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  • New Organ for my Church

    After many years of faithful service our old Allen MOS organ had a major electrical malfunction and was deemed not worth repairing (fortunately it was caught before catching on fire). Like many things in my church a hasty decision was made and we are taking delivery this Tuesday of an Allen Q300T. It's a shame it only has 38 stops our old organ had 50 but with midi and the various suites along with a much more realistic sound I'm optimistic. My main concern is the audio system, my church is very large and I'm hoping they don't skimp on the speakers. Of course no one seems to know anything regarding the sound system. Has anyone here played or heard one?

  • #2
    The 300T is a self-contained model. If this is coming from an Allen dealer we hope very much that they visited the church and added external audio as needed by the installation. If the organ is used and not from the dealer, I suspect you'll need additional audio unless its former home was in a church.

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    • #3
      I was able to get a hold of one of the installers. The organ is coming from a church that just purchased a new Allen. It is coming with 5 speakers, I'm assuming 4 full range and a subwoofer. They are talking about hooking in the set of Deagan Chimes from the old organ, hopefully they can.

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      • #4
        The Q300T, its forbear in the Renaissance line, and its cousin in the Protege line are all 4-channel organs. Depending on the installation, they would come with 4 full-range speakers and no subwoofer (HC15 or HR200), 4 full range (HC15/HR200) speakers with a (typically B20) subwoofer, subwoofer crossover, and additional amplifier on one of the Great/Pedal channels, or with 4 smaller HR100 manual cabinets and a B20 subwoofer.

        I suspect you'll be getting one of these latter combinations.

        A further variant was the "doubled audio" configuration, which was 8 manual/full-range cabinets with or without the B20 subwoofer on the Great/Pedal channel that carried the low 16' flues. Still a 4-channel configuration

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SuperOktav View Post
          After many years of faithful service our old Allen MOS organ had a major electrical malfunction and was deemed not worth repairing (fortunately it was caught before catching on fire). Like many things in my church a hasty decision was made and we are taking delivery this Tuesday of an Allen Q300T. It's a shame it only has 38 stops our old organ had 50 but with midi and the various suites along with a much more realistic sound I'm optimistic. My main concern is the audio system, my church is very large and I'm hoping they don't skimp on the speakers. Of course no one seems to know anything regarding the sound system. Has anyone here played or heard one?
          The number of stops is not as significant as the difference in tone generation. 38 stops is likely to sound much fuller on a Quantum generation instrument compared to 50 stops on a MOS generation organ. Still, I had to wonder, why was it deemed unfixable? What model was it? With 50 stops, it sounds like a multi computer MOS model.

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          • #6
            I should know but can't recall what model MOS organ you had in your church. Was it a 600 series or larger? This new one may turn out to be quite suitable with its four external speakers plus sub, unless the church is pretty big.

            We don't have that exact model locally, but we have several of the predecessor Renaissance R-300 models around here, as well as many other examples of Allen 4-channel organs, some of them in surprisingly large churches. Of course we'd all prefer more audio channels whenever possible, but we have to work with what we're given! These organs can sound quite lovely if properly voiced and if the installation is well done with speakers properly placed.

            I think you will be very pleasantly surprised at the difference in the realism of the individual stops, as well as the greatly improved ensemble of a modern digital as opposed to a MOS organ, unless the MOS organ was a large one. And the HR series speakers are really good, highly efficient and also great at dispersing the sound over a wide angle. I predict that you will enjoy this new organ immensely.

            Take some pics and post a recording if you are able.
            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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            • #7
              The old organ is an MOS-1. Model 903-3DK. Something started burning, I believe with the power supply and it ended up damaging several major components. Our dealer estimated repairs in the 6-10K range. We got the Q300 for a little under 35K. We've had an MDS being loaned to us for the past several weeks and that was a huge improvement over the old instrument even shoved in the front corner of the church. I do have to say though our old organ did sound very good all things considered, my church is large and has great acoustics, it served us well and it's sad to see it go, but this is very exciting. The old organ is being removed (basically with a sledgehammer) Monday and installation will begin Tuesday, they did say they would take time to voice the instrument properly and my fingers are still crossed that we can keep the Deagan Chimes. I'll take pictures this week and get a recording as soon as I can. The organ is coming with the midi system as well.
              Last edited by SuperOktav; 03-12-2016, 08:02 PM.

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              • #8
                http://youtu.be/GXcPXPKE9w4

                I recorded this a few years ago (excuse the mistakes). Not too bad a sound for something 30+ years old.

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                • #9
                  Superb playing! And it is quite amazing how good MOS sounds under the right conditions. I assume your church has a lively acoustic setting and that there was plenty of audio. That trumpet is truly awesome. Reminds me of just how perfectly the MOS system was able to reproduce certain stops. I've always thought there was a magnificent sound on the big reeds.

                  There was a really old 900 system here, probably installed about 1972, that was destroyed in a fire years ago when the church burned. It was in a large old-fashioned sanctuary with lively acoustics, and it sounded marvelous. There was a Trumpet 8 on the great, which as you know is not native to the MOS spec. It was a compound stop that the system created by drawing the Krummhorn and the Schalmei at the same time, as these were not used on the great of that organ. Quite an amazing Trumpet they made.

