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Allen TC problem

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  • Allen TC problem

    I've been communicating with a church that has a yet unknown TC model Allen that apparently has a separate key that is inop, I am assuming only on one manual, but on all stops. I must assume they didn't use reed switches back then, so might the problem be dirty contacts or otherwise to be buried deeper in the console? Also, are there provisions for external speakers on TCs. If so, do they use the onboard amp or would an additional amp be needed?


  • #2
    Most of the TC organs would have used external speakers, often gyrophonic projectors (rotating speakers). Amps were often mounted remote from the console. A church I attended had a TC4 or equivalent and the amps were mounted in a closet with coax cable running from console to amps. Perhaps the smallest model had internal speakers and amp.

    Keying uses a mechanical-slide matrix keyer: the key caused a rod to rotate to make contact with multiple contacts providing the keying voltage. If all stops are dead on one key, look for a mechanical problem, including possible loss of voltage connection to the keying rod. If it is just one stop, likely a key contact issue--the whisker wire bent out of position or is seriously dirty.

    If you look at the assembly with the organ open and keyswitches visible, it will be obvious how it works.


    • #3
      I will need to get a clearer picture of the problems they are describing, as I think we may be miscommunicating. Now I understand that they have two stops that are sticking (together? on? off? working or not?). The have obtained this TC15A with several problems that they know of. She also said the pedals seem to vibrate, so perhaps the gyrophonic speaker bearings are drying out. The eXternal Allen gyrophonics are belt driven. If the internal is as well, perhaps a bad belt. Hard to say from 150 miles away. They are waiting for the local Allen tech to book additional appointments in the local area, to have him come out. I'm a bit worried they might incur a sizable expense, only to find out that the organ, with its limited capabilities, isn't what they hoped it would be. I'm suppose to be out that way next week to pick up a C2, so maybe I'll be able to beat the Allen tech out and see if this old gurl is worth the effort. If I could get my 32B straightened out, I could drop that off for them. It's a pretty limited instrument as well, but ya can't beat FREE for a 3mp! Smile.


      • #4
        TC series Allen are nice organs, in fact the first Allen I ever played was a TC-4. Nice warm sounding instrument. A dead key on all stops to me sounds like it could be in the mechanism that moves a bar that hits all the little contact wires. As far as internal speakers, only the t-12a, t-15a, theatre 12 and 15, and theatre compacts are the only ones I know of with internal speakers. The theater models had external gyros also. I haven't seen a TC series with internal speakers. Also watch out if it's a TC-1, these are commonly built into a compact console with the "princess" pedalboard. Pretty much a shrunken AGO pedalboard. Takes some getting used to but not fun for serious pedal work. I have seen a few of these in a full size AGO console as well though.


        • #5
          I think the TC15A might be T15A instead--a much more limited instrument than the Rodgers 32B. The T15 is an "all flute" organ--just a single rank of flute oscillators, so it makes other stops by combining flute pitches, much like the Hammond, but without the ability to adjust the volume of the harmonics. In spite of a somewhat impoverished spec on the 32B, at least it has 2 ranks of oscillators for a good ensemble, and I think its flute and diapason rank sound better than Allen's did. This probably does have princess pedals as telecoustic83 suggests.

          Not sure what is meant by "two stops that are sticking together", so I won't try to guess what they are describing. If you are considering acquiring this instrument I would advise against it.

          Yes, the internal gyro is belt driven.