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Messages - Chris Carroll

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Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: D6 unwound / plain string gauge
« on: October 29, 2017, 07:16:34 PM »
Hi, I just read your post. So the .009 strings have nothing to do with the issue you are having. The difference between .008 and .009 is very small, not enough to feel yet enough to keep from easily breaking like the .008  It sounds like your escapement is too high meaning the key frame height should be lowered on the treble side. But the more I think of it that would not cause tension only an increased key dip, unless it’s set too high for the hammer to properly fret.

Possibilities -
1. Clavigel is installed backward, this would cause tension on downward key stroke
2. You somehow have the upper strings sitting too high
3. Key Frame is set too high

If you send us some pictures inside or a video or both we can really get a handle on what’s holding you up.

As always when it comes to a vintage Vibe product, we support and will help you solve your issue. You should contact us directly and we will help you solve the mystery.

Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Re: Slotted Harp Brackets...
« on: July 27, 2017, 07:08:26 PM »
Looks good, nice and clean- this is something we did about 10 years ago but stopped doing because it was too hard to cut the metal without the proper machinery like you have done. Your cuts look really clean better than what we had done, I bet it works well. These days, we have found that grinding the side of the tone bar is quick and very effective without any adverse effects.

Good job!

Excellent post Ben!!

If you are unsure and would like to discuss further feel free to call up and ask for Chris.

You can also order samples and decide what works best then make up your own tip configuration based on your desired needs..

Graduated tips have the most attack
Angled tips and black square are a mid level attack
Colored tips have a slightly softer attack
Felt tips can be customized from very soft to bright attack

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Bad Fender Rhodes advice
« on: July 12, 2017, 07:57:53 PM »

Watch out for bad advice- I've removed my comment and link-

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Tolex colour
« on: June 27, 2017, 04:49:03 PM »
 What Ben said!  Black Tolex to sell to the largest perspective audience.  Your personal tastes are that of your own.  If you plan on keeping it do whatever you like. If you want to sell it quick and for the most money go black.   

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Vintage Gear Parts - Quality
« on: June 12, 2017, 09:04:47 AM »
 Quality is something that should be taken heavily into consideration .  Purchasing quality parts from companies such as Vintage Vibe Ken Rich sound services and EP services who have been around for a very long time and continue to support all of their customers with information service and parts as part of their core business practice.  These are the companies that you want to build personal relationships with. These are the companies that are going to be there for you when you need it.  You could forgo this to save a couple bucks on a cheaper pedal but then ask yourself if it's really worth it .

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Tines...
« on: April 25, 2017, 01:36:02 PM »
Regarding discussion about Vintage Vibe grommets and screws; we have spent countless hours of research and development on both screws and grommets to ensure perfect pairing and performance.

We were the first company to offer screws and grommets jointly as a set because we were the first to appreciate how critical that pairing is. We felt strongly enough about this to make a video showing the results of mismatching grommets and screws. Since that time, it seems that the community as a whole has come to agree that one size grommet does not fit all. 

We have designed our grommets so that the outer diameter is a precise fit to the tone bar and, in kind, our screws are held to an extremely tight tolerance to mate with the grommet’s inner diameter. We tested our grommet in a variety of different durometers and settled on producing two that performed best for their intended application. The first being the standard grommet that is used throughout the entire instrument to isolate the tone bar from the harp while providing stability and freedom for vibration. The second is our hard grommet. These are used in conjunction with a custom heavy spring to provide additional stabilization in the instance that a tine is showing excessive sway or oscillation. We call this our “Tine Stabilizer”.

Our screws are produced to specifications utilizing Swiss screw machining and finished in a bright nickel plating just like the originals. In addition to proper mating with grommets, another reason for replacing screws is deformation, bending, etc. To date, with over a million screws produced, we have not found any issues with bent or deformed screws. It is of course possible when producing such large quantities that some defect can occur. If you are a customer of ours who has received screws that show such a defect, we would like to know so that we can address it and replace any defects.

Our grommets, screws and washers are installed into every single Vintage Vibe Piano as well as our many restoration and repair projects; the results of which have always been excellent and continue to please customers all around the world. We make what we believe to be the finest electric piano in the world and strive to only make and utilize the best parts. Vintage Vibe grommets and screws have met our highest standards 100%. We back our product completely and without question.

