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Rejuvenation for a Rodgers Trio 321A

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  • Rejuvenation for a Rodgers Trio 321A

    This is only post #2 for me, but I've been reading the forum for some time. We recently relocated to the Northwest and I've found myself without a keyboard instrument of any kind. We'd given away our Yamaha Electone spinet, a partially restored 1914 Krakauer upright, and had loaned the Baldwin piano to a church for a couple of years rather than transport it back and forth across the country one more time.

    I've got a background in electronics and computers and found myself "bit by the bug" to pick up a theater organ and take it the MIDI - Hauptwerk route. We've been watching Craig's List and eBay and had found a Conn 651 about six hours away that was available. While waiting to coordinate a time to pick up the Conn, along comes an ad in Craig's List for a Rodgers 321A with the monster ML202 speaker -- this one for a token $250. So now I've got the organ -- maybe two before this is over.A photois on

    So, I thought I'd lay out my thoughts on this conversion project in hopes of getting some good advice and maybe bypassing some of the mistakes that others might be kind enough to share! I'm still awaiting the service manual for the organ so haven't tried to troubleshoot anything. It is in excellent condition with only three problems that I'm aware of. The lowest E on the great manual doesn't play all stops. The 8' diapason on the accompaniment manual doesn't work, and (gasp) the glockenspeil is dead in the water -- yeah, it has the real glock under the top of the console lid. But does any of this matter? Part of me wants to make this organ play perfectly, and to add MIDI without gutting all the existing electronics. But realistically, it's easier to do MIDI only. Will I really want to hear a 70's transistor organ once I've enjoyed something closer to the state of the art? Even without schematics it's obvious that the keying is off a +12V bus with one set of contacts and one wire per note, so at least it's not the audio switching that the Conn of that era used. At the moment the plan is to plop an E-MU 1212 in the computer along with more memory, go to MidiBoutique for the hwce-max bundle #3 for the keyboard, pedal, and switch encoding, and run Hauptwerk and one of the theater organ sample sets (which one on a budget?).

    There's still time to bring me to my senses and steer me towards your favorite hardware or software! Now if only my playing went beyond "intermediate".

  • #2
    Re: Rejuvenation for a Rodgers Trio 321A

    Welcome to the Northwest! There is a nice theatre organ club here, the Columbia River Organ Club which has monthly meetings at members houses. There are a few pipe organs, most are electronic. Matt Neil is an accomplished electronic organ expert who has a Rogers Trio of his own. He also services quite a few electronic organs in the area.

    Consider joining the organ club, it is a good way to meet people who can help with your electronic organ decisions.Try contacting

    Terry Robson


    3422 SE 8th Ave

    Portland, OR 97202-2709

    (503) 233-7274

    [email protected]

    If you are interested we could get together and play my organ.



    • #3
      Re: Rejuvenation for a Rodgers Trio 321A

      Thanks a bunch for the invitation, both to the club and to get a look at your owngenuine, non-virtual,Wurlitzer. I'll be following up on both invites. This is the right time for me to get a fresh listen to the real thing so I don't loose track of the sound and experience that I am trying to approach with this current project. I'm always amazed by the handful of folks that won't settle for less than real pipes in their home!

      Enjoyed seeing your web site!