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  • Allen MDS 25 questions

    http://imgur.com/wcdskRo


    I was recently able to purchase this Allen MDS 25 organ. Great console. I had a few questions regarding it.
    I need to get external speakers. Any suggestions here? Hard to find any for sale anywhere online.
    I also need to move this 31 and 5/8" wide console through my door and I'm not sure I'll be able to. Again.. suggestions?
    The console is lovely and sounds superb in the church it's at now. Hoping I can get some speakers to match the quality. Also hoping I can get the darn thing inside!
    Thank you!

  • #2
    Headies,

    Welcome to the Forum. I hope you continue to contribute after your questions are answered.

    The external speakers that would have come with the organ would have been HC-15 or HC-14 speakers. There are usually a set or two for sale on *Bay or *raigsList. The only exception to the speakers I suggested would be if you use MIDI to get 32' Pedal stops. In that case, you'd probably want one HC-12 for the Pedal speaker that plays the 32' stop from MIDI.

    Regarding moving the organ, there are several threads on the Forum about moving an organ through a door. I remember one thread even had CAD-based diagrams to figure the dimensions! If you use the Forum's Search function (top-right in my browser), you should be able to find threads related to moving your organ through your doorway. Moving that console through the doorway shouldn't be an issue as long as you have a modern doorway (not Victorian, like mine).

    If you are comfortable providing the state in which you live, we may even be able to find speakers near you! Again, welcome to the Forum.

    Michael

    P.S. I am relieved you found the Allen instead of the organ you referenced in your first post! Much better choice IMHO.
    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


    • #3
      Michael,

      Thank you for your reply. I did search online, but found no speakers for sale. Allen's website doesn't list prices or anywhere to buy online, so that is frustrating.

      I live in Pennsylvania. Any help regarding speakers would be appreciated.

      I will try to contribute as much as I can. Thanks again.

      Comment


      • #4
        Okay, this listing http://zanesville.craigslist.org/msg/5289629328.html
        in zanesville, OH, 113 miles from pittsburg, $800 the pair These Peavey SP2 have frequency response +-3db 54-14000 hz, and are very low distortion. They are 8 ohm speakers with 98 db 1w1m rating. I love my predecessor model SP2-XT which I paid about $600 for the pair. I test speakers with piano CD's. these are the most accurate speakers I ever heard, compared to a live piano. This is a flyover town, there are $$$$ hifi speakers that might compete that dont' sell here. However many speakers sold to consumers have a +-10 db frequency rating.
        I played some piano CD on the 1980 Allen speakers installed in the church where I fixed the Allen S100 power amp. HoHum. Good bass though, as good as the SP2-XT
        They weigh 85 lb each and are designed to mount on pole stands projecting down at the room from above.
        I run my SP2-XT about 1.5 Vpp base level in my music room which is 12'x33'x10'. That's about 1/2 watt, with 40 v peaks when they set the cannon off in 1812 Overture. These speakers are most accuate at 1 W, see the Peavey distortion chart (which most other manufactures won't even reveal or publish). But they will take 600 W music power if you're working a 600 person rowdy crowd.
        The first generation SP2 speakers with the separate metal horn, those are cheaper but were sold before the Electrovoice design team was hired to worked over the concept to produce the SP2-XT. I don't really recommend the separate metal horn models. The ones in the ad are suffix G I believe.
        city Hammond H-182 organ (2 ea),A100,10-82 TC, Wurlitzer 4500, Schober Recital Organ, Steinway 40" console , Sohmer 39" pianos, Ensoniq EPS, ; country Hammond H112

