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Rodgers 340 to Paramount

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Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby Frank-Evans » Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:00 pm

After "playing" around with the various VTPOs and converting a Rodgers 321 I decided to bite the bullet and convert my 340. I discovered while planning that if I sold it I couldn't recover enough money to cover the cost of keyboards, pedal board, etc... After completely gutting the console I built a second bolster, modified the existing bolster and raised the roof (err. lid). These are the results of 6 months of part time work. Now powered by Hauptwerk with Artisan hardware and Paramount samples and boasting a total of 215 stops.
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Audio is supplied by 2 ea. ECHO Audio Fire 12 interfaces feeding 16 ea. Event 20/20 BAS monitors as well as 4 ea. Parts Express 250 watt subs and finally 4 channels of reverb provided by a Lexicon MX400.
Now if I could learn to Play :wink:
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby TheOrganDoc » Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:24 pm

Hi Frank,
That is a Beautiful Organ.
I also wish that I had accepted my parents offer of Organ Instruction when it was offered. :oops:

I do attempt to play hundreds of old tunes, with cues from little lists, and a few books that I have on my music rack ! :roll:

I cannot place my 8 Behringer B2031A's up high here,
Soooo I have them on the floor on each side of my console,
4-Main on left, and 4-Solo on right, With one 18" Sub, in the tuned and ported, sealed base of my WurliTzer Pipe console !

My latest project, in order to eliminate the point source effect of the speakers sound coming straight out at me is,
To place all the 2031s on their Backs, and tilt them a bit towards the wall behind them.
The result is that the organ appears to be playing from the entire wall behind my console,
without the loss of highs due to facing the speakers towards the wall,
And keeping both me and my other half happy at the same time ! :D

Enjoy VTPO, Best wishes, Mel
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby toplayer2 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:08 pm

Frank,

You have done a superb job with your 340 conversion. The second stop rail is so artfully done that one would never guess that it wasn't the way the console was originally designed. I suspect there is a lot of VTPO envy afflicting many other enthusiasts.

Joe Hardy
Paramount Organ Works
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby Frank-Evans » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:33 pm

Mel and Joe,
Thanks for the kind words. It was fun to do. I actually enjoy the challenge more than playing them.
I did quite a bit of documenting both with a journal as well as lots of pictures.... Next project will be second touch on the pedals and maybe the great.
As you both know.... it's never finished.
Regards
Frank
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby ldeutsch » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:26 am

Frank,

You have done a magnificent job on your 340 conversion! You even managed to scale up the wood filigree on each side! I notice you have added lots of thumb pistons and toe studs too. I know how much work this is from my own project. You were fortunate to have a 340 as the starting point because of the excellent keyboards - including second touch on the accompaniment.

Have fun with this!

Les
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby ChangedForever » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:13 pm

Doesn't matter if you can play or not with something that beautiful!! I'm sure you can play splendidly. Did you paint the bolster or have that done by somebody; looks like it's changed from a wood stain to a dark black? I need my console painted black, too...I don't think that spray can from Lowes will do the job...
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby Frank-Evans » Fri May 01, 2015 10:14 pm

Thanks for the very kind comments... Actually the wood filigree on the front was purchased, very close to the original except bigger. :lol: and no, there is no black paint it is just the lighting causing a change in looks.
I attempted to match the walnut stain to the original finish. Reasonably close but not exact.
I did have a problem with some of the veneer trying to raise.. I may revisit that in the future.
I was fortunate to be able to purchase quite a lot of used thumb pistons. I cleaned off the engraving and re-engraved them to suit.
For what it's worth... I did rework a set of bolsters on another console and painted them black and, you guessed it, used spray cans from Lowes... Sanding smooth is the trick, between several coats.
Of course, there have been many lessons learned as well, If I were to do it again I would hope that I could remember some of them :roll: .
Regards
Frank
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby ChangedForever » Sat May 02, 2015 10:12 am

Frank - thanks for the update. I guess it's a trip to Home Depot then for some spray paint and duct tape (I'm in the South....). Maybe I need to start considering a few dozen thumb pistons, too, for my project....

OMG --- I just scrolled up on my HOME computer and can see your project properly!! I first saw it at work and it appears black - sorry 'bout that; I guess I need to adjust color scheme at work! Looks very NICE at home, though!!

