Author Topic: Post your Rhodes pics and its story  (Read 282783 times)

Offline JanustheManus

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #480 on: August 04, 2017, 08:52:48 PM »


I got this yesterday from a guy who happens to be on this forum. A custom 1977 with Stereo Vibe.
Mr. Garfield had swapped in a 1976 keybed, implanted 1978 bump mod action and did some tine changing. It truly is a custom model.
After a little re-positioning of the keybed, she now plays beautifully!

Offline Shayne Fedorek

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #481 on: August 11, 2017, 09:11:20 PM »
I have been hunting for a Rhodes for some time. I found this one in my small town of 4000 people. It was right  under my nose the whole time. Got it for $700 and put about 22 hours labor into it. Sounds and plays like a dream. The hunt for a Wurlitzer continues....
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Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #482 on: August 13, 2017, 11:57:03 PM »
Nice score.
Looks like it has an active pre-amp in it as well? Battery powered?

Offline armstrongsound

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #483 on: August 15, 2017, 02:29:03 PM »
Hey guys! Brand new to the forum. I just picked up my first Rhodes after lusting for one for years. The time was right and it seems like it was just meant to be.

She's a Mark 1 Suitcase piano. I got it without the suitcase amp or legs, so just the piano.
But I picked her up for a grand total of

250 dollars. Believe it or not, lol.





It's in fantastic shape considering the price, all the tines sound (except for the very first key which is missing its tine altogether. Probably the best tine that could be missing if any) and incredibly it was still in great tune.

Story goes that last Friday I was scouring the list of Craig (as I do on a daily basis). I always set the location settings as "show other locations" and I'll check literally every city in Texas. I found a listing for a Rhodes piano in Dallas (I live in San Marcos, a good ways from Dallas) at the aforementioned price and I called him to find out what was wrong with it. He proceeded to tell me that keys 11-24 don't sound, but he had never plugged it in as he has gotten the piano for free from one of his regular customers (he works in electronics and tubes) without the amp or legs. I told him I'd drive to Dallas that night right after work (7 hours in the car total).

He told me that someone 20 miles from him had reached out to him first, but "couldn't find the time to come down that day, so I'll just check it out tomorrow".

The seller had told me that he couldn't understand how someone couldn't make time to drive 20 miles to see an incredibly priced vintage Rhodes, so when I called and told him I'd be driving clear across Texas he didn't hesitate and told me it was mine if I showed up with the cash that night.

Guy who sold it to me actually used to play keys with Chuck Rainey back in the day. He was telling me how his main setup revolved around a MKI 88 that he used to own. I noticed that his hand was basically mangled, I think that he must have just had surgery on it or something, but the clearly he wasn't playing anymore. I think this has to do with why he got rid of it at such a low price (on top of the "issues" he thought that it had. More on that in a second). We sat and talked a bit about the experience of schlepping around vintage analog gear and how it's totally worth it for that unmatched tone and timbre. Great guy, and hope to hear from him in the future.

Anyway, after a total of 7 hours of driving, I finally got home with the piano and proceeded right away to test everything. I plugged her into my '68 Vibrolux Reverb via the RCA outlet directly on the harp and was extremely pleased to find that not only did the all of the keys that he thought were dead did in fact sound, but they were also in tune

I did find, however, on plugging it in that keys 44-73 had extremely low output, almost no sound whatsoever. Also a very intense and constant buzz from the piano.
Spent a few hours poking around under the hood and found that there was a tiny break in the pickup wiring between keys 47 and 48.

Reconnected and BAM.

The piano almost sounded brand new. I'm sure more veteran ears could point out certain things in the piano that could be worked on, but to me it is effin' pristine.


Anyway, super happy to be here guys. I love my new/old Rhodes and am very excited to be a part of this community!

