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  • Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



    Hello all,</P>

    My local church has just been able to upgrade from a semi-functional Rodgers 34A to an Allen ADC-5000 in fantastic condition.  We are currently deciding how we'd like to set it up.  The organ came with 6 HC-14 speakers and we are not sure what the best way to set these speakers up is.  We don't have a large budget for the organ and thus we'd like to do everything we can ourselves.</P>

    Our current thinking is to mount the speakers up high at the front of the sanctuary, 3 speakers each on the left and right sides of the stage.  There is about 80" between the wall and the projection screen on each side of the stage, and if we mounted them flush with the ceiling they would be well out of the way.  The church handyman has volunteered to construct some shelves behind this wall, cut an opening, and install speaker mesh for this purpose.  Does this sound like a reasonable solution?  I can provide pictures for clarification if it isn't clear what I'm talking about.</P>

    We're also not entirely sure which audio channels should go where.  According to the diagram I found inside the organ, the Swell stops speak on channels 1 and 2, Great on 4 and 5, and Pedals are on 3 and 6.  Thinking like the pipe organs I've played, it would make sense to put the Swell channels on one side of the stage and Great on the other, but I'm not certain about the pedals - I suppose one Pedal speaker on each side would work?</P>

    The speakers do have the "dreaded" cracking on the midrange surrounds.  It's pretty minor and the speakers still sound great, but I'd like to take care of this before we get everything mounted.  I recall reading that someone here knew of a Pioneer driver with similar acoustic qualities to the stock Peerless units, but I can't find the specific part number - does anyone know what this might be?  I was quoted $65-70 each for new surrounds from Allen, but if I can replace the effected drivers with drivers that won't have this problem again, I'd rather do that.</P>

    The only thing that doesn't work is audio channel 2 - the speaker is noisy and no stops play from it, but I didn't notice any stops missing when I was playing the organ (I didn't try all of the stops so I may have missed some).  Is there a common fix for this?</P>

    All the other issues I've read about have already been addressed, such as the leaky batteries inside the card cage.  Even the punch card reader works properly.  I'm quite happy with the sound of the instrument as well.  Our music minister came by last night when I was setting up the speakers in a temporary configuration on stage, and was absolutely delighted with the sound.  We are hoping to have everything ready to go by Easter Sunday.</P>

    Thanks in advance for advice and suggestions.</P>

    - Dan</P>

  • #2
    Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



    Without being too specific about placement, I would offer a couple of suggestions. The organ sound must not only support the congregation, but also the choir, other musicians involved, and the organist(!). Depending on the size of your worship space, there can be appreciable delay in the sound as perceived at the extreme location from where it is initiated (the speaker locations). Although this is less of a problem for the congregation, it can be a serious distraction to the organist and to the choir. Therefore, I would recommend that the speakers be located in a position that is not very far removed from the choir, and that the organ console should also be fairly close to them. If your musicians, choir, and organist are located in the front of the space (a very common placement), then a frontal positioning of the organ speakers would be optimal.</P>


    How were the speakers disposed in the church that had the organ before? Although separating the Great and Swell might at first seem a good idea, one could also make a case for placing one speaker from each division on each side of the stage. (Curious terminology--I've never heard it referred to as a "stage" before. If you are referring to where the preacher gives his message and where the altar or communion table is located, we call it the "Chancel". No matter.) Hiding the speakers behind the wall would probably be more visually appealing. High placement would be good.</P>


    David</P>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



      Dan,</P>


      David is right about the high speakers, but the proximity to the choir is also a consideration.</P>


      If the church is large, then I'd consider getting an additional set of speakers so they are doubled on both sides. Otherwise, depending on the separation, you might end up with an 8' on one side, and its celesting pair on the other side--totally negating the effect. If you <U>must</U> separate the channels, then I'd put Swell &amp; Great on opposite sides, however, that results in lack of balance between the manuals depending on where the console is located.</P>


      The issue with Channel 2 could be that the pot inside the cage just needs to be adjusted. Are you getting articulation &amp; no stop or vice versa? If so, that would point to the card involved. I'm sure you've thought of this, but you can try switching out the speaker and/or wire as well, to make sure it's not the speaker, speaker wire, etc.</P>


      You can find a local person who re-cones speakers who can do the mid-ranges as well. I have a fellow who does all mine for less than $35 per woofer, and $25 per midrange. If you find someone, let me know and perhaps my source can reveal where he obtains his materials to do the work.</P>


