The Electric Piano Forum

Repairs, Maintenance & Upgrades => Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs => Topic started by: Jarkko on November 27, 2018, 05:02:18 AM

Title: Rhodes strange sound on attack
Post by: Jarkko on November 27, 2018, 05:02:18 AM
Hi all! I finally bought a Rhodes Mk. 2 last summer and - with all its problems and need of maintenance - I love it. A big thank you to all in this forum for valuable info so far!

Lately I've struggled with a problem I can't diagnose. There is a strange extra noise in the attack of F#-3 that makes the attack very muddy. Here's a link (I hope the quality suffices):

My best quess is that the damper releases the tine too late and prevents normal attack. I could not verify this visually however and adjusting the escapment didn't help.
Any ideas?

Problem number two: How much is normal regarding overtones in the bass segment? With all the voicing in the world I've not managed to make the bass department anything but very overtony.

Like this:

Thank you all in advance!
Title: Re: Rhodes strange sound on attack
Post by: Jarkko on December 12, 2018, 05:17:16 AM
Could someone please help me with this issue? I'm really struggling to find an explanation for the sound. Also let me know if the link isn't working or its a impossible task otherwise.
Title: Re: Rhodes strange sound on attack
Post by: pnoboy on December 12, 2018, 11:53:49 AM
It's hard to say, but the odd attack that you demonstrate could be caused by the tine swinging enough to wack into its damper.  Try this, while watching the dampers, depress the sustain pedal.  You should be able to move the dampers further down than they might be being moved by holding a key down.  If that's the case, hit that note again, and see if the sound is more normal. 

As far as the tone, it sounds very tinny, like there's something wrong with your amp, or something odd with your piano.  Do you have a guitar you could plug into your amp to see if that sounds normal?  If it does, try plugging the harp directly into your amp, bypassing the front-panel controls.  BTW, I assume you have a stage piano--is that the case?
Title: Re: Rhodes strange sound on attack
Post by: Jarkko on December 13, 2018, 07:20:11 AM
Thanks for your reply! I will try that tonight and see what the sustain pedal does. Let's hope that's the explanation. I have tried adjusting the escapement to its playable extremes with no change for the better.

Sorry I forgot to mention the gear. Yes, it's a Mk. 2 Stage. I'm playing it through a Musicman 112 RP Sixty-five guitar amp.

I didn't think the overall sound was that tinny but now that you mention it, the piano has a preamp which I assume to be aftermarket (it uses a battery). As a matter of fact, when I bought the piano, the previous owner had bypassed the preamp and cut the wires (which I didn't appreciate). I have to try bypassing it and see. Thanks for this observation! It's not easy to diagnose these things with no other pianos to compare to.
Title: Re: Rhodes strange sound on attack
Post by: pianotuner steveo on January 10, 2019, 08:33:59 AM
It could be weak/almost dead battery in the preamp, it could also have to do with voicing. ( tine to pickup alignment)  Are the free ends of those tines above the ends of the pickups, like way above? Are the pickups too close or too far away?
Title: Re: Rhodes strange sound on attack
Post by: Jarkko on January 16, 2019, 01:49:52 PM
Thanks for the reply! The battery should not be the issue but I'll check that out too. The voicing is nothing out of the ordinary: a tiny bit above "optimal" position.

I have been messing around quite a bit with the voicing of that problem tine to cure that weird attack noise but no luck so far. Right now my best quess is that it's an action thing because on some firm strokes the attack is clearer all of a sudden. It's a little buzzling.

I'm a little concerned about that "tinnyness" pnoboy described. I hadn't thought anout that my self except for several problematic notes but now I'm not sure what to expect. I quess it is a little dull sounding overall compared to some nice examples on Youtube. Would be nice to test other amplifiers (mine is Musicman RP 65) and compare.