Forum Top Banner Ad

Collapse

Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Allen w/pipes

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Allen w/pipes



    Finally got around to re-visiting the church here that put in an Allen Quantum with some pipes. Last time I droppedby, the pipes hadn't been connected yet. Todayit was allhooked up, presumably finished.</P>


    This is the smallest 3-manual Quantum, just 4 channels and a subwoofer. The church has a high wooden ceiling and the acoustic setting is above average, though not great -- too much carpet and pew cushions. The natural reverbwas too short tohelp much, so it was easy to tell the digital tonesfrom the pipes.</P>


    As I'd hoped, it was easy to compare the pipes vs. electronics.Rocker tabsare provided(separately for the swell, but all on one tab for the Gt/Po/Ped)so thatyou can play electronics alone -OR- "substitute pipes," which will engage the corresponding pipe rank, where one exists, for each stop while leaving the digital stopsactive which have no equivalent pipes -OR- "add pipes," which brings in pipe stops to play along with the full set of digital stops. For example, the great Diapason 8, with the "add pipes" tab on, would play both the digital and the pipe rank.</P>


    The pipes were decent, not spectacular,having been salvaged from the church's old organ, and had been repaired and revoiced by a competent pipe guy. It was an aging unit organ with8 or 10 ranks. A unit flute and a trompette in the swell box, along with a string and its matchingceleste. Unenclosed there are a principal rank, another flute rank, and another string with celeste. The great, pedal,and the positive were wired to the unenclosed pipes, with unification deriving stops from 16' up through mixtures from these few ranks. Likewise, the swell pipes were used in a unit arrangement. The single trompette was wired to the 8' reed on all four divisions, oddly enough, even tothe "Festival Trumpet" on the choir, rendering that stop useless in the pipes-alone mode.</P>


    So, no big deal musically, but quite interesting and the church folks are enjoying it.</P>


    Comparing pipes to digital -- as I said the difference was obvious, with the digital very obviously coming out of a speaker box, while the pipes were spread out and their sound seemed to come from everywhere. The digital had a lot of interesting and authentic chiff, articulation, wind noise, and various other pipe-like features, but it was somehow flat and two-dimensional. I think it was largely because the Allen itself was such a limited model with so few audio channels. The voicing seemed uninspiring too. Perhaps the dealer intends to attend more to that later. There were some notable imbalances.</P>


    In one important way the digitalgreatly outdid thepipes -- that was in the pedal department. The low ends of those unit ranks were totally unsuitable as pedal stops, very weak and thin,but the Allen had a big subwoofer and its pedal stops were quite awesome.</P>


    So this isn't the ideal comparison. In a really good installation with top-notch voicing, I know an Allen can sound better than this. But I was quite surprised how impressive these few pipes were.</P>


    Is it a worthy organ, and would I enjoy playing it? Definitely yes.In this case, the organ is more than the sum of its parts. A relatively puny pipe organ, totally unsatisfactory in the pedals and with very limited color/variety . . . PLUS . . a small and undistinguished digital organ with a superb pedal department and some awesome reeds ............ PUT THEM TOGETHER, and you get one very useful andinspiring church organ. Not a great recital instrument, but that's not what they asked for anyway. But it should do a great job of leading hymns and playinglight service music.</P>


    John</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>
    John
    ----------
    *** 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!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  • #2
    Re: Allen w/pipes



    Slight correction: I just looked at my Allen brochures and discovered that the organ I was playing today is not actually the smallest 3-manual Quantum. What I saw was a Q325, a 50-stop model. However, I was correct about the audio channels, just 4 full-range channels plus a subwoofer.</P>


    John</P>
    John
    ----------
    *** 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!

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Allen w/pipes



      Thank you for the wonderful report. I remember one "High Lutheran Feast Day" I had to sub for a Mega Chruch where they had a Rodgers analog with principle and wood flute pipes. I was surprised that the organ was actually quite good considering it was an analog toaster oven. The addition of pipes made a great deal of difference as the principals were quite good. Why on Earth they didn't just spring for a real tracker is beyond me, especially considering the obscene amount of money I was paid for subbing only two services.
      </p>

      I used to think mixing the two mediums was not a great idea, but as long as you still have access to a real tracker organ for practice and real music, these electronic/ pipe combinations can help out a congregation that wants to keep its well developed music program in a realistic manner. Out in this part of the country, it is not unusual for a very small congregation to have an extraordinary choir or, in more recent, population declining years, unmatched congregational singing. As we have around $150 in the bank after all of our expenses are met at the end of the month, those churches that don't already have historical pipe organs aren't really justified in purchasing one. </p>

