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Topics - Mark II

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The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / inharmonicity on a rhodes' tine ?
« on: October 03, 2008, 04:40:19 AM »
Alright, I spent some time examine the rhodes sound with MATLAB ®. I used the FFT on a single key, copied a sample with the length of 1 second and transformed it into a spectrum... but I dont want to bore you with all the technical details.

the main question when stretched tuning is concerned is if the rhodes' tines suffer from inharmonicity of the partials. inharmonicity is when the higher harmonics are not integer multiples of the fundamental frequency.

I wrote a little script that finds all the peaks in the spectrum (=harmonics) of a rhodes' tine and its frequencies. and this is the result:

for example:
F1 (second key on my Mark II 73)    

Code: [Select]
   'n#'    'mag(dB)'     ' freq (Hz) '    'var equal temp'    'note'    'var harm'
    [ 1]    [-10.4876]    [    43.7393]    [        3.3961]    'F1 '     [  3.3961]
    [ 2]    [       0]    [    87.4786]    [        3.3981]    'F2 '     [  3.3981]
    [ 3]    [ -2.7309]    [   131.8909]    [       14.2065]    'C3 '     [ 12.2065]
    [ 4]    [ -3.6319]    [   175.6302]    [       10.0459]    'F3 '     [ 10.0459]
    [ 5]    [ -1.5443]    [   219.3695]    [       -4.9686]    'A3 '     [  9.0314]
    [ 6]    [-12.9016]    [   263.1088]    [        9.7845]    'C4 '     [  7.7845]
    [ 7]    [ -3.5731]    [   306.8481]    [      -23.9745]    'D#4'     [  7.0255]
    [ 8]    [-22.6191]    [   351.2604]    [       10.0459]    'F4 '     [ 10.0459]
    [ 9]    [ -6.7262]    [   394.9997]    [       13.2195]    'G4 '     [  9.2195]
    [10]    [-13.0943]    [   438.7390]    [       -4.9686]    'A4 '     [  9.0314]
    [11]    [-11.6204]    [   482.4783]    [      -40.4462]    'B4 '     [  8.5538]
    [12]    [-12.0037]    [   526.2177]    [        9.7878]    'C5 '     [  7.7878]
    [13]    [-20.6433]    [   569.9570]    [       48.0202]    'C#5'     [  7.0202]
    [14]    [-13.0879]    [   614.3692]    [      -22.0772]    'D#5'     [  8.9228]
    [15]    [-33.1867]    [   657.4356]    [       -4.7844]    'E5 '     [  7.2156]
    [16]    [-15.4013]    [   701.8478]    [        8.3869]    'F5 '     [  8.3869]

n# = number of harmonics, 1 = fundamental frequency
mag(dB) = magnitude in dB of the harmonics (measured)
freq (HZ) = frequency of the harmonic (measured)
var equal temp = variance of the measured harmonic to the next note of the equal temperament in cents (1 cent is a 1/100th of a semitone in equal temperament)
note = next note of the equal temperament
var ham = variance of the measured harmonic to the natural harmonic in cents

I tuned the F1 3 cents too high (which is pretty good as you all know the game of moving the tuning spring up and down the tine)
all other harmonics are not integer multiples of the fundamental frequency

for all other tines from E1 to H1 it can be said that the harmonics differ from real integer multiples of the fundamental frequency.
the range of variance is from 3 cents to 10, some single harmonics even have a variance of 100 cents (which is a semitone), but as only one single harmonic per tine is that way off it could be a bad tine !?!).
From C2 on the variance of measured to natural harmonics becomes smaller and is neglectable from C3 to C4. I didnt examine the higher octaves yet.

As I am not able to do the same thing on a acoustic piano someone else has to see if the harmonicity of a piano is bigger than the result above in order to judge whether stretch tuning in neccessary (/an option) or not. I hope this is in some way helpfull for answering the question about stretch tuning.

kind regards
Mark II

hi, subejct says it all. I am looking for well known rhodes tunes that anyone will know. repeating: anyone, not just the musicians/ rhodes lovers
please keep that in mind  :!:


ray charles - shake your tailfeather, (blues brother movie)
jamoriquai - blow your mind (all day long on the radio)
the doors - riders on the storm
Billy Joel - just the way you are
the crusaders - streetlife

genre: is up to you

thanks in advance
kind regards

Mark II

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / missing channel on a suitcase
« on: August 02, 2008, 09:54:49 AM »
first of all you have to know where to start.
best method to track down the problem is to find the source
there are 3 possibilties:
1. bad preamp (built into the piano section with volume, EQ and tremolo knobs)
2. bad cable
3. bad power amp (built into the loudspeaker cabinet)

Bad power amp:
If you own a later build cabinet (e.g. FR7710) you are pretty lucky.:
Use the external/internal connection possibilities of the main amp modul.
Connect another source (e.g. I-POD, CD player, turn the volume down  :x ) to the power amp input jacks
or use the headphone jack to connect a headphone.

