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  • entry level organ?

    hello,

    I would like to buy an entry level organ, around 7000usd/4500gbp. As far as I know, the two possible choices are: Allan Chapel CF-2a ( 4500gbp?) and Viscount Vivace 30 Laminat (3500 gbp). Even the cheapest Hammond Organ Mini-B (18000usd) is too expensive for me. The music I want to play is J.S.Bach's organ music.

    what do you think?

    Thanks

    Alex

  • #2
    These aren't Home Organs, so I've moved them to the section where they'll get the appropriate replies.

    You don't really want a Hammond for this type of music. Good news is that there are hundreds of used organs out there, often available for very little, to get you going. I'll let our classical experts guide you through the minefield! :)
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

    Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha Genos, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
    Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
    Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

    Comment


    • #3
      I see the Allen/Rogers/Johanssen AGO pedal crowd has been very helpful, as usual, except after I step in after a day or two. See this thread:http://www.organforum.com/forums/sho...for-gifted-son
      There are those on this topic that think it is sacrireligious to play JS Bach on anything but a pipe organ, one of those brands, or any organ lacking 32 pedals. These organs with AGO pedals cost about $3000-$25000 used, mostly are too big to get upstairs or through a single door, and require professional maintenance for units built after about 1978. This maintenance can cost from $150 to infinity, as the existence of several not yet repaired organs of those brands on this topic, supports.
      By contrast, I am practicing JS Bach Passacaglia & Fugue in Cmin on a non-professional 25 pedal Hammond H100 tonewheel organ, that has decreased in value to junk status, and can be restored and repaired by semi-knowledgeable amateurs probably anytime in the next 100 years. I spent $200 in parts on it, and a winter of afternoons. It sounds great, but not exactly like a pipe organ. I admit, there are two JS Bach pieces I know of, that can't be played on the H100 or any 25 pedal organ. There is an apparently famous student piece that is always brought up as being unplayable on 25 pedals, which, however, doesn't exist on any of the 122 organ LP's or 6 organ CD's that I own. I think, therefore, we can do without it, unless one wishes to be a professional church organist. I don't, nobody at my church would speak to me for weeks if I tried to play any JS Bach in there. I view his work as a hobby, not a profession.
      I view the recent great scrap out of old electronic organs to be a great time to enter the hobby. I had been looking for a 25 pedal organ I could afford since I bought Peters JS Bach Ogelwerk Book 1 in 1982 . In the fall 2009 I found one, for $200, sort of working, feebly. However, any used organ is not a trouble free purchase, and one must be prepared to upgrade and repair on ones own, as 1. professional repairmen don't want to work on organs that are worth less after repossession (if you don't pay the bill) than the cost of one service call and 2. Your post indicates probably can't afford two or three weeks of a professionals dedicated time at $60-$100 per hour. If you could, you could buy a new organ and be done with it. I replaced 71 aged electrolytic capacitor and cleaned contacts, is all I did. The organ was playable again after every couple of days, so I was having fun as upgrades went on. Every couple of caps made it sound better. There would be further benefits if I cleaned some other things, and there might be one bad transistor or cap I haven't found yet that makes a faint whistle, but I'm happy with what I've got. I've practiced about 3 times as many hours as much as I spent repairing, and haven't had any sudden failures since the 2010 upgrade. I can't pay $40 an hour and go take lessons on a pipe organ, the AGO pedals are too weird, but I really don't care. The good Doctor will come to my house for $50 an hour if I am in need of more help learning to play.
      So look around on the electronic media, the bulletin boards, and church professional publications, and see what you can find. If you buy a Hammond H100/200/300 I can help talk you through the upgrade. Other brands have declining levels of amateur support, as you get away from the cut from iron tonewheels, but some are actually repairable by amateurs. Look up something, and search the organforum with google, to see what we think of that model. Some models are repairable, some have limited life repair parts you can't buy, some are continual maintenance problems. Not all Hammonds have tonewheels and electric motors, also.
      Your mention of a Viscount and Hammond miniB indicates perhaps you live in Europe, but if not, where you do live matters a lot on the state of the market for new and used organs. It tells me something, i would have to travel 250 miles to see any new organ but a Lowrey or a Johanssen. Please update your profile, the "about me" tab, to show your continent and perhaps country location, to receive more specific advice as to models and the costs in your area.
      By all means, have fun.
      Last edited by indianajo; 02-09-2013, 06:08 PM.
      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

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by indianajo View Post
        I replaced 71 aged electrolytic capacitor and cleaned contacts, is all I did. The organ was playable again after every couple of days, so I was having fun as upgrades went on. Every couple of caps made it sound better.
        Indianajo,

        Forgive me, but I wonder if you've ever made a post about anything BUT electrolytic caps? It must be your religion.;-)

        wyzwinszh,

        You will be able to find an appropriate instrument given patience and time. Of the 3 instruments I've obtained, I've never paid over $2,000 for the purchase (plus some transportation). I've driven all over the Eastern US to pick up the instruments too--worth it for me. Surely, you can find an appropriate instrument somewhere in the UK.

