Over the past ten years or so, electric organ sales have slumped to all time low. Yet the arranger keyboard market continues to flourish, especially with keyboards such as the Yamaha Tyros, Korg PA-1X and the Roland G70. In my opinion, the organ is much more playable as a live instrument, and using bass pedals, you can play the organ without any drum machine or automatic chords and get a fantastic sound. The keyboard on the other hand would sound thin, definitely lacking without auto chord/bass.
Of course, arranger keyboards are considerably cheaper than new organs and take up less room. This has created a new generation of keyboard players, some of which could never afford the hefty cost of an organ. So is this the end for the electric organ. What could the organ manufacturers do to rekindle the interest in organs? Well they were and still are designed to be a piece of furniture.
Great big lumps of wood, which appeal to the older generation, which is why they have the reputation of being an older person's musical instrument. This need to be changed so they appeal to all generations. The next major change has to be the hefty cost.
A top of the range electric arranger keyboard such as the Roland G70 would cost between two to three thousands pounds. Top of the range organs from Yamaha and Roland can cost you between ten and twenty thousand pounds. This change may have already started with new models from Yamaha with the Yamaha D-Deck organ and the top of the range Yamaha Electone Stagea. Both are portable and very modern looking. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information on these models unless you read Japanese.
Yamaha have decided there is no organ market in the UK, Europe or the USA. So if you want one of these models you will have to import it yourself. At the time of writing this, even these new modern looking organs are now out of date. As far as I am aware the Yamaha Stagea electone organ and Yamaha D-Deck organ do not have the "Super Articulation" that is available on the Yamaha Tyros 2 arranger keyboard. There are also a lot of brand new features on the latest crop of arranger keyboards, which include Roland G70, Korg PA 800 and the Ketron Audya, which hasn't even been released yet.
So if you want an electric organ set up. You might be better of buying two arranger keyboards and a pedal board. It would be considerably cheaper than importing the Yamaha Stagea and you would be assured of the latest sounds and technological advancements.
Michael David Shaw is a musician and music teacher. He plays piano, organ and keyboard. You can find lots of music related items including tuition books, sheet music and e-Books on his websites. For more info visit http://www.mikesmusicroom.co.uk and http://www.keyboardsheetmusic.co.uk