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Messages - bourniplus

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Hi, I'm not very familiar with the Helpinstill but I believe it's close to a typical drop-action.

You might want to call a piano tuner-technician to help you with your action problems. If some keys don't return to their rest position easily, it may be that the key bushings are tight and should be eased. It could also be tight center pins elsewhere in the action.


There are two ways I think that thick backrail felt could be done:

Carve a groove in the case for the felt with a router.  (For the plastic-key Rhodes that don't have a keybed.)


Install the thick felt, and sand down the back end of the keysticks to compensate.

Yeah, I thought about this while I was in there, but felt like it would have been a crime to carve a Rhodes like that.
All this brings another question to mind: how much should hammer-to-tine distance be? I haven't found anything about this in the forums or in the service manual.  I didn't think of measuring it before installing the bump mod,  but -after shimming the action rail to bring it back close to original- it seems to be around 47mm. (1"13/16) I also measured my MkV, where it's about 50mm (1"15/16).

pretty much anything is possible if you put the time and energy.
A simple piece of music wire, (you could recycle old piano strings) cut to the correct length, can act somewhat as a tine.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Backrail felt: how thick can you go?
« on: December 31, 2020, 08:34:39 PM »
Hey everyone, first, happy new year to all! I just received my MkI refurb kit from Vintage Vibe. While the Rhodes is apart I'm thinking of replacing the original backrail felt with new thicker one - or maybe a combination of red felt and green felt on top - in order to quiet the action.
Now, if I bring it up to a height similar to that of most acoustic pianos, that will reduce keydip and hammer travel significantly. So, I would have to shim the action rail accordingly, and the harp as well. Is there any other major problem I'm not thinking of? Am I going down a rabbit hole??

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Homemade electric piano
« on: December 22, 2020, 08:50:15 AM »
Super! Je vais suivre avec intérêt!

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Mute rail (buff stop) for Rhodes
« on: December 22, 2020, 08:43:20 AM »
A pedal would be very cool, but I still haven't thought of way to do that without modifying the piano. For the moment, I can wedge a small piece of wood to keep the mute in the ON position. If I end up doing a permanent installation whitch I could switch manually, I think I could get away with three small screws in the harp, however I'm in no hurry!

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Mute rail (buff stop) for Rhodes
« on: December 20, 2020, 08:55:48 AM »
(also posted on the facebook Rhodes fan page)

I'm building a buff stop (could also be called marimba stop I guess), here's what it sounds and looks like:
I first tried putting downward pressure on tonebars, and downward pressure on tines, and this version is sideways pressure on tines, so in a way, similar to a harpsichord buff stop.

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Rhodes Mk1 Stage key bounce
« on: December 07, 2020, 07:57:40 PM »
Hi and congrats on your acquisition!

There are many different sources of noise that combine and result in the sound you hear. It's probably a good idea to replace all the felts you mentioned.
Another thing you could do is install a backcheck kit from VV. I actually bought one of these kits a few years ago for my MkV, but after realizing that the parts should be modified to fit on the MkV keyboard, I forgot about the project and I'm now thinking of installing it on my MkI. Not everybody agrees that it's a good idea, but in my opinion it does help to reduce the number and intensity of hammer (and key) bounces when the key is released.
If you want to take it even further, I'd say you could have the key bushings replaced (front and center), but this job should be done with the proper tools, felt and cauls for gluing the felt. It's not terribly difficult, but if you don't want to get too involved with this kind of repair, you might want to have it done by a piano technician. I've done this repair on acoustic pianos, but to be honest I still haven't done it to my Rhodes, however I'm pretty sure it would help to quiet the action and make it feel more firm.
good luck!
By the way I'm with you on ordering only once from VV, I'm also in Canada and everytime I order, the total cost with exchange rate, shipping, brokerage fees, etc. is just crazy. I just ordered a refurb kit and asked that they use USPS instead of UPS, don't know if it will happen...

Hi everyone, I made a video with Bach's Goldberg variations, featuring my electric clavichord, Rhodes, Clavinet, Hammond organ and Juno106. I hope you will enjoy it!

You might try de-coupling the legs from the floor, with foam, felt or other similar soft material

Amps, Effects & Recording Techniques / Re: Mic and Cabinet Emulators?
« on: October 31, 2020, 08:06:31 AM »
In my humble opinion, a hardware amp simulator is a good tool if you play live and want to plug into a P.A. instead of a guitar amp. For recording, I'd rather record direct and try different amp sim plugins in the DAW.

I'm hoping others will give better and more professional answers, but I had one key that did this, and I just added a small paper shim between the plastic and metal. The clacking sound didn't come back. This may or may not apply to your situation, mine was a white key if I remember correctly.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Where from comes the timbre?
« 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...)

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Where from comes the timbre?
« on: July 12, 2020, 09:33:03 AM »
In no particular order:
-hammer tip
-strike line (where the hammer hits)
-how long the hammer stays in contact with the tine
-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.

I love my Fender Princeton Reverb for Rhodes. I wouldn't say it has "plenty of control knobs" however, but it has everything I need. The Deluxe Reverb is nice too but of course it's a bit bigger and heavier.