2012 Tone Bar Screw & Grommet Video:

2016 Tone Bar Screw Comparison Video:

Vintage Vibe has custom Fiberglass sparkle top lids for Fender Rhodes Bass Pianos now. Whether it be the smaller 1960's model or a 1970's model we have you covered. If you have a bass piano with a black ABS lid now you can upgrade to sparkle top city.

Music by our very own Fred Dileone with his fiesta red bass

Ben's Rhodes pianos sound and feel right because he instinctively knows how to set them up. He has intuitive knowledge on the mechanics of Rhodes pianos. Being an excellent pianist he has a great ear and knows what a piano should sound and feel like. Vintage Vibe rely's on Ben and Retro Rentals to set up and maintain our west coast Vintage Vibe pianos. Ben's the man and the only one I trust to set our pianos up.

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Anyone have any spare parts?
« on: September 27, 2016, 09:57:10 AM »
We'll be here when you need us :-)

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: When to Replace Grommets
« on: August 10, 2016, 03:25:56 PM »

Here is some solid info for anyone wanting to learn a little about grommets-


This video I hope will shed some light on misinformation out there about grommets/ screws and their application. There are some people that push grommets without the proper screw. Here is some insight on that.

Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Re: Harp voltage
« on: June 16, 2016, 04:42:56 PM »
Hey Maybe this will help you or anyone else to determine where to begin finding the issue. This is a basic procedure many overlook.

You could also send your pre amp to Vintage Vibe for quick repair, restoration or replacement.


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: New tines? Could use some advice!
« on: January 13, 2016, 01:25:02 PM »
here is a link to Vintage Vibe tines and how they sound on a Fender Rhodes-

Here is just one example of our tone-   just click watch- Stevie Wonder on VV Piano

Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Re: Vintage Vibe Tine Bomb
« on: December 18, 2015, 09:58:41 AM »
This is not a public form matter. You should direct this to us directly at Vintage Vibe. I will address your concerns here and any future dialog should be sent to VV for support.

The tube needs to be fully seated into the socket. The tube socket is very tight and will hold the tube extremely tight once properly seated. We include a new tube for the customer to seat properly, it's likely you have not seated it all the way.

In regards to sound, I am sorry you cannot hear the tube warmth it offers. The Tube Bomb or Tine Bomb offers huge amounts of clean tube gain. This is not to be confused with any type of eq.  If you A/B the Tube Bomb to your passive signal you will clearly hear the effect the tube Bomb has on your pianos output and what that also brings out of your pianos character.

The TB is a very popular favorite among Rhodes players and Guitar players-

Please contact us directly and we can take this discussion further.

Il try and read through your reply after work- in the meantime I have looked back through some of our videos and put a few together for the topic- another note I will mention is that Vintage Vibe replaces on average 10-20 tines per restoration with our new tines, they go into all years of Rhodes and there has never been an instance where one does not feather or blend in perfectly, undetectable from any given era of original tine.  This also holds true for any original tine. Again we are talking about a good tine blending with other good tines.       -Felt tips on a Fender Rhodes 1974 stage   -  Original tines Fender Rhodes Stage  1974   -  New Vintage Vibe  tines Fender Rhodes Stage 1974      - Restored Rhodes Suitcase original tines 1980   - All New Vintage Vibe tines Rhodes Suitcase 1980

PNOBOY- You are spot on again and your educated guess is enlightening.


What do you feel is doing the heavy lifting in tone if not the tine??? What heavy Lifting are we talking about, tone?

1972, 1975, 1978, 1980 tines all have their own sound for sure and you are always going to be locked into that constraint even if you begin modding the hammer tips of a Rhodes. Not True, what is your background of analysis? Is this your opinion or a fact that you have come to determine?  PNOBOY is speaking scientifically which makes sense.

 I keep tines separated for all of our restorations just to make sure that it is as period-correct as possible because every once and a while a tine with the wrong tonal colour will sour a lead line...
If you keep your tines organized like that, that's great for your organization purposes, but it's not going to sour any notes if you mix your tines up. That's a Fact.

