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Was there a larger Allen subwoofer in the 1980's than the B40?

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  • Was there a larger Allen subwoofer in the 1980's than the B40?

    I just visited a church in the heart of Allen-land north of Philadelphia with an Allen ADC-4300 with 5 HC15's and one very large Allen bass cabinet that is at least the size of three HC15's together- roughly 4 feet long by 30" high, and a completely different geometry and configuration than the B40. Curiously, it looks to have two separate speaker inputs on a four position barrier strip that is connected to two separate speaker lines, and a separate amplifier that, unlike the other amplifiers, is not in the console but rather in the chamber next to the speaker. Any idea what this might be?

  • #2
    There might have been - not sure. The B40 was developed in 1984, and the first prototype was twice as big, with two drivers. It worked well but was deemed too heavy and unwieldy. It was cut in two and thus the B40 as we know it was born.

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    • #3
      Maybe somebody glued to of them back together!

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      • #4
        Interesting. Walter obviously had first-hand info on that, and it's always educational to get the word from an insider. Unless I completely missed it, though, such a speaker was not offered to us out in the field. I suppose right there in the Lehigh Valley they might have sold something like that, where they could have kept an eye on it and evaluated the results over time, but such a speaker was never in the dealer catalog, to my knowledge anyway, during my time as a salesman, pretty much throughout the 80's.

        I can see how a great big cabinet like that with two drivers which could be driven by separate amps would be useful. There is nothing like a really massive speaker for putting out earth-shaking bass in a large church. Like the old Rodgers P1 cabinet with its enormous 30" driver in a box roughly the size of a Cooper Mini -- now that was a woofer for you.

        But, as Walter says, such a box would indeed be unwieldy. Indeed, many churches would have no place to put such a thing, and many dealers would balk at having to install one that big. Of course the current SR-1 is pretty darn big, and I think it's being used in a lot of the large Quantum installations.

        I'm always amazed to hear of various experimental speaker designs that Allen tried out over the years. They really wanted the organs not to be limited by the speakers.
        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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        • #5
          Thank you Walter and John. We'll be doing some work in that church (probably) over the next few months, and I'll get a couple pictures of it- should have done that when I was there this time. It was definitely installed by Allen, as the wiring and cabinet all look to be typical Allen. It's fed from a single line-level channel to a 2-channel third-party (not Allen) amp in the chamber that dates to the late 1980's with the organ, and all the wiring to and from looks Allen original. The 2-channel amp has paralleled inputs and one channel appears to feed each of (2) separate speaker inputs on the cabinet, which would appear to wire to (2) separate drivers, although I couldn't get a good look at the front. It's a BIG box- not terribly deep, but at least 4' W x 2-1/2' H x about 15" D. The box configuration reminds me a lot of the Walker Technical B-400GL we used to install in the pedal of Ahlborn-Galantis, although this is unmistakably an Allen cabinet.

          I played the organ briefly, and this thing puts out SERIOUS bass. The driver surrounds in this cabinet are no doubt shot, as the bottom of the 32' Contre Bourdon gets pretty fluttery, just like it does on other B40-equipped Allens than need a speaker re-cone, but even with that, it's easy to tell how much bottom this thing can put out. It's on the channel that has the 32' and the 16' Bourdons. I'm not as up on the stop channel layout of the 4300, but it appears that the 16' Diapason is in another channel.

          This organ is located an hour south of Macungie, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's some one-off customization with this speaker setup, being so close to the factory.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by michaelhoddy View Post
            I played the organ briefly, and this thing puts out SERIOUS bass. The driver surrounds in this cabinet are no doubt shot, as the bottom of the 32' Contre Bourdon gets pretty fluttery, just like it does on other B40-equipped Allens than need a speaker re-cone, but even with that, it's easy to tell how much bottom this thing can put out. It's on the channel that has the 32' and the 16' Bourdons. I'm not as up on the stop channel layout of the 4300, but it appears that the 16' Diapason is in another channel.
            Michael,

            The ADC-4300 Channel Chart is at this link. I separated my ADC-4300's Pedal from the Great channels so they have their own amps and speakers (as well as adding the Sub-Crossover). The organ definitely has enough bass now! Even with only an HC-20 (or is it a B-20?). I can never remember. I know I have the B-40 hooked up to my ADC-5400.

            Hope that helps.

            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

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            • #7
              Allen, I am certain, offer custom speaker designs when the job requires it. Makes complete sense for a subwoofer, too.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by toodles View Post
                Allen, I am certain, offer custom speaker designs when the job requires it. Makes complete sense for a subwoofer, too.
                That's what's interesting about this- this particular application is not that out of the ordinary. Regular 500-seat rectangular church with peaked 30 foot ceiling, and a regular Allen ADC4300. The only stops it's carrying are really the 32' and 16' flutes and a few others in that channel that don't require a subwoofer anyway. A regular B40 would have done the trick quite nicely.

                The rest of the configuration is typical 4300- there are 5 HC15's, but I think the optional Brass Choir (which is present) is one of them. The other 4 are the standard 4 channels you'd find on this organ, with the subwoofer on channel 3 with a crossover.

                Maybe someone on the original organ committee or the dealer REALLY wanted the building to shake?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by michaelhoddy View Post
                  Maybe someone on the original organ committee or the dealer REALLY wanted the building to shake?
                  Or there was a little left in the organ fund to liberate?
                  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


                  • #10
                    Hi guys, I do know what Michael is talking about. Yes, the original description was correct. The Allen representative in PA (Grafton) often makes their own subwoofers for the larger installations. In fact, Ocean City Tabernacle in Ocean City, NJ has 6 of these monsters around the perimeter of the church. Of course, these units are in finished cabinets. However, my church has a total of 3 of these monsters in the great chamber, each of these speakers has 8-16's in them powered by 1000 amp Crown's per. Talk about a rumble. OMG!!

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                    • #11
                      There is much to be said for an installer making custom subwoofer systems. While the pre-packaged subs in use today, such as the awesome SR-1 and SR-5 by Allen, can produce room-shaking output, in a truly huge venue much more powerful subs are required, and if you want optimum coupling of the bass to the room, even in a more typically sized church, the "infinite baffle" concept works best, requiring a complete isolation of the fronts of the woofer cones from the rears. The famous Thigpen Rotary Woofer uses this concept, substituting a fan of course for a simple driver cone, but the idea is the same -- the woofer actually modulates the barometric pressure in the room as the cones move in and out. This is bass that you can feel in your bones.

                      I built a custom subwoofer setup for the church where I was playing back several years ago. When we built a new sanctuary, I was the building chairman, and I got to design it all. I reserved two very large room-size chambers above the choir for organ speakers. Each side contained a massive subwoofer array with four 18" Eminence drivers per side in a series/parallel arrangement, driven by a pair of 1000 watt amps. These woofers were mounted on 1.5" thick baffles screwed directly to the structure of the building with the fronts of the cones facing into the sanctuary, the rears facing into the tightly-sealed chamber of about 3200 cubit feet. Not only did the response go easily all the way down to the 16 Hz bottom of a 32' stop, using synth tones I could produce infrasonic output that would open and close the rear doors of the church!

                      Interesting that there is or was an Allen dealer who actually built his own subs. I commend anyone who has the skill and will take the time to do such a thing. Might seem like a small detail, but it could make all the difference in the world in the success of the organ.

                      If you have never heard an organ installed with subs like that, you have no idea what it can be like!
                      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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