



        Tony, I am reading that your literature covers the 100 line and wonder if that would also include R100C? I was just reading this morning that dead spots in trim pots can knock out a voice family intermittently. Can you verify the location for me? Also my thoughts previous to that were in the direction of looking for the diode (or diodes) that may need replacement in the flute amp. The main plays like a trouper and the alterable voices are great. It would make my day -- and prevent delay in my intended repair project -- if you could comment on this problem.</P>


        Thanks so much.</P>

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Allen System 201-B



          I believe it could include your organ. On the cover of the owner's manual it says, "Computer Organs Systems 100 to 300 Series."</P>


          The owner's manual is not a repairman's manual and it doesn't go into any details about the internal electronic components. Frankly I know next to nothing about electronics and don't even know what a trim pot is, nor what it looks like on a wiring diagram. The best I could do is send you copies of the diagrams if you would like.</P>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Allen System 201-B



            When I moved my 301-C I was able to slide it in the back of my Town and Country mini van, and there was room to spare. When I picked it up the seller doubted that it would fit, but I took the measurements and knew it would for sure. Maybe you can get measurments from someone here. I don't know how the B console compares to my C console. Using a van would lessen the expense of renting a truck.</P>


            When I got my 301-C, it didn't have any external speakers at all. I guess they are still hanging in a church somewhere. I used old speakers from a stereo and a couple old speakers that I got out of an even older Allen organ that I saved for parts. They worked quite well. I now have the Conn pipe speakers and those work even better. I still don't get as much oomph out of the pedal 32' stops as I would like, but you can hear them. Everything else on the organ is wonderful so who am I to complain if the roof doesn't shake!</P>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Allen System 201-B



              I probably need the more detailed repair manual, but thanks for offering to send what you have. I guess I'll save a few more pennies and get back to the area dealer someday. Not long after acquiring the R100C I used the email link on their web page and have never heard from anyone to this day. So I guess the next time I will have telephone the old fashioned way.</P>


              If you should need the information later, trim pots are usually little tooth edged wheels that stand up on the circuit boards. As JBird mentioned they are often marked with the factory settings so I can try any I see and then return them back to spec if I don't hear a change.</P>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Allen System 201-B



                Chris,</P>


                You can't beat that price, of course, but you are right about the moving. That will be the sticking point. If that organ is in the "B" console (which the -B at the end may indicate) it is quite large and heavy, and also one of the most beautiful consoles Allen ever made.</P>


                MOS organs are very much repairable to this day, even though they are approaching 40 years old. The basic system is actually quite simple -- 5 sub-assemblies that work together to make up a "computer system" taking the place ofa huge rack (or room) full of oscillators and such that an organ with similar non-unified specs would have required before the digital organ era.</P>


                Whenever I encounter a dead one, I will ALWAYS first check the power supplies. The system is dead in the water without the required operating voltages -- mainly the -27 volts, +5 and -5 volts, and the unregulated "12 volt" supply which may actually put out 15 volts or so. There will also be a delayed +12 volts that unmutes the audio amps. If all these voltages are present, next check them with the AC scale of your meter. There should be very little AC present on any DC line, less than a few hundredths of a volt. Any more might indicate a failing filter capacitor in a power supply. But the system would still start up even with a one-tenth volt of AC on the line, you just might have some hum.</P>


                After determining that the power supplies are working, I'd next test the amps and speakers. On the MOS organs, muting is on relays that are outside the amps, so you can disconnect all the RCA cabling going into each amp, then plug in an RCA patch cable, tap the pin on the open end of it with your finger, and you should hear some hum or noise to indicate that the amp is working. If not, be sure the volume isn't turned all the way down, or the amp is unplugged. There will be a circuit breaker or some fuses on the amp, so check those if it still doesn't respond.</P>


                Finally, if the system is working in at least some basic fashion, you should get audio from one or both RCA jacks on the DAC board. It will be at a low level, since Allen was not using standard line-level audio back then, but you should be able to detect it with a guitar or microphone amplifier. With several stops down in each division you should hear something coming out of the DAC. If not, there is a problem with one or more of the system boards.</P>


                Allen has all the boards available, but they do not sell to the general public. Dealers and techs can order them for you. Some of the boards are extremely expensive, especially the big MOS board itself, but fortunately Allen has exchange pricing on most of the boards unless there has been lightning damage or physical abuse, so you should get by with a few hundred dollars for exchanging any one board.</P>


