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Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!

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  • Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!

    I am a great admirer of this forum, and I read your forum frequently.
    Unfortunately not speaking the English properly, and unfortunately I do not write as often ...

    I have a question for technical experts (Arie is welcome!):
    In the mixer card of my organ (Ahlborn SL300), I have noticed that the op. amp. Precisely the TL072. I would like to replace them with other best op amp. I would have thought the NE5532.
    NE5532 are considered by many audiophiles users, better than the TL072.
    This is my question: the NE5532 are perfectly compatible with the TL072? It's "plug and play" (same electrical caracteristic and compatibility)? Or should be replaced or change other components? (resistors, capacitors, etc. ..).
    You have any advice for me?

    Thanks for your help!


  • #2
    Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!



    Whenever I see my name mentioned, I wake up and take note.

    Regarding your questions about the op-amps, I seriously doubt that changing op-amps is going to make much of a difference.

    You don't state whether you want to improve the sound of the internal speakers, or whether you are even running the organ on external speakers.</p>

    There are some capacitor changes you can make to get the internal speakers to sound better.</p>

    I don't know if you have the voicing tools (the programmer and the rf receiver), but I can tell you voicing the organ can make quite a change to the instrument -- far more than changing op-amps.</p>

    As far as I know, the TL072 is a reasonably good op-amp.</p>


    Arie V.</p>

    P.S. Haven't we corresponded before? If I remember correctly you are in Italy somewhere.</p>


    • #3
      Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!

      Hello Arie,
      Yes, I have previously written to you a e-mail asking for information on my Ahlborn sl300!
      You have been very kind, Thanks!
      Yes, I live in Italy! Unfortunately it is not easy to get information directly to Ahlborn-Generalmusic ...
      They do not give any information to improve the oldest organ. Their idea is to change organ with latest technology; matter of marketing.

      Thanks for your help.
      Then the TL072 will not be affected; remain in their place! Thanks.

      Yes my organ already has the receiver and remote control, and I have modified many voicing parameters, the organ now sounds good.

      I would like to further improve the sound, I thought of making some changes to the components.
      The capacitors to be amended so the amplifier and cross-over, right?
      Which capacitors or components  must buy?

      I also thought we add two tweeters in the cabinet (total 4 tweeters, as in Cronicler series). Is a good idea?
      What are the tweeters compatible? Unfortunately the top tweeters on the organ cabinet did not present the brand (I suppose it's a OEM drivers).
      I am very happy for your invaluable help!




      • #4
        Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!


        This modification is only for improving response of the internal speaker system. The problem is the bass response is not very good. I thought initially it was a speaker problem, so I hooked up a large external speaker to the internal bass driver amplifier. Little improvement. So I went over the schematics, and found what looked like a wrong component value. After checking this out with some engineers, I changed capacitor values around some om-amps, and voila........sound was much improved. Apparently, this problem is on all the SL and Chronicler series organs.</p>

        If you have the schematics, go to the audio mixer page. Look for the outputs to the internal speakers. It will say CH.1 , Low Freq. Out and CH. 2. The Op amps. feeding these output lines are IC32 and IC35. Change the following capacitor numbers C83, C92, C91, C115. Existing value is 100nfd change to .15mfd. You will get a much smoother bass response.</p>

        I believe the organ already has 4 tweeters in it. 2 facing up, 2 facing forward in the kneeboard. In the menu you select one or the other. I always set the tweeters facing up to be on.</p>

        I wouldn't fault GeneralMusic for not wishing to further engineer a product that has been replaced with newer technology. Most companies do not do that, especially for a single customer. It is not a safety or health issue, or a design or manufacturing flaw, so my guess is they view your issue as a non-issue.</p>

        Arie V.


        • #5
          Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!

          Thanks Arie!!!
          Tomorrow I modified the card mixer!
          I have not understood the value of the capacitor; .15 mfd equals to 0.15 microFaraday (uF)? Maybe in Italy use of  different acronyms ...
          I do not want to replace it with a wrong capacitor ...
          I suppose the voltage is 63 or 100Volt, right?

          The european version of SL300 have only a two tweeter facing up... in facing forward in the keyboard have only a one woofer and a two mid-range... the Cronicler serie (Hymnus serie in europe) have a four tweeter, 2 facing up and two facing forward (plus two mid-range and one woofer). I suppose the American Sl serie is different...

