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Messages - sean

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Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Crumar seven
« on: November 08, 2019, 09:21:20 AM »

Okay, sorry.

I think I saw a Crumar on TV recently.  Was it Paul Shaffer on the Jimmy Kimmel in Brooklyn shows?


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Crumar seven
« on: November 08, 2019, 09:19:28 AM »

Never has a company focused on a more faithful recreation of the authentic Rhodes hinges!



I have a Small Stone, and I have a CE-5.  I like the CE-5 better.  However, it turns out that I like a phase shifter much better than chorus. Wait.  What?

I have a Small Stone Phase Shifter, and a Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter.  I like the Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter better than the Small Stone.  I also have a Boss CE-5 chorus pedal, it is creamy greatness, but I like the phase shifter better on Rhodes.

Go to the local music store and try out a few pedals.  Drag them into the keyboard room, and test them on a few Rhodes patches.  See which one you like enough to pay for.  Don't buy one sight unseen and sound unheard.



Good call Vance!

Plug a guitar cable from one jack to the other, and the problem might go away.  If it does, then you must either clean the jacks (works for a few months), or replace the jacks.

The problem is shown here:



I never noticed the EK-10 link on
The pdf has lots of great detail

The only good method of converting this to a Mark II is the "sell-it or trade-it" method that Tim mentioned.

Unsoldering and re-soldering all those pickup connections is a guaranteed headache filled with melted nylon bobbins and popped-loose terminals.


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Passive Electronics Fix
« on: October 09, 2019, 05:39:29 PM »

Is the terminal on the volume pot that is soldered to the orange wire touching the back of the name rail?  That would kill it.
Similarly, is the uninsulated part of the green and yellow wire touching the name rail?

Also, there is a chance that your energetic soldering job on the volume pot ruined the pot.  You can check this by simply turning the pot to somewhere in the middle position (well away from the zero volume setting), and then using an aligator clip or pair of pliers to short the middle terminal to the terminal with the orange wire.  If this brings the piano alive, then the volume pot is fried.

This is how you have it wired right now:



For that price, the Rhodes should be very clean and complete.  Not mint, and not completely restored, but probably partially restored or repaired, and clean and complete.

It should have the legs, cross bars, cross bar knob, sustain pedal and push rod.   It should have the case top with hinges in good shape.  (If it is missing the leg bag, no big deal, that thing is useless after 40 years.)

It should have no big rips in the tolex, but maybe one or two rough spots or small holes.  The Rhodes logo on the back of the case shouldn't be broken, and the logo on the name rail should be in perfect shape. 

It should play well and have no dead pickups or damaged key tops, and it should play well and sound good.

If all this is true... Buy it.

If it really is in perfect condition, I think $1400 is a reasonable price.


You can do it yourself for sure.

First, fix the obvious things: 
Replace that missing tine on the lowest note,
Replace the missing hammer tips,
Buy yourself a cable with a right-angle 1/4" plug.  ;-)

Then replace all the grommets.  When you do the grommet job, you will get intimate with each and every tonebar, so you can clean them up as you go along.  Make sure that every tine block is tightly screwed to the tonebar, the tine is mounted straight.  The new grommets will make the piano sound very different - an immediate improvement.  This process will require that you adjust the voicing of every note as you go along or when you finish.  So the grommet job turns out to fix up the whole harp.

If the hammer tips are 1977 original, then you should probably replace all of the old hammer tips with new ones.  The new softer tips will change the sound significantly too. 

Then look around for other things to fix. 

Most of the links on this post are still alive:


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Clavioline
« on: September 23, 2019, 01:32:35 PM »

Looks like the lever simply fits into the control, and gets tightened with a thumb wheel.

That photo comes from


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Clavioline
« on: September 23, 2019, 01:12:22 PM »

Your search engine didn't find these links? with lots of online links in the footnotes.

The history of the Clavioline:

Clavioline repair:

Joe Meek on the Clavioline:

OMG, Rhodes and Clavioline:

Lots of other Clavioline videos on the tube.

