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  • Seeking a Organ for Home practice use

    Hello all,

    So glad to have found a forum such as this, as I am a new organist thrown into the position at a small church (not unwillingly!) and I am trying to immerse myself into this world of the organ as much as possible!
    I play on an Allen Protégé C-8c at my church. I am not always able to practice on this instrument, so I am looking for an instrument that I may use at home. Any suggestions for a Classical/Church organ that would be of value to my developing skills?

    Some notes on this:
    -Space not an issue
    -Looking for something used (i.e. cheaper)
    -Headphone output preferred but not a dealbreaker

    Having ravenously made my way through many of your posts on as many subjects as I could comprehend, I look forward to the forthcoming helpful and knowledgeable advice that seems to characterize much of this Forum.

    Thanks, folks.

    E.T.


    P.S. I may have the opportunity to snag a Baldwin 645 being sold by a local source for less than $2000. Thoughts on this deal?
    Church: Allen Protege C-8c
    Home: Allen MDS-26 with MIDI Expander II

    Gratefully serving the King of Kings on the King of Instruments.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ezra Tyler Reed View Post
    Hello all,

    So glad to have found a forum such as this, as I am a new organist thrown into the position at a small church (not unwillingly!) and I am trying to immerse myself into this world of the organ as much as possible!
    I play on an Allen Protégé C-8c at my church. I am not always able to practice on this instrument, so I am looking for an instrument that I may use at home. Any suggestions for a Classical/Church organ that would be of value to my developing skills?

    Some notes on this:
    -Space not an issue
    -Looking for something used (i.e. cheaper)
    -Headphone output preferred but not a dealbreaker

    Having ravenously made my way through many of your posts on as many subjects as I could comprehend, I look forward to the forthcoming helpful and knowledgeable advice that seems to characterize much of this Forum.

    Thanks, folks.

    E.T.


    P.S. I may have the opportunity to snag a Baldwin 645 being sold by a local source for less than $2000. Thoughts on this deal?
    I played a 645 for a large church many years ago. It was a hybrid instrument with two ranks of pipes so they could call it a pipe organ. It did what it was supposed to and I had no issues with it that I remember. Baldwin don't get nearly as much credit for their electronic organs as Allen and Rodgers. By 'local source'... do you mean a dealer, or just someone who has had the instrument in the family? It matters. The dealer has much more accountability of course. It is a big console, and although space may not be an issue per se... its going to require big doorways to get in through. The speaker cabinets are not internal to the console. You will (hopefully) want to address some sort of digital reverberation and/or mixing down (which would probably make headphone output possible by default) of the available audio channels. Details, please. We love details. You also need to figure out transport and installation costs. It sounds like you are onto a promising prospect. Keep your ear to the ground. Once you start looking instruments start to appear. And don't be afraid to drive a (very) hard bargain. You may need more money than you think once you actually get an instrument to make it into something you can live with, learn from... enjoy. Best.

    H

    Comment


    • #3
      It all depends on what you want, what types of music you want to play, what you need, what your budget is, the bells and whistles you would like, etc.
      Also, deal breakers are important (i.e. Is AGO spec required or is a condensed pedalboard okay?, Classical vs. Theatre vs. ..., MIDI capability, user support and manuals, moving stop capture action, fixability, etc.)

      If you just want a comparable practice instrument, you might try to find a two-manual Allen ADC or MDS with a similar stop list. They can be had for between $1000 and $4000 depending on age, size, and condition. For the most part they will function well for many more years and still have available spare parts and service (although expensive).

      Used organs are significantly less expensive than new, but some repairs can be really expensive too. If you are reasonably technically savvy, there are a lot of issues that may crop up that the folks on here can help you solve. If your not as technically adept, do you have a technician you can afford to help keep whatever you buy running?
      Sam
      Home: Allen ADC-4500 Church: Allen MDS-5
      Files: Allen Tone Card (TC) Database, TC Info, TC Converter, TC Mixer, ADC TC SF2, and MOS TC SF2, ADC TC Cad/Rvt, MOS TC Cad/Rvt, Organ Database, Music Library, etc. PM for unlinked files.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the input, gentlemen. Here's some more info.

