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Advice needed on two-manual organ for hymns and baroque musique

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  • Advice needed on two-manual organ for hymns and baroque musique

    I am looking for a small digital organ suitable for the broad repertoire of hymn tunes, basic liturgical music and simple baroque music (e.g., Anna Magdalena Notebook of 1725). Sadly, what I have now is a 1970s Lowrey home organ. I suppose it’s better than nothing, but not by much!

    A two-manual spinet instrument would probably be ideal, taking into account my budget and very limited space. With a maximum budget of up to $7,000, a used instrument would no doubt broaden my choices.

    There is the Viscount Vivace 20 (a two-manual spinet). It seems to be the sort of instrument I’m looking for, in terms of size, sonority and variety of stops. Apparently it has been supplanted by the Viscount Cadet 31S-13, although I only find mention of the latter on UK Websites.

    I am in Canada, near Montreal. A used instrument would be ideal, but in this category, there just don’t seem to be any. I am having trouble finding any sellers or dealers in my area (or not too far away, who could ship an organ to me for a reasonable shipping charge). Except for a few European sites, most Websites seem to be very shy about listing their prices and almost no one seems to list upgrade options.

    I am open suggestions about any organ that meets my needs. Can anyone suggest what I should be looking for (make, model, age) and where I should be looking?
    Johannus Opus 1100 (ca. 1990)

  • #2
    Certainly should be able to find something on kijiji...

    If it is Caesar that you worship, then Caesar you shall serve.


    • #3
      A lot of the organs on that site have staggered short manuals and one octave of stub pedals. However, there are a few links for better ones.



      • #4
        One of our Canadian forum members has this two-manual small Allen for sale at a very low price, well under your budgeted amount. The keyboards are full-size 61-key range and the pedalboard has the standard 32 keys, though in a compact form factor. I'd think this organ would be far better for your purposes than any spinet model new or used. Real classical organ stops too, and Allen organs are premium quality. I'm not sure about the location, but he might be within a reasonable driving distance from you. Here's the link:
        *** 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!


        • #5
          I'm not sure I want an organ (like the Allen ADC-220) that is already 25 years old--but maybe I'm being overly cautious.

          I found a listing for something "mysterious" on another site. The seller included a some pictures, including one of the nameplate on the back.

          According to the name plate it is a Johannus Orgelbuow (Electronium b.v.) Opus 15 (SN 15-26-05). However the picture is NOT like the organs currently listed on lots of European dealers' sites as a Johannus Opus 15. The most obvious difference is the number of preset buttons. There are only 8 on the listed organ and the current Opus 15 has about 3 times as many.

          Has Johannus re-used the designation Opus 15? Is this a different company or a forerunner company?

          The asking price is interesting ($2,000) and the organ looks to be in excellent (cosmetic) condition, but I don't know how old it is.
          Johannus Opus 1100 (ca. 1990)


          • #6
            Mystery solved! Apparently, it is an Opus 15N, an analogue instrument produced around 1981.
            Johannus Opus 1100 (ca. 1990)


            • #7

              Seriously, an Allen organ, even 35 or 40 years old, is not an "old" organ. I'm a little biased since I used to be an Allen salesman and I still love the product, but an Allen organ is built to last a lifetime, and all Allens from the ADC era onward have been particularly well-equipped. Do a little browsing on this forum and see how many forum members are proud owners or players of Allen organs going back to the 1980's, even back to the 70's and earlier in some cases. I'm quite certain than a brand new organ from a bargain-brand import will be dead and rusting in the landfill before the shine wears off, but Allen organs need never be discarded. Parts will always be available, consoles are sturdy and almost indestructible, and the instruments are genuine classics.

              Enough harping on my preferred organ. But I'd sure take a used Allen over any low-end offering from overseas. Wouldn't you rather own a used Mercedes than a brand new Yugo?
              *** 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!



