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  • Allen vs. Rodgers

    Allen or Rodgers? Which one makes better organs? I'd prefer Allen, but I'd like your opinion. I especially love 4-manuals.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __


    I'm 14 and can play organ!

  • #2
    Hi,

    My opinion is not worth anything. Therefore I don't give out my opinions.

    I'm sure at 14 you already would have firm opinions as to what is good and not so good.

    AV

    Comment


    • #3
      You're asking the old Cadillac vs. Lincoln question. Both makers offer premier grade instruments that will keep you interested for years to come and drive you to distraction when a problem arises. Like all the rest of us, ya pays your money and takes your chances.
      "The employment of the piano is forbidden in church, as is also that of noisy frivolous instruments such as drums, cymbals, bells and the like." St. Pius X

      Comment


      • #4
        Similar to the already posteds; hear a GOOD install of both, and decide which you like better. Personally, I like the Rodgers sound better. I feel their ensembles are more authentic. That said, Allen's individual sounds aren't lacking. I just think they fall flat when you add more sound. My opinion on this is worth absolutely nothing.

        When it comes to measurable differences:

        1. Construction. Allen are typically considered the victor here. I've played one of the new Rodgers Infinitys and felt it lacked little to nothing when it comes to console construction. The moving drawknobs are excellent, but they are an added cost option. Allen's are standard for any drawknob console albeit not as nice IMO. In fact, Rodgers seem to have several levels of console quality as you move up, whereas Allen seems to have budget model, then an immediate jump to top construction (excepting the Elite line perhaps. I haven't played one).

        2. Sound options: Rodgers win here due to having all stops loaded into memory at all times. You could combine anything on the organ (so long as it's not 2 sounds that are under the same tab/knob), and set it to a piston. Activating the piston immediately activates the sound. On an Allen, you have 7 (I think it's 7 now) entire organs inside, but you can only load one entire organ at a time. Mixing and matching is not possible. Due to their being owned by Roland, I would venture that Rodgers MIDI implementation is also as good as it gets (although I'm not sure if there are any limitations with Allen. I've never really attempted to interface either with an instrument/computer).

        3. Parts/Warranty etc: Allen makes all of their parts in house, and are said to support their instruments brilliantly. While service is largely a question of the quality of your local dealer/repairman, having the parts always available is a plus on Allen's side. However if they are to go out of business, that advantage vanishes, and the company who sources some parts from pipe organ suppliers would have the advantage.

        At the end, all of the above listed is moot. Buy the instrument that you feel sounds better. Also, don't assume they're the only two companies out there, and DON'T be brand loyal to a sound. If you hear another brand's organ and you like it better, don't try to justify to yourself that your favourite brand is better because it feels right. This is how manufacturers of any sub-par goods hold market share while decreasing their quality of product; pushing brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is (almost always) built by quality, and later maintained by marketing while all else falls by the wayside.

        Happy playing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Snowbandit View Post
          You're asking the old Cadillac vs. Lincoln question. Both makers offer premier grade instruments that will keep you interested for years to come and drive you to distraction when a problem arises. Like all the rest of us, ya pays your money and takes your chances.
          Snowbandit nailed it. Of course, I have a preference (seen in my signature), but your ears may not like my preference. As your needs are different (I often move my organs around), your requirements are probably different as well.

          That said, I will say that I became seriously disappointed with the HC-14 or HC-15 (can't remember which) cabinet quality on my 4300. The particle board chipped away with very little effort/impact. The plywood cabinets of earlier speakers systems were a bit heavier, but much better constructed for movement purposes.

          Best of luck in your search.

          Michael
          Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
          • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
          • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
          • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

          Comment


          • #6
            I think HC-12's, 13's, 14's, and 15's all have particle board construction. The veneered (furniture finished versions), though have a little more integrity because the veneer adds a stabilizing layer.

            By the way, the use of particle board is for speaker design reasons, not just for cost. Particle board is less prone to vibrate than plywood, and it is stiffer. That's very important for sealed enclosure designs (HC12's) and useful in ported systems. MDF is better, but about twice as heavy, and even more prone to break-outs.

            I think most of the plywood construction was for open back speakers for Allen.

            And for their analog organs, at least, Rodgers also used particle board for the most part. And definitely used it on many of their analog organ consoles.

            Professional sound speaker cabinets are almost always constructed of plywood, however, because it stands up to frequent moves much better.

            Comment


            • #7
              Particle board is indeed intended by some speaker manufactures to reduce in the box standing waves and lower resonating frequencies......kind of a sound damper. Plywood can and does act like a piano sound board but can be treated.

              Comment


              • #8
                Both Rodgers and Allens make organs that can sound very satisfying. However, it depends greatly on the skill of the installer/voicer and the willingness of the owner to fully fund a good speaker system and installation.

                I have seen too many Allen organs in the Baltimore/DC area that were installed with non-Allen bookshelf speakers. This is not an intrinsic problem with the organ, but certainly makes for a crappy installation. On the other hand, I have played Allens that were very well voiced and that would be hard to distinguish from a pipe organ.

