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Ideas for home classical organ please

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  • Ideas for home classical organ please

    A question for our experts...

    Which model[s] Allen would be a good choice?
    It would need to be rather 'small' [2-manuals, but full pedals]..
    From what I've read so far, it seems that certain years, models worked and sounded better.
    I would prefer a non-tube model - Classically voiced [but will not turn down a Theater one]..

    I do have my Wersi Beta as a trade option, but not necessary..

    marc
    Lowrey MX2 (NT400x)
    Thomas Floridian Classic -- aka Wersi Rondo Classic
    Kimball K800 'Fascination' Theater Organ
    Conn 650 - Type 1 with Conn Pipes - Model #145
    Baldwin Cinema 2 (214-DR)
    Wersi Spectra DX 700 CD - LiveStyle, Memory Tower
    Wersi Beta DX400 TS - (with AMS)
    Wersi Delta DX 500 - (with AMS)
    Wersi Pegasus Keyboard!
    MOOG Eterwave Standard Theremin & MOOG Werkstatt
    Roland GAIA SH-01 Virtual Analog Synthesizer
    Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano!

  • #2
    What is your budget? Do you want digital or is analog OK?

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Toodles,

      I'm more interested in sound quality, and I don't mind anaolg or digital.
      Presently, I have 'no budget', heh.. but I am wanting to either sell or trade my Wersi Beta digital spinet.
      In the past, I've been Blessed in that most of the organs I have, were either free [gifts] or around $300 max.

      Also, if the organ needs some TLC, and not extensive, I don't mind one that may need some light repair..

      I know that Allen's are generally expensive, but I've seen miracles happen!
      I need to pay for my Spectra first, then I will better at funding something..
      I also have had kind folks who know I'm on a limited retirement budget, and have worked with me by taking some payments..

      That's what I can do presently..

      Marc {I also would consider maybe a Rodgers - or? as long as it sounds good, and meets the above 'criteria'..}
      Lowrey MX2 (NT400x)
      Thomas Floridian Classic -- aka Wersi Rondo Classic
      Kimball K800 'Fascination' Theater Organ
      Conn 650 - Type 1 with Conn Pipes - Model #145
      Baldwin Cinema 2 (214-DR)
      Wersi Spectra DX 700 CD - LiveStyle, Memory Tower
      Wersi Beta DX400 TS - (with AMS)
      Wersi Delta DX 500 - (with AMS)
      Wersi Pegasus Keyboard!
      MOOG Eterwave Standard Theremin & MOOG Werkstatt
      Roland GAIA SH-01 Virtual Analog Synthesizer
      Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano!

      Comment


      • #4
        Marc,

        There are a lot of good Allen (and Rodgers) organs out there from the 60's, 70's, and 80's that can be had for a price that most of us can afford. You have to keep your eyes and ears open, and you may have to travel some distance and do your own pickup to get a real bargain. I'd suggest that you study the model lines and know what each one is so you will know what is being offered in a given ad.

        Several MOS Allens (built 1971 - 1983) have been acquired lately by forum members, some of them for free, others for very low cost. Back in the day, some of us thought the MOS organs weren't so hot, especially the unadorned single-computer ones (100 and 200 series), but nowadays when I hear one I'm pleasantly surprised at how well they've endured. The 300 series included an analog celeste rank, making those models definitely superior. But it's all a matter of taste and opinion. I know people with a MOS self-contained (100 series) that they enjoy immensely.

        When you move up to ADC models (approx. 1983 - 1989), you get some definite advantages. All ADC organs, even at the low end, came with a rather complete stop list including a celeste, mixtures, genuine couplers, a couple of decent reeds, and all had pistons (presets at the low price point, but programmable as you moved up the price scale). ADC models are now being seen here and there for quite low prices, and occasionally even free. More often, though, they are commanding moderate prices, from a couple thousand up to several thousand for a large model.

        ADC models come in all sizes, of course, from the modest 220/221/222 with princess pedals and self-contained speakers up to the enormous three-manual models. Some forum members have obtained an ADC 4300, which is a reasonably-sized two-manual that can play through as few as four speaker cabinets, fits through most doors, and has great sound and a very elaborate stop list. Others (like me) have settled for a 2100 or 3100 series organ. We have fewer stops and plainer consoles, but still great sound. I also once owned a 420, which was a perfectly good self-contained AGO model with a decent stop list, just preset pistons instead of settable.

