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  • Allen ADC 2160

    I have the chance to take, for free, an Allen ADC 2160 from a church no longer using it. We might put it in the church where I play or in my basement for a practice instrument. Anything I need to know about this particular model? It's been quite some time since I played an Allen. The console was not hooked up to the speakers (7 or 8, I think), so I couldn't take it for a test drive.

  • #2
    The standard 2160 audio was 2 channels, but the organ has 4 internal channels (with an extra 2 channels for the alterable voices if installed) that are mixed down to 2 channels, so you could run the organ as 4 or 6 channels if you choose to do so.

    This is a pretty nice stop list for a smaller 2 manual organ. If the church is running 7 or 8 channels, they probably have multiple speakers on each channel.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think you will be surprised. I had one some time back and found it to play better than I did. Joking aside, very nice organ with a lot to offer. For free? Wish someone would offer me $2000 or so for free. I ran mine as a two channel. You also have relays for a set of antiphonal speakers, so that gives you four speakers from the start.

      Congratulations on the find!

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a 2160 at home for my practice organ right now. I've had it for a year or two, and I'm pretty satisfied with it. My only regret is that it doesn't hold a candle to the Allen MDS45 I play at church, so I feel a little cheated when I'm playing it! ;-)

        Seriously, it's a fine home organ, and plenty of organ for a smallish or even mid-size church, if properly installed. It has all the basic church organ stops, including nice mixtures in all three divisions. If yours has the card reader, you even have access to a fanastic set of additional voices. The last ones out the door in the late 80's even had MIDI, and a basic MIDI adapter can be retrofitted to those that don't, giving it even more flexibility.

        All kinds of neat features are in this model that Allen once reserved for the higher-end. Divided expression, crescendo pedal, toe studs, excellent chimes, their most advanced (at the time) moving-tab capture action with double memory, and a variety of useful options that many purchasers chose -- card reader, MIDI, antiphonal speakers, digital reverb, audio expanded from two channels to four. I paid over $3000 for mine just a couple years ago, and I paid that much willingly because it was just what I was looking for. The keyboards, pedal clavier, pistons, stop controls, expression pedals, and all other hardware are of the same high quality used in Allen's top of the line organs, so this is not a cheap low-end organ by any means. I can practice on it at home and know that the church organ will "feel" identical to it.

        For me, playing a big MDS45 at church, I do notice some differences. There are a few nice stops on the organ at church that I miss at home. And playing a higher-end model at church, I notice certain technical niceties on the big one that Allen didn't include on my 2160, such as "natural" coupling from swell to great. (The 2160, as with all nearly all but the largest Allens up until the MDS period, uses a technique called "synthetic" coupling for swell to great, which means, for a variety of technical reasons, that certain things you draw on the swell don't actually couple to the great, such as tremulant and celeste. But a lot of folks never even notice this, and I wouldn't if I weren't a tech myself with picky tastes!)

        But you can't go wrong with this one. I can't think of any reason not to pick it up for free! There has been a lot of info put on on this forum about that model and similar MADC organs from the 80's, so you should find a wealth of info about maintenance and voicing.

        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
          So I looked around inside the back of my 2160. I was pleased to find the Allen MADC MIDI card already attached, found the IN and OUT MIDI connectors labeled and assume it will be as simple as plugging into a PC and running Hauptwerk, providing there is nothing broken or disconnected or missing that I have not discovered. I still need to attach headphones and think I have found where to do that. Attached are photos (I hope they make it).Click image for larger version

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ID:	598895 There is no J511 listed, per jbird's comments on an ADC 2140 thread elsewhere on the forum but perhaps one of the open plugs is the one to handle a mix down of all channels and I just need to connect a wire to the organ and then run to a mixer and into headphones/speakers. Am I on the right track with all this? I'm a music teacher and church musician not an electrician so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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          • #6
            Here are some more photos that did not make it the first time. Click image for larger version

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            • #7
              I am SO jealous. As I said above, I paid over $3000 for my 2160 a couple years ago. And mine came out of some nasty old warehouse or storage unit, filthy, moldy, stinky, and in need of much maintenance and repair. Took me a week in the garage to get it into shape for bringing into the living room.

              That one looks immaculate! And you got MIDI with it! I don't see it in the pics but I bet you have ADR-4 reverb as well. Yours must have been one of the last 2160's out the door, when they were giving away all the bells and whistles for free. What a steal!

              There isn't any headphone jack on an organ like this, but you can play it through headphones if you buy a simple mixer of some kind for about $100. I use a little Behringer unit sitting on top of my console. Just pick up the two audio channels where they connect to the ADC amplifier inputs. In the floor of the organ or on a shelf somewhere you will find the quite large and heavy ADC Amplifier with two volume control knobs, and you will see two RCA cables connected to the inputs. Since you aren't using speakers, you can simply unplug these cables, add some extenders and run this audio to two inputs of your mixer.