The '77-78 tines are by far the brightest tines produced...
  Unsubstantiated and un- true

 Sure you could setup a piano to play with a balanced harmonic output with itself but if you're sitting in front of a piano you'll hear a Mark II tine in a Fender Rhodes era piano if you are playing the notes individually.
Again, this is simply false

 It's sustain characteristics are very different from a '72 or '75 tine--even holding all other variables (signal chain, strike line adjusting, hammer tips, etc) constant.
Sustain is not tone, sustain comparisons vary from note to note in any year piano. I even doubt your theory that later tines sustain longer than earlier tines. The recipe stayed fairly consistent over the years. Unless you have data to back this up I feel again you are incorrect.

A Mark II will not sound like an early Mark I unless you change its tines. Once again, untrue- At Vintage Vibe we have replaced all tines on a 1974 Fender Rhodes Stage with new Vintage Vibe Tines and it was overwhelmingly characteristic of 1974.   We even A-B'd it with our 1974 Sigma Sound Rhodes. There is a video of this somewhere, possibly youtube?                 

If you are familiar with guitar or bass the best analogy would be using your fingers or a pick as changing the hammer tips. Changing tines is analogous to having pure nickel, nickel plated, or steel strings... The range of brightness/warmth of a note is in large part due to the strings/tines and the darkness/chime of the attack is due to the tips. The analogy also works well for strumming in the "sweet spot" vs strumming near the bridge or near the neck... Apples to Oranges-True for guitars, not true for tines- Like PNOBOY said The Rhodes tine and tone bar is a Cantilever beam and creates a sine wave. A guitair string utilizes a standing wave or stationary wave.

The difference in sound between the tines is both in the ping, the sustain/decay of the note, the length of the decay, and the tonal colour (I don't know why but I just like using the European/Canadian colour spelling when describing sound). The taper is going to have a large affect the first three and the colour of the note

Where is your research coming from?  The taper does not have anything to do with any of which you have mentioned to my knowledge.

 Any two batches of metals from the same quandary could likely sound different but I'd bet there's even more to the metallurgy of the tines to be explored since they were likely sourced from far different locations and I'd expect different techniques in manufacturing other than just focusing on the tapering differences.

This is speculation and understandably you might think this but none of this makes a difference. The same tine recipe was used for the most part for years and there is no evidence of any different. I have personally found inconsistencies but this does not mean anything but human error.

The attack of the note caused by the hammer tips is very different than the colour of the note. (Think back to the guitar pick/fingers analogy above because it is less abstract than Rhodes tips in some ways). A Mark II with cubed tips or a late Mark I with cubed tips will not achieve the earlier Fender Rhodes warmth but it will have a darker attack/strike.

A Fender Rhodes harp within a Mark II will get much closer (though there are still subtle differences in the plastic/hybrid hammers). It assume it has to do with the density differences of the metal as well as the metallurgical makeup on how that affects how the tine influences the magnetic field of the pickup. Also I'd expect other manufacturing differences in the way that it is produced to influence the way the pickup "sees" the tine.
  Hammers make no difference whether they are plastic or not, this is an old misconception. your missing the real reason as well as the science. You also said the whole harp was in the MK 2 not just the tines- so there are variables there.  I'm not going to get into metallurgy and my knowledge of tine makeup although for discussion I have have tested dozens if not hundreds of tines from different eras and have compiled information -

Lastly, cubed or square hammer tips do not affect tone at all as you suggest, they do not improve nor make worse, they are merely shaped that way- it's the Durometer of the rubber that affects the initial overtone you hear. The harder the durometer the more of a ping you will hear. The softer the durometer the less clarity you will hear and thus less of an initial ping. The cube shape is not the point anyone should be looking at. Vintage Vibe has every tip you can imagine from soft woolly felt to softer square neoprene tips up to the hardest Dyno My Piano mod type tip including three different profiles from square to angled- Cube or square tips quite frankly are not something I would recommend over angled tips unless you just want the retro look.

To further  my points If I can find time I will post a demonstration video of tines soon-

Pnoboy- you are correct,  I should have noted that when I referenced harmonics of a tine, what I meant to convey is that a Good tine that vibrates and swings with a proper arc in front of a pickup will create harmonics, the better the tine functions the better the harmonic spectrum.  This initial attack of harmonics is the bark you hear. This is a good example of tone and what some believe to be tone.

