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Interesting new Allen Organ Company videos

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  • Interesting new Allen Organ Company videos

    First let me say that other than owning three different vintages of Allen organs I have no connection to the company. I just came across two videos (posted on March 15th) about a hybrid instrument for 3rd Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. Along with a good look at a big Genisys-era digital instrument and all of the equipment associated with the console communications to remote tone generator and amplifier racks, there are two huge sets of pipe chamber interfaces for 81 ranks of organ pipes (a 1966 Moller).

    One interesting thing at the beginning of the first video is Barry Holben's not-so-subtle dig at people building Hauptwerk consoles in "garages." Clearly Allen is starting to feel some heat of competition from low-volume VPO builders at the low end of their line.

    On the other hand, you do get a real good look at the incredible design, engineering and electronics manufacturing capabilities of this company. The emphasis on Ethernet communication between the system elements and a scalable tone generation system shows that they are not going to yield to anyone when it comes to larger instruments. He also mentions the cost cutting possible by adapting standards (Ethernet) and using less wiring.

    With Rodgers moving towards the Johannus corporate technology, it seems that Allen is the last American company standing in the custom electronic and hybrid church organ business that also makes standard model organs.

    Having a special fondness for string organs (partly due to my many hours listening to the Wanamaker organ live) I was fascinated to see that they have an electronic string division as well as a pipe string division on this organ. There are 8 stops in the string organ and 7 stops in the gallery string organ, all of which I believe are electronic, not pipes.

    There are 7 32-foot stops but the stop list (published in the Organ of the Week section of the web site) does not distinguish between the electronic and pipe ranks. I wonder what kind and how many subwoofers this beast has?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRZTUttxWhk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUMNgfsE6hE
    Last edited by AllenAnalog; 03-19-2017, 01:33 PM. Reason: Edited statement about Allen making standard model organs
    Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.

  • #2
    Originally posted by AllenAnalog View Post
    First let me say that other than owning three different vintages of Allen organs I have no connection to the company. I just came across two videos (posted on March 15th) about a hybrid instrument for 3rd Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. Along with a good look at a big Genisys-era digital instrument and all of the equipment associated with the console communications to remote tone generator and amplifier racks, there are two huge sets of pipe chamber interfaces for 81 ranks of organ pipes (a 1966 Moller).

    One interesting thing at the beginning of the first video is Barry Holben's not-so-subtle dig at people building Hauptwerk consoles in "garages." Clearly Allen is starting to feel some heat of competition from low-volume VPO builders at the low end of their line.

    On the other hand, you do get a real good look at the incredible design, engineering and electronics manufacturing capabilities of this company. The emphasis on Ethernet communication between the system elements and a scalable tone generation system shows that they are not going to yield to anyone when it comes to larger instruments. He also mentions the cost cutting possible by adapting standards (Ethernet) and using less wiring.

    With Rodgers moving towards the Johannus corporate technology, it seems that Allen is the last American company standing in the custom electronic and hybrid church organ business.

    Having a special fondness for string organs (partly due to my many hours listening to the Wanamaker organ live) I was fascinated to see that they have an electronic string division as well as a pipe string division on this organ. There are 8 stops in the string organ and 7 stops in the gallery string organ, all of which I believe are electronic, not pipes.

    There are 7 32-foot stops but the stop list (published in the Organ of the Week section of the web site) does not distinguish between the electronic and pipe ranks. I wonder what kind and how many subwoofers this beast has?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRZTUttxWhk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUMNgfsE6hE
    Interesting videos and I think a good marketing tool. However Rodgers hasn't been an American company for a long time. They were owned by Roland, a Japanese company, for many years, before being acquired by Johannus.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by AllenAnalog View Post
      With Rodgers moving towards the Johannus corporate technology, it seems that Allen is the last American company standing in the custom electronic and hybrid church organ business.
      I look forward to watching the videos, thanks for sharing!

