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HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)

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  • HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)



    Ok, so 15 years ago our church purchased a brand new Rodgers Organ-it is equivalent to the Rodgers TM 968 organ today. Three weeks ago I noticed the organ having a humming noise but thought well it is 15 years old I guess even it will moan and groan at times. The following week, i was practicing the offetory with the pianist and the zimblestern came on and WOULD NOT go off. I turned the organ on and off 3 times and it finally stayed off. Last Sunday it was homecoming and the organ wasnt needed, but i practiced on it this past Wednesday and it struggled to work at all. The chimes dont work, several stops dont work and the speakers are going in and out. This morning I go and turn it on it hums, but everything was working perfectly. I practiced my postlude and had full petals with trumpets, and the 32' pedal sounded brilliantly. I go and fix some coffee and we begin running through the order of worship and it is just like it was. At this point I was in panic mode. I almost just turned it off and didnt play. I figured out I could couple sounds and add and take away things that sounded horrible. It pretty much sounded like someone forcing air into a tin can as opposed to a pipe but at least it was working. As I hit the last note on the invitation hymn, it quit playing completely. I prayed that it would last through the service and it did!!</P>


    Now if anyone has any advice on coupling some sounds if it were to work next week PLEASE let me know. The deacons voted tonight to fix it; however, the congregation has to vote next Sunday. The ballpark price at the moment was $10,000 but it could be up to $20,000. The company that put it in will be fixing it so we know that it will be revoiced correctly and according to them will sound brand new when finished. The entire speaker system is gone, nothing works-and what does sounds like it is being played underwater. </P>


    It has been a very frustrating month and I was at the breaking point this morning. Any advice would help...please chime in and give me your thouhts on the whole situation. i am at a loss for words and just need some encouragement.</P>


    THANKS!!!</P>

  • #2
    Re: HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)



    Even without knowing the exact ins-and-outs of what could be at fault (I don't profess to be an organ technician of any sort), $10k-$20k seems like an awfully huge amount of money to be paying to repair this organ. Something would have to be seriously wrong with the organ to need so much money spent on it.</p>

    Thankfully we have two very well qualified organ technicians on this site who might be able to point you in the right direction - before you fork out this large sum of money.
    </p>

    Just something to think about, to put the quoted repair price (particularly the top end) into some sort of context. Have a look at:</p>

    http://www.johannus.nl/usa/rembrandt.html </p>

    You can buy a brand new organ for $20k or not much more. Just to point out that I neither represent Johannus organs or any other organ manufacturer and that I am not an organ salesman in anyway.
    </p>
    1971 Allen Organ TC-3S (#42904) w/sequential capture system.
    Speakers: x1 Model 100 Gyro, x1 Model 105 & x3 Model 108.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)



      Well, I agree that it seems like a lot to fix this organ. However, I received an email this morning that our minister of music had one of his friends that is an organ dealer come in and price a new organ that is equivalent to what we have now would cost 85-125,000. In 1994 we paid $89,000 and some change, and the one in the chapel was "thrown"-if you ever play it you will can tell it was "thrown in".</P>


      We also received some encouragin news that the estimate would not be up on the high end of what he gave us as a ballpark figure. We cannot afford to buy another and the deacons understand that and no one wants to take a step back from what we have now. </P>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)



        Gracie,</P>


        Sounds like the church is over a barrel. That is a lot of money, but I know that some of the major components of a digital organ actually do cost quite a bit of money. In 1994 you would have purchased a PDI Rodgers, and I have myself known a couple of those to require some very expensive repairs. </P>


        In fact, we have one church in our territory with a large PDI thathad to have a complete new set of speakers (several thousand dollars) because the original setup had been done with Walker-built speakers with foam surrounds on many of the drivers, which eventually rotted out.</P>


        That same organ also suffered a power surge during a thunderstorm and had to have two power supplies and a two very pricey boards in the cage replaced. So I can see how your bill might well run over $10K if you have some of the same problems.</P>


        Your description is rather odd, though, especially about the Zimbelstern not wanting to turn off. Perhaps the piston that operates it is defective, unless the console controller board in the cage has really gone crazy. The other problems could well relate to power supply, amplifier, and speaker issues.</P>


        Anyway, if you're being taken care of by the Rodgers dealership, you should be in good hands. One way to look at it, if the organ is 15 years old and has never required any servicing, you've gotten by pretty easy! An outlay of maybe $15K right now might get you another 15 years of life from that organ, which is still a bargain.</P>


        John</P>
        <P mce_keep="true"></P>
        John
        ----------
        *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)



