Forum Top Banner Ad

Collapse

Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Allen "Princess" Pedalboard

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Allen "Princess" Pedalboard

    One organ that is looking a possibility is a compact Allen console, except it has the compact "Princess" pedalboard.

    There's two possibilities of where I could place the organ. A compact console would nicely fit in our hallway, which is very warm and right next to a radiator! The other possibility is what is currently "used" (occasionally...) as a gym. Really it's used more as a larder, as it's so cold that it's impossible to use as habitable space and there's no heating. I could fit a full-sized AGO console in there after selling off some gym equipment, but it'd still be extremely cold. Basically, I'd rather have a console in the hall!

    I never knew Allen made such a compact 32-note pedalboard until recently. This solves the location and playability issue, but then it of course creates the new issue of yet another non-standard pedalboard.

    The short sharps/flats is the only thing that really gets me. Looking at a YouTube video, the space between the naturals actually seems very similar and is definitely easy enough to adjust to, by the looks of it. Unfortunately I can't really try one of these pedalboards out before I buy. Really I want to be able to practise scales at home, but I get access to AGO pipe organs at least twice a week, so I'm not entirely going without. What are people's experiences with these, are they simple to adjust to and sufficient for scale practise?

    I play the Hammond 25 flat radiating, Yamaha spinet 20 stick notes, RCO 30 notes, AGO 32 notes and Victorian 20 notes flat parallel all on a regular basis. In fact, I don't play two organs with the same pedalboard! So adjusting doesn't appear to be an issue to me, that's what playing the organ is all about IMO. But, they all have decent sized sharps/flats - these tiny ones on the Princess board are the only ones that bother me.

    The organ, out of interest for those who are wondering, is an MDC-20. Very basic sounds, I know. However, the price is right and it's all I can afford so far. If I get an electronic instrument, really I'd much prefer it to be an Allen, as I know with parts availability it'd never be money wasted. That does largely bother me with other organs. Sounds don't hugely bother me anyway, as for classical music I'm extremely happy with the Hammond sound (maybe my ears are just weird?!) and in some ways don't want a fancy organ, so I'll still return to the Hammond! Basic foundation flutes and a couple of reeds is all I want really, Celeste and Chorus aren't really things I've ever cared for in classical music! It seems the MDC-20 would serve me well, as I don't want or expect much. I just want a simple, workhorse practise instrument that will switch on every time and do it's job for me for another 20-30 years ideally!

    Thanks for reading, I look forward to your responses.

  • #2
    Hi,

    Not many on this list even care much for single board MOS-1 organs anymore, so MDC-20 barely shows up on their radar.
    MDC stands for Modified Digital Computer organ. Yes, it came with the compact pedals. If you have large, wide feet/shoes these pedals can be a significant problem. Depending too on what you play, as it requires different dexterity, may make a difference. In other words, if you play rather slow hymn tunes or whether you play Bach, can make the difference to whether you want one or not. If you are willing to adapt, it maybe for you. In any case, you should try one out before making this a long term purchase. In North America, these organs typically have little to no value.

    As to the sound of the organ, it is considered one of Allen's poorest excuses in organbuilding. But if you need a "note learner" it may suffice.

    As for the location of the organ, it should if possible not be right beside a heat radiator. Hard on the furniture.

    AV

    Comment


    • #3
      I've seen a lot of people say many bad words about these organs. From what I've heard on YouTube, I actually like the sound of it!

      The only other organ that has appeared so far is a Viscount VK800 - my budget really is quite limited. Let me tell you, that organ sounds absolutely horrendous! It makes the MDC-20 sound incredible! That one is OUT!

      I made the decision I want an Allen if at all possible, so long as it's digital. This organ does fit my brief, and I'm used to using my imagination when playing the Hammond. :->

      My feet are a wide size 6, but still narrower than a normal size 7. I've read others say that as long as you have small feet, it'll be fine. Does this appear to be general consensus?

      It'll just mean I'll have to do what my organ teacher wants and play up the front of the pedalboard!

      I think I've decided I want this, seeing as it fits in where I'd prefer and it sounds so much better than the rubbish analogues I'm otherwise looking at. It's the only digital I can afford.

      So looks like for better or worse, I'll stick with my gut feeling on this one and go ahead with it if my offer is accepted by the church (which it most likely will be - nobody else is interested).

