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Worth picking up? Conn 465 Caprice (a few issues) w/ pipe speakers

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    Worth picking up? Conn 465 Caprice (a few issues) w/ pipe speakers

    Hi,

    Just wondering if this is worth my while. A few weeks ago, if you will recall, I was going to take a look at a Conn 552 that was free. Around the same time I contacted someone who had a Caprice 465 with a pair of pipe speakers for $50. The plan was, get the 552, and take the speakers from the Caprice and use them with the 552. As you know, the 552 ended up having way too many issues for me to bring it home, so I contacted the gentlemen with the Caprice and told him I was no longer interested because it was contingent on the 552 purchase.

    Lo and behold, he sent me an email two days ago. He's willing to give me the 465 with pipe speakers for free if I come pick it up (+/- 4.5hours). Otherwise in a few days it will be "junked out".

    A few keys don't work on the organ itself, but everything else supposedly works ok (not that I trust anyone anymore), which is why I had planned to basically get the organ and part out the speakers for the 552. So, is this worth my while? Either I take it or it goes to the landfill.

    If anyone has anything nice to say about that model of spinet, that might help too (repairability, etc).


    Thanks,

    -Max



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    Last edited by Max the Icie Owner; 03-14-2019, 11:21 AM.
    Conn: 465 Deluxe Caprice w/pair of 144 pipe speakers
    Kimball: R-80 Broadway, S-20 Valencia III
    Western Cottage Organ Co. Reed Organ
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    P22 piano/10 keyboards/synths; 10 accordions (3 working); Ntv Am. Flute/PAC112V guitar/etc

    #2
    Same electronics as all the larger Conns - independent tone generators come in with the 4xx series Caprices. So it makes the same lovely rich sound as the 552, just doesn't have quite so much on and in a 'lesser' cabinet. And the sets of two small pipes are worth it. I'm on the hunt for a similar pair over here but they're rare! So I'd go for it!
    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 - www.andrew-gilbert.com

    Current organ: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition
    Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball something-or-other.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.

    Comment


      #3
      Well, it sure is a nice looking piece. I hate the thought of something like that getting scrapped - kind of like an old car...

      Comment


        #4
        I'd go for it. When I worked at a Conn dealer back in the late 70's, I really enjoyed playing that model. Very pretty console too, and as mentioned above, and it has the wonderful Conn generator system with independent oscillators for each pitch. The flutes in particularly are lovely, especially since they come through a built-in Leslie.

        As with all older Conn organs, there may well be trouble with the vinyl keying rods on the "pulse" voices -- basically all the diapason, string, or reed tones. If the vinyl rods have become erratic, as nearly all of them did in time, you may have some notes louder or softer than others in the same stop, or even missing notes. That could in fact be why the seller thinks there are some dead keys. You might find that on the flute stops at least there are no dead keys or missing pitches, as the flutes are keyed electronically and don't use vinyl rods.

        It will certainly need tuning after all these years unless the owner was diligent about getting that done regularly. But the good news is that tuning one of these is an easy job, even for the amateur. There are free tuning apps you can install on your phone, and you only need to use a small wrench to turn the nut on each pitch's coil to adjust the tuning note by note.

        There is a certain "technique" to tuning these coils, as the wrench itself may affect the pitch slightly, and they hold better if you loosen them a tiny bit first then slowly tighten until the right pitch comes out. Also, the pedals are tuned separately from the main oscillator set, with a screwdriver slot for each note of the pedal scale.

        Beyond tuning, there are a few pots and other controls inside that might need exercising or cleaning. And the whole thing might need a good careful vacuuming. It's always possible for any old organ to have mouse damage or water damage or whatever, but most damage is repairable with patience. If it's been kept in a clean house, as it appears to be in the ad, it may be in great shape.

        The pipes do have value. Not sure they really enhance the sound of a little Conn spinet like this very much, but people do pay good money for those things. So I'd sure go pick it up and try it out. It is certainly a decent enough starter organ for you.
        John
        ----------
        Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
        Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
        Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
        Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

        Comment


          #5
          Any update?
          Allen 530A

          Comment


            #6
            Owner was out of town until today. He's going to give me more detailed information on the issues and dimensions. Planning on getting it, just have to take the trip. Family stuff happening right now, so sometime later this week or the next I'll likely pick it up. Will report when I have more to say.
            Conn: 465 Deluxe Caprice w/pair of 144 pipe speakers
            Kimball: R-80 Broadway, S-20 Valencia III
            Western Cottage Organ Co. Reed Organ
            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            P22 piano/10 keyboards/synths; 10 accordions (3 working); Ntv Am. Flute/PAC112V guitar/etc

            Comment


              #7
              Picked it up yesterday evening. In storage in the Cities until our next trip down (this trip was for a dog show so we won’t have any space on the trip back up. Has plenty of issues, but I have the speakers and some original sales stuff as well. This will be one to learn how to repair on I think. From what I’ve gotten out of it right now, it sounds nice enough.