          Hi John, thanks for the reply! At first I though it had suffered some type of power problem with the speakers going in and out and things going wacky-but my MoM and the technician said that it was probably not a power issue, but he factored having to repair that in the cost so thankfully he put all possibilites in the estimate. </P>


          I cannot describe to you how BAD the organ sounded yesterday. The sounds that were coupled together really didnt fit each other but my MoM said to play anyway, just to back off on the volume. </P>


          As i said the organ is 15 years old, but it replaced a 50 year old Allen Organ that had tubes on the inside-and yesterday reminded me of playing that. I grew up in this church and began playing for the worship service in 1991 and we began looking to replace that awful Allen when I started. The problem with that organ was it had several minor issues that the church just used a band aid to fix and in turn the organ sounded like it did in the end. I was asked to speak to the deacons last night at their meeting and told them that is what lead to the previous organs demise and we spent far too much money on this organ just 15 years ago.</P>


          My one queston is how long is the life span of a digital organ now. I know technology has FAR surpassed what is used in this organ, but they were asking last night when it is fixed is it going to help it last longer. I didnt know the answer to that-thankfully they still voted to fork out the money and fix it. It is a vital part of our worship service and we have a congregation that enjoys hearing what it can do. </P>
          <P mce_keep="true"></P>

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)

            also, this is the first problem we have had on it-other than a light going out or some of the contacts needed cleaning. It just so happens the first problem is a major problem-THAT HAS KEPT ME AWAKE AT NIGHT!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)



              Don't loose any more sleep! It is clear you love this organ. Yes, repairs can reasonably be expected to significantly prolong the life of the instrument. The fact that there is new technology shouldn't concern you as you are very happy with the "sound" you have now and have already indicated it couldn't be replaced by the new technology that $20,000 would by.</P>


              If you are called upon to justify the repair cost, inform the deacons that it is much more labor intensive to take down and replace components than it is to assemble them in a careful order and logical order at the factory. Ask any of us who have as hobbyist attempted our own repairs. Getting around parts or even having to remove some to get access to the work area is hard work.</P>


              I think you have very wise and generous deacons who should be commended. You'll read posts in our archives from churches that can't or won't spend money on the organ! Consider yourself blest and hopefully in a few weeks the repairs can be completed in time for the beautiful holiday season!</P>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)



                I have tried to put it out of my mind as much as possible. I do love this organ. As I said I learned on a 1957 Allen Organ that had to be on 15 minutes before it would make a muffled sound.</P>


                I know most would think it is crazy for me to like this organ as much as i do, given that it is a digital organ and not pipe. However, I believe we got the next best thing. I know it has been debated here countless times the diff. between Rodgers and Allen but Rodgers has knocked it out of the park with their digital technology. With that said they are both great companies and I am sure that I would enjoy playing an Allen just as much as I have the Rodgers that we chose to purchase. </P>
                <P mce_keep="true"></P>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)



                  Hi,</p>

                  I hate to say it, but I think you are getting fleeced here. I have done organ service work for about 29 years now, and rarely does my service bill exceed $1,000, and that includes surge and lightning damage. Mind you, most of what I look at is actually repairable out in the field. Most newer stuff is module replaceable. Most of the most recent organ circuit boards, you just can't test or put a soldering iron to in order to fix it. So, a lot of technicians kind of need a box full of replacement boards in order to fix what is wrong.</p>

                  A few things to remember. Speakers by themselves don't make sound. They have to be fed a signal. If what comes out of the speakers sounds bad, it can be speakers, or amplifiers, or mixer board component such as an op-amp, or it could be some defect on the tone generator, or the sample data having gone bad, or it could be the console controller screwing up. It could also be a power supply problem. I think though that the Rodgers system has some sort of built-in diagnostics system,so at least some problems may be detected by that. If you get hum, quite often that is a power supply problem, such as a bad capacitor. Could also be a power regulation problem on a circuit board.
                  </p>

                  The cost of the whole internal setup (power supplies, electronics cage, amplifiers, etc.) shouldn't come to more than $5,000 (dealer cost). The time to physically replace all that stuff likely shouldn't take more than a couple of hours. Only what needs to be replaced should be replaced, and charged for. A possible $20,000 repair bill sounds like the dealer/technician either don't know what they are doing or need to raise some cash.</p>

                  I got a call last week from a church (local to me) that has a mid 80s Allen. Things went wrong with it, and it cost $1,800 to replace some components. A couple of weeks ago the organ went dead, said to be the muting circuit, another $550. Last week the General Cancel piston fell apart, shorting out that piston. Not not playable. I could do the fix in less than 15 minutes, total cost for $120. Instead the board folks want to continue using the official Allen service person who has to drive 2 hours each way. Quote for repair was $320. So the church will have spent about $2,500 on this instrument that they couldn't get that much for if the tried to sell it on e-bay. </p>

