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Allen MDS-16 for church use

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    Allen MDS-16 for church use

    My church is looking for an organ for mostly me to play, but I don’t know a whole lot about models and value. This one seems really nice, but is it a reasonable price? We are in northern Alabama, so we would have to add the cost of shipping the organ from Missouri. Should we try for this one, or keep looking? I really miss playing organ, but I don’t want to rush us into a bad purchase!
    Allen MDS-16 Organ in GREAT Condition, internal speakers, functions flawlessly, with an Ensemble Module and MIDI Division. Condition is Used. Local pickup only.

    #2
    Emma, can you tell us a little about your church? This has built-in speakers, which would be inadequate for anything bigger than a tiny chapel; there are speaker options our Allen experts can help you with.
    My gut reaction is that the price is rather too high.
    Allens like this one have superb build-quality and parts will be available "forever" so those are two points in its favor.
    R, Bill Miller

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      #3
      We have a pretty big sanctuary, probably about 150 people could fit, but we average more around 80 for a usual Sunday morning. It’s a standard rectangle, with high ceiling and mostly tile floor. I currently use an upright piano to lead liturgy and hymns (we’re typical Lutheran). We have two built-in speakers at the front of the church, but I’m afraid I don’t know technical details of those. I could ask and try to find out if that’s important!

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        #4
        Thanks. jbird604, can you advise her?

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          #5
          I'm not jbird604, but I've played an MDS-16 for a small(ish) Presbyterian church of around 80 people, and an acoustically dead environment. The organ was connected to external speakers, and sounded good. Led the singing well, and I was also able to accompany my wife playing violin with the same setup. I would think your relatively live environment would only serve to help the sound.

          The organ is on the small side, and the one to which you have linked is quite overpriced. I suspect it is being sold by a dealer, and the price reflects dealer delivery and setup locally. If you offer 1/4 to 1/2 of their asking price, you should be in the ballpark for pickup without setup (set up on your own or a local dealer). You may even ask for a couple of HC-14 or HC-15 external speakers to be thrown in if you offer a higher price (than 1/4 to 1/2 the BIN price of $7500).

          The organ linked has a console controller as well as an Expander II (it looks like), and that will help provide any voices or sounds you are missing on the stoplist. The organ should have full MIDI implementation (includes stop and expression changes), so that is a plus as well.

          Best of luck finding an organ to use at the church. The MDS should be a good choice for you.

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

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            #6
            I was just going to say as well, the BIN price is at least twice its value, and then with 2 external speakers thrown in.
            John
            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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              #7
              Thank you all so much! I’ll share this info with my pastor and we’ll see if we can negotiate a more reasonable price.

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              • beel m
                beel m commented
                Editing a comment
                Great! And when you do discuss this with your pastor, please remember my comments about the high Allen "build quality" and their "parts virtually forever" policy. As an owner of a 1971 Allen, who plays a 1976 Allen at church, both those advantages have proven their value time and again.
                Please keep us posted!

              #8
              We’re just now finally getting around to negotiating (it’s been a little busy for Pastor lately). I think we both feel a little uncomfortable offering so little money, but the worst they do is decline, right? Does anyone have any info on who could help us install the organ at our church? We’re in the Huntsville, AL area which doesn’t seem to have a lot of classical organs.

              Comment


                #9
                Emma,

                There are several dealers located around you, from 2-3 hours away (alas, none are closer). The "official" Allen dealer is located in Montgomery, there is a dealer in Nashville, and another in Atlanta. I'm not sure about Chattanooga. From the distance, it sounds like Nashville is closer than Montgomery. Go figure.

                If you provide photos of your church, as well as basic information on its construction, we might be able to provide enough information for a willing person in your church who could install it for you. However, if you have good finances, then I'd certainly hire an official Allen representative. They're really not rocket science to install. I do it all the time, and have had no training from Allen–just the help of many people–most are here on this Forum.

                Hope this 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)
                • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

                Comment


                  #10
                  While I recently sold an MDS-16 for almost exactly that price, I do think that's more than one ought to pay on ebay for this organ. Since I have an actual organ shop that buys, refurbishes, and re-sells good used organs, MY PRICE includes complete professional refurbishing of the organ with parts replaced and serviced as needed, local delivery, setup and installation by a professional technical team, voicing and adjustments to be sure the organ sounds its best in the room, a warranty, and some instructional help for the players. So the MDS-16 I recently sold came with FAR more in the way of after-sales extras. I'd think buying one sight-unseen on ebay with no warranty or other extras you shouldn't pay even half that much.

                  It is going to cost you $1000 at best to get it moved from MO to AL, and for a dealer or knowledgeable tech to properly check it out, do a decent installation with voicing, and make sure it is in 100% good working order, you should expect to pay perhaps another $2000. So please be prepared to pay for all the extras that you do in fact need which this seller cannot provide you.

                  BTW, the MDS-16 is possibly the very finest self-contained two-manual that Allen ever sold. This is probably the organ model that I want to wind up with in my home one of these days when I eventually retire from the business. I never play or service any other organ of any make or model that I find quite so satisfying and pleasing as the MDS-16. It has every important feature and playing accessory that can be put on a two-manual organ, and the sound is just wonderful.

                  You church that seats 150 might be served well enough with just the self-contained speakers, but it would of course be more pleasing with a pair of externals, as long as they are properly placed. Since the two parts of the celeste voices and the various portions of each chorus will be divided between the two speakers, you should NOT place them very far apart. They may sound great just laid on their backs facing up at the ceiling, lying side by side a few feet away from the console. If you separate them more than 10 or 15 feet, you will not be able to hear a proper blend of all the stops throughout the room.

                  Good luck!
                  John
                  ----------
                  Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
                  Home: Rodgers Allegiant 677 with expanded four-channel audio
                  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

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