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Time for another "new" organ at home! (Surprising source)

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  • Time for another "new" organ at home! (Surprising source)

    The Allen (M)ADC-420 I've had at home has been a good one. Nice to have the same premium keyboards and AGO pedals at home as at church on the MDS-45. And pleasant sounds for such a small organ.

    But the lack of a capture action, and no celeste on the Great, no chimes (mine has the Krumhorn), no crescendo or toe studs have all bugged me. And I have an opportunity to sell my 420, so I decided it was time to upgrade.

    To replace the 420, I wanted an Allen like this:

    *Two manual classical model, AGO pedals, wooden core keys
    *No larger than my ADC-420 -- 32" deep, 58" wide
    *Stoplist close to the MDS-45 with similar samples
    *Both chimes and krumhorn on the great
    *Celestes on both manuals
    *Standard set of unison couplers
    *Capture system with 10 generals and 6 divisionals
    *Moving stops, whether knobs or tabs
    *Divided expression, crescendo, toe studs

    Then I could practice at home using all the features of the MDS at church, and create registrations at home I can duplicate at church, making allowances for the stoplist differences and the acoustical settings, of course.

    MOS and MOS2 organs lack divided expression and celeste on small models. And chimes are not part of the MOS spec except as a card voice. And MOS organs don't sound much like MDS. MOS can be very inexpensive, but I was prepared to invest a little cash in my habit.

    My choices came down to an ADC or later in a "T" console. With MDS and newer organs still commanding premium $$ I decided on ADC.

    Five ADC's satisfy all my requirements and come in the T console -- 3100, 3160, 3160A, 2160, and 2160A. (These are all "MADC" of course, but they are the premium models in that line with all the bells and whistles.) I'd love to have a large-cage ADC model such as the 4300, but none come in a console that will fit my spot.

    We had a 3100 in the shop, but finally sold it last year. I could kick myself for not bringing it home, but we got a good price for it. We service several of these organs in churches, but none are likely to be for sale any time soon. However, a quick search on EBAY turned up just what I needed -- a 2160, though the seller didn't clearly identify it as such. The posted pics appeared to be a 2160, but I had to be sure before bidding.

    The seller was none other than "cornetto167robert" -- the guy who often gets some flack on this forum for buying up organs and selling them on ebay at a profit. But we all have to make a living, and let's face it, he does perform a unique service. He picks up good organs that otherwise might get dumped or stored away forever, and offers them at prices somewhere between what you'd pay on craigslist and what a dealer would ask. He has become a clearing-house of sorts for used Allen and Rodgers organs, filling a void in the business. My experience with him has been nothing but positive so far.

    I conversed at length with him via ebay messaging and discovered that this was indeed a 2160, that it was rescued from a church-gone-modern in Texas, that it was in perfect working order and looked good. He answered all my questions quickly and gladly checked on some details for me. He could hardly have been more accommodating.

    I told him I didn't need the speakers or other extras, so he reduced the price accordingly, and even offered to cover the delivery, so I took it. Closed the deal this morning, and I should have the organ in a couple of weeks, just in time to replace the 420, if my prospective buyer comes through.

    Obviously, I could have chosen to browse craigslist and watch all the internet organ classifieds until I spotted an organ to meet my needs for less money. I did in fact check numerous on-line classifieds, but did not see anything I wanted that I could afford.

    Truth is, if I'd spotted a suitable organ and rented a truck to go pick it up, it probably would have involved two to four days of hard driving, maybe two or three nights in motels, and the loss of a week's work (by the time I recovered from all that driving). And that would've cost me a lot more money than I paid him for this organ. I've never paid quite this much for an organ before, but I really think it was money well spent.

    A lot of people enjoy the thrill of the chase and don't mind going after an organ in a truck, but I just can't afford to do that and my body can't take the driving, so this worked out great for me. YMMV.

    The 2160 stoplist is quite close to the MDS-45, lacking the swell Gemshorn, Hautbois, and Sifflote (and orchestral 2nd voices), the great Trompete, Quinte, and second voices, and with a borrowed Viole celeste instead of Flute celeste on the great, but a celeste nevertheless. Pedal lacks the 32' stop, 4' Schalmei and Flute.