      Walker Technical is an American company. And isn't Marshall and Ogletree?
      Viscount C400 3-manual
      8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
      Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

      Comment


      • #4
        You're right, of course. It was really late when I posted that information and made that incorrect statement, which I have now edited. We know little about either of those two firms (Walker and M&O) as far as their manufacturing capabilities because they elect not to post any real details of their operations and technical information on the web. Try to find any photos of their electronics other than a few partial ones ones posted on the Walker web site. M&O seems incredibly secretive about their equipment. We know they have another firm build their consoles. But what about the electronics?

        I consider both of them to be very high end, custom-only, low-volume organ companies with no standard models. I guess that is why I did not think of them last night but they are indeed American electronic organ builders. There is almost no presence about their instruments on this forum other than some threads about Walker speakers. At least Walker talks about Bob Walker training new people to voice their instruments on their web site, so presumably there is some kind of succession plan if something happens to him.

        One wonders what will happen to M&O when Doug or David are no longer around? Who will service these instruments? With such low volume of sales, how will they stock parts for older instruments as technology evolves and parts become unavailable? I'd hate to own a million dollar electronic organ that cannot be repaired in 10 years.
        Last edited by AllenAnalog; 03-19-2017, 01:47 PM.
        Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rjsilva View Post
          Walker Technical is an American company. And isn't Marshall and Ogletree?
          While I clearly am partial to Allen organs, I would put them in a different class. To me, Walker Technical and M&O (as well as companies like Phoenix) I would think of more as boutique organ companies. They make far fewer instruments, but at a higher price, and almost all (if not all) are customized. The Allens on the other hand have both stock organs that run the gamut of the industry (or what's left of it), while providing some customization--both on stock, as well as larger instruments. The other companies are customized only.

          That said, I would say Allen is trying to break into the boutique market, rather than the other way around.

          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


          • #6
            Originally posted by AllenAnalog View Post
            We know little about either of those two firms (Walker and M&O) as far as their manufacturing capabilities because they elect not to post any real details of their operations and technical information on the web. Try to find any photos of their electronics other than a few partial ones ones posted on the Walker web site. M&O seems incredibly secretive about their equipment. We know they have another firm build their consoles. But what about the electronics?
            I agree with you and Michael that they seem to be different than Allen or Rodgers or similar.

            I'm pretty sure Walker built the console at my church, but I know Colby built the console at Tenth Presbyterian in Philly which is very nice. I did take some photos of the electronics of the Walker at my church. It uses a rack mounted unit called 'Poet' which I'm pretty sure produces all of the sounds. With the Poet module are what looks like unmodified QSC amps, regularly available models. This is all in a closet downstairs. I'm guessing the console electronics are limited to whatever is necessary to run the console itself. I'm wondering if they make their own speaker cabinets because I recently inquired about a specific model and the lead time was a couple of months.

            I know very little about M&O, other than what I've seen on YouTube :)

            Need to watch those videos still!
            Viscount C400 3-manual
            8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
            Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

            Comment


            • #7
              Just watched the videos. Neat!

              I've become more impressed with Allen over time and they seem to really want to make fine products. I wish I hadn't had such poor initial impressions of their sound with the old MOS2 at my church. I'd really like to hear their latest models in person.

              Edit: I liked seeing that they used speakers with horns in their test space. Speakers with horns have always been my favourite.
              Viscount C400 3-manual
              8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
              Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

              Comment


              • #8
                Quite a project! If I understood correctly, there are 90-something digital stops and 80-something pipe stops. That will be quite an organ, huh?

                Beautiful console too, and I love those divisional cancels. That was a feature of some of the old Baldwin organs in pre-digital days. It's odd that today's stock models don't include that, since it would be so easy to do with the digital control systems already in the consoles.
                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


                • #9
                  Yes, that is one big organ for a church that doesn't seem to be all that big.

                  You can see photos of the church and the Moller here: http://www.thirdchurch.org/about/

                  And there are pics of the new console and organ parts on their Instagram pages: http://www.thirdchurch.org/media-all...by-definition/

                  They say it should be ready to play for worship (presumably just the electronic stops) on March 19 - today. So if anyone gets to the Pittsburgh area this spring, let us know how it sounds.
                  Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Steinway AR Duo-Art 7' grand piano, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico grand piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI, Allen MADC-2110.

                  Comment

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