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by indianajo View Post
          Okay, this listing http://zanesville.craigslist.org/msg/5289629328.html
          in zanesville, OH, 113 miles from pittsburg, $800 the pair These Peavey SP2 have frequency response +-3db 54-14000 hz, and are very low distortion. They are 8 ohm speakers with 98 db 1w1m rating. I love my predecessor model SP2-XT which I paid about $600 for the pair. I test speakers with piano CD's. these are the most accurate speakers I ever heard, compared to a live piano. This is a flyover town, there are $$$$ hifi speakers that might compete that dont' sell here. However many speakers sold to consumers have a +-10 db frequency rating.
          I played some piano CD on the 1980 Allen speakers installed in the church where I fixed the Allen S100 power amp. HoHum. Good bass though, as good as the SP2-XT
          They weigh 85 lb each and are designed to mount on pole stands projecting down at the room from above.
          I run my SP2-XT about 1.5 Vpp base level in my music room which is 12'x33'x10'. That's about 1/2 watt, with 40 v peaks when they set the cannon off in 1812 Overture. These speakers are most accuate at 1 W, see the Peavey distortion chart (which most other manufactures won't even reveal or publish). But they will take 600 W music power if you're working a 600 person rowdy crowd.
          The first generation SP2 speakers with the separate metal horn, those are cheaper but were sold before the Electrovoice design team was hired to worked over the concept to produce the SP2-XT. I don't really recommend the separate metal horn models. The ones in the ad are suffix G I believe.
          I would be cautious using anything other than Allen speakers for an Allen organ. I've been told that Allen designs the frequency curves in their speakers to optimize the sound of their models. Perhaps some experts can confirm or deny that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Regarding movement of console through a door, if the clearance is close it may be possible to get a little more by removing the trim strips temporarily. (I got about 3/4" more opening by doing that.) Removing the door is a given, of course. (And removing the lower hinges might be needed.) In some cases, it is possible to negotiate a doorway by laying the instrument on its side and maneuvering it through in that position. That technique is dependent on other measurements and configuration of the console. Making a cardboard cutout exactly the shape and size of the side of the console (profile) can be very helpful in determining if that would be a possibility--lay it on the floor and see if a way to manipulate it through the opening can be found. (Try all configurations, remembering that there are 2 sides to the console.)

            David

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by headies View Post
              Thank you for your reply. I did search online, but found no speakers for sale. Allen's website doesn't list prices or anywhere to buy online, so that is frustrating.
              Headies,

              How about these:That was just a cursory search. They show up from time to time on *Bay and *raigsList if you know how to search for them.

              Hope this helps. Also, your link didn't work--at least on my computer.

              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


              • #8
                Apparently speakers are about the only product for which Allen establishes a list price. I asked a dealer about 6 months ago, and the HC15 (utility finish) was about $1200, add another $200 for furniture finish, and $75 for speaker grills. If I remember right.

                The MDS-25 does not have a 32' pedal stop, and the standard speakers were HC14/15.

                The HC-14/15 series do not have a contoured response specifically for Allen--they are very close to a flat frequency response with smooth sound throughout the range from 32 Hz up. Any other speakers that can provide smooth response from 32 up will perform OK, but the lowest octave might be concentrated in one of the channels, so the other might work OK with a system that only goes down to 64 Hz. Check your voicing chart to see how the pedal stops are divided to see if this might be an option. The 16' Bourdon, Lieblich Gedackt, and Diapason need full response down to 32. The Posaune would have a weaker bottom octave, and might tolerate less bass performance.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd also recommend finding some Allen speaker cabinets, as that is the safest route to getting the sound you want. There are indeed many commercially available pro-sound speakers that can do the job, and I have used some of them in a pinch, but the sound of the Allen speakers definitely matches the organ and provides a very pleasing balance without required you to drastically re-voice the organ.

                  The MDS-25 would have been installed (standard setup) with a pair of HC-15 speakers, and that would be the best way to set it up in your home. There will be an assortment of stops from all three divisions in each speaker, so you will want to place them at equal distances from your ears as you sit on the bench so you will hear a proper balance and a good blend.

                  Allen's HC-12 speakers are fine speakers too, but with a definite emphasis on the bass, so they will make the organ sound different. You could compensate by playing with the voicing controls, but you may not want to get into that. If you run across a pair of HC-12's that are in prime condition and at a good price, they wouldn't be a bad choice though, and as Michael said, they would do a better job with 32' pedal stops, should you add an expander with those stops in it. HC-12 speakers originally had foam-surround woofers, and nearly all of those will have rotted out by now and been replaced. Don't buy HC-12's that haven't had their woofers replaced or re-foamed unless you want to have to do that yourself.

