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Curious about Rodgers 595 digital organ

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  • Curious about Rodgers 595 digital organ

    I know that I am mainly an Allen fan,and Allen is my first choice in another organ(ADC-1140,or MDS-6),but just to open up my options a little should I not be able to find the Allen I want,I am curious about the Rodgers 595 digital organ. When was the organ built,is it still supported by Rodgers,and was it built when Rodgers was under Roland ownership? I have been led to believe by Al Murrell of Daffer Organs that Rodgers still has the parts for older organs! Is he telling the truth,or is he lying? These are things I need,..and want,..to know before I even consider an older Rodgers organ should I not find the Allen I want. Also,...before I close here and get ready for church,...was the 595 a good organ?
    Late 1980's Rodgers Essex 640

  • #2
    Cheetah series. Production started in 1993 so yes, under Roland ownership.
    Known issues per service bulletins:
    Serial #ZF70106 and above had JAE pistons which became intermittent.
    Power supply could fail. Upgrade kit was released in 2004.
    Crystal sockets cause intermittent problems.
    Nichicon capacitors on pre-amp could leak.

    Rodgers may have parts for older organs but that doesn't mean they have all the parts for a particular model or series.

    td
    Servicing electronic organs since 1969.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tucsondave View Post
      Cheetah series. Production started in 1993 so yes, under Roland ownership.
      Known issues per service bulletins:
      Serial #ZF70106 and above had JAE pistons which became intermittent.
      Power supply could fail. Upgrade kit was released in 2004.
      Crystal sockets cause intermittent problems.
      Nichicon capacitors on pre-amp could leak.

      Rodgers may have parts for older organs but that doesn't mean they have all the parts for a particular model or series.

      td

      I'll take my time and wait for an Allen to come along,then! No huge rush at the moment!
      Late 1980's Rodgers Essex 640

      Comment


      • #4
        I've sold a few cheetah organs out of my shop and didn't have pangs of remorse, not much anyway! While Rodgers might have some of the parts available, the sad fact is that one of the most-needed parts (the keyboard assembly) is NOT available any more. These organs, at least the ones produced over a certain period of time, have the infamous pink glue problem, and there is no easy fix for it. Other known issues, such as the leaking capacitors, can be caught early before they do damage, and no special parts from Rodgers are required for that fix. Rotted speaker cones and other generic problems can also be easily fixed without factory support.

        We have changed out a great many Cheetah keyboards over the years, but nowadays we have to tell owners that they are not available any more. All the sources I have used have now dried up. We can offer to try certain fixes, such as dismantling the key actions and attempting to either scrape away all the glue or to soak it all loose in a lye mixture. Very expensive proposition either way.

        But then SOME of the Cheetah organs are not affected by this problem, and those built in the latter years of the Cheetah era do not have known service issues. So if you get one that has already had its keys replaced, or that has no evidence whatsoever of pink glue oozing out of the bottoms of keys, and that has had its pre-amp filter caps replaced, and perhaps new speaker cones, you might have an organ that will give you years or decades of trouble-free service.

        As with any purchase of a used item, you are taking some risk. Roland built most of the stuff inside, and they have washed their hands of the organ business now. So it could become a boat anchor at some point. Or not.

        I wouldn't pay much for one of these, but if the price is right, they do sound quite good and have a nice set of features. The 595 is especially well-equipped.
        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


        • #5
          Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
          I've sold a few cheetah organs out of my shop and didn't have pangs of remorse, not much anyway! While Rodgers might have some of the parts available, the sad fact is that one of the most-needed parts (the keyboard assembly) is NOT available any more. These organs, at least the ones produced over a certain period of time, have the infamous pink glue problem, and there is no easy fix for it. Other known issues, such as the leaking capacitors, can be caught early before they do damage, and no special parts from Rodgers are required for that fix. Rotted speaker cones and other generic problems can also be easily fixed without factory support.

          We have changed out a great many Cheetah keyboards over the years, but nowadays we have to tell owners that they are not available any more. All the sources I have used have now dried up. We can offer to try certain fixes, such as dismantling the key actions and attempting to either scrape away all the glue or to soak it all loose in a lye mixture. Very expensive proposition either way.

          But then SOME of the Cheetah organs are not affected by this problem, and those built in the latter years of the Cheetah era do not have known service issues. So if you get one that has already had its keys replaced, or that has no evidence whatsoever of pink glue oozing out of the bottoms of keys, and that has had its pre-amp filter caps replaced, and perhaps new speaker cones, you might have an organ that will give you years or decades of trouble-free service.

          As with any purchase of a used item, you are taking some risk. Roland built most of the stuff inside, and they have washed their hands of the organ business now. So it could become a boat anchor at some point. Or not.

          I wouldn't pay much for one of these, but if the price is right, they do sound quite good and have a nice set of features. The 595 is especially well-equipped.
          As I said in earlier post,...I'll stick with Allen,then! Though my heart is set on an ADC-1140,or smaller MDS-6,...is the MDC Classic 20 worth considering? Seen one for sale on Facebook for $600.00!
          Late 1980's Rodgers Essex 640

          Comment


          • #6
            The MDC instrument is way over priced. No real market for them. Princess pedal board and lack luster sound. My choice would be the MDS-6. Very impressive sound.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Horseshoe_or View Post
              The MDC instrument is way over priced. No real market for them. Princess pedal board and lack luster sound. My choice would be the MDS-6. Very impressive sound.
              What is your opinion of an ADC-1140? That's another choice I have on my list along with MDS-6!
              Late 1980's Rodgers Essex 640

              Comment


              • #8
                $600 might seem high, considering the low esteem of MDC models, but it might be fair enough, if the organ is in good condition, looks nice, plays well, doesn't need work. That's something that only you can determine.

