Yesterday, my Dad, sister Diane, and I went down to Oregon to visit Rodgers Instruments LLC. Rodgers of course is the company that produced the organs for Faith Presbyterian Church. I have been having in my mind to pick up a good home practice organ, since I was losing valuable sleep on Saturday nights practicing for church service on Sundays, usually hindering my ability to stay alert in the service the next day.
I had a couple major criteria looking for an organ. Firstly, it would have to be compact and easy to move around, since there isn't much space in the apartment to fit it. Also, I wanted something that didn't sound like an electronic instrument, and had a good variety of instruments. After wasting time on Craigslist and being terribly disappointed by the terrible selection at Prossers Piano and Organ, began looking into the major Classic Organ companies (Johannus, Allen, and Rodgers), and actually got to go preview the Johannus 37 SE at somebody's apartment in downtown Seattle. Johannus has been having a half-off sale for sometime, so some of their organs were attractively priced, including the Opus 7 I was looking at. Frankly, I wasn't impressed with the Johannus organ tones, which still sounded very electronic to me, especially the reeds. To me, there really is no comparison with the Rodgers organ sounds.
I discovered the Roland/Rodgers C-330 organ while surfing online, which just started selling a week ago and there has been a wild internet buzz for a while. Roland is coming out with a Classic series, where they are trying to make authentic-sounding harpsichords, pianos, and organs for homes. After looking into this organ a little bit, I discovered that it is a very special piece of equipment. For starters, it had packed in it over 100 different Rodgers pipe sounds. The organ had excellent acoustics for what I wanted. And the tone quality was phenomenal (hear samples here).
Here is a photo of me trying out the Roland/Rodgers C-330 at the Rodgers plant in Hillsboro, Oregon: