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  • External Speakers for Allen Chapel CF15

    My wife has an Allen Chapel CF15 in her music studio with internal cabinet speakers. I would like to connect the organ to external speakers. She needs more volume, range, especially in the lower frequencies. But we only need to fill her studio (22'x14') with sound, not a church. I can't find any service manuals or technical information regarding what is required and how to connect. I am prepared to buy speakers that can handle the power, if there is an internal amp to drive them. Otherwise, I will get an external amp. Any guidance would be appreciated.

  • #2
    The brochure for the CF15 indicates that the relays to switch the speakers was an option, so they may or may not have been included on your organ. If the "console speakers off" tab turns off the organ speakers, then the relays are definitely installed.

    The internal amps, though, should be able to drive external speakers.

    But the CF-15 should be very voiceable, and perhaps can just be adjusted so the internal speakers provide the additional bass response you need. Your local Allen dealer should be able to assist you in doing this or providing appropriate external speakers. If you just want additional bass, you might not need completely separate speakers, but just an external subwoofer for supporting the bass.

    Comment


    • #3
      Trytting,

      Welcome to the Forum. I hope you (and your wife) continue to participate here.

      The Allen Chapel organ will have amplifiers inside the organ. Since I've never been inside one of those instruments, I'll defer to Tucsondave & JBird604 for the details. Others like Toodles, Michaelhoddy, and Don60 have much information to share as well.

      Meanwhile, if you are able to take photos of the inside of the organ where you think the amplifiers are located, it will help greatly with the directions given. You may need to disconnect the internal speakers (depending on the amplifier Allen used), but it certainly should power at least 1 set of external speakers.

      If you're lucky, your organ will have antiphonal relays or an external speaker switch. If you press this button, engage the tab, or pull the drawknob (whatever system you have), you should hear a click inside the organ. If so, you already have the mechanism set up to connect the external speakers to your organ.

      I'm not sure about the frequency range and response of the newer speakers Allen is selling, but I know the Allen HC-12 can certainly handle the lowest pedal notes on your organ, and an HC-14 or HC-15 should be able to handle the any of the other channels of the organ. In fact, if your wife's organ doesn't have a 32' stop, the HC-14 or HC-15 would certainly handle the 16' stops.

      I hope this gets you started, and provides at least some information to think about. I hope it 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

      Comment


      • #4
        As others have noted, there MAY be a relay already in place to accommodate external speakers. I'll add a photo of the standard Allen antiphonal relay at the bottom of this comment.

        If you have one, note that there are terminals for "Main Sp 1" and "Main Sp 2" and these are where you attach the external speakers. Connect the white wire going to each speaker cabinet to one of these terminals, and connect the black wire to the COM terminal beside it. There may be a pair of jumpers which are supposed to be removed when external speakers are added. Unless you remove them, the internal speakers will play all the time and won't respond to the "Internal Speakers Off" tab. Note the two slider resistors. They are for reducing the volume of the internal speakers to suit your preference, so they will not overpower the external speakers.

        The CF15 is a two-channel organ, and the designated external speaker set is a pair of Allen HC-15 cabinets. Since there are no 32' pedal stops, the HC-15 cabinets are well-matched to this organ and should produce a generous amount of power and give you more solid bass than the internal speakers alone.

        These HC-15 speakers have been in production with very little changes since the mid-80's, so they are quite commonly available on ebay and other places. They often seem to go for about $200 each. You do need to find out before you buy if the midrange speaker has been re-coned or re-foamed, as these little drivers are notorious for having rotted foam surrounds that will greatly affect the sound quality. If you buy a pair that hasn't had it's foam replaced, you can do it yourself or pay a tech or a speaker company to do it, but you should pay less for one that hasn't been repaired.

        If your organ does have the relays installed, you will be able to switch between internal and external speakers with a tab on the stop rail. Without the relays, you can simply connect the external speakers directly to the amp outputs and have them play all the time. If you don't want to hear the internal speakers playing along, you can disconnect them. Or you can let both sets play all the time.

