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Budgeting for MDS

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  • Budgeting for MDS

    OK, so to cut to the quick. Assuming that one is going out on the open market for a used 2 manual MDS what kind of budget should you be looking at. My assumptions are...

    1. You are going to do the installation yourself (I know lots of pitfalls).
    2. Price is for good console ready to drive but not necassarily including more than two channels of amplification and speakers.
    3. Pickup or delivery not included in these numbers (will calculate separately).

    Would also be interested in what costs for one fully gone through installed and voiced would be in comparison.

    I haven't been able to tell much from scanning CL and eBay as these don't seem to show up very often.

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

  • #2
    my guess is anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 dollars.

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    • #3
      2-manual MDS organs cover the gamut from MDS-1 through the MDS-55 which covers a huge range of values; the MDS-15 and MDS-25 are 2 manual, with alterable voices, 2-channel ( I think), with about 32 stops. There's an MDS-25 on Kansas City CL for $5500. This seems high to me, but MDS organs can be just a little over 15 years old through about 20 years--pretty new for Allen organs, and one of the more desirable lines, as they are the first to have a really good complete MIDI implementation.

      How big of an organ are you thinking of?

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      • #4
        In terms of prices on ebay, the _most_ an MDS ever sold for was 12K. For a large 3 manual in an urban market with a full complement of many speakers including a sub. (OTOH there was a 3 manual stopkey model that was listed on craigslist for only 6000. CL prices have more a range, generally.) The least ever? Well, quite a few around 3000, in fact I narrowly missed an MDS-10 and an MDS-15 on auctions that both went in the low 3000s. (and the bonehead who bought the MDS-15 spent over 2 years trying to flip it at 10K) There was an MDS-25 with 4 cherry finished custom speaker cabs in perfect condition that hit 7000, even though people probably shouldn't have valued the speakers that highly they did. I'm pretty sure something like an MDS-5 or -8 once sold for about 2500. Almost all of that was pre-recession btw. The recession seemed to have a curious property of _reducing_ the number of motivated seller, especially of more recent models like MDS. "We can get more for it later". Haha, as if.
        Congratulations on joining an very exclusive, tiny club. People actually looking for a used organ. Rule number 1 of used organ club? Be patient.

        I certainly wouldn't limit myself to MDS btw. Apparently you want full MIDI? Fine...that's a good choice. But having followed availability since the early 2000s, I can say: first there was the wave of ADC & MOS organs...then a wave of MDS in the mid to late 2000s, although like I said, that partly died out with the recession. We are due for a wave of early Renaissance organs, and I think indeed we are seeing that. I can't remember what a poster here bought & sold his Renaissance organ for about a year or so ago, but it was for less than 10K for a nice 2 manual, moving stop model with ext. speaker cabs and it was a fraction of what the new price would have been about 12-13 years ago.

        "You are going to do the installation yourself (I know lots of pitfalls)."
        Like so many things in life, there really aren't pitfalls if your prepare correctly. It isn't rocket science.

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        • #5
          There is a 3 manual drawknob MDS-75 that has been on Ebay for a while. The price has been steadily dropping. I think it's under $18,000 now.

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          • #6
            I appreciate the information. I am looking at options for the future. Probably nothing would be done this year but one never knows.

            Toodles asks...
            How big of an organ are you thinking of?
            I am thinking two manual. Split expression would be nice. There is some flexibility on number of stops as VPO will most likely be used with it also. Having a voicing tending toward American Classic Or English Cathedral would be best. Of course AGO spec is manditory. A quick look at the owners manuals and a few pics online the -15 and -25 seem about right.

            mike

            P.S. even a -8 would probably work as I have never really found a crescendo pedal to be all that useful.
            Last edited by mashaffer; 05-04-2014, 02:52 PM. Reason: P.S.
            If it is Caesar that you worship, then Caesar you shall serve.

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            • #7
              Allen pretty much tried to simulate American Classic a la Aeolian Skinner--how closely they achieved this probably depends most upon your ears.

              An MDS 25 would be a nice organ, especially later ones that included the console controller. This makes setting up MIDI quite easy.

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              • #8
                Mashaffer....you and I are in the the same boat! Probably many others as well....lol. Anyway, The worthwhile MDS's for me always seem to be a hands reach from a arms length! Why MDS...why for the midi to run a VPO in case things go fatally awry with the internal electronics.....or not. I have since thought about setting my sights down some..... on a ADC model .....4000 to be exact. Fantastic condition...with speakers and possible midi upgrade for the antiphinol relay trade in....or out. This ought to be a great big step up from my old Conn 716...though I'm still impressed with its sound....dating back to mid seventies. Good luck and keep us posted!

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                • #9
                  The VPO approach allows me to have identical instruments at home and at church and also allows for special instruments for special occasions such as a harpsichord or a hard core Baroque organ or the like. Granted a very capable non-midi Allen handles a lot of territory.

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

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