-Patrick
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 12:08:52 PM by armstrongsound »
1970 Fender Rhodes Mk I Seventy-Three Suitcase (no suitcase amp)
1968 Fender Vibrolux (aa864 circuit)
1969 Hammond T202
1956 Hammond S6
1982 Kustom 88
90s Young Chang Upright
Hohner Melodica

Offline JanustheManus

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #484 on: August 15, 2017, 05:41:52 PM »
Welcome to the forum Patrick! That sounds like a score!

Offline armstrongsound

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #485 on: August 16, 2017, 12:09:39 PM »
Thanks! There's an incredible amount of info on this forum, very happy to be here. I've updated my post with working pics of the piano btw.
1970 Fender Rhodes Mk I Seventy-Three Suitcase (no suitcase amp)
1968 Fender Vibrolux (aa864 circuit)
1969 Hammond T202
1956 Hammond S6
1982 Kustom 88
90s Young Chang Upright
Hohner Melodica

Offline JanustheManus

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #486 on: August 16, 2017, 05:29:55 PM »
You're welcome. Based on the logo and the pre-amp, it's an early '70s suitcase top?

Offline armstrongsound

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #487 on: August 16, 2017, 06:15:05 PM »
Yes! 50th week of 1970 if I'm reading the date code correctly.
1970 Fender Rhodes Mk I Seventy-Three Suitcase (no suitcase amp)
1968 Fender Vibrolux (aa864 circuit)
1969 Hammond T202
1956 Hammond S6
1982 Kustom 88
90s Young Chang Upright
Hohner Melodica

Offline JanustheManus

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #488 on: August 16, 2017, 07:28:36 PM »
Alright! Have fun with it!!!

Offline Bennflores

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #489 on: August 20, 2017, 05:16:13 PM »
Hi!
Im new to this forum as i wish someone could help me out with my piano! My Dad had passed away 5yrs ago and i had unearthed his piano when my Mom and sis moved out from their old house.. i had used this piano when i was a kid and seeing it again after 28yrs does melt my heart! I believed it is a 79 model seventy three suitecase and the condition is not so good due to its being stored since the last time i touched it! I wanna restore it back to its glory however, its a daunting task given that i lived in Hong Kong and nobody here seemed to know this piano at all! For me, this piece is a classic and the value is much more than i expected coz it belongs to my Dad who had taken care and loved his instruments! I hope someone closeby could help me restore it perhaps give me some tips or advise!

Thanks!

Offline sean

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #490 on: August 20, 2017, 05:41:46 PM »

Bennflores,

Step one is to download and read the service manual:   http://www.fenderrhodes.com/service/manual.html

Do you have the cable that goes from the side panel of the bottom amp to the preamp on the name rail? 

Pop off the top cover and show us a few more pictures.  Are all the tines there?  Is it rusted?  (Hong Kong humidity might have rusted it out.)

Take a little time cleaning it out, and you will see that it should be easy to get the piano working again.

The keys look like they need leveling, but that may be just felts or paper punchings (paper spacer rings) not sitting down correctly, or random junk in there.

If you take the namerail off (two screws on either end), you can carefully lift out the keys and see what is going on with the felts and paper punchings.

If you have a working guitar amp, you can plug a cable in to the top accessory jack on the namerail.  (That would not require a working preamp or powersupply in the bottom amp section.)

Keep us updated with your progress, and every time you get stuck, just tell us the situation, and we will help you out.

Sean

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #491 on: August 22, 2017, 01:40:26 PM »
Great advice from Sean!