      Hope this helps.</P>


      Michael</P>
      Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
      • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
      • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
      • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



        Thanks for the advice.  I will be at church this evening, so I will take some pictures so that you all can see what I'm talking about.  Our building isn't huge, it seats maybe 200 if everybody really packed in.  The speakers we have really did a nice job of filling the room with sound even when placed on the stage floor, so I don't think we'll need more than the 6 we have, especially when mounted higher.</P>

        We do have the choir, organ console, and conductor all in the front of the sanctuary.  If we put the speakers in the front wall like we are considering, they would essentially fire just over the head of the altos and sopranos in the back row, and should be easily heard by everyone.</P>

        I think we will need to have separate left and right speaker enclosures, since a very large portion of the front wall of the church is taken up by the screen which we project hymn lyrics onto.  There is plenty of height on both sides of the screen, but only about 80" of width on each side.  I've asked about removing the screen since we have a perfectly serviceable set of hymnals, but I was informed that the motivation behind the screen was so that the congregation would be facing forward when singing, rather than singing down into their hymnal (I'd never heard that particular explanation before).</P>

        Regarding terminology, I believe that "Chancel" would be the correct term for what I am talking about, but since we're in southern California, nobody would know what a Chancel is so we just say "stage" to denote the raised platform at the front of the sanctuary.</P>

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions

          [quote user="Daedalus"]

          The speakers we have really did a nice job of filling the room with sound even when placed on the stage floor, so I don't think we'll need more than the 6 we have, especially when mounted higher.</p>

          We do have the choir, organ console, and conductor all in the front of the sanctuary.  If we put the speakers in the front wall like we are considering, they would essentially fire just over the head of the altos and sopranos in the back row, and should be easily heard by everyone.</p>

          I think we will need to have separate left and right speaker enclosures, . . . .[/quote]</p>

          In that case, assuming your building is rectangular, I'd suggest mounting the speakers in opposite corners (depending on how far apart they are).</p>

          In my present church, I had all four channels coming from one corner (rather than facing the back wall and bouncing right back at the front).  Most acoustic engineers will advise aiming the speakers at an angle to a wall or other flat surface rather than straight-on.  There is another thread on the Forum about speaker placement to obtain optimal sound (reflected rather than direct).</p>

          The speakers are stacked two-high on the floor of the platform for a temporary installation.  A few months later when I added 4 more speakers in the other corner (doubling the number of speakers per channel), I received several comments that it totally changed the sound of the organ--in a positive sense.  </p>

          When considering placement, just remember that highs tend to be more directional, whereas bass is less directional.</p>

          Michael </p>
          Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
          • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
          • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
          • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



            All right, here is a picture.</P>

            From about halfway back in the sanctuary:</P>

            </P>

            The speakers would go up against the ceiling on both sides of the large screen.</P>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



              Dear Daedalus,</P>


              Looking at the picture, I wouldimagine that, with six speakers facing outwardyou could probably "blow the wigs off" those in the front of the room!</P>


              I Have two suggestions: Arrange threespeaker cabinets together in an "L" shape on the floor in each of the front cornersof the room: [I would probably start with the two Great Speakers on one side and the two Swell speakers on the other.]</P>


              1)with the actual speakers facing the side or back wall, as the case may be, 6"-8" from the wall, or</P>


              2) with the speakers against the wall on their backs, facing straight up. [This could later be dressed up with some sort of cabinetry.]</P>


              Try both and see which one works best. In eachcase youwould be providing primarily indirect sound which would then theoretically mix and provide more uniform sound throughout the room; front to back.</P>


              Ernest Skinner planned his organs so that, to the best of his ability given the physical layout, the organ sound was heard evenly throughout the building. The 3000-pipe Skinner organ I played for three years was in a 2-1/2 story chamber to the right of the Chancel as you faced the altar. There was an English type facade, complete with large, impressivedummy pipes,facing the congegationon the right side. Except for some minor decorative grillwork, the side of the chamber facing the Chancel/Altar was essentially open.</P>


              Skinner placed the largest wooden pedal pipes directly behind the facade, effectively creating a wooden wall which kept the organ sound from coming out through it. Hence almost all sound came out towards the Chancel, mixed there and then filled the Church. People on the right hear essentially the same thing as people on the left - and it all sounds marvelous.</P>


              If you can avoid it, I would strongly recommendnot having the actual speakers pointing directly at anyone.High up or not.</P>


