The Electric Piano Forum

General => The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano => Topic started by: FG on January 04, 2022, 11:21:37 AM

Title: Refurbishing a 1980 STAGE 73 MarkII (description and a couple questions)
Post by: FG on January 04, 2022, 11:21:37 AM
Greetings everyone.

I'm a new member. My name is Fran├žois, from Belgium. I just recently bought a 1980 Stage 73 mkII with wooden keys. Such a lovely beast !

Overall it is in good condition. It plays and sounds good but I would like to tune it to my liking.
It was fully checked by Rhodes Italia in December of 2006.
I have taken the piano apart for inspection and there are no bad news apart from 3 dead pickups and some mild corrosion on the tone generators.
Some of the grommets have known better days, some screws are bent (some tonebars move left or right when voicing). I have ordered the necessary parts and plan to replace them.
In the bass end some of the tines oscillate in a figure of 8 pattern, I'm going to try the heavy spring trick. We'll see..
Hammer tips, dampers and key bushings look good to me. My guess is : they were replaced in 2006.
Key dip is good, I just have to level a couple keys.. Escapement seems to be within the specs although I have planned to experiment with that and with adjusting strike line.

Something weird I have noticed :

the action noise is consistent throughout the key range, except between keys 56 to 67, where the attack noise is significantly louder and clacky.
I have noticed it corresponds to the damper module for keys 56 to 67.
What I don't understand is that the damper module for the next octave is identical (same part number) but it does not make that noise... Weird, isn't it ?
Does any of you have an idea what might be going on here ?
The damper module in question is not loose. I have checked.

One other thing, I have taken the name rail apart to give it a good clean (vinegar, soap, baking soda). It is clean but there are some ugly spots that I can't get rid of (see picture). Would anyone have a recommendation on how to go about this? I'm not sure I can get rid of them. I Have read on the forum that a member used aluminium paint when restoring and Mk1 name rail. What do you say ? Worth the trouble or live with it ?

Anyway, thanks a lot for your help/opinion/advice. Really looking forward to receiving all the parts and getting the job done, so I can give this baby the love it deserves.

Cheers,

f






Title: Re: Refurbishing a 1980 STAGE 73 MarkII (description and a couple questions)
Post by: spave on February 06, 2022, 06:58:35 PM
QuoteI have noticed it corresponds to the damper module for keys 56 to 67.
What I don't understand is that the damper module for the next octave is identical (same part number) but it does not make that noise... Weird, isn't it ?
Does any of you have an idea what might be going on here ?

Posting a video or audio clip might help in figuring out the noise issue. It does seems like the damper module might be the problem though.

QuoteOne other thing, I have taken the name rail apart to give it a good clean (vinegar, soap, baking soda). It is clean but there are some ugly spots that I can't get rid of (see picture). Would anyone have a recommendation on how to go about this? I'm not sure I can get rid of them. I Have read on the forum that a member used aluminium paint when restoring and Mk1 name rail. What do you say ? Worth the trouble or live with it ?

I'd say leave the spots. They don't seem too bad and probably aren't worth the trouble to fix.
Title: Re: Refurbishing a 1980 STAGE 73 MarkII (description and a couple questions)
Post by: FG on February 22, 2022, 02:31:20 PM
Hey there. Thanks for the answer.

I actually decided to live with it.
The noise is not so bad. I guess this is also due to the wood core hammers.
I have two other Rhodes in the studio at the moment. Noise levels of the action are comparable.
As for the spots, no biggie. It looks great as is.

Anyway im am really happy with it. Great tone and action feels good.
I have probably tried 10 different voicings, ahah.. i guess some of you can relate.
Now i decided to stop tweaking and just play for a few weeks.

Title: Re: Refurbishing a 1980 STAGE 73 MarkII (description and a couple questions)
Post by: karst on February 22, 2022, 04:57:09 PM
So one thing to look at is if the damper arms are slapping against the hammer head. that might be as simple as the damper module isn't mounted as far back as it should be and that's why the tips of the damper are hitting the hammer head as it comes up, making that loud click.

when I first encountered this I took a slow motion video with my phone to make sure that was the cause of the noise, as it's hard to catch at normal speed.

I've also just cut 1-2mm off the tip of a given damper arm's steel (not clipping the felt) to give the hammer a little extra clearance and that worked nicely, but the fact that it's the whole module makes me think that shouldn't be necessary.
Title: Re: Refurbishing a 1980 STAGE 73 MarkII (description and a couple questions)
Post by: BlakeHardin on March 11, 2022, 09:18:16 AM
As for your noise, you could also check the felt washers under your keys. If they are hard they could be causing extra noise.