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Messages - theseacowexists

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Are you getting any signal, or just the hum?

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: New Tine, No Sustain
« on: May 10, 2020, 10:12:46 AM »
I tried tightening it in a vise, still no luck. I'm gonna call the vendor tomorrow and see if they'll replace it.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: New Tine, No Sustain
« on: May 08, 2020, 10:06:04 AM »
As far as I can tell, the tine is seated firmly in the block. Doesn't wiggle in the slightest.

Tineblock is tightened firmly as well. Tightening the screw any further just starts to turn the block clockwise.

I don't have a tonebar clip, although I did try a makeshift one at the vendor's suggestion. I tried a small binder clip, still got nothing but a bottle-like CLINK when striking the tine.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / New Tine, No Sustain
« on: May 07, 2020, 11:43:36 AM »
I just bought brand new parts for a note that was missing from from a Rhodes (#73, the high E). Screws, springs, grommets, tine, tonebar, tuning spring. Put it all together and it produces nothing but a fast PLINK with only a vague sense of any pitch to it. It does this even when the assembly is out of the piano - holding it by the screws and tapping the tine. Did the same test with #72 assembly, that sounds just as good as it does in the piano. I know the high notes can have trouble with sustain but this seems like something else is amiss. Anyone else experience this? Could the tine just be a dud?

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Korg Poly 61 Pitch Bend Issue
« on: April 17, 2020, 09:27:48 AM »
So the pots that are inside the joystick assembly (there are two for each axis) are the ones we've cleaned. The pitchbend depth pot on the front panel works, and it varies the depth of the pitchbend down. Up does nothing. The bend up adjustment trimpot that I tried adjusting (and replacing) on one of the circuit boards under the hood. There's also a bend down adjustment trimpot, but since that is functioning as it should, I left it alone.

The other reason we had it open, in fact, was to replace the battery. It had corroded pretty bad, but it doesn't appear to have done any damage. So we swapped it out for a battery holder and life is good! Except for no upwards pitch bend, of course.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Korg Poly 61 Pitch Bend Issue
« on: April 15, 2020, 05:40:13 PM »
Anyone got a Korg Poly 61? We got one a few months ago, and everything works fine except the pitch bend up - it doesn't change the pitch at all. Pitch bend down works and so do the DCO and VCF bends (which are on the Y axis of the joystick. The joystick pots have been cleaned and are connected to the board. We read somewhere on another forum that adjusting the bend up adjustment pot on the board could fix this, but it doesn't work on this one. In fact that trimpot seemed to be busted. Swapped it out for a different one we had laying around of a different value, no luck either.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 206 Amp Backwards Capacitors?
« on: February 25, 2020, 02:51:12 PM »
I ended up leaving the caps alone, as everything was working well enough. I did replace the missing C-12 cap. The high wattage resistors were all replaced, that seems to have helped tame some of the amp noise. The piano is back with my friend, but I did offer to replace all of the resistors if it's still too noisy for her taste. So far, she seems pleased with it.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 206 Amp Backwards Capacitors?
« on: February 20, 2020, 02:52:28 PM »
Here ya go!

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 206 Amp Backwards Capacitors?
« on: February 20, 2020, 08:28:15 AM »
Yes, the ones on the left are the ones I'm talking about. So all of the negatives should be going to ground then?

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 206 Amp Backwards Capacitors?
« on: February 20, 2020, 07:18:36 AM »
The three diagrams and a shot of the board

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / 206 Amp Backwards Capacitors?
« on: February 20, 2020, 07:17:48 AM »
I'm working on a Wurlitzer 206 for a friend. A previous owner had already chopped it and modded it for an aux output and tremolo control, and those all appear to have been installed and are work correctly. The amp is quite noisy, so I replaced all the e-caps, and that helped a bit, but I've noticed something after looking at the diagrams. Is it possible that the original caps could have been installed backwards? I'm certain the three large filter caps are correct, but it's the small ones I am wondering about. There are three diagrams in the service manual, one undated, one dated June 1971, one dated June 1973. The polarity of all the small caps does not seem to match between all three diagrams. The actual board I'm working on is stamped Jan 4 1973, so it would make sense to me that the June 1971 diagram is the one I should be going off - although the actual caps don't seem to match that diagram, either!