          Thanks again for your patience and for your great help!




          • #6
            Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!


            Yes, .15 mfd is .15 microFarad. Same value as 150 nanoFarad. Don't worry about voltage rating, 25 volt rating is fine. You may have to re-voice the lower pitch registers a little bit in the scaling department. But it should sound better.</p>

            You may be right about the tweeters in the SL-300. I don't have the schematics near me, and I was only guessing. Definitely the SL-250 has only tweeters (2) facing up.</p>

            If you really want to improve the sound, use external speakers. Or better yet, branch out the audio on the audio mixer to get 8 channels out, and use 8 external channels. I did that with one, and used it as a rental organ for about 3 years. An amazing sound, for a small organ. Got lots of positive comments about the sound, even in large buildings.</p>

            Arie V</p>


            • #7
              Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!

              Thanks Arie!!
              Today I change the capacitors!!!




              • #8
                Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!

                Hello Arie!
                I changed the capacitors!
                The supplier had not metal polyester capacitors (like the original), and then I bought the polyester capacitors from 0.15uF 100V (the shopkeeper said that the originals are the same, are reasonably good for audio use).
                The sound is improved, especially as an extension!
                Originally, the 16 feet stops, up to E1, now I listen very well the C1!
                The power of low frequencies, is a little increased, but the extension is certainly much bigger!
                There is no need to adjust the scaling parameter, and the low frequencies sounds power remained correct.
                Thanks Arie, you are very kind!
                Thanks to your help, I could improve my organ!

                Now I have another dream: being able to find a database of Ahlborn samples, to reprogram the EPROM!
                Unfortunately it will be very difficult, I tried it on the web, but have not found anything.
                Ps: To select samples, listen on your computer?
                There is a program for PC, which allows you to listen to the sounds advance deployment EPROM?

                Thanks, talking to you is very nice!

                Ps2: Allen MDS organ have the same technology of Ahlborn Cronicler (controlled short samples)?



                • #9
                  Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!


                  Glad I was able to help you get your organ sounding better. I believe that the factory design was an error, that they never corrected. It sounds so much better with the revised value capacitors in it.</p>

                  I don't know what the distribution of Ahlborn organs is like in Italy (or Europe), but in North America there were a couple technicians (dealers) who could swap samples on the Chronicler series organs. They had the library of samples, could tell you what samples could replace the original samples, and burn new Eproms. However, what you needed to tell them what sample you wanted, so basically you needed to know what the various organs sounded like (as well as the H5,and the Archive modules), and ask for that particular stop to be swapped. I did it for a couple of organs, but often wondered if it actually improved the sound very much.</p>

                  Of course, with the new Ahlborn (Ahlborn-Galanti) organs you can pick and choose the samples you want to use, as long as that particular sample can be pulled up by that stop control.</p>

                  Allen MDS technology basically dates from the late 80s. I think the MDS organs came out in 1990. I'm not sure whether they had actual samples stored in memory or whether it was some sort of basic waveform data. In any case the amount of information stored to define a stop would have been very limited. Far shorter than say the Chronicler series organs, probably even less than what was in the first Galanti organs, the Praeludium series. That doesn't mean that the Allen sound was necessarily bad, just that it would not have been as real as today's longer samples.


                  • #10
                    Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!

                    I thought that the MDS series was really latest!
                    So the Ahlborn was the only one to use the system of short controlled samples? (short samples with varation sampling frequency to imitate the fluctuation).
                    Ps. It would be possible to draw up a list of the sampling system used in several brands of mid-range organs ?
                    I knew this:

                    Ahlborn: short sample controlled (Cronicler) and long samples (AG series)

                    Viscount: digital harmonic synthesis

                    Cheap Rodgers (Insignia, Allegiant):digital harmonic synthesis or samples?

                    Cheap Allen (Protegè): long sample (I am not sure)

                    Johannus: long sample


                    Cantor: physical modeling (I am not sure)

                    Content:digital harmonic synthesis (I am not sure).

                    If I am wrong, I ask you, correct!



                    • #11
                      Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!


