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Messages - bourniplus

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Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Valente Electric Pianos
« on: April 30, 2020, 09:04:05 AM »
Congratulations for going all the way in designing, making, and marketing a new electric piano! My hat's off to you sir.

Thanks melveyr,
making the steel frame was a nice challenge. I cut the different parts myself and joined them with bolts, then took that to a welding shop who welded it for me. Then drilling all the holes for the strings, I admit I ruined a few drill bits in the process!
The pickups are regular single coil electric guitar pickups. Since there are 50 strings, 3 pickups end to end are needed. A real clavinet pickup would work but I'm such a cheapskate!

Thanks! By the way I've added a few more videos:
A Nintendo classic, since I think the instrument sounds "8-bit-ish" for some reason. For this one I used the pickup under the strings, closer to the bridge.
A jazzy tune for which I used the "neck" (!!) pickup.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / My homemade electric clavichord
« on: March 13, 2020, 06:36:22 PM »
Hey guys,
I've been working on this for the last few weeks and wanted to share with you.
I still have a lot to do on it, and with all the stuff that's being cancelled these days, I think I'll have plenty of time for it!
So far I'm pretty happy with the result, the tuning is extremely stable thanks to the welded steel frame. The keyboard came from an old discarded piano. Until yesterday I had some trouble with the damping, after trying, among others, the traditional Clavinet yarn method which for some reason didn't work very well. I ended up using wedge-shaped piano dampers tied to the strings. It's single-strung for the three lowest octaves, and then double-strung, and double and triple-fretted (each pair of strings is used for two or three notes).
Anyhow, I hope you'll enjoy.
best regards,

+1 to sean's post.

I sometimes think of splitting the pickup rail of my Mk1 (bass/treble) so I can send the bottom two octaves to be amplified separately from the rest, for when I want to play left hand bass. The main thing that keeps me from doing it is having to drill in the nameplate.

Basically all I did was making a 1-string "bass" with a 2x4 and an upright bass string. Then I modified the pedals so that they're spaced like frets. The pickups are actually guitar pickups, I think they work just as well as bass pickups. Right now it's plugged in a bass amp. The length of string before the first pedal is muted with pieces of felt.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / My homemade electric pedal-clavichord
« on: January 23, 2020, 06:29:07 PM »
Hey guys,
I had this old organ pedalboard lying around and decided to do something with it. Don't worry, it's not from a Hammond. I also had the switch assembly and at first I thought of midifying it (I've built two midi pedalboards in the past with furring strips but they were pretty crappy, and I've now destroyed them and kept the encoder) but then I thought that turning it into a giant monophonic clavichord would be way more fun. So, I still have some work to do on it obviously, but this will give an idea of what it sounds like:

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Worn balance rail holes
« on: January 05, 2020, 08:20:07 AM »
If you have access to the book "Pianos inside out", a few solutions are given on page 237. One is cutting a notch and inserting a small hardwood strip where the hole has elongated.
My piano tuning mentor had a special drill bit machined which allows to drill a hole the width of the key, using the existing hole as a guide. Then this is filled with an insert that is made on a CNC machine. He was thinking of selling these as a kit, but for a single piano it would be pretty expensive.

Amps, Effects & Recording Techniques / Re: JC-40?
« on: August 03, 2019, 10:41:57 PM »
I have a JC77 and really like how my Rhodes' sound through it. If the JC40 is similar, I guess it should work well with a Wurly too. 10" speakers can sound very nice. Plenty of bass as far as I'm concerned. (In my JC77 and Fender Princeton Reverb at least.)

Classic & Modern Fender Rhodes Artists / Mr. Clean (Groove Holmes)
« on: March 06, 2019, 07:06:11 PM »
Hey guys,
I came across this today:

From what I read, the composer, Weldon Irvine, was playing the Rhodes, and this was the first recording of the song.

Listen to that "b flat" in the middle octave!!


Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: MKV Hammer Tips
« on: February 18, 2019, 01:49:58 PM »
Hi, there is this thread from a few years ago in which you participated:

At the end of thread I describe what I did for the middle of the range. I never replaced the original bass hammers so I can't help you with that.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Helpinstill 64
« on: February 13, 2019, 05:34:44 PM »
Hi, can you tell us more about its issues?

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Sluggish cp-70 action
« on: January 09, 2019, 10:37:07 AM »
Without being there it's hard to say. Can you take out the action, inspect visually and operate each part manually: wippen, hammer, etc.? Could be a tight center pin, hammer rubbing on its neighbour...

