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  • Allen 122



    I've been looking for a home practice organ for several months now. I've only played pipe organs in the past an am fortunate enough to have a very nice one at church. However, it's not feasible to go there to practice much.</p>

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    I've recently come across an Allen 122 in good working order. They're asking $4500 which I realize is extremely high, but they're willing to negotiate. This is in a small mission church. They would prefer to keep the instrument, but they need the money. I'd love to hear opinions on this organ, possible troubles in the future, what an appropriate cost would be, etc. Also, any advice for a first-time buyer!
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  • #2
    Re: Allen 122



    I'm on my second self contained Allen church organ. The first was in excellent condition and I never had any service problems. The tones are very German -- including some stop names which are in German. There is no reverb system on this line because it was intended for sanctuary use more than home so tone can be a little less pleasing in a home setting (especially with carpet and drapes).</P>


    I traded #1 (at $1200 value) on a GA3 Technics organ because I play more in the theater organ style. Then last winter I acquired a very similar organ which had a serious cipher and the combination system was out. The combination problem is definitely related to an expired battery pack and I haven't tried to address that issue yet. The cipher (and also some intermittent voicing problems) were easily traced to a connection problem in the magnetic pedal connections. I've not yet tried to locate any details for a fix since connecting the pedals very carefully was sufficient to correct the problem during the organs last move.</P>


    The cost of organ number 2 was $700 plus move and taxes so I'm really concerned that there is no way you can negotiate a fair price from such a high start. I don't know who gave the mission the value, but I don't think the present market will support what they are hoping to raise. I've tracked Ebay organ sales extensively over the past few years and these 25+ age instruments seldom bring more than $1000 - 1500 in excellent condition.</P>


    That in itself is way ahead of other makes (Hammond Tone Wheel organs excepted) because Allen service and parts is still available. One should keep in mind however that factory service can run $300 - $500 with trip charges if you are any distance from a dealer.</P>

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Allen 122



      For $4500 you should be able to find a nice Allen ADC model with external speakers. We sold an Allen ADC-1110 a few years back for $4000. It was practically like new and had a moving combination action. It was an internal speaker model. You could consider it the successor of the 122. We felt lucky to get the $4000 then and we would be very lucky to get $2500 now. Part of the problem with these transactions is the high cost of transportation.</P>


      Good luck!</P>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Allen 122



        The $4500 price range is way out of my budget, and I told the vicar that before I ever went to play the organ. I don't want to take advantage of a congregation, but I have to think of myself as well. Here in the central Texas area, there doesn't seem to be an abundance of used organs - other than Hammonds, which I'm not interested in. I play for a Lutheran congregation and really want a nice German sound. </p>

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        I guess what I'd really like to know is what a fair price would be to offer this congregation. When I actually met the vicar, it turns out we've known each other for years. I just didn't know she'd become a minister! I've been totally honest with her, and she knows they won't get $4500 for the instrument. I've been the only one who's inquired about the organ, so she understands the resale is not good. I'm even comfortable with offering a price and then suggesting they try selling it for a few more months to see what comes up. So, any recommendations on what to offer would be greatly appreciated. Seems like offering $3000 less is trying to take advantage of them. But, I want to pay a fair price.
        </p>

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        • #5
          Re: Allen 122



          There's an ADC430 on eBay right now for $2000.00 BIN (Buy It Now)</P>


          Much newer organ.</P>


          Al</P>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Allen 122



            Good suggestion, Al.</p>

            GLC, it's all a matter of time. I spent at least 3 years looking for a used organ. I had at least 3 ebay auctions I narrowly missed. I haggled with a number of parties by email and phone. You really have to decide how quickly you need it, and that will determine your price range. I am now glad I missed them because eventually a better deal came along for me. That's the time part in action! It's the same way with the dealers...it's a matter of time for them too. They can set a ridiculous price on something, have it take up showroom space for 2 years, and sure, sooner or later a sucker might come along who will pay up. I think just like the people who bought overpriced real estate, those people are getting harder and harder to find.
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            $2000 for an ADC430 doesn't seem too bad for an organ that was probably 14000 or so in 1990 (my Allen dealer sold ADC221s for 11 something, in today's dollars that would be 17k!) but the general trend is for them to fetch less and less on ebay. Sure the technology is definitely yesterdays but the labor even to produce that level of technology and woodworking hasn't gotten any cheaper. On the other hand I recently had a member of the building trades visit my house for an estimate, look at my Allen organ and say "nice piano". When I did my best to not pompously correct him, he then explained he went to some megachurch (of course he called it by its forgettable name, not a "megachurch") and said they had "a band for music". He didn't even know what an organ was. So high culture is in a slow death spiral, make no mistake about it. Likewise it's a been a slow but steady decline through the years in values, I've probably been tracking them on ebay since 2002 or so. $2000 for an ADC430 is certainly a better deal than the MOS organ, even at 1/2 of what they are asking. (might be more competitive if a 2 or 3 computer MOS with moving stops were being compared...and some of those have only gone for 2000 on ebay too) Although I'd be sure it's really a 430 because I thought moving stops were standard on those, versus optional on the 420. The 430 is a scaled down MADC-3 but should still sound a little nicer than a MADC-2 420.</p>

            edit - Nope...that is a 430. I pulled out my Allen spec sheets. The crescendo pedal was added to 430s. However they do list moving stops as standard for 430 and 530 - maybe Allen would take this feature off if a customer wanted to save some coin. I bet it took the price down at least a couple thousand. That will have a blind but settable capture action.</p>

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            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Allen 122

              GLC, we commend you for your upright nature. You are not taking advantage of anyone. The market price of the organ is $1500 MAX! If you are willing to pay more because it is a church in need bless you -- but they should give you the organ and right a tax letter calling the money a donation in that event.

              Comment


              • #8
                another MADC-3 organ for sale, reasonable price



                http://lynchburg.craigslist.org/msg/1042994364.html</p>

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                • #9
                  good luck with your organ purchase, GLC



                  definitely DON'T pay too much</p>

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