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Allen Organ Aram Basmadjian Designer Series - ABIII/68

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  • Allen Organ Aram Basmadjian Designer Series - ABIII/68

    Allen have added another "designer" organ to its series to complement the existing range (Diane Bish, Rudy Lucente and Hector Olivera).

    The Aram Basmadjian Designer Series organ has 3 manuals and 68 stops including 8 Genisys voices: https://www.allenorgan.com/church-organs/abIII68.html

    "The design emphasizes the apotheosis of American organ building as conceived by legendary organ designer, G. Donald Harrison, during the mid-twentieth century. Rich foundation tones with brilliant mixtures, colorful flutes, imitative solo reeds and warm string-toned stops indulge the organist with great musical versatility. This instrument fulfills a lifelong dream for me, and I am extremely proud of the final result - Aram Basmadjian"



    I notice it has the "chunkier" sided console (C-style console option) presumably as standard whereas the other organs in the designer series do not, at least from the pictures on the website. But I have seen past designer "organs of the week" that have been upgraded to the C-style console.
    1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
    Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

  • #2
    This organ is shown in the "DXC" console which features woodwork similar to the larger "C" console, but is not as wide as the "C" console.
    Aram Basmadjian
    Vice President - Sales
    ALLEN ORGAN COMPANY
    Macungie, PA

    Comment


    • nullogik
      nullogik commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Aram for clarifying the console style/type.

  • #3
    As long as it has a 32' Pedal Reed, I'm good! Imagine having an instrument named after you.

    I notice it has octave couplers. I wonder if they attenuate the sound when coupled, or if they're straight?

    Michael

    P.S. I wonder if this Harrison any relation to the one providing MIDI products?
    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)
    • 10 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

    Comment


    • AllenAnalog
      AllenAnalog commented
      Editing a comment
      I highly doubt that. G. Donald Harrison was from England so it would have to be a very distant ancestry, if at all.

    • SchnarrHorn
      SchnarrHorn commented
      Editing a comment
      Stop list is available on the page linked to in the original post. Click on 'Explore More' in the box with the picture of the drawknobs.

    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Larry, thank you for the information. I suspected that was the case, but just needed to ask.

      Michael

  • #4
    Congratulations to Allen and Mr. Basmadjian! A beautiful instrument indeed.

    It would be great if a demo video were posted on the Allen Co. YouTube channel.

    George

    Comment


    • #5
      Really nice specification, and an attractive (at least to me) console. This reminds me a bit, at least nomenclature-wise, of the period of early GDH Aeolian-Skinner/late E.M. Skinner specifications that came out in the beginning of the Renaissance organ series a couple decades ago. And I'm always a fan of a 16' Dulciana!

      Comment


      • michaelhoddy
        michaelhoddy commented
        Editing a comment
        Michael1,

        On the page: https://www.allenorgan.com/church-organs/abIII68.html

        Scroll down, click on "specifications from world renowned pipe organs" or whatever the exact language is.

      • myorgan
        myorgan commented
        Editing a comment
        Well, duhhh! I thought those were links to other shameless advertising on Allen's website. Not sure why they don't just put regular links there that tell you where you're going. They look too much like advertising.

        Michael

      • michaelhoddy
        michaelhoddy commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't think it's you. The language does lead you to believe it's just a link out to marketing boilerplate. Was confusing for me as well.

    • #6
      Hi,

      The designer series Allen organs, are they the successors to the Allen Elite organs? They are no longer mentioned on the Allen web-site. Or, are the designer organs more like the Hertage, and Quantum organs?

      AV

      Comment


      • michaelhoddy
        michaelhoddy commented
        Editing a comment
        Hopefully Mr. Basmadjian can answer that himself for us. I believe Elite was Ren/Quantum tech with more audio and resources thrown at the back end of it, but he would be able to clarify that, as well as what other differences there might be between that and the current designer organs.

