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Thread: What can you tell me about an Ahlford-Galanta(??) organ?

  1. #21
    Senior Member Clarion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cantornikolaos View Post
    Here is a link to recordings on the Phoenix website.

    http://phoenixorgans.com/recordings.htm
    My favourite website for Phoenix recordings is the one serviced by Stephen Hamill:

    http://www.phoenix-organs.co.uk/audio.html

    Stephen Hamill is one of the engineers that designed the Phoenix Organ system. As an accomplished concert organist and composer, his contribution to the Phoenix design is part of what makes Phoenix a great digital organ today.

    To explain the layout of the website, Stephen's most recent additions are contained in the top third of the page, i.e. Organ at St. Peters, Belfast. Stephen seems to have a passion for sampling the absolutley best reed stops possible; and his most recent top-of-the-page samples, demonstrate his most recent work in this area.

  2. #22

    Quote Originally Posted by indianajo View Post
    Allen's single source service program would seem to magnify the power of shysters like this dealer. If you don't like the way he installs, you can't get your organ repaired, or figure out what the parts are to buy them if they are not marked with industry numbers. Most independent techs would be wise enough to not start a job with a high risk of needing to look at a schematic he can't have, voicing software not for sale, or buy a part available only from the authorized district tech.
    Admittedly a church gets what they pay for, and the horrible sound system and instruments at my church are prime evidence that the elders, donors, and important people may not detect that the emperor has no clothes.
    I heard some home built speakers back in my youth, and despite impressive numbers of expensive drivers they mostly sounded like ****. I build or salvage everything else, but I buy speakers packaged by someone who knows the importance of every bit of fiberglass or foam to the Quality Assurance process.
    Agreed on both points.

    However, the Allen at Prince of Peace also sounded quite underwhelming before it was revoiced and new speakers added.

    The people at church who were on the organ committee (or otherwise involved) say they talked to the "professionals" and took their advice. They say the organ was installed according to the dealer recommendations. The people at Case Brothers said that they advised against installing the organ with so few speakers and they also advised installing the speakers in organ chambers. I don't trust either one of them, but I trust Case Brothers less. I've seen other examples of their work.

    One thing is constant, people paid top-dollar for an Allen organ they thought was the best and they got crap for an installation, including no-name speakers. The difference is, some of them were apathetic, or ignorant and never fixed anything. Others paid to have their organs fixed. In order to have the bad audio system and trashy voicing fixed, they have to pay thousands more to get it done the way it should have been done in the first place.
    Last edited by cantornikolaos; 04-25-2012 at 10:14 PM.
    +Nikolaos

    3 Rank pipe organ of unknown origin rescued and awaiting restoration, an additional Diapason rank or two and I need a console!

  3. #23

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarion View Post
    My favourite website for Phoenix recordings is the one serviced by Stephen Hamill:

    http://www.phoenix-organs.co.uk/audio.html

    Stephen Hamill is one of the engineers that designed the Phoenix Organ system. As an accomplished concert organist and composer, his contribution to the Phoenix design is part of what makes Phoenix a great digital organ today.

    To explain the layout of the website, Stephen's most recent additions are contained in the top third of the page, i.e. Organ at St. Peters, Belfast. Stephen seems to have a passion for sampling the absolutley best reed stops possible; and his most recent top-of-the-page samples, demonstrate his most recent work in this area.
    Agreed. Again.

    Phoenix is an electronic organ builder that actually has artistic integrity. You can tell in the recordings, it's lightyears ahead of Allen. I'm not the first one to say that, BTW. Rigaudon sounds vastly better in this demo than in the Allen demo. I have both. The Quantum sounds good, but Phoenix sounds better.
    +Nikolaos

    3 Rank pipe organ of unknown origin rescued and awaiting restoration, an additional Diapason rank or two and I need a console!

  4. #24
    Senior Member arie v's Avatar
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    Nikolaos,

    It doesn't matter which company is represented, the knowledge base, the interest in the organ, and the quality of installs varies hugely between dealers. Far too many dealers either work out of their homes and sell on the cheap (usually selling a less expensive brand), or are a musical instrument store or piano/keyboard/organ store. For most it is to either make some money on the side or to broaden their offerings. Usually there is very little real interest in doing a good job. It is one thing to sell a home organ, where it is taken out of the box, checked out and shipped out and plugged in, and quite another to do a quality church installation. I get approx one call a year to revoice/re-balance an Allen organ. Some just need a little tweeking to sound 100% better. Some need more extensive work done to sound quite a bit better. All I can say is that these instruments I see, that they were installed with very little care as to the actually sound in the room. Generally cabling is done quite neatly.