For instance a Raymac tine has shorter dwell and a darker color to the tone. One reason that relates to this topic is because the tines does not vibrate as intensely as a later swaged tine. Like you said the tine is a sine source but how well that tine vibrates and how it is picked up and the signal path will determine the tone or color. The same can be said for a bad swaged tine, the loss of proper vibrations will adversely affect what's picked up.

Here is a video of a 1974 Fender Rhodes Stage with Vintage Vibe custom Felt Hammer Tips- You can hear for yourself the tone they produce .

If you go to our website you can hear more audio samples of Felt hammer tips on our product page. You can also see the extended custom line of Rhodes Hammer tips available.

As always it's great to hear from Bjammerz, Ben you rock! Always full of great factual knowledge.

Great question the originalpol!! I don't think it's so much you will get that 60's tone but what you will get is a warmer tone from your later piano. This is a cool idea and worth pursuing. Although wrapping felt over rubber is not going to do it, especially in the mids to uppers. It could help in the lower section. Felt hammer tips in the mids and upper are harder than you might think.

In regards to tines Max says-

When it comes to the warm tones of the earlier model Rhodes a lot of that warmth in tone is from the tine. The attack of the hammer has a noticeable presence in the tone but the tines are definitely doing the heavy lifting. The late '77-79 tines are definitely the brightest tines that Rhodes ever put out and anything after 1976 is going to have a much longer sustain characteristic. Personally, I feel like Rhodes pianos should be embraced for the tonal period that they were manufactured but if you can't find one that already has the warmth you are looking for then there are ways to modify the attack... I would say that the Retro Linear hammer tips have been popular for mellowing out the bright chimey attack of that period--especially if you're looking for the deeper thump in the bass and low-mids from the Fender Rhodes era.

I do not necessarily agree with this statement as a generalization--  This is a whole other in depth topic with many different reasons and causes for differences of tone. To simply say that  tines of the same dimensions but different years have discernibly different tones is not quite accurate. Yes all tines are different, literally every single tine like humans are all different in their own way, but generally speaking it's the variables that cause different tones. Note:  RayMac tines are not counted in this discussion for obvious reasons, we'll stick with swaged tines. When we are talking about tines with the same dimensions and formulas, except maybe for tapers, I find argument for this idea.

Different pickups, piano construction, passive/active electronic configuration, amplification, voicing and hammer tips just to name a few are among the many other tangible variables that cause tonal differences.There are hidden intangible reasons for different tonalities that align more with defects.   What do we all look for in a tine? Harmonic complexity with long stable dwell this is what all good tines have in common. The opposite is true for a poor tine.  With that being said, you can always find a mixture of good and bad tines with any year piano making comparisons difficult. So when comparing tines we must establish the fact that all tines must be equal in the above mentioned.

The color or tonal palate of any particular tine comes from not so much from the tine itself but all of the variables in any particular piano or experimentation. You might say "But  I have put other tines in and they sound different"  This may very well be true, but the reasons they sound different are not what you think, like being from a different era. At Vintage Vibe we can blend any known good tine with any year piano that has swaged tines as long as we are blending good tines with other good tines. I can take this example further and divide a piano up with an octave of good tines from 1972 and octave of 1975 and an octave of 1980 and being that the hammer tips and pickups and construction and amplification are all from one single source, the piano will sound uniformly original and even. I may have to really work the strike line :)) but you get what I mean.

 I have 6 years of R&D with a deep understanding of tines and manufacturing them as well as Fred does. It all comes down to a good tine vs.a bad tine and with that comes how a piano sings, along with proper set up. Harmonics, dwell and stability are the hallmarks one looks for in a tine, the tone is influenced by other visible and non visible variables. A tines job is to vibrate as steady and as long as possible at a certain rate to create pitch and to create the complexity of harmonics in front of the electro- magnetic pickup. As long as you have a steady tone source with proper dwell and harmonics the tone will thusly be shaped by variables from hammer tips on through the amplification and everything in-between.