                  Sounds like the MOS computers were tuned somewhat apart, at least the great division seems to have a lot of tuning activity going on. (Unless you intentionally had the chorus or celeste tuning engaged.) But of course a large pipe organ also exhibits a lot of tuning discrepancy among the stops and divisions unless it's very freshly tuned, so that's not necessarily a drawback.

                  The great thing about your new organ -- from Renaissance onward, there are numerous tuning curves available which can be assigned to individual stops, or at least stop groups. So even with the stops coming from only four audio channels, there may be many different slight tuning variations among them that will contribute to the liveliness of the ensemble. I'm not as familiar with the Ren-25 technology you are getting as I am with the original Renaissance and Ren-II, but I do know that in the R-281 I used to play (which was Ren-II) technology, each cage had eight tuning curves which could be created and used as desired on any stop. It made that organ sound really big.

                  Looking forward to hearing a sample of the new organ's sound. If you can, include in the video some views of the church itself to give us an idea of the size and environment.
                  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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                  • #10
                    The Trumpet in the Choir was very nice, I had used 2 Alterable Stops utilizing a card which read "Solo Reed". The organ was able to pack a punch even in the church which was very large, the pedal was never very strong, from what I have seen of the speakers there only seemed to be a 12 inch enclosed sub (a B20 maybe?) that was situated in one of the speaker banks. I could never tell how many speakers the organ actually had because of covers and them being quite high off the ground, I guess I'll find out tomorrow when they dismantle everything.

                    I have a video which shows the size/layout of the church. I was taking pictures for Christmas while my mom was messing around with putting something together for an upcoming Mass, I didn't have a good device to record the sound so it's very "shrilly" and since it was just practice she just had the Crescendo pedal all the way up. Regardless you can see how they had the old organ set up.

                    https://youtu.be/VlsRtsTFiKE

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                    • #11
                      Beautiful church. And it looks like perfect acoustics for organ. A room that size might have benefited from a larger organ than the Q300 you're getting, but of course it would've cost a lot more money. I know of churches every bit that large with no more than four audio channels on the organ, so we can hope that it will sound quite good in there, especially if they do a good job of locating the speakers.

                      If it turns out to be under-sized, perhaps you can eventually have the speakers doubled up. Allen's amps are generally capable of driving two standard 8 ohm speaker cabinets per channel, and doubling the speakers will give you somewhat more oomph. Maybe the sub will turn out to be an SR-5. If so, it can produce quite a bit more rumble than the B-20. I can't get any info on the Allen tech site about what sub they package with that organ, even though it does say the organ can optionally have a sub channel.

                      I guess you'll find out a lot more tomorrow. Please post!
                      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
                        The 4-channel organs with the ubiquitous Allen 32' Contra Violone almost always came with a B-20 sub as the standard. "Sub channel" is in this case a crossover on one of the 4 organ channels.

                        Double audio might just be the ticket, with a second B-20 or something bigger than that. I agree that the organ will be working rather hard with only 5 speakers, especially since the 903 almost certainly had many more.

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                        • #13
                          I have a few pictures of the work that was done today. From what I can tell the 903 has 7 speakers plus one B-20 or similar sized sub. They didn't take off all the speaker grilles today so it's hard to tell exactly what's behind them. Unfortunately they won't be hooking up the Deagan Chimes but they will remain on the wall, so maybe one day. The Q300 is in the Choir Loft but they haven't done anything with speakers yet. I was going to ask about the sub but didn't get around to it and when I got back to the church they had already left, so I'll just see tomorrow. This organ has internal speakers but one of the techs mentioned the external amp was an upgraded one and larger than the standard external amp, I'm hoping this means the church will fill with sound better or they at least plan on hooking in a larger sub.







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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SuperOktav View Post
                            The old organ is an MOS-1. Model 903-3DK. Something started burning, I believe with the power supply and it ended up damaging several major components. Our dealer estimated repairs in the 6-10K range. We got the Q300 for a little under 35K. We've had an MDS being loaned to us for the past several weeks and that was a huge improvement over the old instrument even shoved in the front corner of the church. I do have to say though our old organ did sound very good all things considered, my church is large and has great acoustics, it served us well and it's sad to see it go, but this is very exciting. The old organ is being removed (basically with a sledgehammer) Monday and installation will begin Tuesday, they did say they would take time to voice the instrument properly and my fingers are still crossed that we can keep the Deagan Chimes. I'll take pictures this week and get a recording as soon as I can. The organ is coming with the midi system as well.
                            The 903 was the first digital Allen I ever heard. It was at Griggs Music in Davenport, Iowa. Michael Dunne was the salesman. He eventually went to Florida and started a big Allen dealership. The 903 blew me away. I had never heard anything sound so much like a pipe organ. It had 3 MOS computers. I later learned that was the minimum to get a really good, big sounding ensemble. The Celeste Tuning was very interesting, but the 903 had it on only 2 of the three manuals. You had to go to a model 1203 to get Celeste Tuning on all divisions.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SuperOktav View Post
                              http://youtu.be/GXcPXPKE9w4

                              I recorded this a few years ago (excuse the mistakes). Not too bad a sound for something 30+ years old.
                              I enjoyed listening to your recording. Yes, the organ does have a very nice sound for its age, and the acoustics in your sanctuary sound WONDERFUL! All the best with the new instrument!
                              Craig

                              Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

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