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  • ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount "Royal Classic"?



    I substitute now and then in a lovely, historic Baptist Church on a hill overlooking Mystic, Ct. [www.ubcmystic.org].</P>


    The organ facade is impressive, but, unfortunately, the organ is not. It is a 1960s custom, two-manual, eight rank instrument made up mainly of Moller pipes. Apparently the Church ran out of money when this was installed and only the one Great Principal extended rank is unenclosed. The remaining pipes are in the Swell box, unified, and divided between the Great and Swell. </P>


    The sound does fill the very large open space, but many of the pipes are out of regulation, so the organ, while adequate for the job, is disappointing.</P>


    From the beginning, I have suggested, through the Church Organist, that the logicalupgrade totheir organ would be a combination instrument; a three-manual digital instrument also playing the [newly regulated] pipework.</P>


    The Church Organist informs me that this solution is apparently more than the budget will allow. The organ committee is very seriously considering abandoning the pipes, except for the facade, and purchasing a Wicks/Viscount "Royal Classic"Organ. I don't know the details yet, but I suspect this is a two-manual drawknob instrument. I will post whatever additional information I can when I get it.</P>


    It occurs to me that since the pipes will apparently be abandoned in any event, given the situation I would rather spend 1/4 to 1/3as much money and install a used, three manual, drawknobAllen ADC-8000 with up to 13 channels of audio; one of which is currently available as I write.</P>


    Am I wrong? What should I tell the Organist, who is apparently only peripherally involved in the organ improvement project?</P>


    Iknow virtually nothingabout the Wicks/Viscount "Royal Classic" instruments. Are they first-rate?</P>


    And, I have no financial interest whatsoever in any of this; I just like to see not only improvement, but optimum results.</P>


    Rick</P>

  • #2
    Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?



    Hi Rick,</p>

    My feeling is to go for the Allen ADC-8000. I haven't heard a Wicks/Viscount Royal Classic, but I have heard an ADC8000 (last year), and it is a very impressive, beautiful-sounding instrument. It will fill your church very well-the one I heard was in a 1,500 seat sanctuary-large and open to an extreme-and it had no problem accompanying the 500-voice choir that was there for music convention. </p>

    I personally would not trust anything from Viscount. They have a bad reliability and service record, and I'm a bit surprised that Wicks POB with their legendary reliability, has teamed up with Viscount.</p>

    If you go with the Allen, you could add a MIDI board and get someone to engineer a keying system that would hook the Moller pipes to the Allen, and you'd have yourself an extra Positiv.</p>

    Keep us posted!
    </p>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?



      Rick, you might widen your search a bit. </p>

      There are other options out there to consider. Has the church considered revoicing the pipework, and adding a few digital stops to the existing console, instead of dumping the pipes and going all-digital? One option, if the church is comfortable with Wicks, is to do just that, and add a Wicks/Viscount Accupipe sound module, which offers six channels and a number of stops.</p>

      There is also a company that does augmentation of pipe organs with Hauptwerk in the Ohio area. Several other companies will augment existing pipe organs with digital stops from Walker, Westacott, and others.</p>

      I have not played a Royal Classic by Viscount, but I would be careful to make your own evaluations of their reliability, sound, etc. before opting for an older Allen organ, which while generally reliable, might not give you - if you opt for the digital route - as accurate as sound as others.</p>

      </p>

      </p>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?



        From what I have seen on the Wicks website, those units are not exactly cheap. Has the church considered talking to a competent pipe organ technician, and seeing what might be done to help the present installation?</p>

        Re-regulating the existing pipework is not that difficult or expensive, and it might be possible, for very little money, to find another pipe organ from which ranks could be taken to add to the Great and make it independent of the Swell You would be amazed what is out there, once you start looking.</p>

        On the other hand, if the church wants to go that way, there is nothing wrong with the Allen 8000, and Allen will maintain that organ for many years to come. It might be necessary to overhaul the speakers, as they only last so many years (the foam surrounding the woofers is the first thing to go), but again the work is not that expensive, and Allen can supply new speakers and/or speaker components.</p>
        Mike

        My home organ is a Theatre III with an MDS II MIDI Expander.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?



          While I don't work for Wicks or any other electronic organ company, I believe the Accupipe units run about $4000 from Wicks. Of course, there's the addition of speakers and amplifiers, the MIDI interface, etc. </p>

          I think M&amp;M's right on the money, though: start with a good, solid pipe technician to see what could be done with the existing ranks, and perhaps, some good, used additions. Revoicing can work wonders, too. Plus, the pipes will likely be there long after any new all digital organ "gives up the ghost."
          </p>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?



            Many thanks to you, hybridlover, and the others for your thoughtful posts.</P>


            It turns out that the actual instrument they are considering is the Royal Classic III; a three-manual that can be seen at http://organ.wicks.com/display_page?p=209.</P>


            Note that this is apparently "prepared" for hook-up to the pipes at some later date.</P>


            I am afraid they have given up on the pipes - for now, anyway.</P>


            Rick</P>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?



