Forum Top Banner Ad

Collapse

Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Comparisons...

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Comparisons...



    Ok, sorry to keep harping on you guys with my inane questions one after another.. I'll be back teaching in a few weeks and I am sure you will not miss my constant typing..</p>

    So I am wondering, how does a later model Rodgers analog compare to the same model Allen digital. How does each generation of Allen digital sound in relation to each other? How do the first generation of Rodgers digitals sound in comparison to the contemporary Allens?</p>

    </p>

    </p>

    buzzy.. p.s. sound and video would help greatly!</p>

    </p>

    </p>

  • #2
    Re: Comparisons...

    The Rodger analogs have a warmer sound....some people like that...others sacrifice that for the wider stop variety of the Allen digitals...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Comparisons...



      Buzzy,</p>

      Sound and video, especially of the YouTube quality variety will not be helpful. Best is if you go around checking out organs of the vintage you want to know about.</p>

      From the mid 80s to about 1991 you have the last models from Rodgers. For the most part the best sounding organs they made. Also, more serviceable from the factory than the early 80s stuff from Rodgers. The last analog organs from Rodgers, had better filtering, chiff effects, wind noise etc. than earlier ones. Just one caveat. The small organs, although sounding quite nice, did not have much in them, the available ranks were borrowed all over the place. The larger ones had several sets of oscillators, more keyer ranks, audio channels, etc. They could sound quite good.</p>

      In about 1987, Allen came out with their second iteration of the ADC organs. They sounded noticeably better than earlier organs. The Allen MDS organs again are a slight improvement on these organs. With Renaissance organs, Allen improved them again, using software instead of hardware to do DSP manipulations. This allowed for much better tonal finishing, if it was done at all.
      </p>

      It would be interesting to pit contemporary Allens and Rodgers from the mid to late 80s. My guess is that some of the Allen sounds would be more accurate, but the Rodgers would have a nicer (warmer) ensemble. If I had to choose, I would probably go with the 2nd version of the ADC organs, most likely because of the solid build quality.</p>

      When Rodgers went digital in 1991, they came out with various levels of instruments. The low end was not even called organs, but classical keyboards. The build quality and sound quality (there was no voicing capabilities on these) left a lot to be desired. The PDI organs were better, having more samples in stereo, etc. but had a number of issues relating to processing speed, etc.</p>

      At best the early Rodgers PDI organs were about even with the Allen MDS organs. </p>

      One thing about Rodgers, they had much better MIDI than Allen, and their MIDI was based on GS/GM MIDI.</p>

      </p>

      AV</p>

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Comparisons...

        The last of the Rodgers analog organs had far too few oscillators--only one set on even the largest two manual (not counting the 37 note celeste!) and most three manuals I've seen had only two sets (plus celeste).  In my opinion, they were a poor relation to the oscillator organs of the past, such as Allen and Saville.  We have the "large" two manual at my parish, with 32', two celestes, festival trumpet, divided expression, midi, etc.--but no tone.  It sounds dreadful.  I suppose one could find a way to alter the pitch of two channels (the voices are divided among three channels according to some technical info left in the the bench) and it would send less like a one generator Conn.<DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>By then, the only advantage analog had over digital was the chorus effect, but the digitals were improving by increasing the number of pitch sources;  meanwhile Rodgers gave up that advantage when they cut back on the oscillators.</DIV><DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>The air sound is just tacked on, unlike the oscillator Allens.  Play the bottom twelve notes on the celeste voice of a 3 manual Rodgers microprocessor organ and it just hisses!!  The air sound is better integrated on an ancient Saville.  I've played a small microprocessor Rodgers that had the air sound added on (plug-in unit) by someone else and it sounds great!</DIV><DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>The chiff on the old Allens and Rodgers was the flute chiff developed by Allen.  Not good.  But the chiff on our Rodgers has a strange squeaking effect--not good either.  Give me the Allen ADC, please.</DIV><DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>The reed voicing isn't nearly as authentic as the old Rodgers, say a 660.  I'll bet they were no longer using formants on every note.  (Try the reeds on any old Saville or Allen TC 4.  Not bad, is it?)</DIV><DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>Is there any other way they could have cheapened them?</DIV><DIV><BR class="khtml-block-placeholder"></DIV><DIV>Oh yeah, it was mute for over a week while they waited for a part.  The 1957 Allen C3 has NEVER refused to play in the 21 years our school has had it.</DIV>

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Comparisons...



