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Thread: What is this old Conn organ and is it worth it?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Firepowerforfreedom's Avatar
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    What is this old Conn organ and is it worth it?

    OK, I found this old Conn on Craigslist and am wondering what exactly it is and if there's anything particularly special about it:

    http://desmoines.craigslist.org/msg/2016734500.html

    A little bit of experience tells me it's probably a Conn Martinique, but beyond that, zilch.

    Thanks,
    Austin

  2. #2
    Senior Member jimmywilliams's Avatar
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    If it comes with those pipes, and you like the old Conns, the price is well worth it!
    Jimmy Williams
    Hobbyist (organist/technician)
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    Member crossyinoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firepowerforfreedom View Post
    OK, I found this old Conn on Craigslist and am wondering what exactly it is and if there's anything particularly special about it:
    G'day Austin,

    The organ is a Conn 551 Theatrette from 1968, the pipes are treble model 145 Symmetrical, and @ 50 bucks you probably can't go wrong. And if you don't like the pipes you can send them downunder to me....they're impossible to find here.

    Cheers,
    Ian

    Hammond X77GT & Leslie 77P
    Lowrey C500 & Leslie 720/540
    Hammond T524 & Leslie 710
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  4. #4
    Junior Member Firepowerforfreedom's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. It's always easier to research something once I know its name.

    So, how do the pipes work?

    Austin

  5. #5
    Moderator andyg's Avatar
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    Small speakers are built into the wooden base unit, facing upwards. These speak into the pipes, which resonate slightly and help distribute the sound without any directional effects. As Ian says, $50 for this is a steal. If the pipes are the same age, there's a chance that the speakers will have deteriorated, but replacement should be easy and inexpensive.
    Andy
    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: Kawai SR6 + Leslie 760 Walnut
    Retired Organs: Lots! Including Hammond T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2012 Pacemaker. Kimball something-or-other.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145, 760, 710, 415 x 2.

  6. #6

    I've always wondered about such pipe units myself - thanks for the explanation, Andy. So, dumb question: do they actually lend a pipe-like quality, such as we would associate with an actual pipe organ? (aside from the distribution/non-directionality you mention, that is)

    This forum is like an ongoing tutorial! Wonderful stuff.

    td

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    Junior Member Firepowerforfreedom's Avatar
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    OK, so it sounds like a good buy. The speakers could need replacement, not a big deal. Here's the deal:

    I already own a Conn Caprice 428. How would the 551 Theatrette stack up against the Caprice?

    Also, what speaker setup does this organ have (besides the pipes)? And how hard/expensive would it be to get it a Leslie?

  8. #8
    Junior Member Firepowerforfreedom's Avatar
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    TD, does this answer your question at all:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPEkj...e_gdata_player
    Last edited by Firepowerforfreedom; 10-21-2010 at 05:25 PM.

  9. #9
    Member crossyinoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toasterDude View Post
    I've always wondered about such pipe units myself So, dumb question: do they actually lend a pipe-like quality,
    G'day TD,

    Is the colloquialism "MORE SHOW THAN GO" a common phrase in your part of the world? To me that pretty much describes Conn Pipes, I have a pair of 144's but would love a 145 symmetrical set for my Lowrey C500, just for ornamental purposes. You want real "GO"? - get a Leslie.

    Cheers,
    Ian
    Last edited by crossyinoz; 10-22-2010 at 12:52 PM.

    Hammond X77GT & Leslie 77P
    Lowrey C500 & Leslie 720/540
    Hammond T524 & Leslie 710
    Gulbransen Theatrum & Leslie 700
    Yamaha EL90T

  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by crossyinoz View Post
    G'day TD,

    Is the colloquialism "MORE SHOW THAN GO" a common phrase in your part of the world?
    Hee... it is now! This is actually what I suspected given Andy's description of the design. But FPFF's linked video did seem to show off a little more of a true pipe quality than you'd get with straight speakers. --Hard to tell very much of course from something recorded on a handheld digicam.

    Maybe the ticket would be to have the best of both worlds - ? I.e. Conn "pipes" plus a Leslie? There was a deal around here several months back: a theater-style Conn (3 manual, I think it might've been a 651) plus a nice set of those pipes and a Leslie 351, asking price $600. I didn't go see it but I bet that was a nice setup!

    td

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