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OK, What is It ?

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  • OK, What is It ?

    Hi all,

    So, I'm getting known around here as a guy who will haul away unwanted organs. Here is one that I been asked to make go away. The guy knows NOTHING about it, and these are the only photos I got from him. I won't bother to go into my normal rant about taking decent photos of the Important things, as you all have heard that enough.

    I figure its old of course, but any ideas what brand , model, etc ? It looks to have an AGO pedalboard, so it might be something ?

    Thanks in advance.
    Attached Files
    Regards, Larry

    At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

  • #2
    Pretty sure this is a Lowrey C-32 built by Rodgers. Unit flute, unit principal, maybe some pulse keyer reeds & strings on swell. Probably no celeste.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you toodles ! I thought it might be "something" . I'm probably going to look at it sometime in the next two days. Would it be good for a practice organ for someone ? Probably 450 - 500 pounds range ?
      Regards, Larry

      At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's vintage 1960's Rodgers, and it probably has 2 sets of oscillators. Ensemble should be good and the principal and flute voices are very nice. The reeds & strings are less impressive. If in good working order, it's fine for practice.

        It appears to have internal speakers, since the end panels have grill cloth. Definitely AGO pedals.

        Comment


        • #5
          OK, I put off going to look at this organ till after Holy week / Easter. I finally got a bit more information about it as well. It is a Lowrey CH-32-1. So after searching the forum here ( lots of good info here, even on obscure organs ! ), I'm concluding that this is not a Rodgers Lowrey, but an actual Lowrey Lowrey. The best I can figure out is that it is a 1968 model, so it's 50 years old now.

          I also found a copy of the brochure online, and it seems to be a fairly nice specification - for a Lowrey. All transistor divider tone generation, built in Leslie, and an interesting stop list. No mixture of course, but it does have flutes to 1', and mutations.

          Right now the guy does not know where the console key is. Any suggestions as to what type and possibly what # lock they may have used ? Or how to open it quickly without wrecking the lock ?

          He said the last time it was played was 2 years ago, and it sounded fine then. The organist who was playing it regularly is now 100 years old, and stopped playing two years ago. I sure hope I can be still playing at that age !

          I have to go near the town it is in tomorrow anyhow, so I am going to stop in and look it over. And quite possibly grab it, if for no other reason that I have never played around with a Lowrey of any type. It is an AGO spec organ after all. Someone may want it for a practice organ in their home. It looks to be nice furniture and well kept, and rescuing interesting vintage instruments just seems like the right thing to do. Till I run out of room that is !
          Attached Files
          Regards, Larry

          At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh, Larry! I need to turn over my collection of "vintage" organs to you. I'm sure they all just need some TLC (and/or a good bonfire!)

            You must be a lot younger and stronger and more patient than I. Like you, I always get a thrill out of tearing into some organ I've never seen before, figuring out how it works, checking out the sounds. It's just that I have done so much of that, I'm running out of room. I hope you don't have to pay good money for a place to store your many organs. I have no choice but to put them in the shop, which is costing several hundred dollars a month to keep open. So, one of these days they will have to hit the dumpster... (and that costs money too!)
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              As to opening the console without a key: the easiest way would be to pick the lock.

              There is, perhaps, a very cumbersome way to remove the console lid, fold it onto the fallboard, and either remove the lock, or lift that assembly slightly on the treble end to slide the assembly out of the lock plate. Another person helping would probably be important for this approach.

              But I'd probably spend the money to have a locksmith come out and pick it, if I couldn't do it myself. These locks were not the most secure devices designed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the input guys.

                John, I'm semi retired now and live near a small town out in the sticks. I have a few acres here, but only one shop building - so far. I may be a few years younger than you, but not many. And stronger - no, not really I'm sure. But I spent a career figuring out how to move very heavy objects ( rolled over trucks and so forth ) without doing much more damage. A surprising amount of that experience translates well into moving awkward, heavy, organs. It's all just applied physics really.

                Toodles, I'm hopeful that they will be able to locate a key yet. But if they do not, I will explore the options you outlined. I'll just leave it in the van and drive over to the local locksmith. That would be entertaining for him I'm sure ! I was just thinking that if I can get it open easily ( if no key ) when I am there, I can check it for massive issues. If I found any I would leave it there.

                I still have churches up here where even this Lowrey would be a massive improvement to their current instrument. Hard to believe I know, but true. There is even one with a 13 pedal spinet in it ! But if I don't find it a home, I'd feel better about parting it out myself than just letting it go to the dump whole.
                Regards, Larry

                At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), US-1, EL-25 ( Chopped ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755. 1919 Wangerin 2/7 pipe organ.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I lived around Seattle for a while, and the Allen dealer played for a church that had a Gulbransen. Ugh!

                  The good thing about a Lowrey of this vintage is that there are no real "trade secrets" or really obscure custom electronic circuits, so if it has anything wrong with it it should be readily fixable.

                  That's one of the things I appreciate about the analog Rodgers organs, too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I know what you mean. 15 years ago I really got my start in the used organ business when a dealer "dumped" a dead Rodgers 740 on me, then a little church with a very sad Lowrey spinet got a memorial gift for an organ upgrade. And the rest, they say, is history.

                    Unfortunately, the costs involved have gone through the roof -- tech time to restore an organ, delivery and setup costs, the cost of storage and shop space, among other things -- and folks may balk at the price we need for a 30 year old organ, even if it's only a tenth of what a new one would cost. They want to go out and find their own free one, then badger me over the phone into telling them how to set it up and voice it, even repair it.

                    So I try to only pick up premium organs any more and re-sell them for what it costs me to handle them plus some profit. It's honest work, but still people sometimes act like I'm overpricing the organs.

                    But then, I'll have a truly wonderful experience like the two I've had already this year. Both churches gladly paid what I asked and both were extremely appreciative of getting a fine instrument at a very low price, compared to retail. If this happened every month I'd keep on buying and selling!
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Jbird, I understand and agree with what you are saying. Although used organs are really at bargain prices these days--and that means a fraction of what they cost originally to say nothing of what a current replacement model would cost--I find a lot of "shoppers" seem to think they a reasonable price is still too high--not that I am a dealer, but a dealer has to make a profit to stay in business!

                      I've got a Rodgers 755 in rough cosmetic condition that needs a little repair (electronics) and I'm trying to decide if I should fix it and sell it for a little--I'd be lucky to get $1,000 for it--or to use it for spare parts or part it out. I'd probably end up scrapping a lot of it, but would probably make more selling what parts I can from it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I hear that too, toodles. Right now we have two Allen single-computer MOS organs, very plain vanilla with blind presets. And we have a Rodgers W-5000 and a Rodgers 780, both of which are dead, as far as I'm concerned. We've put FAR too many hours into those two to ever recover a decent return, and the plain vanilla MOS organs will have to go out as bargain models at fire sale prices.

                        What we have good luck with is ADC Allens and the really big nice MOS organs. These sound marvelous and are easy to fix. And they may have a set of very desirable features, such as full capture actions that make them attractive to even more discerning buyers. Another easy to sell category is the second tier brand-name newer models. A Johannus, Content, or a Viscount or Baldwin/Wurlitzer made by Viscount, as long we stay away from the rock-bottom models that can be shabby. The right buyers seem delighted to pay 15% to 25% of what an entry level model would cost in a store. We just can't find enough of those to meet the demand.

                        I also have a fair number of old IC-based Hammonds and such that we will never be able to sell because we can't get them to stay fixed. There is a Concorde that looks quite nice, but every time I turn it on it has something else not working, even though we've done a pretty thorough cleanup and fixup on it. It costs money just to sit there and will probably hit the dumpster next time we get one.

                        So I'm just not a fan of sketchy models, as much as I love to explore them for fun! I'm glad to know that Larry is enjoying this, and he is no doubt providing a valuable service to his community. I wish him all the best and would certainly donate some organs to the cause if he weren't so far away!
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
                          I hear that too, toodles. Right now we have two Allen single-computer MOS organs, very plain vanilla with blind presets. And we have a Rodgers W-5000 and a Rodgers 780, both of which are dead, as far as I'm concerned. We've put FAR too many hours into those two to ever recover a decent return, and the plain vanilla MOS organs will have to go out as bargain models at fire sale prices.
                          Jbird, I have wondered about trying an experiment with an Allen MOS organ. Since the single computer MOS organs have only two output channels, I've often wondered if they could be made to sound warmer by putting a digital effects device into the audio chain that would shift the pitch of one channel by a small amount and also have a delay of a few milliseconds. One of the shortcomings of the MOS computers was that all the stops even in the different channels were locked in phase and pitch with each other. But if a digital effects box that can produce more than one effect at once could delay one channel and shift the pitch slightly, it might fatten the sound up a bit. Of course putting both channels through reverb would maybe make it sound even better. Since you are a tech, you might know how to do this.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Radagast, while what you are saying is certainly feasible (and, I suspect this is what Harrison Labs "Traveling Wave Generator" does), the non-line-level signal of the MOS organs makes experimenting a little difficult and costly. A decent digital reverb probably warms the sound as much as this approach would.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have put a digital reverb into a single computer MOS, and it does help somewhat. I've wondered if using the detuning program on a processor would also juice up the sound, especially if you gave the detuned channels their own audio. Wouldn't be as flexible as Allen MOS celeste tuning function, but could make it interesting.
                              Last edited by jbird604; 04-04-2018, 10:46 AM.
                              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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