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Topics - Wesley

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Hi everyone,

I just got my first Rhodes about a month ago and have finished working on it. It plays nicely now and sounds decent but I’m looking for amp to improve the sound. Right now I’m playing it through a Studio V3 tube preamp and a Champion 100, both of which I already owned. I’m not in a position where it is logical to spend $1000 on a twin reverb (which I couldn’t push above 1-2 on volume in my house) so I’m wondering what I can do to get a better sound. The champion sounds muddy for my liking and I can’t EQ the low mids out while keeping a clean full sound. The effects are also terrible.

Here are the options I have compiled - I’m having a hard time deciding:

- Keeping the tube preamp and the Champion but adding an MXR 10 band EQ and maybe some effect pedals
- Upgrading to small fender tube amp such as the hot rod deluxe or blues junior (around $500)
- Vox Tonelab - I’ve heard good things about this but I can’t find the vintage keys edition
- An amp sim on my computer - I would prefer hardware but it’s still an option

I’m leaning towards the Tonelab but there is almost no info on it paired with a Rhodes. It’s small and affordable. It has a nice effects section too. Does anyone have experience with the Tonelab and is there a best model for the Rhodes?

Thanks for the help
Wesley

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First, thanks to everyone on this forum for the posts and information. It helped me know what I was getting and the value when I picked up my first Rhodes. I found a good deal on a 1978 Mk 1 73 and picked it up a couple days ago. It is in great cosmetic condition but it hasn't been servicing in a long time if ever. I can't find anyone locally who services these so I'm going to do what I can even though I have no experience. All the keys and pickups work, no broken tines, and it's in tune. That being said, the action could use some work and I'm sure it needs new grommets, hammer tips, damper felts, etc. The issue with the action is that it is not sensitive to light key presses. I'm guessing this is due to the key escapement but there could be other issues. Is key escapement a difficult thing to adjust for a beginner? I watched Vintage Vibe's video on it and it seems doable. One issue is that my model has metal harp brackets (if that's what they're called) where as the video's are wood. There is a thin piece of wood (1/8 inch) on top of the metal that I could trim down or totally remove but I don't know if that's okay to do. The distance from the hammer to tine when the lowest key is fully pressed down (but not to aftertouch) is about half an inch. Beyond the action, I am planning on getting Vintage Vibe's refurb kit to replace the grommets, hammer tips, and damper felts. After that I will voice and tune. Last question, I'm confused about what tonebar escapement is and how to do it. I've seen a couple vintage vibe videos where they put a measuring block under the tonebar and tighten the screw to that height. Is this necessary and if so what height is it? Any advice on these procedures would be greatly appreciated, especially figuring out the key escapement. I can attach pictures if anything wasn't explained well. I also might have been confusing because I don't know all of the parts and their names. Thanks for any advice!

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