Roland vs Viscount Keyboard Organs.
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    Looking for some advice on possible choice of "Keyboard Organs"

    Roland C190/C200 or Viscount Cantorum VI

    It would be used for a variety of purposes. Home practice, retreats, chapels, weddings, etc. The usual sorts of things a young student organist might be asked to do.

    C190 is still available in Australia, for $3,000
    Cantorum VI is being offered for $4,500, but with a 2-year interest free payment plan (works out about $150 a month)

    Both are capable of accepting a midi pedalboard.
    (I have a 25-note flat radiating one ex-Conn organ with a midi module fitted)

    Cantorum VI appears to have more sounds/stops than the C190. The C190 rather annoyingly appears to have the trumpet stop available on the left of the divided keyboard rather than the right - makes life hard for my choice of Trumpet Voluntaries.

    The Cantorum VI has been set up into a two-manual organ with pedalboard, quite successfully it appears. I don't know if the C190 is capable of something similar. I would like to do something like that with it eventually, I already have midi keyboards and as previously-mentioned a 25-note pedalboard (although, I would like to fit a 30-note AGO one when I can afford it).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk8CfTuqB04

    So, aside from being $1,500 cheaper, is there any serious reason that I should choose the Roland C190 over the Viscount Cantorum VI?
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    Just to make things difficult, I've now got an offer for an old Johannus Opus 220 for $3,500 which includes delivery and installation. I almost hope that a parish church takes it.
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    After a year of thinking it over, I think I'll be going for the Cantorum VI. I looked at the C200 and at the Ahlborn-Galanti Parvus II. I would prefer to get myself a proper 2 manual organ, probably a second-hand Rogers or Allen, but this is my only realistic option at this stage.

    This fellow found an interesting solution to the lack of couplers. He set the Midi pedalboard to Channel 2 which is normally Manual I (Swell/Positive). This gives you all the swell stops on the pedal in addition to the bass stops, but only the bottom note gets the three bass stops. A bit of a compromise, but one that I think could be happily made.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kFGTCw61nY
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    I've seen those C200s and they can do some neat stuff, but if you can get your hands on something more proper, do it. Those C200s are good in a pinch but not for regular use IMO.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,885
    Bach... the best (musical theoretically) AND the worst! (theologically)
  • Hartley,

    The Rodgers C-190 and C-200 have the Great on CH 12, Swell on 11, and Pedal on 14.

    If you like, be sure to talk to Kerry Morenos, +61 417 837 470, tell her that I said hello, she is expert on Roland and Rodgers in Australia. Attached is an interactive (open with ADOBE READER) sheet of all the stops available on each division of the C-200 - you will see that there is a Trompette on the Swell. Click on the underlined names to see explanations of the stops from the internet organ stop library.

    Download the C-200 owner's manual for full details. The C-190 is here.

    We used a C-190 for this program: and since we did not have a MIDI pedalboard, on a couple of the pieces (The Gardiner) another organist filled in the pedal part on the manual.


    Make sure that they will accept it back on trade when you are available to move to a larger instrument. Walcker pipe organs in Germany have done this for many years, very effectively.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,628
    On a related topic: Does anyone have any suggestions for a Digital Continuo/Chamber Organ? - One that won't break the bank.
  • How big is your bank?

    Seriously, what price range would be affordable to you. That will make it easier to suggest options.
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    I briefly tried the C200 late last year. I'm in contact with Kerry and have been discussing things with her. I'm helping my Parish Church look into purchasing a new organ to replace the 1966 Hammond C3. Because of the price, I have to get 3 quotes from different manufacturers (diocesan policy on purchases over a certain amount) and I have looked at offerings Roland/Rogers, Allen and Viscount. (I.e. I've gone to churches that have them and played them and/or to piano/organ sellers that have them on display.

    I did try the C200 and I think it's an excellent keyboard. However, a real selling point for me about the Cantorum VI is the tracker-action keyboard and the available voices. A big one for me is that I play a lot of English Trumpet Voluntaries. I'm not happy using an orchestral trumpet sound on the C200. I also much prefer the tracker-touch.

    To be honest, I've not been particularly impressed with any other full-sized instrument that Viscount offers, but I've been quite happy to play Allen and Rogers products and found them both quite satisfactory.

    I am particularly annoyed by the Viscount rocker tabs. The Allen and Rogers offerings are much better in that it doesn't matter which end of the tab that you press. This has been particularly handy as it means that I can retire and draw stops in one hand action. Eg. retiring the 4' Flute and drawing the 4' Principal and 2' Flute stops.
  • I wouldn't use the C-200 Orchestral Trumpet - but instead use the Trompette on the SW (A Voice Palette stop like the Orchestral Trumpet) especially because you can set the volume level of the individual stop and get a big Trumpet out of it - as well as add the reeds 16/8 on the GT (at a balancing level to the GT principal chorus) for the organ plenum sections in between the Trumpet solos.

    The C-3 should have value - as long as it is working. Put it Craigslist AU and someone with a B-3 case and frozen generators will be very happy to buy it...and may pay a big chunk of the price of the new one.

    Plus, there is a special indulgence for those who remove old Hammonds from churches....
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,628
    Noel, At most $1500, preferably less. Is that a reasonable price? (I'm really cheap, btw.)
  • There are "used" C-180 and 190's around in the price range...drop me an email and I can check a bit for you, if you like. noel@frogmusic.com