                As often noted here, the MDC models are less desirable, even though the consoles are standard Allen consoles, same as used in MOS and ADC organs, the keyboards and pedals are the same superb quality, and other details reflect genuine Allen build quality. Still they get poor reviews from folks who are accustomed to certain standards adhered to by most organs built these days.

                But they aren't really awful, in fact sound quite decent. They do have genuine digital sound, so in some ways they are more authentic than analogs. But keep in mind that the variety of tone is limited. There is just one flute tone used at several pitches and volume levels, one diapason tone likewise borrowed around, and one reed tone. So they are somewhat like a unit organ, with three basic ranks used at 16, 8, and 4 foot, and also 2' on the flutes I believe.

                If you only need a sturdy practice organ and only need basic registrations, the sound may not disappoint you. But there are certain features found on nearly any digital organ today that are missing from the MDC models, presumably to keep them inexpensive and simple. Some of the things you will not get on most MDC models:

                Couplers -- the swell stops are just softer versions of the great stops anyway, so it wouldn't do any good to couple them if you could.
                Mixtures -- none at all anywhere on the stoplist
                Mutation stops (though I think the later models 42 and 52 do have a 2-2/3' nazard)
                Settable pistons -- there are 5 blind presets with factory combinations that cannot be changed

                You will also find serious shortcomings in the following areas:

                The "carrillon" stop -- a peculiar chime-like tone that apparently takes up five of the available 12 keying slots with each note played. This means that you cannot play chime notes in quick succession (have to wait for the first one to decay) and you will probably have notes dropping out in a bizarre fashion if you play the other manual or the pedals while using the Carillon on the great. In other words, the Carillon is not good for much of anything except slowly chiming the hour without accompaniment.

                The "celeste effect" on the swell -- In order to create a celeste, the system in effect double-keys each note you play on the swell when this tab is turned on, once at regular pitch, and again at sharp pitch. Since there are only 12 keying slots, and each note depressed with celeste takes up two of them, you have an absolute limit of six swell keys down at a time with celeste on. If you try to play the pedals with the celeste, or try to play a solo line on the great with celeste accompaniment, you will hear frequent dropped notes. It's better than not having any celeste at all, but you have to be careful how you use it.

                ALL THAT BEING SAID.... If you don't need anything beyond basic 16/8/4/2 tones, don't need chimes, don't use celestes much or don't mind the limitations of this crippled celeste, and don't need a good piston system, an MDC model is probably good enough for you, at least as a starter or interim organ. You could do worse, and you do at least get a very nice console with excellent hardware inside and out.

                Remember than the MDC 20 and 22 have the princess pedals. We all know the drawbacks to that down-sized pedalboard, and that some people don't mind at all. So, if you don't have qualms about princess pedals, that won't be a drawback for you.
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tucsondave View Post
                  Cheetah series. Production started in 1993 so yes, under Roland ownership.
                  I have a 690 (also Cheetah series as per JBird). Am I looking at these issues as well? (see www.organforum.com/forums/showthread.php?56231-Newly-acquired-Rodgers-690 for other issues with mine).

                  Known issues per service bulletins:
                  Serial #ZF70106 and above had JAE pistons which became intermittent.
                  My serial is ZF20145 so my pistons should be good.

                  Power supply could fail. Upgrade kit was released in 2004.
                  It actually turned off and then back on by itself once soon after I got it set up - hasn't done that again since

                  Crystal sockets cause intermittent problems.
                  Nichicon capacitors on pre-amp could leak.
                  I don't know what these two items actually refer to.
                  Attached Files
                  -Gary

                  If it's not baroque, don't fix it.
                  YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/thevande...?feature=guide
                  Web Site (with sheet music): http://www.garyvanderploeg.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have played quite a few of these "cheetah" Rodgers on and off for twenty years or so and was always impressed by the sound. To my ear they are voiced more like an actual organ than ANY Allen I've ever heard. Don't get me wrong, I love all the Allen's I own (I think I've had around four or so and am always on the lookout for more) but the voicing is not quite like any real organ I've ever played. I used one of these while completing my second degree program and would go from the large church and university organs during the day to the cheetah in my hometown at night and found I could even fake my way through French stuff pretty well. I did notice a very distinct issue with the gedackt and other flutes in that they had this odd "toy piano" after taste, for lack of a better word. I liked pretty much everything else. The build does not approach Allens, but I was lucky to never experience any mechanical or electronic problems with any of the four I played. There was an Albhorn Ghalanti purchased by another church in my hometown (where I live there are five churches for a population of 400 people) at the same time as the cheetahs (and as far as I can tell is of the same build quality) but it was in a shambles 10 years after purchase. The pedal board and expression pedal died while I was playing my own grandfather's funeral which, to say the least, was rather unpleasant.

                    I also own the lowest level MDC organ, the Allen Classic 20. Despite what others have said, I still am very happy with it, princess pedals and all. I've never had enough time to look, but I imagine it has some sort of spring reverb which, even in my dead space, gives the notes enough "spin" to really sound convincing. No mixtures or mutations which is a bummer, but I just substitute a nice reed for the German stuff instead and use 8'4'2' and it's a convincing enough sound, even for a smallish church. I've never had any issues with the celeste or polyphony. I did notice while making playing examples videos that the organ sounds significantly better while you are sitting on the bench, directly in front of the speakers, I mean it really sounds good (in my opinion better than my Sys 600D or first MOS 120 did). That's just my opinion.

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