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New Rodgers 968 Unique installation

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  • New Rodgers 968 Unique installation

    I first posted this on the Hector Olivera thread, as it was in response to some discussion about the voicing of digital organs. On second thought I decided to start a new thread, as it is an entirely different topic. On the Hector thread, I was about to comment on the mention ofless than ideal voicing of some installations, and the apparent lack of care by the installers. So, herewith a positive note:</P>

    In defense of digital organ voicers/finishers, I'd like to report that I just got home from a 3-day stint assisting with the installation of a new Rodgers 968 (biggest 3-manual stock model). It went into a medium-size Lutheran church with about average acoustics -- high wooden ceiling, smooth walls,lots of glass, but a littletoo much carpet and pew cushions. The organ is located in a balconyloft above the rear center of the church. Antiphonal speakers are high up above the altar area.</P>

    The team from our area's dealership -- Saied Music of Tulsa OK --will have spent most of the week on this job before they get to go home. My part of the job -- pulling cables, making up connectors, etc. -- was done today, but I hung around long enough to hear the preliminary voicing work.</P>

    David Pettit, who may be known to some of you,is the voicer for this firm, and a highly-qualified one indeed. He has a long history with Rodgers and was in fact on the factory staff for a number of years. He was on the job from the start and began by supervising the placement of all the speakers. That should be a concern of every organ voicer/finisher, as speaker placement will make all the difference in the world, possibly influencing the outcome more than anything else he will do.</P>

    In this case, we installed the organ "open air" style, so to speak. There were no chambers, except somesmall ones that had served the old and much smallerorgan. The old chambers were utilized only for the new subs. The rest of the speakers were finished wood and were mounted in a sort ofcrescent around the organ loft about 10 feet above floor level.</P>

    David had in mind creating not only the stereo image of each division, but a "depth" similar to a pipe installation. The pedal cabinets were in the old chambers at the back of the loft, ceiling height. The great cabinets were mounted about 6 feet forward of the wall, the swell pair another 6 feet forward, and the positive 6 more feet forward. There was a nice exposed beam structure in the overhead of the organ loft to mount speakers on, to which all the cabinets were attached.</P>

    By the time I leftDavid had gone over the Great division stop by stop and note by note and had it sounding quite marvelous. One of the first problems he noticed was a boominess in both the great and pedals. He solved that by carefully adjusting the crossover point between the subs and main speakers, and setting the levels correctly. To my ear, he was very successful, and all the boom was gone.Leaving such an obvious anomaly in the sound is a dead giveway that an organ is electronic, but this one will not tell on itself in that way, for sure.</P>

    We could tell already that David's "depth" idea was going to be effective, particulary at the console and in the choir area. I doubt that those down in the pews will notice that much of a difference, but the organ did seem to have more three-dimensionalism when he coupled the divisions than most digitals I have heard. Listening from down the nave it was very good. Did it sound really like a pipe organ? Well, maybe not altogether. But it was a wonderful sound and filled the church nicely.</P>

    Anyway, it was a good plan, and the team did a job good. I tend to think that the absence of a chamber was one of the best things about the job. If we'd had some big empty holes in the wall that we were required to bury the speakers in, it might not have been nearly so interesting.</P>

    I wish all the organ dealers were doing such careful and dedicated work. I'm sure some are, but perhaps others are notas interested in the musical outcome.</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!