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My new (old) Allen Organ - getting it in the house and speaker setup

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  • My new (old) Allen Organ - getting it in the house and speaker setup

    Hi -

    I have just purchased a used (1983 or so) Allen Computer Digital Organ. I have not been able to get it in my house yet. I checked with the piano movers in advance but in the end they could not get the organ (width 32") through my exterior door (width 31") even though they tried to "hook" the organ sideways around the corner.

    I have posted two photos. One is the organ itself. The other is the planned speaker setup. My questions:

    Is it possible to remove temporarily the sidearms on the organ, the ones supporting the keyboard, so that the organ can be "hooked" around the corner and into the house?

    Does the speaker setup look reasonable, that is, do you think the speakers will be able to handle the organ's output adequately?

    Is it a rule to only use one output channel from the organ to a single speaker cabinet, or can you send two channels to a single speaker cabinet?

    Thanks for your help.

    --marco

    http://mcluhanhouse.weebly.com/allen-organ.html
    Last edited by Admin; 05-30-2017, 07:26 AM. Reason: corrected link

  • #2
    You wrote that they tried to "hook" the console sideways--was that with it standing erect? You might do better putting the console on its side (with protection for the wood) and hooking it that way. The movers got my 305-B into my den that way. You can make a cardboard cutout that is the same as the profile of your console and lay it on the floor to see it that method will work.

    I cannot see your picture.

    David

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    • #3
      I think the forum may not allow you to post pics until you have posted at least five times. (I'm not sure of this, but seems like someone else said that somewhere.)

      Agree with David though. Your organ should fit through the door if tipped up on one end and "rotated" through the doorway. First be absolutely sure that everything is securely tied down inside. Stuff moving around inside the console is very bad!

      Connect only ONE amp output to a given speaker. Since we can't see your pics, don't know the model or how many amp channels you have. Can you get the model number? It is either inside (raise the top lid and look toward the back of the console, on the upper rear stretcher board, on a metal plate), or else on a metal plate underneath the keyboards. Knowing the model number will tell me (and other experienced Allen folks here) how many channels it has and how many speakers you will need.

      Good luck! I sure hope you're able to get it inside. You can't go wrong with an Allen of that era. Some of the best organs ever built were in the 80's, as you'll discover if you read this forum regularly.
      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
        Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
        I think the forum may not allow you to post pics until you have posted at least five times. (I'm not sure of this, but seems like someone else said that somewhere.)
        No, moderated users do not have permission to post attachments but they can post links to images. This is what OP did, but he did not post a link to an image, but rather a link to a web page, so it was a broken image link. I removed the [IMG] tags in his post to reveal the link which will take you to the web page with the images.
        -Admin

        Allen 965
        Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
        Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
        Hauptwerk 4.2

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        • #5
          What specific model is this one? I'm not the expert at telling what it is just by eyeballing it.
          Craig

          Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

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          • #6
            I went out to my breezeway and lifted the lid on the organ to find the model number. It's a 301-B in beautiful condition. I trust you can see my photos now. It's almost summer now, and the organ's on blocks and under a breezeway roof and tarp, but I don't want it staying outside too long.

            The movers did indeed tip the organ on its side before trying to hook it in the door. The obstruction is the sidearm that you see in the second of the three photos. They needed six more inches to get around the corner. My thought was that perhaps this piece could be temporarily removed. However, it does seem to be glued as well as secured with a couple of bolts.

            I believe I have five amp channels, because when it was dismantled the organ was hooked up to five large speaker cabinets.

            Comment


            • #7
              The limiting dimension is the diagonal from the curve of the sidearm to the upper rear corner of the console, which is part of the lid, I think. Would removing the lid entirely give enough more clearance? Did you remove the trim strips in the doorway? Temporarily removing the door frame might be an option.

              David

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't think there is any reasonable way to dismantle that console. It was made to stay in one piece, and Allen really knows how to make a console sturdy! Short of taking a saw and lopping off pieces, I know of no way to make it smaller. You might try removing the top lid to see if that gives you a bit of wiggle room. And do dismantle the door frame down to the studs if necessary.

                That is the very lovely "B" style console, same as David's 305-B. David is the expert on getting those things inside one's home!

                Since it's a 301, it needs only two amps and two speakers to function. Not sure how it was connected to five speakers, but perhaps the two primary amps were driving two speakers each, and a third amp was installed just for a bass cabinet. It ought to sound really great with all those speakers, but if you are cramped for space, just the two basic speakers will do the job.

                I can't tell just what kind of speakers those are by the pics. Not the usual speakers we see on Allen MOS organs, but maybe they were custom-made for the instrument either by the factory or by a previous installer or owner. You need to try to determine which speakers go with which channels in order to get the best from them. Did it happen to come with a wiring diagram for the amps and 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


                • #9
                  That sidearm is the real problem for wrangling the organ through my exterior door. Before trying to get into the house, we did remove the organ's top and all door trim short of the frame itself.

                  I had an organ technician over today to have a look at the problem. He felt the sidearms are decorative and not in proximity to any electronics. Although each sidearm has a metal slider underneath, this seems to be mainly for extra support - the organ won't easily tip over without them. He also said the sidearms would be difficult to extract - re John's reminder of the solid construction of an Allen.

                  The tech and I talked about having a carpenter make two clean cuts on each of the sidearms. I could then glue the pieces back in place after the move downstairs. This may be a good option - unless I remove the door frame re David's suggestion, for I would need to hire a door installer because I wouldn't be able to manage it. We also talked about the option of removing my living room window and using that as an entry point, which the tech thought was a viable idea since I need a replacement glass unit anyway. However, it would take weeks to order new glass and I don't want the organ outside for that long.

