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Can Anyone Identify This Alleged Baldwin Organ?

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  • Can Anyone Identify This Alleged Baldwin Organ?

    Hi, I've been looking online for anything that might tell me what model and/or age this organ is. The seller says its a Baldwin, but I only find one three manual Baldwin Drawknob on the Electronic Organ Reference List, the 601. However, this instrument looks more modern to my untrained eye than an organ that was built in 1967.

    Any ideas? Thanks!

    Click image for larger version

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    I'm so poor, my cats get free health care!

  • #2
    Yes indeed! That is a Baldwin of the "D-400" series built around 1990, and is a fine organ if you have the room for it. I used to own the two-manual version of it and it was the most spectacular organ I ever had in my house. Would have kept it forever had it not been for the size of the console and a cash offer from a local church at a time when I needed the money.

    These organs were the last to be actually built by the Baldwin Organ Company in the US before they went cheap and started importing some flimsy stuff from Italy and slapping their name tag on them. These D400 models were a real engineering triumph in the day when Allen's digital patents had just expired and many companies were rushing into the digital organ business, some with more success than others.

    The Baldwin engineers apparently had access to some very nice, very "American" organ samples which they used for all these stops. The system was completely unlike anything Allen had built and was nothing like what Rodgers came up with in their PDI offerings about the same time.

    The system consisted of several independent tone generator stacks within the console, each one having IIRC a 28-note polyphony. As notes were played, the system would utilitze the least busy processor at any given moment to synthesize the required tones, which were sent into an elaborate audio system that could have, as I recall, up to 16 channels with antiphonals. Not one, but three subwoofers were part of the basic setup, with one of them just for the 32' pedal stops.

    Proper setup is essential because each note of each stop can theoretically come out of more than one speaker as the system farms notes out to the available processors. There is a factory balancing process in the setup manual which one can follow and it will turn out perfectly. There are still several of these installed and in use around here and most of them sound spectacular -- the better ones in the better acoustic settings of course.

    Anyway, I think these models are great and if I had a big house and a huge room to dedicate to it I'd still like to own one. Even the unusual orchestral sound module that is built in has some awesome sounds comparable to what you get in the best modern digitals.

    The organ is huge and heavy and a full speaker complement will need a lot of space. I used an external mixer and mixed it down to two or three channels in my house, so it can be made a bit more compact.

    Good luck!
    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

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    • #3
      Wow, Jeepers John, I sure didn't expect so much information so quickly, thanks a million. And with your info, I was able to learn a little more. Only one question now, apparently the original EA5 amplifiers and speakers were left behind in the old church. Does this instrument have the appropriate level outputs/connectors to drive conventional consumer amplifiers, or would I have to cobble something together? Or, I could just start searching for the appropriate amps, I'm sure some will come along within my lifetime :-)
      I'm so poor, my cats get free health care!

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      • #4
        The outputs are standard line level. The output panel has terminal strips for the signals, not RCA jacks or other recognizable connectors. You'll need to attach a shielded audio cable to each of the outputs that you plan to use.

        When I had mine in the house, I had a small mixer to combine channels. There is an output panel on the organ with different options for using more or less speakers, one of the options being a six-channel setup, IIRC. I came out of that into my mixer and panned channels left and right to create a stereo signal that I fed to a two-channel amp and a couple of good speakers, possibly some Allen HC-type. It sounded fine that way, not as big and all over the place as it would with a bunch of speakers, but it was fine for the house.
        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


        • #5
          That organ model looks to be the Baldwin D431, which is installed at one of our neighboring parishes. I think the potential with this organ is quite good, but unfortunately, the one nearby was installed only on four channels, and the instrument has had power supply issues, and other difficulties that can be attributed to a poor initial installation (read: done on the cheap) and poor to minimal maintenance of the organ.

          I second what John says, about the console and APS instrument sounds. The former is built like a tank, and is quite a piece of woodwork, and the sounds are very realistic. The organ, I believe has MIDI out, in, and through, but I'm not sure if there was an upcharge, etc. to enable that to work. The lighted stoptabs for the organ do not engage, though the connectors for MIDI are there.

          Not to hijack this thread, but I wish JBird lived close by - so many instruments in this area that could be so much better with his meticulous installation, voicing, etc. Not a bad organ, all in all, especially if you can get the MIDI to work and add additional modules, etc.

          Comment


          • #6
            First let me thank John again for his excellent information in to both my original post and his other posts about his own Baldwin. I spent a couple of hours online, building on John's info, I now know enough to make an informed decision on this instrument.

            Only one final clarification. I've seen a couple of references to MIDI on this organ. Can anyone give me confirmation as to the MIDI implementation on this organ? Thanks!
            I'm so poor, my cats get free health care!

            Comment


            • #7
              No expert here, but...

              My spider senses say a personal inspection will be necessary.

              What it is supposed to have in it?

              vs

              What does it actually have in it?

              vs

              How much of that actually works?


              Are all likely to have different answers.
              'Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.' --N. Bonaparte

              My friends call me Steve, won't you be my friend?
              The cast, in order of appearance:
              Kawai K5, Yamaha PSR-85, Thomas Trianon A-6820, Gulbransen 621-K, Conn 580 T-2, GEM WK1 ST
              Hammond H-112, Ser. #16518, from 8/16/1971
              Oh, and let's don't forget the Jaymar!

              Comment


              • #8
                Best I can recall, a rather complete MIDI implementation was supposed to be standard on the organ. That is, note on and off info for all manuals and pedals, a program or patch number sent for each stop and other controls, expression data sent and received for each division, etc. In fact, the organ itself is basically a MIDI setup with the multiple generator stacks inside the console communicating among themselves via the same serial stream that is used for MIDI. I remember reading somewhere in the technical data that the outgoing MIDI stream differed from the internal communication loop only by the addition of some required "bit" that the internal loop did not use. So, it should work with almost any kind of MIDI device that can respond to the typical MIDI signals.

