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  • Just Obtained Allen ADC 520

    We just obtained (for free) an Allen ADC 520 from a church that was able to get a pipe organ.
    I did not get the speakers with the organ. I need to know specs on speakers that I should be looking for.
    This is for home use (practice) in a small room.
    Also, is there somewhere I can find a diagram or instructions on the proper way to wire the speakers?
    Finally, I have seen info regarding converting this organ to MIDI as well as adding a headphone jack. What is the benefit of converting to MIDI? How hard is adding a headphone jack?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    The ADC-520 (actually MADC-1 series) Has two S-100 amplifiers. They require a 4 ohm load for 100 watts RMS.
    The speakers were Allen HC-12 which are rated at 7 ohms. I have a wiring diagram but it's pdf so I would have to email it if you PM me with your email address.

    td
    Servicing electronic organs since 1969.

    Comment


    • #3
      Dave,

      If he were to find HC-14 or HC-15 speakers, would they work for him as well? There are no 32' stops on that organ.

      Michael

      P.S. I have the wiring diagram in photo form I could attach, but my iPad isn't cooperating tonight. I'll try tomorrow.
      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


      • #4
        Since it's for practice in a small room I would think either would work. May have to turn down the treble since the 12's favor bass and the 14's are flat. Any sound is better than no sound.

        td
        Servicing electronic organs since 1969.

        Comment


        • #5
          Here's my current theory about (Allen or Rodgers or other major manufacturer) organ speaker recommendations. For a home application, the thought that you must have or would even find the Allen speakers desirable, is simply hogwash. Here's why: the whole way the audio system was planned, starting with the way the samples were prepared, is for large acoustic spaces. Even for a smaller organ like an ADC-520, at least the plurality of them were going into small churches or funeral home spaces, not homes. For larger models, the vast majority were going into big spaces. Not many people have living rooms that are even 30'X50'...which would be a miniscule worship or assembly space. Thus, you're already going to be constrained or limited by the fact that the speaker will be much closer to your ear than intended. I have no doubt the Allen speakers will sound better to some people; conversely some people might find a pair of Polk Audio speakers sound better. Or B&W. Or Tannoy. Or even Bose!
          This might start to be a little different if you're talking about Ren/Quantum organs, but not nearly as many people are buying those for home use yet. In that case because you can swap the samples if the level of articulation or high-frequency presence is bothersome.

          The irony here is, like my screeds about the price of used digital organs...and how the price of used pipe organs would be a let down to their purchasers, as well, if they were ever forced to sell them...a similar congruency applies to these acoustic issues. In most homes, a pipe organ, even if you could somehow stuff it in there, would sound....odd. Uncharacteristic. I'm sure nycfarmboy's huge pipe organ in his midwestern home sound impressive, and nice or pleasing to the ears, but it just isn't going to sound the way most pipe organs sound. Because most of them are not in homes! (and he's better off than most people, because he has cathedral ceilings lined with wood) Now, if you have money to build something like this: http://theatreorgans.com/wurlitzer/history/ than you, too, can experience "proper acoustic enhancement" in the privacy of your own homestead or estate. Most of us cannot.
          So don't stress about getting just the right speakers. Just hook any reasonable quality speakers you have access to up to them, and adjust the voicing controls to your liking. As is the case with "any old music" played through speakers, smaller speakers like bookshelf models will have limitations, especially with lower frequencies, so try to avoid them. I'm not saying the organ can be expected to sound go through these. But I was quite happy w/the way my ADC organ sounded using non-Allen speakers...given the overall limitiation of ADC technology.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have several one-off hifi/stereo speakers from the 50's, 60's or 70's that I hung on to when I was putting together my Hauptwerk setup. I now use the Roland built-ins and have no real need for them. I would give them away locally or deliver them for the cost of fuel to a forum member. I was of the opinion that they would indeed work very well. Plan was to use one, no more than two, per channel of amplification and I had five channels going at one time with the Allen shown in the avatar. One speaker is a dual subwoofer (two speakers in one divided cabinet). Anyone taking this approach that could benefit from some of these cabinets?
            Roland Atelier AT-90s, AT-80s, AT-70, 30, and 15. Roland VR-760 combo
            Yamaha S-90, Kurzweil PC-3x, Casio Privia PX-330, Roland E-80, G-70, BK-5, Leslie 760, 820
            Moved on:
            Allen 3MT/Hauptwerk, Technics GA1, Yamaha HX1, AR80, numerous Hammonds, including 2 M's, an L, 2 A-100's, XP-2, XM-1/1c, & an XK-3. Roland Atelier AT-30, 60r, 80, & 20r(2 units), and a slew of Leslies (147, 142, 760, 900, 330).
            Korg Triton Le-61, Casio Privia PX-310 & 110, and Kurzweils: PC-2x, SP-88, Pro-III, K1000