              As for your channel 2. When I first visited a church I was to play at for nearly a year, I was greeted by the pastor, who led me to the console. Upon turning the organ on [2-manual, 2 channel Allen MOS with 4 alterables] Inoticed that fully 1/2 of the voices did not sound, and the sounds from those that worked were all coming from one of the two speakers. The pastor produced a screwdriver and we looked inside. The problem becamereadily apparent - someone had disconnected one of the two wires leading from one of the two amplifiers. We reconnected the wire, turned the organ on and immediately realized why the wire had been disconnected. The sound from that speaker was very distorted and staticy.</P>


              Before calling a technician, I decided to experiment, and, turning the organ off, rotated the volume potentiometer on that amplifier from full CW to full CCW maybe 25-30 times, then reset it close to what it was. When the organ was turned on all was clear and beautiful - and still is to this day. Clearly some dirt/poor contact/corrosion in the potentiometer. From what you describe, that might work to restore your channel 2.</P>


              I hope this helps.</P>


              Rick</P>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



                I have several questions:</P>


                1. Is that a free-hanging screen, or is it somehow housed in that cabinet that is behind it? Is it retractable? Is it a floor-to-ceiling cabinet or a commode (or housing for a baptistry)?</P>


                2. What is behind the wall containing the door visible behind the lectern at the left? Is there a matching element on the other side?</P>


                Regarding question 2, would it be possible to position the speakers in that area above the door(s)--preferably inside the walls--facing each other across the "stage"? Doing that would reduce the direct impact on the closest parishioners and provide a better mixing of the organ sound before reaching their ears.</P>


                Regarding question 1, if the cabinet is floor-to-ceiling and not required for storage or other purposes, it might be possible to arrange the speakers in that cabinet (or extend the cabinet to accommodate them), stacked vertically and facing the walls on left and right. Optionally, if the screen is not opaque to sound, some of the speakers could be arranged to speak through the screen (as in a movie theater). This treatment would make the speaker installation essentially invisible to the congregation (while the screen is down), yet able to project a good mix into the worship space.</P>


                Regarding "blow the wigs off" those seated at the front, judicious use of the volume adjustments should be able to resolve those problems. With a worship space seating a max of 200, the seated volume is not so large that accommodating those both near and far ought not to be impossible. (Not to mention that many churches seldom have many people seated in the front row, anyway....)</P>


                From a practical viewpoint, I would tend to shy away from floor mounting of the speakers, especially any that had them facing up--there is just too much danger of damaging them by being kicked or having something (or someone!) falling into them. And also, the higher frequencies from the speakers would be degraded by the obstacles inevitably located between them and the congregation (or between them and the reflecting surfaces). Corner mounting of the pedal speakers might be useful, however, because such placement does emphasize the low frequencies (by improving the coupling between the speakers and the room) and might therefore help equalize any deficiencies in the speakers' ability to handle the lowest tones. If the ceiling is reflective, an upper corner placement would be quite effective for that purpose. (If the ceiling is acoustically treated, placement of the speakers near it would probably be a poor idea.)</P>


                Of course, I have no degree in acoustics and don't work in the field; the above is just based on limited prior experience.</P>


                David</P>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



                  David's point about damage to the speakers if they are placed on their backs is an excellent one.</P>


                  When we installed the Renaissance 330 in Pequot Chapel in New London, Connecticut, the installation includedsix full-size speakers as theAntiphonal, which we located, with the concurrence of the appropriate Allen engineers,at the two corners of the building closest to the entrance, in two"L" shapes, as I have suggested..</P>


                  These speakers are on their backs, but they are protected by cabinetry, extending several inches above the speakers, and each speaker has a large horizontal panel of grill cloth located over it. In effect, these areclosed systems. This has worked well for more than ten years, although I have to keep reminding Chapel personnel [all volunteers] not to place large objects on the grill cloth panels.</P>


                  I don't have a degree in acoustics either. My method is intuitive trial and error. Eventually finding [stumbling upon?] the best solution.</P>


                  As for "wigs", I would much rather have the option of filling the room with glorious sound rather than having to scale back in order to not overpower a portion of it.</P>


                  Rick</P>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions

                    [quote user="Rick Powers"] David's point about damage to the speakers if they are placed on their backs is an excellent one. [snip]