I'm also going to replace some of the more brittle looking resistors, as I know that's helped on my Pianets. Also, C-12 (not an e-cap) appears to have been clipped out at some point - might as well put a new one in.

I've found that voicing a Pianet T is more a case of just trusting your ears. It's a combination of pad placement and pickup adjustment.

Your pads are likely located in the position where they were originally placed. The photos you saw online are correct - does your pad placement differ much? Use your pads' current position and the photos as a starting point for adjustments. An adjustment that improves the sound of one note may not be the right adjustment to make on another note.

Clean the pads. Before taking them off the keyshaft, mark each keyshaft where they are placed so that you can replace them in the same position. Wash the pads in mildly soapy water (regular ol' dish soap is fine), rinse, and let dry. offers replacement pads, but the originals should have plenty of pluck left in them, especially after a cleaning. If you find they're still not plucking to your satisfaction, then buy the replacements.

The pickup can be bent towards or away from the tip of the reed. As you might imagine, bending the pickup closer will make the note louder, bending away, quieter. Closer will produce a grittier tone, closer in character to the earlier N models or even a Wurlitzer, especially in the lower and mid octaves. It's your preference. Be very gentle when bending the pickup! Also, don't bend it so close that it touches the reed, it will either prevent the reed from sounding or make some nasty distortion.

If you are feeling particularly ambitious, there is a tiny capacitor near the output transformer that can be clipped out to give the Pianet a slightly brighter sound. The reason being that the cap attenuates some of the high frequencies, removing this will allow those to come through.

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Crackling noise when playing
« on: February 10, 2020, 09:48:29 AM »
Could there be a break in the wiring between Bb1 and B1? Look closely. Crackling could be from the ground wire that goes to the damper rail being loose. It should be securely attached to a screw on the rail.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Rhodes 73 - Some Issues
« on: February 04, 2020, 02:27:37 PM »
Ping - yes that's the word I was looking for! C is the final green tip and C# is the first yellow tip, right? Is there any harm in trying a different color on those notes to see if that helps?

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Rhodes 73 - Some Issues
« on: February 04, 2020, 09:03:46 AM »
Sustain: The dowel was installed correctly and no foreign or domestic objects were in the way. So I tried a couple of other things, which so far have given me good results. First, I tightened the bolt in the T-bar. The piano stopped lifting off the stand after doing this. As for the sustain rod, the screw is long enough, the threads are not stripped, and it goes in as far as it should. It occurred to me that maybe the surfaces were too smooth to grip each other sufficiently. To that end, I used a file to roughen up the inner rod and the inner part of the fingers. So far, this seems to be working - I played for about half an hour after doing this and didn't experience any slippage.

BONUS: It turns out there is a technical term for those 'fingers': collet!

Tonebars: I think I will try cutting the slots in the brackets. Removing the brackets freed the tonebars (turns out the same thing was happening, but to a lesser degree, at the other bracket), but did cause the tines and pickups to go out of alignment. Instead of readjusting everything I've already worked so hard on, I'm keeping the brackets in until I find the time and means to cut the slots.

Tine attack: I don't think I described the sound accurately. It sounds more like if those notes had the treble range woodcore hammers on them instead of the neoprene ones that are there - a very 'bright' attack, especially when compared to the surrounding notes. To clarify, I did install the VV colored square hammer tips kit. The tine/tonebar bolts seem as tight as they can be, and the tines are definitely not touching the pickups. Moving the pickups away doesn't reduce the harshness of the attack either.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Rhodes 73 - Some Issues
« on: February 02, 2020, 08:24:56 PM »
We finally scored a Rhodes! It's a 1973 Stage 73 model with the Major Key Harmonic Clarifier preamp. It came with everything but the legs. I've spent the last month getting it up to snuff, with new hammer tips and damper felts and the miracle mod. Overall, it plays much nicer than when we got it! I've been learning all about the mechanics of the piano and how to voice it properly, but I've run into a couple things that are either problems, or things I don't full understand yet:

