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Help me identify this Rodgers church organ

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  • Help me identify this Rodgers church organ

    My church has a currently unused Rodgers church organ. I'd appreciate any assistance you can provide me in identifying it. I've been told that it is approximately 40 years old although I'm not sure how good that information is, though I've found printed material behind it indicating it's been installed (and not cleaned around) at least since the 70's. Beyond the Rodgers name plate I haven't been able to locate any other model information on it.

    I'm going to link to some pictures which will hopefully prove more useful than me trying to describe the instrument. I tried to insert them but it didn't work.

    Open Back

    Additionally the amp has the marking CPS1215B and it has a 32B Output Chassis and a 32B Echo Adaptor.

    Any assistance you can provide will be much appreciated.


  • #2
    That is a model 32 I think, which would be from the latter half of the 60's. There were 32B, 32C, and 32D variations also, and I'm not enough a Rodgers expert to tell you which this one is. But it is one of the classic analog models from the early days of Rodgers. Very nice console, excellent keyboards and pedals, a quality moving-tab action. The sound is vintage analog, not as spectacular or authentic as today's digitals, but pleasing in its day.

    By design it is mostly a "unit" organ which means it has a rank of flutes, a rank of diapasons, and possibly a rank of reeds, these basic tones being distributed around the organ on the different divisions at different pitches. There are also a number of "straight" voices which are not shared, such as the 8' and 4' swell stops and the 16' pedal stops.

    It could be installed with as few as one large speaker cabinet with all the stops mixed, or there could be two, three, or four speakers plus an antiphonal if desired. The more speakers the better it sounded of course. If you look around in the church you may discover some really HUGE speakers, particularly a big woofer box that might have a 30" driver. Or if it's even older, it might have some ancient speakers that were built for a movie theater with massive horns, even on the bass driver.

    An interesting organ for sure, and if in good condition it would make a decent practice organ. But as with all older analogs, it is huge and heavy. The speakers can easily fill a room in your house. And it could be in need of significant maintenance and repair at its age.
    *** 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
      If it is of the 32 Series, the following applies. Might also have been a 34C or other model--Rodgers shared parts among different models. A photo will help identify it. Rodger placed the model/serial number plate underneath the keydesk--you usually have to get down on the floor & look up at the bottom of the keydesk to read it.

      The 32B has a shallow console, and will fit through a 30 inch doorway; usually it has presets rather than a true combination action, though I've seen it with a setterboard combination action. It has divided expression: Swell and Pedal on one shoe, Great and Choir on the other shoe; no Crescendo Pedal. The key cheekblocks are set at an angle from the key desk up to the stop-rail.

      The 32C is a deeper console, and the cheekblocks are a stepped; it usually had a setterboard combination action, and a crescendo pedal. The expression is divided by swell and a combined Great/Choir/Pedal.

      The 32D would have had moving stop drawknobs, but otherwise the same as 32C.


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies (and so quick!). I'll get down under the keydesk and take a look for a serial number. I've been down there just haven't looked up yet! Haven't been up in the towers to look at the speakers yet either. There were separate cables for main, flutes, diapason, and echo so I'm thinking I'll find a few speakers up there. Judging by the size of the access panels I'm going to be surprised if there are any 30"ers or massive theater horns. I'm more of a sound engineer so big old PA speakers (especially if they sound good) is always fun to see.

        toodles - you mentioned pictures. Were you able to see the two images I linked to in my first post? Since it was my first post here there's a really good chance I screwed up the linking and they didn't come through. Let me know and I'll try again if needed.

        Thanks again!


        • #5
          No, the pictures did not attach. To attach photos, you need to "Go Advanced" and then click on "Manage Attachments" which will bring up a pop-up window. You have to upload each image individually, and then close the pop-up window.

          There was also a 32A model, with a smaller stoplist.

          The 34A had two rows of stops, the others had only one row.


          • #6
            toodles, if you click on the two links he provided in the original post they will take to you the Dropbox pics. Works for me anyway. It might not work if you don't have a Dropbox account though.
            *** 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!



            • #7
              OK--I didn't realize those were links. Definitely this is a 32B with a setterboard combination action.

              The setterboard is in a drawer directly below the Choir manual--it just slides out. There are 4 pistons per division, and then 4 cumulative general pistons; General 1 is the same as simultaneously pressing Swell 1, Great 1, Choir 1, and Pedal 1 pistons, etc.

              It also looks like there is a volume control for a set of Chimes on the bass cheek block. Maybe underkey contacts to drive these?

              What is your general insterest in this organ? Is the church intending to sell it? Are you a prospective buyer? Or is the church looking to refurbish, maintain, or repair the organ?

              One of the issues this organ had is that the pedal and swell are combined in an output channel--a separate "pedal" cabinet was available, but if this was not installed the pedals can cause intermodulation distortion on the swell voices. A subwoofer could be used to separate out the bass to eliminate this distortion--the pedals have bass down to 32 Hz, so it is fairly easy to find an appropriate subwoofer.
              Last edited by toodles; 03-17-2018, 05:37 PM.