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kurzweil View Post
              Plan was to use one, no more than two, per channel of amplification and I had five channels going at one time with the Allen shown in the avatar. One speaker is a dual subwoofer (two speakers in one divided cabinet). Anyone taking this approach that could benefit from some of these cabinets?
              Good point, Kurzweil. I had forgotten about being able to mix down to 2 channels or so.

              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


              • #8
                Hello all. I will be purchasing an Allen ADC 520 for practice at home as well. I'm a recent graduate in STL and and really excited about getting this instrument. Isn't coming with speakers though. Would someone be willing to send the wiring diagrams so I can prepare for set up? Is it easy enough to do on my own? Thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Welcome to the forum, Connor, and welcome to the world of Allen ownership! You will find many friends here.

                  Setting up a 520 is not complicated at all. As has been said on this thread already, it's a two-channel organ, so you need two decent speakers. Allen HC-12 cabinets were probably supplied with it originally, but HC-14 or HC-15 cabinets would work nicely. And, as another member noted, in a home setting genuine Allen speakers are not essential. If you want to experience thrilling organ sound, with plenty of body and bass, you do need good speakers. Since this model doesn't have 32' pedal stops, frequency response down below 20 Hz is of course not needed. I think nearly any decent speakers with 15" woofers and passable mid/tweeter drivers will work. I've known people to find usable speakers in a thrift shop for very little money. Or you can check ebay and get some Allen HC-15's for maybe $200 each, but then you may have to deal with repairing the mid-range speakers, another topic that has been discussed frequently here.

                  Radio Shack used to sell a bargain PA speaker with a 15" woofer and some horn-loaded tweeters for less than $100. I've used some of those in a pinch, though they are a bit more shrill than normal Allen speakers. But they were sturdy and ready-to-use and inexpensive. You might find similar bargain sound-system speakers in a music store or Guitar Center. Be sure to get ordinary passive speakers, NOT speakers with built-in amps.

                  As has also been noted, the 520, like most Allen organs, was built for use in a church or large venue, so your ears will be closer to the speakers than normal, and the sound will not have the space to "bloom" and roll around and bounce off numerous surfaces. But you can locate the speakers some distance from the console and perhaps direct the sound upward at the ceiling or have the sound bounce off a side wall before it gets back to you at the bench. You may need to turn down the overall volume by adjusting the two volume knobs on the amplifiers. Eventually, you may want to do the routine maintenance and voicing that has often been talked about on the forum, in regard to the Allen MADC organs. Not a complicated process at all, but by going through it you will make sure your organ is well balanced and that everything is working as it should.

                  To connect the speakers, take the back off the console. The 520 may be in the "T" console, in which case you lift the top lid, turn the two little handles that hold the back panel in place, and then remove it. Or you may have the "Contemporary" console, and in that case the back is secured by a pair of screws in the back panel itself which are removed from the rear, and the back panel tips out.

                  Once you are inside, you should find a terminal strip in the floor of the console with labels showing where to connect "main speaker 1" and "main speaker 2" or something like that. If your 520 happens to be one of the earliest ones built, it may have the old-style S-100 amps with screw terminals right on the amplifier chassis for the speaker wires. If in doubt, post some pics of the interior of the console showing the amplifiers and/or any screw terminals in the floor.

                  Much has been said on the forum about speaker phasing and such. None of that need worry you in this situation, as long as you are connecting two and only two speakers, one to each channel. This organ does not have "phase-locked" channels, so speaker phasing has no effect on the tone color, as it would on a MOS organ or in a large installation with more than one cabinet per channel.