        As for what I am seeking more specifically, I do have a few other requirements:
        -three-manual
        -AGO pedalboard

        I am looking for something that is more capable than our current Allen Protégé, which is obviously a two-manual. I have built up some considerable social capital at church and I hope to use that in the near future to upgrade our organ to a three-manual. Our congregation does a nice blend of both contemporary and traditional and folks LOVE the organ, so I imagine it will be in use for many more years to come (especially if I have anything to say about it!). With that in mind, I need an organ that is capable of doing Classical and Church repertoire, as I already am exploring a wide variety of preludes, postludes, offertories, etc., and I plan to do more as I develop. I run the music ministry and have a pretty free reign over what to program. If I can obtain a three-manual on which to practice, the transition to a future upgrade console will be smoother.

        Now, as for this Baldwin 645 (which is, of course, a three-manual), I have been in conversation with the owner of a reputable music store in the area. They are selling this organ, as well as some others I may be testing out soon. After some more correspondence, he is offering the organ for $1500.00, which includes one H5 speaker. I have not yet been able to see the thing in person but will be testing it out this weekend. I get the impression that they have had this particular organ for a long time and keep marking it down so someone finally buys it and they can make more room for other things. I'm hoping it isn't some junker that's just going for cheap.
        I would like to crack open the back to examine the electrical, though I admittedly have very little experience with electronics.
        ANY pointers on what to look for, good/bad, is greatly appreciated.
        I have been able to secure a transport plan, if need be, and there are a few technicians who live in the area. I will have to contact some of them this week to obtain service cost quotes.
        I suppose there will be much to tell after to visit this store and sample the inventory they have on hand.

        Gratefully,

        E.T.
        Church: Allen Protege C-8c
        Home: Allen MDS-26 with MIDI Expander II

        Gratefully serving the King of Kings on the King of Instruments.

        Comment


        • #5
          The 645 was an excellent instrument in its day. Billy Graham Crusades often used them. Baldwins of that era had some cold soldering problems. If the 645 you are looking at is fully functional, it is likely that any of those problems it might have had have been fixed. The 645 won't give you the pipe-like quality of sound as the AP at your church. However, the sound is quite good. The price is a problem. These organs usually go for around $1K. For $2K, I would expect a five year warranty on both parts and labor. Keep an eye on Craigslist throughout Ohio. Good luck and best wishes.

          Comment


          • #6
            I played a model 626 at the Baldwin factory showroom many years ago--it was my first experience with a modern Baldwin, and I was very impressed with the overall sound of the instrument. The 645 is of the same general design and vintage and should be a very nice organ as far as sound and resources.

            The Baldwins, though, did not have quite the same attention to finishing details as Rodgers or Allen of that era at least to my eyes. If this organ has their "silent touch" tongue tablets, I did not like those as much as Rodgers's LED tabs. The Rodgers was "push on, push off" (alternate action), which seemed intuitive. The Baldwin pushed down to turn on with spring return to neutral position, and then to turn off, you pushed them up--which did not seem natural. Their spring force seemed a little stronger than Rodgers which I didn't care for. Baldwin also put the indicator on the stop rail, Rodgers put it in the tab. But the system works. The 645 was also available with moving drawknobs.

            My only concern with Baldwin would be support for spare parts. $1500 seems a very fair price for a 3-manual organ from a dealer with delivery and maybe a little warranty.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by toodles View Post
              I played a model 626 at the Baldwin factory showroom many years ago--it was my first experience with a modern Baldwin, and I was very impressed with the overall sound of the instrument. The 645 is of the same general design and vintage and should be a very nice organ as far as sound and resources.

              The Baldwins, though, did not have quite the same attention to finishing details as Rodgers or Allen of that era at least to my eyes. If this organ has their "silent touch" tongue tablets, I did not like those as much as Rodgers's LED tabs. The Rodgers was "push on, push off" (alternate action), which seemed intuitive. The Baldwin pushed down to turn on with spring return to neutral position, and then to turn off, you pushed them up--which did not seem natural. Their spring force seemed a little stronger than Rodgers which I didn't care for. Baldwin also put the indicator on the stop rail, Rodgers put it in the tab. But the system works. The 645 was also available with moving drawknobs.

