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Allen ADC4000 Columbus Ohio

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  • Allen ADC4000 Columbus Ohio

    Posting this in case it may be of interest:

    This organ must have been in a larger church considering the number of speakers.


  • #2
    It would seem to be an outstanding instrument and suitable for a quite large space. (Of course, one would want to verify that it all works.)



    • #3
      That Altec low frequency speaker is impressive, my neighbors would love it if I had one :-)
      I'm so poor, my cats get free health care!


      • #4
        The Altec 815A horns are an odd choice for an organ, given that they are flat to only 100 Hz, roll off at 75 Hz, and are, as bass frequencies go, somewhat directional. Very interesting setup- looks like "quadruple" audio from the ADC4000's 4 channels feeding 8 amplifiers feeding 16 HC12 speakers (another interesting choice that they are on all channels).

        Not sure how the Altecs factor into that- since they're a decidedly non-standard part, and likely a bit older than the organ itself. Maybe the end user jumped them onto two of the amp channels fed from the Great-Pedal?


        • #5
          Wow! I'm a Columbusite, but full up on organs. That somewhat rare desirable, and clean original looking ALTEC 815A LOW FREQUENCY HORN and the several amps might be worth more than the ALLEN ADC4000 1983' organ and box speakers combined. Although primarily it's the ALTEC 815! High power solid state amplification is cheap these days, but ALLEN designed these particular solid state amps with MUSICAL INSTRUMENT TONE in mind. A completely different engineering mindset than HIFI amplification...although not always different, you will certainly know it when you get a thin 'cardboard' sounding result from the wrong solid state amps. Those big high dollar filter capacitors on the chassis' of those amps last for many many years and are more than a good indication that the amps have ample headroom and are capable of warmly amplifying/reproducing a full range of organ tones in the 20HZ-20KHZ range...not to mention any other music playing through them from any other source.

          Obviously it would be ideal to see everything go to the same buyer, but you might consider taking offers on the pieces individually to open up the market more. The organ console is not the best era for Allen digital organs in terms of the electronics, but it being a digital organ allows for upgrades and a very easy conversion to 21st century, higher quality organ electronics. Either from Allen themselves, or Artisan- .

          The implements of your ADC4000 as far as tab registration, professional AGO STANDARD pedal board, key transposer function ( even if going with a new MIDI ARTISAN or ALLEN upgrade that TRANSPOSER KNOB will be already in place), a multitude of presets, basically an organ as physically capable as any multi-thousand dollar 21st century organ- just add the upgraded innards that's all. And these days it's relatively easy. Just check out the Artisan videos on Youtube which explain how easy it is to convert to MIDI so it can play either HAUPTWERK digital organs meticulously sampled from churches all over the world!

          Just my two cents here. It appears the foam speaker surrounds on the ALLEN speakers ( not Altec, it looks great!) are deteriorated. I imagine that the speakers can be re-coned for a fraction of the complete replacement of brand new raw speakers. But when it comes to ALLEN you'd better do your research because they are sticklers for keeping absolutely EVERY aspect of their organ repairs in their own hands. Right down to making it nearly impossible to even get a service manual for their organs. So with that said there is a strong possibility that what they charge for re-coning their speakers you could get brand new raw speakers to install in these cabinets. They are excellent speakers btw and worth saving. Your potential customer can also look for a company that will simple replace the foam surround itself instead of the entire cone. One advantage to a foam-surround-only repair is that the speaker cone would not have to be removed and thus painstakingly realigned. Instead, it's just a matter of removing the old foam, and carefully soaking just the cardboard outer ring of the speaker itself, taking care to leave the thin outer surround of the speaker itself in place. Since the speakers lower SPIDER (see ) is keeping the VOICE COIL in it's exact factory placed position therer is no chance of a mishap after reapplying the new foam surround ( like binding/rubbing of the voice coil on the center cylinder it rides over).

