One of the questions we’re asked frequently is “do churches still buy pipe organs?” The answer is: of course. A few churches have the ability to purchase a new pipe organ from a major builder, usually requiring an investment in the high hundreds of thousands to well over a million dollars.
If your church does not have a million-plus budget, Church Keyboard Center has options for a new pipe organ at an affordable budget level without having to compromise the size of the organ. This is accomplished with a hybrid pipe organ–combining wind-blown pipes with digital pipe ranks–a technology that Rodgers pioneered forty years ago, and now broadly recognized as a reliable and effective solution. Thousands of hybrid organs in churches around the world are evidence of this success.
Rodgers is the clear leader in hybrid pipe organs in California. With dozens of showcase installations, we’d be delighted to arrange a visit to one near you where you can hear what a hybrid pipe organ can do for your church.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a hybrid pipe organ, click here for a more detailed explanation.
Here are a few examples of what a new hybrid pipe organ might look like:
2-manual Rodgers console with 47 ranks
--2 ranks wind-blown pipes / 45 ranks digital pipes
--Starting around $90,000 (including installation)
--Typical pipe ranks are: 8' Principal and 8' Bourdon or 4' Octave
--Note: Rodgers Artist 599 three-manual console shown
3-manual Rodgers console with 50 ranks
--4 ranks wind-blown pipes / 46 ranks digital pipes
--Starting around $150,000 (including installation)
--Typical pipe ranks are: 8' Principal, 4' Octave, 8' Bourdon and 8' Gemshorn
3-manual Rodgers console with 77 ranks
--6 ranks wind-blown pipes / 71 ranks digital pipes
--Starting around $230,000 (including installation)
--Typical pipe ranks are: 8' Principal, 4' Octave, 8' Rohr Flute, 4' Spitz Flute, 8' Gemshorn and 2 2/3' Quint
Each of the above examples includes all new equipment. The wind-blown pipes are unenclosed with a layout custom-designed to fit your space and maximize the visual impact of the pipe organ.
What if your church already has a pipe organ, but it is not working well?
An aging pipe organ is potentially a good candidate for creating a hybrid pipe organ by replacing a failing console with a new digital console and updating the pipe control system. Necessary repairs are made to the pipe organ to ensure that the pipes are in good playing and tonal condition. In addition to renewing your pipe organ, this usually substantially enlarges the organ by adding digital ranks.
For example, if your existing pipe organ has 15 ranks of pipes, adding the smallest 2-manual console noted above triples the size of the the organ to 47 ranks–15 wind-blown pipe ranks with 32 digital pipe ranks. Not only will your organ be renewed, it will sound fuller and have much more musical versatility. We have many examples around Southern and Central California of exactly this type of organ.
Exploring your options for an existing pipe organ begins with an inspection, which we do at no charge. We’ll then be able to advise on the range of options that are possible.
How long does a hybrid pipe organ project take?
The typical project can be completed within four to six weeks from when work is started. The first step is installing the new digital console and audio system, ensuring that you have a playable organ throughout the process, while new pipes are being installed or existing pipes are being refurbished and interfaced with the digital console.
Hybrid pipe organs are a team project, and are accomplished under our Dodge & Associates name. Our team of associates include pipe organ builders and technicians. We are always open to including your existing pipe organ technician as part of the team when appropriate.