                  It's also becoming apparent now that the midrange drivers used in nearly all Allen cabinets are deteriorating due to foam-rot. This may or may not be a problem with speakers you find on ebay or elsewhere, but if you can, look at the midranges and make sure the edges of the cones are not crumbling, and you will be sure that they are OK, at least for now.

                  HC-14 speakers are the same as HC-15 except for the crossover network being on the front instead of the rear of the box, so they are sonically equivalent. Some but not all HC-14 boxes came with wood-grain finish and fancier grilles. Aside from these three (HC-15, -14, and -12), other Allen cabinets are not meant for use as primary speakers. For example, Allen PP-3 speakers are small units lacking a woofer and meant only to supplement the larger cabinets. There are also HC-8, HC-9, HC-11, and HC-13 cabinets that are closer to being full-range, but they are not able to put out much bass by themselves, so you would be disappointed with the sound unless you paired these smaller boxes with a full-size one on the same channel.

                  Typically, on ebay, we see the full-range HC cabinets being offered in the range of $150 to $200. Some will have had the cones repaired, others not, so take than into account.

                  BTW, the MDS-25 is an excellent organ for home or church. Beautiful sounds and a very complete stoplist. Complete capture action system, divided expression, crescendo, all the most essential features for a good church or classical organ. Good choice!
                  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
                    Thank you everyone.

                    I apologize for asking so many questions. I am very new to the world of organs and am generally unknowledgeable when it comes to the matter of electronics, speakers, etc.
                    • http://kansascity.craigslist.org/ele/5272976913.html these seem very promising. I don't live near Kansas city but I'm going to ask if he will ship. Do these seem to be what I need? How many would I need to get a decent sound? Please know that I have a relatively small apartment, would 1 suffice or do you think 2 would be necessary?


                    The organ is payed for, but I still have the issue of getting it through the door. The house is newer, but I rent the apartment attached to it-- we haven't actually moved in yet and I don't know how large the doorway is. I need to get a measurement.

                    To make things worse, no matter how wide the door may be, the area in front of the entrance to the apartment is basically a small square; picture a narrow hallway leading to the apartment door. The organ will almost certainly need to go on its side and moved in like an "L" (think like moving an L shaped Tetris block..) to get in. Anyone think it's going to be possible? I'm going to call the piano/organ moving company Monday.

                    Any advice is welcomed and greatly appreciated. I'll admit I'm having a lot of anxiety right now because I don't know what I'm going to do if I can't get the organ into the apartment. Kind words are appreciated.

                    I'll keep everyone updated!



                    edit: I also want to mention, the organ is currently still connected to the speakers in the church it is currently located. Today when I looked at (and purchased) it, I took the back off and attempted to loosen the screws that held the speaker connections in place. The screws were extremely tight and the screwdriver I had was slipping so I did not push it for fear of stripping the screw head. Can anyone inform me of how I might loosen these screws? Certainly don't want to cut any wires... do I just need a better screwdriver..? They were on TIGHT!!.. Thanks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Your "L" maneuver is what I was attempting to describe. The cardboard cutout may be very helpful in this instance.

                      David

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You will need two of the HC-15 cabinets, as the organ has two independent audio channels. Some stops are in one channel, some are in the other, so you can't hear all the stops without two speakers. The price of $100 is indeed a steal, if that ad is for real. The close-up of the mid and tweeter seems to show that the midrange cone has had the foam replaced with something, maybe rubber, which is a good idea. He says they sound like new, and if they do that's a good thing. The woofers in HC-15s are textile-surround, so they don't suffer from foam-rot.

                        His statement that new ones cost about $1000 is pretty close, I'd think. Back in the 80's when I was an Allen salesman, the HC-15 retailed for about $600, and that was 30 years ago. $1000 sounds ridiculous for a 3-way speaker cabinet, but that's they way they are priced, given that they are not mass-produced like PA or home stereo speakers. So getting some used ones in great shape for $100 is quite a deal.

                        I'll bet the exterior door on your apartment will be a 36" door, as that is the standard size for a front door these days. The console should easily go in the door. And if the foyer isn't tiny, the movers ought to be able to turn the corner once they are through the door. I'm pretty sure you'll get it in. A few years ago we had to move a pretty large Rodgers console into a pretty small apartment. The movers put it up on one end and got it into a tiny bedroom. Professional movers are great people!

