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Conn Artist 721

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  • Conn Artist 721

    I came across a free Conn organ that I am picking up soon- to use as a practice organ. Is there anything I need to know? I have been told it works fine. It appears to be very well taken care of- and the only issue I was made aware of was that one pedal needed a spring. Is this an easy fix? Definitely not a deal breaker! Is the speaker built in? I am just looking for general information about the organ- especially as far as sound quality. Also, what are the most likely issues/problems that I can expect, considering the age of the organ? And... I am hauling it in a pick-up truck. Any tips on moving?

    Moved to correct section where it should get more response. Andy G - Moderator
    Last edited by andyg; 02-01-2018, 12:34 AM.

  • #2
    Congratulations! I picked up a free Conn 720 this last year, although I believe the 721 is a pretty different product. It should still have internal speakers, though. Others here will be able to tell you more about the organ. One thing to watch out for is that older Conns have a keying system that's hard to repair. Conn made the keyboard busbars (the contacts to turn notes on when you press a key) out of a conductive plastic, but they degrade with age and aren't made anymore. The idea was to have a more pipe-organ-like response, instead of the click you get with metal-on-metal contacts. If the 721 does indeed have these busbars, then you can do some reading in this thread. You can always just go through the organ stop by stop, note by note and see what's working and what's not.
    I probably own too many keyboards
    https://bensnacksturner.com/the-fleet/

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    • #3
      There are two springs associated with the pedals on that vintage Conn: what's know as a torsion spring under the front of the pedal stick itself, and a coil-type contact actuator return spring on the pedal generator chassis under the console. The latter can be replaced with an equivalent spring from a good hardware store; the former is harder to find.

      --- Tom
      Rodgers 660 with additional analog rack sets (practice), 36D/C in digital conversion, Yamaha CVP-107

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      • #4
        Thank you for this info! Does a spring needing replacement mean that the note won't sound when played?

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        • #5
          Not if it's one of the springs I noted. Those control the return of the pedal stick or actuator, respectively, and would normally cause the pedal note to sound when not wanted.

          It's also possible that the 'spring' mentioned by the owner is the pedal generator note actuator contact, a small coil spring connected to the rear of the actuator. When I was a tech, I did encounter a few of these that broke at the actuator connection end, and depending on what happened when it broke, either the note won't sound or it's stuck on. Not hard to replace, but it's another hard-to-find part that needs to be an exact replacement due to the size and silver plating.

          Moving it in a pickup is not difficult, but there are two *very* important things to be aware of:

          1. The console center of gravity is high, i.e., it's top-heavy, like most full-size consoles. Be absolutely sure that it's well strapped-in so it can't tip.
          2. Never use a flat piano-type dolly under the center of the console. The pedal generator chassis is all that's there, and it's *not* designed to support the console weight and will be seriously damaged. Only use dollies like Roll-or-Karry that go under the ends of the console and strap around it.

          --- Tom
          Rodgers 660 with additional analog rack sets (practice), 36D/C in digital conversion, Yamaha CVP-107

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          • #6
            I happened to have the pedals off my Conn 645, and took some pictures of the bottom. The coil springs at the toe end look to be all the same. I suspect that one of these has broken. I would move the spring from the top "G" to the broken spot, and put a mismatched spring of some type at the high "G" spot. (Really, how much do you play that note?)Click image for larger version

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            Ed Kennedy
            Current Organ - Conn 645 Theater

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