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  • Battle of the Brands

    The never-ending, repetative debate over which organ manufacturer is best, and in particular, whose product is better built, is an increasingly off-topic distraction. Such posts will be moved here. -Admin

    Originally posted by Dutchy View Post
    Hi all, here a few personal experiences, maybe it helps.

    @ Ben:
    Drawknobs or tabs?
    I have a Viscount with lighted drawknobs (LED); for me it works great. But I think the functionality of tabs or knobs doesn't matter very much, because there is a good setzer / memory bank (combination of stops) so it is possible to make your registrations in advance. And you can even store them on an USB stick so every organist can have his own registration set (comes out very handy when several organist play the instrument during services or recitals). Btw, presumably this is the same with the Rodgers.

    @ Horseshoe:
    I'm sorry to inform you better: here in Holland I know several 25+ Johannus models (mostly Opus-series, rather cheap less-than-€10.000 models) that are stil functioning okay. Of course they need temporary maintainance but they are not worn out.
    And mind you, the build quality of Johannus models comparable with Allen (ie Monarke, €20.000 or more)) is very good. Honestly, I also know some 25+ Allen's that are okay, at least thechnicaly, but in my opinion they are not better build quality compared with Monarke/Johannus.
    And the cheap Historique and Chancel Allen models (€10.940 and €14.750) that are sold in the Benelux are not very well build. Not better than a comparably priced Johannus home model.
    No offense, only some observations.

    @ John:
    You are a tech, so I tend tot believe your opinion is better based on experience than mine. But my former home organ, an Eminent, had LED-tabs. And in 15-20 years I never had to replace them (but maybe that is not comparable with LED's in a drawknob?)

    Regards, Dutchy.
    In regards to Allen's Historique models,I have often wondered about build quality on those and if they are really built to the same standards as the larger organs. I have to agree with you,...they really don't look as if they are built as well. As for their sound quality,...they sound rather boxy and "too electronic" compared to Rodgers Inspire seriesorgans,...which,...to my ears,...sound a LOT better.
    Last edited by Admin; 06-03-2019, 06:13 AM.
    Late 1980's Rodgers Essex 640

  • #2
    While an Allen might be more expensive, it is the best quality instrument built today. Their ability to repair even their oldest instruments is an important consideration. When Rodgers was bought by the company that also produces Johannes, it was said that they got rid of much of their parts for older instruments. Most manufacturers today are building products with only a 10-year lifespan. I don't know if this is true of the European digital organ builders, but probably so. European built digital organ consoles are usually of poor quality. Rodgers instruments now use a Johannes sound engine; not the high-quality Roland that they were using. I have never had the opportunity to play a Viscount so I have not commented on them.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Horseshoe_or View Post
      While an Allen might be more expensive, it is the best quality instrument built today. Their ability to repair even their oldest instruments is an important consideration. When Rodgers was bought by the company that also produces Johannes, it was said that they got rid of much of their parts for older instruments. Most manufacturers today are building products with only a 10-year lifespan. I don't know if this is true of the European digital organ builders, but probably so. European built digital organ consoles are usually of poor quality. Rodgers instruments now use a Johannes sound engine; not the high-quality Roland that they were using. I have never had the opportunity to play a Viscount so I have not commented on them.
      Hmmmmm,...well,...my Rodgers dealer,and Rodgers themselves( I went so far as to chat with them on the phone about this issue),assured me that my older analog Rodgers can STILL be serviced by their technicians. And I was told it is still supported!
      Late 1980's Rodgers Essex 640

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Horseshoe_or View Post
        While an Allen might be more expensive, it is the best quality instrument built today. Their ability to repair even their oldest instruments is an important consideration. When Rodgers was bought by the company that also produces Johannes, it was said that they got rid of much of their parts for older instruments. Most manufacturers today are building products with only a 10-year lifespan. I don't know if this is true of the European digital organ builders, but probably so. European built digital organ consoles are usually of poor quality. Rodgers instruments now use a Johannes sound engine; not the high-quality Roland that they were using. I have never had the opportunity to play a Viscount so I have not commented on them.
        It is very sad to read so many inaccuracies.

        Comment


        • #5
          Which I would like you to specifically point out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ahlborn View Post

            It is very sad to read so many inaccuracies.
            I'd like to know what they are as well,...can you kindly point them out?
            Late 1980's Rodgers Essex 640

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi all, here a few personal experiences, maybe it helps.

              @ Ben:
              Drawknobs or tabs?
              I have a Viscount with lighted drawknobs (LED); for me it works great. But I think the functionality of tabs or knobs doesn't matter very much, because there is a good setzer / memory bank (combination of stops) so it is possible to make your registrations in advance. And you can even store them on an USB stick so every organist can have his own registration set (comes out very handy when several organist play the instrument during services or recitals). Btw, presumably this is the same with the Rodgers.

