The Electric Piano Forum

General => The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano => Topic started by: Willis on July 12, 2020, 08:56:48 AM

Title: Where from comes the timbre?
Post by: Willis on July 12, 2020, 08:56:48 AM
Where from comes the timbre? Is it in the tines? Tips? Tonebars?

Seriously though, I'd like to hear opinions on what the most important components are in imparting the different timbres found across the model years.

As in: would a 1980 mk2 bark like sparkle top if only you replaced the 'X's with 1969 'X's...
Title: Re: Where from comes the timbre?
Post by: bourniplus on July 12, 2020, 09:33:03 AM
In no particular order:
-tine
-hammer
-hammer tip
-strike line (where the hammer hits)
-how long the hammer stays in contact with the tine
-tonebar
-how the tine and tonebar are mounted
-pickup (wire, number of turns, magnet, etc)
-where the pickup is located relative to the tine
-how the pickups are wired together (parallel / series)
-tone and volume

I'm sure I'm forgetting some. I'll leave it to someone else to say which are more important. To me, everything contributes to the end result.
Title: Re: Where from comes the timbre?
Post by: pianotuner steveo on July 13, 2020, 05:52:38 AM
The list sounds about right except, what would the hammer have to do with it? The tip, yes, but the hammer itself? If one hammer mounting pin is broken, that will alter the sound, but if the hammer itself is in perfect condition, I'm not sure how that would affect the timbre.
Title: Re: Where from comes the timbre?
Post by: bourniplus on July 13, 2020, 06:59:58 AM
The material of the hammer would probably go at the bottom of the list in order of importance, but in my humble opinion it still makes a tiny difference. And yes the tip must have much more impact on the end result. But let's imagine an extreme example, where the hammer body would be made of cardboard, or styrofoam... I can only guess it would make a difference. More than wood / plastic, but still. I've only worked on a few Rhodes in my life, mostly my own MkI and MkV, and between these two I definitely hear a difference in sound, and they have different hammers.

Now that you mention it Steveo, the hammer pivot system does have its importance too. It might be more felt in the action, but it's also heard in the sound to some extent. I've converted one of the hammers of my MkV, for which the comb was broken, to "metal center pin and wooden flange with felt bushing", and I can definitely tell the difference, mostly in the action. (Whatever difference in sound may be psycholgical side-effect...)
Title: Re: Where from comes the timbre?
Post by: Willis on July 20, 2020, 11:06:31 AM
Grateful for the opinions! Thank you