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Rodgers 32B Voicing Chart?

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  • Rodgers 32B Voicing Chart?

    Could use one of these to know for sure what comes from where? Any ideas?

  • #2
    32B voicing info

    Bill,

    Here's a PDF of the pertinent pages. Most of it is very simple and obvious.
    Attached Files
    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

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    • #3
      Actually, that is right out of the Rodgers manual. I was thinking of something that would tell exactly which stops are on the Main, Flute and Diapason pots. I played with them a bit and didn't accomplish anything except making the Mixture three times as loud as anything else. I did see they spoke of an additional pot to be found in an unspecified location (dah, its in the filter circuit dude!) that might add a little bass response, which is extremely lacking. I may experiment with the speaker cabinet amps and see if there may be a problem there. Everything comes out of the organ on one channel that runs first to a bass cabinet, then two one of two smaller cabinets, or on a second channel that only has one smaller cabinet. Each has its own amp.

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      • #4
        What about this: (also from the manual however)
        Sect11.pdf

        td
        Servicing electronic organs since 1969.

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        • #5
          Thanks Dave, perhaps I can work with that, but it's still a bit confusing. Guess I just don't speak Rodgers. But, I'll learn.

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          • #6
            Bill,

            There's very little to adjust on a 32B except the obvious. The unit diapason, unit flute -- set them to "comfortable" levels. The handful of stops with individual level adjustments should be set so that they "match" the unit stops. The 16' pedal stops should be set to give an adequate amount of bass but not so much as to make things rattle or to overload the speakers.

            The "formant" adjustments on the reed stops are simply done by ear, adjusting if you want to tinker with the overall tone color of the stops. Not really recommended unless you are sure you know what you are doing.

            Some older Rodgers analogs have some individual stop leveling controls, either on the ganging board or on a panel underneath the roll top, or in a few cases, right on the stop tab rail. Under some circumstances, it might be useful to adjust these, but with unit stops it is quite difficult to balance 8' against 4', for example, because when you start playing with ensemble registraitons, the inner voices simply get swallowed up by the lower-most and upper-most pitches. Other models simply do not have any such controls. In the 32B manual Rodgers seems to be saying that these levels are preset and should not be adjusted (or perhaps cannot be adjusted). So there's just not that much to it, nothing like setting up some of the other organs that you have had.

            BTW, where and when did you acquire this 32B? There must be a story behind it!
            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

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            • #7
              Thanks John,

              I will reserve answering some of your post until I have had time to do some study and try to understand it. Ha Ha. You gotta remember I'm primarily a hobbyist who has worked on digital Allens, so I am really fumbling to understand some of the older tech where things just 'don't get fixed' by cleaning a few connections and exercising a few pots.

              All the stops on the bass pedals function at about what one might consider normal levels of volume. Bass is VERY limited. I suspect this might not be a console problem, but perhaps a crossover or amp problem in that big brown brick of a pedal speaker. Someone did mention a pot that might add a little more bottom end, but I'm not sure of the nomenclature for that filter, let alone it's location. Smile.

              I did try adjusted preamp outputs on the Flute, Main, and Diapason channels. This was doesn't done according to the manual excerpt you provided (I have what passes for a mx manual), I was just trying to see if I could boost any of the weakest stops. There was only very minor improvements in those. But, I did elevate those who already were working normally. And the Mixture III got REALLY LOUD! Again, no attempt was made at voicing as there is not enough volume on the great lieb gedect, boudon, flute 4, or piccolo2 or the choir Gedeck, Quintade8. So, about the only thing I know at this time is that preamp output is not responsible.

              More when my noggin comes up with something, or someone sprinkles a few more crumbs in front of me to lead me to the big mouse trap.

              Thanks everyone so far. Keep those cards and letters coming in.