                  I'm having a carpenter over tonight to have a look at whether a clean cut and removal of the sidearms would be possible. The piano movers are on standby for a return to my house on Saturday.

                  Four of the five speaker units have Allen labels inside them. The fifth (righthand photo, bottom cabinet) seems to be an anonymous custom build. That cabinet also has the largest speaker, at 15" in diameter. The rest of the speakers in the two photos are variously approximately 12" or 13" in diameter.

                  Note that the lefthand photo shows two cabinets, while the righthand photo shows three.


                  Unfortunately there's no configuration diagram. I plan to test the channels with the various speakers and find the best match. Over time I can then reduce the number of speakers to perhaps two plus a shared use of my stereo subwoofer speaker.

                  At the moment I have a basement already dominated by the bench, pedals, and speaker cabinets - each speaker tower is about 5'6" in height.


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                  Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
                  I don't think there is any reasonable way to dismantle that console. It was made to stay in one piece, and Allen really knows how to make a console sturdy! Short of taking a saw and lopping off pieces, I know of no way to make it smaller. You might try removing the top lid to see if that gives you a bit of wiggle room. And do dismantle the door frame down to the studs if necessary.

                  That is the very lovely "B" style console, same as David's 305-B. David is the expert on getting those things inside one's home!

                  Since it's a 301, it needs only two amps and two speakers to function. Not sure how it was connected to five speakers, but perhaps the two primary amps were driving two speakers each, and a third amp was installed just for a bass cabinet. It ought to sound really great with all those speakers, but if you are cramped for space, just the two basic speakers will do the job.

                  I can't tell just what kind of speakers those are by the pics. Not the usual speakers we see on Allen MOS organs, but maybe they were custom-made for the instrument either by the factory or by a previous installer or owner. You need to try to determine which speakers go with which channels in order to get the best from them. Did it happen to come with a wiring diagram for the amps and speakers?
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    For what it's worth, I (and another guy) took apart a MOS2 organ. When the top was rotated up and the keyboards exposed, there were various bolts around the base of the top half. Maybe 6 or 8. I wouldn't have thought the two pieces could be separated looking at it, but once the bolts were removed it easily came apart.

                    I'm not saying your organ can do that, it does look different from the sides and has a different top, but it's worth investigating. There were lots of wires coming from the bottom half to the top half, so it's not like you can just take them apart and move them separately (without disconnecting and/or cutting the wires, at least). But if yours can come apart then maybe something could be worked out keeping the wires intact.
                    Viscount C400 3-manual
                    8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
                    Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by madria View Post
                      I had an organ technician over today to have a look at the problem. He felt the sidearms are decorative and not in proximity to any electronics. Although each sidearm has a metal slider underneath, this seems to be mainly for extra support - the organ won't easily tip over without them. He also said the sidearms would be difficult to extract - re John's reminder of the solid construction of an Allen.
                      Madria,

                      Before altering the organ too much, what about a window? We moved an organ in through a window that was wider than the doorway of our Victorian home. Also, is there a chance you have a sliding glass door? Those panels do come out, but the bottom would need to be supported/reinforced.

                      My MOS-2 505B is in the same console, but the only doorway I've really needed to put it through is the one at the church where it used to be located--it barely fit!
                      Originally posted by rjsilva View Post
                      For what it's worth, I (and another guy) took apart a MOS2 organ. When the top was rotated up and the keyboards exposed, there were various bolts around the base of the top half. Maybe 6 or 8. I wouldn't have thought the two pieces could be separated looking at it, but once the bolts were removed it easily came apart.
                      RJ,

                      The organ you're describing is a contemporary console rather than the B-style console. In the B console, everything is permanently fixed. But you did give me an idea.

                      In the B console, the keyboards can be rotated up when the roll top lid is removed, and the top of the organ is removed. That may give an additional 6" or so to rotate the organ through a doorway from left-to-right (or vice-versa). It's worth a try.

                      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)
                      • 10 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                        The organ you're describing is a contemporary console rather than the B-style console. In the B console, everything is permanently fixed. But you did give me an idea.
                        I'm not an Allen organ expert by any means, but the console I was referring to had a roll top. It wasn't the contemporary style.
                        Viscount C400 3-manual
                        8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
                        Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rjsilva View Post
                          I'm not an Allen organ expert by any means, but the console I was referring to had a roll top. It wasn't the contemporary style.
                          RJ,

                          How odd! I've never heard of any Allen organ where the entire top was hinged other than the contemporary. Now you have my curiosity piqued! Thank you for pointing that out.

                          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)
                          • 10 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                            How odd! I've never heard of any Allen organ where the entire top was hinged other than the contemporary. Now you have my curiosity piqued! Thank you for pointing that out.
                            I went to dig up the thread I started about it and forgot you had posted a few replies in it! It's been a while Here's the thread, in case the OP finds it useful. There are some photos on page two of it in half. We had to cut some wires.

                            http://www.organforum.com/forums/sho...bly-for-moving
                            Viscount C400 3-manual
                            8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
                            Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The "contemporary" style console that you mention (rjsilva) was built in more than one version. The very low end early MOS models had it with no key cover of any kind. The step-up was the version with a key cover that lifted up and folded back to reveal the keys and a music rack that hinged up. Much later, near the end of the MOS era, they offered it with a roll-top instead of the folding key cover.

                              All three of these versions share the same "flip-top" design in which the entire upper portion of the console can be raised like the hood of a car to reveal the keyboards. It is indeed possible (though quite a chore) to remove some bolts and cut some wires and take the console apart.

                              However, the OP here has a "B" console which is securely glued and screwed together into a solid one-piece unit. No way to take it apart without a chain saw.

                              As suggested above, raising the keyboards just might give a little more clearance for the move. That requires no wire-cutting or violence to the assembly of any kind.
                              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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