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Allen Digital Computer Organ at my Church

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  • Allen Digital Computer Organ at my Church

    My church currently has a very nice two manual Allen Digital Computer Organ (complete with a roll top, four large Allen speakers, Swell and Crescendo pedal and AGO certified pedalboard) in its possession that was once moved from another church some time ago. Although I am not a professional organist, I recently had the opportunity to play the instrument personally and can say that it does a good job with emulating the sound of a pipe organ and has great clarity. The only current issue with it at the moment is that none of the preset buttons work which requires anyone playing it to set the tab stops manually. In any case, the church organist thought that the instrument itself might have been manufactured around the mid to late 1970s. I did some further research online and found out that many early Allen Digital Computer Organs from the 1970s only had a regular "Allen" logo on it while later versions, from the 1980s for example, had the "Allen Digital Computer Organ" logo on it. Because my church's organ has the latter name stamped on it, I'm going to assume that the organ at my church was maybe manufactured at a later date beyond the 70s, but I could be wrong. As always, thoughts are appreciated.
    My current organ:
    • Two manual and 25 pedal Conn Serenade 621F

  • #2
    It sounds like you have a first generation computer organ there. That one uses MOS ( Metal Oxide Silicon ) chips, and is called in organists shorthand a MOS 1 Allen. There are several different models of the MOS 1 organs, but from your description I'd guess it is a 301B model, or near there.

    However, to help you fix the memory issue ( if you want to do it yourself ) we will need to know the correct model # of it. That can be found on a metal tag inside the organ on the left rear top corner. All you need to do is lift the hinged lid, and you will see the tag .

    The problem with the memory system is very likely worn out rechargeable batteries in the memory supply. It is not too hard to change them, but it will require you going inside the console to do it. Depending on the exact age of the organ, the battery system can be one of a couple of types. Allen changed the system some as new technology became available.
    Regards, Larry

    At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ConnOrganOwner View Post
      My church currently has a very nice two manual Allen Digital Computer Organ (complete with a roll top, four large Allen speakers, Swell and Crescendo pedal and AGO certified pedalboard) in its possession that was once moved from another church some time ago. Although I am not a professional organist, I recently had the opportunity to play the instrument personally and can say that it does a good job with emulating the sound of a pipe organ and has great clarity. The only current issue with it at the moment is that none of the preset buttons work which requires anyone playing it to set the tab stops manually. In any case, the church organist thought that the instrument itself might have been manufactured around the mid to late 1970s. I did some further research online and found out that many early Allen Digital Computer Organs from the 1970s only had a regular "Allen" logo on it while later versions, from the 1980s for example, had the "Allen Digital Computer Organ" logo on it. Because my church's organ has the latter name stamped on it, I'm going to assume that the organ at my church was maybe manufactured at a later date beyond the 70s, but I could be wrong. As always, thoughts are appreciated.
      Does the organ have a round transposer control or “Alterable Voice” stops? If so, and it also has “Celeste Tuning” on both manuals, it may be a 600 series Allen digital.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for the reply and information Larry. As far as a model number goes, I'll see what I can do. I never knew that this organ had rechargable batteries. Seems like a much easier job to do than I thought. I will pass this information along to my organist and see what she thinks going forward.

        Thanks again,

        Josh

        - - - Updated - - -

        Originally posted by radagast View Post
        Does the organ have a round transposer control or “Alterable Voice” stops? If so, and it also has “Celeste Tuning” on both manuals, it may be a 600 series Allen digital.
        Hello radagast,

        Thanks for the additional information. Yes, this organ does indeed have alterable voice stops (one through four) and comes with the Allen exclusive punched optical cards as well. Furthermore, it also has a transposer too. I believe that the main power supply button is also located on the right side of the instrument rather than the left and the punched optical cards are stored in a drawer located on the left bottom section of the instrument.
        My current organ:
        • Two manual and 25 pedal Conn Serenade 621F

        Comment


        • #5
          That description sounds a lot like my 305-B instrument.

          David

          Comment


          • #6
            Four Alterables equals some sort of MOS (not ADC) organ. Four speakers means either a single computer organ with doubled audio, or a 2-computer organ.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by davidecasteel View Post
              That description sounds a lot like my 305-B instrument.

              David
              I searched up the 305-B and it looks very similar. A great overall organ in my opinion!

              I also recently searched up a very similar Allen Digital Computer Organ which I found through a few YouTube videos. In the case of this instrument which I've been listening to online though, it is from 1985, has two manuals with the punched optical cards, and features three expression pedals instead of two.
              My current organ:
              • Two manual and 25 pedal Conn Serenade 621F

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ConnOrganOwner View Post
                Thank you for the reply and information Larry. As far as a model number goes, I'll see what I can do. I never knew that this organ had rechargable batteries. Seems like a much easier job to do than I thought. I will pass this information along to my organist and see what she thinks going forward.