If all speakers/channels are working. Fine. it is not the power amp !
Otherwise ... you know where to zoom

If you own an older cabinet with a panel without external jacks you could do this to check if it is a main amp or pre amp related problem:

Be aware that there is the danger of an electrical shock when working inside the cabinet. Even if you have unplugged the cabinet (which you should do at first) some electrical parts (capacitors most likely) may have some power loaded which might cause harm to you. So dont touch any metal contacts on the printed circuit boards.

1. unplug the suitcase piano (light socket)
2. open the cabinet (loudspeaker box)
3: there are 2 RCA cables (cinch connectors) going from the connection panel to the 2 power amps. switch them.
4. bring the cabinet back in playing condition and plug it in.
5. play it.

If the same channel/loudspeakers are bad (hum, dead, etc.) it is a bad main amp. If the other channel is missing, you should check cable and preamp

bad cable:
change it or check if all 4-5 pins on both connectors read 0 ohm or have continuity  (you will need an ohmmeter/ continuity tester).measure the same pins on both jacks, meaning one tip of your measuring device on pin #1 of the preamp jack the other on pin #1of the cabinet jack.

bad preamp:
if its not the cable or the power amp it is the preamp.
Otherwise you can use the preamp output/external amplifiers jacks of the later cabinets and connect the preamp to another amp (mixer or guitar amp or even a recording device) to be sure.

In many cases following this "tracking down method" you will have to measure (voltmeter, oszilloscope), swing a soldering iron and read schematics. If you dont know how to do this ask a tech or someone else skilled to help you.

@James: how about a sticky behaviour for this post ?

Classic & Modern Fender Rhodes Artists / Bugge Wesseltoft
« on: July 18, 2008, 03:28:32 AM »
Have to post it here. check it out, nix mixture of jazz and modern loops = nu jazz ?!?
you name it. but, more important, decent rhodes sounds and beuatifull improvisation

kind regards

Mark II

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Keyboard Magazine December 1993
« on: June 22, 2008, 05:40:53 AM »
Hi, there is an interview with Harold Rhodes on this magazine. Is someone here who owns a copy and would like to send me a scan of it ?

Please contact me via PM.

thanks in advance

Mark II

Classic & Modern Fender Rhodes Artists / Esbjörn Svensson R.I.P.
« on: June 16, 2008, 07:26:02 AM »
He played the Rhodes on some recordings in a brilliant way (check Nils Landgren's recordings), but most of reputation he earned with his acoustical piano trio E.S.T.. Anyway, a great musican is gone: He was killed in an diving accident on saturday


Hi folks, I need your help.
I was trying to examine the timbre setting of my beloved rhodes and noticed, that my upper octave has some problems:

    the damper felts are  too deep to get a close pickup setting.
    my pickup mounting arms are bended, without resetting tine's heights or rebending the arms I am not able to get another timbre setting than pure fundamental

As this is my first and only rhodes I examined a little bit closer:Is it normal to be like that ? What is your advice, bend them back ?

I will attach two pictures, sorry, focus used to be somewhere else :wink:
thanks in advance

Mark II

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Numbers on tines
« on: May 13, 2008, 02:30:52 AM »
I have a question. what kind of numerations of the tines are out there:

my tines go from 8 to 80 (stage 73)
are all suitcases are numbered 0 to 88 or are there different numerations of the tines out there ?

kind regards.

Mark II

For Sale / Fender Rhodes Piano Bass on German Ebay
« on: March 30, 2008, 11:10:14 AM »
I just wanted to inform you that someone (not me) is selling a Fender Rhodes Piano Bass on german ebay with buy it now for 700 euros.

I know, that some of you might be interested.

cheers and good luck

Mark II

Buying / Rhodes Stage in Ebay Germany
« on: March 27, 2008, 02:03:50 PM »
I cant believe it, now they are paying almost 2k Euros for a regular stage in Germany.


What's next ?

Mark II

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Literature
« on: February 18, 2008, 09:19:49 AM »
Hi folks.
I am looking for literature concerning the Fender Rhodes Epiano.
topics: history, models, sound production, etc.

form of literatur: anything asides from internet pages:
book, magazine article, master thesis, etc.

thanks for your help in advance.

Mark II

Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Reußenzehn Tube Box
« on: December 22, 2007, 12:37:24 PM »
Thomas Reußenzehn, famous german amp custom designer and builder has built a tube driven amplifier/speaker combo for rhodes pianos.

sorry, the site is avaiable in german only, but I will translate some specs:

single ended 6L6 class A, 15 watts
12' eminence speaker and double treble driver (front)
10' fullrange speaker (rear)
price: 999 euros.

yes, the price is high, if you want a stereo setup you will need 2k euros, which isn't in everyone's budget.
No, I dont work for this guy and if you want me to shut off just give me a holler.

just for your info in case u need an idea how to spent some money.

