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  • The Allen MDS-85 to be Soon Delivered

    Well, folks, I've taken the plunge and am purchasing Carlo Curly's former "touring" organ, a massive 3 manal/91 stop Allen MDS-85. Delivery date TBD based on diary of the Allen UK engineer. This is a physically big instrument (76" w x 53" H x 57" D w/pedal board. The Allen audio engineer looked at reducing the 17 audio channels speakers to something less, but they were not too happy with the results, as I understand, so I've committed to 17 speakers of varying sizes, plus a large audio rack. Good thing I no longer have a wife, as although I have a big room to put it into (about 40' x 25' w/12 ft ceilings) and an adjoining large entry hall for perhaps an echo effect, I'm still going to have to get rid of an old Pioneer 52-inch rear projection TV, the current 2 manual organ, and a couch or two :-( Nonetheless, I'm told the sound of this organ is "spectacular."

    Wondering if anyone has a similar large Allen in their home. Even with speaker dimensions I'm having difficulty picturing the speaker compliment. Allen has, however, agreed to install it with sufficient extra cabling to ensure I can move speakers as I wish when I figure out how to fit it all in.

    Anyone who has any observations/advice or otherwise on putting an organ this size in a house will find them most appreciated! This organ. BTW, is not much smaller voice-wise than the 5 manual in nearby Norwich Cathedral. Maybe I'll soon be rid of my bothersome neighbors ;-) (Just kidding, of course!)


    Bob

  • #2
    Re: The Allen MDS-85 to be Soon Delivered

    You have double doors anywhere? Highly recommended....otherwise, cover your walls so you don't bang em up, get many people, and be careful. And post pictures when you receive this thing...I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say "we wanna see it" The Allen MDS instruments sound great as far as I can remember.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Allen MDS-85 to be Soon Delivered

      Yes, fortunately have 3 wide French doors along the room it will go into. It is coming from Allen'' UK HQ, and Allen is providing the moving crew and the Allen UK engineer will be here to install it. If I trim some branches, the truck should be able to get within a couple feet of the French doors by driving over the lawn.

      Yes, I cetainly will post pictures. This is a life-long dream fulfilled!

      I'm also pleased that Allen has located "dozens" of sound cards for the organ, and will include them, and order more if I desire. I assume Carlo Curly had a pretty complete compliment of cards when he used the organ. Also has built in Midi which is nice. Although the organ isn't here yet, I've been incredibly impressed by the Allen UK people. They've bent over backward to help me with this organ. By their own admission, the organ is so massive that few have been interested in it, I gather. The sale will obviously clear some floor space for them. Not that they wouldn't have been nice to me anyway :-)

      Bob

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      • #4
        Re: The Allen MDS-85 to be Soon Delivered

        Sorry I've taken so long to reply. Busy week past.

        Yes, decided on the Allen after reviewing many, many resources reagrding digital organs. It has been paid for and will be delivered to my home on 7 June--next Tuesday. I am perhaps taking a real chance purchasing this organ unheard, other than some MP3's on the web, but I am told by someone with a trained ear who has heard it in the showroom that the sound is "spectacular." Installation will be handled by the UK Allen engineer. The only possible bummer is that although I've lived in the UK for soon 25 years, circumstances have developed since my last post that mean I have to return to my home state of Colorado in the US. Indeed I signed papers today with a realtor to market my home. So where Allen UK would have given me a 3 year parts/labor warranty, they are not sure that can transfer to the Allen dealer in Lakewood, CO. They are "checking," however.