                  I had an Allen 420 (same organ as yours, except with speakers in the console) for a long time, and thoroughly enjoyed it as a practice instrument. I hope this one will bring you much playing pleasure.
                  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


                  • #10
                    I know it has been a while. I still haven't set up my speakers as i couldn't find some. It is great to know that i can use standard PA speakers.
                    So, would 10" or 12" work, or do you suggest no less than the 15" speakers? The room I have the organ in its quite small.

                    Also, most PA speakers that I know about have the 1/4" plug connection. I am not well versed in electronics, so how do I connect the terminal block to a 1/4" plug?

                    Thanks so much.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Brianmott8 View Post
                      I know it has been a while. I still haven't set up my speakers as i couldn't find some. It is great to know that i can use standard PA speakers.
                      Brian,

                      If you provide your approximate location, we may be able to find some speakers near you on one of the online sites.

                      Personally, I stick with the Allen HC-12, HC-14, or HC-15 speakers that originally came with the instrument, but I know that isn't for everyone. If you get smaller speakers, just be careful not get speakers that can be overdriven easily. Others will need to advise on the exact ratings to look for.

                      I'll defer to John regarding the speaker connections with 1/4" plug connection, but in my case, I'd just unscrew the 1/4" connection, separate the 2 wires, add spade connectors on the end, and connect them to the terminal strip as John mentioned in his earlier post.

                      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


                      • #12
                        I have heard Allen organs playing through speaker systems with 12" woofers, and that can work, if the speakers are good quality and if the room is small. Allen even sells a full-range speaker with a 12" woofer, but generally doesn't recommend these as the only speaker on a channel. To get hefty bass, you will do better with 15" woofers.

                        To connect to a speaker with 1/4" input, use a speaker cable that has a 1/4" plug on one end and bare wires on the other end. Phasing is not critical, but just for the sake of consistency, if they are marked, connect the "tip" wire to the + terminal of the amp or strip inside the console, and connect the "ring" or "shaft" wire to the - or common terminal. If you don't have a pair of speaker wires with 1/4" plugs on one end only, buy a single speaker cable long enough to serve both speakers. Then cut it in half and strip the wires where you cut them.
                        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
                          Thanks for all the info and help. The speakers that were with the organ are still available, but are high up on the walls of the church (probably 35-30 feet or more) and would be problematic to get down safely.

                          I live about 2 hours east of Houston. I have been in contact with the Allen repair man in Houston, and he has a pair he can sell me, but he quit replying to me when I was trying to set up a time to get them.

                          The room this organ is in is about the size of a typical bedroom. So, not very big at all.

                          If I could find some of the original speakers at a decent price, I would be interested in them. But, in the meantime, I may need to get something else so my wife can actually play the organ. Our church organist is moving away and she hopes to be able to help out with playing during services.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Brianmott8 View Post
                            The room this organ is in is about the size of a typical bedroom. So, not very big at all.
                            Brian,

                            The speakers I referred to above all have the same dimensions: Approximately 33" high, by 18" wide, by 18" deep. When stacked on their sides, they can make a good bookshelf about waist-high. Several years ago, we had a member who posted how he had arranged his 6 (or more) speakers in a bookshelf.

                            If I find any speakers in my searches, I'll let you know.

                            Michael

                            P.S. Glad to have you back and active on the Forum again!
                            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


                            • #15
                              John, Thanks for all of your expertise. I'll refer back to this post when it comes time to hook them back up. I'm picking up the instrument on Saturday and I cannot wait. So if you would help answer some more questions that would be awesome.

                              The guy sent me these dimensions for the Allen ADC 520 T (got your note about the lid for the T model): 5' L x 4' H x 3' W. Because I'm traveling from STL to Evansville, Indiana round trip, I think the most economical option is renting one of those U-Haul covered trailers. The 5x8 covered trailer dimensions: (
                              8' x 4'8" x 5'4" (LxWxH). I do think it will fit, don't you?

                              What kind of tools should I be prepared to bring other than the obvious moving stuff? How do I detach the pedal board without causing harm? I'm hoping it's relatively simple to detach the old speakers from the console. Any pointers there?

                              Thanks for your help!
                              -Connor

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