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Allen TC-1

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  • Allen TC-1

    Found an Allen TC-1 a few hours from me. Would it be worth the drive down to get it for a practice instrument? What about MIDI conversion?
    Allen MOS 1105 (1982)
    Allen ADC 5000 (1985) w/ MDS Expander II (drawer unit)
    Henry Reinich Pipe 2m/29ranks (1908)

  • #2
    The TC-1 has two voices: flute and diapason, and usually comes with a princess pedalboard, though I think an AGO might have been optional. It probably had a stop or two like "diapasons become dulciana", but in all, it is pretty minimal in its tonal variety. Of course, it has lots of pitches.

    It is not even the easiest conversion for MIDI, since the key contacts are on sliders you would have to steal a set of contacts for MIDI and that means rewiring one of the slider contacts on each manual--pedal conversion is easy, though. Rewiring of the contacts is not particularly easy because of the mechanics, though electrically it is simple.

    So, for me, I'd either rather have more native analog voicing options or an easier conversion or both.


    • #3
      Be aware that the TC-1 was available in both the "princess" console and the fully AGO "B" console. The princess is more compact, but the pedals might not be acceptable.

      The TC series organs are decent, if in good working order. The standard analog offering over an entire decade, some are still in fairly good shape, others have deteriorated. Often it's best to replace all 85 or so of the keying caps rather than letting them fail one by one. Other issues can crop up, as you'd expect in a 50 to 55 year old instrument.

      The TC-1 was the basic model, with a flute generator and a diapason generator. Some flexibility via the "flutes become stopped" and the "diapasons become strings" tabs. May or may not have chiff and sustain. The celeste generator was optional. There are usually just 3 fixed blind pistons and no crescendo pedal or tutti. So it's ok as a basic practice organ if you don't mind hand registration and don't need any reeds. (There will be a synthetic trumpet and/or clarinet, but they are simply combinations of flute pitches.)

      Build quality is superb, of course, as with all Allen consoles. Converting to basic note-data MIDI might be fairly easy, as the key switches all terminate on tone strips, but you'd be on your own MIDI-ing up the tabs, expression, crescendo, etc.
      *** 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!