          Mark,</P>


          Funny how different perceptions can be. At my church we just recently replaced an old Rodgers 660 with a newer but still analog 890. (I'm an organ tech, so my church has had 6 organs in the 14+ years I've been with them, all of them I grabbed up when another church was getting a new one.)</P>


          So we went straight from a late 1960's Rodgers to a late 1980's -- one of the very last analog's they built. Personally, I am far more pleased with the newer 890 than I was with the 660, for a variety of reasons.</P>


          (Buzzy, this may or may not interest you, but I'm just letting my fingers fly, just because I have a few minutes to do so.)</P>


          I do see the points you make about oscillator count. But the differences are not as notable as you might think.</P>


          The old 660 had a main rank of 9 full octaves to accomodate pitches from the lowest 32' to the top of the 2' stops. This rank drove the principal chorus,most of thepedal division, the swell flues, and the swell unit trompette (which was available at 16, 8, and 4). The secondary rank was a flute (normally "stopped" tone, but "open" when harp or carillon were drawn) that was playable from the Great and Choir at numerous pitches. The harp and carillon were derived from this flute rank as well.</P>


          The swell unit trompette did in fact have an impressive formant circuitry. Each of the 73 notes of that rank had its own formants including an adjustable coil and a leveling pot. I never played with them much, but apparently one could fully revoice that stop.</P>


          The principal unit rank and the flute unit rank each had note by note leveling pots. But beyond that one could only level each stop as a whole.</P>


          The celeste rank produced both flute and string tone and was playable only from the swell.</P>


          One of the greatest problems with the 660 was the weak and almost useless choir. It had not one single stop that wasn't borrowed from the great, although the unit flute was playable at more pitches. Not one reed, no celeste, no mixture.The carillon and harp were on the choir manual, but they werejust flute combinations with sustain. Oh, and you could have chiff on your choir flutes, but not on the great or anywhere else.</P>


          Now don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the 660, and it wasn't a bad scheme considering the limited resources. But the 890 is just incredibly richer and more colorful. And has about the same oscillator count -- a 9 octave main rank plus a 49 note "ensemble" rank and a 49 note celeste rank.</P>


          Where the 890 goes far beyond the 660 is in keyer count. I'd hazard to guess that it has at least6 or 8 times as many keyers.The 660 had a single principal rank that served all the way from the 32' pedal to the top of the great mixture. (And that was the only mixture on the organ, by the way). But the 890 has fully independent principals on all divisions. They are truly unique tonally and can be separately adjusted in a variety of ways. The mixtures in each division are uniquely composed, and each one even has a alternate composition that can be selected with a piston.</P>


          Same with flutes. Each division has its own unique flute tone. The choir/positv flutes are (as I've voiced them) richly chiffy, while the swell flutes are rather pure open flute with no chiff or air. Each division has a string that is different from the rest, and celestes appear on all three manuals, each with distinct tone colors.</P>


          And the reeds are so much better than those on the 660. There is a swell unit trompette, as on the 660, and this one does have note by note leveling, though there are no adjustable formant coils. However, and I don't know how they did it, this is the most brilliant and incisive reed you'll ever hear on an analog organ. I like it better than most of the digital reeds I hear.</P>


          There is a second unit reed that goes down to 32' in the pedal (also at 16, 8, and 4). It is playable on the great at 16 and on the choir at 8. This one is a "tuba" tone, not as brilliant as the trompette, but simply gorgeous as a solo stop. There are softer colorful solo reeds on each manual as well.</P>


          The voiceability of the 890 far exceeds the 660. Every singlestop, even those drawn from unit ranks, is adjustable for level. Many ranks have note by note adjustments, and several voices have adjustable formant pots. There are bass and treble controls for every audio channel.</P>


          One of my favorite features is the "tuned air" and "air puff" that can be regulated separately by division and by stop. It is on all flutes and also on the great principals. In many Rodgers installations of the late 80's this air component is way overdone, sounds like a little air gun going off with every note! But if used judiciously, it adds a degree of percussive articulation that gives the organ much more authority, more leading power than it would otherwise have.</P>


          I also love the lighted drawknobs, though I realize some people don't. The lighted pistons and much greater memory capacity also improve upon the older organ.</P>


          So, my impression is quite different. I respect your opinion and see your points. But in our case, it was a big improvement going to the later analog Rodgers.</P>


          John</P>
          <P mce_keep="true"></P>
          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


          • #6
            Re: Comparisons...



            John,</p>

            You have written a very good overview of the Rodgers 660. It may have been an interesting instrument for 1970, but certainly by the mid 80s Rodgers was producing more interesting sounding organs, both in terms of individual tone as well as ensemble. </p>

            I'm not familiar with the 890, but probably would agree with everything you said there.</p>

            One thing that bothered me a lot with some of these Rodgers organs as well as Conn, was the fact that the third keyboard was generally just borrowed from elsewhere. This was just pure marketing. For the same price as adding a keyboard, they should have added extra musical resources. I guess there are always suckers who will want that third keyboard even in an inferior instrument.</p>

            Arie V.</p>

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Comparisons...



