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Advice needed regarding speaker selection

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  • Advice needed regarding speaker selection

    Hi all - I have a beautiful circa 1982 Allen Organ 301B. The two Allen speakers are too big and have seen better days. They previously spent 35 years in use in an attic-like cabinet in a church - so they're pretty rough looking, too.

    I would like to replace the old speakers with new ones that are small (bookshelf size?) and easy to order.

    What factors should I consider (brand name, watts, and so on)?

  • #2
    If it is for your church, it would be best to rehab the original speakers. If you have moved the organ into your home, I have had pleasing results with Klipsch 8" speakers. For an organ, speakers have to have a hertz range of 20 hz to 20K hz. With an Allen, the speakers must be 8 ohm.

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    • #3
      Yes, this is for home. The Klipsch R-15M speakers have a frequency response of 62 hz to 24k hz. Will they do the job if I avoid the 32' pedal stops?

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      • Horseshoe_or
        Horseshoe_or commented
        Editing a comment
        I use Klipsch RF-82 speakers. While they are floor speakers, they are narrow and sit nicely on each side of the organ. I did keep my Allen base cabinet for the 32' stops but the Klipsch handle the Hauptwerk 32' stops but really don't give you the feel of a 32' stop like the Allen cabinet does. I would not use anything smaller than an 8" speaker and preferably duel 8" speakers. It is not just about producing the sound but also about the movement of air which helps to make the stops more realistic. On another issue, does the 301 have a gyro speaker. If it does and you replace it, you will lose the enhancement it gives the flute stops and the fast trem.

    • #4
      You really need a speaker that will go down to 32 Hz for the 16 ft pedal stops, and I don't know of any bookshelf speaker designs that can do that, much less the 32 ft pedals. Best recommendation is Allen HC-12 speakers, though they are large.

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      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        Stack the speakers vertically? It makes a smaller footprint out of the room.

        Michael

    • #5
      I'm not sure how much voicing control you have with a 301B, but on my mom's ADC-series organ, there is plenty of gain in the bass adjustment for each tone generator to compensate for some low bass rolloff in a small speaker cabinet. My dad built small speakers with 8" woofers, and they handle the bottom end of 16' stops fine, after adjusting the bass controls. The 32' stops on her organ need a real bass cabinet, so she has an Allen B-20 for that. But all of the 8 other channels are run through my dad's home-built speakers that are really quite small.

      I'm actually researching this exact problem to see if I can build smaller speakers for my living room in order to fit a larger organ in there. The problem I'm finding is that most bookshelf stereo speakers use a bass port in order to get more bass out of a small cabinet, but that design boosts higher bass frequencies in exchange for a sharper rolloff as you go down in frequency. That means that there probably won't be enough gain in the organ's bass adjustments to compensate for the quick rolloff. I'm still investigating, so I don't have any suggestions right now, but I hope I can learn enough to figure out how to build my own. If you know someone who could build you some special speakers, you probably can get the best of both worlds - good bass and small size. You'll lose out on efficiency, but that doesn't matter for a home installation where you don't need that much power.

      BTW, I did ask my dad about his speakers, but he built them to someone else's design, and doesn't have the details that guy used to design them. I've reached out to the designer, but haven't heard back yet.

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      • #6
        The MOS series of Allen organs did not have the voicing controls that were incorprated into the ADC and later organs.

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        • #7
          When so and so speaker says it goes down to 62hz, or 45hz it does not mean that it does not give ANY output at 32hz! Depending on the design, the output at 32hz may or may not be satisfyingly audible. I have a pair of Dayton Audio Tower speakers with twin 6.5" woofers and I think 16' voices are absolutely within its grasp. It is rated for 45hz but 32hz (16' low C) will not disappoint. However, this is a home audio speaker! It is NOT what any organ manufacturer had in mind when they were spec'ing speakers. But home audio speakers can work if you are not trying to impress friends (and neighbors). A look at the Parts Express website might be very informative.

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          • #8
            You can get satisfying results with using smaller speakers as the satellites and a small sub woofer
            Can't play an note but love all things "organ" Responsible for 2/10 Wurli pipe organ, Allen 3160(wife's), Allen LL324, Allen GW319EX, ADC4600, many others. E-organ shop to fund free organ lessons for kids.

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            • #9
              Far more important than any particular size of speaker is that the speaker be used in a cabinet designed for it. Given a specific speaker's specifications and a specific cabinet design, you can calculate how loud it can produce its lowest frequency with acceptable distortion. There is no general rule that provides performance based on speaker size alone. You have to work through the design calculations.

              But, in simple terms, it takes a decent size cabinet to get solid bass performance down to 32 Hz regardless of the size of speaker. JBL made an 8 inch pro driver that would get down to around 35 Hz but it requires a cabinet of about 3.5 to 4 cubic feet volume to do it. Tang Band makes a 5-1/4 driver that will get you below 40 Hz in a cabinet a little over 1/4 cubic ft, but can't produce very high volumes for room filling sound (see: http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...xel-a-mini-sub).

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              • #10
                Originally posted by toodles View Post
                The MOS series of Allen organs did not have the voicing controls that were incorprated into the ADC and later organs.
                One small correction on this statement. While Toodles is technically correct in his statement, there is a very limited amount of equalization that can take place on the DAC card. Each channel should have a rudimentary bass/treble control which would allow a limited amount of bass/treble control. The pots you're looking for are the same as those found on the ADC cards inside the cage. But don't count on miracles in voicing control.

                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

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                • #11
                  I suggest you use Walker Technical Speakers. Take a look on their website. The 1103SDs are good for midrange, the B2 is good for midbass, and the Quaker is what you want to use for the 32s.

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                  • #12
                    If you are dead set on bookshelf speakers, take a look at Yamaha NS - 6490 speakers.

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