        Once you get past the ADC era into the MDS models, you will pay a premium price. MDS models (which came out around 1990) all have complete MIDI implementation, which makes them command more money, and they are also rarer. So you must be prepared to pay a little more if you set your sights on one of those.

        At the very bottom pricewise would be the old analog Allens from the 60's. They are almost always free for the taking. And most models are OK, if you know their limitations. The T-12 models are quite ubiquitous, but I don't really recommend picking one up because it is a very barebones flute-unit organ with all stops synthetic (created by blending various flute pitches). Also the T-12 has princess pedals and has no presets of any kind. Stepping up to the TC-1 or TC-3, TC-3S, or TC-4 you get far better sound, with a genuine diapason rank along with a flute rank, and a genuine reed rank on the 3 and 4. Some will have the optional celeste rank as well. Drawbacks to all of these, and the reasons they are free, are numerous...

        They often need a lot of work, though to be fair some are in good condition, and the parts are cheap and readily available. Except for the T-12, they all have large external speaker systems, normally including "gyro" cabinets. These models don't have couplers, and usually don't have mixtures, and may or may not have celestes. Very few of them were built with a moving-tab combination action, though some have a setterboard and a few very late ones actually have the sequential capture action that Allen carried over into the MOS era. All analog organs are "unit" design, with all the known drawbacks of that.

        So be careful if you decide to take in an analog. Make sure you're williing to commit to the possible repairs needed, and that you understand the limitations. They can sound quite wonderful though.

        As to sources, ebay is a good place to look, but you have to be wise. There are shysters on ebay who are selling used organs that are in terrible shape, without revealing how bad, and asking more money than an organ is worth, or at least more than it ought to bring, considering the condition. On the other hand, I see some amazing bargains put on ebay now and then.

        You might also consider a dealer or tech (like me) who specializes in refurbishing good organs. My prices are higher than you'd pay if you picked up an organ "as-is-where-is" from a church wanting it gone, but my organs are worth what I get for them (IMHO) because every one has been thoroughly evaluated and repaired, restored as nearly as possible to perfect working order, has been completely cleaned up, will have good speakers with it that you don't have to immediately re-foam, and my price will normally include delivery, setup, voicing, and even a warranty. But I only deal in my local area, as a rule. I did recently sell a super nice Rodgers analog on ebay and priced it without delivery or setup. The buyer got a tremendous bargain but he is doing his own hauling and setup and will be responsible for any future service. I may decide to do some more selling like that in the future.

        There are a few dealerships around the country that seem to stock decent used Allen and Rodgers organs, and some of them are priced quite reasonably. You'll just have to look around your local area and/or on the internet if you want to go that route.

        It's a good time to be looking for a nice used organ, as there are plenty of them available and prices are quite low. Good luck!
        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
          Wow!

          John, thank you for such a great and comprehensive list!
          That is very helpful!
          I do appreciate it!

          I'm now on the 'look-out'..
          - of course, my prior commitmnts take 1st. place.. but, you never know what will happen, - and usually does!

          marc
          Lowrey MX2 (NT400x)
          Thomas Floridian Classic -- aka Wersi Rondo Classic
          Kimball K800 'Fascination' Theater Organ
          Conn 650 - Type 1 with Conn Pipes - Model #145
          Baldwin Cinema 2 (214-DR)
          Wersi Spectra DX 700 CD - LiveStyle, Memory Tower
          Wersi Beta DX400 TS - (with AMS)
          Wersi Delta DX 500 - (with AMS)
          Wersi Pegasus Keyboard!
          MOOG Eterwave Standard Theremin & MOOG Werkstatt
          Roland GAIA SH-01 Virtual Analog Synthesizer
          Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano!

          Comment


          • #6
            I think I would prefer an ADC or MOS..
            The princess pedals would be ideal for where it would be placed..
            I'd like 2 manuals, as well. - but I'm open for 'whatever'.. heh

            If anyone knows of something in these categories - and for a modest price [trade, or donation].. I'd like to hear about it..

