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Messages - Fred

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer clank Sound- F21
« on: June 01, 2020, 06:41:55 PM »
You are welcome, Sir : )
Thank you for the update!

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer clank Sound- F21
« on: May 31, 2020, 05:45:36 PM »
I believe it has to do with the relatively large footprint of the solder pyramid, necessary for bringing the lowest of the #3 reeds down to the proper pitch. The F in question requires the largest counterweight, and in my experience, is most prone to this problem (the adjacent F# being a close second).
We know that upon being struck, a reed is bending in the shape of an arc. If adhesion of the solder is lost toward the fixed end of the reed, it suggests that a portion of the solder counterweight is located on a portion of the reed that exhibits some bending upon heavy blows. A slightly shorter, slightly taller pyramid may help reduce the chances of the problem reemerging. 

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer clank Sound- F21
« on: May 31, 2020, 09:09:59 AM »
It is the solder slightly separating from the reed that causes this, usually at the edge of the pyramid closest to the fixed end of the reed. My belief is that the footprint of the solder counterweight is so large that it encroaches on a part of the reed that flexes under heavy blows.
 To remedy this, remove the solder completely. File the end of the reed in the shape of the footprint for the solder pyramid. Tin the footprint, then rebuild your pyramid.

As Cinnanon stated, the bump WILL eventually wear a groove into the hammer cam felt. This will inevitably cause a sticking sensation when keys are depressed - it is only a matter of how much time that takes to happen. The PROPER setup here is to have the smooth, polished surface (such as a properly cleaned hammer cam) glide across the felted surface. The original setup is far from optimal in terms of functionality, as nylon plastic can be made smoother than the wood used for the pedestal (reducing friction), and with a bump present, the aforementioned groove will develop in the original scenario. 

The felt on the hammer cams is thicker than the felt supplied with the Miracle Mod kit. The original cam felts' thickness (too thick) is another source of the vagueness one feels in a piano with cam felts. Due to this difference in thickness, the location of the bump on the pedestal will change depending upon which felt is used in conjunction with where the felt is placed. So, to set up a sample area without removing the cam felts could result in having to relocate those bumps should you decide to proceed with a proper setup. Also noteworthy, such a test area will feel different than the proper setup of bump-modded, felted pedestals with smooth cams. 

Level your keys first, and do the mod as recommended, or, leave the action setup as is if you are looking to avoid spending the time. Most of all, have fun, and good luck!

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: “Tink” sound when hitting key
« on: December 02, 2019, 03:45:42 PM »
This is actually quite common in that area of the piano. In order to get proper adhesion, you will end up melting the whole "pyramid" of solder which will then require reshaping. To prevent separation in the future, remove all solder from the end of the reed, file the area of the reed to receive the solder (to provide a surface for adhesion), and tin that area of the reed. THEN begin building and shaping a new solder pyramid.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Chemical fluids
« on: December 01, 2019, 09:24:22 AM »
Protek is a very good lubricant. You will need to thin it (or silicone) with alcohol to treat a sluggish Wurlitzer "electronic piano" action. 8 parts alcohol to 1 part Protek or pure silicone.
NOTE: this solution is much too aggressive for shrinking actions of acoustic pianos, as the weighting and balancing are different, and there is usually a desired degree of resistance in acoustic pianos. 
You can use denatured alcohol or 190 proof (95% alcohol) grain spirits as a substitute for naphtha. The purpose of the alcohol is to compact the fibers of the cloth bushings in the action centers, thus allowing free movement of the pins. The lubricant mixed within the solvent will leave a trace on the felt and the pin ensuring free movement.
It is recommended to treat ALL action centers to ensure an even effect across the keyboard.

I don’t think we’re talking about a particular Rhodes here, rather, the concept of adding weights to make the action heavier found in an early Fender Rhodes owner’s manual that Alan found.

All kidding aside, perceived weight in an action and articulation are two different things. Because of the design of an acoustic piano (jacks with let-off adjustment, hammer weight, action center drag, etc.), it is possible to have an action that offers an increased resistance while more accurately assuring that a note will sound when the key dip bottoms out.
In the simplified Rhodes action, the absence of a bump, or addition of weights on the keys, can both adversely affect acceleration of the hammer. This can result in a less articulate playing experience.
Action is very subjuctive, however. I most often see clients go for the lighter, more defined feel of the bump, but I do have a fully regulated, flat pedestal '74 on the floor for demonstration. There have been a few that prefer it.