Mark II

For Sale / Later MK2 Preamp on EBAY
« on: November 19, 2007, 03:44:22 PM »

Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Ressenzehn Suitcase Preamp
« on: September 16, 2007, 01:11:22 PM »
for all understanding the german language:
T. Reussenzehn has build a new gadget for  rhodes lovers:

tube driven preamp with mono tremolo or stereo panning (speed and depth editable)

Mark II

no, i dont work for reussenzehn
I just wanted you to know.

hi there.
I need your help.

I was just checking my recently bought peterson design preamp after I did some serious rebuild and modification jobs and I sill hazzle with the vibrato. and as I have no experience with suitcase models I need to ask you.

When I turn the intensity fully clockwise (only effect processed signal, no mono signal added) and lowest speed setting as possible (counter clockwise) what kind of transition is hearable between both channels, does the signal pan smoothly sinusoidal from one speaker to another or is it more rectangular switching between both channels ?

thanks in advance.

Mark II

Allright boys, here you go.

I am just redoing my lately aciquired peterson design suitcase preamp (concentric knobs).
I recorded me playing some crappy cords (dont care about this :wink:) with my KORG SG-Rack with some built-in Reverb on my PC with audacity and my terratec EWX26/96. Then I routed the signal to preamp and rerecorded it again.
Now I want you to judge which file/ speed rate of the tremolo effect you like better.

EQ setting is the same on both files with bass and treble knobs centered. intensity knob centered aswell. speed rate on lowest speed possible (counterclockwise stop position).

Standard Suitcase Preamp = Rhodes mit 4.7n.mp3  1MB
Custom Suitcase Preamp = Rhodes mit 9.7n.mp3  1MB

thanks for your help.

Mark II

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / searching for concentric knobs
« on: November 24, 2006, 05:37:25 AM »
I am looking for original knobs or working substitutes for a 4 pin concentric knobs preamp. Any info appreciated.

Mark II

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / DIGIDESIGN VELVET
« on: November 17, 2006, 03:41:40 AM »
there is a new virtuell rhodes/wurlitzer out there.
half sampling half physical modeling
check it out.

:arrow: media: promotion videos

Mark II

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / (Fender) Rhodes related patent numbers
« on: November 09, 2006, 04:46:39 AM »
Hi there. I am looking for all (fender) rhodes related patent numbers cause they are a valuable source for further information beyond service manuals. All I need is the patent number, I will look up the additional info like listed below myself.
If you want to browse the original patents and read the descriptions of the inventor yourself go to: and type in the patent number. patents before 1970 are only available as tiff, click on <images>.
You'll need a free tiff viewer add-in to view the images in your browser: or
I have made good experience with internetiff and IE 6.0.

On this site and freddan's page I found these patents:

title: piano
desciption: Army AirCorps Piano 1942
filed: june 12, 1945
patented: may 10, 1949

title: electronical musical instruemnt in the nature of a piano
desciption: tone bar
filed: march 09, 1959
patented: feb 28, 1961

thanks for your support in advance
Mark II

Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Mark II and peterson design preamp
« on: October 03, 2006, 03:24:58 PM »
Ok, here we go. I need some input.
I have a Rhodes Mark II piano and was able to shot a peterson design mark 1 suitcase preamp (concentric knobs) on ebay.
My idea was to replace the standard mark II faceplate (the almost 19 ' rack faceplate with volume and bass boost controls on) with a costum faceplate hosting the peterson design preamp and some auxilliary jacks.
Now, I have some doubts: I could also leave the piano as it is and build the peterson design preamp and the aux jacks into a standard 19 inch rack unit.

What do you guys think about that.

Thanks in advance
Mark II

I dont know where to post this one. so I hope it's Ok when I reply here:

My Mark II has a strange digit stamped on it: 5080.
So, referring to the first post it was manufactured on the 0th workday of week 50 ? How does that sound. Strange, right ? Even with the 8 on 3rd position. referring to the first post it must be a 0.

So give me a hint.
I could post a picture if it would be helpfull.
Thanks in advance

Mark II

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Tonebar clips
« on: July 02, 2006, 04:08:29 PM »
Can somebody tell me how many tonebar clips were original used with the Mark II ? I didnt find the info in the service manual.
I am curious and maybe want to get some to bring it back in shape ?

Thanks in advance.
Mark II

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / rusty legs and leg braces
« on: August 11, 2004, 03:03:53 AM »
I finally found some legs and braces for a reasonable price for my MKII, but they are pretty rusty. What is your prefered method to get rid of the rust with out destroying the polish ?
Any suggestions ?
Thanks in advance

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Hardware on a Rhodes
« on: May 26, 2004, 10:41:48 AM »
Hi guys. I have a problem. All hardware items (corners, glides, etc.) of my Mark 2 Stage piano are rusty. I got rid of the rust with a kind of steel brush, but they look dull or matt now. I liked the hardware to be shiny again. I know that Speakeasy Vintage Music sells a Hardware Kit to replace old and rusty hardware, but maybe you come with some other ideas.  They need Nickel or chrome.
Any ideas.
Thanks in advance

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