      </p>

      Well I'm going to step out of the pulpit here.. "now would you all turn to hymn 216 as Buzzyreed fumbles his way through an introduction so primative and embarassing in form it would make Marty Haugen, Yilvisaker, and David Hass blush.</p>

      </p>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Allen w/pipes



        Buzzy,</P>


        There are still certain drawbacks to mixing pipes and electronics, not the least of which is the tuning situation. No doubt they will be quite out of tune when the temperature varies as much as it does in the typical church. I assume any digital thusly installed will have some means to tune it from the bench, preferably a prominent knob.</P>


        My impression yesterday was more like I was able to play two separate and very different organs both from the same console, and to combine them for yet a third different effect.</P>


        In a more ideal setup, I would like to have seenseparate drawknobs for each pipe stop, clearly marked, so that one could freely choose among the pipe and digital stops and mix them as desired. An "organ" is by definition a collection of instruments playable from one console. If some of those instruments are winded and some are digital, then all the more interesting!</P>


        I recently saw and tried out one of those analog Rodgers organs with two ranks of pipes -- metal principals and wooden flutes. Sounded better than it should have with so few pipes. Evidently some of those hybrid organs worked pretty well, though I've heard that many of them are disasters.</P>


        John</P>
        John
        ----------
        *** 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!

        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Allen w/pipes

          [quote user="jbird604"]


          Finally got around to re-visiting the church here that put in an Allen Quantum with some pipes. Last time I droppedby, the pipes hadn't been connected yet. Todayit was allhooked up, presumably finished.</P>


          This is the smallest 3-manual Quantum, just 4 channels and a subwoofer. The church has a high wooden ceiling and the acoustic setting is above average, though not great -- too much carpet and pew cushions. The natural reverbwas too short tohelp much, so it was easy to tell the digital tonesfrom the pipes.</P>


          Comparing pipes to digital -- as I said the difference was obvious, with the digital very obviously coming out of a speaker box, while the pipes were spread out and their sound seemed to come from everywhere. </P>


          In one important way the digitalgreatly outdid thepipes -- that was in the pedal department. The low ends of those unit ranks were totally unsuitable as pedal stops, very weak and thin,but the Allen had a big subwoofer and its pedal stops were quite awesome.</P>


          So this isn't the ideal comparison. In a really good installation with top-notch voicing, I know an Allen can sound better than this. But I was quite surprised how impressive these few pipes were.</P>


          John</P>
          <P mce_keep="true">[/quote]</P>
          <P mce_keep="true">Marshall &amp; Ogletree usedipole speakers that radiate out the back as well as the front. I have heard, more than once, that Allen speakers are supposed to be angled to walls instead if pointed straight out. I wonder if this organ had its speakers postioned properly. Even so, the speakers are not going to radiate sound like a pipe. Digi-organ companies need to start thinking of speaker designs that are going to radiate sound like pipes.</P>
          <P mce_keep="true">The Bose Personal Amplification System is an interesting design. They kinda look like pipes. I would like to hear an example of a digital organ using an array of these for different stops. Probably the Bose PAS doesn't have the correct frequency response or SPL for pipe organ sounds, but that idea might be a good starting point to design one. In addition Bose makes a Bass unit called the Acoustic Wave Cannon that looks like a large pipe but is usually in a horizontal position pointint outward. Again that might be useful as a starting point to design organ speakers for pedal stops.</P>
          <P mce_keep="true">Bill</P>
          <P mce_keep="true"></P>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Allen w/pipes



            Bill,</P>


            Excellent point. As I've expounded in some long-winded posting somewhere, the differences between pipes and digital would go away if digital organs had enough separate audio channels and had speakers that dispersed sound exactly as pipes do.</P>


            But if there were to be a separate amp andspeaker for every note of every rank,the cost of building such a digital organ would farexceed the cost of the pipe organ it was trying to imitate! There have to be practical considerations as far as the number of audio channels. The old Saville organs were on the right track, providing a separate speaker formost ranks, though there were many unit ranks. Their speakers were not great, though, just ordinary speakers stuffed into cardboard tubes. And of course that was ancient analog technology too.</P>


            If price is no object, I suppose Allen or Rodgers or Walker or anybody else can produce a digital with a separate audio channel --or even a stereo pair ora four-way split -- for each stop. Soft stops can share channels with loud chorus stops, as thesoft oneswould not normallybe drawn at the same time.Surely that ought to be doable for far less than the cost of pipes. And that's pretty much what Marshall &amp; Ogletree did.</P>