              Thanks for your help.
              Conn: 465 Deluxe Caprice w/pair of 144 pipe speakers
              Kimball: R-80 Broadway, S-20 Valencia III
              Western Cottage Organ Co. Reed Organ
              ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              P22 piano/10 keyboards/synths; 10 accordions (3 working); Ntv Am. Flute/PAC112V guitar/etc

              Comment


                #8
                My Caprice 465 is now at home with me. A friend brought it up from my storage location in the cities to Aitkin, and we took a trip out to his house today to get it from there to my house. The pipes are a pair of Model 144's. The service manual will be arriving on Tuesday. Where should I start with repairs? I'm guessing that if I list one thing at a time that one issue may be related to another which could change the diagnosis. How do you recommend I start?

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                Thank you,

                -Max
                Conn: 465 Deluxe Caprice w/pair of 144 pipe speakers
                Kimball: R-80 Broadway, S-20 Valencia III
                Western Cottage Organ Co. Reed Organ
                ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                P22 piano/10 keyboards/synths; 10 accordions (3 working); Ntv Am. Flute/PAC112V guitar/etc

                Comment


                  #9
                  Conn Deluxe Caprice 465 Type 001 Nameplate
                  Conn: 465 Deluxe Caprice w/pair of 144 pipe speakers
                  Kimball: R-80 Broadway, S-20 Valencia III
                  Western Cottage Organ Co. Reed Organ
                  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  P22 piano/10 keyboards/synths; 10 accordions (3 working); Ntv Am. Flute/PAC112V guitar/etc

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I always start with a thorough inside cleaning. It may or may not have a lot of dust and debris inside, but it never hurts to vacuum it out and generally tidy up in there. Next I go meticulously from one board or assembly to another, re-seating every cable, connector, plug, socketed IC, or anything else that is removable. Often, just pulling a connector slightly loose and pushing it back in place will re-establish electrical contact. Do this "gently but firmly" so as not to create new problems by overly flexing any boards or creating broken solder joints. Just take it easy and handle it all with care. A bit of WD-40 on a Q-tip might need to be dabbed on any pull-off connector pin that seems stuck. Don't overdo it with that stuff though or you'll have a stinky organ.

                    Another thing to do in this phase is to "exercise" any pots that you can find. On a Conn there are adjustable thumbwheel pots and/or mini-screwdriver pots on various boards. The amplifier/power supply may have screw-driver slot volume controls for each channel, and there may be other such pots in the pedal voicing section by the pedal tabs. Pots are often marked with a bit of paint to show the factory setting, always a good starting point for your adjustments.

                    Note that the pedal notes themselves are generated by a system that uses full-size screwdriver-slot pots for the tuning. You can exercise those, but set them back where they were or else you'll have grossly disturbed the pedal tuning. They do need to be moved, because they could be sitting in dead spots, but you'll have to do the final adjusting when you tune the organ.

                    Conns of this era have several keying rods under each manual with several contact wires per key, so you might want to gently blow the dust out of that area after first gently vacuuming without letting the vacuum tools touch any of the wires or rods. Don't want to bend any of those.

                    Then I'd tune it before seriously trying to do any tonal work. It may well be very sour, if the original owner didn't have it done now and then. Use a phone app such as ClearTune and a small preferably non-magnetic open-end wrench that fits the little nuts on the generator coils. Be sure that "Chorus" is "OFF" before you start, so you will have the ability to turn it on and produce a celeste-like scale.

                    The proper tuning method is to loosen the nut a bit (less that 1/4 turn), then tighten down as you watch the tuning meter until the pitch is just right. If your wrench is not fully non-magnetic, it will affect the tuning by its presence, so you'll have to develop a system of turning the nut a tiny bit, lifting the wrench away, checking the tuning, and then tightening some more. The pedals are tuned as described in the service manual -- possibly adjusting the Master pot first, then trimming each note with its own pot.

                    After performing all these procedures, which amount to "routine maintenance," you can start to figure out what might be wrong with it, and approach the problems one at a time. You may find that nearly all the problems have disappeared though, once you do the maintenance.
                    John
                    ----------
                    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
                    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
                    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
                    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
                    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Before I finish the initial maintenance I need to ask a question.


                      Today I cleaned it as suggested and reseated what I could (multi-pin plastic connectors were what I found mostly). Definitely has been a while since it has been gone over. Only a few connectors were actually easy to loosen and tighten. Most were pretty stiff and stuck down. I didn't use the WD-40 on everything though keeping in mind what you said. Lots of dust and cobwebs.

