Rodgers 333 Olympic

3-Manual Theatre Organ (1970)

This analog organ is actually build with a breathtaking number of electronic parts. As a result, it has the most pleasing analog sound on earth. All circuits were built with discrete components, no ICs. Getting replacement parts is therefore relatively simple.

My Gal Sal

What is so special? Everything, so let’s go through each component.

The Solo keyboard controls a separate Glockenspiel, it is connected with a long cable and can sound from a different place.

It is really a huge appearance, the weight is about 300kg. Playing the wooden keyboard is a dream, even the construction for the key contact is made of wood. The sound: wonderful tibias with very good tremulants, phenomenal sweet saxophone voices. Separate speakers boxes with 24 speakers and sub bass speaker are responsible to reproduce the quality of sound.

The Solo keyboard controls a separate Glockenspiel, it is connected with a long cable and can be placed to any place.

Registrations are stored in 26 memories to control Stop Action Magnets. On the image: front wing opened with batteries of magnets. Presets are stored in ferrite core memory (to be seen top under the yellow covers).

Three Generators with individual oscillators for each tone (tibia, main and celeste generator). They produce sine-like waves, which are individually wave-shaped by different ample keyer boards. All technology variants of diode keyers, double diode keyers and transistor keyers were used to come up with varying set of 7 ranks. The waveshaping of the sine waves create

  • Tibias (slightly and variable wave shaped in dependence of the tremulant)
  • Reeds and Strings (heavily shaped into pulses)
  • Diapason ( time variant shaping to simulate the attack phase of pipes)
  • Clarinet (converts to a rectangle shape, which can be adjusted between pulse and pure rectangle)
  • Harp (sinus percussion)
  • Piano (sinus percussion with 8′, 4′ and 2 2/3′ blended)

The Accomp manual has a “piano”-tab which not only reduces volume, but changes to a softer wave shaping.

Organ opened to service position

There is a huge amount of possibilities to intonate the ranks. Some reed ranks have tuneable formant coils divided into 3 groups of tones to get a continuous formant distribution across the whole keyboard. This together is the reason why each Olympic sounds different. Unfortunately, only 80 of them were built.

Ranking *****         (5 Stars of 5)
Plus Sweet and impressing voices.
High point of analogue technology.
Keyboard action, moving tabs.
Only standard discreet electronic parts.
Minus huge, endless parts.

Listen to Sound Examples in mp3 format