              My only concern with Baldwin would be support for spare parts. $1500 seems a very fair price for a 3-manual organ from a dealer with delivery and maybe a little warranty.

              I have not yet seen the Baldwin 645 in person, but will do so this weekend. I am not sure of the action on it. It would be practical for it to have LED tabs like my Protégé, but that isn't a dealbreaker. I would be THRILLED to have drawknobs on it, though.
              Given the likely age of this organ, I was also taking spare parts and technical support into consideration. Some Internet scouring should hopefully prove fruitful, if it should come to that.
              Church: Allen Protege C-8c
              Home: Allen MDS-26 with MIDI Expander II

              Gratefully serving the King of Kings on the King of Instruments.

              Comment


              • #8
                The Baldwin's indicators were incandescent, I think, and were placed on the stop rail, not on the tab. Here's a gallery with some photos of a 645: https://www.organforum.com/gallery/t...ls.php?album=6

                If you do get it, you might want to buy this technical manual: http://barton.theatreorgans.com/selectedad.asp?ID=23371

                Although the manual ad is a couple of years old, often those things don't sell right away so it might still be available.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Update:
                  The Music store JUST updated their used organ stock with pictures. I imagine it had been a while since they did that, ha. Glad I inquired.
                  Here is the Baldwin in question:
                  http://www.pellegrinomusic.com/asset...dwin%20645.jpg
                  I see that there are indeed those "silent touch" tongue tabs you had mentioned, Toodles.
                  Church: Allen Protege C-8c
                  Home: Allen MDS-26 with MIDI Expander II

                  Gratefully serving the King of Kings on the King of Instruments.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You'll be able to test them out and see how you like them. I prefer Rodgers's design, but I think I could get used to these. It's nice that when you have a big combination change it is totally silent.

                    Found a few Youtube videos of Baldwin organs of this era, and they sound quite decent. You might look for those--just look for videos that show the silent touch tabs on the console.

                    Check out the Allen 903 and Rodgers 840 that they have for sale, used, also. Don't know what they want for those, but both ought to be pretty impressive. The 903 is an oversized console, though.

                    You can compare the Baldwin and Rodgers lighted tabs when you go see the instruments. That Rodgers looks like it has their full MIDI installed--they give 2 channels per division on their 3 manual organs, and if it is MIDI-II (Rodgers parlance) it has programmable voices on the MIDI channels, so it is an excellent MIDI implementation.

                    Check out the keyboards on the Rodgers, too. They are German made Laukhuff with an excellent feel. If the price is anywhere near that of the Baldwin, I'd recommend it--perhaps, only because they are quite reliable and you can still get all of the electronic parts for them, except, perhaps, those for the piano/harpsichord.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Too bad you have to have a 3 manual. There's an Allen MDS-5 on Ebay for $1 at the moment. You would have to set up your own shipping. It's in CA I think.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's not really feasible for me to travel to San Diego at this time, unfortunately. It does seem like a nice organ, though!
                        Church: Allen Protege C-8c
                        Home: Allen MDS-26 with MIDI Expander II

                        Gratefully serving the King of Kings on the King of Instruments.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ezra Tyler Reed View Post
                          It's not really feasible for me to travel to San Diego at this time, unfortunately. It does seem like a nice organ, though!
                          The MDS 5 is a excellent instrument. I owned one for a few years. If the price is right, you can probably afford to have it shipped. You could also make the deal contingent on sending in a local Allen tech to verify its condition. I just bought an organ and am having it shipped for Chicago to Phoenix. The price was right including the cost of shipping. Blessings.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ezra Tyler Reed View Post
                            It's not really feasible for me to travel to San Diego at this time, unfortunately. It does seem like a nice organ, though!
                            Ezra,

                            My guess is you could probably have it shipped for less than $1,000 ($1,000 less than you posted earlier). However, unless the $1.00 is the BIN price, you'll probably see it heading to another corner state soon (hint: NOT Maine).

                            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


                            • #15
                              The organ is also available on craigslist: https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/...457394309.html

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