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Viscount C-250

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  • Viscount C-250

    Found one of these on Ebay, curious what they sound like. Is it worth looking to? Stop list seems decent enough, and does have MIDI, even though it's probably note on/off only.

    Thoughts?
    Allen MOS 1105 (1982)
    Allen ADC 5000 (1985) w/ MDS Expander II (drawer unit)
    Henry Reinich Pipe 2m/29ranks (1908)

  • #2
    Hi,

    Probably there are threads on the relating to this model, and associated models such as the C-300.

    This is not the best model to recommend, as it is between 25 and 30 years old, and was not terribly well built to begin with.

    Following are issues,

    1) lousy pedalboard, clattery pedals, noisy and imtermittant contacts
    2) 5 vdc line on the power supply was bad design, in most cases would fail over time
    3) 3.6 v battery mounted on CPU board, wiuld start leaking acid onto the board, and cause failure.
    4) internal speakers likely suffered from foam rot.

    If it works, it may by worth picking up, if there are issues, I would not go after it.
    The sound of the instrument was not bad, especially if one likes a European type of sound.

    As far as I know, this model organ is not supported by either Baldwin tech support, or Viscount tech services.

    AV

    Comment


    • #3
      One of our previous organists ("B") at church complained that every stop sounded the same on this organ. However, the organist before this one ("A") was able to set it up so that upon hearing just 1 note, it brought back my childhood memories of the service music I was familiar with. After "B" left, I played a few notes from each piston setting, and sure enough he had made them all sound the same, even though each one was indeed set differently. I became organist "C" and called "A" to help me restore the piston settings.

      I am 100% certain the MIDI implementation is only note on/off.

      Apparently one of the most common problems with it is the power supply. Ours had an issue that could have been the power supply, but the problem went away before I showed up again with a screwdriver and voltmeter in my hands to look into it.

      I've seen the C-250's for sale at the $500 mark. And yes they were advertised as working.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by arie v View Post
        Hi,

        Probably there are threads on the relating to this model, and associated models such as the C-300.

        This is not the best model to recommend, as it is between 25 and 30 years old, and was not terribly well built to begin with.

        Following are issues,

        1) lousy pedalboard, clattery pedals, noisy and imtermittant contacts
        2) 5 vdc line on the power supply was bad design, in most cases would fail over time
        3) 3.6 v battery mounted on CPU board, wiuld start leaking acid onto the board, and cause failure.
        4) internal speakers likely suffered from foam rot.

        If it works, it may by worth picking up, if there are issues, I would not go after it.
        The sound of the instrument was not bad, especially if one likes a European type of sound.

        As far as I know, this model organ is not supported by either Baldwin tech support, or Viscount tech services.

        AV
        Thanks, Arie. I'll stay away from it then.
        Allen MOS 1105 (1982)
        Allen ADC 5000 (1985) w/ MDS Expander II (drawer unit)
        Henry Reinich Pipe 2m/29ranks (1908)

        Comment


        • #5
          Arie is a great resource and has much knowledge, although I think his dislike of the Viscount organs from this time period is a bit overboard :) I have a C400 and I think it's fine. Certainly not a great organ and the lack of voicing options is annoying, but it is plenty decent enough (especially since running 10 channels). I also bought and swapped the voicing chips with v2 which is more 'American' sounding. I'd use mine over an equivalent Allen MOS or early ADC any day, tonally speaking.

          I also spent time replacing the felt on my pedalboard with good quality felt and it is quieter, less clunky. Eventually I'll replace the weird stretchy contact over bare wire contact thingies with magnetic reed switches which will quiet it down further.

          It may also be worth mentioning that my C400 has everything MIDIfied—keys, drawknobs, expression pedals, pistons, etc. I know nothing about the C250 but from things Arie has said I think it must be from around the same time period as mine.
          Viscount C400 3-manual
          8 channels + 2 reverb channels (w/ Lexicon MX200)
          Klipsch RSX-3 speakers and Klipsch Ultra 5.1 subwoofers

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi,

            The MIDI on this organ is very primitive. Just note on/off on the keyboards.

            This model was first generation digital (1987) from Viscount. The C-400 is second generation (1991) The later versions of this line were the C-440 and C-470, which added voicing variation and better MIDI.

            In my opinion, Viscount's leap forward was the first prestige line. They were designated, in the US as G-501, G-515, G-525, etc. These had better sound, per stop, and were adjustable to a degree. These organs came out in 1998. Unfortunately, relatively few of these organs got sold, so one almost never sees them on the used market.

            It seems that Church Organ Systems concentrated on selling low end stuff like the second generation C series, and also the A series (real bottom-feeder stuff), and the B series, which allowed for sample swapping, but did not have much else going for them. I think that is the reason why Viscount got a reputation for building less than steller organs.

            I'm sure their latest efforts are much better.

            AV

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by arie v View Post
              I'm sure their latest efforts are much better.

              AV
              Josh Dove made a claim about Viscount being the "NEW largest manufacturer of organs in the world" a few months ago. And based on knowing just what his region is selling (or rather, quantity of organs sold), I don't think I'd argue that claim. A lot of people like the sound. A far cry from when it came out 10 years ago. Still haven't heard one up close, but plan on a few trips next year to look further into it.

              As for the C-250 then, wouldn't those early issues be fixed by now, 30 years later? Or at least surely the battery would be replaced by now....
              Allen MOS 1105 (1982)
              Allen ADC 5000 (1985) w/ MDS Expander II (drawer unit)
              Henry Reinich Pipe 2m/29ranks (1908)

              Comment

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