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Topics - John Brevik

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Amps, Effects & Recording Techniques / Small speaker setup for home use
« on: October 12, 2021, 06:29:07 PM »
Hi, all,

I'm setting up my student piano in the living room, so to keep the spouse happy I need an unobtrusive but reasonably attractive amp/speaker setup. I have settled on a nice li'l 5-watt (solid-state class AB) amp and am looking probably at a small custom cabinet, but I really don't grok speakers. I was thinking about a 2x8 or even 2x6 for space factor, maybe with one (Jensen?) bass driver and one full-range -- but as I say I'm no expert so I'm open to suggestions (1x10?). Any suggestions or things to think about? I really just want to get a nice vintage tone at living-room volume.

I realize that the question is a bit vague, but I'd appreciate the input of those who know more than I do about these things. Thanks!


For Sale / John McLaren to sell his Rhodes collection
« on: October 30, 2012, 07:24:38 PM »

Dear List Members,

I have had the privilege to be in touch with John McLaren, and he asked me to post on this site that he will soon be putting his collection of 30-40 Rhodes pianos, spanning the production run, up for sale. I'll make sure that one way or another any further updates get posted here.

So if you are shopping for a very special piano, particularly those of you local to Southern California, you might want to hold off just a bit longer!

Best regards,


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Plexi(?) music stand for Student Piano
« on: December 01, 2011, 06:42:54 PM »
Hi, all,

Trying to get a very old gold sparkletop student piano functioning. I'm missing the clear plastic music stand. Anybody have any info about dimensions/material for these things? I'd also be grateful for any ideas about what kind of shop I might go to in order to get it cut cleanly and precisely.



The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Shout-out from John McLaren
« on: May 23, 2011, 11:47:41 PM »

Hi, Rhodes fanatics,

I have had the good fortune to meet up with John a few times. A very interesting, gracious, and generous human being!

Anyway, he asked me to pass along his best wishes to his friends on this site. He is doing well but is experiencing computer trouble, so he's had trouble keeping up here and with his emails.

Just wanted to pass that along!



Hi, All,

I just picked up a very old student piano -- about '66 I think, although I can't find a date code. I have a bunch of low-quality pictures at

I have a few questions, some of which might be clarified through the pictures.
1. The (teardrop) hammers (all but the first octave and a half) have screws through the wood to which the felt mounts. Doesn't seem to be functional but presumably to add weight. Is this normal?

2. Each of the the key pedestals has a screw and two nuts on it, again apparently to add weight. Weird or normal?

3. The hammers are about an eighth or maybe 3/16 of an inch too far left. This manifests itself in a couple of ways. One, the key pedestals do not line up directly below the hammer butts, so that in fact two of the keys engage not only their own hammer but the one adjacent to the right. Two, many of the hammer tips tend to slide past their tine and get stuck; even the ones that don't are not striking near their center. Is there a way to move that whole assembly? It seems not. Suggestions?

4. Some of the hammertips are fairly grooved, but the depth is such that it looks from the online manual that I can sand them (though if I could center them on the tines, I probably wouldn't have to, as the centers are nice and pristine). The manual says to use "very coarse sandpaper," but I'm wondering if anybody has a specific grit recommendation. 80?

5. Related question: Said grooves are not at the very tips of the hammers but on the broad flat part that faces the player in rest position. Is this correct, or is it a sign that the escapement has been too high? (I don't want to set escapement too low for fear of breaking Raymacs.) Again, if I need to set escapement I probably won't have to sand the tips.

6. When I do set escapement, is there any nice reference like the 3/8" for the twisted tines as a starting point?

7. I'm one tine short of a full harp (which is a term I'm going to start incorporating into my conversations). Any ideas for finding such a beast?

I'm sure that more enervations will follow, but this seems like a good start. :) Thanks in advance.

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Suitcase Speakers in San Diego
« on: February 10, 2008, 06:23:50 PM »
Hi, All,

I have not contacted this seller, but I thought I should pass it along.

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Mark I Suitcase Preamp Wiring
« on: September 18, 2007, 08:03:49 PM »
Hello, everyone,

This topic was touched on in the archived thread
but I'm too thick to appreciate its import.

I've actually got a Satellite Stage I'm resuscitating, and somebody re-wired the jacks to do their nefarious bidding (the nature of which I don't know); I'm just trying to put it back. As I gather, the two outer connection points of jack 1 connect to the RCA plug, and the middle one goes to jack 2. Jack 2 also gets both leads from the preamp; I have a grey and an orange wire, of which I believe the grey is common.