              That was true onmost Allen three manual oscillator organs, too. It would take at leastseven generators, plus celeste to have an independent choir division on those. However, they also built a fair number of two manual "Custom" models with three generators on the great and three (plus celeste) on the swell. One has been lurking on ebay intermittently.</P>


              Sharing of voices between the choir and great isn't rare on pipe organs, either...not to mention the oldsix rank three manual Wicks practice organs.</P>

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Comparisons...



                All this borrowing and unificationis of course generally undesirable. If I draw the great flute chorus and the choir flute chorus then couple them, I'd expect to have some additive effect, but alas that wouldn't happen with many of the analog organs of almost any make. Or withmany aunit pipe organ.Unification is just too easy, and allows stop tabs to sprout all over the place without any unique resources to back them up. It's good for marketing, more knobs and doodads for the money, and can even be used with great care to provide a little more flexibility in a budget organ. But it is deceptive to the unwary buyer or organist.</P>


                When the Allen Digital Computer Organ appeared in 1971 there was the promise of "no borrowing or unification of any stops." And indeed, each stop was a unique tone color, and all stops could be added together or coupled with the expected results -- sort of. Obviously there wasn't a separate audio channel for each stop, so you weren't really adding resources, just piling on the harmonics, and we all know the outcome. (Sort of like when you were a kid and you blended more and more of your water color paints hoping to get some cool new color, and finding that the more colors you mix together the closer you get to brown. And that's been noted in another context.)</P>


                Even now, in the mature stage of the digital organ, we have considerable borrowing. It's disheartening to start trying toregulate the levels of stops on a fine newtop of the line premium brand digital, only to discover that this pedal stop and that manual stop are actually the same stop, and you can't change one without changing the other. </P>


                But I am quite content for the moment with the Rodgers 890. Very little sharing of stops among the divisions, so the coupling is usually very effective. The intra-divisional unification of choruses is another matter altogether and can be frustrating at times.</P>


                So, maybe I'll be on the lookout for the next new/used organ I can pick up. . . . (I'll let you guys know when that happens, of course.)</P>


                John</P>
                <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                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
                  Re: Comparisons...



                  John,</p>

                  You are already showing signs of a happy dis-satisfaction with the Rodgers. Problem is you may have to wait 10 years in order to get a better organ for free.</p>

                  Oh well, just "try" to enjoy the Rodgers for now.</p>

                  Arie V
                  </p>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Comparisons...



                    Arie,</P>


                    Perhaps I sounded more dis-satisfied than I really am. Yes, I'd jump at the chance to get a digital that was a genuine upgrade from this 890, but as you say, it may be 10 years before such an organ comes along for free. But I am still having a great time with this organ and the congregation loves it. Many of them probably think we have a pipe organ (no real organ afficianados in my church ;-)</P>


                    The 890 and its siblings in the last crop of Rodgers analogs were a mature product and the design is quite well thought out. If I were to expand the audio and use all the available channel separation, it would come close to my ideal of having a separate audio channel for each rank, as each of the primary unit ranks would have an audio channel all to itself, shared only with lighter stops that wouldn't normally be drawn at the same time.</P>


                    Currently the audio setup is a quite unconventional arrangement of my own design. Contrary to all conventional wisdom, and even to what I preach myself, I use the plain vanilla mixed-to-mono output that was intended to feed a digital reverb unit, and do not at the present time even use the separate divisional outputs. My choice of audio configuration was based on the fact that there was no place to satisfactorily arrange the speaker cabinets so that I could hear the organ properly from the console and still give the choir and congregation proper sound too. So I created a scheme from scratch.</P>


                    This mono output runs into a stereo 30-band EQ, and the EQ is configured so that narrow alternate frequency bands are assigned to left and rightstereo channels. This breaks the mono signal up into a pseudo-stereo effect. From the EQ, the stereo signal goes into an Alesis MidiVerb4. This unit provides a stereo spatial effect but passes along the un-reverberated signal too, maintaining the frequency band separations.</P>


                    This processed signal then enters a pair of Crate model 1400 amps, each of which has an active crossover than sends frequencies below 100 Hz into their own 650 watt amplifier. These amps deliver their output to an array of 8 - 18" woofers, 18 - 8" midranges, and 8 horn tweeters. The drivers are splayed about so that the sound bounces off the ceiling and walls and is diffused enough thatyou cannot pinpoint any of the speakers unless you know where they are. Even though all the stops share all four channels, the system is so hugely powerful that it never strains, no matter how many stops I draw. It's just loafing along even on tutti.</P>


                    Anyway, I've spent too much time talking about this organ, which I do love very much.</P>


                    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.</P>


                    John</P>
                    <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                    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
                      Re: Comparisons...