I wonder if you could take plain-old hardware-store 3/8" steel rod, and bend it into a suitable knee lever.  What does the connection under the Clavioline look like?  Does it fit in with a simple pin?  Like a cotter pin driven through the lever>


Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Is my Rhodes beyond repair?
« on: September 21, 2019, 05:58:17 PM »
I think that the ground wire with the terminal ring on it is probably meant to ground the damper release bar (since your piano has wooden harp supports).  The harp frame should be grounded as well, and the foil tape should extend around the ends of the pickup rail and tonebar rail to contact the harp frame.  If the tape does not, then I guess the ground wire could have been connected to the closest mounting screw on that side of the harp.  However, I think that grounding the damper release bar is more important than grounding the harp frame.

That spring gets hooked around the back edge of the damper release bar, as shown in chapter 10:

And again, when you get it ready to play, this is the method to find all the dead pickups:

Keep the pictures coming!!


Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Is my Rhodes beyond repair?
« on: September 20, 2019, 11:13:14 PM »

I don't see any wonky dampers or hammers in your photos.  If you have a hammer that is not seated correctly, you might have a broken hammer comb (the part that holds the hammers where they pivot).  The hammers have little tabs on them that hold them into the hammer comb.  You don't normally have any reason to remove a hammer, but they can be removed -- very gently.  Don't remove them.

Here is a photo of the hammer comb (photo from Vintage Vibe's shopify site)

That loose wire needs to get soldered to the first tab on the Bass Boost pot.  Strip it back, solder a little extension wire onto it, and drag that over to the bass boost pot.

Specifically, see

The springs on the tines are tuning springs.  You move them closer to the tip of the tine to lower the pitch, and you push them away from the tip to raise the pitch.  Leave them where they are for now.  When you get the piano making sound, then you can worry about tuning the Rhodes.  See


Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Is my Rhodes beyond repair?
« on: September 19, 2019, 12:53:04 AM »

The paper shims are 100% only for the purpose of levelling the keys - make them all line up perfectly at the same height.  (Oh, and to set the key dip.)
It is not much fun to start from zero, so don't remove all the paper shims and felts from the balance rail.  They are a pain to handle, and easy to rip.  But if you remove them all, it isn't impossible to recover, it is just more work.  And right now, you don't need more work. 

I can't find a good online tutorial that shows you how to do this, but you basically add paper punchings under the felt until all the keys are exactly the same level.
There should be directions in the service manual, but there ain't.

Don't cut any tines!!  Cutting the tine will change its pitch.  You only cut tines when you are replacing a tine.

The tines should line up straight in front of the pickup.  If one is off-angle, you need to make sure that it lines up straight with the tonebar that it is attached to.  If you have old squished rubber grommets, the tines can get out of alignment.  New grommets will work wonders for this piano.  The closer the tine is to the pickup, the louder it will be.  You will adjust all the pickups to make the notes play with generally uniform loudness.

See and

Your tonebars are stamped 1 to 73 (instead of 8-80) and your tonebars don't have the note names on them like later pianos.  The stamp that you show in your photo is a quality control stamp from TurboJet, the company that built the harps.  The date stamp that I had hoped to find is usually on the top surface of the harp - usually four digits.  If the date appears on the pickup rail, it is the date that it was completed by TurboJet (two digits for week and two digits for year).  The final assembly datestamp could be on the the pickup rail, or it could be on the front part of the harp.  First two digits are for the week, next digit is year, and last digit is day of week.

Don't you wish it were this simple:
That is a pretty awesome video!


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: MK 1 Light Action vs Heavy Action?
« on: September 18, 2019, 08:55:21 PM »

Yes.  Sell the good one you have, and buy a Rhodes that has a more sluggish action.

Yes.  Pour beer on it.

Yes.  Muck around with the action rail until you realize that you liked it the way it was before, and you can never get it back.

Okay, if I had to make the action worse...  if you bend the dampers so that there is more tension on the bridle straps at rest, then the action will be a bit more heavy.  I would personally NEVER try this.

I don't think key weights would provide the action you desire, but you could try lead key weights on the back of the keys.


Okay - Does anybody have any serious answers for this question? 