    • #7
      I count 35 amplifier channels. That alone makes me want one! And of course I love the "English Cathedral" organ, so this one looks like just my style.
      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


      • michaelhoddy
        michaelhoddy commented
        Editing a comment
        You're right- I didn't see that "open back" picture until now. That's a lot more channels, I think, than your typical stock 3-manual Allen!

        Several of the Allens I have played at Macungie over the years, which obviously have as many speaker channels and as much finishing as possible lavished on them, but in a hall that's not any more flattering than an average American church, have sounded positively stunning. Discrete audio paths are still the ticket!

      • jbird604
        jbird604 commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes indeed. We have quite a few (far too many) Allen three-manual organs around here with only four or five audio channels. Even in churches with rather pretentious music programs and talented organists. They often don't quite realize that their Allen isn't exactly a high-end model, and wonder why it doesn't sound as grand as it looks.

        I understand -- dealers want to sell organs, churches want one that looks impressive, and extra audio costs money, so Allen's four-channel 3m models have been popular with buyers. MDS W-5 models that squeezed 40-something stops from a single 32-stop generator board, REN-II models that got the same stop list from a 32-rank cage. This kind of resource-squeezing goes way back to the MOS-631/632 models -- large 3m disposition from just two MOS systems.

        But it's thrilling to see Allen building such superb models as this with such generous audio. Sure would like to hear one in person. There just isn't any substitute for having the tones projected through numerous discrete channels. The final frontier in organ sound!

    • #8
      That's a beautiful console and a nice stoplist. I believe the new 4-manual Rudy Lucente signature organ is standard with 24 channels. I guess Allen needs to come out with a sequel to their "Rise and Fall of Octave Couplers" booklet called "Octave Couplers Rise Again!"

      I am surprised that there are no Previous and Next pistons or toe studs.

      To misquote Tim the Toolman, the answer is more speaker channels.

      Click image for larger version

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      Larry is my name; Allen is an organ brand. Allen RMWTHEA.3 with RMI Electra-Piano; Allen 423-C+Gyro; Britson Opus OEM38; Saville Series IV Opus 209; Steinway AR Duo-Art, Mills Violano Virtuoso with MIDI; Hammond 9812H with roll player; Gulbransen Rialto; Roland E-200; Mason&Hamlin AR Ampico piano, Allen ADC-5300-D with MIDI.

      Comment


      • mlaird
        mlaird commented
        Editing a comment
        I only see octave couplers on the Swell, as Allen has done since the late MDS era. I'd prefer to see a few more octave couplers, in particular, 4' manual to pedal couplers for the other divisions. But I admit I don't need those very often.

    • #9
      Originally posted by AllenAnalog View Post
      I am surprised that there are no Previous and Next pistons or toe studs.
      I'm not sure which organ you are referring to, Larry, but the ABIII/68 organ listed above does have the Previous and Next pistons on the right-hand under the Swell, but no toe studs. I'm sure they could be customized. The extra toe stud bolster is present on the left, even though unused.

      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)
      • 10 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

      Comment


      • AllenAnalog
        AllenAnalog commented
        Editing a comment
        My bad, I missed those pistons.

    • #10
      Hi,

      that 3 manual drawstop console, with a wall of speakers, was built by Shaw Organs. I believe the picture shows the one installed in Central Tech High School in Toronto. It had about 150 audio channels. Was installed around 1970.

      AV

      Comment


      • AllenAnalog
        AllenAnalog commented
        Editing a comment
        Arie, you win the prize for identifying that Canadian organ. Now otispit also has a wall of speakers on his ADC organ at the high school. I am green with envy every time I see that photo on my computer.

    • #11
      So J, I assume you are divining the # of channels from those pics of inputs on the amps? Exactly how does that M100 amp work...assemble modules in a custom setup?? All served by a huge power supply? Quite secretive! I find no spec sheet on there, sooooo.......