                      Everything has been cleaned/reseated except the leslie speaker section. I have not gotten to that yet. But everything else I could find in the top section, below each of the two manuals, and in the back has been tidied up.

                      Pictures of each section before cleaning (no after pictures as there's no difference except no cobwebs and not as much dust).

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                      I put everything back together and turned it on. Now it's doing exactly what the 652 I encountered two years ago did. After around five seconds of being powered on, it sounds like all of the upper flutes are having a large cipher (I think that's what it's called?), as if every key is pressed down, and is not affected by tabs or anything except cutting the power. Only on the flute stops from what I can tell, as I can still play the pulse and percussion voices though they are drowned out. The lower flutes and pedals do not seem to be affected. This did not occur before opening the organ up, reseating connectors, light vacuuming, and cleaning out the dust with a slightly damp cloth (not used on the components or the boards though). Wondering what I messed up.

                      This will make the subsequent tuning impossible. Should I continue with the Leslie section first before tackling this?


                      Thanks,

                      -Max

                      Conn: 465 Deluxe Caprice w/pair of 144 pipe speakers
                      Kimball: R-80 Broadway, S-20 Valencia III
                      Western Cottage Organ Co. Reed Organ
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      P22 piano/10 keyboards/synths; 10 accordions (3 working); Ntv Am. Flute/PAC112V guitar/etc

                      Comment


                      • jbird604
                        jbird604 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        You have somehow dislodged the "snubbing" voltage that goes to the flute keyer boards to keep all the notes silenced until they are keyed. Check all the little wires that push on with individual connectors at the sides of each flute keyer board (underneath the manuals when they are pulled upward).

                      • Max the Icie Owner
                        Max the Icie Owner commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thanks, I'll take a look at that.

                      #12

                      Some stuff I noticed (not sure if this is normal or not):

                      - Splattering of brown glue over a many of the circuit boards
                      - Occasional wires that looked like they'd been snipped off. (center black ones in this photo)



                      - What I assume are the vinyl rods, on the lower manual some of the pins (thin metal wires) are a row above where the rest are - wondering if this might have been something I did accidentally? As you can see in this picture, some of the pins that I think should be in the bottom row are with other pins in the third row instead. Wondering if this might have something to do with the cipher I mention below even though these are on the lower manual.

                      Conn: 465 Deluxe Caprice w/pair of 144 pipe speakers
                      Kimball: R-80 Broadway, S-20 Valencia III
                      Western Cottage Organ Co. Reed Organ
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      P22 piano/10 keyboards/synths; 10 accordions (3 working); Ntv Am. Flute/PAC112V guitar/etc

                      Comment


                        #13
                        Your images don't show up for me, but yes, if some of the contacts got up on top of a rod instead of underneath, that's a problem. They should all look uniform in a row.
                        John
                        ----------
                        Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
                        Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
                        Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
                        Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
                        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                        Comment


                        • Max the Icie Owner
                          Max the Icie Owner commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I did the same for all of them. However I can't edit the posts anymore. I can try to post below this with the missing pictures. I get that sometimes in the threads too.

                        • jbird604
                          jbird604 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Try to post them again below. If I can see the keying rods, maybe I can advise you. I'm guessing that if some of the contact wires are displaced, that could well be the cause of the ciphering flute keyers, if they have gotten onto a flute rod by mistake.

                        • Max the Icie Owner
                          Max the Icie Owner commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I was gone over the weekend and came down with a nasty bug, so I've only now uploaded the pictures.

                        #14
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                        Snipped wires in center.
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                        Also, I presume that I should leave these be, that the brown stuff should be there?

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                        Conn: 465 Deluxe Caprice w/pair of 144 pipe speakers
                        Kimball: R-80 Broadway, S-20 Valencia III
                        Western Cottage Organ Co. Reed Organ
                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        P22 piano/10 keyboards/synths; 10 accordions (3 working); Ntv Am. Flute/PAC112V guitar/etc

                        Comment


                          #15
                          Yes and yes. There is definitely something amiss about the contact wires. They should be perfectly uniform. Some of them may have gotten on the wrong side of the keying rod, which could provoke all manner of problems.

                          And yes, the brown stuff is probably put there to hold the key springs in place and keep them quiet. No need to remove it.
                          John
                          ----------
                          Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
                          Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
                          Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
                          Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
                          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                          Comment


                          • twnelson
                            twnelson commented
                            Editing a comment
                            The 'brown stuff' is Door-Ease, a stick lubricant readily available at most hardware stores. It does indeed keep the key springs from 'clicking' as the keys move. If they do, just remove the spring, rub the lube on the underside, then reinstall it. Blessed silence.

                          • Max the Icie Owner
                            Max the Icie Owner commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Good to know. Thanks twnelson.
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