View Full Version : Allen Digital Organ

Jul-20-2007, 20:49

I am thinking of getting a used Allen Digital Organ.

Does anyone here know anything about a digital practice organ called the "Allen 124" or the "Allen 301?"

I am choosing between an Allen 301 Contemporary and an Allen 124. Which do you think I should purchase. The 124 does not have a memory capture system and also does not have celestes. It DOES have internal speakers, and uses a newer type of digital technology. The 301 does have celestes and a capture system, but uses external speakers and is about 10 years older. (1973 vs. 1981) The 301 is in more of a "used" condition than the 124. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. What do you think???

Jul-21-2007, 01:30
:wave: Hello Principal07 :wave:

Firstly, welcome to MIMF. Hope you will enjoy your time in this great forum and participate regularly in some of the discussions.

Re: Allen querry ..

The "12x" series organs have internally mounted speakers - sometimes externals are used to enhance the sound in a large room installation. This series is built to A.G.O. Specifications, under single expression, with two 61 note manuals and a 32 note concave pedalboard. There are no 32' stops and no celeste rank. A Basic organ with a nice rounded stoplist.

As one progressed upwards in the 12x model series, such as the 123 or 124, additional 'features' were added, such as a NAR Capture System that allows the organist to change/set their own pistons. Another added feature in the higher end of this series was the Alterable Voice Card Reader, which allows the player to "program" additional voices for special situations (Chrysoglott, solo flues, solo reeds, etc.) The cards were standard punch cards with mylar coating and color coded by voice (red for reed - black for flues - green for percussions).

Some of these 12x series had "presence projectors" (tweeters mounted in the cheekblocks facing upwards) that gave the player a little lift in sound quality - they did nothing for a listener 20 feet away.

Allen 301 - The sound system is totally external - no internal speakers whatsoever. The stop list is basically the same as the 123 model, with the addition of 32' stops in the pedal, and a "celeste" stop in both the Swell and Great. The celeste rank was actually an analog voice (tone generators) that when tuned properly, beat against the unison pitch of the Salicional or Dulciana.

The 301 came standard with NAR Capture pistons, card reader, and a Crescendo shoe, and depending on the cabinetry, either a roll top or folding lid as a cover. Again, this console is built to A.G.O. Specs - some roll top consoles had a lighted music rack.

Both instruments' computers were housed inside the consoles, as are the amplifiers and other sound adjustment controls. The computer boards are not field repairable ... generally when one goes on the blink, they need to be returned to Allen for repair. Allen still inventories these boards from that era - they support everything they built from day one.

I have no idea what price range these should be going for in this day and age. A 301 in its heyday sold for about $13k to $16k (USD) depending on options.