            Thanks! marc
            Lowrey MX2 (NT400x)
            Thomas Floridian Classic -- aka Wersi Rondo Classic
            Kimball K800 'Fascination' Theater Organ
            Conn 650 - Type 1 with Conn Pipes - Model #145
            Baldwin Cinema 2 (214-DR)
            Wersi Spectra DX 700 CD - LiveStyle, Memory Tower
            Wersi Beta DX400 TS - (with AMS)
            Wersi Delta DX 500 - (with AMS)
            Wersi Pegasus Keyboard!
            MOOG Eterwave Standard Theremin & MOOG Werkstatt
            Roland GAIA SH-01 Virtual Analog Synthesizer
            Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
              So be careful if you decide to take in an analog. Make sure you're williing to commit to the possible repairs needed, and that you understand the limitations. They can sound quite wonderful though.
              Marc,

              You've received great advice from John--probably the best you'll get. The only thing I'll add is that an analog console will be quite a bit heavier than a digital organ. Digital technology really helped lighten the load!

              BTW, I found one organ here: http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/bfs/4983193611.html. I know it's in California, but not too far away.;-)

              Michael

              P.S. This company tends to be a bit pricey on their used organs, but it leaves "room to negotiate." http://www.organstop.com/wordpress-2.8.3/wordpress/
              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
                Thanks..

                I can see that I will want something 'small-ish'.. with internal speakers [with maybe outputs for ext.].
                Those are nice that you suggested.. but too much $ and too big ..

                marc
                Lowrey MX2 (NT400x)
                Thomas Floridian Classic -- aka Wersi Rondo Classic
                Kimball K800 'Fascination' Theater Organ
                Conn 650 - Type 1 with Conn Pipes - Model #145
                Baldwin Cinema 2 (214-DR)
                Wersi Spectra DX 700 CD - LiveStyle, Memory Tower
                Wersi Beta DX400 TS - (with AMS)
                Wersi Delta DX 500 - (with AMS)
                Wersi Pegasus Keyboard!
                MOOG Eterwave Standard Theremin & MOOG Werkstatt
                Roland GAIA SH-01 Virtual Analog Synthesizer
                Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Marc,

                  If you are sure you want the princess pedals and self-contained speakers, and you want to stay within the MOS and ADC eras, you have narrowed your choice to the ADC 220, 221, or 222. There are no MOS organs with princess pedals, as they continued to sell the analog T-12 during much of the MOS era as their princess model, and later replaced it with the (awful) MDC-20, which you probably shouldn't even consider unless it's free and close by.

                  The ADC 220, 221, and 222 were three variations of Allen's smallest model in the ADC era, built with the MADC-1 single-board system. All are the same size, but they have different console styles and finishes. Like all ADC organs, these have the advantages of ADC -- a suitable set of stops, making up a quite complete classic stop list, including mixtures, celestes, and real couplers as found on good church organs. These three models all have internal speakers with provisions for adding externals. They have the same wooden-core keys as the most expensive Allen models, and the consoles are solid wood with quality veneers and finishes. I believe all three have a locking roll-top key cover.

                  Even though the console is compact, it has the normal 61-note keyboards, but, as you know, the "princess" pedals. There are 32 pedals, as with standard classical organs, but the pedals are just slightly narrower and closer together so the pedalboard can be a few inches smaller, perfect for tight spaces.

                  The sound engine in these models is the same as in the fully AGO 420, 520, and similar models, the only difference being the compact console and a slightly less powerful amplifier, which is not a significant difference. Like other 3-digit ADC models, there are seven pistons with A and B memories, for a total of 14 useful presets. User-changeable presets were an option, but not often installed. Tabs do not move when you press a piston, but a digital readout shows you which piston you have pressed.

                  I sold several of these when I was an Allen salesman, some to private homes for practice organs, and some to small churches. When I go out and service one today, I'm still impressed with the good sound and how nice the keys and console are.

                  So you need to keep your eye out for those three models specifically. Nothing else in the product line will meet your specs, so you can safely ignore all other models. (Remember, though, that the 420 or 430 -- which is the organ I had in my house until recently -- is identical except for having fully AGO pedals and being 5 or 6 inches wider, so if you see one of those, you might consider it too.)

                  The 220/221/222 sold for about $7500 brand new in the mid-80's, and the 420 or 430 sold for about $9500. I think you might well find one for $500 if you watch for it. Be sure it's in good working order, because a replacement computer board might cost several hundred dollars if it needed one.
                  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
                    Hi John,

                    Thank you for your excellent help! Most thorough!
                    I will then keep an eye out for any of those...
                    Hopefully at a good price, and possibly negotiable, etc..

