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  • Baldwin digital organ - info needed



    Hello,</p>

    While digging around in storage at my local church, we came across a Baldwin digital organ and I was asked to do some research on it and see what I could come up with. I was not able to find a model number anywhere on the outside of the instrument. The console construction looks very similar to my Galanti Praeludium II at home, but with a much cheaper looking veneer, no rolling keydesk cover, and a single expression pedal which controls the entire instrument (my Galanti is configured for unexpressive great and pedal). The stoplist is extremely minimalist, for a church organ for a building of our size I would consider it barely adequate. I powered it on and while it played, I was not impressed with the sound quality, and there seemed to be a slight delay between pressing a key and hearing a tone - it reminds me of one of the organs I played in college which had a great distance between the console, the relays, and the pipework. Two of the pedals do not play, which I have not investigated at all. I will try to get some pictures to help identify it.</p>

    My initial thought was that this did not seem to be a particularlydesirableinstrument, and since we are planning on purchasing an Allen ADC series soon to replace the Rodgers 34A, my thought was that we should probably get rid of it and use the storage space for something else.</p>

    Thank you,</p>

    - Daniel</p>

  • #2
    Re: Baldwin digital organ - info needed



    I think there was a smaller cheaper version of the Howard Classical organ, and that may be what you've found. Arie and others are more knowledgeable than I about specific models. Maybe someone else will chime in.</P>


    You're probably right about disposing of it. Finding a good ADC Allen would be a much better route to take.</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


    • #3
      Re: Baldwin digital organ - info needed



      Daniel,</p>

      I could probably tell you what model you are talking about here, if you posted a picture of it.</p>

      By the sounds of it, it is an A-210 (Alpha series) organ. Lots of cheap construction, cheap parts, and lousy sound. These were made in the early 90s till about 1998. They were produced primarily for low, LOW price. They really had no redeeming features about them.</p>

      There should be a label attached to the instrument, either on the back, or under the keydesk. And it will say what model it is.</p>

      AV
      </p>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Baldwin digital organ - info needed

        Thank you, I had intended to bring a camera on Sunday but it slipped my mind. I will try to get a few pictures soon.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Baldwin digital organ - info needed



          Well that certainly wasn't "soon," but here are a few pictures of the organ as it sits:</P>

          </P>

          </P>

          </P>

          </P>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Baldwin digital organ - info needed



            While not the resident expert on the Viscount/Baldwin/Church Organ Systems organs of past, this appears to be one of the Baldwin "Alpha" models from the early to mid 1990s. Probably not a great sounding instrument, and certainly not an AGO-spec'd console, but would have some value as a potential Hauptwerk or MIDI organ controller. Probably, with the right speakers (external), this organ could sound good as a practice or chapel instrument (its intent).</p>

            Arie V. would have better insight.</p>

            There is a tech in Minnesota or Western Wisconsin by the name of Norm Ninnemann who may or may not have more information or could provide support on this instrument.
            </p>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Baldwin digital organ - info needed



              Hybridlover,</p>

              From the pictures, the console does appear to be AGO spec.</p>

              AV
              </p>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Baldwin digital organ - info needed



                Arie,</p>

                You are right. And, next time, I'll be sure to read the previous postings before posting something that probably was not very helpful.</p>

                Out of curiosity, Arie, do you know if these were all 2 channel organs or could they be expanded with externals? Might the sound at least be an improvement over a 2 channel mid 70's Allen MOS1 series with internal speakers?</p>

                Thanks!</p>

                </p>

                Andy
                </p>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Baldwin digital organ - info needed

                  Thanks for the info.  The church elders have agreed that we will give the instrument away.  I've posted a Craigslist ad, and I'll post an ad on the forum shortly.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Baldwin digital organ - info needed



                    Andy,</p>

                    All the 2 manual "Alpha" series organs were 2 channel organs. There is provision on them for external audio through line level out.</p>

                    Even with external audio, the sound quality was not good. </p>

                    These organs had insufficient generator hardware, so there were extremely few samples per stop, and on top of that a lot of blending when you added stops. So, clarity and distinction of tone were not hallmarks of this series.</p>

                    And as I mentioned earlier, a lot of cheap componentry in them.</p>

                    As organs I would not recommend them. The console hardware I suppose could be re-used for a virtual organ project.</p>

                    The "C" series organs were at least better sounding. </p>

                    There was also a "B" series that was slightly better again in terms of tone.</p>

                    And to answer your question, I think an Allen MOS-1 with internal speakers would sound better than these Alpha organs.</p>

                    Actually, once I changed the samples from an "Alpha" organ to samples from a comparative "Domus" organ (Dutch Viscount), and the Domus samples made the organ sound better.</p>

                    Anyways, I hope I have made clear that I really don't think much of these "Alpha" organs. They were just made to the lowest possible price point.</p>

                    AV
                    </p>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Baldwin digital organ - info needed



                      Arie - Thanks, as always for the helpful information.</p>

                      After reading your reply, I recall seeing the Alpha Series in action at the local Baldwin Church Organ division outlet. I happened to be attending a workshop for church musicians, only to arrive and find out the class had been cancelled. However, the dealer - a good guy to be sure - invited me into a large room where Bene Hammel was giving a masterclass. That was a thrill, although the organ sounds, come to think of it, were not on par with the clinician (obviously).
                      </p>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Baldwin digital organ - info needed



                        Hybridlover,</p>

                        Baldwin, more than any other company, tried to cover all price points, which meant that they had numerous models, several lines, and several technologies going concurrently in the 90s. </p>

                        Their first digital organ effort was in the late 80s. Basically they reverse engineered the Galanti Praeludium organ. Actually they sounded pretty good if you liked European organ tone. They were not voicable. The North American models included Baldwin D911 and D912, Wurlitzer C250 and C300 and maybe another smaller model. They had power supply problems with the 5vdc line going down the river after awhile. Build quality not very great. Around 1990 Viscount came out with newer models also starting with e.g. C320, C380, C400, C470, C480 and a five manual C500. I think they had about10 or 12 models in that line. They were less problematic than the earlier ones, but didn't sound as good. Less hardware used in the tone generation. Someone thought that they could sell more if the cheapened the organ some more, so the "Alpha" line was designed and built. So much less hardware was used in these. Cheap internal audio also didn't help. So you end up with a lousy sounding organ. They even made a lighted 3 manual drawstop organ in the Alpha series. And they even sold some. They also marketed a couple of organs in the "B" series, which had 4 samples you could select from for each stop, and you could do some leveling. They sounded a bit better than the later C models, but not much.
                        </p>

                        Viscount improved a lot when the Prestige 5xx series came out. But they were too expensive to sell as an only line, so the came out with the Prestige 4xx line, which sounded initially maybe slightly better than the Alpha stuff. After a few years they did improve them, so they sounded as good or better than the later C organs. </p>

                        I think that Viscount's race to see who could build the cheapest organ to sell, gave them a poor image, from which they still suffer. It didn't help that Baldwin gave up on the organ market, and then Church Organ Systems concentrated on selling cheap stuff, and then going broke around 2004. I would say relatively few Viscount organs were sold in North American since 2002, and most of them would have been the low priced stuff. </p>

                        Their latest offerings are competitive with other companies' offerings.</p>

                        These days, Viscount in North America is hardly mentioned anymore.</p>

                        AV
                        </p>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That is a Baldwin often labeled Howard Classical series. It does have factory midi on the 2 manuals and pedal board and very useful for a VPO project but the audio and voicing leaves much to be desired. My understanding is the last few years Baldwin was in operation the had the Italian Electronic Organ builder I believe Viscount build the organs and put Baldwin's name on it.

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