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Rodgers Classic 835 Crescendo pedal seems stiff, is that normal?

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  • Rodgers Classic 835 Crescendo pedal seems stiff, is that normal?

    I recently have been given the opportunity to practice once a week on a Rodgers 835 Classic.
    When I tried out the Crescendo pedal it seemed very stiff (rotates smoothly, but takes a lot of pressure) and awkward for me to adjust. I've never played an organ before that had a Crescendo pedal, so maybe I just need to "adapt", or does the pedal mechanism need to be adjusted? I'm used to the kind of pedal pressure you would expect on a home organ (ie. Yamaha FX-20) volume pedal, so even the Swell pedal seems a little stiffer, but significantly easier than the Crescendo pedal.
    - Marvin

    (Present) Yamaha Electone FX-20 with MDR-1. (Practicing) Rodgers Cambridge Classic 800's Series. (Past) Yamaha FX-10, Hammond Regent, Conn Deluxe Theatre 652, Thomas Trianon

  • #2
    A stiff crescendo pedal is more "pipe organ like" partly because the stiffness simulates actually moving the shades mechanically with your foot. I wish that I could adjust the crescendo pedal on our church's pipe organ to be a bit more stiff, but I seem to be adjusted to maximum stiffness already even though I tried my best.

    My personal thoughts about crescendo pedals are that they are somewhat superseded by all of the pistons we have with our modern electronic combination actions - not to mention more than one sforzando/tutti also. I never use the crescendo pedal at home nor at church. We do have one organist who plays about one Mass per week who is a real crescendo pedal person. He uses it very skillfully and I programmed a special crescendo (our organ allows for 4) just for him. I think that he is the only one that I have ever seen use it.


    • #3
      Any church organ will likely have a stiffer action on the swell and crescendo pedals than a home organ. However, the tension is almost always adjustable. Typically there is a spring that applies pressure to some felt washers--usually it's on a threaded rod that is perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the pedal. Loosening the end nut on that rod will reduce the pressure and make the pedal easier to move. Open the back of the console, and remove any shroud around the pedals (if any), and it should become obvious what to do.