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  • rodgers organ selection dilemma

    Thanks everyone for your patience with me and all of my questions over past months. I appreciate the knowledgeable feedback each of you offer and hope to be able to return the favor as my experience progresses.

    Now on to my latest request for your input:

    I have been looking for a home instrument and also one for my church for quite a while. We have a Rodgers 770 at the church, but I am looking for something for home practice. I have been focused on the late Rodgers analogs with MIDI, specifically the 760, but they are not common to appear, and command prices that appear to be higher than reasonable to me.

    I have been offered a Rodgers Newport 830 from a dealer, no MIDI, but it appears to have considerably more resources than the 760 I have been searching for , and more than the 770 that we have at church.

    In your opinion, is the 830 a superior instrument vs. the 760 with MIDI? The 830 is priced at $3000 with speakers, and is that a fair price?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

  • #2
    In general, the 830 offers much more than the 770 except it doen't have piano/harpsichord. I do not consider that to be of any significance for a classical organ, though harpsichord is nice to have.

    The 830 should have wooden core Laukhuff keyboards with ebony or rosewood sharps (unless it has reverse colored keyboards) that were optional on the 770 and 760. In addition, the 830 has a set of ensemble oscillators for a richer sound, an independent Tuba for the great & pedal, a 2nd mixture on the great, independently coupled positiv if you get pipes, 32' contra principal, 32' contra bombarde. It's a much bigger organ than the 770.

    The 830 and 770 both have independent 61-note celestes; the 760 has 37 note celestes. The only 2 things to recommend the 760 over the 770 are: the 760 has independent octave keyers for the great and swell principals (2 separate keyers, independent of the other principal stops on those manuals), and a harpsichord. The 760 is more likely to be found with MIDI installed, as it was one of the last analog models. The 770 and 830 both have Krummhorn, and the 830 also has it at 16' as a Dulzian. Very nice.

    I don't think you could go wrong with any of these models.

    Please note that the 760 was also available as the 755 but with LED stop tabs instead of lighted drawknobs. Also, the 760 and 830 consoles are 35" deep without pedals--make sure they'll fit through your door. The 770 and 755 are 29 inches deep without pedals.

    If it had been offered, my choice would have been an 830 with LED tabs! Though you'd be hard pressed to find one, the 760 was offered with moving drawknob option. I saw one at a dealership just after the 760 was introduced.

    If you go to the Rodgers website and click on the legacy products link, you can search for 755, 750, 770, and 830 and download the brochure for each one. The files are too big for me to attach here (I tried).

    Note the 760 brochure has 2 different versions, one has the wrong dimension specs.
    Last edited by toodles; 09-15-2015, 10:00 AM.

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    • #3
      I forgot to mention that Rodgers uses DC on their key contacts, so it is very possible to add note on/off MIDI encoding. It would be more difficult but possible to do a duplicate decoding of the stops. This in turn could be encoded into MIDI--it would take some simple but custom circuitry. The stops are just on a serial data bus encoded & decoded using shift registers.

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