                    These speakers are on their backs, but they are protected by cabinetry,[snip] although I have to keep reminding Chapel personnel [all volunteers] not to place large objects on the grill cloth panels.[/quote]</P>


                    I agree with David to the point of excluding the speakers on their backs method--enclosed or not. I did that with the Symphony's organ as a temporary setup, and returned after rehearsal break to find a concert tuba on the grill cloth of one of the speakers. I offered to put my instrument on his tuba if he ever did it again!!![:@]</P>


                    If the two "columns" on either side of the projection screen (behind the piano and organ) are not structurally supporting and/or used for other reasons, I'd suggest "bouncing" the sound off the ceiling and/or opposite wallswith the speakers pointing inward. Just remember that you'll hear one set of speakers more than the other, depending on how they're mounted/placed.</P>


                    Also not an acoustical engineer (by any stretch of the imagination), I'd recommend aiming the speakers toward each other but canted toward the congregation, and at an angle toward a hard surface. That way the sound blends as soon as possible, and begins the reflection process, thereby providing as much non-directional sound as possible. </P>


                    Just my 2¢ worth.</P>


                    Michael</P>
                    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



                      In response to David's questions:</P>

                      1. The screen is retractable, the rewind mechanism is at the top and it is secured by a chain at the bottom.  Behind the screen is the baptistery.  The screen is normally only raised for baptisms.  The screen material is quite thick and would likely do a good job of muffling the organ's sound.</P>

                      2. There are matching doors on the left and right sides of the Chancel.  There is a small storage room on each side, and a large passageway that allows access to the baptistery.  If you can imagine an inverted U shape, with the baptistery at the top and the doors at around halfway up the legs.</P>

                      We had considered putting the speakers in the side storage rooms, but after measuring it doesn't look like there is enough room.  There is a lot of ductwork above the "normal" ceiling height, so there is not enough depth to fit the speakers there.</P>

                      The picture may be a bit deceiving in scale.  The fellow standing in the left side of the photo is enormous, he's about 6' 7", and is a good bit closer to the camera than he appears.  The fellow seated at the piano is our music minister who represents a much more average height for the seated congregation.  The chancel is about 2 1/2' above the floor of the sanctuary, so if mounted flush with the ceiling, the bottom of the speakers would be about 12' above the floor of the sanctuary.</P>

                      During the recent remodel of the sanctuary, in an effort to improve the acoustics, the sound-absorbent material was removed from the ceiling, and a double-layer of sheetrock was installed instead.  It worked - it's now much less "dead" sounding.  Of course I'm still not going to get 3 seconds of reverb, but I think it should be OK to place the speakers near the ceiling.</P>

                      Our church isn't affiliated with any Baptist conventions, but we do seem to observe a lot of Baptist traditions, meaning that nobody really wants to sit in the front rows.  Joking aside, generally the first few rows are populated by the older folks who always used to tell me that I needed to "play louder," so I don't forsee much of an issue with "blowing wigs off."  They might actually appreciate having their wigs blown off. :-)</P>

                      Thanks for all the advice so far.  We hope to have the speakers installed in time for our Good Friday service, so we will need to start in the next week or so in order to comfortably finish in time.</P>

                      - Dan</P>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



                        By all means, then, mount the organ speakers on the back wall at the ceiling. I'd put the Pedal speakers in the corners, and others have said it is best to put the 2 Great speakers together and the 2 Swell speakers together, so put one division on each side of the screen. If you can, find a way to avoid having all the sound projected straight forward into the room, though--aiming some of the speakers at a wall or at an angle will help distribute the sound.</P>


                        David</P>

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



                          I've re-inspected the speakers we have, and it appears that there are 5 HC14 cabinets and 1 HC12. The HC12 has 2 midrange drivers, and if my research is correct, it has a lower cutoff and should be used with the pedal channel that has the 32' stops, correct?</p>

                          All of the midrange drivers are in rather sad condition. It looks like some of them have had their surround replaced, but badly. I applied a light coat of rubber cement to seal the cracks, and they do work surprisingly well for their appearance, I'm just concerned for their longevity. I figure it would be better to replace them now than when the speakers are harder to get to. All but 2 of them should be OK with a re-surround, but 2 of them are pretty beat up - one makes a rubbing sound when gently moving the cone by hand. I'm not sure what my best course of action here would be.</p>

