Forum Top Banner Ad

Collapse

Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Allen ADC3100 Information?

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

  • Allen ADC3100 Information?

    Hey guys,

    I've done extensive searching here and elsewhere on the Internet and haven't come up with much.

    Can you tell me the good, the bad, and the ugly about the ADC-3100?

    I would welcome any information on its history and manufacture, as well as experienced opinions on its tonal quality, construction, and overall suitability as a practice instrument in a small home.

    Thanks very much for any help!

  • #2
    I'd think there are threads here about that model. It was built in the mid-80's and was part of a line-up called "MADC-2" organs. These models built upon the original MADC technology, which up until then had been used in entry level organs with only two audio channels and a very limited feature set.

    The 3100 was introduced as a fully decked-out organ in a reasonable price range. It had moving drawknobs and the same deluxe double-memory capture action as the largest ADC models. Divided expression, crescendo pedal, tutti pistons (2), toe studs, and four audio channels. Genuine celeste stops, chimes and other percussions, and all the normal couplers. Definitely a sweet little organ. An entirely new type of Card Reader technology was introduced with this model. This new type of Card Reader addressed an internal synth that created somewhat more realistic sounds than the original card readers in other Allens. Card Reader voices can be coupled to any division, though expressing only with the swell, and can produce unique celeste stops by loading a card into both alterables.

    I sold several of these and AFAIK all of them are still in service. One of them came back in a few years ago when the church that had bought it shut down. We refurbished it and it now resides in another church making great music.

    Typical Allen build quality, wonderful hardwood console with nice finish, same pedals and keys as the biggest Allens. So there's not much to dislike about it. Not a huge spec, but certainly decent and adequate for most music.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I might also add that the 3100 was the first Allen packaged in the "T" style console, replacing the old "contemporary" console they had used since the early 70's. A handsome design that was more accessible for service and easier on the eyes than that old "space ship" looking thing. I believe it's about 31" deep at the arms, so it fits through most any door.
    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


    • #3
      The MADC organs, to my ears, have a very well chosen stoplist and it is hard to make a registration on these organs that sound bad.

      Perhaps the only "bad" is the relatively small stoplist, but for its size, what it offers is good. The tab version would be the ADC2100, and it might be easier to find at a little lower price. Same stoplist, but tabs instead of drawknobs, no tutti pistons, and 2-channels instead of 4.

      I personally prefer the ADC 2160 & ADC 3160 versions, which substitute a Quintaten 16 for the Lieblich Gedackt 16, and duplex it to all 3 divisions--it has just enough 3rd harmonic to be interesting, but not enough to prevent a good blend with other voices. It also has a Mixture III on the Swell instead of the Sifflöte 1'.

      But any of these MADC organs are solid choices for a budget organ.

      Comment


      • #4
        Allen has old Owners' Manuals on their website. This should give you more information.

        I played a dedication on one of these in 1986 and it did the job. One shortcoming: While the organ has two channels for the Gt/Pd and two for the Swell, the Swell voices, when coupled, play through the two channels of the Gt/Ped. So the full chorus is really just coming from two channels--and two pitch series.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by toodles View Post
          I personally prefer the ADC 2160 & ADC 3160 versions, which substitute a Quintaten 16 for the Lieblich Gedackt 16, and duplex it to all 3 divisions--it has just enough 3rd harmonic to be interesting, but not enough to prevent a good blend with other voices. It also has a Mixture III on the Swell instead of the Sifflöte 1'.
          Toodles,

          Why the Quintaten over the Lieblich Gedeckt 16'? I could much more likely use a Lieblich Gedeckt 16'. Please give me a reason to like the Quintaten 16' on any manual at that pitch! I find much more use for it at the 8' level.
          Originally posted by MarkS View Post
          Allen has old Owners' Manuals on their website. This should give you more information.
          Mark,

          Good on you for providing the source (http://www.allenorgan.com/www/suppor...rsmanuals.html).
          Originally posted by MarkS View Post
          One shortcoming: While the organ has two channels for the Gt/Pd and two for the Swell, the Swell voices, when coupled, play through the two channels of the Gt/Ped. So the full chorus is really just coming from two channels--and two pitch series.
          How odd. I wonder what the reasoning was for that one?

