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Thread: Opinions on a Rogers 820

  1. #1

    Opinions on a Rogers 820



    Hi folks-- I'm new the the forum but have enjoyed browsing here on occasion in the past. Looking glean some knowledge and opinion---</P>


    I am the volunteer organist at twovery small Catholic parishes in rurual North Dakota.One of the parishes has a 1964 AllenSpecial with internal spekers- was a"special order" when the new parish building was built.Registration was special ordered to be modeled after the Allen 1957 T-12A Rondo at our other parish (which has been well maintained and is still in good shape.)Unfortunately, itis on its last legs and we have been told it isnot worth repairing. (The parish had some major flooding in the basement below the sanctuary and I think the moisture took its toll. It is really "un-playable" but I have been limping along with it.I've been trying to hunt something down in our budget frame for quite some time. Unfortunately, a new Allen or Rodgers runs as much and more than the parish's operating budget. (Yeah, that small.)</P>


    The very reputible North Dakota Rodgers salesperson called me today with information on a used Rogers 820. I realize it is 1980's technology and also analog, but certainly new and with many more features than we have now. Our parish seats about 150 and averages about 45 on a normal sunday. The organ is the main instrument for all our services. This Rodgers instrument has two external speakers and a subwoofer and quite the impressive list of registration and a considerable amout of technology we currently don't have (nice things I've been without: like a transposer, etc anda 32' Contre Bourdon on the pedal board!-- might break glass in a small church? LOL)</P>


    I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with these instruments and opinions if this is a right size instrument for a congregation of our size? Let me know what you think. I have played a number of electronic and pipe organs over the years, but I have virtually NO prior experience with Rodgers at all, so anxious to hear whatothers think or have experienced.</P>


    Thanks,</P>


    JC Johnson, Organist/Cantor</P>


    St. Michael's Catholic Church, Pingree, ND</P>


    St. Margaret Mary's Church, Buchanan, ND</P>

  2. #2
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on a Rogers 820



    Jonny,</P>


    The 820 is basically the same as our 890 without the third manual. I'd had more experience with Allen before we got this (used) Rodgers about a year ago, but quickly became a real fan of these 1980's analogs. I think you'll like it very much.</P>


    The controls are wonderful, the lighted drawknobs and lighted piston system. With the double memory and all those pistonsyou'll have plenty of registration storage. You might turn down the brightness of thedrawknob lamps as low as you can and still see them, as that will greatly reduce the frequency of burned-out lamps (and reduce the heat-lamp effect in the summer time!)</P>


    Any organ will sound a little sterile in a small church unless the acoustics are very live. You may want to experiment with speaker placement.Try bouncing the sound off a hard-surface wall oroff the ceiling before it gets to your ears. Also, the 2 + 1 speaker complement you mention is the bare minimum for that model. You might ask the dealer if he has any spare Rodgers cabinets (such as M10 or M6 column-style). Putting two on each manual channel and aiming them in different directions may help the organ sound better in your small room. (No need to double up the subwoofer!)</P>


    Our 890 has had few service problems, though as an organ technician myself I've simply fixed things as they cropped up. In your case you might want to be sure the dealer has a tech who knows and appreciates these organs and will be willing to take care of any issues that come up. Also be sure they tune it and do a careful voicing after they bring it in. These organs can sound very poor if the voicing is not done correctly. I've gone out on service calls and found them with the stops so badly out of balance that you couldn't even use some of them.</P>


    Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.</P>


    John</P>
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    John
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  3. #3

    Re: Opinions on a Rogers 820

    So the Rodger's dealer is quoting $6,000 for this instrument. Is that too spendy for early 1980's analog technology? I'd value your opinions.

  4. #4

    Re: Opinions on a Rogers 820



    Jonny J,</p>

    Since this organ is over 25 years old, analog, pre-MIDI, I would say $6,000 is high. If it includes delivery, setup, complete service, and some kind of warranty (something better than 30-30, 30 minutes or 30 feet whichever comes first), $6,000 inclusive may not be out of line.</p>

    One caveat - if this is an early MIKASCO organ - I wouldn't touch it with a 30' barge pole. Very poor factory support for these organs.</p>

    AV</p>

  5. #5
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on a Rogers 820



    Jonny,</P>


    $6K isnear the top of what used organs go for, but if, as Arie said, this is a really complete deal then it's worth it. Just a couple of years ago I sold a20-year-old refurbishedRodgers 740 to a church (and this included a very complete installation and voicing package along with a year's warranty) for $5500. Andthe 820 you're looking at is a lot more organ than a 740.</P>


    And where you are has a lot to do with it. I assume that in ND the distances may be quite great, and the dealer and his tech have to consider the mileage that will be involved in delivering it and possibly servicing it later. If he is to make any money on the sale at all he can't price it much lower. And if he doesn't make any money on the sale he won't be very interested in keeping you happy.</P>


    John</P>
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 ........ at last!
    Home: Allen MADC-420 ...........finally!
    Shop: More organs than I can count.... some working, many not!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Clarion's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on a Rogers 820



    I've just gone through the process of trying to determine the value of a 23 year old analog organ in response to a dealer offerring $500 as a trade-in. My old analog was one of the last of the analogs built by Classic Organ way back in 1984. Great sounding instrument for that day and age, still in great working order. I've even been offered unsolicited opinions, thatitsoundsjust as good as some of the current digital offerings; not exactly something I wanted to hear, while planning for a new digital organ. [:S]</P>


    In checking out a number of organ classifiedwebsites, I concluded that an ancient analog of this vintage, had no real commercial value. There were a whole lot of ads offering Allen and Rogers of thisvintage absolutelyfree as long as the purchaser cartedit away,saving the vendor the expense of having to dispose of therelic. The only exception I would consider. is that market-conditionsthat apply to densly populated urban areas, don't necessarily apply in sparsely populated areas of the continent.</P>


    Organ Trader, currently hosts an ad for a 2001 Rogers 525 digital organ for $4900. Given the choice between an ancient analog relic, and a conservatively appointed digital instrument like the 525, the I know which I would choose for a small church environment!</P>


    As for my ancient Classic Organ,I could have realized significant savingsover a new instrument if I wanted to update it with2 manual digital electronics. </P>
    2008: Phoenix III/44

  7. #7

    Re: Opinions on a Rogers 820

    Just for the record, Rodgers is spelled with a "D".