Is all of this correct? If so, my question is which of the two points on jack 2 should be connected to jack 1. I've looked at the schematic at
but don't know how to read the symbols around the jacks. I gathered it should be the common side from the picture, but that didn't make sense to me electrically.



Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Restoring action
« on: August 24, 2007, 09:56:37 AM »
Hi, all,

I have a 1973 Stage 73. The previous owner seems to have modified the action heavily -- for one thing, there is a big gap between the keys and the upstop felt (hope that's the right term -- the felt strip under the namerail), resulting in, among other things, a very small key dip. I checked into it, and I found a couple of things. First, the keybed felt consists of two strips. Just as a calibration, they are each just as thick as one of the felt punchings on the balance rail, or just under 1/8 inch. Said balance rail has no paper punchings, only the felt ones.

I'm interested in just getting it back close to stock and going from there. I experimented by stacking two felt punchings on one guide pin, and that key's action seemed much better, but of course I could have achieved a similar effect by removing one of the felt strips from the back. Am I correct that there should only be one felt strip on the keybed? Also, are there typically paper punchings on the balance rail, or should I wait and see whether the piano needs them?

Thanks as always,


Hi, gang,

I've come into a 1973 stage 73. I like the symmetry. Anyway.

This seems to be one of those made for satellite speakers, with the suitcase namerail. I am very pleased, as I love the tone of the suitcase preamp and only parted with my suitcase for issues of portability and preservation of a pretty nice example. Also with the piano came a suitcase bottom, with amp (and pedal) but without speakers. I have not tested the setup yet, having promptly left the country after making the acquisition, but I believe the preamp and amp work, and I'm impatient! Here's my idea: If I can load or find a 2x12 cabinet with 16-ohm speakers, it should be straightforward to drive them with the suitcase amp, thus preserving my beloved stereo tremolo, no? Does this seem like a GOOD idea? Suggestions for drivers would be welcome!

Bonus Question: If I can accomplish the above, and find a general-purpose preamp circuit that takes a +- 15V power supply, any reason I couldn't/shouldn't build a "combo preamp" pedal out of this to use this amp/speaker combination as my amplifier of choice?

Thanks in advance, as always, for your collective wisdom :)


Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Dyno custom action
« on: March 30, 2007, 03:50:10 PM »
I'm playing a '74 suitcase 88, and a very groovy sticker together with some writing in black felt-tip pen on the harp frame indicates "Custom Action by Dyno-My Piano" in 1976. A couple of question.

First, does this mean something fairly standard? All I could find in the archives on these pages had to do with tine adjustment -- which I also think was done, because the tines seem to be quite a ways above dead center, especially on the bass end but nothing about action. I don't have another piano handy to compare this one to -- but the action, even after lubing the felts, seems kind of sluggish to me.

Second, any opinions about whether I might want to undertake re-adjusting it back closer to stock? I'm more into jazzy tones and like the old Steely Dan and Herbie tones better than the Yellowjackets. On the other hand, the FAQ on these pages reads a little like Chuck just plain made a lot of things better, and I don't want to mess with any of those.

Sorry about the rambling nature of the questions, and thanks in advance for your replies -- what a great forum!

Best regards,


Hi, folks,

I saw this posted on LA craigslist and thought that someone on this list might be interested. I have not contacted the guy and cannot vouch for him at all.



Hello to all from a newbie.

I have a very nice late-70s suitcase 88, which I don't use much (my main axe is a Hammond). I will be using it on a jazz gig in a small club (capacity 50-70). It sounds good to practice on, and I've even recorded with it on a rock/soul record, but I've never played a live performance with it. In rehearsal I'm having a hard time getting the thing to cut through, especially in the high end -- it's lacking in attack and definition. I guess what I'm looking for is a tone that functions more like a piano for comping and soloing. I've messed with the tone controls, but I haven't found a setting that helps too much. I've read some interesting stuff in this forum about these issues, but I'm hoping for some practical advice on how to use the instrument as is. For example, what's your favorite tone setting? Should I try to scam a chorus or phase pedal from somebody? We do have a small PA -- do you think it would help to mike it and run it through that?

Thanks in advance -- I appreciate any insight, advice, or opinions!


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