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Rodgers 705 - "A" ?

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  • Rodgers 705 - "A" ?

    I've got the chance to bring home a Rodgers 705 (to replace my awkward setup of a Yamaha combo organ MIDI'ed to a Content Expander box). It's said to be in mint condition, having belonged to a lady who bought it brand new in 1984 for her lovely home. She was the long-time organist at a Methodist church and wanted an organ at home. The price is right and it will fit in my smallish space.

    I haven't seen it yet, but I assume it will be the 705 "A" model (as opposed to the "B" model which I think came out in 1985) so it will not have a true celeste rank. The 705A, like its sister models 650 and 740, has a general tab marked "celeste" which switches a bucket brigade device into the circuit and makes a "celeste" out of the flutes and strings on both manuals when activated.

    Of course, I'd rather have the B model with a real celeste, but this organ would seem to be otherwise a perfect choice for home use, allowing me to practice on an AGO pedalboard with responsive manual keys and a very good classical stoplist.

    What do you all think of the fake celeste on this model? I have serviced several of them, and the celeste seemed OK on some and not so good on others. I suppose the success of the effect depends on having the internal controls set just right, and some installers do a better job than others at getting it right.
    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

  • #2
    Hi, John;

    To my ears, the BBD and a true sharp-tuned celeste set are not the same sound. I would go listen to the donor organ.

    . . . Jan
    the OrganGrinder

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    • #3
      John,

      I listened to this model when new at the dealership, and I thought it was a nice effect--I think you are right, that getting the setting just right is what matters. The B model, though, only had 36 notes for the celeste, whereas the "effect" version would work across the keyboard. The B version added a pedal reed and an additional reed in the Swell, plus a Cymbale II in the Swell--valuable additions in my opinion. FYI, the A versions offered an optional glockenspiel, which was lost on the B versions. If you can find the external glock, that would be a nice addition. It connects serially with a coax cable.

      If you want to do so, it would be possible to add real celeste oscillators to the organ, keying it off the same chain as the swell pulse voices, and use the "celeste" tab plus flute and/or string 8' voice LED drivers to switch outputs from the celeste oscillators--Devtronix oscillators would be ideal. But you probably don't want to do the extra work!

      The 8' Swell gamba was a nice sounding voice, I thought, for a pulse keyed voice.

      I would definitely go for it. I've got it's later, larger brother, the 755 in my organ menagerie, but it needs a little repair.

      Toodles.



      Overall, I liked the 650/705 organs with the LED stop tabs. Having the tabs right above the keyboards makes it ergonomically easy to register.

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      • #4
        Thanks, Jan and Toodles, for the viewpoints. I see good and bad things about this little organ. True, the effect is not a real celeste, and even a 36 note celeste can be useful, as I've played a lot of analogs with only three octaves in the celeste. I wish it would be a B model, though, if just for the additional reeds and the cymbale, as well as a real celeste.

        Yesterday we serviced an old Baldwin model 630, a truly primitive analog with the old-fashioned multiple-contact keying, but with a surprisingly good stoplist and decent sound. That old thing has a "tone expander" with chorus and celeste tabs. Turning it on in the celeste position produced an extremely pleasant undulating multi-rank effect that many folks would find as satisfying as a real celeste. It's rather interesting that Baldwin could produce such a good celeste effect in the 1960's, but later efforts by Rodgers and others are less successful. If I bring this one home, perhaps I'll have time to tinker with the adjustments and get it sounding pretty good.

        Thanks again for the input.
        Last edited by jbird604; 12-01-2012, 07:18 PM. Reason: rem cust
        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
          There is some possibility that it is the B version--Rodgers cutover dates aren't always exact.

          Toodles

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