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: DIY Sustain Pedal
« on: December 28, 2018, 08:28:25 AM »
Just wow!
Amazing work and a great detailed post. Thanks for sharing!

It seems from his signature that the OP went with the MkI.

My advice would be to bring your own amp when you go to try them. If you don't have one, borrow one.

If price is not an issue, buy both!

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Moving CP-70 in the cold
« on: November 06, 2018, 09:30:22 PM »
There's "cold" and there's "cold"...
I guess it would depend on the particular circumstances. If you can put thick blankets all around that will surely help.
Would it "destroy" the tuning? IMHO, no, but that's just me.

A few ideas: Microkorg, Roland JDXI, Novation mininova.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: My homemade electric piano
« on: July 23, 2018, 12:12:20 PM »
Hi Steve and thanks for the warning, but I'm pretty confident that I'm well within the safe limits of what this wooden structure can hold. Please note that the strings are in the same direction as the wood fiber. I know that true pinblock material would be better to hold the pins on the long-term, but then I would indeed need a metal frame to hold it together with the rest of the structure. Before starting to build this, I did many tests with 2x4's and piano wire. Many of these are still sitting in my workshop after many months with the strings close to the same pitch, and no sign of cracks in the wood. My upright electric is holding pretty well after a few months too. I'm not too concerned about the long-term durability, this is all only for my personal enjoyment. ;)

Hi, I don't have access to a suitcase but I'm pretty sure there's a somewhat recent thread that talks about those speeds. Might be in the "preamp and modification" section.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: My homemade electric piano
« on: April 13, 2018, 06:47:40 AM »
Greetings everyone,
I got a better camera and a small tripod so I made a video that shows how my square piano is tuned and how the hand stops work, I hope some of you will find this interesting:  (please turn close-caption on).

Thanks for sharing! I like when he gets to the part in major!

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Clavinet: thicker gauge strings??
« on: February 24, 2018, 07:41:34 AM »
Interesting, I just received an email advertisement from Vintage Vibe:

"Recently, we added a new string size to our kits. These strings (.011") help provide a more consistent and even tone across your Clavinet on the higher octaves."

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: My homemade electric piano
« on: February 03, 2018, 01:14:47 PM »
Hi Silvestre,
Yep, only one string per note.

Indeed the harp is solid wood, it's some kind of softwood. Amazingly it holds the tuning pins at pitch, though not as tight as a laminated hardwood pinblock. Even when unplugged there's a certain volume, I'd say it's a bit louder than an unplugged Rhodes.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: My homemade electric pianos
« on: February 03, 2018, 08:49:05 AM »
Hey guys,
I'm in the early stage of working on a new prototype, this time with an upright action and real piano wire instead of guitar strings. Here's a little video:

Awesome, thanks for sharing.

The M3 will be in good company.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: My homemade electric piano
« on: January 07, 2018, 06:57:01 PM »
Thanks Sean.

And here's a picture of the front! (or back, depends where you are...)

Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Re: Tube pre-amp for Rhodes/Guitar
« on: December 26, 2017, 04:34:28 PM »
That's really awesome, thanks for sharing. The build quality looks top-notch. If you ever record some audio (to compare with / without the preamp), I'd really like to hear that.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: My homemade electric piano
« on: December 22, 2017, 07:34:03 AM »
Hey guys, now that the piano is more or less complete, I put two more videos. I think they show well the sounds that can be had with the different settings of dampers and mute. One is through a Fender Princeton reverb:
And the other is through a Roland JC-77:
Happy holidays to all!

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: My homemade electric piano
« on: October 14, 2017, 07:30:20 PM »
Thanks Steve. All the action parts come from an old upright. (As does the rounded part of the case.)

The hammers are now in the place of where the catchers used to be. It may not look like it, but I actually spent a lot of time deciding how the hammers would be positioned relative to the capstans. In the last few weeks, I ended up repinning most of the hammers, which had become very sluggish because of the autumn humidity. I learned that with such a simple action, there's a fine line between sluggish and double-strike!

The dampers were cut in half to accomodate their new location.

I drilled new mortises for the balance pins closer to the front of the keys (and made a new balance rail).

The case veneer was glued with hide glue, I still have a few "bubbles" that I'm not sure how to correct before I finally dye and varnish the thing. I also bought some metal corners but then I figured I'd have to route the sides for them to fit, so I don't think I'll use them.

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