The sustain pedal: Initially, it seemed to me that the pedal took quite a bit of effort to depress in order to get the piano to sustain properly. Through some threads on here, I learned about lubing the pins that the sustain bar hinges on and the shaft that the dowel sits in (did that while I was doing all the other mods). I believe I also read somewhere that the spring that's hooked onto the sustain bar could be taken off so relieve some of that resistance (haven't done that yet). What I've noticed is that after setting up the sustain pedal, after playing it for a few minutes, the rod would start to slip inside of itself, even though the wingnut was tightened all the way. The result is that when the pedal was at it's resting position, the top of the rod was not touching the dowel inside the piano - the pedal had a bit of travel before it engaged the rod. Is that normal? It seems to me that the rod should always be maintaining contact with the dowel. Also, when I do have the rod set up so that it's touching the dowel, the entire piano has a tendency to lift off of the stand that it's on! Again, is that normal? I haven't played many Rhodes, so I don't really have a point of reference.

Tonebar #53 (aka G#5, the final 'twisted' tonebar): The horizontal part tonebar seems to be rubbing against the aluminum bracket that sits between #53 and #54. Can this bracket be removed, or even moved between #54 and #55, where there seems to be a wide enough gap? The gap between #53 and #54 is wide enough, it's just that it is set too close to #53. Is this something that can be solved with new grommets and screws?

Sharp attack on a couple of middle register notes: Middle C and C#, to be exact. Almost a metallic 'clang' when the tines are struck. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the pickup, you can hear it even when the piano is unplugged. I believe they were like this before the new hammer tips.

Hope y'all might be able to help! Thanks!

Yay from me! I got a Model D for Christmas and I love it! First synth in my collection and a great introduction to synths as well.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Cembalet N Squealing Noise
« on: September 25, 2019, 09:19:01 AM »
The foam dampers do seem to help. I took an evening a couple weeks ago and ripped all the felt off and glued some cubes of foam weatherstripping in their place. The clicking is gone, and only occasionally does that squeal show up. Overall the noise floor of the instrument seems higher than it used to be - still thinking that the dampness got to it. I'm gonna try to leave a small dehumidifier inside to see if that helps. Won't hurt it at least.

Book looks great! I'll have to add it to my Christmas list lol

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Cembalet N Squealing Noise
« on: September 10, 2019, 07:17:21 AM »
I might try out some foam and see how that works out. How is your Cemablet coming along?

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Cembalet N Squealing Noise
« on: September 08, 2019, 10:50:49 AM »
You're right - it was something in the harp. I pulled back all of the dampers, and the squealing noise was much quieter, and the static and clicking was gone. Just to be sure, I disconnected the harp from the preamp, and sure enough all the noise was gone. Now, I took your advice and cleaned each gap, but then I realized that the place this had been stored for the past five months was my parents basement (long story), which is pretty damp. So I took the hair dryer to the harp for a few minutes, cleaned the gaps again, replaced the dampers, and voila, no more squealing. Only the tiniest of clicks here and there. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!

I can't help but wonder though if those felt dampers are to blame for the noise. As I had said in another thread, every key would make an audible click when activated until I grounded the copper damper holders. The felts have little stray fuzzies on them (they're felt, after all), and I can imagine that it wouldn't take too much for some of those fuzzies to come loose and wreak some sonic havoc on the pickup. Perhaps it's time to try making some dampers out of foam instead...

