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  • my "ahlborn-galanti" organ

    I just bought a used ahlborn-galanti organ. Actually a Baldwin Howard D-900, which is really an AG Praeludium ca 1994. The sampling is impressive for the maker and era, shockingly leagues above the Allen M-ADC that I was accustomed to being tortured by for a few years. This instrument is being delivered with 2 Allen Organ HC-12 speaker cabinets. I figured this would be a great addition to put some extra oomph behind this little organ, and make it a little more impressive when I play the kilgen and willis organs i downloaded through hauptwerk.

    So here's the point of this..lol..the hc-12's present decomposing foam around the speaker diaphragms. I have an idea about how to replace the individual components, and was wondering where I may find parts that may be slightly cheaper than what the Allen factory wants, without sacrificing the quality of a good solid organ speaker.

    Also, I'm sure I'll get hammered for this, but recently, I did a very extensive search for a new organ and discovered that Johannus (installed one in a church once and wasn't disappointed) as well As Ahlborn-Galanti are putting out some pretty impressive and not too expensive instruments now...Any thoughts or opinions? I have at most modest experience with Allen and Rodgers, and a one time only visit with a Viscount (let that be the last...(IMO) not very good organs).

  • #2
    You should definitely have the Allen speakers repaired. Installing new surrounds is a common task for a speaker repair facility and will cost you less than comparable new drivers. Allen usually had drivers (especially woofers) custom made for the cabinets in which they would be used. You will probably never find an exact match to their parts, even if you knew or could measure the parameters.

    The HC-12s were noted for having good bass response since they were sealed rather than ported cabinets. Allen abandoned them in the interest of higher efficiency and in so doing changed from foam to pleated surrounds on the woofers (which, I presume, are the drivers that show the deterioration). These woofers are definitely matched to the cabinets and ought to be preserved. A set of $40 replacements from MCM Electronics are just not going to do the job.

    I have heard several really wonderful Johannus installations, perhaps the best being a temporary installation of a Makin in a traditional Gothic-style Episcopal church where it looked and sounded at home. I have also heard a couple of terrible Johannus installations. Likewise with Ahlborn-Galanti and Allen.

    The ultimate sound from a digital organ is 90% dependent on the installation. Speaker placement and tonal finishing are absolutely going to swamp out minor differences in the technology, the particular samples used, etc., etc. Even the old Allen MOS and ADC models sound great in a big, reverberant room. No digital organ (without reverb applied artificially) is going to sound its best in a small, dead space. Just think about the way a small practice pipe organ sounds in a studio, close up. It may be authentic, but it does not sound particularly good or "pipelike," if you will. It's the same with a digital, really just a playback machine for pipe samples--it is not going to sound its best close up either.

    I never thought of A-G as "not too expensive." They seemed to be at the top of the range a few years ago, perhaps at or above the pricing of the Allens. And they had many more overt computer-like trappings, even going so far as to require a remote control to do some of the more advanced programming. I heard of technophobe organists who simply refused to engage with the technology and played the organ however it happened to be set up. OTOH, for someone who likes tinkering, one could bring forward a variety of very good samples, set up the combination action for custom operation, and what not. Me, I could never have afforded a new one and maybe that was a good thing--I keep hearing that the company is essentially gone and parts are disappearing. Could someone on the Forum who knows more give us an update?

    Don

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    • #3
      thanks don, that was incredibly helpful...

      i actually did a little research into ag this evening and have discovered
      1. they are still in business
      2. main office is in chicago area
      3. website is still up for Ahlborn-Galanti with a posting that they are still in business and that they were never going out...

      since its too late tonight to call, i will do so at some point tomorrow...and ask for myself, see what they say

      i did see an advertisement from an area dealer that had the smaller 2 manual a-g organ at 9900 with a built in sound module but was way to much for me right now...tuition first! lol

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Liam and Don,

        Just responding to previous posts here.

        A-G or Ahlborn-Galanti is distributed by General Music US in the US of A. They are certainly still in business, in fact are moving to larger premises in the coming month. Ahlborn S.r.l. in Italy makes the organs. Formerly, Ahlborn Organs was a division of GeneralMusic s.p.A. That company is no longer.