By the picture, it is a 1975 piano if all original.  Do the keys get stuck down when you push them?
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Offline EvanBingham

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #492 on: November 12, 2017, 09:16:39 PM »
Sup y'all,

Just joined the forums.  Picked up my first Rhodes today for 1k.  I believe by the serial numbers that it's a 1977.  It'll need some tweaking for sure:  damper timing, escapement, maybe even some key rebushing.  Fortunately I'm a piano technician.  I know it's not the same, but there are so many similarities I figured I would take the plunge and get one.  I don't know the history of this piano, but I'm definitely happy with how it looks and sounds.  My wife though...says that it looks like I brought a grill into the house :/

Evan

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #493 on: November 13, 2017, 11:14:52 AM »
Welcome to the forum Evan! Looks like you scored a pretty nice piano from the pic. Being a 77, you might have the felt on the hammers instead of the pedestals wich would only be somewhat of a concern if you decide to do a bump mod. Other than that, looks great! Look foward to seeing what you cook up on your new grill!
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 11:17:08 AM by vanceinatlance »

Offline EvanBingham

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #494 on: November 14, 2017, 12:20:17 PM »
Welcome to the forum Evan! Looks like you scored a pretty nice piano from the pic. Being a 77, you might have the felt on the hammers instead of the pedestals wich would only be somewhat of a concern if you decide to do a bump mod. Other than that, looks great! Look foward to seeing what you cook up on your new grill!

Felts are definitely on the bottoms of the hammers as opposed to the pedestals.  Why is this a concern?

Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #495 on: November 15, 2017, 05:54:03 AM »
Not so much of a concern but the pianos responsiveness is often not as good as when the felt is on the pedestal.

To improve the playability of the piano a "miracle mod" is often required whereby a small bump is added to the pedestal to help kick up the hammer. You can add the bump by itself on the pedestal (without any felt on top of it) and leave the felt on the hammer cam but sometimes the felt on the cam can lock against the bump if the felt wasn't installed properly by the factory.

So if you find that the action isn't that great, most people would suggest to remove the felt from the bottom of the hammer cam. Do the miracle mod and add the felt on top of it on the pedestal.

For a more in depth write up, check out Ben's sticky on the subject:

The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 05:57:10 AM by Tim Hodges »
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Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #496 on: November 15, 2017, 11:16:55 PM »
Sorry for the late response, things got busy. Tim put it very well. I didn't mean to make it so dramatic sounding. Just means you may have a little extra work involved if you decide to do the bump mod.
Vance

Offline EvanBingham

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #497 on: November 16, 2017, 06:55:43 AM »
It seems by all accounts that the bump mod is the right thing to do.  I might as well get that VV restoration kit.  There's some oddities on this piano that I'm sure aren't oddities at all, but because of my lack of experience I have trouble diagnosing.


First off,
On a soft blow, everything  E3 and above has an audible tone to it.  Once the damper position changes, going down from Eb3 all the way to E1 have really spotty tone where sometimes I'm getting a really soft note, and other times it's not audible at all unless a hard blow.  If I depress the pedal as I'm going down the bass, the notes sound good.  Aside from checking the lost motion in the dampers, what other issues could this be?

Second,
B4 and above have more action noise than the rest of the piano.  Almost like a high pitch knock or a click.  As I'm not too familiar with what the action noise should sound like, I'm wondering if this is even a valid concern.

Either way, I'm planning on installing everything from the VV restoration kit and see where it goes from there.

Offline sean

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #498 on: November 16, 2017, 04:55:15 PM »
Evan,

The hard hammer tips on the treble end of the piano make the collision between the tine and hammer tip exceptionally percussive.
That is just the nature of a Rhodes.  You will get used to it.

Take a look at the Service Manual, and work on your escapement, pickup positioning, and timbre adjustment (voicing).

Escapement:  http://www.fenderrhodes.com/org/manual/ch4.html
Pickup volume adjustment:  http://www.fenderrhodes.com/org/manual/ch4.html#fig4-9
Timbre Adjustment:  http://www.fenderrhodes.com/org/manual/ch4.html#fig4-8


Sean
« Last Edit: November 16, 2017, 04:57:04 PM by sean »

Offline EvanBingham

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Re: Post your Rhodes pics and its story
« Reply #499 on: November 16, 2017, 06:02:18 PM »
Thank you!  I'll keep tech questions over if that section of the forum from now on too.