Available now!.. "Down the Rhodes: The Fender Rhodes Story" (book & documentary) More...

Main Menu

Show posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Show posts Menu

Messages - Abraham

First thing first, disclaimer: My "knowledge" on electronics is more than basic so I won't pretend I can even understand how this works, but I'll try my best to explain:

This piano was sold as "non working condition". It was cheap, and later inspection revealed its action looked quite new and barely used, so I think I scored a good deal.

As soon as I had this delivered at my door I couldn't help myself but to inspect the insides and get my clumsy hands dirty... I noticed this blown fuse, and it was Friday night so I couldn't source a replacement until Monday... so I just replaced it with a thin wire and it suddenly came back to life... for a while though. I know (and I knew then) I should've stop right there till Monday, but I was so excited that I couldn't stop playing and I didn't, so I ended up with a loud pop, some smoke and a blown power amp transistor. Fuses are there for a reason. Blown fuses are blown for a reason. I know, please don't tell me about it...

According to my tech, it was this Motorola 142349 voltage regulator that was damaged, fuse wasn't there to protect, boom! Broken wurly.

He couldn't find a proper replacement, so he had to replace it with some newer "somewhat equivalent" part (I will edit and include some pictures later). 3 pins instead of 14, I think we're missing something there, but he's the tech not me, and he keeps insisting this part serves its purpose. He also replaced this blown power amp transistor (I can't recall if just one or both), apparently with a matching part this time. And he also replaced an electrolytic capacitor he didn't like for some reason.

Ta-da! The amp now works. Kind of. I didn't had the time to notice if crossover distortion was there at the beginning, so I don't know if any of this replacements could be the cause for this malfunction.

And it's been like this for a decade. Distortion is just present through speakers or phones, line out is "fine". We'll address this later, I know there's room for improvement.

But this is mainly used as a playing instrument, now that I have time to actually play, and it's something I'd like to fix.

I know mouser now stocks a direct replacement part for this 14 pin voltage regulator and maybe I could start there and try.

Also, I recently got myself another original amp + preamp I still have to test. I'll keep you posted.

Current amp has some nasty crossover distortion, my tech couldn't find the problem so it's still there. Line out is just fine, only speakers and phones are distorted. I usually plug any guitar amp or powered speakers to line out and it plays just fine. I'd go with original amp since it doesn't affect recording, but I'd like to play the instrument standalone as intended, just out of those speakers. A properly refurbished original amp will do just fine (and keep the instrument 100% original).
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / 200a cheap amp replacement
February 25, 2021, 06:16:56 AM
Sorry but I couldn't justify myself spending $400 plus shipping on a wurlitzer replacement amp... You can find TDA based amp boards on Aliexpress for cents doing pretty much the same job with power enough to drive those little speakers... you don't even use the amp for recording, so why not?

I mean, I'm not criticizing such prices, it's nice to have a direct replacement if you can afford such investment. Also, I understand design and production of such implies costs beyond my knowledge and they have a limited market to make it profitable. Just to make clear, I'm not saying those amps are overpriced, I'm just saying I can't afford one.

So, did anyone try such DIY alternatives? I know about the "free wurli" project, but it's from years ago. Build cost estimation was 120€ then, I think nowadays we could do it cheaper, I could be wrong though.

My tech just screwed up those even if I warned him about this.

I know, VV sells those, $18 is not cheap but fair... Add international shipping and we have $54 plus taxes. What would you guys use (instead)?
It was sold. I pushed too hard  ::)

Anyway I would have bought it just to fix and sell back.

Thank you.

They sent a video, they had said piano worked but truth is the amp doesn't, not much info, they say they don't know. And a leg is broken also. General shape is OK but definitely not a beauty queen. Could be a fuse, a blown up amp, or even there's no amp at all inside. I wonder how they ended up with such piano in Europe, they're not even musicians.

So they asked for 400€ ($450). Do you think its still a good deal?

I offered 300€ because this is 650 miles from home, they said they have another guy offering 400€ but they willing to sell to whoever comes first. I can wait for him not to show up, but who knows...

Quote from: Tim Hodges on April 02, 2019, 01:19:55 AM

VV's speakers but in Europe, 108.9 euros. Shipping is 8.5 euros.

Total including taxes and shipping to Spain is 124,57€ = = $139,39

Definitely not cheap, way better though... They didn't state those are Vintagevibe's either.
Vintagevibe $65 a pair... Not cheap, but not bad... BUT...

+ shipping to Spain $99!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF?!?

The problem here is, import charges are calculated including shipping cost, so...

$164 + 3% import taxes + 21% VAT + customs agent payment, makes this around:

$270 total. A single pair of speakers. Yeah. Really.

