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Allen Pedalboard

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  • Allen Pedalboard

    I have found that the Allen pedalboard is by far the most easiest pedal board to play. The Allen that i play at church
    IS much much simpiler than my home 535 instrument.
    Now they both are supposed to be A.G.O. specs, But the spacing between notes is absolutely DIFFERENT!
    Allen spaces theirs perfect, whereas the 535 is something else.The one other that i found like Allen, was a vintage
    Mudler- Hunter pipe organ that i played for a number of years that was comparable, perfect spacing!
    That "new" Roland/Rogers organ, in which i viewed a pic of has basically the same "crappy" close tolerance between
    notes. I can't stand that!
    Unless Allen changed their pedalboard in their "newer" instruments, then i say the Allen pedalboard is by far more
    "superior" over the others.
    If anyone likes the "crappy" pedalboards, then the place to find them would be on the real old,old, pipe organs
    in the baltic countries of the world. Yeooo! some of them were altogether flat with few notes.
    Yet, they were played, and some were pretty good size organs.
    Me, i like a concave pedalboard of 32 notes, Properly spaced!
    Oh well, so much for that!


  • #2
    Although you have to admit that there is a certain appeal to conquering a flat, straight pedal board which is spaced at least 1 or 2 notes to one side or the other! I had that experience on a 3 manual tracker here in my town. It's a bit unnerving if you haven't had the opportunity for practice!

    On the other hand, non-OCD people probably wouldn't even notice!


    P.S. I do like Allen's pedal boards because they have the right amount of tension, however, my current pedal board has a bit too much bounce, and occasionally causes double-play upon release of some pedals.
    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


    • #3
      I agree, Allen makes the nicest pedal board out there amongst various other digital and pipe organs I have tried. They are perfectly spaced, have a good level of tension and I especially like the depth of travel.

      Particularly with Allen analogue organs the build quality is exceptional. The varnish still hasn't worn off the naturals despite nearly 40 years of use! I can't same the same for some of the more modern digital organs produced by other manufacturers!

      At the moment I play a Viscount and what puts me off the most is the shallow depth of travel which cannot be adjusted. IMO this can make it tempting to establish poor pedaling technique. Plus the action feels vague and spongy whereas the Allen's action is positive and crisp.
      Last edited by nullogik; 09-27-2010, 11:19 PM.
      1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
      Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.


      • #4

        Allen does indeed make fine pedalboards, but they do need periodic adjusting of the tension. If you are getting repeating of notes on release, it means tension is too light. Take the heel rail off, and tension the pedals. Also, tighten all the screws holding the natural and sharp caps on.

        Whenever I service an Allen and the pedalboard is somewhat noisy I do this procedure.

        I'm not sure whether the new Allen pedalboards are as solidly built as say they were in the 60s to 80s, or whether they all are built to the same standard, but I still believe the Allen pedalboard is a superior pedalboard, along with the magnetic reed switch keying.


        P.S. I have reworked (refurbished) quite a number of of pedalboards by various manufacturers, and they turn out very well. It was usually not the basic design so much as very poor execution, and the use of green lumber.


        • #5
          I don't get repeating of notes, but upon release there are two or three pedals that "bounce" a little when they are released. How is the tension adjusted. You mention removing the heel rail, which I've never done, so I'm not sure what's under there, but how is the tension adjusted?
          Allen MDS-40S at home
          Hauptwerk VPO driven by MIDI from the Allen


          • #6

            Perhaps the back plate cover is a better term. To tension the pedals, remove this cover, and you will see the pedals each having a metal plate extending from the end. These plates are screwed onto the wooden plate. Tighten the screws and feel the tension so it doesn't bounce anymore. I believe the tension ideally should be around 2.5 to 3 lbs at front line (closest to player) of the sharps.



            • #7

              Thanks. Worked awesome. Was an easy fix. This is what is so awesome about this forum. I figured the the spring was "sprung" in those pedals and would need replacing eventually!
              Allen MDS-40S at home
              Hauptwerk VPO driven by MIDI from the Allen


              • #8
                After reading this, I just happened to blunder onto this decidedly homegrown method to regulate a pedalboard:


                Also a fun site to explore about Schober Organs.



                • #9
                  I completely agree. The best pedalboards I have ever played are on Allen digital organs. I hate to say it, but some are just awful. I play on a 1980 Baldwin at the Church where I work, the pedalboard is supposedly AGO, and it's awful! Even a Schantz pipe organ I practice on has a pretty poorly built pedalboard. It feels very fragile and the pedals move very little.