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Rodgers 441 or Allen ADC 430

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  • Rodgers 441 or Allen ADC 430

    I need advice on these two models. I am familiar w/ neither. The Rodgers is apparently a few years younger -- ca. 1992. The Allen ca. 1987? (Documentation dates to '87, anyway).

    I can buy either or both for between $1k and $1500. If I buy both, one will be a practice inst., the other will go to a small chapel.

    Are these any good? I'd appreciate any comments on either. Thanks

    Sine organo

  • #2

    Neither model ever set the organ world on fire. I don't know if that model Allen is actually AGO, or one of those compact consoles that came with the princess pedals.

    In any case, the Allen build quality will be better, but the Rodgers MIDI implementation will be good, and the Allen may not have MIDI at all. Usually Rodgers of that vintage will have some burned out stop lamps, the pedalboard may need re-work.

    In terms of sound, the Rodgers may sound slightly better overall. Neither is inspiring. The treble section in the Rodgers is particularly poor - very electronic digital kind of sound.



    • #3
      I'm with Arie. Neither is awesome, but both are quite acceptable.

      As a former Allen salesman, I'm familiar with the 430, which was sold in the later 80's during the ADC era. It was built in the US and has the same quality console and hardware as the best Allens. It has good digital tones, but with built-in speakers the sound can be a little harsh right in your ears. Adding some external speakers will improve the effect. All the stops are authentic and there is no unification (but "borrowing" is found, as for example, the same 8' trumpet appears in all three divisions, as does the 8' gedeckt, and certain other stops). All the necessary stops are there, complete principal and flute choruses, appropriate reeds and strings. Nice celestes. Genuine mixtures. A very good chime stop. The couplers work exactly as they should. In the ADC era, Allen really overcame most of the shortcomings of their earlier MOS offerings, so you can count on an ADC organ working pretty much like a pipe organ.

      The combination action is OK ... tabs don't move, but there is a digital readout to indicate which preset is active. There are 7 general pistons with A & B memories, but no divisional pistons. Standard equipment was a quite useful factory set of combinations, and an optional board allowed the user to set his own. If the optional memory board is on it, please have the battery checked immediately, as it may have leaked and will eventually ruin the board!

      The Rodgers 441 would be newer and might have a little more "articulate" sound, more realistic chiff and such. But I think that model was built somewhere else and has a much cheaper console and hardware than the Hillsboro-built instruments. I'm guessing it has a similar stoplist and feature set to the Allen. Someone with more Rodgers experience can fill in more details.

      So each one has pluses and minuses and you'd have to spend some time with each to decide which is best for you. For the price you quote, either one would be acceptable, so if you can get both and have a use for them, I'd say go to it!
      *** 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!


      • #4
        Hi John,

        I just went over my invoice book, and found that I serviced an ADC 430 last year. It is an AGO console. It was in a small country church with good acoustics and had external speakers attached to it. I remember it sounding quite decent after I got it all fixed up.

        My guess is that if this instrument goes to a church with external speakers, it would be preferable to the Rodgers 441.

        If it goes into a home with just internal speakers like the Rodgers would, it would be more of a toss-up.

        Organs like the Rodgers 441, were not even promoted by Roland as organs but rather Rodgers classical keyboards.

        I believe the early digital Rodgers organs with the 4xx series numbers, were built, or partially built in Japan.



        • #5
          I owned an ADC 430 for about 5 years...bought it new in 1987. At the time, it was the lowest-priced full-sized (e.g., AGO-spec) organ Allen made, so it had a full-sized pedalboard. I concur with the previous had some good sounds, but would be improved significantly with external speakers. It didn't have a lot of flexibility (mine didn't have settable presets), but I fould it to be a great practice organ and my AGO chapter friends seemed to like it back then.

          Wurlitzer/Viscount C-380 3 manual with Conn pipes.


          • #6
            Thanks John, AV and GSN -- This is very helpful.

            I have seen and heard the Rodgers. I think the 441 was actually made in Italy shortly after Roland took over the company. The console is a rather cheap veneer, but it has been used very little and looks brand new. My experience with Allens says that the ADC 430 will have a much better console. The sound on the Rodgers is mostly inoffensive -- a basic stop list. Not nearly as nice as the sounds on the contemporaneous Roland harpsichord I have. The Allen's stop list seems similar.

            If I get both, the Allen might turn out to be the better institutional instrument, as it should be more durable and can accommodate external speakers. The Rodgers might be better for my basement and it should withstand occasional playing by my two light-weight daughters.

            Thanks again, sine organo