The subject of home practice instruments often comes up on this forum, so following a pleasant chat with Barry Williams last night I thought it might be helpful to share this information around.
We are very fortunate that we have free access to the organ in our local church more or less any time that we want, but that is not always convenient, and practicing there during wintertime is often extremely cold and not at all pleasant.
We have looked at various electronic options including the Viscount and Makin models, but their consoles seemed much too big to fit into our home, and once a peddleboard is fitted they really need a room to themselves. One option was to dispose of the piano to make way for an organ, but the piano is a very nice instrument which has been in the family for many years, and we felt we should keep it for all sorts of reasons.
Anyhow, please forgive the preamble, but a well known music shop in Newcastle recently invited members of the Newcastle Organists' Association along to try a new Roland model (the C330), which is specifically designed as a home practice instrument. The main benefit of the Roland is its very shallow depth, although it retains two full sized manuals (weighted to feel like a Tracker) and a full sized peddleboard. Stops are of the illuminated pushbutton variety, but this saves size, weight and cost, and they work perfectly well. Better still, each stop can be adjusted for volume and voicing, and there are additional free stops which can be programmed as you wish.
Purists may be horrified by the idea, but the sound quality and voicing from the built in woofer with two satellite loudspeakers is very good to my ears, although larger external speakers would be needed if you wanted to take full advantage of the 32' reed stops!
To cut a long story short, after many hours of playing this instrument in the shop we have ordered one, and will have it delivered in the next few weeks just as soon as I have finished decorating the room!
I have added some photographs of the instrument (courtesy of the Roland website) and hope that these are not too big.
Further information can be found here.
A full frontal image can be seen here, but is too large for the forum. (Opens in a new window.)