        Ahlborn-Galanti is coming out with a new lower priced model, the A-G 2000 next month. Should retail in the $10K-$11K area.

        I agree with Don, in that the success or failure of an organ install, is in all the details of the installation, things such as, sufficient good audio, placement of speakers, voicing etc. All the best technology in the world cannot overcome lousy installation work. That is why so many organ dealers who happen to really be piano shops or folks working out of their house have many poor installs out there. Lowest bid coupled with ignorance and maybe lack of effort also does not help in getting quality results.

        Don, I don't know where you get the idea that A-G prices are equal or higher than Allen prices. I suppose the odd dealer may get absurdly high prices for A-G, but in general I would say that A-G is a good bit less than an equivalent Allen install. And parts costs are a whole lot less as well.

        AV

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        • #5
          Arie,

          Not to hijack the original thread's subject, but do you know if A-G has their entire former line of DRAKE organs still in production and distribution, or is it just a few new models sourced from new manufacturing? What about parts support?

          Comment


          • #6
            Michael,

            The entire DRAKE line is still available, and certain aspects are being updated. When the new models will come out has not been said, but likely the first product will appear later this year.

            There is at this time no problem with parts support. Same as before. In fact quite a few parts in the new organs are the same as the ones from the Praeludium era. Most are reasonably priced as well.

            AV

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            • #7
              If I can piggyback on this thread - I've got an A-G 2000. I really like it, except for the pistons that seem reluctant - they sometimes require a double punch to activate my registration change. Someone told me to just pull them out and see if there's dust or something in them. Does this sound like the thing to do? Anyone else had this problem?

              Secondly, what is the Swell Off Swell tab for? The instruction booklet is useless. It shuts all swell stops OFF. Why? What utility is this? On pipe organs I've played seems to me the Swell Off Swell cancelled the 8 foot stops but retained the Swell to Swell 16 or 4. Am I totally out to lunch?

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              • #8
                Hi cnr1949,

                Regarding your pistons, do they feel like they are physically somewhat sticky, or is it an activation problem? I have not come across problems with newer A-Gs having piston problems, but had one organ of the previous generation where some piston switches were not lined up to the pistons, and this caused misfire sometimes. You can check this out by pulling out the piston and shining a light into the piston barrel to see if the switch is centered properly.
                On earlier Galanti organs some organs had pistons that would feel sticky as they got older. To fix one pulled the piston out and cleaned the piston itself and the inside of the barrel with a damp cloth.

                The Swell Off tab - basically silences all Swell stops that are turned on at their pitches. This is the way pipe organs work also. The exception to this would be the the Swell Additional Stop, which can be setup as a stop independent of the Swell division. This would allow one to play the Festival Trumpet for instance, against the rest of the organ, including having the Swell coupled to the Great, and Gt to Ped and Sw. to Ped on, and of course the Swell OFF Swell turned on. One other note, the Sw to Sw 16 and 4 couplers work only on the String and it's Celeste stops, so one could get quite a string ensemble. Another oddity is that the 16' and 4' Swell couplers couple thru onto the Great with only the Swell to Great coupler on. Similar effect with Swell to Pedal coupling. Not conventional, but can have it's purpose.

                AV

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for monitoring these questions about the A-G, Arie.

                  No, the pistons don't feel sticky, and I pulled them off and the switches appear to be high, so they're not lining up properly. Should I try to do anything about this or leave them alone in case I make the situation worse?

                  The Sub and Super couplers on my A-G affect all the Swell stops, which is fine with me.

                  Swell Off Swell shuts off all pitches of all stops, except the Additional Stop as you mentioned. I think my understanding of how it should work is the same as your's, say I've got the 8 string selected, then add Super coupler 4', then select Swell Off Swell, the 8 should be cancelled but the stop should still sound at the 4' level - but it doesn't. Everything is off.