                  I'm hearing that a lot of newer organs, are either very expensive to repair, or that they are not repairable at all, as certain parts are not available. </p>

                  I have said it before on this forum, that newer organs may very well not have the life expectancy of the older ones. Especially with the way technology moves on, sometimes parts are used that are already obsolete when manufacturing begins. Also the RoHs legislation I think will cause a lot of electronics to fail prematurely. </p>

                  Wish you all the best in getting it repaired. I wouldn't spend over $10,000 on it though. That would be a ripoff. The only thing I can think of that would make the bill come so high is if the instrument is located in a very remote place, where it costs big bucks for a service man to travel there. </p>

                  For a lot less than $20,000 you can get a Hauptwerk system installed, and with a good sample set properly setup, it would sound better than the Rodgers ever did.</p>

                  AV
                  </p>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)



                    a small update-the organ guy game today and the speakers do not work anymore. There is no power going to them. He didnt give a final amount of what it would cost but that it will be less than 15, but he doesnt expect it to be anywhere near that amount. He wanted to give me a higher estimate in case something goes wrong or is discovered and we are shocked by it being higher than expected. </P>


                    I do have a question, AV. If it is more than $10,000, and since you dont recommend us spending that much-what do you suggest? A new organ is going to be A LOT more than $10,000 and like I have said in previous posts, no one wants to take a step back from what we have. I can blow the front doors off the church with what we have...i have never used that by the way, but what we have is perfect for the size church. So what would be an option?</P>


                    I am going to tell you, i know nothing about "fixing" an organ or how one, without pipes, works. I can play the heck out of it but i can not diganose a problem and no one in our church has the capabilites of doing it. Just please give me some options on what you would suggest doing if the cost were to exceed $10,000.</P>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)



                      Here's some advice from someone who can neither repair nor play an organ: get another estimate.</p>

                      Both arie v and jbird604 are independent organ technicians who regularly work on Rodgers organs, and from what I can tell they are well qualified and highly respected on this forum . I'm sure that there may be qualified organ technicians in your area that would be happy to give you an estimate to resurrect your organ. By the way, where are you located?</p>

                      Bill G</p>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: HELP!!!!(this is long please forgive me but i need help!!)



                        Gracie,</P>


                        I'd never completely disagree with my friend Arie. He's correct in noting that $10K+ is a lot of money to sink into a 15-year-old organ, and indeed the market value of that organ might not even be $10K, the used organ market being what it is.</P>


                        However, having only in the past year done some major repairs and renovations on a PDI organ of that same vintage, I will say that Rodgers is VERY proud of the components and boards in those old organs and charges accordingly! So I can truly say that I wouldn't be terribly surprised to know that the bill could easily go over $10K, since you have no warranty of any kind left on that organ.</P>


                        Also, Rodgers doesn't seem interested in taking the old parts back in for credit, as is the common practice with Allen. At least they didn't want any of the old parts back on the repair we did last year. Of course that may have been due to the fact it was a power surge damage. But having to pay full list price for a couple of boards and two power supplies, it was a very expensive repair.</P>


                        Even in the face of all that, I still think it's worthwhile to repair that organ. After all, you would probably spend $80K - $100K for a comparable new organ. I know there are cheaper options, but there are definite compromises with the cheaper organs, and I'm talking about a true equivalent replacement.</P>


                        AS to life expectancy...... I still see a lot of digital organs from the 70'sin service(Allen only, of course, since no one else was building them back then), and even some analogs, somegoing back to the 60's. I've always felt that an electronic organ from a quality builder ought to last 30 years at least, and maybe 35 or 40 under ideal conditions. I see no reason to predict a shorter life for today's organs, other than, as Arie notes, possible RoHS issues (lead-free solder). But your 1994 PDI organ isn't affected by that issue.</P>


                        So, I'd guess you ought to get another 15 to 20 years use out of that Rodgers once it's repaired, provided there are no other problems that haven't been diagnosed yet.</P>


                        I would warn you that there may be other problems that will show up in the near future, especially if a power surge was involved. We probably made 3 attempts over a 6 month period before resolving all the problems on the Rodgers I am talking about. But we finally got all the problems worked out and it is performing perfectly now.</P>


                        Best of luck.</P>


                        John</P>
                        <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                        John
                        ----------
                        *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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