    I'll miss the lovely Gemshorn, but it and other missing stops can come from the card reader. The great manual double is a Quintaten instead of a Gemshorn, which makes it less useful, but I don't use it much anyway. I think the stoplist is close enough that my practicing at home will be much more effective. I know I'll enjoy playing it.

    Well, I just couldn't wait to share my news, even though it will be a while before I actually see and play it.

    BTW, I have very limited room for speakers, and this one, unlike my 420, has no internals. I'm hatching a plan to renovate a set of Conn pipes and use them solely to hold some tweeter drivers facing upward into the pipes. I'll parallel these tweeters with a pair of 10" woofers in a compact box I salvaged from a Makin organ installation. Hoping this will produce a pleasant sound in my small living room.

    More news as this project develops!
    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

  • #2
    CONGRATULATIONS!!
    Sounds like a win-win situation.


    Arden
    Arden

    Hammond/Suzuki A205 Chapel Organ with 971 Leslie
    Howard studio piano
    Yamaha p_105 Digital piano
    Allen 301B with 2 HC-14 speakers

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by circa1949 View Post
      Since I've been one of his most prominent critics, I might as well consider this an invitation to reply.

      I've never said he doesn't have a right to pursue a living any way he sees fit. I have said his listing practices are unethical and stand by that. According to basic rules of logic and, in a properly regulated market, business as well, you can't list something on ebay that is 3000 miles away when you cannot be absolutely sure...without an ability to look into the future...that it will be safely carried to your location....(more)
      I've moved this post into a separate thread here. (or click the blue box with the arrows in the quote)
      Last edited by Admin; 01-24-2015, 07:06 AM.
      -Admin

      Allen 965
      Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
      Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
      Hauptwerk 4.2

      Comment


      • #4
        Good deal. I'll continue to post on this thread about my new home organ project, and we'll discuss the used organ market on the newly-created thread. Thanks, Admin. And thanks, circa and Arthur and others, for chiming in.
        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
          John, I am very interested in hearing your reactions to the organ once it is installed and playing. I hope it lives up to your expectations and to the auction description. However, when you wrote "though the seller didn't clearly identify it as such," I could not see any excuse for such an omission except 1) habitual carelessness or 2) intent to deceive. That statement is comparable to selling a "midsize Chevy" car without revealing the model or year.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
            BTW, I have very limited room for speakers, and this one, unlike my 420, has no internals. I'm hatching a plan to renovate a set of Conn pipes and use them solely to hold some tweeter drivers facing upward into the pipes.
            John,

            Had I known you were interested in Conn Speaker Pipes, I would have told you about the ones in Little Rock last year listed on CraigsList at a good price. I thought about getting them as an excuse to visit your MDS-45, but couldn't justify the trip or expense--though I'd desperately love to see you again.

            Can't you just connect the Conn Pipes as-is to the Allen, or do they actually need a specialized driver for them? I always thought I could simply connect them to the amp outputs, and they'd work fine.

            Best of luck with your new acquisition. May you have many happy times with your new organ.

            Michael

            P.S. Will your wife allow this one in the bedroom?;-)
            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


            • #7
              Don -- I am a trusting sort of guy, so I'm taking his word that this will be in fact a 2160. I had him look at the model plate, and he replied that it said "2160-T" which is what it should say, being in the "T" console. He also assured me that the pics in the listing were of the very organ he was offering, and the pics were definitely of a 2160. I can't imagine why he would only describe it as "2100-series Allen" when there were six very different models in that series. I was interested only if it were a 2160 or 2160A, because I MUST have the DM capture with 10 generals and 6 divisionals, divided expression, AND crescendo. I do have our conversation well documented. If it should turn out not to be as promised, you will hear the ruckus all the way from Arkansas!

              Michael -- RE: Conn Pipes:

              These pipe speakers have probably been well discussed on the forum, but I'll just add that these are speakers built in the analog era for an analog organ, so they're likely not as "hi-fi" as modern organ speakers designed for an Allen or Rodgers. Every one of these that I've played around with was rather pleasant-sounding, at least as an add-on to a regular speaker cabinet. Not sure one would be adequate as a stand-alone speaker.

              For one thing, inside are only four ordinary 6x9 speakers of the type used in AM car radios back in the day. Not bad, but probably a little limited in high frequency output. The pipe speakers that I've hooked up in the past all proved to be rather inefficient too. An organ that plays quite loudly through a standard speaker cabinet has to be turned up somewhat to play at the same volume through a pipe speaker because the pipes themselves tend to muffle the output of the speakers, and also because the 6x9 cones are already deficient in highs.