                  Robert

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                  • #10
                    I service A-G organs and Johannus and Viscount.I have no problems getting parts and technical help from any of them,But Allen and Rodgers want you to go through their dealers for manuals and parts and the dealer can charge you whatever they want,if they will even deal with you without their service tech making a service call.I have worked for the Allen and Rodgers dealers in the past and have a collection of service manuals from them.
                    anonimoose

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                    • #11
                      I very much want information about Galanti organ 3000 --or 3100--Since as everyone including Galanti agrees, the MANUAL is NOT helpful, I dont' know any of the following --1. how to access the four alternate suites of stops (if that's realy what they are--they appear to me to be mostly just duplicates of that which is visible in front of you as you sit a t the organ) 2. what to do when a matrizx appears with a blikng curser 3. what brings about the message (again over to the right) " we are occupied with oicing" and how to avoid that showing up--it takes time sometimes at crucial places in the service 4. where CODES --e.g. 586854 --come into play and whether they are necessary to achieve a registration that you can rely on --a set of stops that you can REALLY Capture--freeze--retain. 5. why the CHIMES are annoyingly always foisting themselves on me as a default stop. If as some say the Galanti company is NOT going out of business why does it seems as though no one byu t "ARTIE". Why do they offer to take voice mail messages and then never give you a n opportunity (e.g. with a dial tone_ to leave such a message? Can you commuitcate with them through email? This and MANY MORE wuestions I would like to have answered.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi,

                        I don't mind helping people out, but need more info. I "think" I have a reasonable understanding of the Ahlborn-Galanti organs. If you wish to communicate with me, PM through the organ forum.

                        AV

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Activeprofessor View Post
                          If as some say the Galanti company is NOT going out of business why does it seems as though no one byu t "ARTIE". Why do they offer to take voice mail messages and then never give you a n opportunity (e.g. with a dial tone_ to leave such a message? Can you commuitcate with them through email? This and MANY MORE wuestions I would like to have answered.
                          Not to worry!

                          According to the Ahlborn-Galanti website, although they don't mention a service team, Ahlborn-Galanti customers can assured that they will always be taken care of by their legal team, which they describe on their website as "Our Continued Commitment":

                          "Because of our long standing commitment to our customers and prospective clients, the legal team of Ahlborn-Galanti has been working hard to remove the many defamatory posts on the internet and in conjunction with Wikipedia to stop the vandalism of our entry there."

                          You really don't run across many manufacturers that provide their customers with such comforting and reassuring committment!! :-)
                          2008: Phoenix III/44

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You are SO wicked, Clarion!

                            Sounds like the above-mentioned organ does need some explaining to this user. Perhaps there is someone here who has experience with that model.
                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Activeprofessor View Post
                              I very much want information about Galanti organ 3000 --or 3100--Since as everyone including Galanti agrees, the MANUAL is NOT helpful, I dont' know any of the following --1. how to access the four alternate suites of stops (if that's realy what they are--they appear to me to be mostly just duplicates of that which is visible in front of you as you sit a t the organ) 2. what to do when a matrizx appears with a blikng curser 3. what brings about the message (again over to the right) " we are occupied with oicing" and how to avoid that showing up--it takes time sometimes at crucial places in the service 4. where CODES --e.g. 586854 --come into play and whether they are necessary to achieve a registration that you can rely on --a set of stops that you can REALLY Capture--freeze--retain. 5. why the CHIMES are annoyingly always foisting themselves on me as a default stop. If as some say the Galanti company is NOT going out of business why does it seems as though no one byu t "ARTIE". Why do they offer to take voice mail messages and then never give you a n opportunity (e.g. with a dial tone_ to leave such a message? Can you commuitcate with them through email? This and MANY MORE wuestions I would like to have answered.
                              Respectfully, in response to your questions about Galanti support here and elsewhere in the forum, I believe you're stuck with whatever their website gives you as options. Since Generalmusic in Italy ceased operations, it's my impression that "Galanti" is a some of the former GeneralMusic/Ahlborn-Galanti team in Chicago in an industrial park in Bensenville who are trying to keep the thing going, sourcing their product from one of the Italian OEM manufacturers that picked up the pieces after Generalmusic closed, and networked with a few distributors and dealers around the country. If you can't raise them by phone, I don't know who else you could deal with.

                              In terms of the quality of product support, I believe you have answered your own question. Having worked with the Galanti product in the 1990's before the AG series, I would love to be proven wrong if there is a better level of support out there. But in the meantime, yes, Arie would be a wonderful person to message through this forum.
                              Last edited by michaelhoddy; 05-21-2013, 10:40 AM.

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