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Baldwin C-630(T?)

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  • Baldwin C-630(T?)

    Well, here it goes, I recently bid on a Baldwin C630 online. I bid $50 but i doubt the bid will get that high. It's on a pretty obscure local auction site for estate sales. I'm 99% sure I'm gonna get this thing for $1 + shipping costs which I'm not expecting to be over $350.

    I mean I know the price is good but is this a good purchase assuming everything is in good working order?

    Is there any maintenance I should try and get done or anything I need to know about this organ in particular?

    How do I know the difference between the C630 and the C630T? Is it the presence of the transposer?

    Say I end up not putting this bad boy to use any chance of resale?

    This is my first organ so needless too say I'm excited!
    Thanks guys!

  • #2
    Yes, the 630T has the transposer, the plain 630 does not. The reason being that the 630T uses the "TOFG" chip (Top Octave Frequency Generator) instead of multiple individual tunable master oscillators for each of the 12 notes of the scale, as the original 630 has. Since all the frequencies come from a single chip, it's very easy to shift the tuning of the one high frequency oscillator that drives that chip, thus moving the entire organ up and down in half-steps. (It's actually quite a Rube Goldberg bit of circuitry that Baldwin used to accomplish that, but you only need to know that it works.)

    If you get the plain 630, you'll need to tune the twelve master oscillators using an easily available free tuning app on your phone. I use one called "ClearTune" that I think I paid 3 or 4 dollars for, because it has a great many extra features that I can use for tuning pianos or pipe organs. But you don't need a fancy one at all just to tune the twelve tones of the chromatic scale. You will however need a suitable PLASTIC hex tool that just fits into the tuning slug inside each coil can. Do NOT use a common screwdriver or metallic tool of any kind! If you break a tuning slug, you have a BIG problem on your hands!

    That said, some Baldwin oscillator coils don't need a tool at all, but have a stem sticking out the top of the can that you simply twirl with your fingers. I'm not sure about the 630, but do check to see what if any tool you need before you attempt tuning.

    Otherwise, these organs are fairly trouble-free. I do often find that the volume control pots that set the levels of the five amplifier channels can get noisy or even develop a dead spot. They are located behind the removable cheek block on the left side of the keyboard stack. Take out a couple of screws in the bottom of the keydesk and that block of wood will come out as you lift the front end and pull it forward.

    You'll want to "exercise" each pot, and make sure you are setting them correctly when done. I don't remember off-hand what stops are controlled by each one, but it should be obvious. It may be that two of them control the "tone expander" channels, which are a pair of audio channels that serve only to project a slightly pitch-shifted version of the audio (again with a magnificent Rube Goldberg circuit behind it!), to simulate chorus and celeste effects. This system actually works very well, producing a lovely rich sound that will indeed remind you of a celeste stop or of the chorus you'd expect to hear from a much larger organ than this.

    A few other things can and do go wrong with them, but you'll probably have to find them out by playing and using it. When you encounter a problem, post about it and someone here may be able to suggest a fix.

    I wouldn't count on being able to re-sell it though. Just keep it and enjoy it. It is really quite a good organ for its age, better than many more highly-rated models and brands from the 60's to 70's. A pretty decent set of stops, not exactly all that "pipe-like" but pleasant, especially with the lovely chorus and celeste effects of the tone expander system.
    *** 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!


    • adamisahuman
      adamisahuman commented
      Editing a comment
      Well I ended up getting it for $12 on auction which means I will have to have it shipped. Only about 30 miles though. I'm thankfully not too worried about resale, I'm just desperate to have a practice instrument at my house!

      Thanks for the info, it is in fact a 630T so I won't have to be too worried about tuning the oscillators thankfully.
      Nonetheless I will try and get it serviced or at least checked out as soon as finances permit.

  • #3
    I've moved this to Classic Electronic Organs rather than Home Organs. You may be using it at home but a 'home organ' is a rather different animal! :) It will get more views in this more appropriate section and you may get some more advice to go with what John has already given you. Andy G
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live -

    Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha Genos, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
    Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
    Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1


    • adamisahuman
      adamisahuman commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you! I'm a little new here so I suppose I got confused!