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Topics - garagebandking41

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The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Uneven/unequal panning vibrato
« on: March 29, 2014, 01:54:08 PM »
I finally fixed the power modules for my 74 rhodes (4-pin). But it seems that the panning vibrato pans uneven in terms of time. it seems that the panning is probably 70/30 instead of a true stereo sound being 50/50. How do I adjust to fix this uneven pan? I tried to find a similar problem on this forum with no luck.

Im working on replacing some broken jacks and such in the peterson power supply and I came across a loose ground wire on pin 4. Pin 4 has two black grounds soldered to it, one goes to the speaker mounts and one was just loose.

in the diagram

Pin 4 is just going to ground.

Is it supposed to ground to the preamp out plugs? Here is a picture of my set up now.

You can see the loose black/brown wire there.

Hey guys, It's been a while!

I finally managed to snag a suitcase today and its in decent shape. Harp is from 76 and it's got the 4pin 80W amp set up with no sound coming from one channel.

When I switch the grey RCAs coming from the power supply to each power amp, I get sound from both RCAs, but only through one power amp. This leads me to believe my power supply is alright, and the amp that wont respond to either RCA is bad.

Looking through the old fender rhodes site, it seems that the germanium transistors go bad often, but none of the transistors looked burnt up. So no catastrophic failure it looks like...I will get my multimeter on it soon. But just wanted to make sure I troubleshooted correctly, and my power supply isn't the culprit...

Any help would be great. And it's good to be back on the forums!

Amps, Effects & Recording Techniques / We almost lost Detroit
« on: April 23, 2013, 05:39:09 PM »
Been getting back into some good old Rhodes tunes, and was wondering if someone knows the effect/instrument being played in this song. The Rhodes is obvious, but what about the solo?

It sounds like a nice envelope filter, but what is it?

Hey guys! It's been a while for me, I used to post on the website back in the day, and kinda fell off when the forums moved over here. Either way, I'm back! with a new toy!

So I've had this semi-noisy 200a. I've recaped it, new transistors in, and put new a vintage-vibe preamp in it. It has made less noise, but still has this issue of distorted sound coming from the built in speakers, but not the aux output jack. I've also removed the AC light and replaced with the VV LED mod as well.

Another thing I have noticed, is how loud it is. It rattles the whole piano and can self oscillate if the vibrato and volume are maxed out. Did I mess something up? Voltages from the regulator seem okay. I'm getting about 140v at the reed bar. 10v drop through the pre-amp. Any thoughts?

After going back and forth with MXR vs Small Stone, (which I've had both) I said enough is enough, I'm a piano player, not a guitar player, Sold my stuff, and bought one of those insanely expensive Moog pedals. After the 30min learning curve, i can say it's the best decision i've made with effects.

12-stage is a little much, and but sounds great with a slow pan, and 6 stage compared to 4 (MXR, i think) is  a blessing, I can get that Fagen sound pretty easily, Some good Stevie, along with some pretty wacky psycho stuff (almost Ring Modulator crazy), I might put some recordings up sooner, Just letting you guys know, that if you've been fed up, and wondered, you have my two thumbs up. get it.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Wurlitzer 200a grounding? or normal...
« on: February 12, 2011, 09:55:59 PM »
My wulri 200a's line out has a lot of hum/hiss. the volume of the hiss is constant from 0 volume, to 100%. it's even there when the amp is off. of course, when i unplug the wurli from the wall, there is no hum.

I was wondering what could be causing this type of hum/hiss. its alright in some amps, but very noticeable in a recording setting, or on PA's. I've looked for any loose grounds, but Im a bit inept when it comes to troubleshooting something like this...

Was wondering if anyone has experience with these EP's. I've had many Rhodes' but this is my first Wurli. Its in great shape, but has a noisy line out and in particular pop/cracks quite loudly when i strike just one note hard, the C an octave higher than middle C. it plays normally everywhere, i just cant hit that C too hard or TTTKTTTP!!! Does anyone know what might be the problem? Thanks!

Buying / Looking for any pre-75 tines in the mid range
« on: July 03, 2010, 02:11:00 AM »
Was at a gig tonight, and low and behold, the last song we played I broke the very middle D on my '72 Fender Rhodes. If anyone has some tines around or from a scrap piano please PM me.

I'd like to get the same era tines, even though a new one might sound just the same with the right settings. Just want to keep her vintage. Thanks all!