      Comment


      • michaelhoddy
        michaelhoddy commented
        Editing a comment
        The M100 chassis are of course modular. You can count the number of channels by the number of volume pots on each loaded module, near the top, in a vertical line.

        Interestingly, some of the other designer organs, at least the ones with pictures in the back, seem to have relatively less amplifiers than this one.

    • #12
      Each amp has its own power supply. The M12 modules are single channel, the M15 are two channel and the M30 modules are four channels. The MP3 is the power supply in the amps.

      Comment


      • #13
        It's a shame to note that although there has been a hot thread about the quality of Allen keyboards (and Allen probably saw it), I still see bad quality control on these keyboards, as you can see from the photo, the keys misaligned and badly squared. And I also see the tabs above the keyboards misaligned.


        Then I see that inside they have mounted a commercial grade "tp-link" wifi router (mounted on the left, probably a WR841N model):

        This is very curious because Allen has always boasted that builds everything in-house, and has always criticized the companies that insert third-party devices in the instruments.

        Comment


        • ahlborn
          ahlborn commented
          Editing a comment
          If the router is a temporarily mounted device, they can possibly take a future photo with the final assembly. However, even the router wiring already fixed in the cabinet suggests a permanent installation.

        • ahlborn
          ahlborn commented
          Editing a comment
          I just add that several other Allen models also have a commercial grade wifi router, and this makes me think that this device is used as a definitive installation.

          Below the models TH323, TH217, Historique IIG with cheapy commercial grade router.






        • nullogik
          nullogik commented
          Editing a comment
          It is interesting that the router has been spotted in other models.

          Perhaps a newer version of Dove allows a laptop to connect wirelessly to the organ without the need for a tech to scramble around with a long lead trying to locate the socket?

          Or perhaps could it be used for wireless diagnostics where the organ is connected to the internet allowing a tech to remote in and do remote diagnosis/fault finding or maybe even to drop software upgrades.
          Last edited by nullogik; 01-25-2021, 06:05 AM.

      • #14
        Originally posted by ahlborn View Post
        It's a shame to note that although there has been a hot thread about the quality of Allen keyboards (and Allen probably saw it), I still see bad quality control on these keyboards, as you can see from the photo, the keys misaligned and badly squared. And I also see the tabs above the keyboards misaligned.
        [photo removed–Michael, Moderator]
        Then I see that inside they have mounted a commercial grade "tp-link" wifi router (mounted on the left, probably a WR841N model):
        [photo removed–Michael, Moderator]
        This is very curious because Allen has always boasted that builds everything in-house, and has always criticized the companies that insert third-party devices in the instruments.
        Where did these pictures come from? They are not on Allen’s site in the section for this model.
        Last edited by myorgan; 01-22-2021, 04:19 PM. Reason: Remove photos from quote.

        Comment


        • ahlborn
          ahlborn commented
          Editing a comment
          The first photo was on their site until the date of my publication, then it was removed (and was in the section for this model). Curiously, they have deleted the photo linked to this forum, but they have left other photos of the keyboards where I can see other badly aligned keys.

          The second photo is still present on their site, in the section for this model.
          Last edited by ahlborn; 01-22-2021, 02:42 AM.

        • myorgan
          myorgan commented
          Editing a comment
          Radagast,

          I had to remove the photos from your quote, as they were causing this thread to take minutes to load. When you quote, feel free to only include text you reference. In this case, the photos are not hosted by the Forum (they were linked externally), and their file sizes were quite large.

          Michael–Moderator

        • Admin
          Admin commented
          Editing a comment
          radagast Please avoid excessive quoting, especially when pictures are involved Ideally you should only quote enough of a post to provide any necessary context for your reply. Commenting, rather than replying, is often a better option, especially for short responses as the context is explicit.
          https://organforum.com/forums/forum/...tes#post648888

          myorgan Thanks for the edit. Because of the size of these pictures and the fact that they were linked from a site external from the Organ Forum they were extremely slow to load.