              • #8

                I've resisted replying until now. I've played Allen & Rodgers (prefer Rodgers analog), both with good results. As you can tell by my signature, though, I do prefer Allens. And yes, they are 30 or more years old. There's the occasional repair, but parts are readily available.

                I hope you find a good instrument to use. Montréal isn't too far from Toronto. Of course, I'm picking up another piano in a month from Indiana (1,400 miles away), so I guess I'm just a bit crazy!

                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


                • #9
                  Another possibility .....


                  • #10
                    I DEFINITELY would not shy away from an older Allen. I have one at home for practice that was made in 1968 and I love it. I got mine free for hauling it out of a Church. I did make a donation to the church though. It has princess pedals which some do not care for but I have no problem switching back & forth between them and AGO on the pipe organ I play on Sunday Mornings.
                    At home: Allen T12 B, At church: Patrick Murphy Pipe organ. The console is a rebuilt Moller.


                    • #11
                      I've owned 4 Allens and enjoyed them all. Two have been the german voiced contemporary cabinet self contained models and I've found them perfect for home practice. Only reason I don't have them any longer is that I'm not classically trained and have taken a bent toward theater horseshoe organs instead. My remaining Allen is a custom carousel with princess pedal board which was made about 1968 and still is holding up fine. You can have a lot of confidence in a used Allen.


                      • #12
                        My Allen ADC-4000 was is around vintage 1983. It was given to me by a church that went "mega." I've had a couple of small issues but the Allen folks have been very helpful and efficient in not only repairing but helping me do minor maintenance. As I understand it, parts are available for all Allen organ. They may not be cheap, but they are available. I think you would be very happy with it.


                        • #13
                          I have a Galanti Praeludium ii with bench and full pedalboard for sale. It was originally purchased in 1989 for $29,000 and has been regularly maintained by the company it was purchased from. This one is in 100% working order, and one just like it sold recently on eBay for $10,000. I am a lifelong musician,and selling this organ so I can upgrade my home recording studio.
                          31 Speaking Stops
                          Two 61-note manuals (C-C) with dynamic control; simulated Tracker Touch
                          Standard format Pedalboard concave-radiating (AGO)
                          5 general combination pistons duplicated by toe studs
                          Set and General Cancel Pistons. Automatic return to hand-set registration
                          Balanced Crescendo Pedal
                          Swell Expression Pedal
                          Slider controls for Great and Pedal volume
                          Manual Inversion
                          Automatic Pedal
                          Transposer (-4 / +2 semitones)
                          Master Volume
                          Stereo Headphone Output
                          Double independent MIDI connection (In-Out)
                          Internal amplification: 2 channel amplification system, 2 x 70W Speakers: 2 (NEW) 10" woofer (bass reflex) 2 middle range
                          Auxiliary Stereo Input
                          Built-In Lights for Pedalboard
                          Elegant wooden console: dark oak
                          Rocker Tabs console
                          Dimensions (W x H x D): 147 x 115 x 70 / 120* cm 58" x 45" x 27.5" / 47" (with Pedalboard)
                          Weight: 171 kg / 376 lbs (complete)
                          Bourdon 16
                          Bourdon 8
                          Principal 16
                          Principal 8
                          Gambe 8
                          Sub Bass 16
                          Rohrflöte 8
                          Voix Céleste II 8
                          Octave 8
                          Octave 4
                          Prestant 4
                          Gedackt 8
                          Flute 4
                          Flute 4
                          Choral Bass 8
                          Fifteenth 2
                          Nasard 2 2/3
                          Flute 2
                          Nineteenth 1 1/3
                          Octave 2
                          Mixture IV
                          Mixture III
                          Flautino 2
                          Fagot 16
                          Tumpet 8
                          Tierce 1 3/5
                          Trumpet 8
                          Scharf III
                          Schalmei 4
                          Swell to Great
                          Oboe 8
                          Great to Pedal
                          Swell to Peda
                          lClick image for larger version

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                          $5,000 firm and pickup only if interested.