I just thought I'd share some stuff I finally found out/solved recently with my Mark V, that I would assume applies to any Rhodes with grouped hammer combs. (all?) Never read anything about hammer combs affecting double striking notes, just bridle straps and escapement. This was a frustrating problem with an easy fix.
When I first got this mark V it played alright, but needed new hammer tips and felts for sure, So I decided to do it all at once. This involved removing almost everything except the keybed, and when I put it back together I noticed some strikeline issues, and double striking tines in the lower octaves.

I fixed this temporarily by raising the bass end of the harp 1/8" and seriously modifying some specific notes. I originally thought that my shoddy job at putting in hammer tips had been causing the thuds and kkrrrb's. Until today.

The real culprit was one set of hammers at the low end, about one octave. It was the hammer comb, turns out that 2 of the 5 holes pre-drilled into the aluminum had either been stripped, or were drilled too big for the screws to give enough tensions, and this led to the whole hammer comb bending ever so slightly, and actually developed a hairline crack near one of the screw holes of the plastic!

I noticed this, not only because the hammers weren't resting level in that octave but also when I fully depressed a key, then pressed a little harder, the other surrounding hammers (2 or 3 on each side) would move a little if i pressed harder, kinda like a wave. I quickly went over to and got some machine head screws an inch long with some bolts, and threaded these though the hammer comb and made it tight as could be. along with the three holes that did hold tension.

I put everything back to "factory settings' removed my harp shims and made sure the strikeline was where I wanted it, (which was factory). Turns out Rhodes did know what they were doing and it plays great, now I just have to change all those specific pickups back to normal since I had changed them for the old, incorrect strike line. So in the end,

Make sure all the screws are holding down your hammer combs tightly!!! It saves a lot of nights fiddling around with one octave of bass notes only to give up because it was "good enough". I'm just happy I didn't end up snapping that hammer comb when playing too hard for too long. Hope this helps some people in the future!

Amps, Effects & Recording Techniques / All I Do - Stevie Wonder
« on: March 22, 2010, 11:40:36 AM »
One of my favorite tracks, forgot about it, then rediscovered it lately.

Was wondering what kinda EQ or effect stevie might be using to get that great low growl out of his Rhodes. I assume its an 88 since its so low, haven't played it so not sure of this. Almost sounds like theres a phaser or even tremelo in parts, but not sure if thats just the sound rocking so hard.  Any ideas?

Buying / Mk V Instruction Manual on ebay.
« on: February 24, 2010, 03:28:56 PM »
Anyone here get that thing? Just wondering since I was bidding on it until it got above 45$!

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Hammer Tip Options
« on: February 21, 2010, 05:14:34 PM »
I was wondering what the local Rhodes community thinks about hammer tips, with regards on where to get new ones, and what's the right time to replace them.

I usually get mine from VV, but wondering if there are any other options perhaps better resulting sources. There's a thread on here about the harshness of the tips of VV, that some people seem to have problems with. And square hammer tips, has anyone done a restoration with an older piano that uses the square hammer tips? does anyone make these?

For Sale / FS: Rhodes 54. Possible Trade for Mark 1?
« on: February 03, 2010, 10:15:11 AM »
It's not getting much use at the moment, and I've been looking for a Mark 1. If anyone is interested in any form of fair trade or just plain ol' money. PM me.

It's in perfect working condition, and fairly clean. is 100% there. It has some rust on the corners, and its faulty pickups have been replaced with fully functional ones (if you like the red on white look. hah)

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Removing the keybed for a Mark V
« on: October 14, 2009, 06:40:03 PM »
Does anyone have any info on how you do this? The keybed is held in by the four 1/4 turn holes, but not sure how you remove these are how they are held in place. Anyone here have any experience? I can do this on a Mark I or II in a jiffy, but not so in a Mark V. Any words of Rhodes Wisdom?

I need new felts for a recently acquired mark V. But the felts in a mark V are a little different than I have seen in my Mark I and II. they are shorter than they are wide. (square bottom, but rectangular sides) also the top register is black.

I assume the hammertips are the same as in previous models, and I plan on getting felts and tips from vintagevibe, but should I have to cut the felts down? and are there any alternative places that provide felts. ( i kinda like that black look)

P.S. are the pickups different for Mark V's? because none of mine are bad, (first time has every happened) and if they are the same as from the Mark II's thats a miracle...because i had 23 bad ones from the Mark II.

I'm looking to finally repair my 5-pin preamp, but have only purchased pots and caps from a guitar website, does anyone hear have any tips or recommendations on where to get correct caps and IC's on the web? Are the IC's particularily difficult to find? Thanks all.