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Cembalet N Squealing Noise
« on: September 06, 2019, 11:16:53 PM »
My Cembalet N has been in storage since April, and when I pulled it out earlier this week, it was noisy as all heck. Specifically a squealing/oscillating sound, accompanied by some random clicks and pops. It's loud enough to be noticeable while playing. I had noticed the squealing noise a couple times before it went into storage, but it was never anywhere near as loud and constant as it is now. Any idea what might cause this? All of the components on the board are new, except for the transistors, rectifier, and Beyer transformer. Also, this happens in any room in the house and with any amp, so it's unlikely that it's interference.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Cembalet CF
« on: February 19, 2019, 07:45:50 AM »
I think I got it the noise nipped. I ended up taking apart the actual switch and loaded it up with some DeOxit. This tamed most of the noise from tapping around that area of the instrument. Since it seemed less that something was loose electronically and more that something was loose physically, the only other thing I could think of were the couple dozen screws on the underside of the case that hold the harp and key rail. Sure enough, every single one of them was super loose, and tightening after tightening them, I could tap anywhere on the instrument without any awful sounds!

So we're 90% there. That last 10% are several reeds in the first octave that are rusted and cracked beyond repair. I've gotten in touch with a pump organ repair guy locally who will supply me with old pump organ reeds to try out, it we can get the bad ones out. There's so much corrosion in that area though, it is really gonna be a challenge. It looks like someone stored the instrument on it's backside for a long time, while water dripped right down into the middle of the lowest octave, since there's water damage to the wood in that spot too.  :( Otherwise, this Cembalet has cleaned up brilliantly!

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Cembalet CF
« on: February 14, 2019, 06:46:25 AM »
Yeh, I even went in and cleaned them again just to be sure.

This is a vid of it at it's worst:

A friend that was over last night, and he wonders if maybe a wire inside the right cheek block is pinched or crossing or something, since it sounds like a loose connection. I wonder if the mains switch itself is bad. When I got the instrument, the switch wouldn't always power the instrument up, like you'd have to switch it a few times to get it to "catch" - although there doesn't feel like there's anything physically wrong with it. After cleaning it with DeOxit, it now works properly 100% of the time. I should have a 3-prong cord coming in the mail today, so if I have time tonight I'll pop that on there.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Cembalet CF
« on: February 12, 2019, 09:25:07 AM »
I had to make a trip to NYC last month, so I decided I would bring it to a place that serviced my Hohner organ when I lived down there many years ago. Turns out there were three things wrong: first, I had the capacitors reversed :o  Fortunately I had taken a picture of the board in it's original state to confirm this. My bad! Second, the bridge rectifier symbol on the schematic was reversed, so the last tech installed the new one backwards - not like he would have known better. Third, it needs a working vibrato lightbulb to get any sound at all, even with the vibrato off.

So that's left me to put the mechanical part of the instrument back together. Nearly half of the reeds needed to be tuned to some degree. The lowest G G# and A seem to have corroded beyond repair. So I've set those aside for now and focused on the other 58 notes that are functioning.

The five highest keys are what is giving me the most trouble now. They have an excessive amount of static and popping when activated and released. Before, it was some keys in the middle of the keyboard that when pressed would sound like a loose connection would get looser and hum and crackle - with and without the harp cover on. Same thing happened by tapping on the treble end of the chassis, near the mains switch. This seemed to be solved by (of all things) tightening the screwed-on wire connections to the mains indicator lamp. Where the mains wires came into the chassis was also a screwed connection, I tightened these as well. So now it's just the crazy static on those five notes, which still kinda sounds like something coming loose. I wonder if I should ground the copper damper holders like I did on the N, since this has a different pickup system. Stefan (plucker-maker) says he's never had to ground those on his instruments. My only other thought at this point is to replace the original mains cord with a three-pronger and eliminate that screwed connection for a more stable solder joint.

You can hear some of the noise in this video. It's usually worse though:

It already has a nice sound to it - brighter than the N. I just gotta get rid of those bad sounds and I think I'll have a real neat sounding instrument!

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Cembalet CF
« on: November 28, 2018, 08:07:35 PM »
Once he finally got around to it looking at it, he found that the bridge rectifier was shot. Replacing this brought the rest of the board back to what he thought was appropriate power, including at the AF101 transistor. But at the connections to the pickup and reed bar - nothing. He doesn't think there is anything wrong with the transformer either, so he is stumped at this point, as am I.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Cembalet CF
« on: October 26, 2018, 09:54:26 PM »
Ah, that makes sense. I actually brought it over to my trusty amp tech who knows more about this stuff than I do. I passed along your tip to him in case it helps (he, like me, is more familiar with the other Pianet models). I will let you know how he fares with it. Is there a possibility that the transformer coil could have gone bad?