      • #15
        IMHO, the router issue is irrelevant. Allen is not in the router business; they build organs. If a router is needed to enable some non-organ function, then it makes sense to use a standard-issue product off the shelf. Should they spend a million dollars to engineer and tool up to manufacture a few dozen $50 routers? Or just buy a few dozen of them from Best Buy and be done with it?

        But the other issues pointed out by ahlborn ARE troubling -- an organ shouldn't get out the door or even to the photo-op stage without having the keys level and squared up and properly spaced. That can be done with ordinary piano-tuner's tools, and it wouldn't take an hour for a good tech to go over all the manuals and take care of that. Why they let that slip into a big photo for a press release I simply can't understand. Same thing goes for the rocker tabs being out of line. That is a simple adjustment and somebody should've been sure it was done and made as pretty as possible before the cameras came out.

        This reminds me of the Sunday afternoon I got a call from a local university music department. A brand new Steinway concert grand had been delivered a few days earlier and was to be played in a major recital that very Sunday evening. The artist had come over to practice and discovered that the hammers were not lined up with the strings, far enough off to make a hammer here and there strike one of the strings of the adjoining tri-chord. Holding the soft pedal down corrected the problem and made the piano louder, not softer! I quickly found that the action had shifted because the wooden felt-covered bumper at the bass end had somehow shrunk or sunk in a bit, either after the action was installed at the factory or else in shipping. I pulled the action and shimmed out the bumper the necessary amount, total time required, half an hour. Hard to believe it got out of the factory that way, if that's where the fault developed. And harder yet to believe that the dealer set it up for them and left it that way after delivery. But it did happen and I could only shake my head in amazement.
        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


        • ahlborn
          ahlborn commented
          Editing a comment
          The clarification of the router clearly may not have a specific technical value. If it's fit for purpose, that's no problem (although they could at least have used an industrial grade model).
          Rather, it can be an indicator of a "constructive philosophy" that has changed (perhaps not always positively) over time: there was a time when they proudly declared that they produced everything in their factory, and we later saw that this was not the case. We saw this when they offered Fatar keyboards, and now when they start to include third-party devices inside.
          Could this be a limitation? Technically I don't think so, but it could become so when inconsistencies are created between their past and present constructive philosophy.
          In the future, it might even be cheaper to buy ready-made amplifiers, and perhaps outsource the design of the generation boards or the software to another company. This clearly can affect all companies and not just Allen. But when (if) that happens, then all the myths about the history, the authenticity, the "personality" that every company has built over the years will definitely collapse, and I see that this is already happening.

          This, in some cases, already happens also with pipe organs: some companies (even famous ones) outsource the various parts (wind chests, bellows, pipes) to other companies, which are then assembled.
          But in some cases, other companies continue to build all the parts, including pipes starting from the casting and production of the tin plate, in their own factory. Everyone clearly makes their own choices.


          This discourse clearly applies differently to pianos.
          Many well-known historic companies buy different elements from other companies (strings, action - even if customized -, keyboards, tuning pins, etc.), and this has been happening for a very long time, so it has become common practice and does not cause scandal.
          So the difference between a Steinway and a cheap piano should be centered on the revaluation that a historical company maintains, on the personality of the instrument, and above all, on quality control.
          A Steinway grand (which costs as much as an apartment in Europe) should leave the factory in immaculately perfect condition. It is not tolerable, and a mistake is not justifiable, at these prices. And this is more true today, where the competition produces high quality pianos at a cost that can be 1/10 that of a Steinway.
          And some of these recent Chinese or Korean pianos I have seen in depth, and I can confirm that the quality is really very high. These companies only 20 years ago built mediocre pianos, but today they have experienced an exponential growth in quality.
          I think Steinway can't sleep peacefully.
          Last edited by ahlborn; 01-24-2021, 11:52 AM.
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