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Overall volume on a Viscount Jubileum 235

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    Overall volume on a Viscount Jubileum 235

    I've been asked to play for a service at a church which has a Viscount Jubileum 235. The church has recently rebuilt its premises into a more useful and flexible building and the organ from the old building has been placed in a much smaller worship space. The trouble is that the organ's volume must have been set for a much larger church space. It's just too loud now. Even the swell with the volume at minimum is too loud on the softest of stops. Quiet, reflective music not possible.

    Is there any way to 'turn down' the general volume? (It uses internal speakers.) You can 'quieten' the pedals and there's an 'enclose great' type piston but it's still all way too loud.

    I know how to 'do' the outside of an organ (stops, setting pistons, etc.) but I have no idea what to look for 'inside' other than a master volume knob but I can't find one.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction? C.

    #2
    I had a Viscount Jubilate ("Prestige II") for a while, and it had a master volume knob on the front of the console, along with knobs for pedal volume, reverb, etc. I suppose the organ in question does not have that.

    If it uses the same or similar amplifier chassis, there were two level pots on the amp of my Viscount. Probably not marked as such, they were just small flat pots on the circuit board itself, located fairly close to the stereo power amp chip (STK chip). Required a miniature screwdriver to adjust them. You might look inside with a flashlight and see if these small pots are present, and adjust them after marking their current position (in case they are actually something else and you need to put them back that way!).
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

    Comment


      #3
      Good advice from John.

      On my old Johannus Opus 15N (distantly related to some Viscount models) there are three amps each equipped with three pots with finger studs - obviously aimed at ease of use. These control individual settings and volume levels for each amp (bass, treble and reverb). In addition there is a similar pot on the power supply which controls the volume setting on the swell manual (marked Man II) on the front of the organ. Mr Versteecht obviously provided sufficient means for volume and tone adjustment to suit any taste.

      Perhaps a few pictures of the amp and or power supply might assist.

      It is not often that one hears of an organ that is too loud - mostly in my experience people would complain of not enough volume, especially from only internal speakers... Must be some organ or a very small hall....

      Nico
      "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks John and Nico.

        You've pointed me in the correct direction and I'm particularly grateful for the advice about mini screwdrivers and to mark before I adjust - John you clearly know I need forewarned.

        I've attached some photos (over two posts) which show the problem from the 'outside' and then some of the inside. I found two pots, one which controlled the swell and the other the great. The great one is shown in the final picture (in the second post).

        I now feel I can play quietly and I know the two guys who normally play will be very grateful. The folk have rebuilt and created a small but expandable worship space. The small one would seat 40 which covers their regular congregation of around 20. (On 'special' occasions they can go up between 80-100 and the organ, at full volume, will now work with both sizes of congregations.) Thanks again, Chris

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          #5
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            #6
            Glad you found those. It's odd there isn't a volume control on the front. That organ looks almost exactly like my old Viscount from the outside, and mine had a "master volume" knob right above the pedal volume. Obviously they provided different sets of features and controls on different models, even when otherwise very similar.
            John
            ----------
            Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
            Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
            Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
            Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

            Comment


              #7
              Yes John. I've never quite worked out why some of the variations from one model or version of a model vary as they do and, given the pedal volume control, I expected some kind of 'master' volume to be somewhere. I used to play a GEM Prelude which had slider controls above the stop tabs which controlled the volume of the pedals and great. There was a master volume along with a tone control and speaker selection switch hidden under the great keyboard. I'd kind of assumed that might be 'normal' but I'm increasingly realising that 'normal' doesn't really exist. Anyway, thanks for your help! C.

              Comment


                #8
                John,

                This organ looks suspiciously like the Wurlitzer (Viscount) A (Alpha) series, from the mid 90s marketed in NorthAmerica by Baldwin. These organs were budget organs in the extreme. One way to find out is by checking out the date code on the transformer. These did not even use the Sanken amplifier modules, going with something even cheaper. Also the audio was done without 2 full range 12" drivers.

