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'nother Allen question

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  • 'nother Allen question

    So this time I've come across an Allen "type C-1". Can't seem to find anything about this model. I emailed the seller and asked him to verify the model number, thinking it might actually be a TC-1. But he sent a picture of the mfr. plate - it is indeed a "C-1."

    Has anyone heard of this model? I'm wondering if it might be a very early Allen, perhaps named C-1 for "Church 1" - maybe even all tube tone generation?

    I don't think I'll go after it, because:

    a) it came out of a school. In my experience, such instruments tend to be in very poor condition.

    b) the guy promised to take additional pictures "if my offer is reasonable." (!!!) I don't know what he thinks is reasonable, but I've seen these 1950s Allens going for $0 - $100... so I don't think I'll even bother.

    But just for the record: any info on this model? Thanks-

    Scott
    Nobody loves me but my mother,
    And she could be jivin' too...

    --BB King

  • #2
    Originally posted by toasterDude View Post
    So this time I've come across an Allen "type C-1". Can't seem to find anything about this model. I emailed the seller and asked him to verify the model number, thinking it might actually be a TC-1. But he sent a picture of the mfr. plate - it is indeed a "C-1."

    Has anyone heard of this model? I'm wondering if it might be a very early Allen, perhaps named C-1 for "Church 1" - maybe even all tube tone generation?

    I don't think I'll go after it, because:

    a) it came out of a school. In my experience, such instruments tend to be in very poor condition.

    b) the guy promised to take additional pictures "if my offer is reasonable." (!!!) I don't know what he thinks is reasonable, but I've seen these 1950s Allens going for $0 - $100... so I don't think I'll even bother.

    But just for the record: any info on this model? Thanks-

    Scott
    If I remember correctly, the C-1 model used vacuum tube oscillators.

    Comment


    • #3
      The doc I have shows that, like radagast said, the C-1 uses tubes. It was introduced in 1957, two manual 32-note pedalboard. That's all I've been able to find on it.
      John
      Allen MDS-317 at home / Allen AP-16 at Church / Allen ADC-3100 at the stake center

      Comment


      • #4
        The C1, predecessor of the TC1, used two sets of vacuum tube generators (diapason and flute) and had a princess pedalboard.

        The C3 (AGO version) used 6SN7GTB tubes, although the C1 may have used smaller 12 series tubes.

        I wouldn't take a C1 or C3 for free, even though they indestructible--and the C3 is a great workhorse practice organ. They're just not worth moving anymore.

        Mark
        Allen C3 (built March 1957)

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't have the strength (or space) to consider any more of these older organs; but I wouldn't count out an organ just because it is a tube model. There are alot of tube replacements out there to keep these things going and they have a fabulous tone for a self contained unit. (some from that era have remote speakers, but many are self contained)

          Except for the purist, the princess pedalboard isn't as bad as its forum reputation. As mentioned many times the length of the blacks and the brown studs is the biggest difference. I still have one on my carousel and find it very comfortable.

          Pricing is a big issue with sellers. You are correct to assume that most of these are free today. However if you want an Allen and this is in great shape, even $200 can be a good buy! Concert instruments at $200 would have been unthinkable just 5 years ago.

          Comment


          • #6
            The Allen C1 and C3 require external speakers, a minimum of a bulky "gyrophonic projector" stacked on a cabinet with 2 15" woofers. Two gyrophonic projectors would sound better. It's enough equipment to fill a modest living room. And the C3 barely clears a 36" doorway.

            The 6SN7GTB generator tubes are manufactured in Russia under the old Tung-Sol name. Keeping the organs going isn't a problem. Generator tubes rarely burn out; the most frequent maintenance is tuning. The only service call we've had in twenty-four years was due to vandalism of the contacts on the swell. (Someone opened the lid and crushed what they could see.) I suspect the death of our C3 will ultimately be failure of the power supply. We're the same age and the Allen could well outlive me.

            If you are a serious classical organist (Bach, Franck, etc.) skip anything that isn't AGO. I cannot imagine practicing a major Bach Prelude and Fugue on a princess pedalboard in preparation for a recital on an AGO organ. Not to mention Tournemire, Reger, etc.

            These organs have two basic sounds (sine wave flute and rudimentary diapason) unified at various pitches. I regularly practice on the C3, as I have for the last twenty-four years (!), and I don't find the tone especially gratifying; the solid quality of the keyboards, pedals, etc. make it a good practice organ.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you are curious as to the sound of the C1/C3 find a copy of the old George Beverly Shea Christmas vinyl record.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks very much for all the input. I'm going to pass on the C1, because from what I've seen I suspect I should be able to come up with an AGO spec Allen, for the few/several hundreds of dollars I imagine this fellow is looking for. (perhaps, with luck, even a digital Allen.)

                But the description does intrigue me - I'd be interested to poke around with those tube oscillator circuits, if nothing else. Then down the road it could always be stripped for a MIDI console. ...But realistically, I know myself too well - I wouldn't be able to bring myself to strip it, I'd be compelled to restore yet another ancient tube relic! Then *I'd* be the one trying to pass it on & hoping to get an unrealistic amount of money for it...

                Thanks again gents-
                td
                Nobody loves me but my mother,
                And she could be jivin' too...

                --BB King

                Comment


                • #9
                  td,

                  As the Allen C3 has gotten older it has seduced me with its straightforward design. There is something to be said for manufacturing a large, complex product that can be maintained far beyond its useful life.

                  Good luck in your search.

                  Mark

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