                Thanks again,

                Josh

                - - - Updated - - -



                Hello radagast,

                Thanks for the additional information. Yes, this organ does indeed have alterable voice stops (one through four) and comes with the Allen exclusive punched optical cards as well. Furthermore, it also has a transposer too. I believe that the main power supply button is also located on the right side of the instrument rather than the left and the punched optical cards are stored in a drawer located on the left bottom section of the instrument.
                If it only has 4 Alterable stops, then it’s definitely not a 600 series, because the 600 had 8 Alterable stops; 4 for each of the two MOS computers. That means it’s a single computer model. The number of speakers isn’t a sure indicator. I used to have a 200 series, 1 computer MOS Organ that had four full range speakers. It just had double the speakers needed for the 2 channels put out by the computer.

                On the other hand it might be a 505 MOS 2 organ.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by michaelhoddy View Post
                  Four Alterables equals some sort of MOS (not ADC) organ. Four speakers means either a single computer organ with doubled audio, or a 2-computer organ.
                  If there are 2 shoes (1 Swell & 1 Crescendo), then it is probably either a 305 or 505 MOS-2 instrument. I don't recall if the 225 had 4 Alterables or not.

                  Originally posted by radagast View Post
                  On the other hand it might be a 505 MOS 2 organ.
                  I concur. If all 4 Alterables are on the Swell, then it is definitely a 305 or 505. The 705 split the Alterables between the Swell & Great, and had 8 positions.

                  ConnOrganOwner, is there any possibility you might find a way of getting photos of the organ and posting one here? They would help immensely.

                  To the original question you had, if it is one of these 2 organs, the battery will probably be located on the logic board, and will need to be snipped off the logic board. Hopefully, the batteries have not leaked corrosion onto the board. If you're lucky, a prior service person has moved the batteries from the capture board, and re-wired it to a battery-holder somewhere in the bottom of the organ. However, there is room to locate it just under the manuals as well.

                  Can't wait for the photos.

                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                    If there are 2 shoes (1 Swell & 1 Crescendo), then it is probably either a 305 or 505 MOS-2 instrument. I don't recall if the 225 had 4 Alterables or not.

                    I concur. If all 4 Alterables are on the Swell, then it is definitely a 305 or 505. The 705 split the Alterables between the Swell & Great, and had 8 positions.

                    ConnOrganOwner, is there any possibility you might find a way of getting photos of the organ and posting one here? They would help immensely.

                    To the original question you had, if it is one of these 2 organs, the battery will probably be located on the logic board, and will need to be snipped off the logic board. Hopefully, the batteries have not leaked corrosion onto the board. If you're lucky, a prior service person has moved the batteries from the capture board, and re-wired it to a battery-holder somewhere in the bottom of the organ. However, there is room to locate it just under the manuals as well.

                    Can't wait for the photos.

                    Michael
                    Thank you all for the additional information. As I've previously told others here, I plan to relay all of this info over to my organist and see what she thinks going forward. I am confident that we can get the preset memory issue resolved somewhere down the line so that the instrument can be brought back to its full potential.

                    Michael,

                    I will do my best to get some photos of the instrument soon as I plan to be in church this upcoming Sunday. Hopefully I'll get some practice time on it that day after service as I am planning a solo hymn piece to do the following week. It's my own variation on "Alleluia, Sing to Jesus." Believe it or not, I play by ear and don't really read notes so it shall make for an interesting and lively piece! Lastly, my two manual Conn at home has made for a great practice organ too!

                    Thanks again,

                    Josh
                    My current organ:
                    • Two manual and 25 pedal Conn Serenade 621F

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And while you are there, open the top and get the model #.
                      Regards, Larry

                      At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Larrytow View Post
                        And while you are there, open the top and get the model #.
                        HAha! I see what you did there!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Larrytow View Post
                          And while you are there, open the top and get the model #.
                          Haha! I'll see what I can do Larry!

                          Thanks,

                          Josh
                          My current organ:
                          • Two manual and 25 pedal Conn Serenade 621F

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Kenyrayandersen and ConnOrganOwner,

                            Please forgive me if this seems like a dumb question, but what is so funny about wanting to know the exact model we are trying to give advice about ? I had a long day yesterday and am still sorta worn out from it ( sucks to get old ! ) so I may be misunderstanding something here. No big deal, I'm just curious .
                            Regards, Larry

                            At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Larry, It's funny because it took several posts and a lot of speculation before you were smart enough to tell him to go find out what everyone reading/commenting to this thread wanted to know in the first place (i.e. the organ's model number).
                              All we want is: brand, model number, pictures, a good description of the problem, and usually more pictures. Relevant reviews, history, and commentary are also welcome.
                              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

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