                        If your apartment is small, you may want to simply put one speaker on each side of the console. Not too bad. At least you will hear a good balance of the stops. If the sound is too direct, you could try moving them a few feet away or aiming them away from your ears. There is built-in digital reverb on the MDS-25, and you might be able to adjust it to produce a pleasing amount of reverb to make you feel like you're playing in a larger room. There has been quite a bit of discussion on this topic recently on the forum.
                        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


                        • #13
                          You guys have been excellent, thank you.

                          Contacted the speaker guy, hopefully he can ship them.

                          Are there any MDS-25 owners here? The lady at the church where I bought the organ (and where it is for a few more weeks until I can get it moved) is being difficult about getting the measurements I need to create an L-shaped cardboard cutout to maneuver through the door. I need the dimensions of the organs upper-bout so I can create an accurate cutout.

                          Also still wondering about loosening those screws that are on the speaker wire connecters, but a quick google search gave me some ideas, like using a rubber band or silicone glue(which will probably be messy..). Any other ideas?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Being a bit lightweight in the hand strength department, I use an impact driver a lot. This is a screwdriver that you hit with a hammer, that has a twisting cam inside. I bought mine from Cal-Van back when you could get US made tools, but now they come from the import tool store only I believe. I find the import tools at Bargain Supply locally to be better steel than the ones at Harbor Freight, but BS is not a national chain. Look for MIT tools, they are Taiwanese and have been holding up pretty well. Illinois Tool was just as bad as Harbor Freight, (not related to ITW at all).
                            Use of an impact driver depends on the screw being mounted on something that will withstand a hammer blow. If the screw is in a bakelight terminal strip, forget it. The 1979? S100 amp I worked on the screws weren't all that difficult to remove on the speaker terminals. I did use an angle screwdriver to get to them because they were behind the wood case, but turns out the MOS boards above were on a door that you could unscrew and swing out, and then I could lift the amp up and get straight driver access to the speaker screws. That was a MOS2 organ, in a MOS1 case apparently, a 301.
                            In extremis, if you break a terminal strip, it is the sort of part that can be bought from Newark or digikey and replaced whole. There are just wires that run inside the S100 amp from the back of the terminal strip IMHO. I like the new white "Euro" terminal strips with enclosed terminals now instead of the old bakelite barrier strips that required crimp terminals to really capture the wire. Molex sells both kinds of screw terminal strip. Newark/farnell has some house brand euro screw terminal strips that turned out to be made in Finland.
                            city Hammond H-182 organ (2 ea),A100,10-82 TC, Wurlitzer 4500, Schober Recital Organ, Steinway 40" console , Sohmer 39" pianos, Ensoniq EPS, ; country Hammond H112

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If the speaker wires are on a terminal strip in the floor of the console, you might get away with using a heavy duty tool as I-Jo suggests. But if they are on a relay assembly, I wouldn't risk it. You probably just need to be sure to take a screwdriver that is the right size and type. These are standard electrical terminal, similar to the screws on electrical switches and receptacles that electricians install in houses, so a standard "electrician's" screwdriver should be just the right tool.

                              The person who installed the organ may have tightened the screws excessively in order to make sure they didn't work lose. If so, a drop of WD-40 on each screw might do the trick. Let it soak in for an hour if the screw still seems too tight to get out.

                              Worst case, if they really are frozen in place, you can of course cut the wires. Each speaker cable contains simply a pair of #16 copper braided wires, more or less the same thing in a common electrical cord, such as the zip cord you can buy at the hardware store. So, if you have to cut the wires (make sure the organ is powered off and unplugged before you do that!), just cut them off with a few feet left on each one so you can splice when you get home. If you plan ahead, you might even cut them off long enough that they will be just right to connect to your speaker cabinets once you get it all in your home. You probably don't need more than 10 feet or so on each cable to reach a speaker cabinet that you will probably place right next to the console.

                              Here is a PDF off the Allen tech site that gives the measurements of the console. This might help you draw out your "L" pattern.
                              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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