                The problem is isolating which board is bad. A tech will do this by bringing out a kit of boards and subbing in one at a time until the system comes back up. But sometimes you can determine which one is bad by determing the failure symptoms. For example, problems relating to keying only may indicate the keyboard array is bad. Problems that relate to tuning or distortion would point to either the MOS board or the DAC. But it takes a pretty experienced tech to zero in on this.</P>


                Bottom line of this long-winded post.... you have found a nice organ at the right price. But you might still be out some money getting it to play if it has problems.</P>


                Let us know what happens.</P>


                John</P>
                <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                John
                ----------
                *** 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!

                https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Allen System 201-B



                  John,

                  </p>

                  Thanks so much for the detailed information! It sounds like the instruments aren't too bad to service, and I have a ton of component level experience from working as an EE. You confirmed what I suspected - power supplies and amplifiers are often the problem, and also some of the easiest items to repair unless they have proprietary parts.</p>

                  I don't know anything about the speaker situation, and I wasn't told exactly what was wrong so I'm flying in the dark at the moment. My moving costs would probably be in the $500-$600 range, plus whatever repairs cost (minimal to hundreds it sounds). If the organ were more local, I would have been off work to inspect and probably move it the day I found it.</p>

                  Problem is I've been looking at ADC and MDS instruments, and I could probably swing a bit more cash. It's really hard to decide where to set the bar without having heard most of these instruments, and I know having something really nice would encourage me to want to practice more.</p>

                  I also have limited space, and I can't recall if the MOS instruments still had the big gyro speakers and things. That isn't really an option, though from Tony's posts it sounds like other speakers will still work sufficiently well, but again that adds some expense to the system vs a newer organ with speakers more appropriately sized for a home.</p>

                  I should have some pictures of an MDS-212D coming in the mail very soon, but as my other posts have noted the asking price on that instrument is too high. I was also contemplating whether I really need a set of organ dollies to properly move any of these instruments, and just how much it would cost to have someone else setup/tune the small pipe organ I've got laying around my basement in pieces. Decisions, decisions...
                  </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 System 201-B



                    When I was looking at my 301-C, I had no idea if it worked or not because it had no speakers in it nor any hooked up to it. The thing that sold me on this organ was the console. With the presets, pistons, cresendo pedal and capture action, it was exactly like the consoles of pipe organs that I have played. I looked at many organs prior to this, Wurlitzer, Thomas, Hammond, etc. and all of their consoles were not quite like a pipe organ and reminded me of a living room wonder. Even if the 301-C didn't work, I had a wonderful console that I could use to make a fantistic MIDI project, and that's what I plan to do with my Allen, if it ever dies, unless I find a three manual draw knob console in the mean time.</P>


                    The console of the organ ultimately made up my mind in this decision.</P>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Allen System 201-B



                      Out of curiosity does anyone have a good picture or two of a "B" console? I'm curious to see what this Allen looks like. I'm planning to write back and see if I might be able to move it on a weekend.</p>

                      Will four wheel dollies be enough with the bigger console if there are no steps to load, and only two steps up my porch?
                      </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 System 201-B

                        To move my 301-C I used two, four wheel dollies that I bought at Lowes or Home Depot (can't remember which placeexactly) for about $19 each. I put 2x4s over the steps to slide the organ up the steps. My 15 year old daughter and I unloaded the organ from our mini van and moved it into the house ourselves with no other help. We didn'tput a single scratchon it. I was so full of excitement for finally having such a wonderful organ, and full of a bigadrenaline rush,that I could have probably lifted and carried the organ into the houseall by myself! I don't expect that would happen with other people though, but you never can tell.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Allen System 201-B



                          Tony,</p>

                          Does your 301-C have the sequential capture action, or do all stops draw at the same time? I'm somewhat curious when the transition was made, as my analog had the sequential capture since it was produced so late.
                          </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


                          • #14
                            Re: Allen System 201-B

                            I'm not sure what a sequential capture action is. All the stop tabs in a division move at the same time when I push a piston. When I use the general pisons, it takes about half a second to a secondfor all the stops to move. I contributed that delay to the age of the organ and thought it was nothing different.

                            Comment

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