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Allen ADC4000 card Reader Voicing

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  • Allen ADC4000 card Reader Voicing

    I'm having trouble with voicing of the two alterable stops on an Allen ADC4000. When using a flute card am unable to get rid of a slight rasp or buzz in the voice. It's not kazoo but still not appropriate for flutes.

    For reeds it's fine. Works great on Spanish Trumpet, Krummhorn. Trumpet, etc.

    For Flute B 8', Bourdon 16', Flute Dolce 8', and Rhorflute 8' the buzz persists.

    Have tried exercising the pots and setting the sound to to Principal 8' Test Card. Can only get rid of the buzz by turning gain down so far that the volume is not matched with the rest of the organ.

    Does anybody have experience with this and maybe a solution to the problem or a formula for the pot settings?

    Sam
    Sam

    Allen ADC5400, 1910 Chickering QuarterGrand
    Past---Allen ADC4000, Galanti Praeludium II, Yamaha Clavinova, Hammond A102, W.W. Putnam Reed Organ

  • #2
    Just a thought--the raspiness could represent the introduction of distortion into the waveforms, and this distortion would be more noticeable on stops that are supposed to be almost pure tones. Could you have a burned out lamp that is causing the card punches to be misread? Dirt in the photocell holes could also cause this problem.

    Comment


    • #3
      Do check, as Don notes, the lamps and be sure the holes are all clean. It always seemed to me that ADC card readers had to be quite carefully calibrated to read all the cards correctly.

      However, even with the best conditions, certain sounds don't do very well from the card reader, and flutes are the worst. There are just some unneeded harmonics that are going to intrude on stops that are supposed to be very fundamental and plain, and you can't get rid of them completely, especially on the USTG-5 board, where the tone controls have to be adjusted so that all kinds of stops sound as good as possible. If you turn down the treble enough to blunt these harmonics on a flute card, you will have dead-sounding strings and reeds.

      The card reader was always best for providing some additional colorful reeds, and super keen strings anyway. It was moderately useful for percussions, such as the chrysoglott and chimes. Otherwise, not so much. But it is what it is, and comes in very handy when you need just the right solo reed!
      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


      • #4
        Good call Don. There was one lamp out. I had one replacement so I installed. And, then, there were two additional outs. I have no more replacements. Going to look into the LED replacement.

        Thanks John for your input. Maybe I can adjust one alterable to use for flutes and the other for reeds and strings.

        Anyone recall the source for the LED replacement?

        Thanks,

        Sam
        Sam

        Allen ADC5400, 1910 Chickering QuarterGrand
        Past---Allen ADC4000, Galanti Praeludium II, Yamaha Clavinova, Hammond A102, W.W. Putnam Reed Organ

        Comment


        • #5
          Harrison Laboratories, which wins "quirkiest Web site" honors again this year. If you can actually find and order the stuff, you will discover that they sell nothing but ordinary LEDs with current-limiting resistors. I see no reason not to source them from a mainstream supplier such as Mouser and save the frustration of dealing with Hlabs. But their stuff does work, according to those who have used it.

          Comment


          • #6
            I ordered from Harrison Lab. They provide instructions---which I will need---along with parts for $30 including shipping. If it solves the card reader problem forever that's a good deal. Now if I can master the soldering iron all will be well.
            Sam

            Allen ADC5400, 1910 Chickering QuarterGrand
            Past---Allen ADC4000, Galanti Praeludium II, Yamaha Clavinova, Hammond A102, W.W. Putnam Reed Organ

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by samzer View Post
              Thanks John for your input. Maybe I can adjust one alterable to use for flutes and the other for reeds and strings.
              Sam,

              Good call. On my ADC organs with only 2 alterable choices, I always voice them with a slight difference. By adjusting both the Alterables with that difference, it allows me to essentially get two different quality stops from the same Tone Card. I voice one slightly stronger for a solo stop, and one with a bit more bass, so I can use the 16' Reed stops in the Pedal. Also, the Celeste Tuning stop allows the two Alterables to create a celeste from any two stops, but I preserve that for Flutes and Strings primarily.

              Originally posted by samzer View Post
              I ordered from Harrison Lab. They provide instructions---which I will need---along with parts for $30 including shipping. If it solves the card reader problem forever that's a good deal. Now if I can master the soldering iron all will be well.
              If you need it, I can photograph (or share a photograph) of how the wire leads are bent slightly to make them easier to solder. At first, I thought there was no reason for it, but once I repaired a few lights, I discovered the bends in the wires helped control the level of the light from the card, and also helped them remain stable while soldering them.

              Keep us posted on your progress! I look forward to hearing how the LED conversion works out for you. Personally, I've stayed with bulbs.

              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


              • #8
                Originally posted by samzer View Post
                I ordered from Harrison Lab. They provide instructions---which I will need---along with parts for $30 including shipping. If it solves the card reader problem forever that's a good deal. Now if I can master the soldering iron all will be well.
                You will also need a drill to enlarge the holes to hold the LED's.

                td
                Servicing electronic organs since 1969.