        Obviously, you might affect the voicing to some extent by adding additional speakers. You are a bit limited in how much you can compensate for this, as the voicing has to be done with a computer running the Allen DOVE software. You can adjust the amplifier volumes using a miniature screwdriver to turn the tiny pots on the amp modules (with great care and caution!).

        If you bought the organ new from a dealer, perhaps the dealer will give you some help, and it might be well to let him/her know that you want to do this to the organ. You might even need to see if adding speakers on without letting the dealer or his tech do it will void your warranty.
        Attached Files
        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
          The CF-15 has a 32' Contra Violone, so the HC-12's might be a better choice. (It is not that I know this model well, I found the brochure online and looked it up.)

          If the internal speakers are otherwise suitable except for the lack of bass I still think re-voicing or just adding a subwoofer might be a better solution considering the small size of the room. Not that external speakers wouldn't be better--it's always better if the speakers have a cabinet designed specifically for them.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by toodles View Post
            The CF-15 has a 32' Contra Violone, . . .
            Are you sure? The owners manual I found online did not list a 32' stop for either the CF-15 or the CF-30. Maybe I need to check again.:-P

            Of course, the 32' Pedal could always be added by MIDI, and that would require a speaker to produce those tones.

            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


            • #7
              Ooops, I goofed. The voicing chart does show a 32' Contre Violone on that model. I had forgotten that Allen began to put that puny stop on nearly all their organs by the late 90's, even self-contained models. Of course a 32' Contre Violone has little or no fundamental tone down in that infamous 32' octave, so the HC-12 is not required. The Allen tech site says that the recommended external set is a pair of HC-15's.

              HC-12's wouldn't be a bad choice, as they obviously favor the bass frequencies a little more, though you lose a bit of sparkle in the trade-off. If it were possible to voice that model with a screwdriver, I'd say the speaker choice doesn't matter, but if the OP doesn't have access to a computer with DOVE and can't get the dealer to voice it, he'll be stuck with the way it is voiced, and it may have been factory voiced with HC-15 speakers in mind.

              Just adding a sub might be enough, if all they want is more bass. A 22 x 14 room isn't all that small though, and they probably have plenty of room for a couple of HC cabinets. And an organ will almost always sound better with external speakers. (My organ "studio" is about 6'x10' but I have a bunch of external 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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                Are you sure?

                Michael
                No, I'm not--I don't own this model, but the brochure says so!
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by toodles View Post
                  No, I'm not--I don't own this model, but the brochure says so!
                  Well, I learned a lesson--don't go by the owner's manual on Allen's site: http://www.allenorgan.com/www/suppor.../033-00155.pdf. That document makes no reference to a 32' at all. That'll teach me for believing Allen's owner's manuals.:embarrassed:

                  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


                  • #10
                    If you live anywhere near Phoenix, I have a pair of HC15 that I would sell an a very reasonable price.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                      Well, I learned a lesson--don't go by the owner's manual on Allen's site: http://www.allenorgan.com/www/suppor.../033-00155.pdf. That document makes no reference to a 32' at all. That'll teach me for believing Allen's owner's manuals.:embarrassed:

                      Michael
                      Actually, that document doesn't list the stops for the organ at all--just a few of the specialized controls. Many of Allen's older manuals listed the complete stop lists for the organ, but newer manuals don't seem to be doing that. Don't feel bad--you looked where you expected to find it and it wasn't there. We all do that from time to time. Just don't let it happen again:-B

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for your comments, and the others on this thread.

                        The organ has one drawknob each for "Console Speakers Off" and "External Speakers Off". So far so good. I tried the "Console Speakers Off" knob and it had no effect on the Console speakers - they remained on. I also didn't hear a "click" in the cabinet, so I assume the relay is not installed. I will contact my local Allen rep and ask him for pricing and installation. He is the one who sold us the organ and installed it. He is also the person I would turn to for proper voicing.

