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#1273444 - 09/23/09 12:32 PM Avid Organist, First Time Buyer
Counterpoint Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 3
After searching through every local organ dealer I have come to find the organ market in terrible order. Here's my dilemma:

My budget is around $7,500 USD. This would dictate looking through the used market as new classical organs are typically well above my desired price range.

In short, I have found the selection to be terrible. Almost all of the organs are considerably lower priced than my budget and are in poor condition. Many have yellowing manuals with at least a few non-functional stops. The swell pedals crackle through the speaker. I did find one overpriced Conn theatre organ in my price range. It was well taken care of; however, while the theatre organ can produce a classical sound, the variety is not adequate for serious classical work.

My experience has left a bad taste in my mouth. Is the organ market like this in your area? Any suggestions?

#1273617 - 09/23/09 04:49 PM Re: Avid Organist, First Time Buyer [Re: Counterpoint]
Ken Knapp Offline

Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2460
Loc: Pennsylvania
Where are you located?

The organ market is much as you describe in many places. There are just not a lot of people looking for or buying any new organs, thus the used market is filled with many under-maintained and worn out organs with a lot of problems.

Quite frankly, I would look for a Hammond RT series, any of them. They have the AGO pedals and even if they have problems there is a big following which means that you can obtain parts and service easily. I have yet to see a Hammond tonewheel organ that has not been worth fixing. I work on them all the time and they are bulletproof.


Hammond Organ Technician
Vice President - MITA, International

#1275530 - 09/26/09 11:12 AM Re: Avid Organist, First Time Buyer [Re: Ken Knapp]
Counterpoint Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 3
If I bought an organ I would probably try and trade on of my pianos. What would the dealer do if my piano was worth more than the organ? Would they typically give a store credit, cash, etc??

It's probably a dumb question, but I don't have experience with this.

#1276555 - 09/28/09 11:24 AM Re: Avid Organist, First Time Buyer [Re: Counterpoint]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3713
Loc: Virginia, USA
My two organist friends both bought organs within the past year.

Each found good quality used church organs for a fraction of the price, well within your budget.

It just took some word of mouth looking around the church world. There are many churches who've discontinued organs and gone electronic, others who've shut doors, merged and consolidated, etc. I think if you have patience you'll find something out there.

I don't know much about ebay or craigslist.
gotta go practice

#1277521 - 09/29/09 06:49 PM Re: Avid Organist, First Time Buyer [Re: TimR]
Ken Knapp Offline

Registered: 04/18/06
Posts: 2460
Loc: Pennsylvania
I don't think you'll have to trade any of your pianos.

If you watch Craigslist and classifieds of some newspapers, you can find incredible bargains on the type of organ you're looking for.

Typically, they start out as..

F.S. <insert brand here> theater organ, excellent condition. Moving, must sell. (or settling estate). A steal at $1500.00.

Then they go to $1000.00. Then $500.00. Then all of a sudden..
Free Organ - must go by Friday.

Unless you're looking for a Hammond B3 or similar it's a buyers market. I just saw a Hammond RT-2 in New Jersey go for $250.00. Great sounding organ, AGO pedals, and easily serviced.

I really don't think you'll have to spend anything near $7500.00.


Hammond Organ Technician
Vice President - MITA, International

#1282261 - 10/07/09 09:13 AM Re: Avid Organist, First Time Buyer [Re: Ken Knapp]
apple* Offline

Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
i would call the Rodger's or Allen representative for your area (the AREA tends to be quite large).

the older electrics are available and quite cheap for what you get.

check EBAY too.
where are you located?
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)


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