              In truth, I haven't yet tried hooking them up straight to the output of an Allen, but that wouldn't work for me in my setup anyway, because I need two audio channels and I only have room to set one pipe unit on top of the console, so I am forced to modify it in some way. Before I tear this thing apart, I will try it out on one channel of an organ at the shop just to see how it sounds in its unmodified state. I'll give you a report on that.

              My plan may or may not work, and I won't know until I try it, but I'm thinking the pipes will be very suitable for dispersing rather high frequencies, from around 2000 Hz on up, with the pipes sitting fairly close to my ears, on top of the organ. I propose to remove the 6x9's and install a long row of small piezo tweeters all facing directly up into the pipes, not separated from the pipes by the funnel-like thing in the present design. I'm guessing (and hoping) that the relatively high output of the piezo drivers will ameliorate somewhat the muffling effect of the pipes. These tweeters are not known for their smoothness, but they can play really LOUD, and packing around a dozen of them into the pipe set I hope to get sufficient treble output. As a side effect, the pipes may very well "tame" the sound of the piezos, smoothing the frequency response and rolling off the shrill high end. All this is wishful thinking, of course!

              The lower frequencies will be handled by a pair of 10" woofers, one per channel. We upgraded a Makin installation a few years ago and brought in the original speakers, which consisted of two bass cabinets (about 12" x 24" x 24" each) and four stand-up satellite speakers. The satellite speakers each hold a midrange and a tweeter with attached crossovers. The bass cabinets each hold a pair of 10" woofers in separate chambers. The organ was a four-channel instrument, and each channel had a 10" plus a satellite.

              So I'll wire each channel of the Allen to one 10" woofer and to half of the piezo tweeters in the pipe chest. I can use choke coils if necessary to control the treble roll-off of the 10" speakers, and I can use resistors to pad down the piezo tweeters if they should actually prove to be too loud. There just isn't any way to predict what this will sound like, but I'll know right away if it's going to work. Of course, the Allen will have extensive tone controls on each channel, so I can compensate to some degree if the speakers don't please me right off the bat.

              OK, I better get to work on the 420. Got a couple of minor issues to fix before the prospective buyer can take possession. Can't wait to get started on the project!
              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


              • #8
                Well, my good friend, I've got my fingers crossed for ya. This is the same guy who offers to purchase organs and puts the sellers photos on his add. If it sells, he pays the original owner and direct ships to the new owner. If it doesn't sell, I doubt the actual owner ever gets paid. I bought my MADC 2140 from a church after they had told me it was sold. I asked them if it had been paid for and the answer was: no, why? Well, I guess I'm asking cause some guy in florida has pictures of your organ in your church on eBay, but you say he hasn't paid for it yet. Come to find out, he had given them some song and dance about being a choir director and being in desperate need, yada, yada, yada,.

                Anyway, I drove down the same day with cash and towed it home. Great organ which now belongs to another forum member.

                Didn't know you wanted a 2160. Would have sold you mine, but you would have had to put up with a million questions from me as I tried to figure out that 1000 pound Baldwin I was contemplating replacing it with.

                Good luck with your purchase John, you deserve it for putting up with the like of all of us here!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Searchin,

                  You are better off keeping your 2160 than swapping it for that enormous Baldwin 422. Been there and done that! Well, the Baldwin has a complete MIDI implementation, works great with a sequencer, and has the floating orch/perc division, so it's pretty darn useful. I did like mine a lot, but it was just too big for any house I was ever going to own.

                  We can compare notes on the 2160. I hope you have gotten all the bugs worked out on yours. It's too good an organ to be giving you less that excellent service.
                  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
                    John,

                    Did you notice the ADC-4300DKC your seller listed on eBay within a day of your purchase? I can imagine why you didn't purchase it (probably too big), but it does have the 32' Contre Bourdon. My wife had me turn my sub up a couple of weeks ago, and the bottom end is GREAT!

                    When do you expect delivery?

                    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
                      Yep, I saw that 4300 and my juices were flowing big-time! He also has a couple of large MDS organs. But I have a very small space for my organ, so I had to stick with the compact T console, and his price for the 4300 was out of my budget anyway.