        Truly classical music will at times require at least 30 or 32 pedals. 61-note manual ranges are best, but as you may already know, many historic instruments have manual compasses of only 56 notes. Sure, you can do with less pedals or keys on the keyboard--for a time, but eventually you will regret it. It's better to make a well-thought-out purchase the first time. To avert the obvious questions, I have obtained 3 organs for 3 distinct purposes and they are all being used for the purpose, for which they were intended.

        Try the following websites:

        I hope this helps in some way. They appear within your stated price-range.

        Michael

        P.S. I forgot to tell you that you should stay away from Allen MDC instruments. Their polyphony and technology is not enough to handle classical music. They were low-end Allens for the home market.
        P.P.S. I also forgot. Have you tried www.ebay.co.uk? Also, do you have an U.K. equivalent of CraigsList?
        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


        • #5
          Time to put in my two cents worth. If I am not mistaken, the Allen CF-2a has the Princess Pedalboard, rather than a standard AGO pedalboard. I am currently playing on an analog Allen with this feature, and it is not as easy as one thinks. Although there are 32 notes present, they are crammed into a space 48 inches wide. A standard AGO pedalboard should measure about 52" or thereabouts. It's like typing on a computer where the keys are scrunched together. Other than that, it may be a decent entry-level instrument.

          PianOrgan
          PianOrgan


          So Many Pipes, So Little Room!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by myorgan View Post
            Indianajo,
            Forgive me, but I wonder if you've ever made a post about anything BUT electrolytic caps? It must be your religion.;-)
            My current project, a Public Address Amplifier discussed here http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pa-sy...pv-2000-a.html has consumed 6 electrolytic capacitors, 3 ceramic capacitors, 12 resistors, 3 thyristors, 14 diodes, 5 IC',s and 35 transistors. Four PWB traces were burned quite away. It is not the sort of project I would recommend to a person new to electronics maintenance.
            By contrast, Hammond H100's were built much more sensibly and degrade in old age into feebleness instead of burning themselves to cinders like this PA amp. The motor electrolytic capacitor the exception. I might point out, 25 pedal Hammond organs have the same spacing as AGO 32 pedal sets, and shifting the center position of the parts you've learned on 25 pedals has been reported by some here to be a 2 or 3 week project, not a major one like changing from Princess pedals to standard width ones. Allen Rhapsody and T12 organs appear to be exceedingly durable, available and cheap; the lack of resale value having to do with the curse of the princess pedals and the fact that the vibrato is motor driven in a separate enormous speaker cabinet which is usually sold separately without the organ. Allens after and including the MOS series have diagrams that are not publicly available, and the ones that were shown on organforum before they were deleted, didn't contain industry IC part numbers and pin numbers. This is bad for amateur maintenance. Hammond schematics before the model R100, are freely available online and are not copyrighted.
            My religion involves a man who was messily and publicly executed and witnesses report came back to life. He invited us to follow his teachings.
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              hello everyone, thanks for your reply. I got another four questions, my choice might be:

              Viscount Cadet Compact 31
              http://www.viscountorgans.net/produc...-31/index.html

              Viscount Cadet 31S(30)
              http://www.viscountorgans.net/produc...30-/index.html

              Viscount Vivace 40 Laminat
              http://www.thomann.de/gb/viscount_vivace_40_laminat.htm

              the price of them is similar, and I can't afford higher price. I live in Shanghai, a city without any electric organ dealer and service center. so I decide to buy a new one with warranty (the shipment rates are no difference between a new organ and second hand organ).

              1)Do you think if it is good idea to buy a new electric organ with warranty rather than buying a second hand one?

              2)which one above would be better choice? (the music I play are mainly German composer)

              3) Cadet range have "fan-shape" pedal-board while Vivace range have straight pedal-board, does this make any deference? which shape is better? what's the shape of most real church organ? (All of those 3 organ have 30 notes pedal-board, which I think it is enough number to play Bach's organ music).

              4) some one told me that "Cadet are very similar to the Vivace range except the are English voiced ( as well as Baroque and Romantic) and all have divisional pistons which the Vivace instruments do not have"----what does English voiced mean, does "divisional pistons" important to me?