          I'm not saying a person shouldn't go to the ALLEN ORGAN COMPANY for upgrades or conversions, but personally I would install an ARTISAN MIDI CONVERSION on this particular ALLEN organ you are offering for sale. Who knows, I do know Allen offers ALLEN SOUND MODULES which can fairly easily install directly on their various ALLEN organs, but I think this particular organ is too early of tech for such a module. Someone correct me if I am wrong about this. Perhaps the organ will sound excellent just as it is in it's stock form, but remember that digital technology as far as MEMORY goes has improved vastly over the years since this organ was first made, allowing for a more highly refined pipe organ emulation. Where every minute detail of a real pipe can be accurately rendered. And the best part is that it can be done for literally thousands of times cheaper!

          Keep in mind, when this ADC4000 was made in 1983 a Gig of memory cost near $50,000 and filled the space of a few large refrigerators. In 2016 you can put 128 gigs of memory on a micro SD card (smaller than your fingernail) and it costs not $3,200,000 but about $8.47 ! And when it comes to comparing PROCESSOR SPEEDS of 1981- vs- size/cost to PROCESSOR SPEEDS of 2016- vs- size/cost, it's simply astronomical.

          Still, there are some 20-30 year old Allen digital organs that sound better than some of their digital competitors of many years newer, including even some of their own newer models along the way. It just goes to show that digital design is not as cut and dry as it might appear, and that just because the specs are higher and more advanced than previous efforts that the organ will sound more realistic and warm. It's not always the case. Perhaps someone who has played the ADC4000 can relate just how good this model sounds. Maybe it can please a buyer just as it is:-) - Good Luck!
          Wurlitzer '46' Model 31 Orgatron & 310 rotary cab, 56' 4410 , 65' 4300
          Hammond '55' S6 Chord Organ,HR-40,ER-20, 1971 X66/& 12-77 tone cabinet w/ 122 kit & TREK Transposer- of which I've retrofitted a Wurlitzer/Lowrey 'PedAL gLIdE' awesome!
          Gulbransen 61' 1132 '76' Rialto II & Leslie 705 + two 540
          Conn '57' 406 Caprice '59' 815 Classic (the 29th 815)


          • #6
            Hmmm.... Highly customized for an ADC4000. We had one in our church and I will say it sounded quite nice. Middle of the line early ADC technology, the first one with the full-length cage, as opposed to the short cage of the lower series numbers, but the cage is not nearly full of boards. It does have the stops in four channels rather than just two, so that is a good difference from the lower models.

            Allen eventually made the 4XXX series quite advanced, but the original like this one has pedal stops only down to 16' and lacks the highly developed chiff and articulation that made the later 4300 such a wonderful organ. I do recall that the stops were quite realistic, especially as compared to the lower-priced 3000 series. And it was nice to have them broken out into four channels. Even the pedal stops were split, with the 16' Bourdon in one channel and the 16' Principal in the other, so pedal power could actually build up audibly when drawing both stops.

            And of course this model has the deluxe double-memory capture action and the ADC card reader system, along with divided expression, crescendo, tutti, toe studs, and other niceties that were optional in the lower priced models.

            Since this one is decked out with twice as many amps and four times as many HC-12's as standard, it makes me think it was custom built by Allen for some very large church or perhaps a public auditorium. All the wiring and the hardware on the amp rack look like original Allen workmanship, so I don't think this is a cobbled-up job. But it could no doubt ROAR in some big space with all those amps and speakers.

            I have to wonder if those "bass horns" were really a part of it from the start though. I don't believe Allen would've put something like that on one of their organs, and, as has been noted, the response of those units is not very suitable for organ, with the steep bass roll-off and directional nature. Perhaps the seller is just confused. Maybe he got those speakers out of the same location and assumed they were part of the organ when they were not.

            It should be possible to re-locate four of the amps into the console, as that was the original configuration of the standard model 4000. And then wire it up to only four of the HC-12's, which was the standard speaker set. So it would make someone a nice home organ or small church setup. Or heck, use it like it is and set it up in a basketball arena!

            BTW -- someone wondered at the use of HC-12's on all channels. This was the standard practice in the early 80's, before the HC-15 came out as the standard speaker. There are no 32' pedal stops at all on this model, so it would have worked just as well with HC-15 speakers if they had been available at the time it was sold.

            All the woofers in the HC-12's look to be about to rot, so you would have to immediately re-foam them before using. The mids actually look OK though.
            *** 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!