                      John,</p>

                      Your audio scheme is truly wierd. I don't doubt you got the power, I'm just not sure about the glory part. Multiple mono to me is not at all like multiple discrete channels. The more signal you jamb into a channel, the more flat sounding your ensemble is going to be. </p>

                      I would consider your method here to be a glorified PA setup.</p>

                      Arie V</p>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Comparisons...



                        Arie,</P>


                        Yeah, I thought if you read that last post you'd think it was strange. And it is, even by my own philosophy. There's no doubt that an electronic organfunctions more like a real organ when the stops are divided into multiple channels, for all kinds of reasons. As I've said before, an ideal electronic would have a separate audio system for every stop.</P>


                        However, I have heard some truly good-sounding organs that had minimal discrete channels. Iknow of an old Allen MOS-1 single-computer organ, with of course only 2 audio channels, that is in a nice reverberant church with a high ceiling, lots of hard surfaces, no cushy stuff, that sounds amazing. Once I walked into the church when the organist was practicing and just sat down enthralled at the sounds I heard. Couldn't believe how good it sounded, even though I knew what it was.</P>


                        Ina nearby churcha late-modelAllenwith 4channels was installed in an"impossible"situation --the organ console was right up against one of the chamber grilles. There was one speaker behind that grille, and that was all the room there was. The other three speakers were at varying distances from the console, two of them actually facing out toward the nave and not directed toward the organ at all. The poor organist couldn't hear anything except the one speaker in her ear, and had no idea what the organ sounded like out in the church. The piano sat on the opposite side of the chancel, also up against one organ speaker, so the pianist could only hear that one channel -- which happened to carry mostly mixtures and reeds --and nothing else. They were bloody mad and wanted something done about it!</P>


                        The architecture of the chancel was unforgiving, the console couldn't be placed anywhere else.There was no room to add any extra speakers, and the church was unwilling to relocate the speakers. The real truth is that the dealer should have refused to put an organ in there under those conditions, but you know how that goes. ($$$$)</P>


                        As a last resort, I fired up the DOVE software and blended all four channels into one. You'd think that would be a dreadful thing to do, but it completely solved this church's problem -- at least from the organist's point of view. She could hear the whole organ, the pianist could hear the whole organ. For the first time the choir could hear the whole organ. The congregation probably didn't know or care that anything had changed, although they were now hearing the whole organ coming from four directions, instead of the channels separated out. But everyone was happy.</P>


                        That's an extreme example, but I know of many churches where the architecture simply won't allow an organ to be set up ideally, as far as discrete channels, without compromising the organist's ability to hear what he or she is playing. We've all seen and heard organs (even pipe organs)where you can't hear one or another division from the console. How can anyone make music in a situation like that?</P>


                        When my church was built, we had an oldorgan that didn't deserve any multiple channels! I set up an organ audio system with tons of power and speaker overkill, but made no provision for more than two channels, though each side is bi-amped, giving 4 channels. The speakers are mounted in the walls above, behind, and beside the choir loft, with the organ console at one side of the loft. (Baptist church, so all this is up front, with the baptistry in the middle.) The speakers are angled in various ways so that the sound is not beamed out, but goes out in various directions and isreflected off many room boundaries. So it's not like any PA system in that respect.</P>


                        Yes, you'd think it would be odd to use a mono blend for the main organ, and someday I hope to re-do it and separate out the channels -- if we keep this organ long enough ;-) . . . The trick using the multi-band equalizer does spread the sound out rather well. I was surpised at how much difference it made. And then having it all go through the Alesis just puts the icing on the cake.</P>


                        The advantages to doing it this way are several -- not the least of which is that everyone hears the whole organ in proper balance, no matter where they sit or stand in the sanctuary. When I'm using a very small registration, just a celeste and a solo stop, for example, it's awesome how clear and airy andsweet the sound is, with those few stops having the benefit of over 30 speakers, each one speaking, of course, very very softly.</P>


                        Then, when I put on tutti, even though the effect is not like a pipe organ with the aggregation of sound sources, the system is so powerful and has so many speakers that it delivers room-shaking power without a hint of strain or distortion, just as clear as my soft registration.</P>


                        So for now I'm quite happy with this setup. Someday I may do it differently.</P>


                        But the real test is how it performs in church. And I assure you that it is quite amazing. When we're singing a big hymn it sounds like we're in a grand cathedral.I sometimes get my wife to play while I sit out in the church and listen, just to be sure I'm not fooling myself. It really works well, in spite of this odd setup.</P>


                        I'm going to make a recording in the church one day soon, and post it here.</P>


                        John</P>
                        <P mce_keep="true"></P>
                        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

                        Working...
                        X