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Thread: CONN 721 Help needed

  1. #1
    ppp Pianississmo Hobby Keyboards's Avatar
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    CONN 721 Help needed

    New forum member - asking for your community's help identifying this CONN organ. Bought for $25 everything seems to work. I'd like to I.D. it to locate manuals and support documents, obtaining parts replacing broken keys, and general maint. I was surprised to find a built-in Leslie - Organ

    I'm a novice using forums so apologize up front for errors in protocols or posting - I appreciate your help/guidance there as well. I'll try posting or attaching pics now
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    Moderator andyg's Avatar
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    721 Artist, circa 1969. There should be a maker's plate on the organ somewhere, possibly under the manuals, above the speaker cloth. In-built Leslie was quite usual, if you spin it up to fast and add vibrato, you'll have the usual Conn theatre organ sound. Turn it to slow and take the vibrato out and you'll be back to classical mode!

    Parts might well have to come from dead Conns of that era, but there are one or two sources that seem to have old bits and pieces.
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

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  3. #3
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobby Keyboards View Post
    New forum member - asking for your community's help identifying this CONN organ. Bought for $25 everything seems to work. I'd like to I.D. it to locate manuals and support documents, obtaining parts replacing broken keys, and general maint. I was surprised to find a built-in Leslie - Organ

    I'm a novice using forums so apologize up front for errors in protocols or posting - I appreciate your help/guidance there as well. I'll try posting or attaching pics now
    Hobby Keyboards,

    Congratulations on your find! I hope it works out well for you. Also, before I forget, welcome to the Forum. I hope you keep us updated on your progress with the organ.

    That's one big honkin' woofer inside the organ (or at least it looks like it!). Unless I'm mistaken, those organs could also be connected to the Conn Speaker Pipes which came out in the late 60s, early 70s.

    In the Gallery section of the Forum (link above), you can probably find at least a brochure for your organ. Be sure to search all the posts because they are generally posted in date order rather than alphabetically.

    Regarding the keys, I've seen some listed on *Bay periodically, but you need to be sure they are the correct generation, as there were 2-3 different keyboard configurations.

    Hope this all helps, and again, welcome to the Forum.

    Michael
    Last edited by myorgan; 08-11-2017 at 11:22 PM. Reason: Fix link.
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 4 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony)
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

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    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    The 721 is a nice one to start out with. Fully AGO console and pedals, extra nice sound, better diapasons than most Conn organs of the era. And those amazing Conn flutes!

    Depending on what parts you need, some of us on this forum have collections of old organs, and might be able to rustle up some Conn parts for you. I am pretty sure that ALL Conn organs from first to last used the very same keys, so anyone having any old junked out Conn might have the keys you need. Other stuff is generally model specific, but might be found among us.

    The service manual might be available from Organ Service Corporation of Marengo, Indiana. Here is the website:

    http://www.organservice.com/

    The nice folks who run this company can't afford to monitor their messages all the time, as there is very little call any more for organ parts and manuals. It's just a sideline for them, sort of a hobby. But if you put in a request, you might hear back from them eventually. They probably do have the manual for that model.

    Good luck!
    John
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    ppp Pianississmo Hobby Keyboards's Avatar
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    Thank you very much. Am excited, now identified, i can find some replacement keys, and finding any support documents.

  6. #6
    Moderator myorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbird604 View Post
    I am pretty sure that ALL Conn organs from first to last used the very same keys, so anyone having any old junked out Conn might have the keys you need.
    John,

    Are you sure? When I was considering purchasing a Conn 653 at one point, I asked here on the Forum for a key replacement, and was told there were differing keying systems on earlier vs. later models. I just wanted to be sure--just in case.

    Michael
    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 4 Allens:
    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony)
    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
    • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 4 Pianos

  7. #7
    ppp Pianississmo Hobby Keyboards's Avatar
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    Thank you Michael - appreciate all the help as my first organ in the house since taking lessons at 8 yrs old ha! the big 'honkin speaker yes a 15" Celestian (and a 12" Celestian next to it) and right away taking off the back me too amazed and reminded me of my rock and roll days in high school (1968) and bass player with Fender Bassman amp with one 15" and we thought it was HUGE!! then. Thanks for your help.

  8. #8
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    While Conn went from tube-type high voltage keyed oscillators to low-voltage transistor keyers and vinyl rod audio keyers, and finally switched to multiplexed keying in the end, the physical playing keys themselves were the same. There would be different arrangements of keying switches underneath in different models, but the were all activated by the same little metal tab that sticks down from the playing key.

    It is possible that in the latter days of Conn, late 70's/early 80's, when they were selling a few very cheap low-end toy organs, that they used cheaper keys on those little organs. But all the regular production models continued to use the same keys first used in the 50's.
    John
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    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    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

  9. #9
    mp Mezzo-Piano twnelson's Avatar
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    Au contraire, John . Excluding the 200-300 series Conns from the mid/late 70s with Pratt-Read keyboards, there were two versions of the Conn's own keyboard design.

    In the original 50s to mid 70s design, the L-shaped metal tab that engaged the key up/down stop rail in the key slip faced forward. This is the version used in the 721. It takes a bit of effort to remove these keys because you have to force them forward against the rail to free the rear of the key frame from the pivot after removing the spring (and vice versa when reinstalling).

    When they transitioned the 400-700 series models to digital keying in the mid 70s, they reversed the key up/down stop design so that the L-shaped tab faced rearward into a repositioned rail, which allowed the piston button switches to be flush mounted as in traditional key slips. These are also easier to remove/install because the key stop rail isn't in the way when sliding the key forward out of the pivot.

    Keys from the original design show up periodically on *bay. I have a model 825 manual set, but I hate to break them up because they are complete, including the pistons and flute rod rotating solenoids.

    FWIW, your specific 721 appears to be a Type 1. The Type 2 had a set of 5 blind pistons between manuals and flute chiff controls.

    --- Tom
    Rodgers 660 with additional analog rack sets (practice), 36D/C in digital conversion, Yamaha CVP-107

  10. #10
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clarification, Tom. If I knew about that difference in the keys I had forgotten it. I wonder if that little piece of metal can be easily turned around? I used to keep old Conn organs around for parts, and I have swapped a lot of keys from one to another and never noticed the difference. I guess I just didn't ever swap keys between organs that weren't compatible.

    I have some Conn keys from an organ built in the early 70's I suppose. Don't remember the model, but it had transistor oscillators and it had the old-fashioned keying system with numerous wires and rods underneath each key. Do you think those old keys will work on this guy's 721?
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    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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