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Thread: Can Anyone Identify This Alleged Baldwin Organ?

  1. #1

    Can Anyone Identify This Alleged Baldwin Organ?

    Hi, I've been looking online for anything that might tell me what model and/or age this organ is. The seller says its a Baldwin, but I only find one three manual Baldwin Drawknob on the Electronic Organ Reference List, the 601. However, this instrument looks more modern to my untrained eye than an organ that was built in 1967.

    Any ideas? Thanks!

    Baldwin Console.jpg
    I'm so poor, my cats get free health care!

  2. #2
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Yes indeed! That is a Baldwin of the "D-400" series built around 1990, and is a fine organ if you have the room for it. I used to own the two-manual version of it and it was the most spectacular organ I ever had in my house. Would have kept it forever had it not been for the size of the console and a cash offer from a local church at a time when I needed the money.

    These organs were the last to be actually built by the Baldwin Organ Company in the US before they went cheap and started importing some flimsy stuff from Italy and slapping their name tag on them. These D400 models were a real engineering triumph in the day when Allen's digital patents had just expired and many companies were rushing into the digital organ business, some with more success than others.

    The Baldwin engineers apparently had access to some very nice, very "American" organ samples which they used for all these stops. The system was completely unlike anything Allen had built and was nothing like what Rodgers came up with in their PDI offerings about the same time.

    The system consisted of several independent tone generator stacks within the console, each one having IIRC a 28-note polyphony. As notes were played, the system would utilitze the least busy processor at any given moment to synthesize the required tones, which were sent into an elaborate audio system that could have, as I recall, up to 16 channels with antiphonals. Not one, but three subwoofers were part of the basic setup, with one of them just for the 32' pedal stops.

    Proper setup is essential because each note of each stop can theoretically come out of more than one speaker as the system farms notes out to the available processors. There is a factory balancing process in the setup manual which one can follow and it will turn out perfectly. There are still several of these installed and in use around here and most of them sound spectacular -- the better ones in the better acoustic settings of course.

    Anyway, I think these models are great and if I had a big house and a huge room to dedicate to it I'd still like to own one. Even the unusual orchestral sound module that is built in has some awesome sounds comparable to what you get in the best modern digitals.

    The organ is huge and heavy and a full speaker complement will need a lot of space. I used an external mixer and mixed it down to two or three channels in my house, so it can be made a bit more compact.

    Good luck!
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 ........ at last!
    Home: Allen MADC-420 ...........finally!
    Shop: More organs than I can count.... some working, many 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

  3. #3

    Wow, Jeepers John, I sure didn't expect so much information so quickly, thanks a million. And with your info, I was able to learn a little more. Only one question now, apparently the original EA5 amplifiers and speakers were left behind in the old church. Does this instrument have the appropriate level outputs/connectors to drive conventional consumer amplifiers, or would I have to cobble something together? Or, I could just start searching for the appropriate amps, I'm sure some will come along within my lifetime
    I'm so poor, my cats get free health care!

  4. #4
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    The outputs are standard line level. The output panel has terminal strips for the signals, not RCA jacks or other recognizable connectors. You'll need to attach a shielded audio cable to each of the outputs that you plan to use.

    When I had mine in the house, I had a small mixer to combine channels. There is an output panel on the organ with different options for using more or less speakers, one of the options being a six-channel setup, IIRC. I came out of that into my mixer and panned channels left and right to create a stereo signal that I fed to a two-channel amp and a couple of good speakers, possibly some Allen HC-type. It sounded fine that way, not as big and all over the place as it would with a bunch of speakers, but it was fine for the house.
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 ........ at last!
    Home: Allen MADC-420 ...........finally!
    Shop: More organs than I can count.... some working, many 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

  5. #5

    That organ model looks to be the Baldwin D431, which is installed at one of our neighboring parishes. I think the potential with this organ is quite good, but unfortunately, the one nearby was installed only on four channels, and the instrument has had power supply issues, and other difficulties that can be attributed to a poor initial installation (read: done on the cheap) and poor to minimal maintenance of the organ.

    I second what John says, about the console and APS instrument sounds. The former is built like a tank, and is quite a piece of woodwork, and the sounds are very realistic. The organ, I believe has MIDI out, in, and through, but I'm not sure if there was an upcharge, etc. to enable that to work. The lighted stoptabs for the organ do not engage, though the connectors for MIDI are there.

    Not to hijack this thread, but I wish JBird lived close by - so many instruments in this area that could be so much better with his meticulous installation, voicing, etc. Not a bad organ, all in all, especially if you can get the MIDI to work and add additional modules, etc.

  6. #6

    First let me thank John again for his excellent information in to both my original post and his other posts about his own Baldwin. I spent a couple of hours online, building on John's info, I now know enough to make an informed decision on this instrument.

    Only one final clarification. I've seen a couple of references to MIDI on this organ. Can anyone give me confirmation as to the MIDI implementation on this organ? Thanks!
    I'm so poor, my cats get free health care!

  7. #7
    Member SBurton's Avatar
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    No expert here, but...

    My spider senses say a personal inspection will be necessary.

    What it is supposed to have in it?

    vs

    What does it actually have in it?

    vs

    How much of that actually works?


    Are all likely to have different answers.
    'Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.' --N. Bonaparte

    My friends call me Steve, won't you be my friend?

    Kawai K5, Yamaha PSR-85, Thomas Trianon A-6820, Gulbransen 621-K, Conn 580 T-2, GEM WK1 ST
    Oh, and let's don't forget the Jaymar!

  8. #8
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Best I can recall, a rather complete MIDI implementation was supposed to be standard on the organ. That is, note on and off info for all manuals and pedals, a program or patch number sent for each stop and other controls, expression data sent and received for each division, etc. In fact, the organ itself is basically a MIDI setup with the multiple generator stacks inside the console communicating among themselves via the same serial stream that is used for MIDI. I remember reading somewhere in the technical data that the outgoing MIDI stream differed from the internal communication loop only by the addition of some required "bit" that the internal loop did not use. So, it should work with almost any kind of MIDI device that can respond to the typical MIDI signals.

    That being said, I didn't ever use mine with an external MIDI module. The stock organ voices were fine for me, and the assortment of interesting orchestral and percussion sounds on the built-in module served my purposes. So I can't say for sure that it would have worked with an external module.

    Speaking of the organ stops, I remember that mine had the most sublime Gemshorn that I have ever heard on a digital organ. On so many electronics a Gemshorn stop will be just a softened diapason or a non-descript flutey stop, but that Baldwin's Gemshorn was a lovely distinctive sound that I played all the time.
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 ........ at last!
    Home: Allen MADC-420 ...........finally!
    Shop: More organs than I can count.... some working, many 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

  9. #9

    Well, I was out of bed at 4 this morning, but didn't get on the road till 10am. I arrived at the sellers location at 3. OMG this organ is HUGE! And here is where I admit that I've never even been in the presence of a three manual drawknob organ, let alone sat down and played one. After a cursory examination, done while maintaining my poker face, I bought it. No amps or speakers, tho one amp and some crappy speakers were on hand for testing, so I could see [hear] that all three manuals and the pedals played.

    Got home at 10pm, leaving it in the trailer - the only place I have that it'll fit into is a small, nicely reverberant warehouse attached to my office, so there it'll reside untill my little house is finished. With two sets of French doors, by the way.

    Oh, and it is a D431. I'll post more after setting up. Thanks again to all
    I'm so poor, my cats get free health care!

  10. #10
    Member SBurton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimsmith77006 View Post
    Well, I was out of bed at 4 this morning, but didn't get on the road till 10am. I arrived at the sellers location at 3. OMG this organ is HUGE! And here is where I admit that I've never even been in the presence of a three manual drawknob organ, let alone sat down and played one. After a cursory examination, done while maintaining my poker face, I bought it. No amps or speakers, tho one amp and some crappy speakers were on hand for testing, so I could see [hear] that all three manuals and the pedals played.

    Got home at 10pm, leaving it in the trailer - the only place I have that it'll fit into is a small, nicely reverberant warehouse attached to my office, so there it'll reside untill my little house is finished. With two sets of French doors, by the way.

    Oh, and it is a D431. I'll post more after setting up. Thanks again to all
    Did you find the MIDI connection, or did you not care at this point?
    'Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.' --N. Bonaparte

    My friends call me Steve, won't you be my friend?

    Kawai K5, Yamaha PSR-85, Thomas Trianon A-6820, Gulbransen 621-K, Conn 580 T-2, GEM WK1 ST
    Oh, and let's don't forget the Jaymar!

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