Again, wonderful work
Mark
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby russell » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:43 pm

I have a MIDI'd Rodgers 333 and would like to know how you would add a Great manual second touch to your 340? I have been told that it's not possible on the 333 because dual contacts are not available.
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby Frank-Evans » Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:48 pm

Currently I have been thinking about a second touch on the great. The 340 has second touch on the accompaniment from the factory... The mechanics of that are not the best. It is an adaption of the tracker touch for the additional drop using a magnetic strip.
Any attempt to add second touch to a wood core Rodgers manual will require modifying the keybed to gain an additional key drop of at least 1/8 to 3/16 inch, a set of springs to provide the additional resistance and additional contacts. Not a job for the novice woodworker but..... it can be done.
Of course the "easy" way would be to find a 340 accompaniment manual looking for a new home. When you do let me know :-)....
I have purchased a set of 2 manuals from a Cambridge 220 Rodgers (circa 70's) and am studying them with the intention of adding second touch.... The biggest holdup is to make sure, really sure, before starting to cut, drill, route, etc...... One has to make sure that the method started is the "best" way. I also plan to do the same to the pedal board. One serious thought is to use optical sensors rather than physical wire contacts.
Again... there are many options and each should be looked at and considered. Even the type of springing has several ways to be accomplished. Wurlitzer, as well as several other builder used a flat spring to provide a bottom for the first touch and additional resistance for the second touch. Robert Morton used a different method causing a spring to buckle when compressed. IMO a better feel but a lot more complicated and difficult to adjust. ..... Many options.....
Hope this gives you a little insight to some of the problems... When (if) I make progress I will document it here.
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby engrssc » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:16 pm

Re 2T, I've been looking at a set of Fatar touch manuals which have 2 sets of (collapsing rubber) contacts per key (used for touch response). Basically an upper and a lower contact. The trick would be to come up with the proper springing mechanism to separate touch wise the uppers and the lowers. I did play around with the collapsing flat metal spring idea, but didn't like the "clacking" when the spring was pushed down over the center of it's travel range. Aside from that, essentially the idea worked - sort of. :roll:

I don't know the feel of your 2T on your accomp manual is Frankl. but mine requires quite some amount of down pressure, something that simulates the arthritis nerve endings after a while. :mrgreen:

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby Frank-Evans » Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:40 pm

The 2T on the accomp. manual is too heavy.... The magnet idea is OK just not the correct amount of tension. I did completely rebuild and re-felt the darn thing while working on the console. The best thing about it is that it is there and works :-)
The buckling spring idea works well on the Robert Morton key boards.... The key has a felted bumper and there is felt below the spring... That makes the whole thing quite. As I sais tho... it's a pain to adjust and setup up. The good thing is that once the tension is overcome then the rest of the drop is easy.
Looking at the Rodgers key boards I think that the answer will be similar to the Wurlitzer type system... The construction of the boards limits what can be easily accomplished "after work" so to speak.
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby B777Captain » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:14 pm

I had a Rodgers 340 a number of years ago... my first venture into the Theater organs world and now... wish I had kept it and put HW inside with some great modifications just like Mr. Frank Evans!

Pat

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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby TheOrganDoc » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:43 pm

Hello Ed,
I have always thought that my stock Wurli. second touch was a bit light,
but I do not have the skill to utilize it properly anyway !
Someday I may buy, and install a touch sensitive encoder,
and use it for my Steinway Grand sample set !

B T W, I have Photo's, of my Wurli. second touch that I could forward to you if you wish ?

Best to you, and your family, Mel

Frank-Evans wrote:Currently I have been thinking about a second touch on the great. The 340 has second touch on the accompaniment from the factory... The mechanics of that are not the best. It is an adaption of the tracker touch for the additional drop using a magnetic strip.
Any attempt to add second touch to a wood core Rodgers manual will require modifying the keybed to gain an additional key drop of at least 1/8 to 3/16 inch, a set of springs to provide the additional resistance and additional contacts. Not a job for the novice woodworker but..... it can be done.
Of course the "easy" way would be to find a 340 accompaniment manual looking for a new home. When you do let me know :-)....
I have purchased a set of 2 manuals from a Cambridge 220 Rodgers (circa 70's) and am studying them with the intention of adding second touch.... The biggest holdup is to make sure, really sure, before starting to cut, drill, route, etc...... One has to make sure that the method started is the "best" way. I also plan to do the same to the pedal board. One serious thought is to use optical sensors rather than physical wire contacts.
Again... there are many options and each should be looked at and considered. Even the type of springing has several ways to be accomplished. Wurlitzer, as well as several other builder used a flat spring to provide a bottom for the first touch and additional resistance for the second touch. Robert Morton used a different method causing a spring to buckle when compressed. IMO a better feel but a lot more complicated and difficult to adjust. ..... Many options.....
Hope this gives you a little insight to some of the problems... When (if) I make progress I will document it here.
Regards
Mel..............TheOrganDoc...............
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Re: Rodgers 340 to Paramount

Postby engrssc » Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:59 pm

Any new updates, Frank?

Rgds,
Ed
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