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Allen ADC2140 MIDI, reverb, headphones

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  • Allen ADC2140 MIDI, reverb, headphones


    I am interested in adding reverb and a headphone jack to an Allen ADC2140. This organ, with two external speakers, was previously installed in a church, so a headphone jack and any type of reverb was optional at that time.

    Has anyone else added a MIDI out to these organs as well?



  • #2

    I had a personal inquiry from another forum member just the other day about the same topic. I will copy and paste what I wrote to him and hope this will help you too. Here's what I said to him, with a minor edit or two to apply to your 2140.

    I have an Allen 2160 here at home, which is also a two-channel MADC model, virtually the same as the 2140 except for the number of pistons. I also need to practice with headphones most of the time, so I've rigged up a makeshift but very workable system. I use the monaural mix output from the ADC mixer board in the back of the organ. If you look at that board, you will see an output labeled J511, which is the "headphone/tape" output, though it may not be marked as such. This jack carries a balanced blend of the four or six audio channels from the cage, with expression applied, so it's a nice clean signal for headphone listening. The signal level is standard line level, so all you need is an inexpensive headphone amp. But .....

    Problem is, it's a dead mono signal, and without reverb it sounds very flat and dry. My solution is a bit convoluted, but there is a much easier way, and I would do it differently, now that I know about it. My setup includes both a Behringer "MiniFex" reverb that cost about $69 at MCM, plus a little table-top mixer with a headphone jack. With the reverb to sweeten the sound, and with the tone controls of the mixer to tweak the sound to agree with my headphones, I get great sound that I can enjoy.

    Now, if I were doing it over from scratch, I'd just use one device -- one of the inexpensive table-top mixers with built-in reverb effects. Behringer has one that sells for about $100 US that has two mono and two stereo inputs and 100 DSP effects to choose from. One of them is bound to be "concert hall reverb" or something like that. This one device contains everything you need -- mixer input with tone controls, digital reverb, and an included headphone amp. It just has to sit on top of the console or other convenient spot.

    One thing remains -- you need a way to silence the organ speakers while listening by headphones. IF the organ is already equipped with a tab that says "main speakers off" and has the relay to go with it, you just turn off the speakers that way while playing with the headphones. To keep the capture action from canceling that tab with every piston, I made a little cardboard thing to stick in above that tab (!)

    If there is no relay, you might have to make up some kind of accessible switch to kill the speakers when playing with headphones.

    Hope that helps. Good luck!
    *** 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

      Have you seen these threads? For the first list, I typed "ADC MIDI". For the second list, I typed "Allen Reverb" (including quotes). For the third list, I typed Allen +Headphones.
      I hope this is enough information to start.

      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


      • #4
        I've added MIDI to an ADC4100 for Hauptwerk. It was inexpensive, a lot of wiring, worked really well, but DID NOT preserve the Allen electronics which would be important for some of you. Take a look at the result at I've since added a third manual. Spent less that $1000 on the console and mods. Much more for the computer, software, and speakers of course.


        • #5
          Thank you to all for your advice and suggestions.

          While cleaning and organizing the basement today I came across a couple of Allen main organ off/antiphonal organ on relays that I believe will work just fine with the ADC2140. So this will allow the speakers to be easily turned off with the Main Organ Off tab. However I am not sure if this tab will be affected by the capture action? This model has the 7 pistons and A & B memories (blind) capture action.