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AOB Organ Replacement

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  • AOB Organ Replacement

    Hi everyone.

    This is my first post so I will try to be short and get to the point.

    Last Wed, We had a storm come by and fry some electrical appliances in the house. One of them the organ.

    I had to get 3 bids about 2 years ago for full replacement value from 3 local organ companies. 1 was with Wicks organ, 1 with Rodgers and the other Allen.

    I decided Allen was the way to go. They gave me a bid for a Protege 2 manual organ with double audio to replace the 2 manual AOB (associated organ builders) whiich had 42 speakers. 5 of them being 12 " bass speakers in the large sono tubes.

    My questions is, Allen has the Chapel series and the dealer said I could get more for my money if I chose that model over the protege series. But I dont think the console keys are as good im not sure of the auido. My biggest thing is the organ cannot distort when being played. That was a nice feature of the AOB is that it did not distort.

    So... what would your sugestions be? Stick With the Allen L-226e 33 Stop or try to get more with the Allen Chapel Series?


    St. Louis

  • #2
    If I were purchasing new today I would select Protoge. The chapel series has Allen quality tone I'm sure but I've never been impressed by the look of the cabinetry or keyboards. If you research our archives there were many threads about the change to Fatar keyboards at the time Allen began to use them. I have seen online advertisement for a company that specializes in lightening repairs. You may want to google the topic.

    I for one would try to save the AOB before shopping a replacement.

    Found site:
    Last edited by OrgansR4Me; 07-26-2010, 11:05 AM. Reason: adding link


    • #3
      The organ I first learned on was an AOB of about exactly the same size (we had 43 speakers, with two of the 12's being upgraded to 15's). 8 heavily unified ranks. Makes me nostalgic.

      The AOB console is also a very nice candidate for something like a Phoenix Organ retrofit. If I had an AOB console, the Phoenix option would be competing very hard for my dollar- I'm not sure of Phoenix's pricing or how much of the AOB Syndyne stopmotors or keyboards you could reuse, but you might end up with a fabulous organ in a battleship of a console for the cost of the Protege.

      Barring that, I'd skip the Chapel and stick to the L-226e.


      • #4
        Hi Matthew!!

        Sounds as if you have "Replacement Cost Insurance" . . . which means you have hit the Jackpot BIGTIME!! <grin :-)="">

        At the outset, forget about low end stuff from Allen and Rodgers. These low end instruments are truly low end; and not something you would choose for your home organ! <gasp!>Unfortunately a lot of very useful information has disappeared here during the recent transition to the new program and ISP.

        Notwithstanding, I recall a recent thread from an Edmonton church who was attempting to replace their organ on a limited budget. Having heard low-end versions of what Allen and Rodgers had to offer, the organ committee was unanimous, that Phoenix Organs beat out Allen and Rodgers by a wide margin. And for an advantageous price, they ended up with an awesome three manual Phoenix!! <how you="" do="" happy="" clappy="" here??=""> :-)

        Anyway, before you make your final decision, check with Dave Simmonds in Alabama; a former AOB dealer, and now a Phoenix Organ dealer. Dave is certainly the guy to advise you as to how to get the biggest bang for your buck. </how></gasp!></grin>

        [link removed due to domain ownership change]
        <grin :-)=""><gasp!><how you="" do="" happy="" clappy="" here??="">
        If your console is in absolutely great condition, and would actually prefer the old carcass to be resurrected, then Phoenix is one of the very few firms that can actually offer a complete hardware and software re-build. This is an AOB rebuild:

        </how></gasp!></grin>[link removed due to domain ownership change]

        Best wishes in dealing with a less than wonderful scenario!!

        On Edit: Oops, those links didn't work. Still getting accustomed to the new
        Forum software.
        <grin :-)=""><gasp!><how you="" do="" happy="" clappy="" here??=""> </how></gasp!></grin>
        Last edited by myorgan; 12-28-2017, 01:44 PM. Reason: removed link
        2008: Phoenix III/44


        • #5
          If you do have replacement cost insurance, it might mean you should be looking at higher-end an organ that is equivalent in function and value to the one destroyed in the storm. Your AOB probably costed $45-50k new, and the replacement value is probably similar. That means moving capture, better console, and closer to 40 stops (your AOB probably has 38-40). This is something more like an Allen Quantum 265 or its equivalent from one of the other makers, not a Protege or Chapel.


          • #6
            Humm... Thanks Michaelhoddy... The AOB i have now does have moving capture and close to 40 stops. One thing I have noticed on most organs that I have received bids for is the fact that, Unless I go to a high end organ (which is probably out of my budget) the organs do not have couplers ( great to 16, Unison off, Great to 4 )etc nor do they have a 32 bombarde on the stop list for the pedal divison. Granted I can use the digital midi expander for a 32 reed but to me its not the same as what I have now... I just want to make sure I am getting the same organ specs as what I had before and that Im not being charged out the wazoo just because the insurance will pay to have it fixed or replaced. I will have to think and do some research..



            • #7
              Yes, I think if replacement value situation, the new organ would be similar in physical configuration (moving capture, better woodwork, etc) and in capability, which would include things like speaker compliment and 32-foot stops. Obviously, some of the unique things about the AOB could not be duplicated exactly, but it just doesn't seem that replacing a 40-stop organ that has a chamber full of speakers, a monster console with moving capture, and 32's with a 33-stop organ with a lesser console, 4 or 6 speakers, no moving capture, and no 32's is quite the same thing.


              • #8
                Originally posted by armorsecsys View Post
                Granted I can use the digital midi expander for a 32 reed but to me its not the same as what I have now...
                I'd like to point out that the Allen Midi Expander does NOT have a 32' reed. It has a 10 2/3' Bassquint (to use as a resultant) but that is the only 32' stop in the unit that I know of. My vote would also be cast for Phoenix. I heard a 3m Protege in a sound-dead living room recently and even with the virtual acoustic, it sounded and felt like [insert very inappropriate word]. BUT I just played a smaller 2m Renaissance and it sounded infinitely better....


                • #9
                  Hi Guys,

                  Just for the record, my Allen Ensemble Midi Expander has a 32' Violone and a 32' Posaune.

                  Rick B.

                  Allen R-311D
                  Baldwin Cinema II (214DR)
                  Gulbransen Pacemaker
                  Yamaha Clavinova CVP-209
                  Nord C2 w/ PK27 pedals and Behringer K3000FX amp


                  • #10
                    Get a Phoenix.