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Cembalet CF
« on: October 24, 2018, 06:12:15 AM »
That's what I originally thought, and made sure that no reeds were touching the tabs, but the same thing happened even when the preamp was removed from the keyboard. There's no visually obvious shorts on the preamp board.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Cembalet CF
« on: October 23, 2018, 07:38:09 PM »
Hey gang, just got a Hohner Cembalet CF! Not a C, but a CF. Of course, I'm having some issues with the electronics right out of the box (as expected).

It powers up and does nothing but hum - no keyboard signal. Replaced the e-caps and resistors, same deal. The original volume pot had been removed and jumped together. Installing a replacement 250K pot did not make a difference, and does not affect the hum level when turned.

The vibrato bulb is burned out. I have a Cembalet N which does not have a working vibrato bulb, this does not stop the keyboard from working, it just means that I don't have a vibrato option, so I am assuming this one must work the same, and that the dead bulb is not my problem.

There is no voltage at the pickup. My DMM shows continuity between the pickup and the reeds. Even with the preamp unhooked from the pickup and reeds, their hookups on the board still show continuity, so it's not anything with the harp itself. I've never seen any of the other non-Pianet T Hohners behave this way. But this model has a strange coil thing in parallel with the reeds and pickup, which if I'm understanding the schematic correctly, would explain the continuity.

Anyone have experience with these? The Pianet CH is apparently the same design. What's the next thing I should look at here? I'll look closer at them, but the transistors seem to have appropriate voltage readings.


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Pianet Sticky Pad Issues
« on: September 28, 2018, 11:56:34 AM »
Sorry for reviving an old thread, but I've continued to have issues with this and have given some thought about a solution.

I have a Pianet N that has been fitted with KRS pads since I got it about 6 months ago. Recently it seems like I'm repairing a torn pad at least once a week. Most of the time it is the foam itself tearing, sometimes it's just the leather coming unattached. Many of the pads are super compressed as they rest on the reeds.

Ozdoc notes that the felt strip the the keyshafts rest on would have been originally uncompressed. The felt strip, especially on this model, is extremely compressed under the keyshafts.

Here's my thought - why not move the felt strip about 1/4" left or right? The felt in between each keyshaft is unaffected by a keyshaft resting on it for 40+ years. The sticky pads would need some time to decompress to the correct height, and I'm sure I'd have to do some minor adjustments to certain keyshafts. Ultimately, the sticky pad would not be doing the felt strip's work of keeping the keyshaft at it's proper level, and I hopefully won't have to worry about breaking a pad every time I play the darn thing.

Has anyone tried anything like this? What were the results?

On a positive note, the pads that I started repairing with spray adhesive nearly a year ago have a 100% success rate! 8)

For all six or seven Cembalet owners out there...

I've noticed that my Cembalet produces that annoying static discharge "click" that also plagues the electrostatic Pianets fitted with silicone sticky pads.  It used to be that if I did a gliss of the full keyboard every so often, it would get rid of the clicks while I was playing.  But it was getting to the point where this didn't really help anymore, and my playing was continually accompanied by those annoying clicks.

I already had the keyshafts grounded with copper tape a la Pianet, and while this does reduce the overall noise, it did not eliminate the clicking.  The solution?  The copper brackets which hold the foam (or in my case, felt) dampers need to be grounded as well.  To do this, I simply ran another piece of copper tape along the brackets, and connected it to the shielding of the case.  Problem solved!  Make sure you leave enough tape between each copper bracket, otherwise activating one key might activate it's neighbor as well. 

I want to mention that I did this in preparation for recording samples of the Cembalet with my engineer buddy.  My goal at the moment is to get samples for my Nord so the Cembalet doesn't have to leave the house for gigs.  If there's any interest, I'd be happy to share the samples!

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