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Is my Rhodes beyond repair?
« on: September 12, 2019, 06:17:36 PM »

Real shame that the previous owner reduced it to kit form.

Don't vacuum up any of the tiny white felts and paper shims around the balance rail pins.  Yes, you will probably have to buy at least some new felts and shims.  See and or

I usually scrub the wood with a toothbrush while I vacuum, and hold the felts and shims down with my fingers when I get close to them.  You have to really concentrate to avoid accidentally sucking them up.  I have had to fish them out of the vacuum canister on occasion.

Those ugly green felts around the front guide pins are particularly useless.  I would just vacuum them up while cleaning it.  Later model pianos just had a long strip of felt glued along the row of guide pins.  The keys themselves never touch these felts anyway (unless you raise the hammer with your finger during maintenance and cleaning).  You can buy replacement felts or

Oh wow!  It has half-wood hammers and square hammer tips!!!  What year is it?  1973 maybe?  What do the date stamps on the far right of the harp look like (on the wood near the serial number plate)?  Wait!  The keys don't look like they are from a 1973 piano.   It has wooden harp supports, and the fender logo on the name rail, so maybe it is 1974.  The case has the old-style small hinges.  Hmmm...  what date?

Why is the key frame loose?  It should be screwed down tight to the case.  Ugh.  I hope you can figure out which screws go where.

Anyway, after you do a minor cleanup, I would put the piano together as best you can before you buy any parts.  Then you can start deep-cleaning and working on it section by section. 

You might not want to buy the VV refurb kit if you decide to keep the square hammer tips.  (I personally love half-wood hammers with square hammer tips.)

When you get the piano looking like a Rhodes again, you can certainly discuss with Chris or Fred at Vintage Vibe what parts and hammer tips you should get.


Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Re: DIY Peterson preamp (tremolo) pedal
« on: September 12, 2019, 05:31:26 PM »


18 seconds?  Really?  18 SECONDS!??  That's all you are giving us?

This looks wonderful!  Awesome job.  Did you make only one? 

Can you share the Gerber files for the PCB?

Can you tell us what model Vactrol you used, and where you bought it?

This is really awesome, so we want to hear a whole lot more about the whole project.


Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Is my Rhodes beyond repair?
« on: September 10, 2019, 02:51:22 PM »

This is a very dangerous job - you are likely to become addicted to Rhodes piano repair.  You will wind up buying three of them, and become a life-long gear addict.  But you will be happy.

See the Rhodes service manual on the SuperSite:
Some good stuff in the technotes:
Lots of good stuff on Vintage Vibe's website, and their youtube channel.
Lots of good stuff on RetroLinear's website, and their youtube channel.

You can test the pickups with an ohm-meter and alligator clips.  Method is described in the linked posts here:

You can easily rebuild the controls on the name rail.  See


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Passive Electronics Question...
« on: August 04, 2019, 12:10:50 PM »

That wire gets soldered back onto the other pot (the pot that is not in the photo).  It gets soldered to the first terminal on the C50K Bass Boost pot.
That terminal is the one that has a connection to the capacitor, but NOT a connection to the middle lug.

See the photos and diagrams at


Amps, Effects & Recording Techniques / Re: JC-40?
« on: August 02, 2019, 05:02:43 PM »

Before you spend $600 on a JC-40, get yourself down to the local music store and try one.  Make sure you love it 600 dollars worth.

You should be able to find a keyboard at the music store that has a reasonable Wurly emulation, and then you can estimate how it might sound in your house with your wurly at your expected volume levels.


Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Re: Split harp mod?
« on: July 05, 2019, 12:35:51 AM »

Do it!  Having built-in active control of tone and volume of each side of the split would probably be really nice.   

I really like the split mod. 
See and

My passive version is easy to plug into a two-channel mixer to get greater tone control and experiment with different EQs and effects.

It sounds like a hella fun project, and would be great to see the results.


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Pickup Wiring
« on: June 08, 2019, 08:31:16 PM »

This little diagram clearly shows the pickups wired in groups-of-threes:

(On a 73-key piano, the leftmost group is a group-of-four, the rest are groups-of-threes.)