            The icing on the cake for such an organ would be a speakerarray on each channelcapable of spherical omni-directional radiation of all frequencies. If you've everheard those old Conn "pipe speakers" you may have experienced almost that effect. That was an incredibly good idea coming from an organ company back in the 1970's.Conn pipes actually "pushed" the tone out through a large array of metal tubes arranged to look like a little pipe chest. I workedfor a Conn dealer and was amazed at how much prettier the tones were when the pipe speakers were switched on.</P>


            A big drawback to those Conn pipes was thelow power efficiency.They requireda lot of amplifier power, and amp power was not cheap and abundant back then. Conn got around this to some extent by limiting the bass frequencies sent to thepipes, letting those be handled by conventional woofers in big boxes.</P>


            Perhaps an organ assembled todaywith multiple channels,powerful amps, andnumerous "ranks" of these speakers would come close to doing the trick. Wish I had the money, space, and time to try setting up such an organ. Perhaps these Bose speakers you mention would be worth checking out. Even if they are not up to the SPL of organ music, multiple sets might work.</P>


            John</P>
            <P mce_keep="true"></P>
            John
            ----------
            *** 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!

            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Allen w/pipes



              Bill,</P>


              I went to the Bose website and checked out the PAS. Interesting idea, revolutionary for a live-performance sound system.</P>


              My guess is that thetall skinny unitcontains a large number of small speakers arranged so as to shoot soundout in a 180 degree arc. The specs say that it radiates very little sound behind, above, or below, virtually all in a semi-cylindrical pattern. This is quite ideal for a performer in a club or small hall, and as the blurb indicates, eliminates the need for monitor speakers too.</P>


              Since the sound is not "beamed" at all, but thoroughly homogenous throughout the soundfield, microphones would not tend to pick up enough of a direct signal to cause feedback, even when used fairly close to the speaker. I know from experience with other non-directional PA speakers that this will indeed work. It's a little-known fact and is the reason that sound system companies don't typically use omni-directional speakers, and instead sell churches on expensive andugly monitor systems. Those big overhead clusters of speaker cabinets shoot out "beams" of sound that will certainly cause feedback if the mikes get out in front of them.</P>


              If this idea were to really catch on in the sound system world, it would put a lot of these over-hyped firms out of business. That's athought . . . . . </P>


              Oh well, that's another issue. But something like these speakers might prove excellent for an organ, especially if the idea were expanded upon so that the speakers radiate in a 360 degree pattern, and even somewhat up and down. That would be more like the dispersion character of a pipe. Then, if the organ had several audio channels per division, and these radiators artfully placed in a chamber or out in the open, the sound should be awesome.</P>


              John</P>
              John
              ----------
              *** 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!

              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Allen w/pipes

                I have actually used pas speakers before and I can assure you that they are indeed capable of the proper SPL.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Allen w/pipes

                  [quote user="jbird604"]


                  Bill,</P>


                  I went to the Bose website and checked out the PAS. Interesting idea, revolutionary for a live-performance sound system.</P>


                  My guess is that thetall skinny unitcontains a large number of small speakers arranged so as to shoot soundout in a 180 degree arc. The specs say that it radiates very little sound behind, above, or below, virtually all in a semi-cylindrical pattern. This is quite ideal for a performer in a club or small hall, and as the blurb indicates, eliminates the need for monitor speakers too.</P>


                  Oh well, that's another issue. But something like these speakers might prove excellent for an organ, especially if the idea were expanded upon so that the speakers radiate in a 360 degree pattern, and even somewhat up and down. That would be more like the dispersion character of a pipe. Then, if the organ had several audio channels per division, and these radiators artfully placed in a chamber or out in the open, the sound should be awesome.</P>


                  John</P>


                  [/quote]</P>


                  Yes, I knew it was not 360 degree radiation. That's why I said it could be a starting point. However, I think it's frequency response would need to be improved as well. It doesn't go up to 20khz IIRC.</P>


                  With its shape, several could be placed at different points, right to left, or front to back, giving the impression of the different point sources of pipe ranks.</P>


                  Bill</P>
                  <P mce_keep="true"></P>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Allen w/pipes



                    Bill,</P>


                    Yes, exactly. That might make one awesome organ!</P>


                    John</P>
                    John
                    ----------
                    *** 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!

                    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X