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Rodgers 330

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  • Rodgers 330


    I'm thinking of purchasing a 28 year old Rodgers 330 organ for $4,800. I'm a pianist but I apprenticed with an organist in a church a few months ago and, having since moved into a remote area, I want to continue to learn. I like this model because of the 3 manuals and drawstops. </P>

    I'll be using it to play 5-part choral music from the Renaissance as well as making reductions of large scale works (LVB Missa Solemnis). The salesman didn't seem to have very much confidence in the analog sound, as opposed to digital. </P>

    My questions are: is the analog sound passable, esp. given the type of music that I'll play? (from thick contrapuntal textures to orchestral.) And are there examples of the analog sound to be found on the internet? (this would be much appreciated.) Finally, what are your opinions of the Rodgers 330? </P>

    Thanks alot.</P>

  • #2
    Re: Rodgers 330


    Rodgers 330 is one of the better early Rodgers analogs, but it is old. Possibly older than you are being told. I think that model goes back to the early 1970's, but perhaps they continued to build it as late as 1979 (as dated by your statement). Not really sure. I play on a 660 at church, and itwas builtin the late 60's. The 330 was a little later, but not much.</P>

    But the 330has a really complete stop list, truly in the American Classic style. It was the model that really brought everything together in those early days of Rodgers with a good set of resources, good captureaction, niceconsole design.Only the 550 and the 990 had more resources.</P>

    Keep in mind that old analog organs are highly unified. This one has perhaps8 or 10honest ranks (in the sense of distinctly different tones). Study the concept of unification and all its drawbacks if you are not aware of them. With careful registration, not piling on too many stops, not using several pitches drawn from the same rank simultaneously, you can getregistrations that would serve you well in practicing contrapuntal literature. But itmay be less satisfactory than a non-unit organ.</P>

    Modern digital organs are virtually free from unification, having a distinct tone for each stop at each pitch level. This creates a much morearticulate sound that doesn't turn into mud when you play complex textures. (At least not as quickly, nor as badly.)</P>

    The price is probably reasonable, though you sometimes see old analog organs go for next to nothing on e-Bay, etc. Of course, when you buy one on e-Bay you get no delivery, no help setting up, no warranty, etc. So, what your dealer is asking is probably about right, provided he is going to deliver it and give you some kind of service and support.</P>

    I have played several 330's in churches and always enjoyed the sound and the playability. A classic model, could probably last you for many many years of practice.</P>

    *** 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!


    • #3
      Re: Rodgers 330


      I agree with what John has written.</p>

      These Rodgers were good organs in the 70s, but don't compare too well with modern digitals.</p>

      You will find that the Great and the Choir keyboards are roughly the same. Just the resources played at different pitches.</p>

      The other thing about these Rodgers organs is that they can be made to sound much, much better than what the factory put out. There were a number of individuals and dealers who swapped a lot of parts in the filters and crossovers to get a very different sound. Bob Walker of Walker Tech. made a living in the 70s and 80s adding extra oscillator sets and wind sag circuits to increase realism. They were very well made however, and parts are generally fairly easy to get.

      If 3 manuals and drawstops are main criteria, and that at little cost - I suppose beggars can't be choosers. There are organs out there that are much better at doing the music you wish perform. </p>

      Arie V


      • #4
        Re: Rodgers 330

        Thank you John and Arie. </P>

        After considering the unified analog sound and other points you brought up, I decided I have to go with a digital. </P>

        Thank again for your help.</P>