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need advice: Rodgers repair or replacement?

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  • need advice: Rodgers repair or replacement?

    I just started working at a church playing a Rodgers Trillium t805 installed in 1999. The church bought it for $28,000 new back then (adjusted for inflation, that's like $38K). The organ hadn't been played in several months because the church couldn't find an organist. But the organ has some problems. 7 of the pedals are dead, more than half of the small light bulbs are out, there is a terrible buzzing coming from the speakers, and the sound is just muddy and underwhelming in general. It's not fun to play, and it's not what I expect from a Rodgers. Some people from the congregation are now complaining to the music director about it now that it's being played again.

    We haven't gotten an estimate from a repair technician yet, partly because we're out in the boonies of the Oklahoma Panhandle and they would have to drive a long way just to get here. But I'm wondering if it's even worth it? What is the depreciation on a Rodgers over 15 years? Would a new Rodgers or Allen (I'm thinking a small Allen Bravura - their website says "starting under $18,000) sound better than what we have now? Or is the Rodgers we have worth repairing? I'm thinking it would need new speakers in addition to the console problems.

  • #2
    I won't speak to the electronic issues- John Birdsong and others no doubt will address that- but, having played digital Rodgers organs for years, including an 805, if the organ is set up and voiced properly (and is 100% repaired!) it is an *excellent* organ. The new "bottom feeder" organs, maybe not so much. Just my thoughts... best wishes with your project!
    R, Bill Miller
    Phila PA 2-and-a-half-Allens and a couple other organs...


    • #3
      If it uses the system I'm thinking of for the pedals there are rubber switch actuators on the pedal which deteriorate. Don't be surprised if the tech recommends replacing all 32 and the switch circuit boards.
      The tab lights are a pain to replace also. The buzzing is anybody's guess.

      Servicing electronic organs since 1969.


      • #4
        I suspect this organ is well worth repairing, unless it suffered surge or lightning damage.

        The "under $18,000" Bravura is for the L-5, which as the "princess" pedalboard (though the 30-note straight parallel pedalboard might be an option). This is a very basic organ, and the 805 has quite a bit larger specification. In addition, the "under $18,000" only includes the internal audio.

        Unless your current speakers are damaged, I'm not understanding why you would replace them. 15 years is not very old for electronic organs, nor for speakers.

        I think it is well worth a little money to investigate repairs on the organ.


        • #5
          Well worth repairing. The 1990's Rodgers consoles were indeed not built as well as their pre-Roland predecessors or their Allen counterparts, but it's still a solid organ, and a thousand dollars or so of repair, TLC and voicing work is well worth it compared to a new instrument which really won't sound that much better, and which will cost far more.


          • #6
            The Trillium series pedalboards use the traditional Rodgers magnetic reed switch scheme, so the problem is most likely the pedalboard adjustment relative to the console. A good technician will know the drill.

            I'll second everyone's recommendations for repair. It was and still is an excellent instrument when working correctly and properly set up.

            --- Tom
            Rodgers 660 with additional analog rack sets (practice), 36D/C in digital conversion, Yamaha CVP-107


            • #7
              We had some sound issues with our Rodgers 940 - buzzing, rattling, poor sound. The foam in the speakers was rotted. The foam's lifespan, I've been told, is anywhere from 8 to 15 years. We had six 8" speakers refoamed for $170.00.
              What a world of difference!

              Although not the greatest of your current problems, I'd suggest taking a look at the speaker foam(s).

              And I also second the idea of repairing what you have, instead of buying a low-end new instrument.

              We also had a pedal clavier alignment issue, so some pedals were rubbing and staying on. Easy fix - we just set the pedal assembly in place properly, and all is well.
              Home organ, same as church's organ - Rodgers 940

              Sign on my work toolbox that effectively keeps people away:

              DANGER!!! 1,000,000 OHMS!!!


              • #8
                Thanks everyone, I appreciate the info and opinions.


                • #9
                  The pedalboard could have been dislodged during the period of inactivity. Get a helper and manipulate it up or in/out and see if things improve. Allen had the switches built integral to the clavier with a cable so alignment was not an issue. Do not know about Rodgers.
                  Roland Atelier AT-90s, AT-80s, AT-70, 30, and 15. Roland VR-760 combo
                  Yamaha S-90, Kurzweil PC-3x, Casio Privia PX-330, Roland E-80, G-70, BK-5, Leslie 760, 820
                  Moved on:
                  Allen 3MT/Hauptwerk, Technics GA1, Yamaha HX1, AR80, numerous Hammonds, including 2 M's, an L, 2 A-100's, XP-2, XM-1/1c, & an XK-3. Roland Atelier AT-30, 60r, 80, & 20r(2 units), and a slew of Leslies (147, 142, 760, 900, 330).
                  Korg Triton Le-61, Casio Privia PX-310 & 110, and Kurzweils: PC-2x, SP-88, Pro-III, K1000