      I'm sure I'll agree with you all in the long run, but circumstances do make this the best option from what I can see.

      It'll be opposite the heater, sort of diagonally across the hall from it, so not right near it. The hall is quite big, with double doors, so it won't be on top of it.

      My parents have said they're not keen on a MIDI thing with a computer screen opposite the front door, they want something original and self contained. So it really is analogue or this, and the option is clear to me.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JonathanP View Post
        Sounds don't hugely bother me anyway, as for classical music I'm extremely happy with the Hammond sound (maybe my ears are just weird?!) and in some ways don't want a fancy organ, so I'll still return to the Hammond! Basic foundation flutes and a couple of reeds is all I want really,
        Me too, I play JS Bach on the Hammond, and like a unified totally in tune collection of sine waves. Clarinet is an okay reed sound,, oboe is strange but different, but another one or two reeds would be nice.
        I've been a bit afraid of the Princess pedal board, though, the spacing appears "wrong" and I'm not as flexible now as I was only twenty years ago. The lady wanted $150 minimum for that Allen analog unit (T12?) anyway, that is a one sound organ IMHO. I'm even afraid to rent a car in the UK, the wife almost got killed crossing the street at Gant Hill roundabout. (who would have believed they have pedestrian underpasses there? until we saw the exits in the tube station.) I have an option to pick up free a full size "DHBaldwin" AGO organ this week, if I can only figure out a way to afford to drive a truck or trailer 250 miles round trip. It has lots of presets under the keys, three volume pedals, three kick buttons, would look good wrapped around my Hammond tone works.
        However, Allen does have good key contacts according to Admin. ***** the trashy amps, I saw the S100 schematic yesterday. 100 watts out of two output transistors, my holey socks. Peak power for 1 second maybe. 35 watts RMS is my guess unless they have a big fan blowing on the heat sink.
        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


        • #5
          Jonathan,

          One more thing to think of is the MDC only reproduces 10 notes at once. If you use the celestes, that reduces the number of notes by a few more. The other thing to consider is that the stops are not discrete. A Flute on the Swell is the exact same Flute as is on the Great, so you may not get as good tonal variety as you would on a different model or larger instrument.

          Search the Forum for information on the MDC instruments. Plenty has been written. However, as one poster already commented, if you want an instrument for practice and to learn notes, the organ may suit your needs.

          Personally, I have never had issues with a princess pedal board, but they are slightly smaller than a larger instrument. It should be easy to switch between the two--especially since you stated you're already using a Hammond.

          Best of luck with getting a new instrument. It certainly should be the "right" price and affordable.

          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


          • #6
            For those who were following, a little update on the situation. As my signature now reads, I'm going for an Allen MOS-1 organ instead: a System 100. As I'm sure you all already know, this one has the full 32-note AGO pedalboard. I decided this was essential a couple of days ago, as with one at home, most of my time will be spent on an AGO pedalboard. This will definitely make exams much easier, which really is the whole point of buying this instrument in the first place!

            Unfortunately, no alterable voice card reader in this one. Crucially though, the sound is also more versatile and of a higher quality than the MDC-20, so the alterable voice card reader wouldn't be used much even if it was there. It just looks very exciting, but I can live without it!

            It'll be coming (hopefully) on the 22nd December.

            Comment


            • #7
              I believe you made a wise choice. The 100 is an historic instrument--the first production model of digital organ in the world. The fact that yours still works (I presume!) is a testament to Allen's build quality. They go way beyond commericial grade into industrial grade on nearly everything they do.

              The lack of a card reader is not a big deal nowadays. The MOS 1 organs can be upgraded with third-party MIDI encoders that preserve the Allen tone generation and keyinig. With MIDI, the sky's the limit on outboard boxes offering nearly unlimited extra sounds--you can pick up an expander from an organ builder or add a computer running software such as Grand Orgue, Hauptwerk, or whatever.

              The most important aspect in chosing an organ is getting a standard, high-quality console that is worth keeping and upgrading. Congratulations on your acquisition.

              Comment


              • #8
                I definitely think I made a wise choice.

                This particular one comes from Allen themselves, fully refurbished and checked over by them and supplied with a 2 year parts and labour warranty. My only criteria were for it to have an AGO pedalboard (which the MDC-20 didn't technically have), 2x 61-note manuals and to be reliable and repairable.

