"There Is No Doubt That Allen Organ Does It Best"
By Charles Arthur Coakwell, III
My experience with Allen Organs goes back to the 1960s when I wanted a three manual electronic organ for my home. I researched the market and decided to build my own, an Artisan kit. It was a good analog organ, but not fabulous. It had the limitation of oscillator-generated organ sound. When Allen announced the Digital Computer Organ in the 70s, I went to the Allen factory to hear and play one. That sound was years ahead of any analog. So, I purchased my first Allen, a three manual with "doubled" computers and digital delay. It was marvelous, the closest to a pipe organ.
By the 90s it was time to move to a four manual. Again, I went to the Allen factory to hear and play the latest in digital technology. Allen called it their Master Design Series. The sound was phenomenal.
By this time other organ companies had digital instruments so I did my homework and played them all. No other organ came as close to sounding like a pipe organ as the Allen. I traded my three manual for Allen's four manual MDS organ. The sound was thrilling and I loved being able to voice the organ to my own taste. My living room sounded like a vast stone cathedral. The build-in Smart Recorder was a breeze to work with.
Just when I thought that it couldn't get any better, Allen announced the Renaissance organ. I had to try one. The Allen people had outdone themselves again. The flexibility of being able to change ranks of pipes and to voice one note at a time is incredible--all done at the console using a small notebook computer. Even the tremulants can be different for each rank. Allen's Virtual Acoustics allows me to create any kind of acoustic environment from the intimacy of a small room or pipe chamber to the awesome reverberation of St. Paul's Cathedral.
I had to have a Renaissance. But,'I did my research by playing and listening to the competition. There is no doubt that Allen does it best. This year, I traded in my four manual MDS and purchased Allen's largest stock four manual Renaissance organ with the string division. The new Allen Herald speakers are fantastic and I feel the rumble from those 32-foot pedal stops with the Seismic Radiator Sub-Woofer system. What an incredible instrument!
Having owned Allen organs for close to 30 years. I can't praise Allen enough. The Allen people take care of their customers like they are family. It's no wonder customers come back to Allen time after time. In this day and age, service like this is hard to find. Mathis Music and Ted Hayes are a joy to deal with. Keep up the good work.