    Today I was in seeing a Rodgers in a large church. Small instrument with internal speakers. Church got tired of listening to this feeble sound, and have asked me to propose a speaker system. Last year I saw another Rodgers, sold with no speakers at all, but run through a PA system in mono. A 3 - manual Trillium no-less. Sound as you can imagine, not at all impressive.

    I'm surprised that an Allen dealer would use non-Allen speakers. Most of the time the substitute speakers used are but a very poor substitute. I would look into them as the source for at least some of your unhappiness with the sound. The MDS organ is what I call a screwdriver adjust organ. Get a map of the controls and sort it out. It is not a big organ, so should be easy to sort.

    AV

  5. #25
    Member michaelhoddy's Avatar
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    Phoenix is also a smaller company than Allen or Rodgers that builds to order and keeps a much tighter rein on their installations, with many if not most of them directly involving the factory, so the quality level can be ensured. Incidentally, the Allen installations that involve the factory directly tend to be of a much higher quality level as well.

    The Phoenix approach is much closer to how a pipe organ builder does business, and as such yields a better, more consistent final product.

  6. #26

    Quote Originally Posted by arie v View Post
    Nikolaos,

    It doesn't matter which company is represented, the knowledge base, the interest in the organ, and the quality of installs varies hugely between dealers. Far too many dealers either work out of their homes and sell on the cheap (usually selling a less expensive brand), or are a musical instrument store or piano/keyboard/organ store. For most it is to either make some money on the side or to broaden their offerings. Usually there is very little real interest in doing a good job. It is one thing to sell a home organ, where it is taken out of the box, checked out and shipped out and plugged in, and quite another to do a quality church installation. I get approx one call a year to revoice/re-balance an Allen organ. Some just need a little tweeking to sound 100% better. Some need more extensive work done to sound quite a bit better. All I can say is that these instruments I see, that they were installed with very little care as to the actually sound in the room. Generally cabling is done quite neatly.

    Today I was in seeing a Rodgers in a large church. Small instrument with internal speakers. Church got tired of listening to this feeble sound, and have asked me to propose a speaker system. Last year I saw another Rodgers, sold with no speakers at all, but run through a PA system in mono. A 3 - manual Trillium no-less. Sound as you can imagine, not at all impressive.

    I'm surprised that an Allen dealer would use non-Allen speakers. Most of the time the substitute speakers used are but a very poor substitute. I would look into them as the source for at least some of your unhappiness with the sound. The MDS organ is what I call a screwdriver adjust organ. Get a map of the controls and sort it out. It is not a big organ, so should be easy to sort.

    AV
    Agreed. The Allen MDS is actually fairly capable, but the incompetent and unprofessional conduct of the dealer has reduced an organ that was originally $30,000 into something that sounds very much like what I could pick up on craigslist for a few hundred dollars. I am amazed at how poorly dealers (not just Case Brothers) install organs. The local Ahlborn Galanti dealer hasn't sold a single AG Drake organ. He did manage to move an SL-300. Last year. He sold a Chronicler III in 2007. He keeps fretting about how the world's about to end because of President Obama and stuff. It's not his fault rock 'n roll "churches" are in business. It's also not Obama's fault that the AG dealer isn't willing to sell stuff. I asked him about buying a Parvus II this summer and he blew me off! I am sending a small amount of business his direction for Hammond stuff. He also sells Hammond organs.

    IDK if there is a Rodgers dealer in this territory of not. There was a Rodgers dealer in the I-85 corridor between Greenville and Spartanburg, but they stopped selling Rodgers organs. The Rodgers dealer in NC is better than Case Brothers, I think, but I've heard they aren't that great. I guess the deep south isn't a place for sacred or classic organ literature. If anyone would open up shop here and do honest, reputable work, it would be GREAT!!!! The only reason Case Brothers is doing what they're doing is because no one else is competing with them.
    +Nikolaos

    3 Rank pipe organ of unknown origin rescued and awaiting restoration, an additional Diapason rank or two and I need a console!

  7. #27

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelhoddy View Post
    Phoenix is also a smaller company than Allen or Rodgers that builds to order and keeps a much tighter rein on their installations, with many if not most of them directly involving the factory, so the quality level can be ensured. Incidentally, the Allen installations that involve the factory directly tend to be of a much higher quality level as well.

    The Phoenix approach is much closer to how a pipe organ builder does business, and as such yields a better, more consistent final product.
    I TOTALLY agree!
    +Nikolaos

    3 Rank pipe organ of unknown origin rescued and awaiting restoration, an additional Diapason rank or two and I need a console!

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