                        Is the relay board something that I could purchase and install myself? I do have a reasonable amount of electric/electronic experience and could follow a connection diagram...

                        The Allen DOVE software - I assume that is only provided to authorized service personnel? Will they give/sell it to me if I ask?

                        My Allen service person did say that the Allen speakers have crossover networks that are specifically designed and tuned for the organ. Apparently purchasing equivalent speakers from an audio supplier will not sound as good. Although I am not sure that I would be discriminating enough to notice. My reason for being interested in commercially available speakers is cost. I was given a ballpark estimate for two HR 200 speakers (although that may be overkill) and relay installed for just south of $5000.

                        The Corporate Allen person mentioned an XLR output kit for interfacing into PA or Church speakers, but apparently it is only one channel, not two. I will pass on that.

                        Question about the Allen HC-15 speakers. They look about the same size as the HR-200 speakers on Allen's web site: https://www.allenorgan.com/www/produ...ers/hr200.html
                        Are they equivalent? I can't see any HC-15 speakers on Allen's web site.

                        Two HR200 speakers were in the just-under-$5K quote I received.....

                        The main thing my wife doesn't like is that the console speakers are (I assume) under the keyboard pointed at her legs. It doesn't feel right to her - she is used to the sound filling the space above the organ. Hoping that external speakers, or maybe both (it looks like the organ can independently control the console and external speakers)....
                        Last edited by myorgan; 03-15-2017, 08:38 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Trytting,

                          First, please be aware you do not need to post three separate times in the same thread. I merged your 3 posts and approved the combined post.

                          There is absolutely no need to pay around $5,000 for 2 HR speakers. I believe either John or Toodles recommended HC-15 speakers, and there are some HC-15 speakers on *Bay for only $200 (maybe $250) each. The crossover is on each speaker, so there's no need to worry about that. The speakers are 17.5"x17.5" wide and deep, and approximately 33" tall. They weigh between 80-90 lbs. each.

                          I was able to obtain a relay card for around $50 on the Internet, but they come up rarely. I'm sure if you have electrical experience, you could probably connect it properly with help from the techs here. As you have already experienced, they are quite knowledgeable.

                          Like your wife, I couldn't stand the sound coming from under the keyboards as well. On the first generation or two of Allen's digital organs, they included small 2-3" square speakers on either side of the stop rail and called them presence projectors. They were included specifically to allow the organist to hear what (s)he was playing.

                          Speaking of presence projectors, there are PP-3 (sometimes labeled PP-8) presence projector speakers with just a mid-range and tweeter. If you found a couple of those, you could attach them to the amplifiers and they could rest on top of the organ. They are approximately 13"x5"x5" each. I even use them in larger venues so the higher frequencies can be heard better.

                          I hope this helps provide some information you can use.

                          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
                            $5K does seem rather a chunk of money for two speaker cabinets and a little switch box, but Allen equipment is always pricey, especially after-market parts and add-ons. Part of what makes Allen a great organ company is knowing that they have what you need for as long as you own the organ, even if it's 70 years, and it costs a lot of money to stock parts for all those models. Thus they aren't ashamed to make good money when they sell you something.

                            You are a bit over a barrel, because the DOVE software is not something you can get to use yourself (unless that situation has changed). Only dealers are supposed to have it, not even independent techs like me, even though I've serviced Allen for 35 years and can buy parts, still can't buy DOVE. So, if any voicing is needed after adding the speakers (and it could be, or maybe not...) you would need the dealer's good graces. there is also the warranty to consider, as you may technically void the warranty by attaching equipment to the organ that you didn't buy from the dealer. That might or might not be of any importance to you. your call on that.

                            So, if you're in a Mercedes state of mind, and don't mind spending whatever it takes to maintain your relationship with the dealer, well, there's your choice.