                The last two rule out any analogue instruments (which only sound like synthesisers with pedals anyway), and even most early digital instruments from the 80s/90s. With Allen manufacturing replacement components for every organ of theirs since the 1930s, this made them the only choice for me. Combine that their organs have been digital since the early 1970s, way ahead of their time and all the other manufacturers, and it means that you still get a very good sounding instrument for little money.

                I'm not used to fancy digital instruments, I've never even heard a modern one. To me, the Hammond sounds extremely close to a pipe organ on certain registrations - so what do I know?! I also spend a large amount of my time on many pipe organs, so I don't need a spectacular sounding home instrument anyway. The Allen MOS-1 organs sound really close and convincing to me from YouTube, so they can only sound better in person.

                I look forward to getting it. I feel very confident it'll serve me well for many years and, hopefully, even decades to come. Incidentally, most of these old MOS-1 organs are still fully serviceable. Even if they're not, they're all fully repairable by Allen themselves. Allen here in the UK sell many of these System 100-series instruments to churches and residences; usually one or two a year. It's definitely a testament to their renowned build quality and their dedication to product support.

                On a side-note, one of the churches I play at has an Allen spinet organ. The pipe organ is very hidden from the congregation, in an entirely different section of the church from the choir. There is a TV screen in the organ which shows the choir and congregation, however one organist there didn't like this at all. The church then managed to get this little Allen spinet from another church so the organist could be by the choir. The organist in question has long since gone, but the Allen remains. I have no idea how long it's been sitting there, so of course daren't plug it in for security/safety purposes (although I'm sure it'd be fine), but one day I'll just have to give it a look-over. You don't see many Allen spinet organs and, as far as I know, all their spinets were theatre voiced.

                Comment


                • #9
                  For those who are interested, Allen also makes a parallel, concave compact pedalboard which has playing dimensions very close to AGO. Here's a video that shows the different pedalboard. I don't know if the parallel pedals can be retrofitted to older princess-pedal organs (I'm guessing that they can, as I doubt they make the business end any different than the "princess" pedals) or if that option would be affordable.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by toodles View Post
                    Here's a video that shows the different pedalboard.
                    Toodles,

                    That's the best video I've seen in a while!;-) Any chance of getting the link?

                    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


                    • #11
                      Sorry, I intended to include it, but forgot to! Must be getting old.

                      Pedalboard comparison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZwbbv1p7cY

                      Video index page: http://www.allenorgan.com/www/video/index.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by toodles View Post
                        For those who are interested, Allen also makes a parallel, concave compact pedalboard which has playing dimensions very close to AGO. Here's a video that shows the different pedalboard. I don't know if the parallel pedals can be retrofitted to older princess-pedal organs (I'm guessing that they can, as I doubt they make the business end any different than the "princess" pedals) or if that option would be affordable.
                        If I bought the MDC-20, then I would've been asking Allen if it was possible to swap them over. I imagine it probably is, as the front of the pedalboards where they connect to the organ have to be the same dimensions, I'd have thought. As the Princess pedals still concave, then I can't imagine the concave angle should be different. If it was possible, it'd probably cost an arm and a leg though (or two arms and legs, as a Vicar I spoke to recalls is always the case with Allen!)

                        Getting the System 100 with the full AGO pedalboard is much easier!

                        My only iddue with the Princess pedals is that little cut out of the sharps/flats at the front - why do that? If the sharps/flats were solid from front to back, then it wouldn't appear to be as much of an issue.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I always suspected that they did the cut out to make the sharps appear larger--not necessarily to deceive customers, but to make them a larger visual target. It is entirely possible to put standard sized sharps on a princess pedalboard by drilling holes to accommodate the standard sharps--but this makes the arc of the playing surface of the pedals too small in diameter, and it might not be easy to play.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I had an Allen organ with a princess pedal board. I took the speakers and amps out of it to use with my current Allen TC3 organ, which had a blown amp. The amps in the princess organ were newer replacements.
                            I saved the stop rail and one manual for parts and took the rest of the organ to the dump. I had no use for the princess pedal board since I have size 15 feet, it was impossible for me to play.

                            Tony

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X