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Help with value of Baldwin/Viscount C500 5-manual organ??

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  • Help with value of Baldwin/Viscount C500 5-manual organ??

    Does anyone have an idea of the value of a Baldwin C500 5-manual organ? A friend of mine has one that he would like to sell and has asked me to help. I'm told it was made by Viscount and dates to about 1997. It is a very large and impressive looking console and has full midi so can also be used with Hauptwerk. Its not currently set up so I can't comment on the sound but i'm told its in good working condition. Thanks.

  • #2
    Location matters, of course. We have member on 3 continents and 2 islands.
    The depth limits access to the hobbiest market, as it would only fit through double doors or patio doors. People with houses with a double front entry door, tend to like new things. The same blanket statement goes for churches, those that have serious money and classical taste in music.
    I would start on e-bay with a reserve of $1500, but don't expect more than $500. List as is where is, and buyer responsible for pickup, of course. A Quality reputation, repairable, but huge and sold by a company that has been through bankruptcy so all the professional salesmen left can make rude comments about it.
    You may get more if a speaker system including sub-woofers and amps, goes with it and the hookup cabling is available.
    city Hammond H-182 organ (2 ea),A100,10-82 TC, Wurlitzer 4500, Schober Recital Organ, Steinway 40" console , Sohmer 39" pianos, Ensoniq EPS, ; country Hammond H112

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. The organ is in the NYC metro area. It does include amps and speakers but I am not certain how many. I assume the hookup cabling is with it also, but I haven't seen it in person. i'll find out more details about the specifics.

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      • #4
        Yours is the bigger brother to this:

        http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/msg/3216332970.html

        Worth asking the seller if he has much interest since advertising it. Hopefully that should give you some idea if it is overpriced or not.

        I think you'll get a quite a bit more than $1500 for it. Its very difficult to price as they rarely come up for sale, but I think in the region of perhaps $5k-$10k will be achievable. Because of the shear size of the console it may put a lot of residential buyers off, so its more likely to appeal to a Church whose budget won't allow for a brand new large instrument.
        1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
        Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

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        • #5
          Great, thanks for all your help!

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          • #6
            I once played a Baldwin 625 for a concert ('88), I think a 636 with a concert band (Phantom of the Opera '90), and a 640 for a Symphony performance ('04?). How would those models compare in generation, sound, and technology? Which is more desirable regarding the technology and reliability, this one or the ones I played?

            Michael
            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

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            • #7
              Hi,

              The Baldwin 625 and 640 were analog organs. The 640 dates back to the late 70s, and was quite good for the time. The 625 was a smaller organ from the mid 80s. Baldwin by then was seriously behind other companies in their offerings and technology, and their market share was going down. They valiantly tried with the D-4xx series organs, but too late and too expensive. I don't think that they made more than about a hundred of those. By that time Baldwin was bringing in re-badged Galanti and then Viscount organs, which were cheaper, had MIDI, and digital tone generation.

              The C-500 is one of those re-badged Viscount organs, which elsewhere was called "the Symphonia". Basically it was 2nd generation Viscount digital tone generation, which was basically a cleaned up version of earlier 2nd generation technology. Actually the C-500 was nothing more than a C-480, except it had an extra keyboard and a couple of tone cards, and maybe some additional audio outputs. The C-480 was basically a C-470 (3-manual) with an extra keyboard, couple of tone cards, etc. So they saved much in terms of design time building these models this way. They were built around the mid 90s to about the year 2000.

              As for build quality and sound, they would not have been as good as the above mentioned Baldwin D-4xx series organs. They did sound better than the analog Baldwins, all things being equal with some external speakers. They were not really voiceable. Basically the technology of the time was few samples, and those samples rather short.

              But if it takes a 5-manual to make you happy, here is one you can get for not too much money. I would think perhaps a couple of dozen of these instruments were ever sold in the US. There are not all that many Allens and Rodgers 5 manuals out there either. And rarely is one of those for sale.

              AV

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              • #8
                I heard and played one in PA years ago. To what Arie said, I'll add two things:
                1. It could be spread out to 18 channels- 3 per division including pedal. The one I played was 18 channel, and the tone cabinets were spread out like pipe chests would be. Very very effective! I might also add that the tone cabinets seemed to have an impressively flat frequency response. I could live with that sound! BUT...
                2. The console is NOT ergonomic (sp?) The manuals are NOT inclined. Lots of luck playing the 4th and 5th manuals, and if you're a student and practice a lot, beware of carpal tunnel...
                Ever-best, Bill Miller

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by arie v View Post
                  The Baldwin 625 and 640 were analog organs. The 640 dates back to the late 70s, and was quite good for the time. The 625 was a smaller organ from the mid 80s.
                  Well, at my age, the memory's the first thing to go! I thought they were digital, and looked like the ones in the OrganForum Gallery, but I guess I was either wrong about the digital or the model. Either way, I wasn't really impressed with any of them (sorry:-().

                  Michael
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have not yet seen anything that couldn't be played on a well-thought-out 3-manual instrument. That said, even though you may have the 5 manuals, you shouldn't feel obliged to use all of them.
                    Martin Hartley
                    Choral Scholar at St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta, Australia
                    Student at Campion College, Australia
                    Assistant Organist at St Margaret Mary's Catholic Church, Merrylands, Australia

                    The Novice Organist: http://noviceorganist.blogspot.com.au

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                    • #11
                      Value of C500 organ

                      Originally posted by randy1kenobi View Post
                      Does anyone have an idea of the value of a Baldwin C500 5-manual organ? A friend of mine has one that he would like to sell and has asked me to help. I'm told it was made by Viscount and dates to about 1997. It is a very large and impressive looking console and has full midi so can also be used with Hauptwerk. Its not currently set up so I can't comment on the sound but i'm told its in good working condition. Thanks.
                      Back in 1997 the C500 retailed for $89.5K. Its output jacks allow for power mixing, addition of EQ and reverb, individual coloring of each division, and conversion to stereo signal, if desired. Its top 3 manuals are in fact gradually inclined, thus mildly ergonomic. This instrument demands some external amplification to do it justice and its real market value cannot be perceived without it. Presuming the console cabinet is in good condition, the overall size and effect of its sound, and hence, its perceived value to a potential buyer, would depend upon the size and configuration of the external amplification system, how the divisions are tuned against the Great, any retrofits, and, to a lesser extent, the voicing and registration combos used for demonstration purposes. When all these ducks are in a row the seller can rightfully ask a fair price substantially in excess of $10K.

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