                      I would say you are wrong on a lot of them. Here is my take, and if anyone knows better, I would like to be corrected.</p>

                      Ahlborn - SL and Chronicler series, had fairly short samples with as you say hardware controlled fluctuation, adjustable windnoise (on flues), harmonic presence on reeds (by way of a second oscillator having harmonic content)</p>

                      - the A-G series has more and longer samples</p>


                      Viscount - Prestige organs - relatively short samples</p>

                      - Vivace organs - shorter samples</p>

                      - CM-100 pipe stop module - uses physical modelling</p>

                      low-end Rodgers - short samples (actually some sound very short)</p>

                      Allen Protege - very short samples, plus some hardware controls</p>

                      Johannus - depends on series</p>

                      - Opus series (very short samples, very few samples)</p>

                      - Sweelink - longer samples</p>

                      -Rembrandt - roughly same as Sweelink, except some longer, more samples, and some Mixtures, independent rank</p>

                      - Monarke - long samples for every note (at least that is what they claim)</p>

                      Eminent - additive synthesis</p>

                      Cantor - additive synthesis</p>

                      Content - claim samples, but I think it is samples plus some kind of synthesis</p>



                      • #12
                        Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!


                        It is strange to note that today, many digital organ manufacturers still the system of short samples.
                        This had a sense 15 years ago, when large amounts of memory had a very high cost.
                        Today, the memory is cheaper, but continue to use the short samples (and few sample to stop)!
                        I did not know that Rodgers, Allen and Viscount, use the short samples.
                        I thought that all new models of digital organs, had long sample...
                        This consoled me!
                        It means that my SL300 is not old!

                        Ps. I thought that the Viscount, using Additive synthesis! I maybe wrong...



                        • #13
                          Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!


                          Your SL-300 does not sound as out of date as you might think. Especially if it is tweaked to be closer to it's maximum potential.</p>

                          As for what is going on, Rodgers is set to introduce new low end models early this year, likely with slightly longer samples, but the selling feature is multiple samples per stop control, not unlike what the new Ahlborns already have. I'm not sure what Allen is doing at the lower end, but at the higher end they now have 6 tonal suites and added additional audio channels. Viscount have only farily recently updated their organ lines, my guess is they may show a prototype of a model using physical modelling at Frankfurt MusikMesse.</p>

                          The reason why improvments are slow in coming I think is just lack of money. The biggest companies in this field are still really not big companies. Both Allen and Rodgers do about $20 million in organ sales. And profitability has not been high the last few years in the organ business. Serious R&amp;D is serious money. It is much easier to run with what you have and make periodic improvements and changes.</p>

                          Another reason for the lack of improvement is that the marketplace doesn't demand it Small digital organs, 2 manual and pedal of 20 stops in a high quality package and high price does not sell near as well as a 3 manual and pedal with 3 times as many stops at a lower price. So instruments are designed to at least look good on paper..</p>


                          P.S. Ahlborn is set to release a new model -to replace the SL-300. Should be out in a couple of months.</p>


                          • #14
                            Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!

                            Thanks Arie,

                            Yes, I have seen the Ahlborn site and saw model AG3000, but unfortunately there are no photos.
                            I think that is the model replaces the SL300 ... (Europe AG series is divided into two groups: Organum, the expensive wood finished consolle; Praeludium have cheap imitation wood finished consolle. Praeludium series equivalent to the old SL series).
                            To see the latest news, we must look at the German o American site .
                            Unfortunately, the Italian official site is rarely updated, always late ...

                            Another thing I did not understand: cronicler and Sl series, were presented with 24 bit technology (German an Italian site).
                            I do not know at what resolution were samples is recorded . In any case, the DAC used (AD1865), are 18 bit ....



                            • #15
                              Re: Tweaking my SL300... Help please!!!!


                              A lot of these numbers bandied about, is for advertising hype only. What is actually going on inside these new organs, is usually not revealed. And yet that is an important consideration if you want to know if improvements have been made, or how it compares to competitive products.</p>

                              In any case, there is more to the overall sound of the organ than just number crunching. What also has to be taken into consideration is does the instrument have sufficient hardware, how good is the audio, voicing, etc.</p>

                              Don't lose sleep over this. Better to just listen to the products themselves, and let your ear tell you what sounds good or bad.</p>