                          I played the organ on Sunday morning with the speakers sitting on the floor at the front wall of the building, and was utterly drowned out by the piano and congregation unless I used lots of upperwork, which was rather loud and piercing. Come to find out that all the voicing settings have the bass and midrange pots turned all the way down, and the treble pots turned most of the way up. Now that I've noticed this, it's pretty obvious when playing that the Octav 4' isnoticeablylouder than the Prinzipal 8', and the 2' Superoctav is quite a bit louder still. I'lldefinitelyhave to do a quick re-voice before church this Sunday - perhaps just turning all the pots to center position will give me a "good enough" sound until we get the speakers in a more permanent location.</p>

                          Thanks for all the input so far. I've brought up your various suggestions to the elder board and we are reconsidering the upper rear wall for speaker installation. We are hoping to come up with something that is both great sounding and aesthetically appealing. One suggestion we are considering is locating the speakers in the location I described earlier (up against the ceiling to the left and right of the screen), but building the speaker platforms in such a way that the speakers can be angled to reflect the sound off the left and right walls of the Chancel.</p>

                          - Dan</p>

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



                            Perhaps it would be useful to build some temporary support structures (floor supported) to enable trying out various locations and positionings? These could be simple 2x4 affairs, fairly inexpensive but capable of supporting the speakers in the positions being considered. If their appearance is a concern, they could be draped by fabric. By using temporary supports, it would be possible to "tweak" how the speakers are set up and where they are pointed. Once a set-up is accepted, then permanent platforms (or whatever) could be built.</P>


                            Obviously, during the trial period the aesthetics would be less than ideal (even though draped); however, I think the congregation would be willing to put up with a little less-than-perfect appearance for a short time if the result were to arrive at a proper speaker placement.</P>


                            David</P>

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Allen ADC-5000 set-up questions



                              Dan,</P>


                              I sent you a PM about the midrange speakers. Even before reading your post here I suggested that one of the cabinets may be an HC-12, which does indeed have two midranges, and you are correct that it goes on the channel with the 32' stops....... In order to share the information with the entire group, I'm going to copy and paste the message I sent privately to you, and here it is --------&gt;</P>


                              The Pioneer unit is called a 5.25 inch mid-range, but the back-chamber is only a bit over 4" in diameter, and fits "almost" perfectly into the opening cut in the HC-14 or HC-15 baffle for the Peerless unit. You will need to do a little bit of chamfering of the opening. It only takes a couple of minutes with a rasp or dremel tool.</P>


                              The Pioneer model number is .. B11EC80-02F.It's available from Parts-Express.com for $18.58 plus shipping. Since you'll be ordering 7 of them you actually get the discounted price of $16.53.</P>


                              If your ADC-5000 has the HC-12 speaker cabinet on the 32' pedal channel, you will need two mid-ranges for that cabinet. Note that the original Peerless mid-range used in the HC-12 was actually a 4-ohm speaker, which Allen wired in series pairs to make an 8 ohm load. Peerless no longer sells the 4-ohm version, but there is no harm in replacing them with these 8-ohm Pioneers. The sound is probably actually enhanced a bit because the effect on the crossover network would be flatten the mid-range curve just a little with the increased impedance.</P>


                              (Hope that bit of info is not confusing. The HC-14 and HC-15 speakers used an 8-ohm midrange, which is exactly what these Pioneers are.)</P>


                              --------------END OF COPIED MESSAGE------------</P>


                              PS........ Voicing of the ADC5000 is not difficult, but does require a little time. You are correct to start by putting all the bass/treble/mid/gain controls at the 12:00 position. Be sure toset all the amplifier knobsalike. I set them at "8" for a start, then raise or lower if necessary later in the process.</P>


                              I hope you have the cage chart which shows which stops come from which tone generator cards. If you do, you only need to set the great principal 8 at the correct level, then match each of the other TG cards to the principal by choosing one of the stops in that group that you canrefer to, and judge how it should relate to the principal. I normally go from the principal to the octave 4, then the superoctave 2, setting the note for note level about equal or a bit softer as the pitch goes up. Next I set the flutes at 8, 4, and 2, to complement the principals. Then I adjust the mixture and trumpet of the great (which are on the same TG board) to taste. Next step is to match the 4' principal of the swell to the octave 4 on the great, then match the salicional with the voix celeste..... you get the idea. For the pedals, use your ear and set it so that pedal stops balance with the manuals and do not distort or overpower.</P>


                              Best of luck. That's at wonderful instrument, one of my favorites of all the ADC models.</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

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