                That being said, I didn't ever use mine with an external MIDI module. The stock organ voices were fine for me, and the assortment of interesting orchestral and percussion sounds on the built-in module served my purposes. So I can't say for sure that it would have worked with an external module.

                Speaking of the organ stops, I remember that mine had the most sublime Gemshorn that I have ever heard on a digital organ. On so many electronics a Gemshorn stop will be just a softened diapason or a non-descript flutey stop, but that Baldwin's Gemshorn was a lovely distinctive sound that I played all the time.
                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


                • #9
                  Well, I was out of bed at 4 this morning, but didn't get on the road till 10am. I arrived at the sellers location at 3. OMG this organ is HUGE! And here is where I admit that I've never even been in the presence of a three manual drawknob organ, let alone sat down and played one. After a cursory examination, done while maintaining my poker face, I bought it. No amps or speakers, tho one amp and some crappy speakers were on hand for testing, so I could see [hear] that all three manuals and the pedals played.

                  Got home at 10pm, leaving it in the trailer - the only place I have that it'll fit into is a small, nicely reverberant warehouse attached to my office, so there it'll reside untill my little house is finished. With two sets of French doors, by the way.

                  Oh, and it is a D431. I'll post more after setting up. Thanks again to all :-)
                  I'm so poor, my cats get free health care!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jimsmith77006 View Post
                    Well, I was out of bed at 4 this morning, but didn't get on the road till 10am. I arrived at the sellers location at 3. OMG this organ is HUGE! And here is where I admit that I've never even been in the presence of a three manual drawknob organ, let alone sat down and played one. After a cursory examination, done while maintaining my poker face, I bought it. No amps or speakers, tho one amp and some crappy speakers were on hand for testing, so I could see [hear] that all three manuals and the pedals played.

                    Got home at 10pm, leaving it in the trailer - the only place I have that it'll fit into is a small, nicely reverberant warehouse attached to my office, so there it'll reside untill my little house is finished. With two sets of French doors, by the way.

                    Oh, and it is a D431. I'll post more after setting up. Thanks again to all :-)
                    Did you find the MIDI connection, or did you not care at this point? B-)
                    'Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.' --N. Bonaparte

                    My friends call me Steve, won't you be my friend?
                    The cast, in order of appearance:
                    Kawai K5, Yamaha PSR-85, Thomas Trianon A-6820, Gulbransen 621-K, Conn 580 T-2, GEM WK1 ST
                    Hammond H-112, Ser. #16518, from 8/16/1971
                    Oh, and let's don't forget the Jaymar!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, under the right side of the manuals is a headphone jack, with volume, a brightness control for the lights, and both MIDI OUT and MIDI IN. I didn't see those when I bought the organ, but found them once I got it home and looked it over closely.

                      All in all I'm very happy with the Baldwin. For two years I've searched only for Rodgers and Allen, and only gave this organ a passing glance until I learned more from John. I was shopping for a console with Hauptwerk in mind, and its still a possibility for later, but for now the Baldwin is staying just as it is. And the APS sounds are a really nice addition.

                      As for the audio channels, there are six terminal strips, each having line level outputs for 4 channels, labelled Main, Main 1, Main 2, Main 3, Antiphonal, and Extended Bass. This seems to give a total of 24 audio channels unless I'm [as frequently happens] confused about it.

                      The only issue that I have found yet is the lights in the drawknobs, couplers and transposer. They worked when I looked at the organ, but upon arriving home, they aren't working. Perhaps a fuse that I haven't yet found, or something got jostled loose in transit. Today I'll be contacting MusicElectronics to see if they can sell me users and service manuals.
                      I'm so poor, my cats get free health care!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Congratulations! That is even more awesome than the 2-manual I had.

                        The service literature will clarify the channel options. I believe the output strip labeled simply "Main" is a five-channel mixdown of the whole organ. You should have on that Main strip four "manual" outputs (M1 through M4) and one "LP" output which is the "low-pass" signal intended for a subwoofer. The "extended bass" output contains only the 32' stop, IIRC, and requires a separate amp and speaker if you want to hear that stop. So you can get by nicely with a six-channel setup, though, as I mentioned earlier, I used an external mixer and blended the whole thing down to two channels for home use.

                        The 32' stop is very interesting. If you draw it along with the quiet 16' stop, it is a soft 32. If you then draw the louder 16' stop, the 32' changes into a bigger stop. So you can use it for either a subtle undergirding to your soft registrations or for a huge and powerful room-shaker with your full registrations.

                        Likewise, there is a big trumpet on one of the manuals that is a big bold Festival Trumpet when drawn alone, but recedes into a nice chorus trumpet when other stops are drawn along with it. A very useful and ingenious feature.

                        Hope to love this organ as much as I loved mine!
                        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


                        • #13
                          I noticed the 32 foot stop becoming softer when others were drawn, and the festival trumpet change too. Obviously there are a great number of interesting features on this instrument. And yes about the six channel mixdown, its set like that right now. So I think that takes us back to 20 [?] Audio channels. Im looking forward to getting the user manual for it because theres so little info online other than you guys.
                          I'm so poor, my cats get free health care!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just a thought: the bulbs for the drawknobs are probably plug-in, and may have become unseated during the move.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As I recall, there are a whole bunch of fuses under a metal cover just above the expression pedals. There is probably a power supply leg dedicated to the drawknob lamps and that fuse may be blown.

                              At any rate, when you get the service manual you'll want to start your troubleshooting with the power supplies.
                              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

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