Philips Philicordas were made in Holland. . Apparently, J.C. Penney re-marketed the GM753 as the Penncrest". The organs appear to be identical except for the colors. I know the AG-7500 uses tubes instead of transistors, and that early versions of the GM751 had a tube preamp, and later version were all-transistorized (they look identical from the outside). I don't know about the others.
Philicorda web site: http://home.wtal.de/h1/phili.htm
Pam Nickel's phili web site: http://home.t-online.de/home/pam.nickel/bb/phili.htm
RE: Philips' use of DIN connectors (from Simon Beck: "Phillips always insisted on using the DIN (Deutsches Industrie Normung) series of connectors on their stereo equipment in the '60s and '70s instead of the RCA "phono" and 6mm jacks used by most other manufacturers. Although the180-degree 5-pin DIN is still widely used (thanks to MIDI), most of the rest of the family is now rarely seen, including the 3-pin, the 270-degree 5-pin, the "360-degree" four-pin headphone connector and the two-pin speaker plug, with one flat and one round pin. Many German-made electric guitars in the '50s and '60s were fitted with DIN outputs."
More connector info from Micke: Now I know what all those different DIN connectors are. Although the Philicorda 7500 model (the first in the Philips line) uses another type of connector for the AG 7600 amp: it's an oblong/wide connector with two or three pins (it's called MC I think!?). The headphone connector on all models is the "360 degree" four-pin type. The optional Philips AG 7600 amplifier/speaker is provided with two two- pin speaker plugs (despite the fact it's got two built-in speakers). The only Philicorda model using both a multiple-pin output connector (WHAT FOR???) as well as the more common "phono"-jack output connector, is the 753 "portable" model (which lacks the built-in amp/speaker of the 751 and 752).
(He clarified this later - the 753 was the only model with a 1/4" phone jack output - all others have DIN jacks)
And even more from Micke: "One weird thing about the philicorda's is that you can have a record-player (or tape, other audio-equipment etc)connected to the organ! (there's a separate DIN connector for this at the back). The organ came originally with a "Philips rythm/accompaniment record" so you could play melodies on the keyboard simultaneously as the record played and with both sounds coming out from the Philicorda organ a la karaoke!"
User perspective from James: "i have one of these and i love it. since i do not have any of those strange din cables, i rely solely on the internal speakers, which are quite loud or should i say fine for playing in your home and maybe in a small live setting. the sounds? i would say it reminds me more than anything of a vox jaguar. it can also sound very much like a farfisa compact but it most definitely has its own bag of tricks as well. there are 3 settings: straight up organ, organ with bass keys, and organ with keys that serve as chords. i don't use option 3 very much b/c i have a hammond chord organ and with a 100 different chord buttons, i am spoiled--the philicorda has about 15 different chord keys and strangely enough there is no E chord key.... option 2 with the bass keys is when it sounds more vox jaguar-like. the main reason is it has that really thin but warm fuzz sound akin to the jaguar; it can be eliminated to sound more farfisa-like, though. the tremolo is great and the spring reverb coughs up some nice depth. the cables? since i don't have these, i use it as my practice organ at home. i have it pushed up near to my home stereo and use it a lot to jam along with my record collection so i'm not to bothered by not having those cables even tho i'm dying to plug this baby into an amp. i got the following explanation from peter forrest about the cables: "Triangle is swell pedal, triangle inside oblong is output to tape, square with extended right-hand side is headphones, Circle with line coming from it is tape or record player input." the thing is sturdy. it was shipped from germany to barcelona, spain. i brought it back to SF by plane. it made both journeys without a hitch and is in perfect tune."
Introduced around 1966 or '67, the GM751 was the successor to the AG-7500.
Early versions of the 751 had tube preamps, and later ones were all-transistor.
Has a switch underneath that turns the internal speakers of and on.
Following the GM751, the 752 had a slightly different control panel, and an outlet for a Philips "Leslie" cabinet.
The "Vox" on the buttons has nothing to do with the brand - it means "Voice"(it's Latin, I think). Some Pipe organs have stops labeled "Vox Humana", meaning "Human Voice". Sold new for about $1,250.
Controls: Buttons: 8', 4', 2', Vox 1, Vox II, Vox III, Vox IV, Vox V, Vibrato, Reverbeo (no, that's not a typo). Knobs: Reverbeo, Vibrato, Vox Bass 1-2-3, Selector 1-2, Volume, Balance.
I recently had the pleasure of playing the Penncrest, so I have a bit more information about it:
The 8', 4', 2' tabs select the rank, or footage, and the Vox I thru Vox V tabs select the timbre - similar to the Rheem Mark VII or the Vox Continental.
The Vox Bass switch works as follows:
Position 1: The whole keyboard plays treble voices - no bass section
Position 2: Converts the first 17 notes to a polyphonic bass section
Position 3: Drops the pitch of the bass section an octave, and alters the timber somewhat
The Selector switch was kind of odd. In position 1, the Balance knob controls the relative volume between the bass and treble sections. I position 2, it turns the bass section on full, and only the treble section is affected by the balance. At least that's how it worked on the specimen I examined.
The Reverb (or "Reverbeo") is very good. no sign of springs inside. The owner thought it was a "plate" reverb, but I couldn't tell.
The Vibrato was good, but not very fast. Might have needed adjusting.
Latter two pictures courtesy of Jan Bietzig
J.C. Penney Penncrest:
No info on this model yet.
Dual manual organ. No other info at this time.
These were offered recently on the VEMIA auction. The one on the left has Dutch graphics, the one on the right is German. They were made about 1961-63. I don't know much more about them at this time.