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Allen 301-B: Speaker / Headphone / Wiring Question

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  • Allen 301-B: Speaker / Headphone / Wiring Question

    I just picked up an Allen 301-B organ in good working condition, but the way in which it was hooked up to its speakers seemed odd. The cables from the organ to the speakers were stripped, leaving about an inch of exposed wire, which was braided/twisted around the receiving cable's inch of stripped and bare wire. I was unable to get the speakers with the organ, so now I have to find a suitable set of speakers, or headphones if that is a possibility.

    I had a few questions about this situation:

    1) Is it possible to hook this organ up to a pair of monitors and a sub woofer, for example, the same kind that audio engineers use to mix music?
    2) Is it possible to avoid using speakers altogether and simply run the output of the organ into a mixer and then use headphones through the mixer?
    3) Is it possible to connect the bare wires to a speaker by stripping a cable and twisting the wires together, then taping them off with electrical tape and caps, similar to how the organ was hooked up originally? Or is that not a good option?

    Hopefully the attached photos help make clear the current state of the output cables from the organ. Any idea of the easiest way to hooking it up to speakers/headphones is appreciated.

    Thanks for your time!

  • #2
    The 301 is normally a two-channel organ, though sometimes equipped with a third amp for driving an optional subwoofer. If yours has two speaker cables coming out of it, it was most likely connected to two Allen HC-12 speaker cabinets, which are nice full-range organ speakers. Just for casual listening, you can connect those cables to any decent speakers (one to each cable) but don't play loud unless you are using speakers than can handle it. The output of an organ is pretty stressful for speakers, and many ordinary home stereo speakers aren't really up to the task in the long run.

    While it is theoretically possible to hook an organ like that up to a mixer and listen via headphones, it's not as easy as it ought to be. The output impedance of the Allen DAC is unusual, and the level is not ordinary "line level" so it doesn't work well with an ordinary mixer, and the expression control may not work once you connect to an external device, as the expression circuitry is partly in the internal amplifier and depends on the specific input characteristics of that amp.

    If you have no suitable speakers, you might start out with some $100 "DJ" type speakers from a local Guitar Center or other shop with pro audio, or order from MCM or another internet source. Those won't be of the same quality as Allen HC speakers, but they are readily available and can usually handle the power needs. Alternatively, you might keep an eye out on ebay for a pair of HC-12 speakers, which often go for $150 or $200.

    If you happen to have three speaker cables coming out of the console, one of them might be intended for a subwoofer. It would need to be a "passive" sub, not one with its own amplifier built in, as the amp is already in the organ.

    And you can simply connect those wires to the speakers or to some new cables to extend them, with electrical tape or wire nuts. Or you could open the back of the organ and connect new wires directly to the amps or, if there are antiphonal relays installed, to the relay terminals. Should be fairly obvious where they go.
    *** 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!


    • #3
      Thank you very much for the information, it is much appreciated! :->