                When I was playing for a church regularly, my church bought a Rodgers 900 series organ (in 2000). After first listening to it, I was very disappointed. It was not at all like anything we had auditioned. It turns out that the installer had "voiced" it to match the elderly and very limited Allen it replaced - very dull and no sparkle. In addition, the relationships between the stop volumes made no sense. Everything was basically set to the same level. After two visits from the voicer with me there, it was ultimately a very pleasing installation.

                Regarding console mechanics, I prefer the Rodgers in general. Allen has too many settings that are not pipe organ-like. This is a general observation, but has struck me over and over. My preference is to maintain the illusion that there is a pipe organ hiding behind the curtain. In my opinion, from strictly a console perspective, Rodgers maintains this illusion better.

                On the other hand, I do not like the pedal contact switches used in the Rodgers from the late 90s to early 2000s (I don't know what they are currently using on new models). The pedals have magnets on the console end of each pedal. Each magnet activates a corresponding reed switch on the console; these reeds are all on a panel that can be adjusted up and down. These are very difficult to get aligned properly. I have seen several cases where the reed switches are too high relative to the pedals. This results in the pedals coming in too soon when barely touched, and cutting out when the pedal is fully depressed. The sweet spot for operation is VERY narrow and highly frustrating when set wrong.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I own one of each. There are things I like about each... the Laukhuff keyboards on my Rodgers are why I keep it. It has nothing to do much with Rodgers... but how they feel under my fingers make it all work. The Allen for all it's computer limitations... is more satisfying for Classical practice. Let me suggest that each of us will evolve beyond the instrument we have... so the midi capability is important for jOrgan or Hauptwerk. I prefer the flexibility of jOrgan... and the amazing amount of free sound-fonts that are now available. This summer there will be a French sound-font available in the jOrgan community. Simply load a different disposition and you can have American Classic, German, Custom or Theatre Organ. Nothing to get board with... I assure you.
                  Cheers
                  Marc
                  *Allen 705-D * Rodgers 605 * Gulbransen 380-X*

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by crapwonk View Post
                    My preference is to maintain the illusion that there is a pipe organ hiding behind the curtain. In my opinion, from strictly a console perspective, Rodgers maintains this illusion better.
                    I must agree. It's amazing how out-of-tune a Rodgers can sound--just like a pipe organ.O:-) I think I've only played one in-tune Rodgers so far. Ah, the beauties of individually tuned oscillators.;-)

                    Originally posted by crapwonk View Post
                    The pedals have magnets on the console end of each pedal. Each magnet activates a corresponding reed switch on the console; these reeds are all on a panel that can be adjusted up and down. These are very difficult to get aligned properly. I have seen several cases where the reed switches are too high relative to the pedals. This results in the pedals coming in too soon when barely touched, and cutting out when the pedal is fully depressed. The sweet spot for operation is VERY narrow and highly frustrating when set wrong.
                    Seriously, I've had the same issue with my Allens. In one move to the stage, the stage crew managed to lose a caster from the front bottom of the console, and I wondered why certain pedals weren't sounding. Rather than adjust the reed switch contacts on the console, I had to wad a piece or cardboard and/or paper towel to raise the console to the proper height.

                    A similar issue occurred when I lost a caster (also to the stage from the rolling platform) from the back of the pedals. In that case, the pedal would contact, but if I pressed it too hard, it would go too deep.

                    Guess that's a flaw of both instruments. Ideally, though, organs aren't meant to be repeatedly moved.

                    Michael

                    P.S. I have stiffened the action of my Allens because I find a more tracker-like touch to help my accuracy in playing. It's nice they can be adjusted so easily.
                    Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                    • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                    • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                    • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Is comparing Allen and Rodgers, the two leaders in electronic organs, basically the same thing as comparing Cadillac and Lincoln, the two leaders in luxury cars? If so, which organ company is like Cadillac, and which one is like Lincoln?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm sorry to rain on your A & R parade but neither of those companies are the leaders in the digital electronic organ industry.
                        That honor goes to the company both A & R are trying hard to copy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What company are Allen and rodgers trying to emulate? Is it Galanti? I ask this que

                          stion because I am desperately trying to get comments about Galanti and its customer service or lack thereof

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mrdc2000 View Post
                            I'm sorry to rain on your A & R parade but neither of those companies are the leaders in the digital electronic organ industry.
                            That honor goes to the company both A & R are trying hard to copy.
                            Please rain some more and enlighten us with which company they are copying.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Activeprofessor View Post
                              stion because I am desperately trying to get comments about Galanti and its customer service or lack thereof
                              Activeprofessor,

                              I'm sorry you're not receiving a response from the Forum members, but the members are probably silent regarding Galanti and its customer service or lack thereof because they have nothing to say or no experience. I have had no experiences with the company, nor have I ever seen any of their instruments in my travels. Also, it is perhaps the wrong place to ask in an Allen vs. Rodgers thread.

                              What are they trying emulate? I would guess that Allen and Rodgers are both attempting to accurately emulate the pipe organ to the best of their ability. As some people prefer various pipe organ manufacturers (i.e. Austin vs. Skinner vs. Fisk), so do the people who purchase digital instruments. There are many details that feed into those assessments, and if you ask, you'll get as many opinions as people have noses--and some people are as strongly attached to their opinions as they are their noses!

                              Hope this helps explain the lack of response to your post.

                              Michael
                              Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                              • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                              • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                              • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

                              Comment

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