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Pickup Wiring
« on: June 08, 2019, 08:22:14 PM »

The wiring on both pianos is fine.  The top pickup is grounded, well, tied to the tape on each rail, and then connected to the squiggly black wire that runs over to the ground tab of the RCA jack.

A single good pickup will measure about 180Ω when not connected to anything else.

In the piano, the parallel nature of the pickup wiring shows up on the ohm-meter.

I would expect you to put your meter between the front and back terminals on the same pickup.

In a group-of-three, you should get about 60Ω if all three pickups are working,
In a group-of-three, you should get about 90Ω if two pickups are working,
In a group-of-three, you should get about 180Ω if only one pickup is working.
If your meter says OL, infinity, or just blinks at you, then all three pickups are dead.

Use the alligator clip and screwdriver method to determine exactly which pickups in the group are working.  Basically, you bridge across the dead pickups with an alligator clip, so that you can hear the remaining good pickups work.  See or, and, of course, see

Text above copied from


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 200A potentiometer taper
« on: June 04, 2019, 01:07:39 PM »

Why would you think that RetroLinear would sell the wrong pot?  They know their stuff.  Get it from them, then you are done.

Furthermore, they have a telephone number and email - contact them directly.  They will get you the right parts.



I know exactly what you mean.  I have an old Yamaha P-80 (that I still adore).  It has some great voices, and some real dogs.

I am most upset about the harpsichords and the pipe organs.

You sit in front of the instrument, and think wow, they really did a great job with the weighted-graded hammer-like action, and they really did a great job with the multi-sampled grand piano sound, and you can change the soundboard resonance, and it supports half-pedalling on the damper, and four different types of reverb, and all these great expensive features... and then what's with these unuseable voices?  The piano voice is awesome, but really who wants a dull lifeless harpsichord?  Or the merry-go-round calliope organ?  Wait that's supposed to be a pipe organ?

And to move up a model to get better voices is a big jump in price, and that model has a few new good voices - but it still has a bunch of crappy voices added in taking up space.  And then you notice that Yamaha sells crap-quality consumer keyboards with dozens of good voices and the whole General Midi soundset for a quarter of the price of the P45, but they pair the great voices with a toy keyboard action.  ARRRRRGH!!

I think the blame can be pinned on one man:  J.S. Bach.   

I think the harpsichord and the pipe organ appeal to the grandparents of present day musicians.
"Someday, you will be a great musician, like Bach, so your practice keyboard must have a harpsichord and a pipe organ with all the stops pulled out."

Having those two voices might make the instrument useful for a small church, I guess.  And there are probably university music programs all over Japan (and the rest of the world) that require the use of a harpsichord.


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Suitcase to Stage Conversion
« on: April 30, 2019, 10:00:10 AM »


The CU-473-G boxes are just painted gray at the factory.  The gray finish will probably get pretty scratched up during the process of cutting holes and construction.  I didn't find a durable spray paint that I liked for the top coat, and I expect the box to get scratched over the years of use.  But I bet a spray paint finish would work fine, it survives fine for guitar effects pedals.  Let it dry for days, not just overnight.

I started with the bare metal box, CU-473, and polished and polished and polished it with blue buffing compound, as explained here:

First, you have to clean up the edges of the bottom of the box, and round the corners so they line up with the corners of the box sides.  Then, sand away the major surface imperfections.  If you want a subtle straight grain under the shined surface, you can start with an abrasive wheel in your drill press.  I wasn't able to get a uniform grain pattern using a belt sander, so I stuck with the abrasive wheel.  The polished surface finish takes more time than you can believe, expect it to take days, not hours.  I find that I get sick and tired of the buffing wheel after two hours, so I did my finishes over the course of a week.  I would look at the workpiece, and think "That's good enough, I am done."  Then I would go inside and wash all the buffing wax off, and look at it, and say "Oh crap, it needs more work tomorrow."  Then I would go shower to get all the buffing wax and grit out of my hair.  If you relax and take your time, you will be happy with the outcome. 

The final result isn't perfect, but it is pretty.  It will get scratched, but the scratches don't look too bad.  It will get oxidized and a little bit dull over a few months, but it still looks good.

