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Thread: I feel like I struck gold with this one...

  1. #1
    p Piano Tinker's Avatar
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    I feel like I struck gold with this one...



    So just before logging off one night I take a look at Craiglist and there are not one but two FREE church organs. Well, I'm a theatre organ buff but I have dabbled in some hymns and easier classical pieces many years ago and I am interested in all sorts of new vintage organ experiences so I thought why not. One had just been posted 10 minutes before I saw it so I thought this was fate. No description in the ad but some email exchanges uncovered that it was a Rodgers 740 that had been stored away for a few years but worked when it was dismantled. Not much info on the net for this one but folks on this forum (thanks John) helped provide some information and feedback on the instrument. To make a long story short it turned out to be a very nice looking 740B, two manuals, AGO with a huge subwoofer and scads of thin column speakers with dozens of 6x9's and horn tweeters in 'em.</p>

    Best of all, it worked when I turned it on AND it has MIDI (in/out/thru) on everything. Whooo Hooo! I never saw mention of that feature in anything I'd found and it isn't even mentioned in the owners manual. I'm playing it through the amps and speakers on my 321B (wife says console OK, more speakers no way) and although I'm certainly no expert in how these church/classical organs should sound it sounds pretty darn good to me. I can't wait to finally play with Miditzer on something more than my single Yamaha keyboard []</p>

    So be on the lookout for these if you're looking for a nice console for your VPO. I'm not sure if all the 740's or 740B's have MIDI but if you happen across one you should check it out. I've run into a number of churches that haven't used their organs in years and they may just need a nudge to have you haul 'em away.</p>

    </p>


    </p>
    Gary

    Current: Rodgers 340 "Special", Gulbransen Rialto K (Both Versions), Allen Theatre Deluxe, Rodgers Olympic 333, Roland Atelier AT70 (I hope)
    History: Rodgers 321B, Rodgers 740B, Gulbransen Theatrum, Hammond H-133, Thomas Malibu, Heathkit/Thomas Paramount

  2. #2
    ff Fortissimo OrgansR4Me's Avatar
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    Re: I feel like I struck gold with this one...

    Congradulations. Sounds like a great find. Certainly is great to have all the internet resources to find and research great organs. Hope you can hook up the organ to a separate set of speakers someday. It is great fun have two organists together!

  3. #3
    mf Mezzo-Forte Brandon Tuomikoski's Avatar
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    Re: I feel like I struck gold with this one...

    ooooo WHERE DO YOU LIVE!>!?!!?!?!?! I need to move there!!!! the only free organs here are ---- wait there are never any free organs--- just $500 kimball organs!

  4. #4
    p Piano Tinker's Avatar
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    Re: I feel like I struck gold with this one...



    Hi Brandon, I'm out in Southern California about 90 miles north of the Mexican border. Trust me, vintage organs are about the only thing that you can find that's cheap out here [] I don't have any actual statistics but it always seems to me like the best deals at least on theatre organs are out on the East Coast, especially Florida. There's a good amount of luck to the whole thing but persistence and diligence also help. Keep your eyes open, search the internet sources as much and as frequently as possible, follow up on any lead you never know what you might find. </p>

    My organ bug lied pretty dormant for years and my little Gulbransen Theatrum spinet was enough for me. The bug hit me again when I stumbled across a free Hammond H-133 on Craigslist that had been there for a few days. I was sure it would be gone but since the guy was out in a desert community I guess nobody wanted to make the drive. The Hammond sat out in his garage and not 10 feet away under a tarp was a beautiful Rodgers 321B complete with a couple of Klipsch LaScala external speakers to complement the internals. My dream instrument when I was a teen. He'd inherited that one from his Uncle who was the original owner. I took the Hammond but really expressed a lot of interest in the Rodgers and stayed in touch with him via email. Six months later he mentioned he was moving up north, didn't want to take the organ and was I still interested. Still interested... that was an understatement! I asked around a bit in the forums and offered him $500 which he though was a fair price. No, he wasn't willing to part with the LaScala's (I had no idea at the time they were worth so much) but he did toss in the additional set of S-100 amps so I could add my own speakers. I had to work out a few bugs with it but it's one of the few instruments that I have that even my wife and neighbors think is a nice looking piece of "furniture".</p>

    If you're interested in a church/classical organ I'd sure suggest making the rounds of every congregation you can visit or maybe even try some phone calls. The two recent freebees in my area and most of the free classical organs I've seen have all come from churches that have moved to "modern" music. Some wanted you to remove the instrument, some wanted to hold onto the speakers. I got lucky since they had removed it to storage years ago and it was on the ground floor. At my brothers congregation (baptist) they've got a great looking Allen 2M drawknob organ with bunches of speakers that's been pushed up against a wall for the 9 years he's been there. He doesn't have any room for it but I'm betting that the church could be talked into either giving it away or taking a little donation they could use to buy instruments they did want (guitars, etc.). I'll bet there are many churches in the same situation. </p>

    What do the rest of you folks think??</p>

    </p>
    Gary

    Current: Rodgers 340 "Special", Gulbransen Rialto K (Both Versions), Allen Theatre Deluxe, Rodgers Olympic 333, Roland Atelier AT70 (I hope)
    History: Rodgers 321B, Rodgers 740B, Gulbransen Theatrum, Hammond H-133, Thomas Malibu, Heathkit/Thomas Paramount

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