                            OTOH, this being a small two-channel organ, and it's in a home rather than a church, adding a pair of speakers might not affect the sound enough for anyone to want to tinker with the voicing. Basically it will just move the source of the sound from the kneeboard to some other locations. If you're careful you can certainly do this yourself.

                            The simple, quick, nearly fool-proof way to do it first... (1) obtain two HC-15 speakers and make sure they are relatively new or have had their mid's re-foamed. The HR-200 is the currently offered Allen full-size full-range cabinet, but the HC-15 was and is a fine unit, compatible with all Allen organs and certainly sufficient for your organ. (2) Look inside the console, in the floor, and you will probably see a terminal strip which is "prepared" for the antiphonal relay assembly. This strip will look EXACTLY like the 13-place strip that you see on the edge of the relay assembly in the photo I posted up above somewhere, and will have its wires in exactly the same order. Now, to attach new speakers....

                            (3) On the fourth terminal from the left, you will find the wire that comes from amplifier #1, and on the fifth terminal the common wire from the amp. Attach a length of #16 twisted pair or zip cord speaker wire, preferably with spade lugs, to these two terminals, taking note of the polarity. White wire to the "amp 1" terminal, black to the common. With zip cord, the ribbed conductor to the amp 1, the smooth one to common.

                            (4) Using the photo as a guide, next locate the "amp 2" terminal and the common next to it, and attach another length of speaker wire to those two in the same manner.

                            (5) Run these two speaker cables to your HC-15 cabinets and attach them in the same way -- white wire or "ribbed" edge to the positive terminal (which may have a red wire leading away from it, if not white), and the black or smooth wire to the common terminal (which will have a black wire leading from it to the crossover assembly).

                            (6) Now, IF you want to use the HC-15's as your only speakers, disconnect the internals by removing the wires that you will see on "Ant Sp 1" and "Ant Sp 2" of the terminal strip. (For some reason, it looks like the left off the "SP" on "Ant SP 2" ???).... Anyway, once you remove those two wires and tape over the ends or tie them safely out of the way, the internal speakers will now be silent.

                            (7) Check your volume levels. This is part of the "voicing" routine the dealer would now go through at this point. Your wife can probably tell you whether or not she gets enough volume and whether or not the two channels are balanced. Depending on how the stops were panned out between the two speakers by the original voicer, you may have to tinker with the volume of the two channels to restore a good balance. This is partly because the internal speakers are rather different from the HC-15's in that only one channel of the internal system even has a woofer, so the stops are going to sound somewhat different now.

                            (8) If you need to adjust volume levels, I think you will find two miniature pots hidden inside two small holes on the amp assembly. Since Allen changes their amps now and then, I'm not sure just what kind of amp assembly you'll find, but it will probably be obvious, as it will have audio signals going into it on shielded cables and speaker wires leading away from it to the terminal strip you've been working with here. Use a tiny screwdriver and be very careful as you adjust the level a bit. it shouldn't take much to do it, and you don't want to turn it up to the point that distortion can occur if your wife throws on tutti and puts the pedal to the metal.

                            A more expensive option would be to find a relay assembly somewhere and do this the official way, which is to remove the terminal strip and install the relay assembly in its place, transferring the wires in exact order. Then you attach your external speakers to the "Main Sp 1" and "Main Sp 2" terminals of the relay and you can then switch them on and off with the tab on the stop rail put there for that purpose.

                            I can't tell you what to do. Obviously you'll spend a lot more money to let the dealer do it, but you'll get a turn-key job with a warranty and with any needed changes to the voicing taken care of professionally (we hope). But it is something you can do if you wish, but be careful! If you connect it up wrong and blow something out, you could have an expensive repair, probably not covered by warranty!
                            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


                            • #15
                              About the DOVES software: he could order it from Allen for his particular organ only. Actually he'd probably have to order it through his dealer, but he could get it. I don't remember the cost, but it's not prohibitive. By the way, $5,000 sounds awful high for two HR-200's!!
                              Allen Q285D

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