What ever finish you decide to apply, try it out on the bottom of the box first.  You can even try it on the inside surface of the bottom cover.


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Suitcase to Stage Conversion
« on: April 29, 2019, 05:58:22 PM »

In the Bud CU-473 box, you won't have any room to put the additional stereo jack.   Plus, a stereo jack will NOT be convenient for recording.  All recording devices will have separate inputs.  On a mixer, you will just use two channels and pan one left, pan the other right.  On a computer interface, same deal.

Your parts list looks fine.  You are paying too much for the 1/4" jacks.  I don't know why, but the stereo jacks are cheaper.  I buy a bunch of them, and when I only want a mono jack, I break off the solder lug and ring contact spring.  They break off cleanly enough.  Get the Switchcraft 12B jacks from Digikey for only $1.99 each.  Digikey SKU SC1094-ND,  (Of course, you could simply leave the ring terminal and spring intact, and just ignore them.  They aren't hurting anyone if not connected.)   

Oh hey!  Mouser sells the mono jack for $1.86, and the stereo jack for $1.95!

I don't like the perfboard that you found, because it has plating on the back side.  I would use a completely bare perfboard.  Remember, you will have 120V AC current on two terminals on the back side of this board!

Looks like Digikey doesn't carry the two perfboard products in my writeup, but they have a vendor called Twin Industries that has a 4" x 5" board made of FR4 that is only $4.50, Twin P/N 7100-45.    Mouser sells this too.

I can't find a board that you don't have to cut to size.

Because of the really awkward pin spacing that the Delta power supply has, you will have to drill.  Only a custom-made board would fit exactly.  Drilling new holes (some only have to be slightly expanded) will take you six seconds.  Okay, maybe a few more, but it is a simple operation.

I like the switch you found.  Looks sweet.


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Suitcase to Stage Conversion
« on: April 29, 2019, 11:58:35 AM »

I would recommend leaving the separate left and right outputs available.  But if you want a stereo output on a single jack, you could install a third jack (like Switchcraft 12B) with left and right connected to tip and sleeve. 

I think if I did this, I would be worried that someone would plug in a mono cable to the stereo output, and short the output of the right channel of the preamp.  The output ICs in the preamp might survive without a fuss, but I would probably put the 680Ω resistors on the audio outputs just in case.  (These 680Ω resistors are omitted from my power supply designs, but they do appear in Harry&Co's designs.)

I cannot figure out why you would only want a stereo output on a single jack.  Stereo inputs on a single jack would be odd to find on an amp or mixer.  Do you have an amp that has one?

If what you really want is a single output, you can just use one channel from the preamp.  The tremolo would obviously be mono, but oh well, it still sounds musical.  If you mix down the left and right channels into one signal, the tremolo is somewhat less enjoyable anyway.


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Suitcase to Stage Conversion
« on: April 28, 2019, 04:44:27 PM »

Here is the process:
1.  Leave the suitcase bottom at home.  Take the piano top with you.  :-)
1a.  Get a sturdy keyboard stand to put the Rhodes on.  Z-fold type is solid and not bouncy.

2.  Get through the gig with no sustain pedal, or get a sustain pedal and pushrod.
Build one of these:

See to build a sustain rod.

Put a wooden dowel on the top end of the rod.
See for the suitcase adapter.

3:  Get a power supply so that you can use the Janus preamp that is in your suitcase piano namerail.
3.a:  If you don't want to buy or build a power supply, just use the "accessory 1" jack as an output, and ignore the preamp.

Build your own power supply: 
Smallest unit:
Battery-powered, or other designs:



Well, it sounds like someone made the main jack be straight from the harp, and the jack where the bass boost knob should be has the volume control inserted.

You could take a few minutes to trace the wires and make a drawing for us, and snap a few photos.

Mark I namerail circuitry should look like this:


Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: my rhodes lack legs :(
« on: April 26, 2019, 01:35:50 AM »


NICE!  Looks much better than the ones I made from 3/4-10 threaded rod.

Now I have to try to build a set too.


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