  8. #8
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on a Rogers 820



    My perspective on the used organ business:</P>


    Yes, 30-year-old analog organs are normally free for the taking if you are willing to bear all expenses getting one out of the church and hauled away.</P>


    But if youbuy an organ, even 25 or 30 years old, from an actual dealer (or a tech like me who sells an occasional used one) you are paying for a lot more than just an old organ as-is where-is. It is the "added value" that I am charging my customer for, knowing full well that the old organ has basically depreciated to nothing.</P>


    In order to make anything on such a transaction I have to get enough money to cover the costs I incurred when I got it "free for the taking" (which is probably several hundred dollars), thenmoving to the new location(which will be morehundreds of dollars) plus all the time I and my associate will put into it -- having thoroughly repaired it, then spending two or three or fourdays installing and voicing it. I also have to cover all the materials I have to buy for the job and all the miles I'll travel and the expenses of staying in a hotel if the job is too far away to come home at night. Then I'll want to put a warranty on it and must make some extra profit to be able to service it if required under warranty.</P>


    And if I only cover these actual costs, where is my profit? I need to clear something on it or else I could have been making better money doing routine service calls.</P>


    So even if I could get free used organs dropped off at my shop on a regular basis, I'd still need to sell them for upwards of $5K or else I'd be going out of business.</P>


    John</P>
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 ........ at last!
    Home: Allen MADC-420 ...........finally!
    Shop: More organs than I can count.... some working, many not!
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  9. #9

    Re: Opinions on a Rogers 820



    <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Well, here's the end of the story....<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o></SPAN></P>


    <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">(By the way--sorry about the Rodgers with no "d"--- I must of been thinking of the near by town of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1lace w:st="on">Rogers</st1lace></st1:City> in ND with no "d" when I typed the prior message.)<o></o></SPAN></P>


    <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">The deal from the Rodger's dealer did NOT include delivery or installation, any limited warranty or service contract. I would have had to pick up and install myself. Wish I had come across something "free for the taking"... that worked. <o></o></SPAN></P>


    <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Yes, I'd agree--- where you are geographically located would indeed have a lot to do with the price. (If you're ever looking for a place to start an electronic organ service business, it seems technicians are very sparse in the <st1lace w:st="on">Dakotas</st1lace>.) It does indeed make logical sense that one would need to charge a fair price for a used instrument, but when the same Rodger's dealer told me she could quote a new instrument (did ask which modelshe had in mind) starting at $10K, isn't $6k seem a bit steep for something analog and 25 years old? Although Digital is the way to go these days, it does have its own set of problems.</SPAN></P>


    <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">We ended up with a <st1lace w:st="on">Baldwin</st1lace>630 T. (The "T" I'm told is because the later 80's models included the transposer.) It's certainly an instrument in its ownclass. (Not for the purist- no further comment.) It's not an Allen or a Rodger's, but it will service our limited needs for the time being. This particular congregation only uses the building 6 months a year and isvery small.<o></o></SPAN></P>


    <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Themain reason I compromised was that it fit their limited budget and my father was also once a Baldwin"repair man" and had a lot of respect for <st1lace w:st="on">Baldwin</st1lace>.AlthoughI personally don't prefer theirolder instruments, Ipreviously did playa 1960's model for some 14 years at my parish back in <st1:State w:st="on"><st1lace w:st="on">Wisconsin</st1lace></st1:State>. <o></o></SPAN></P>


    <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">This "bargain" alsorequired me to pick up in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1lace w:st="on">Omaha</st1lace></st1:City> (800 miles round trip) and install, but the installation was not a big deal. It was also recently serviced and included a limited warranty.<o></o></SPAN></P>


    <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">So that's the end of the story.... for now.<o></o></SPAN></P>


    <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">If anyone might be interested in our former Allen mentioned in the original thread--- 1964 Allen Special, ordered to registrations of the T12A, let me know. It would be suitable for parts and the console is in good shape. I'm told it has numerous contact issues and was too costly to repair, but I can't guarantee that is all that might be wrong.<o></o></SPAN></P>


    <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Thanks everyone for your input.<o></o></SPAN></P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>

  10. #10
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on a Rogers 820



    Baldwin 630T is not a bad choice. I just recently removed one from a small Catholic church that had a very live acoustic -- stone floors, brick walls,high smoothceiling. It sounded so good in there that they would never have replaced it, but for the fact that it had developed aproblem that was going to cost hundreds of dollars to fix. Theygot a Johannus Opus 27, also self-contained, which also sounds much better than it ought to in this wonderful setting.</P>


    One can certainly makemusic witha 630T, and it may well serve the church for many years. Good job.</P>


    John</P>
    <P mce_keep="true"></P>
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 ........ at last!
    Home: Allen MADC-420 ...........finally!
    Shop: More organs than I can count.... some working, many not!
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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