Quote from: pianotuner steveo on March 31, 2019, 06:46:07 AM
any speaker from 4-16 ohms should be fine

Really? I wouldn't risk blowing up my amp, but if you say so, I trust you. About the resistors, please elaborate  :)

I've checked back on vintagevibe and kenrichsound sites and I've noticed magnet piece is way bigger on vintagevibe ones. To my (un)knowledge this may translate to louder output? I don't see them very overpriced and I think it may be worth buying them, but shipping + import taxes breaks the deal.

Thank you.
I don't need them to be exact replacement as long as I can get them fitted to the existing holes.

I know about vintagevibe, retrolinear... They sell replacements but they're very expensive, I'm looking for cheaper alternatives or anything I can get on a local store, but then I need measures and technical details I don't have.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

There's one currently listed on eBay UK. Asking £5000 = $6500.

May I understand $800 is a good deal for European market? Maybe they're crazy and it would never sell for such amount or anything close.
Yes Im in Spain, and they asked 730€
I was offered a decent one in fair condition, with a good price I think, but I already have too many pianos so I will only take this one if its a hell of a good deal. I already have a 200A which I love.

So, what price would you expect in current market value? In Europe this things are usually more expensive than overseas in the USA.

Thank you.
...which might be my 2nd choice, though shipping is expensive also... Looks like an easy and definitive replacement and there are many good reviews, if I can't fix this amp this may be the way to go. But my first option is fixing the stock amp, I like to keep vintage gear stock whenever its possible
Ok, so I've checked vv sell those amp refurb kits at $106, it doesn't seem quite cheap but the whole deal breaker is the shipping costs, com'on guys $98 for a little lightweight box of mini-parts!! It wouldn't cost $5 to ship...

So I'll have to locate such parts myself locally... A specific list of required parts to be replaced would help, if anyone already done this before
Do you mean its supossed to sound like this? If I replace the electrolytics may I achieve some improvement?
Thank you guys!

I like the tone, its just some kind of distortion coming out of the amp -I mean its not present on line out, but just headphones & speakers- besides some level of noise I think I should somewhat improve. Such an instrument just deserves the best. I didn't mean to do this myself, I'm taking this to someone experienced in electronics -finding someone experienced in wurlies is just impossible in my area- and he insist those parts meet their tolerances and should not be exchanged just because of age. He will do whatever I ask him anyway... I just want to know what should I ask him to change and where to get those parts from

Sound I get from the PhoneOut/Speakers:

As I'm getting clean output from the line out, I guess the preamp has to be OK, isn't it?
Im plaining a major restoration of my 40 years old 200A amp, so Im here to ask you guys, wich parts are prone to failure due to their age, and which ones are mandatory to get replaced on every amp to be properly serviced?

Thanks in advance!
I need those for a project, I mean frequency & gain range for each knob, did anyone here make a proper measurement and would like to share detailed info? otherwise I will have to measure myself, and I don't have the proper equipment for such task

Thank you guys!
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 200A hum Problems
March 10, 2014, 01:44:36 PM
Are those side ground wires supossed to be stock on every 200A? They're not present on mine, may I simply make those connections or may I mess it up doing this myself? I know nothing about electronics and last time I put a soldering iron on my wurly I ended up with a burnt amp...
I don't like the nord rhodes samples, they don't sound convincing to me, so may I ask, which ones do you prefer?

I have a nord electro 2 rack, so I couldn't load any newer and bigger samples, though I still have a few to choose from, but...

The MKI sounds dull, velocity is way too hard so you have to strike the keys really hard to make it sound close to my real rhodes, being this the one that gets any closer.
MKI Suitcase is way too bright, besides they went mad abusing bark on the lower end. Same goes to MKV which sounds thin.

I very much prefer the Mr.Ray73 VSTi, which runs great on my v-machine, so I'm about to dump the nord.
Took both power amps & main to a tech, I'll keep posting. Thank you.
I've just turn on my suitcase and all of a sudden a channel is no longer working.

I've a peterson 4 pin. I've had problems before with the headphone jack but this time it isn't the same. It's not the preamp I guess. I have plugged my guitar to the amp and I only have input/output on left channel wile the preamp is unplugged. That nails it down to the cabinet, but thats as far as I can reach myself.

So, what are the most common reasons for a channel to die, what do I have to check/replace to fix it?
Thank you
Others may differ, but streetch tunning a rhodes is pointless because its own nature, not being an acoustic instrument it couldnt show inharmonicity, lets say all the sounds come from the very same spacial location -the speaker- so there couldn't be a different perception of frecuencies because of a different placement of the "strings". Being that said, some people strech tunes rhodes just to match any other instrument on stage.