                Comment


                • #9
                  No problem. Have a drill press. B-)
                  Sam

                  Allen ADC5400, 1910 Chickering QuarterGrand
                  Past---Allen ADC4000, Galanti Praeludium II, Yamaha Clavinova, Hammond A102, W.W. Putnam Reed Organ

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I installed the kit from Harrison Labs. It was fairly straight forward. I won't get any praise for my soldering, but, it WORKS!! Only burned myself a couple of times. My only suggestion to Harrison will be to send a better photo of the finished project. The one that they included was not useful.

                    Next problem.....the card reader memory does not work. Memory disappears when the organ is turned off. I replaced the battery but it didn't work after the replacement. Bought the battery from Amazon but don't recall the voltage and it's not noted on the battery itself. Can someone tell me the correct voltage so that I can replace again?

                    Thanks,

                    Sam
                    Sam

                    Allen ADC5400, 1910 Chickering QuarterGrand
                    Past---Allen ADC4000, Galanti Praeludium II, Yamaha Clavinova, Hammond A102, W.W. Putnam Reed Organ

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sam, I believe the card reader memory batteries were made up of three AA cells, so the voltage would be 3.6 volts in a Ni-cad or NiMH shrink-wrap pack.
                      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
                        We have an Allen ADC-1110 in our basement choir room at church. It is a relatively large room - about 600 square feet - and the Allen sounds good therein. It has a card reader and the memory has always cancelled out when the organ is turned off. I seem to recall that I was told by an Allen tech that some ADC models do this and others hold the card reader memory intact.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here's the breakdown on card reader memory: the "original" type ADC systems are the ones with horizontal cages with numerous plug-in cards, and one of those cards is the USAV-1 or USAV-2, if the organ even has a card reader. It was optional on some models and standard on others. This USAV board will have a battery (originally mounted on the board, but should be moved off the board to prevent leaking battery damage!), and that battery is a pack of three AA rechargeables. This type of system DOES hold the last card loaded into each alterable in memory as long as the battery remains charged.

                          Models that have the horizontal cage with the USAV board inside include all ADC models numbered 4000 and above, PLUS the "original" 1000, 2000, and 3000 series when equipped with a card reader. These original 1000 through 3000 models all have a ZERO in the second place of their number.

                          The other type of ADC system is properly called "MADC-2" or "MADC-3" and has an entirely different card reader system. These models are distinguished by have the numeral ONE in the second place of the model number instead of a ZERO as with the original ADC models. So these are the 1100, 2100, 3100, as well as the 1110, 1130, 1140, 2110, 2130, 2140, 2160, and 3160.

                          These organs have a "sandwich" tone generator assembly made up of two or three boards all standing up vertically and housed in a metal cage that is totally different from the horizontal cage used in all other ADC (and large MDS) models.

                          These organs, with the ONE in second place, may or may not have a card reader, as it was optional on most of them. When the card reader is present, it requires the addition of a third card inside the "sandwich" and that card does NOT have a battery on it. Thus, the board does not remember the last card you installed in each alterable when the organ is powered off. You must re-install your alterables each time you power up if you intend to use one or both of them.

                          I realize this is all confusing, but the numeral in the SECOND place of the model number tells the tale. Unfortunately, owners and even dealers are often not sure which model they actually have, knowing simply that they have a "two thousand" series model. But if you know the true model number you will know whether or not there is a card reader battery.

                          To summarize:

                          (1) If the organ is ADC 4000 or above, it WILL remember the alterables when powered off.

                          (2) If the organ model is below 4000, look at the SECOND digit of the number. If "0" then yes it remembers. If "1" it does not.
                          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


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
                            To summarize:

                            (1) If the organ is ADC 4000 or above, it WILL remember the alterables when powered off.

                            (2) If the organ model is below 4000, look at the SECOND digit of the number. If "0" then yes it remembers. If "1" it does not.
                            John,

                            What about 3-digit ADC models (i.e. 420, 520, etc.)?

                            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


                            • #15
                              Michael, I don't believe any of the three-digit ADC models had card readers. Certainly none of the popular church/classical models that were sold during my time with an Allen dealer. I can say that for sure about the 220, 221, 222, 420, 430, 520, 530, 720, all of which I personally sold and installed.

                              There were a few theater-style ADC models with three digits, and I don't know that I ever saw one. So it's possible that they might have had card readers, though I tend to doubt that.

                              The reason for the lack of card readers in this series is the type of main tone generator system they used, a "single-board" arrangement that condensed all the functions of the ADC technology onto a single large pc board. This single board generated about 16 stops, best I recall, outputted on two audio channels. These stops were used in a "borrowed" design that farmed these stops out to all the organ divisions in various combinations to produce a stop list that seemed much larger, and indeed functioned much like a larger organ.

                              But this single board solution made no provision for a card reader and had no ready-made connection port for an add-on sub-system to handle card reading functions. It was only with the introduction of the "four-digit" MADC models (1100, 2100, 3100) that the main tone generator board was changed to allow the connection of additional sub-systems, including a secondary TG board that could produce another 16 stops, along with a third board that could read the cards.

                              So, the entry level line of (M)ADC models, up through the 720 at least, did not offer the card reader.
                              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

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