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              • #8
                Bill,

                There's a 32B in a large church here that we service now and then. It too has developed some issues that we haven't been able to get to the bottom of. It's been a few months since we were there, but I seem to recall that one of the channels is weak, and we've ruled out the speaker and the amp by swapping them with another channel. So there must be a bad component in the output circuitry somewhere that is blocking the full output of that channel. I wish the church would agree to spend some more money on it, but, alas, they are putting their money into the drum kit fund nowadays and don't have much budgeted for organ maintenance. :-(

                Another one in a small college recital hall, about 2 hours away, also has some peculiar issues. I think the last time we were there we did get everything working eventually, by thoroughly working over the pots and connectors everywhere. The 5-pin plugs on the cables running from the console to the amps seem to give endless trouble, as the parts that make contact get dirty and corroded. We often have to scrub and clean both ends with WD-40, then coat the metal mating parts with Vaseline to get the cracking and intermittent outages to stop.

                But these organs are getting VERY old, and the fact that they still play at all is quite amazing. Though transistors and other passive components should last a long time without the extreme heat of vacuum tubes to age them quickly, they do eventually get flaky. Capacitors especially tend to change values over time, and not just in the power supplies and amplifiers. The oscillators have capacitors, the tone filters and pre-amps have capacitors. In the unit flute generator, failing capacitors and weakening transistors often result in notes that fail to "start" or that sound weakly or with uncertain pitch. There are ways to fix this, but it involves wholesale replacement of parts that cost only pennies each, but that take a LOT of patience and soldering skill.

                So at some point it becomes quite difficult to put your finger on all the troubles in an old analog, especially one that goes back to the early 60's. Kinda like having an old black and white TV from 1962 and expecting it to work like it did brand new!

                Sometimes we go out and hear an old Rodgers (or Allen) analog from the early 60's and it sounds just awesome, and we'll say it's one of the best-sounding organs we've ever heard. This is especially true when the acoustical setting is just right, and when the speakers and amps happen to be in top condition, as when located in a nice chamber where they've not been exposed to extremes of temperature or humidity. No doubt, back in their day people would've thought these organs were remarkably "pipe-like" and satisfying musically.

                Nowadays, the "realism" of these organs has been far surpassed by even the most primitive digital organs, at least those that have great installations. And digitals get completely away from the very obvious drawbacks of the unification that plagues all the old Rodgers and Allen analogs. One forgets how limiting that unification is until forced to play one of them for a church service. But it was a major problem from the start, and we just overlooked it back then because there was no way around it without spending a huge fortune.

                Not every digital, primitive or modern, sounds good, as you know, and the bad ones have to be blamed on poor acoustics and/or lousy work by the installers. But in general, newer organs sound so good that I don't see a whole lot of value in spending a lot of time and throwing a lot of money at an old one that has problems. Especially when I have perfectly good digital organs in the warehouse that I'd love to refurbish and sell if I had customers for them.

                I know people who specialize in gutting these old analog consoles, keeping the generally excellent keyboards, pedals, and other hardware, and installing entire new tone producing equipment, such as Artisan modules. I haven't done this myself, though I hope to try it out one day when I have the money and the time, but those who have done it are usually ecstatic about the results.

                Anyway, enjoy playing around with that old thing and see what you can do for it. It can indeed sound very nice if you can get it all working again. If you run into anything that puzzles you, please post. I might be able to offer some kind of advice.
                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

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                • #9
                  Thanks again John,

                  Your comments on older organs properly installed are well taken. I was in a church the other day that had installed an old T series Allen. The organist was playing as I entered from the back of the sanctuary and I was very impressed with the sound.

                  On the subject of the Rodgers, I had to make room for another large organ, so it and its speaker system have been relocated from the music room. I was able to get all the stops to work at normal volumes, but was going to use the voicing chart to try to get the stop volumes to play nicely together. Too much to do for the foreseeable future, so I will probably put it on eBay or craigslist soon. It's a great looking organ and it plays, so someone will be interested.

                  Thanks everyone for your assistance.

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