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Troubleshooting a Rodgers Organ with a tumbling sound.

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  • Troubleshooting a Rodgers Organ with a tumbling sound.

    Ever since one morning, a Rodgers sound system with a Rodgers Organ with the model number Scarborough 110-II started generating a tumbling sound or noise. Would anyone here know where the sound is being generated from? After swapping some 5-pin plugs with different speaker connections, it sounds like it's coming from the organ as the diapaisons cable generates the loudest noise. You can listen to this noise here: http://www.sylvanfinger.info/mtocorn...602-133146.mp3

    Is there hope for saving or repairing this organ?

  • #2
    Well, that's a "tumbling" noise for sure! Never heard that particular sound from an organ, and I've heard a LOT of things in 45 years of servicing.

    I dunno. I hate to sound pessimistic, but that organ is OLD and could have any number of failing components. They used good stuff, and most of the parts are rather simple discrete transistors and diodes and capacitors and such, but there are bushel baskets full of parts in there, and it's hard these days to find a tech who is patient enough to track down the trouble in something that old with so many parts.

    Add to that the fact that much newer and better and more complete organs are going for little or nothing these days, and it makes it hard to justify putting potentially hundreds of dollars, perhaps thousands of dollars, into a repair that might be moot after a few months when another obscure part fails and you're back to having a useless boat anchor.

    You could check around or even look on ebay or craigslist or Facebook marketplace and see what is available near you in the way of an Allen organ from the 70's or 80's, which often get listed for a few hundred dollars or even free. BUT.... then you don't really know if you're getting a working organ or not, whether some service is needed, whether it will need to be properly installed and voiced by a qualified tech. You could easily be out a few thousand dollars doing that too.

    Bottom line -- you're sort of in a bind, owning an organ like that. I have customers who are keeping old organs because they simply cannot fathom spending $10K or more at the very least for a new one (even a cheap home "studio" style organ). So we patch the old one up now and then. But the sad ones are those who live 2 or 3 hours away and I have to charge them a thousand dollars every time we come, and their old organ actually isn't worth that much.

    To be honest, I think more and more people are going to have to bite the bullet and either get a new organ or else plunk down the big bucks to have a qualified tech do the job right. Only you can decide how much you want to spend and which way you want to go.
    *** 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!