You mean during the last 5 seconds? I hear stereo tremolo.

Thanks Groovemonkey!
by the way I just added another video on my youtube page, this time in a more, ahem, classical style. I'd say the audio from my phone doesn't do it justice, but when I send the output to a mixer and to my pair of small powered speakers, I can get a nice acoustic-ish sound, especially if I keep the volume low and can hear the very high frequencies from the strings themselves, which no magnetic pickup can really capture IMO. Here it is:
Also, for the moment, I've removed the "under pickup" and kept only the one above the strings, but made it so I can move it closer to the bridge and get all the sounds in-between.
Edit: I added another video in which I added my Rhodes MkV to play one of Bach's Goldberg variations:

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Valente Electric Pianos
« on: April 30, 2020, 09:04:05 AM »
Congratulations for going all the way in designing, making, and marketing a new electric piano! My hat's off to you sir.

Thanks melveyr,
making the steel frame was a nice challenge. I cut the different parts myself and joined them with bolts, then took that to a welding shop who welded it for me. Then drilling all the holes for the strings, I admit I ruined a few drill bits in the process!
The pickups are regular single coil electric guitar pickups. Since there are 50 strings, 3 pickups end to end are needed. A real clavinet pickup would work but I'm such a cheapskate!

Thanks! By the way I've added a few more videos:
A Nintendo classic, since I think the instrument sounds "8-bit-ish" for some reason. For this one I used the pickup under the strings, closer to the bridge.
A jazzy tune for which I used the "neck" (!!) pickup.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / My homemade electric clavichord
« on: March 13, 2020, 06:36:22 PM »
Hey guys,
I've been working on this for the last few weeks and wanted to share with you.
I still have a lot to do on it, and with all the stuff that's being cancelled these days, I think I'll have plenty of time for it!
So far I'm pretty happy with the result, the tuning is extremely stable thanks to the welded steel frame. The keyboard came from an old discarded piano. Until yesterday I had some trouble with the damping, after trying, among others, the traditional Clavinet yarn method which for some reason didn't work very well. I ended up using wedge-shaped piano dampers tied to the strings. It's single-strung for the three lowest octaves, and then double-strung, and double and triple-fretted (each pair of strings is used for two or three notes).
Anyhow, I hope you'll enjoy.
best regards,

+1 to sean's post.

I sometimes think of splitting the pickup rail of my Mk1 (bass/treble) so I can send the bottom two octaves to be amplified separately from the rest, for when I want to play left hand bass. The main thing that keeps me from doing it is having to drill in the nameplate.

Basically all I did was making a 1-string "bass" with a 2x4 and an upright bass string. Then I modified the pedals so that they're spaced like frets. The pickups are actually guitar pickups, I think they work just as well as bass pickups. Right now it's plugged in a bass amp. The length of string before the first pedal is muted with pieces of felt.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / My homemade electric pedal-clavichord
« on: January 23, 2020, 06:29:07 PM »
Hey guys,
I had this old organ pedalboard lying around and decided to do something with it. Don't worry, it's not from a Hammond. I also had the switch assembly and at first I thought of midifying it (I've built two midi pedalboards in the past with furring strips but they were pretty crappy, and I've now destroyed them and kept the encoder) but then I thought that turning it into a giant monophonic clavichord would be way more fun. So, I still have some work to do on it obviously, but this will give an idea of what it sounds like:

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Worn balance rail holes
« on: January 05, 2020, 08:20:07 AM »
If you have access to the book "Pianos inside out", a few solutions are given on page 237. One is cutting a notch and inserting a small hardwood strip where the hole has elongated.
My piano tuning mentor had a special drill bit machined which allows to drill a hole the width of the key, using the existing hole as a guide. Then this is filled with an insert that is made on a CNC machine. He was thinking of selling these as a kit, but for a single piano it would be pretty expensive.

Amps, Effects & Recording Techniques / Re: JC-40?
« on: August 03, 2019, 10:41:57 PM »
I have a JC77 and really like how my Rhodes' sound through it. If the JC40 is similar, I guess it should work well with a Wurly too. 10" speakers can sound very nice. Plenty of bass as far as I'm concerned. (In my JC77 and Fender Princeton Reverb at least.)

Classic & Modern Fender Rhodes Artists / Mr. Clean (Groove Holmes)
« on: March 06, 2019, 07:06:11 PM »
Hey guys,
I came across this today:

From what I read, the composer, Weldon Irvine, was playing the Rhodes, and this was the first recording of the song.

Listen to that "b flat" in the middle octave!!


Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: MKV Hammer Tips
« on: February 18, 2019, 01:49:58 PM »
Hi, there is this thread from a few years ago in which you participated:

At the end of thread I describe what I did for the middle of the range. I never replaced the original bass hammers so I can't help you with that.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Helpinstill 64
« on: February 13, 2019, 05:34:44 PM »
Hi, can you tell us more about its issues?

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Sluggish cp-70 action
« on: January 09, 2019, 10:37:07 AM »
Without being there it's hard to say. Can you take out the action, inspect visually and operate each part manually: wippen, hammer, etc.? Could be a tight center pin, hammer rubbing on its neighbour...

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