          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
            Thanks so much guys!

            I owe you all lunch.

            Comment


            • #7
              The Quintaten was only slightly stronger in 3rd harmonic than the Lieblich Gedackt--but it had enough to be useful as a solo 16' voice (very gentle--I like 16' Clarinet Tribe voices!) and not so much that it did not combine beautifully with other stops. It was NOT a Quintadena!! Allen put a 16' Quintadena on the MDS35 Great and it was, in my opinion, completely useless. Far too strong in 3rd harmonic. It was a rare balance.

              The channels didn't quite work the way MarkS described: the swell voices were always produced by the swell channels regardless of if they were coupled or not. HOWEVER, if coupled to the Great, the Great Tremulant affected them and the Swell tremulant did not (i.e., trems didn't couple, but voices did). I can't explain why, but that's how the architecture worked. On the MADC organs, the architecture did allow for playing any voice on any division, and that probably had something to do with it.

              There were 2-pitch sources for the organ, though the celeste tuning and romantic tuning offered a 3rd choice, with only 2 choice being available on any division at one time.

              - - - Updated - - -

              Another builder might have called this Quintaten a "Lieblich Gedackt", too. Sounds associated with stop names are very loose!!

              Comment


              • #8
                I saw that comment by MarkS and was going to explain further... toodles nailed it pretty well. As he says, the swell voices always play out of the swell speakers, even when coupled to the great. The confusion springs from the fact that the swell voices do not carry their separate tuning references when coupled down to the great. As toodles days, the tremulant does not couple, and neither does celeste tuning. But if tremulant or celeste tuning are drawn on the great, even the swell voices will be affected by it when played on the great, though not on the swell manual itself. Sounds confusing, but it really does not impact one's playing at all. It's just "different" from the way the larger ADC models work.

                To be precise, when you couple the swell to the great, while the swell voices continue to sound through their own speakers, they take on the tuning profiles of the great division. This does slightly diminish the overall "ensemble" effect you'd normally expect to hear when coupling two independent divisions, but that was apparently a compromise Allen made in order to keep the price low by using this slightly less sophisticated technology. I never had a customer who actually noticed this, or if they did, none never mentioned it or complained.

                There were also certain quirks that were actually quite helpful. I dont' want to discourage the OP from getting this organ if he has the opportunity, and I will say that for the most part it plays and operates just like any other organ. But there were a few "undocumented features" that we discovered over the years that some players used to their advantage.

                For example, even though the crescendo sequence includes coupling all the foundation stops of the swell down to the great, stops on the swell that are not in the crescendo sequence will not actually be coupled UNLESS you turn on the physical swell to great tab. This is definitely a departure from standard operating practice, but it makes it possible to use the swell reeds as if they were on a separate third manual....

                To demonstrate -- with no stops drawn, depress the crescendo pedal all the way. This will draw a full foundation chorus on the swell and on the great, with all the stops coupled to the great. Then, draw the swell reeds. They will play on the swell, but will not be coupled to the great! A friend of mine played on a 3100 at his church for several years and made great use of this "undocumented feature" .... being able to have a big four-channel foundation chorus playing from the great, and still being able to reach up to the swell and solo out a line on the big reeds, just as if there were a third manual.

                The Alterable Voices were also set up not to couple with either crescendo or the physical coupler tab, so you could even punch up the swell reeds with a pair of card reader reeds and have a very convincing Festival Trumpet to play against your full organ on the great.

                Altogether a very interesting and useful little organ. More to it than meets the eye!
                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
                  The one at my "Stake Center", which I've played rarely (3 or 4 times), sounds pretty good. Except some of the pedal stops are a little harsh for my liking.
                  John
                  Allen MDS-317 at home / Allen AP-16 at Church / Allen ADC-3100 at the stake center

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X