                    Sincerely; Marc
                    Lowrey MX2 (NT400x)
                    Thomas Floridian Classic -- aka Wersi Rondo Classic
                    Kimball K800 'Fascination' Theater Organ
                    Conn 650 - Type 1 with Conn Pipes - Model #145
                    Baldwin Cinema 2 (214-DR)
                    Wersi Spectra DX 700 CD - LiveStyle, Memory Tower
                    Wersi Beta DX400 TS - (with AMS)
                    Wersi Delta DX 500 - (with AMS)
                    Wersi Pegasus Keyboard!
                    MOOG Eterwave Standard Theremin & MOOG Werkstatt
                    Roland GAIA SH-01 Virtual Analog Synthesizer
                    Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok.. this is a little bit of a 'departure'..
                      I saw a Rodgers 'Scarborough' 110E on ebay .. it 'looks' real nice.
                      I listened to one on YouTube, and it sounds 'ok' - might be a poor recording?
                      It's less than $500 - OBO..

                      Firstly, I have no idea if it's a good organ [quality/build], plus, it's in Calif.
                      I have no $$ at this time, nor a way to move it - if it's even worth it..

                      Any info on this model, or Rodgers in general?

                      Thanks!
                      Lowrey MX2 (NT400x)
                      Thomas Floridian Classic -- aka Wersi Rondo Classic
                      Kimball K800 'Fascination' Theater Organ
                      Conn 650 - Type 1 with Conn Pipes - Model #145
                      Baldwin Cinema 2 (214-DR)
                      Wersi Spectra DX 700 CD - LiveStyle, Memory Tower
                      Wersi Beta DX400 TS - (with AMS)
                      Wersi Delta DX 500 - (with AMS)
                      Wersi Pegasus Keyboard!
                      MOOG Eterwave Standard Theremin & MOOG Werkstatt
                      Roland GAIA SH-01 Virtual Analog Synthesizer
                      Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Marc, the 110 was almost the bottom of the ROC line back in the early 1970s. I suggest you give it a "pass" as I think you can do much better, down the line.

                        . . . Jan
                        the OrganGrinder

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ok.. Thanks, Jan!
                          Lowrey MX2 (NT400x)
                          Thomas Floridian Classic -- aka Wersi Rondo Classic
                          Kimball K800 'Fascination' Theater Organ
                          Conn 650 - Type 1 with Conn Pipes - Model #145
                          Baldwin Cinema 2 (214-DR)
                          Wersi Spectra DX 700 CD - LiveStyle, Memory Tower
                          Wersi Beta DX400 TS - (with AMS)
                          Wersi Delta DX 500 - (with AMS)
                          Wersi Pegasus Keyboard!
                          MOOG Eterwave Standard Theremin & MOOG Werkstatt
                          Roland GAIA SH-01 Virtual Analog Synthesizer
                          Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            http://www.--------/itm/ALLEN-301B-A...item3aa9c00f70

                            This is not a bad starting out classical organ....no bids starting at 600. Problem is always going to be moving expense....try Keyboard Carriage

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That's a nice organ, but I couldn't afford shipping. Plus, I would need to find one closer to where I'm at..

                              I did see that on ebay...

                              I need to sell my Wersi Beta first... to make room (and pay for my Spectra)...

                              If I can find a seller who can work with me, that would be ideal..
                              Lowrey MX2 (NT400x)
                              Thomas Floridian Classic -- aka Wersi Rondo Classic
                              Kimball K800 'Fascination' Theater Organ
                              Conn 650 - Type 1 with Conn Pipes - Model #145
                              Baldwin Cinema 2 (214-DR)
                              Wersi Spectra DX 700 CD - LiveStyle, Memory Tower
                              Wersi Beta DX400 TS - (with AMS)
                              Wersi Delta DX 500 - (with AMS)
                              Wersi Pegasus Keyboard!
                              MOOG Eterwave Standard Theremin & MOOG Werkstatt
                              Roland GAIA SH-01 Virtual Analog Synthesizer
                              Casio Privia PX-160 Digital Piano!

                              Comment

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