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Strange Electronic Properties
« on: September 06, 2009, 11:41:14 AM »
My 5-pin 1978 vibrato has intermittent problems with the preamp. The basic effect is that the vibrato indicator stays on when in off, and cuts out when the speed is too slow.

I don't touch the preamp for say 20 mins, and this problem will show up/go away depending, sometimes fooling with the switch and speed settings will cause it to work again and i will hear a small pop.

The service section says "the most common preamp failure (even then it was rare) was in the 4558 IC's."My simple question is, does this sound like a IC problem or something else?

I've ran through the preamp with a multimeter trying to find and cold joints or anything weird, but nothing really.

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Preamp part list? I lost it!
« on: August 21, 2009, 03:18:33 PM »
I'm going through with a 5 pin preamp rebuild. I found a part list for the 5-pin preamp somewhere on this site, but can't seem to find it anymore. Can anyone point me in the correct direction?

I just finished everything I wanted to do mechanically, and now my preamp is on the fritz.

After about 5 minutes of playing time, some small popping can be heard and the Vibrato seems to be the culprit. The light will stay on when vibrato is off, and if turned on when the speed is under 5 the vibrato will not work, and there's distortion in the sound. However, if the vibrato speed is set about that amount, the vibrato speed is slower for that number, but the full range of speeds is still the same(with just a smaller window to access them, it's "normal".  Another symptom is the power light now pulses with the speed of the vibrato if it is working.

Another thing I'm not quite sure about is that the vibrato seems to be lopsided. There is more left than right, to my perception. And it's not because i sit more to the left, I can hear it in the headphones. Have I gone crazy? Pretty sure It's not a loose solder joint.

I feel like this is a capacitor that is going. hopefully not  and IEC. But since I have a very basic ability to read schematics, and I don't have a multimeter that can read capacitance, I can't really troubleshoot. I've worked on circuit boards through my hobbying around so If its just some parts to fix / resolder I could do that.

Does anyone have a similar problem or knows what I can look at? I've spoken with vintage vibe about a preamp rebuild kit for a 100w preamp so I might be able to just over compensate and replace everything. Since there are no techs in my area...Thanks all.

I've read some of the older posts with regards to taking the key bushing felts off, and pedestal felts. With steam and silicone spray seems to be the advised route. But just wanted to make sure that steam or silicone spray is just as effective and safe for the all plastic hammers.

Also, when is it time to replace these felts, I kind of want to put it off, but since I am adding damper felts now and have it apart, was wondering how much wear is too much to leave alone. I have some pock marks missing, probably from bugs? as they have no pattern to them.

My '78 suitcase 88 is wearing my hands down rather quickly. The action is quite stiff and really takes a lot to make them hammers move. I noticed, quite quickly, that this is a model with the felt on the hammers themselves. I remember hearing about this arrangement, and I think it's an option in Ben's survey. (which i will do soon for you Ben!)

I removed all keys and made sure the guide pins were not a problem and had to loosen up some of the felts and what not from the obvious neglect this piano had been through. This helped. I can now play and NOT get carpal tunnel. But I was wondering if there is something more I can do and if having felts on the hammers themselves is a burden, and/or something I should look into. (What happened to the bump on the pedestal? Miracle mod?)


P.S. By comparison my 1980 54 is the polar opposite when it comes to action, the lightest thing ever. It feels like a baby when I play it. well, it is.

I was just given a wonderful 88 keyed 1978 suitcase, and am super excited. everything works to my understanding, and it is even well regulated. Action is a bit stiff, and pickup alignment isn't set to my liking, but electronically (majority) it is in great order.

Just wondering if there was any specific weird things about these models and  if there are any specifics that a newbie should know.

The only problems I have come across is something buzzing in the right speaker enclosure, not sure if its the loose speaker or baffle, and the headphone jack has the worst AC hum. I can use it but, it's not very nice on the ears. Not used to the vibrato sound, but it's heavenly.

Super excited overall, I always wanted a 73 suitcase, but the 88 is a nice eye opener. Thing is massive. Any comments would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.

P.S. interesting note, my vibrato can go so fast, that it is almost audible, like the LFO on my Moog. Too fast to detect the movement at 10 intensity and pitch goes wild, I should look at the post about that guys vibrato being jacked up, never interested until I actually can test it out myself.

Edit: yeah, same thing with mine, although mine isn't nearly as chimey as his. A lot of treble loss with mine, any repairs for that?

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Preamps/Tolex/Badges
« on: July 17, 2009, 12:57:06 PM »
I'm confused on the names of the preamps for each model rhodes. Can some one clarify this?