                AV

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Chrisglass View Post
                  . I found two pots, one which controlled the swell and the other the great. The great one is shown in the final picture (in the second post).
                  I tried the same. I think you are wrong in one point here. The two pots are for the left and right channel of the power amp, not for swell and great.
                  You will notice that if you try both separately from min to max using headphones.
                  Maybe you had the impression that it’s for swell and great because they seam to get a bit imbalanced over time.
                  I had the problem that the headphones jack was broken and only had output on the left channel. The pre-owner said that it’s a mono jack and used to use a mono to stereo adapter. But I analysed this and found out it’s not true. This always has been a stereo jack and using a adapter effectively produced a short circuit on the right channel. However after replacing the jack I had signal on both channels, but the left significantly louder than the right one. I used the pots you mentioned to balance level on both channels. However now I had the problem that the great was perfectly balanced and the swell was much louder on the right channel. So there must be an imbalanced signal right from the beginning before the amp. The only idea I had to fix this was to assume that there might be problem due to corrosion, so I removed the mixer and generator boards from the main board and put them back in place.
                  Now it’s working as expected.

                  I’m wondering what the pots on the generator boards are for. Does anyone have schematics of this organ?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Just to bring a different spin to this conversation, what do you all think of the console construction quality of today's Viscount models? Seeing that this model is from the 90s, I do hope they have improved the quality of their console construction since then. I guess this is the kind of stuff that companies like Allen poke at, by comparing the insides of the cabinet with theirs and noting how Allens are superior because everything is shielded, caged and what not, the wood they use is solid wood etc. This by contrast, looks very flimsy. Not that it wouldn't last normal home or even church usage, but it is slightly concerning when everything looks like particle board and you think about the amount of abuse a church instrument can get from so many people playing it.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I want to add to my previous post. In the meantime I got a copy of the original manual sent from Viscount service. This manual mentions that swell and great are imbalanced on the channels on purpose. It says manual II is 80% right and 20% left channel, while manual I is the opposite (20% right 80% left) and pedal is 50% each.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        julianjsoh, I think today's models from Viscount (and other builders for that matter) vary greatly in the quality of the console and the overall build quality. The low end models from almost any builder will have cheap materials (often particle board) and will have poorer fit and finish that the high end models. There will be more of the "knock-down" look with panels secured with L-brackets and screws, and exterior finishes may be fake wood on the cheapest models.

                        I know that the Viscount Jubilate that I had a few years ago was pretty flimsy, as far as the cabinet. The finish was a very obviously fake wood-grain vinyl or some such artificial covering, and the inside was even less "finished" than what you see in the pics above. Yet I felt it was sturdy enough for a home organ. Surprisingly, even though it was maybe 10 years old when I got it, it still looked like new. It came out of a small church, but apparently it had withstood the environment and the possible abuse that comes from being in a public space. So I suppose that even cheap-looking consoles can last as long as the electronics on the inside, with reasonable care! And the keyboards were very nice. I actually thought the touch was superior to some much more expensive organs I have played. The pedalboard was a bit on the lightweight side though, but should have endured most playing.

                        But yes, these are the kinds of things that a premium builder such as Allen would take pains to point out to buyers. You do get what you pay for, and of course the prices for premium organs are quite a bit higher than the prices of these low-end models.
                        John
                        ----------
                        Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
                        Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
                        Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
                        Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
                        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                        Comment


                        • myorgan
                          myorgan commented
                          Editing a comment
                          However, John, aren't Allen's low-end consoles resorting to the same, presumably lesser-quality construction techniques? I don't know for sure, as I haven't seen a new Allen in the last 10-15 years.

                          Michael

                        • jbird604
                          jbird604 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Could well be true, Michael, but like you, I haven't closely examined a brand new one in a number of years. The "Historique" line looks like the cabinet may not be of the same quality as Allen is known for. At the very least, the material is thinner than the larger consoles, and of course the design is extremely spare. At least one of the pictures I've seen on the website seems to show particle board used for a shelf inside the Historique, but I could be wrong.

                          However, the Fatar keyboards in the Historique are the same as in more expensive models, and the expression pedals look to be the same all-metal type. I'd think the pedal boards are also identical in quality to larger models, though they are princess size (or the new 32-note parallel concave, which I think is vastly superior to the princess).

                          So it's a mixed bag. I think Allen really tried to produce a line of quality organs at a competitive price, and the biggest failing I can see is just the minimalist appearance, which some people will call ugly.
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