In the end hammer tips are a good way to alter the tone out of your piano- If your looking for the characteristics of the felt tip 1960's pianos. Then go for it!! The Rhodes is such an interactive instrument, you should not be afraid to experiment. You only have knowledge to gain and tone to explore. Don't be afraid of changing hammer tips, it's a fun and easy thing to do!

Get Grooving!!

PS. Here is a cool Blog on Hammer tips

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Vintage Vibe Wurlitzer Reeds
« on: October 12, 2015, 12:28:38 PM »
All I will say is Good Luck Ken-

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Vintage Vibe Wurlitzer Reeds
« on: October 09, 2015, 08:22:06 PM »
Hey Jezza, I saw your post and yes now we have 112 reeds in stock. We carry all notes, it's amazing to have access to these rare reeds. Even for us, we are thrilled!!

We have seen the same thing here at the shop. We have a new metal container coming for our key post lubricant that comes with an application brush on the lid. In regards to the Fast action lube, I have never seen a glass bottle with the long needle needed for tight bushings. Perhaps we should sell smaller quantities for one or two jobs.

In regards to protek, protek does not address swollen wood that needs shrinking. From my understanding it serves as lubricant.This will not address sluggish action. Our head piano tech Fred may offer more insight into this. I know he has experience in both. We do not do acoustic pianos here at Vintage Vibe, Fred does personally.  We have over 20 years with the solution we use on Wurlitzer electric pianos as stated in the manual. It works like a charm every time. You can even adjust your recipe to more or less lubricant to shrink solution ratio. Again Fred can enlighten this subject.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / The Story
« on: September 02, 2015, 06:04:10 PM »
Please read about our Friends James Garfield and Freddan Alders who founded the Fender Rhodes Supersite close to 20 years ago - It's a great story of the origins of the FenderRhodes super site and its founders.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Clean boost pedal for Rhodes
« on: August 25, 2015, 09:18:59 AM »
Wow, a lot of smart guys on this post for real. For the rest of us dummies who are looking for the real deal tube clean boost, I can only suggest the best Clean boost available. Whether it be for the Rhodes (Tine Bomb) installed in the piano  or guitar ( Tube Bomb) in a stomp box  you will not find a better suited clean boost. To this day, I have never met anyone who did not rave about it.  It started out as Rhodes boost pedal but is quickly turning guitar players on all over the world.  We sell this at a very fair price, for those who do not wish to DIY with transistors caps and resistors-

Hey Oliver,
I think I have a full set of 67-68 keys and pre 74 Pratt and Reed keys. Both are still on Key Frames. I would just replace the whole key frame. Alternatly I could come up with a better price on a full set of individual keys to use on your existing key frame if that's how you would rather go. You do not need Marcel pedestals as replacements. By the way, I see you have felt hammer tips. I have been really enjoying the tone of the felt tips lately. We just did a 73 and 74 Fender Rhodes piano with them and the sound is unreal- so warm and rich. I'm getting addicted to the tone!! We have new sets of the felt hammer tips at Vintage Vibe  if you want to keep it original.

Our Vibrato modification was made out of necessity by our team of electronic engineers here at Vintage Vibe. At the time of inventing this modification there were zero places that stocked the #19 bulb. To this day, I still do not know a reliable source.

We designed our vibrato modification to be a dead on replacement of the incandescent bulb by mimicking the ramp up and down time of the bulb filament to produce the cat's eye waveform. Side by side tests show #19 bulbs to our Mod is indistinguishable. For those looking for an alternative to the original setup, our Mod is available in kit form for installation in older units, and is present in our Stereo Vibe pre amps and Stereo Vintage Vibe Pianos.

For Sale / Re: Affordable Vintage Vibe Tine Piano
« on: August 17, 2013, 10:18:34 AM »
Hi David,

I admire your donations to St. Jude, keep it up- Vintage Vibe gives to St. Jude every month as well as a few other children's Charities. It's important to give back. :)



CAE sells one- for the 5 pin

Vintage Vibe sells a unique power supply for the 4 pin- It comes in a Cheek Block- no external box needed- Just replace your existing cheek block- Dead quiet operation with two 1/4 inch outs included- we can even include effects loops and foot switch tremolo for you if needed.

This is the smartest design out there for your Suitcase to stage conversion-

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