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Pitch of our Allen Digital Organ

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  • Pitch of our Allen Digital Organ

    Can someone tell me why the pitch of our Allen (ADC model) is tuned at higher than A440? I believe that's probably closer to A445? I just tuned our one piano on the stage which we use with the worship team (but never with the organ at the same time). However, our other piano on the floor is used along with the organ, and when I was comparing the two pianos together, I just realized how much higher the one on the floor is. It matches the organ which is definitely higher than A440 or even A442.
    Craig

    Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

  • #2
    I can't tell you why but all the Allen Digital models can have their base pitch raised or lowered as needed. It requires a specific tool (a plastic Allen Wrench on the ADC models).

    Comment


    • musikfan
      musikfan commented
      Editing a comment
      Is that an Allen wrench or an Allen wrench?? Hahaha....a wrench made by Allen organ company, or an actual Allen wrench that you can get at the hardware store?

    • Admin
      Admin commented
      Editing a comment
      It's a plastic tool that was used to adjust ferrite core coils which were commonly found in the RF stages radio equipment back in the day. It's plastic because a metal tool will change the tuning when in proximity to the ferrite core. You're not likely to find this tool in a hardware store. Even a search of electronic suppliers turned up little.

      One of the tools in this set https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail...gpp%252BXD55QH might work, but it's difficult to tell from the photo.

      Also, you need to be extremely careful when adjusting the tuning coils as the ferrite is very brittle and will break if too much force applied. If that happens, you're in big trouble.

  • #3
    If they are acoustic pianos, they probably were tuned high. They organ was presumably tuned to match the piano, as it is the easier option (less strings=less work). Some groups tune a piano higher, believing it to add excitement to a performance. Some of our members of the Symphony play in orchestras where they tune to A-442 to that end, but we still tune to A-440.

    Another thing to be aware of, the Allen organ (if that's what you have) probably employs stretch tuning. At least one of my organs does that. While the center of the keyboard is A-440, at either end it will be a few cents sharp or flat.

    Hope that helps.

    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


    • musikfan
      musikfan commented
      Editing a comment
      Actually the one piano was tuned to the organ. The organ is the "culprit" in this situation. It would also explain why every time I step up to the pulpit to lead a hymn, the piano is playing the introduction and I'm looking at the key we are supposed to be singing in and I'm thinking to myself, "The piano player is not playing this hymn in the key that is written". I have almost perfect pitch and I've been banging my head against the wall trying to figure out why in the past year and a half I've been hearing the different keys of hymns incorrectly. I thought I was losing my ability to discern pitch. Now I know why. I can tell you that the pitch is probably A445 which would definitely make a difference to my ears.

  • #4
    It would be highly unusual for an organ to be stretched tuned. Because of the harmonic series produced by pipes, if someone wants a piano and organ to be in sync, it is recommended that the piano not be stretch tuned. Below is a link that will explain.



    Today I finished tuning the Moller Pipe organ at my church. It is a 3 manual organ plus pedal with 46 ranks. I started out in the pipe organ business
    Bill

    My home organ: Content M5800 as a midi controller for Hauptwerk

    Comment


    • musikfan
      musikfan commented
      Editing a comment
      Our piano tuner stretched the piano, I'm pretty sure...

    • beel m
      beel m commented
      Editing a comment
      Admin, the MOS-1 stretch tuning can be disabled, right? Our church's 301 sometimes plays a piano/organ duet, and I simply turn the "chorus off" on and the tuning changes to normal. (This is because our piano is a Baldwin Acrosonic with surprisingly little inharmonicity, so the tuner is able to put it dead-on.)

    • voet
      voet commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, everyone, for your comments. I should have qualified my original post to read "It would be highly unusual for a pipe organ to be stretch tuned." I have worked with several pipe organ builders and technicians to tune pipe organs. I also regularly did tuning touch-ups on piep organs I have played. I am aware that Allen had a "chorus tuning" tab on some of their organs to simulate the out-of-tuneness of a pipe organ, I assumed that was just a slight "celeste" effect. If I understand what everyone here is saying, even without celeste or chorus tuning, at least some Allen instruments are stretch tuned, n'est pas?

  • #5
    So if there is a place to adjust the pitch on the organ, where would it be? in the back near the circuit boards?
    Craig

    Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

    Comment


    • #6
      As far as I know, Allen did not make the wrench--they really are not into injection molding; it is a hex rod wrench made out of plastic--might have been made to Allen's spec's or an off the shelf part. Harrison labs sells an equivalent, but one is usually included in the packet that has the voicing chart inside each organ, if your tech left it there. The wrench must be plastic, as metal will interfere with the tuning.

      The adjustment is on one of the cage cards--there is usually an opening on the cage cover for it. No sense in opening up the organ until you have a wrench.

      Comment


      • musikfan
        musikfan commented
        Editing a comment
        OK. Many thanks for the advice. I appreciate it!

      • Admin
        Admin commented
        Editing a comment
        See the last item on this page for the Harrison tool
        http://harrisonorganworks.com/index.htm

      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        The tuning slug on my MOS-2 is pictured here below the red D-83 in the middle of the logic board. It's the red coil toward the bottom with the wooden stick protruding from the bottom. https://organforum.com/forums/filedata/fetch?id=594743
        Our piano tuner stretched the piano, I'm pretty sure...
        Is it a concert grand yet? ;-) Sorry, I couldn't resist.

        Michael

    • #7
      Thanks for the link. I'll check and see if there might be anything in the back of the organ first, and then I'll go from there....
      Craig

      Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

      Comment


      • #8
        Organs from the factory were tuned to A440 unless the purchaser of the organ requested another tuning like A444 then they were tuned accordingly. The organs that were tuned to A440 were tuned using a tuning fork. This was the case up to and including the W5 system, until the Renaissance models came along. The wrench/tool was purchased by Allen. It is not a specialty type except that it is plastic as previously mentioned. Yes, be careful with the ferrite, they are fragile. I tuned many organs with the tuning fork and tool at Allen.

        Comment


        • #9
          Thanks again for the link with the picture. That will be helpful I'm sure. Michael, as of today, the piano is still not stretched long enough to be a grand. Hahaha...... The piano is actually a Baldwin Hamilton studio console.
          Craig

          Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

          Comment

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