              Thank you all again!!!;-)

              Comment


              • #8
                I have an Allen Chapel CF2a and I am very pleased with it. I had an alternative specification (Krumhorn rather than chimes on the Great). See here; http://www.allenorgans.co.uk/uploads/CF-2a%202011.pdf

                I got them to make the Great and Pedal unenclosed, and the Tremulant only on the swell. It's a very good sound (especially with good headphones). I also had manual pistons ( 5 on each manual).

                Drwabacks: it is indeed a "Princess" pedalboard. I hadn't realised this, but it's okay. Fine for Bach, except big pedal solos, e.g. Toccata in F. I would have bought the next model up with AGO board had I realised.

                The volume is not easily adjustable (can be done with a laptop and Allen software). Though you can get a reverb unit with it with a volume control knob. Or, as I did it, by using external speakers through the headphone socket with a volume control.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wyzwinszh, in Shanghai you are unlikely to find used electronic organs that can be restored. 30 pedals is adequate for most pieces. Flat 30 pedal boards are not standard here in the USA, and in fact my legs are too short to reach the end pedals on a flat 30 pedal board. Flat would hurt resale to a short woman, perhaps. There should be a curve up at the ends, to approximate the AGO standard. The spacing between light pedal notes is about 62 mm at the organ body.
                  English stop names may sell well in countries formerly in the British Empire (like Hong Kong & Singapore) but most of the music I hear on the radio here is on organs with German or French stop names. You can listen to "Pipe Dreams" the weekly organ music program, on the internet, I believe. You can use this to educate your ears. WFMT and WUOL are two stations that broadcast their programming on the internet. It runs on WUOL.org on Sunday mornings at 7 AM EST (12 PM GMT?) . I believe I heard a program played on English organs a couple of months ago.
                  Viscount doesn't sell well in the USA, so I don't have an opinion on the longevity of the brand.
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by indianajo View Post
                    By contrast, I am practicing JS Bach Passacaglia & Fugue in Cmin on a non-professional 25 pedal Hammond H100 tonewheel organ, that has decreased in value to junk status, and can be restored and repaired by semi-knowledgeable amateurs probably anytime in the next 100 years. I spent $200 in parts on it, and a winter of afternoons. It sounds great, but not exactly like a pipe organ. I admit, there are two JS Bach pieces I know of, that can't be played on the H100 or any 25 pedal organ. There is an apparently famous student piece that is always brought up as being unplayable on 25 pedals, which, however, doesn't exist on any of the 122 organ LP's or 6 organ CD's that I own. I think, therefore, we can do without it, unless one wishes to be a professional church organist. I don't, nobody at my church would speak to me for weeks if I tried to play any JS Bach in there. I view his work as a hobby, not a profession.
                    I view the recent great scrap out of old electronic organs to be a great time to enter the hobby. I had been looking for a 25 pedal organ I could afford since I bought Peters JS Bach Ogelwerk Book 1 in 1982 .
                    So look around on the electronic media, the bulletin boards, and church professional publications, and see what you can find. If you buy a Hammond H100/200/300 I can help talk you through the upgrade. Other brands have declining levels of amateur support, as you get away from the cut from iron tonewheels, but some are actually repairable by amateurs. Look up something, and search the organforum with google, to see what we think of that model. Some models are repairable, some have limited life repair parts you can't buy, some are continual maintenance problems. Not all Hammonds have tonewheels and electric motors, also.
                    Sorry to go off on a tangent, but the Hammond H series was my favorite Hammond organ. Before I had experience with real pipe organs or even electronic classical organs, the H had the closest sound to pipe that I could find, with its extra drawbars and slow-scan celeste effect. The celeste chorusing sound also made the chimes sound more authentic to my ears. Do you use the celeste effect when practicing Bach?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, every time I practice JS Bach. Celeste vibrato is really quite nice, considering the price I paid ($200 purchase+$150 to move the H100 and $200 in parts). I use faster vibratos for pop songs, or none at all. I haven't really appreciated the chimes yet, but am very fond of the glock percussion on a "hole in the middle" drawbar setting for a sort of imitation Rhodes piano. Thanks for contributing.
                      Mr. wyzwinszh has recently disclosed he lives in Shanghai and will have to buy a new organ due to the newness of the hobby there. He is looking at several kinds of Viscount, but can't hear a floor model, apparently. He has started other threads on Home organs but is lacking in responders that have actually heard the organs he is comparing.
                      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

                      Comment

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