Please note that our web address has changed:
Considering the criteria you have suggested, I think you should definitely be looking at a 345:
The only thing missing from your specs, is a 16' Bourdon on the Great. No big deal, since all Phoenix organs are built to custom specs, swapping the Great Quint 2-2/3 for a 16' Bourdon doesn't incur any extra cost.
If you have been unable to get some concrete price ranges from Phoenix, I suspect that has something to do with lack of concrete specifications from you. When I first requested pricing from Phoenix, I sent them a tremendously detailed resumé detailing who I was, my financial status, the geographic and architectural location of where the organ was to be installed, and referencing their catalog models, the general specs I was looking for, etc. I wasn't sure if I could possibly afford a three manual organ.
Phoenix returned my query with the exact numbers for a) rebuilding my old two manual console; b) building a new two manual console, or; c) building a new three manual console. WOW!! The cost of a III over a II was so insignificant, that I was really not confronted with a choice. The value of III manual option was just SO obvious!
But . . that was just the start. If you have never been personally involved in the design of a custom, this will be a whole new experience. The organ is built stage by stage; and at each stage of production, they would email me, sometimes with pictures, telling me that tommorow they will be starting such and such a stage; and these are the options: a) b) c); and if I want to make some changes, this is probably a good time to make that decision. In the vast majority of presented options, there was never any extra charge. Surprizingly, the most challenging aspect of the whole effort was speaker design. The diagrams I sent them, tended to contribute to confusion, somewhat more than clarity. They would always respond with a detailed AutoCad drawing of what they figured I wanted, until I finally gave up. That's when Don got involved, and I received a new bunch of AutoCad diagrams that were dead-on!!
Generally, trying to go a bit cheap with something that will be around for the next quarter century, is a bad idea. I thought I might save a few $$$ by going with a II rather than III manual organ. VERY bad idea!!
I thought I might save a few $$$ by eliminating the imposing expensive-looking foot pistons. But then when I discovered how little extra they cost, the decision was a no-brainer. In actual practice, I rarely use the manual pistons. Almost every registration change I use, utilizes the foot pistions. I'm sure glad that I didn't cheap out on that one, considering the meager expense of foot pistons!
I might add, that unlike all of the other organs I have ever owned, after three years with this organ, it is not an instrument that ever becomes boring or tiresome, not to mention, totally annoying; like any other organ I have ever owned. Every day, when I sit down to play the Phoenix, it always comes across as being new, fresh, and alive; a sound that never becomes boring!!
I am new to The Organ Forum. I had an opportunity to go hear a Phoenix installed in Virginia. Console was very nice. Sound was just plain awful and installation very shabby with exposed wiring all over the place. I could only take about 5 minutes of listening to it.
Welcome to the Forum, and thanks for your post. Do you have any relationship with any other organ manufacturers in any way (i.e. own or sell)? I also have a few more questions:
I actually found one of my Allen organs because an "electrician" in the church (I use that term loosely) removed the woofers from several HC-12 speakers for re-coning. When they were replaced, he soldered some of them with reverse polarity. The church people (& organist) complained of the organ not having any bass, and got rid of the instrument to replace it with a Rodgers.
- Could it have been the organist?
- Could the church have moved the instrument/installation without the installer's knowledge?
- Could the church have altered the installation after-the-fact?
- Was the organ a re-sale, or original installation of Phoenix?
- Was the organ installed by the company or someone else?
When I received the instrument, I found the polarity problem (with the help of another Forum member), and also discovered the Rodgers dealer had replaced two of the S-100 amplifiers with a dead AM-100. Hmmm. I wonder if there were ulterior motives anywhere there?
I don't question your ears or what you observed and heard, but it certainly helps for one to have a complete set of information about an installation before making judgements. That said, people can certainly have opinions--I know someone on this Forum who thinks Phoenix can do no wrong. That can be said of Allen, Rodgers, Walker, M&O, Johannus, and various other owners as well. One often needs to keep an open mind, open ears, and closed wallet to find the truth!
Way too many organs to list, but I do have 3 Allens:
- MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DKC / ADC-6000 (Symphony)
- 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos
Michael, I think I know of our new poster "Century 340" and he knows organs as well as or better than the best of us. If what he heard in my home state sounded awful, and he feels it was a low-quality installation, then I'm sure it was.
Bill Miller, Norfolk VA and Phila PA
Allen S-100 and C Carousel; Galanti Praeludium I; and a Wurli 4480
Thanks for the clarification. Sometimes on this Forum, individuals will make unqualified claims/remarks, and one wonders about the experience or expertise of the poster. It's nice to have separate verification of the qualifications of the poster.
That said, I would think it would be in the best interest of the company to see to this organ and "clean it up." Perhaps they have tried. Those of us on the outside of the transaction may never know. I have an upcoming concert, and it wasn't until I met a few members of the church during a practice session that I obtained an alternate view of the situation. I will be doing the concert and not getting involved in their politics, but the circumstances are, indeed, sad. I hope they are resolved soon, for the sake of the church, and especially for the ministry they want to have in the community.
This sounds like the one Clumber told us about five years ago (Clumber is an organist in a church with a Phoenix). Seems that a many years ago, Phoenix did something REALLY stupid: Apparently, they agreed to supply the console to the church, and allow some audio whizz-bang in the congregation to do the audio system in an effort to save a few $$$ for the church! The entire effort turned out to be a total disaster for everyone concerned!
That "installation" goes back a LOT of years; and was probably one of those painful learning experiences for Phoenix. I don't believe they would ever do anything like that again.
In this instance, Phoenix probably has no right to come in and clean up something they don't like. But this particular situation may have spawed the genesis of a new clause found in more recent Phoenix contracts; providing Phoenix with full authority to enter and attend any Phoenix installation, and fix anything that Phoenix figures will present their instruments in an unfavourable manner.
Last edited by Clarion; 07-29-2012 at 03:26 PM.