              Hi Rick,</p>

              The Wicks/Viscount organ properly installed should sound much better than any stock Allen model that is 25 years old. The Wicks version of the Viscount is not just the odd littleprogram change. The Wicks console is much more pipe organ-like. A lot of the samples are of Wicks origin rather than Viscount, giving the organ more American flavour. The tone generation system is however the same as the Viscount Prestige, plus the Accupipe, which means it will be reliable and also the potential to sound very, very good. Also, the Wicks/Viscount is specifically designed to interface with pipes, so it won't mean total revamping to add the existing pipes.
              </p>

              Since the Allen is approx 25 years old and has no MIDI built-in, the price should indeed be low. I would suggest no more than $10K-$12K installed, with all the speakers that have foam surrounds done over.</p>

              Just remember, any 25 year old electronic will have a basic lifespan of say 25 to 30 years. In another 10 years this organ will be 35 years old, which is old for any electronic product. And who knows if Allen will fully support this instrument in 10 years time, or even if they will be around.</p>

              If one has the hots for a used Allen, I would suggest going for a late ADC model (such as ADC 6300, ADC 7300 or ADC 8300) as they sounded notably better than the early ADC models or the equivalent MDS, which have even better sound and some MIDI implementation. And they are newer, and should last longer. They also should be relative bargains compared to the Renaissance models. </p>

              Just my thoughts..............</p>

              AV
              </p>


              </p>

              </p>

              </p>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?



                Tell the organist to check www.johannusnewengland.com/Monarke.html. They discuss solutions for exactly what you're concerned about.</p>

                </p>

                </p>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?



                  One of the companies that does an excellent job of augmenting small pipe organs with Walker samples is RA Colby. They have done quite a bit of high-profile work, including the 522 stop instrument at the Naval Academy. They are wonderful to work with and would do a great job, even on a limited budget.</p>

                  Another company which would do a good job on a potentially smaller budget is Phoenix. They are an electronic organ builder that has done a good bit of hybrid work. They are also coming out with the Phoenix II system which will feature Hauptwerk/jOrgan and will, hopefully, interface with pipes.</p>

                  If the pipes are, indeed, to be abandoned, either of the previously mentioned companies could build an excellent digital instrument on a modest budget, especially if you sacrifice drawknobs, etc. or go with the Phoenix II.</p>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?

                    [quote user="Organ-izer"]

                    Tell the organist to check www.johannusnewengland.com/Monarke.html. They discuss solutions for exactly what you're concerned about.</p>

                    </p>

                    </p>

                    [/quote]</p>

                    Leave Johannus/Monarke/Makin alone!!!!! Their quality, especially in terms of their consoles, is poor and they have had a lot of problems recently. For one thing, there was a major issue with the FCC about improper electrical work. Furthermore, I have played a Johannus/Moller hybrid and it's not a pretty sound. Steer clear!</p>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?



                      I would leaving "nebulous and unhelpful opinions" alone, and not any particular organ builder. As a electronic and pipe technician, having rooted around in the guts and brains of all the major players I could list dozens of things good and bad, preferable, not-preferable about Allen, Johannus, Rogers, Galanti, etc. I'm also acquainted with organists' claims to prefer one sound and disdain another, and no two agree. Often the motive for criticizing the sound of any given installation is not to render a truly objective opinion regarding the actual sound, but to draw attention to the critic himself as being an authority. It's an ego thing, manifesting itself as pretentiousness, most often found in music and modern art circles. </p>

                      The most helpful thing is to recommend to someone to evaluate possible choices and make a selection based on the merits of installer himself, what's presented, the organists preferences, and with respect to the available budget. The major determination of whether a custom solution will be satisfactory is how honest and dedicated the installer is to make the customer happy, and not the brand of the equipment.</p>

                      The best way to determine the truth of criticisms leveled at any organ builder is to simply observe if they are still in business and thriving. Last I looked, all but one is doing OK, recession notwithstanding.</p>

                      Back to some specifics: Johannus happens to offer hybrid solutions that are competitve and worth checking out. </p>


                      </p>

                      </p>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?



                        Just to complete the circle, this church did choose to purchase the Wicks three manual. It will be installed in early June.</P>


                        They will be decomissioning the [mainly Moeller] pipework, but carefully preservingeverything for eventual re-use.</P>


                        They will leave the facade pipes in place. </P>


                        As I wrote earlier, I was well on the periphery of this and not involved in any discussions or meetings; just a few emails back and forth with the organist.</P>


                        I will be substituting there three Sundays in July, so I will gain first-hand knowledge of the capabilities of the "Royal Classic" at that time.</P>


                        Rick</P>
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?



                          Rick,</p>

                          Which dealer did they purchase from, or did they go the Wicks direct route?</p>

                          AV
                          </p>

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: ADC-8000 or Wicks/Viscount &quot;Royal Classic&quot;?



                            AV</P>


                            To the best of my knowledge they purchased it directly from Wicks.</P>


                            Rick</P>

                            Comment

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