There's the sparkle top (mono?), the Mark I  (4pin) 71-74? and (5-pin) 1975-79? and then Mark II. I think.

Are there two types of Mark II Preamps? Also I've seen Mark 1 suitcases with the black grill cloth, the slider preamp, and a Rhodes badge. And the 4 pin 3 knob Mark 1 with a Rhodes badge and the brown? tolex, but also with a Fender Rhodes Badge.

To my understanding there is no slider preamp suitcase with brown tolex. Right?

There should be more nerdy detail like this in the model section, because i can't use this forums search function for the life of me. Thanks for the help all.

Buying / WTB: Suitcase supports
« on: July 05, 2009, 04:05:42 PM »
If anyone has a spare set of the support  "legs" from a suitcase piano PM me. Price is very negotiable. Thanks.

For Sale / Moving a suitcase.
« on: May 31, 2009, 01:13:07 PM »
If I was to move a suitcase, Can I put the piano on top of the amp/bass and they'll match up? Just wondering because I can fit a 73 tightly in the back of a car, and if the amp has different dimensions it won't fit. But I have plenty of headroom, So to my understanding the piano and amp have the same dimension, with the amp being a little deeper. But they can fit on top of each other to form a box right? Is this safe? Thanks ya'll.

P.S.S. refer to the suitcase 32 in the more/gallery section. It's "all packed up".

I'm holding out on a purchase of an actual Suitcase Rhodes. But in the meantime I would like to have some fun with my 54. I have plenty of amps to run through, but I need a good stereo panning (vibrato ping-pong) effect. I've read some article in the forum and online, but not a whole lot of sound quality of these type of effects.

I need one that doesn't introduce so much noise in the signal chain that I have to record with some crazy gate settings. Does anyone use a stereo panning effect that they can recommend is good enough for recording use?

If I could find just a circuit diagram of the rhodes vibrato circuit that would be awesome, but the one on this website is the entire preamp, and it's a little over my head...

On that note: anyone try this?;jsessionid=154a1eec588c80f/shopdata/0020_Rhodes=99+Preamps/product_details.shopscript?article=0030_Suitcase%2BVibrato%2BPedal%2B%3D28RSVP%3D29

I was wondering what the frequency specs are for the suitcase speakers, and other amps like the fender twin.

I'm sure the speakers would have changed over the years, but does anyone have any information regarding these speakers?

I can't seem to find what the model speakers were, Jensen? Really not sure. Other than they had 16 and 32 ohm speakers...

Is a normal range for these guitar amps 60Hz-2kHz? I've looking into the archives and what not and can't really find an actual frequency rolloff chart of any model speaker. Any help guys? thanks!

A lot of the posts in this forum are about how awesome the Fender Rhodes is, and then the rest are about how to make the Rhodes even more awesome.

With all this talk about maintenance, repair, modifications, and whatnot, I was wondering how practical this all is. I started me thinking after I bought my current Rhodes 54. It plays a lot better than my 73, but still has some double striking in the lower 2 octaves, on specific keys. After looking into all the subjects on double striking I thought, Is it practical? I mean It's an instrument over 20 years old, it hasn't been maintained. So comparatively it'll play marginally better than what it did brand new, or will it?

I'm just really interested in knowing from all you Rhodes techs, and hobbyists like myself, When you pour all this time and money and knowledge into one of this instruments and it work PERFECTLY. Does it? Does it still double strike maybe, once or so, is it possible to make these things actually perfect? Can you just wail on the keys and they never strike twice? Does it produce the same overdriven sound across the board? I feel like each Rhodes is it's own beast having its own problems that you can't really get around. Can Rhodes pianos have the consistence of, uhh, a digital keyboard?

Because for now, I have to know exactly how much pressure I can put on my low C, and by middle G, and that F# over there and sometimes but not always that there low Bb. Oh and if i don't hit Eb hard enough the pitch waivers. And maybe if it stays for a while the upper register won't sustain, or have incorrect harmonics. Don't ask me to play your Rhodes, It has a different touch, and I can't play that high B for some reason... and If anyone has any added tips on double striking let me know hah, But for the main point:

How perfect can you get a Rhodes to play?

Buying / Trade: Looking for a suitcase for a 54+
« on: April 07, 2009, 11:12:05 AM »
I've been looking for a post-75 Rhodes Suitcase 73 note. Trade + Cash, or some sort of other equipment deal maybe. I have a Rhodes 54 pretty good condition sound and tolex wise. All there. PM me if anyone is interested, just testing the waters really.

I'm located in Florida.


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