The Electric Piano Forum

General => The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano => Topic started by: Dr. Monster on September 18, 2019, 02:32:19 PM

Title: MK 1 Light Action vs Heavy Action?
Post by: Dr. Monster on September 18, 2019, 02:32:19 PM
I've read that MK 1 keyboards often have a very heavy action. My 1979 MK 1 is actually extremely light, and I'd like to make it heavier. Is this possible?
Title: Re: MK 1 Light Action vs Heavy Action?
Post by: sean on September 18, 2019, 08:55:21 PM


Yes.  Sell the good one you have, and buy a Rhodes that has a more sluggish action.

Yes.  Pour beer on it.

Yes.  Muck around with the action rail until you realize that you liked it the way it was before, and you can never get it back.


Okay, if I had to make the action worse...  if you bend the dampers so that there is more tension on the bridle straps at rest, then the action will be a bit more heavy.  I would personally NEVER try this.

I don't think key weights would provide the action you desire, but you could try lead key weights on the back of the keys.

Sean


Okay - Does anybody have any serious answers for this question? 
Title: Re: MK 1 Light Action vs Heavy Action?
Post by: groovemonkey73 on September 20, 2019, 02:38:29 AM
Haha, your reply made me giggle sean.

I've got a 79 Mk1 and I love its light action compared to earlier ones (without the key pedestal bumps) because the early ones are slower/heavier and more sluggish.

I did a bump mod for a friend on his 77, and even after that I still preferred my 79.

I've no idea how to purposefully make it heavier other than what sean has already suggested, but if you are after that, perhaps a 75-77 Mk1 with or without the bump mod would give you a heavier action?
Title: Re: MK 1 Light Action vs Heavy Action?
Post by: thetrufflehog on September 20, 2019, 12:29:48 PM
Play an unweighted synth for a few months?
Obviously action is a preference thing, having had a heavy 74 that recently had the bump mod, I'd never want to go back. But you could try to get an older piano.
Title: Re: MK 1 Light Action vs Heavy Action?
Post by: pianotuner steveo on September 22, 2019, 06:42:17 AM
I believe they improved the action (key pedestal) around 1978. Trust me, I have owned 3 early '70's and 1 later model. I would never want the older,sluggish action again personally.

The beer joke is actually pretty close to what the early action feels like- a piano that has been exposed to too much humidity.
Title: Re: MK 1 Light Action vs Heavy Action?
Post by: groovemonkey73 on September 23, 2019, 05:03:13 AM
I think it was around 78 they did start putting the factory bumps in, my 79 has them.
Title: Re: MK 1 Light Action vs Heavy Action?
Post by: Tonewheel on September 26, 2019, 02:12:42 AM
I did the bump mod on mine and I am very happy with it, but when I go from my old Wurly to the Rhodes, it's kind of like taking a shower with your socks on, or running from a monster in a dream, your feet stuck in deep mud. Even after the mod.

But removing the mod bumps would be like having the power steering quit on my  truck. Or using a hand pump to put air in my car tires. Or mowing our lawn with scissors instead of the JD997.

If you actually do a retrofit, let us know how it went.  :)




Title: Re: MK 1 Light Action vs Heavy Action?
Post by: pnoboy on October 22, 2019, 11:36:11 AM
I'll have to disagree with many of the posters in this thread.  The early 70s pianos, before the bump mod, had a heavier action much like that of an acoustic piano.  Given that I play both, I liked the heavier action.  BTW, I never found it sluggish.  Perhaps the sluggishness other poster refer to has to do with lack of lubrication, worn felt, keys that need easing, or some other issue that can be addressed with proper maintenance and adjustment.
Title: Re: MK 1 Light Action vs Heavy Action?
Post by: Owen K on July 10, 2020, 02:30:21 PM
Hey Dr. M,

I've been working on an early 70's Mk1 (no bump mod). The other night I shimmed the action rail in an attempt to increase key depth. It worked, but also seemed to lighten the action significantly. Is it possible that your piano has been shimmed under the action rail?