              @ Horseshoe:
              I'm sorry to inform you better: here in Holland I know several 25+ Johannus models (mostly Opus-series, rather cheap less-than-€10.000 models) that are stil functioning okay. Of course they need temporary maintainance but they are not worn out.
              And mind you, the build quality of Johannus models comparable with Allen (ie Monarke, €20.000 or more)) is very good. Honestly, I also know some 25+ Allen's that are okay, at least thechnicaly, but in my opinion they are not better build quality compared with Monarke/Johannus.
              And the cheap Historique and Chancel Allen models (€10.940 and €14.750) that are sold in the Benelux are not very well build. Not better than a comparably priced Johannus home model.
              No offense, only some observations.

              @ John:
              You are a tech, so I tend tot believe your opinion is better based on experience than mine. But my former home organ, an Eminent, had LED-tabs. And in 15-20 years I never had to replace them (but maybe that is not comparable with LED's in a drawknob?)

              Regards, Dutchy.

              Comment


              • #8
                I was going to answer point by point, but Dutchy and Myorgan have already answered in an explanatory and perfect way what I was going to write.

                I add that I do not understand on what basis Horseshoe thinks that today a digital organ, has a life time of only 10 years.
                Clearly, I don't think this is true, and I think 10 years is a fairly far from reality.

                Furthermore, I think the sound engine that GOG inserts into recent Rodgers models is high quality. Perhaps even superior to Roland technology.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ahlborn said "Perhaps even superior to Roland technology" - I fully agree with this.

                  In addition, Johannus is able to voice their organs in many way's. Here in the EU this is evident, for instance, in the Dutch models with a generally weak sound, and the comparable German models (which are much more spicy).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                    To answer the OP's question, personally, I tend to lean toward Rodgers because that's what I have played in the past. I have never played a Viscount.

                    On a slightly different topic already alluded to, build quality is something that has always mystified me. Allen build quality has historically been second-to-none because of their cabinetry quality that came from the Pennsylvania Dutch communities. However, lately from what I have heard (& felt) on more recent Allens, it appears more particle board or OSB is being used in the building of their organs, which feels chintzy to me.

                    Rodgers analog organs also had mostly solid wooden consoles, but for some reason, the joinery was not quite as polished as Allens. In the past, Rodgers evolved to particle board and laminate woodprints, so that was a turn-off for me. Recently, however, it sounds like their build quality is improving under the influence of the Johannes organs.

                    While I've never personally seen a Johannus organ, from what I've read here, it sounds like their build quality is beginning to improve over past decades' to a more acceptable level.

                    Viscount, from what I understand, may also be on the upswing when it comes to construction integrity. Others can confirm or deny. I may have played one or more Baldwin-badged Viscount in the early 1990s, but I have no way of determining which company actually created the organs.

                    Then, there is the sound generation and sound quality. Of course, that's already been discussed here. So, based on build quality, I would defer to Rodgers. I can't speak as much regarding the sound quality.

                    Michael
                    Just looking at newer,more current Allen models,they even look chintzy,...most notably the Historique models,and maybe the Chancel models. Surprised that they are using more particle board and/or OSB to build their organs. What is an even more "turn off" to me is their use of those cheaper looking Fatar "industry standard" keyboards. I feel that they have cheapened their organs somewhat whereas Rodgers build quality looks to be on the upswing,and improving.
                    Late 1980's Rodgers Essex 640

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dewey643 View Post
                      The never-ending, repetative debate over which organ manufacturer is best, and in particular, whose product is better built, is an increasingly off-topic distraction. Such posts will be moved here. -Admin.
                      As I said in my post, the intention was no offense. Obviously my post has the wrong effect. I shall remain silent about this.

                      Comment


                      • myorgan
                        myorgan commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Dutchy,

                        It is probably no single post responsible. If someone were to claim responsibility, I probably should, as I brought up the topic of build quality in detail.

                        It is not uncommon for threads to wander into other topics and stay sidetracked. Consequently, the sidetrack gets split off the original thread. The choice of the Soapbox, I believe, is probably a result of prior conversations and arbitration on the topic at hand.

                        Michael

                    • #12
                      Dutchy, your post is not offensive in any way. I also believe that this debate is always current and never too repetitive.
                      The digital organs improve continuously, and every company can be in front of or behind the competitors in a short time.
                      Those who ask for advice today can find outdated five years ago information.
                      I am sorry that this discussion has been moved to an inconspicuous place. Perhaps it would have been found more easily in the "classical and church electronic organs" section.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by ahlborn View Post

                        It is very sad to read so many inaccuracies.
                        I don't think Rodgers uses a Johannus sound engine,...I have been told,...or heard,...that they use their own samples,and sound engine.
                        Late 1980's Rodgers Essex 640

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          New Rodgers Inspire models have certainly Johannus DS-core hardware platform. However they have different samples, as I wrote in another post.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            I would say Allen and Rodgers (under Roland) would be equal in quality with Johannus a bit lower. Rodgers under new owner, I just don't know, but I would hesitate. Rodgers wasn't making a lot of money for Roland and they hung on to it for personal reasons. Under the new company, they may be motivated to increase profits and the easiest way to do that is to cut some corners. It works just because there are enough folks out there that think quality means how many features it has—just look at the car industry.

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