        Bob

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        • #5
          Re: The Allen MDS-85 to be Soon Delivered

          Terry,

          The MDS is quoted at anywhere from 84 to 91 stops, and somewhere around 100 ranks if it were a pipe organ. If one counts the Ancillery organ stops (Chrysoglott, Harpsichord 4' and 8'), etc., it works out to 91 stops excluding alterable voices. Four 32's on the pedal: Contra Bombarde, Contra Violene, Contra Bourdon and Contra Bass. I get two Allen B40's (163 lbs. ea.!) to handle the 32's--along with 17 other Allen speakers to handle the rest (10 x HC15's, 1 x HE2, 4 x HC9). Quite a large organ by any count, and one I know I will get lifetime enjoyment from. I've had regular access to larger pipe organs in years past, but most pipe organs I've had access to--even up to four manuals--have been "smaller" than the MDS-85.

          Bob

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          • #6
            Re: The Allen MDS-85 to be Soon Delivered

            As I noted above, after a 25 year absence from the US and my home state Colorado, I will be moving back--somewhere near Divide/Florissant not too far from Colorado Springs--so if anyone lives in that area, I'd welcome a visit. Specific location TBD as soon as I sell here in the UK.

            Bob

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            • #7
              Re: The Allen MDS-85 to be Soon Delivered

              Bob,

              I am a long way from Colorado here in N. Carolina. Thanks for the info. on your organ. Sounds like it really is impressive. The organ I call "mine" is actually at the church where I am organist, but it really is quite nice. However, compared to yours, mine probably has around half of the stops you have, around 50 total. Pedals have 32' Bombarde and 32' Contre Violone, but the Chrysoglott and Harpsichord are not on it. I believe these are included if I added the MIDI Ensemble module. I think you have a fine instrument coming to you there. I'm anxious to hear more about it and maybe see some pics.

              Would you be able to add anything to my recent posting above regarding the volume level of the stops and/or voicing for this MDS-51-S? This organ has a beautiful Quintedena that is hardly audible and a festival trumpet that will deafen you. I want to be able to adjust these if possible. Allen's website sells tone cards for certain MDS organ models, of which mine is not listed. It does have a computerized console controller on the left side. I am wondering if anything can be done there to affect the stops.

              Any comments anyone has or suggestions are welcome.

              Terry

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              • #8
                Re: The Allen MDS-85 to be Soon Delivered

                >>Would you be able to add anything to my recent posting above regarding the volume level of the stops and/or voicing for this MDS-51-S? This organ has a beautiful Quintedena that is hardly audible and a festival trumpet that will deafen you. I want to be able to adjust these if possible. Allen's website sells tone cards for certain MDS organ models, of which mine is not listed. It does have a computerized console controller on the left side. I am wondering if anything can be done there to affect the stops.

                Any comments anyone has or suggestions are welcome.

                Terry <<

                Have you checked with your Allen rep? I know that MDS instruments were less adjustable than the later models. I also think they were in groups, so that if you want to change a sound for one stop, then all the stops on that tone generator card would also be affected. It is done by using a screwdriver to adjust pots in the back. But don't take my word about the groups of sounds, check with your Allen rep.

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                • #9
                  Re: The Allen MDS-85 to be Soon Delivered

                  Yeah, I've gotten the typical crummy response from the rep. that since the organ is the church's and not my own, I should leave it alone. Boy, they sure want your money and then leave you after the sale. That's why I am looking for someone who has investigated and figured this sort of thing out. Thanks for the input, Radagast.

                  Terry

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                  • #10
                    Re: The Allen MDS-85 to be Soon Delivered

                    Well, it arrived a week ago today--and wow!! It is indeed spectacular. The organ has quite a pedigree. It has been played before Her Majesty Queen Margarethe of Denmark and her Consort, Prince Henriks, in Copehnagen. It traveled to Stockholm and was played by Carlo Curley before Swedish Royalty there. In addition, according to Allen UK it has been in "every cathdral" in England. As I noted elsewhere, I am somewhat humbled to have this instrumentin my home with its illustrious past. It is sort of like a cast off movie star who is no longer box office. Nonetheless, it will get lots and lots of love from me.

                    Also met Mr Curley this past Saturday. Seems to be a very personable gentleman! He knew I now had the organ (Allen UK had told him).

                    Bob

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