                      The 4300 is in fact one of my very favorite Allen models. We service one in a nearby church that happens to be made of mostly stone. Talk about acoustics! It makes that Allen sound like a million dollars. The 4300 is the nearest thing in the ADC line to the MDS-45 at church, with almost exactly the same stop list. Maybe someday. If I ever win the lottery I'll have a big room built onto the house just for my organs (of which there will be at least three)!

                      I don't have a delivery date yet on the 2160. I'm hoping he'll contact me tomorrow. We are having some new carpet installed in about two weeks, so I'm hoping the organ can be set to arrive just after the carpet people are finished. Would simplify things if that could happen. Also would give me time to get my custom speakers built and tested.

                      Today I spent a couple hours chasing a few of the 420's minor bugs and ordered a part I need to take care of one problem. I need to have it in tiptop shape for the new owners. It hasn't bothered me at all not having a tremulant, for example, but I don't want to ship it out that way. And there is a squeaky pedal I need to fix with a strip of new felt, along with other small but time-consuming issues. So I'll be busy until the 2160 arrives.
                      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


                      • #12
                        John, I'm curious about the MDS organs--do you remember the models? I'm guessing one of them is that 75 from Maryland that got a lot of attention on the Forum.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You're probably right, Don, about the MDS-75. It's not on ebay, but on another organ classified site, asking $19,500, as I recall. He has it listed under a different user name, but the phone number given in that ad is his. Wouldn't that be a grand organ to have in your house! That is about 1/10 the price of an organ like that installed by a dealer today.

                          Anyway, right now he doesn't have an MDS listed on ebay, but I'm pretty sure I saw at least one other MDS under his name somewhere when I was doing my searching. As circa pointed out, the pics in the listings show organs side by side, presumably in a house. With so many organs to sell, he should be ready to make some deals.
                          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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                          • #14
                            John,

                            I'm very happy for you--the 2160 & 3160 are my favorites of the MADC organs. I think you may find you even like the 16' Quintaten even if you don't like other Quint flutes--it was quite well balanced between fundamental and 3rd harmonic, and blends well in addition to being a subtle clarinet-like solo voice.

                            You can, of course, get your flute celeste via alterable voices--put the flute dolce 8 in both alterables, and add the celeste tuning.

                            Congratulations!

                            Toodles

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Got started on the Conn pipes renovation

                              Got started on the Conn pipes renovation today. My plan is to mount tweeters or perhaps even midrange speakers speaking into the pipes to provide the upper frequency range of my custom home organ speaker.

                              Here are some pics for those who might find these pipes interesting. The first pic shows the complete unit before dismantling. I think these look surprisingly realistic, they got the "curve" right, so that it really reminds you of a rank of pipes.

                              The second pic shows the four 6x9 speakers on the baffle, and the third pic shows one of the speakers when I pulled it loose. Lots of trash, bugs, some water damage, no wonder it sounded so nasty! Definitely not re-using these old speakers.

                              Fourth pic shows the plywood baffle on which the speakers were mounted. Notice the holes cut into the plywood to "funnel" the sound of the speakers into the pipes. Also notice how small the surface area of these slots. No wonder Conn pipe units are notoriously inefficient. The speakers are seriously choked off, especially on the end with the tiny little pipes.

                              Fifth pic shows the underside of the pipe board with the speaker baffle removed. Amazing how well these metal tubes are attached to this board. All the pipes appear to stand up perfectly straight and don't feel at all wobbly.

                              Conn advertised the pipes as "expertly tuned" ... I discovered to my amazement that they DO seem to be tuned, in the sense that the tubes underneath the bars on a marimba are "tuned" to the pitches they are designed to amplify. Running a piece of stiff card along the bottoms of the pipes caused them to "speak" in a clear chromatic scale!

                              Once I finish cleaning these up, I will mount some type of speakers directly over the bottoms of the pipes, best I can. I experimented today with a little piezo horn tweeter connected to the mixture channel of an organ. Holding the horn underneath the pipes and tightly up against the board resulted in a surprisingly good output from the pipes, although very little sound emerges through those smallest pipes. I guess I'll play around with different sizes of speakers and tweeters until I find an assortment that give a decent sound.

                              More about that as the project goes along.
                              Attached Files
                              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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