I use cleartune on the iphone, there are many other, you'd be impressed how accurate it is for a tunning application on a "phone".
Cool! Pictures please!!
Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Re: 8-Pin Mod
August 15, 2013, 04:09:46 AM
Seems lime they lost the cable, before vintagevibe and such it was hard to find a proper replacement for those then it would be easier replacing the slot instead
I'll use an iron, go easy on temperature
Rhodes action is quite simple, you can figure out things for yourself, I never said its going to be easy or cheap but it seems like an early one... hybrid hammers, wooden harp supports, fully skirted keycaps.... If I ever find one of those I'll do my best to get it fixed. After all, fixing such things yourself is what this forum is all about

Needless to say, if seller lied about the piano condition go and set a claim, ebay usually protects the buyer

How much did him charge for the rhodes?
Seems like a good one... Worth the hassle for sure
Trash your MPC, this would make your rhodes sound better  ;D  ;D  ;D

Welcome aboard!
Ep's are great instruments themselves, but I wouldn't recomend using those for practicing piano, there are great -and way cheaper, lighter, more reliable- electronic pianos designed for such purpose.

If money isn't a problem go get some kawai mp series. On the low budget there are some cheap korg pianos (sp-250) with an impressive touch for the price range.

Anyhow, make sure you *actually* test them properly before making a decission
3 pedals wtf??
Warning! not recommended for sensitive people
I have the very same issue on mine, everything is stock, my tech insists everything is between tolerance boundaries so there is no need to replace anything, apparently this piano had a fuse blown right after purchase and it never got fixed by original owner, who just left it unused for years... Its like new.

My kind-of-distorted noise become noticeable as the note decays, showing up just through speakers/headphone out, not from aux, and it ends with the note release. It reminds me that kinda 8bit downsample distortion from older computer soundcards. My tech inspected the amp output feeding a pure sine test tone and passing the output through the oscyloscope getting a clean sine wave on screen... So I don't really know what's going on. Its not the speakers as the headphone out behaves the same, so its before amp. Aux out is fine, so it is the pre-amp then. It doesn't make any sense at all....
Hey Ben would you please share with us, how did you record the rhodes on this take?

I mean its obviously NOT recorded trough the same mic as larry's speech, and it really doesn't sound to me like a suitcase speaker output, also there is that little spring reverb added... I got this compared to my suitcase and it could never sound like this without further processing. I really enjoyed the sound so I will appreciate some hints on getting THAT sound from mine,

thank you!
This Rhodes sounds AWESOME, I wish mine sounded like this, betcha!
Test direct output from harp, If you don't get it to sound that way then take a closer look at the pickups wire and check continuity. If you get output from harp then check the front panel pots/jacks connection. Rhodes electronics are so simple to figure out.
thank you rob, you were right to say there's a big difference words couldn't describe!
it looks great, I hope we can hear how it sounds also!
I just don't like to admit the instrument alone sounds not-that-good, even if I agree EQ makes it better... And I did some sort of improvement already just voicing.

I think if I start with a good raw sound, then I could make it better with further process. I'd like to use EQ to improve, not for fixing what sounds bad in the first place.

Still, I would like to hear some examples from some of you & your instruments

thanks for posting!
I really liked the first one, thanks for sharing!
hey steve thank you for listening,

I agree tuning needs some adjusting. I use software based tuner but last time I tried streetching by ear ignoring what the tuner pointed... to no avail as you have noticed, but that's something I can deal with, once Im done with voicing

again, thank you guys
Thank you Rob for listening. Do you think it's voiced correctly? It doesn't sound too good to me, I'm tempted to get the pickups closer on the lower end... besides the middle and higher end still sound too bassy, so the whole keyboard sounds flat without EQ

also, if words couldnt describe the difference in sound, a short recording from yours would be great :)
Here my results, please let me know what you think

Recorded straight from output 2, unprocessed (the suitcase preamp is active so it couldn't process signal while turned off)
I still think its too bassy, don't you? I've set the tines close to fundamental and the pickups not-that-close to tines
thank you guys, this post is very informative, I already knew how this works, but still, what I need is a refference to make it sound like it should, despite what I think this should sound like. A recording from a properly voiced harp would really help

Would you guys please share your procedure for a correct voicing? I'm not asking for a step by step guide as we already have one, but some hints about what a certain note should sound like in terms of frequency spectrum.

I have no reference of what a clean unprocessed rhodes *should* sound like, I used to set up my suitcase acording to what sounds best to my ears, but when it comes to recording from plain line out it doesnt sound good, its way too bassy compared to sample libraries and I don't really know if thats a matter of voicing or eq.

I would really love to hear a clean raw recording straight from harp line out (bypassing tone controls please!) from a properly voiced rhodes, a single key from every octave would be great, so I can use it as a template for my voicing. If anyone could be so kind to contribute with such recording I'm sure it would be helpful for some of us. Thank you.

I have yet to figure out how to properly measure channels gain accurately, anyway I couldn't hear a difference while playing through speakers. Still have to make SURE but I think its just the headphone out and I will first try to locate such variable resistor and tweak a little. I had previously noticed this component but didn't dare to touch it before I could make sure this won't screw things up.

Thank you Max, I would consider shipping my amp but, living in Spain it doesn't seem like a real option... so that I have to work things out myself