              Also, since you're not using the amplifier for speakers, you can pull the power cord loose from the amp chassis too, just to save a little power and save it for later when you do have speakers.

              After you connect the audio to your mixer, you can adjust the level, tone, panning, etc., on each channel to your liking so that it sounds good in the headphones. You'll certainly want some reverb, and the ADR-4 should be able to provide you with a decent amount.

              Good luck and happy playing!
              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


              • #8
                Originally posted by robhoward View Post
                I have the chance to take, for free, an Allen ADC 2160 from a church no longer using it.
                Rob,

                You did something right! That organ has all the bells and whistles, as John already stated. Great find, and I hope you enjoy it for years to come.

                Thank you for documenting it on this Forum.

                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


                • #9
                  Nice catch! A shame the church is "no longer using it", though.

                  David

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    No sound...yet

                    So, I've hooked up the cables per your instructions. I'm using an older JVC stereo receiver hooked up to some technics speakers I borrowed from my brother-in-law in place of a mixer. I did find a Behringer one on Amazon for 40.00 but it did not seem to have an amp, just a mixer. I would assume I'd need some sort of amp if I'm not using the one in the organ. The RCA cord is going from the organ amp to the CD input on the receiver. Both the receiver and the organ power on and the speakers are producing hiss if I turn them up loud enough. I don't get any organ sound, though. Attached are some pictures. I've since taken the gray/orange RCAs out of the ADR-4 which I assume is the reverb and plugged them into the inputs next to the volume controls on the amp. Any thoughts on what I'm doing wrong with this?Click image for larger version

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                    • #11
                      Maybe my instructions weren't clear. You're not getting any sound because you're not connecting your cable to the right place.

                      See the big ADC AMPLIFIER (big black thing in the floor of the console with two volume knobs)? The two RCA cables that are plugged into it are carrying the organ audio, and that is the signal you have to send into your amp.

                      You can do it either of two ways:

                      (1) Follow those two cables back to where they are plugged into the ADC mixer board, where you can pull them out of their jacks and then connect your cables where you pulled the two of them out.

                      (2) Or, if you have a couple of those back-to-back RCA jack adapters, pull out the RCA cables from the back of the amp, put the adapters on the ends of those cables, then you can connect your cable that runs to the mixer right there.

                      #1 may be the easiest, since you won't have to hunt up any more hardware. Just trace the cables back to where they come out of the mixer board (which is a large board, about a foot tall and maybe 6 or 8 inches wide, with a whole bunch of RCA plugs running up and down the sides). You don't literally have to trace the cables with your fingers, though that may be easy. If you look at the identifying numbers and letters on the cables, you should find that the other ends of the cables are marked the same way.

                      This will work, unless there is something wrong with that organ.
                      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


                      • #12
                        I'm glad to report that the ADC2160 is now up and running! All parts work and it sounds great. Thanks to jbird for your advice. I just needed to tweak some settings on my amp but that's it. Now on to Hauptwerk, but first I gotta get some practicing done for Holy Week, but now I can do it my pajamas if I want.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by robhoward View Post
                          . . .but now I can do it my pajamas if I want.
                          TMI!!!;-) I suppose I shouldn't wink, though. It might look bad.:embarrassed:

                          Congratulations to you, though!

                          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


                          • #14
                            A couple of additional questions...

                            1. I have a stuck key on the swell. I can move it up and down but it won't come back up on it's own after being depressed. What is the safest way to see about getting it unstuck without risking damaging wires, etc.?

                            2. I don't have the capture key, just the rolltop key. Any way to get a new one? The church that had the organ only had two rolltop keys.

                            3. I've read about replacing batteries so they don't damage a circuit board. Which batteries should be replaced and where are they? Are they the ones on the capture action circuit board?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1. Stuck key. Allen keyboards are much like piano keyboards. There are felt bushings inside the wooden keysticks, and metal guide pins that the felt rides upon. The wood and felt can swell in damp weather or just over time, and cause binding. One easy fix -- Lanolin. Go to a drug store or Walmart pharmacy and ask for "nursing mother's nipple cream, 100% pure lanolin" which may not be on the shelves, but available at the prescription window just by asking. Lanolin is the purified extract of the wool fiber, and is a natural lubricant for wool bushings. You'll need to use a Q-tip and apply a tiny bit of Lanolin directly to the felt bushings at the FRONT of the sluggish key.

                              To get to the bushing, you might just have to remove the piston rail and look in. Or you may have to lift up the keyboard. It's been a while since I did one. But it will be obvious.

                              2. The capture key is probably available from Allen Organ Co for a small price, a few dollars. Call them and ask. They are usually very nice to owners who just need odd parts like that. I don't know the number offhand (I have the service department number in my phone, but you need the main office number) but I think you can get it on their website.

                              3. The only batteries in a 2160 are the two AA size rechargeables on the capture board. Remove them and install either a shrink-wrapped battery pack with 2 cells (2.4 volts) or else run a wire to a 2-cell AA holder and install two NiMH rechargeables.
                              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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