Seems like they were taking a "things can always be worse" approach to the vague response of flat, felted pedestals and excessive escapement... ;)

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Very Low Output Problem
« on: October 01, 2019, 08:02:53 AM »
What Steveo said, BUT...
The FiftyFour is wired in series, so if one pickup goes, they're all out. Use an alligator clip to jump pickups until you isolate the faulty connection and/or pickup.

Also, make sure none of the lower tone bars are touching pickup poles or bus wires while you're at it.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Korg Poly Ensemble S
« on: July 20, 2019, 05:39:24 PM »

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurly 112 Opinons.
« on: June 06, 2019, 09:40:05 AM »
based upon your description, your 112 sounds nothing like a donor, especially on account of missing reeds (a consumable component).

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Miracle Mod Install Problem?
« on: September 15, 2018, 09:17:41 AM »
Also, I noticed in your video that there is some sort of white residue on the treble pedestal. My guess is it's either a dry lubricant or superglue residue, neither of which you want present on your pedestal felts.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Miracle Mod Install Problem?
« on: September 15, 2018, 09:13:54 AM »
1973 is a prime example of a piano with "great bones", but could most certainly benefit from a bump mod.
Based on your first video, the positioning of the bump looks satisfactory, possibly a hair too close to the hammer's fulcrum on the bass end.
You should shoot for at least 3/8" dip.
The "overshooting" will be a non-issue once the harp is in place and the hammers have the tines to rebound off of.

Place your mic a few inches further away from the speaker than you might normally be inclined to do. Problem solved. ; )

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: nice write-up
« on: July 27, 2018, 08:49:00 AM »
Definitely are a few inaccurate statements in there. As far as I've read/been told, JPJ used a Hohner Electra Piano on the recording, but toured with a Rhodes.

I believe that's a typo and "CBS" is what was intended. If Peacefrog35 is who I think, then I have sent some decal pics that can hopefully help...

I too remember reading something where Wurlitzer was cautioning against something as it could "damage the protective coating". I think it might be in an earlier manual, something along the lines of filing the reeds "unless expertly done" - which is a whole other can of worms ; )

In Wurlitzer's series 200 and 200A service manual it is stated that for notes with a short ring time, the base of the reed should be inspected for foreign material, and that the base of the reed (the part of the reed underneath the reed screw) can be cleaned using a very fine grit emory paper on a flat surface and polishing both sides of the reed head until metal shows through. It is further stated that the reed base is also an electrical ground, and loss of ground means loss of volume.

As for "fine grit emory paper", 1000 grit sandpaper will polish the reed head to a very smooth surface. Keep in mind scratches, such as those that can be introduced by heavier grit paper, create areas for moisture to collect and cause tarnish.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Sparkle Top or Early Mark 1?
« on: November 11, 2017, 10:26:10 AM »
My late '68 Silvertop has an early generation Peterson pre. Etched in solder on the board is "Peterson c 1967".

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Effects loop on Early Mark 1
« on: November 11, 2017, 10:19:22 AM »
Buy or make two cables: 1x RCA male to 1/4" male (harp RCA to effects pedal/chain "in") and 1x 1/4" male to RCA female ( effect(s) "out" to preamp rca cable). If you get thin enough cables (like Monster) you can drape them over the left side of the piano and even fit the harp cover back on. This way, you won't have to drill through the name rail to add accessory jacks.

Or, as someone who replied to this idea on a FB thread said...

"This is pretty much where I landed. The only change is that one cable is RCA male to 1/4” female. This way when not using pedalboard I can plug the two cables into each other and effectively be straight from harp to preamp without opening up the lid. When using the pedalboard I just add the additional patch cable... I’m sure I’ve introduced a tiny bit of noise, but negligible. Tx!"

the alleged Pianet in "Let it Be" that I'm referring to is in the final mix of the song. My guess is that it was added as an overdub. I know there is alot of footage and photos of Preston on a late model Silvertop piano, but having collected them and specializing in their restoration, I do not believe that is the electric piano heard in that section of said final mix. I wasn't there tho ; )

Another anomaly in that recording is perhaps a mistake on the piano. In the last verse, under "Mother Mary...", it sounds like Paul blows a chord. The best approximation I've come up with for live Beatles Tribute shows I've played is B half-diminished over A. Intentional? Could be an honest clunker while attempting to hit Am, and from what I've read, Macca likes leaving in mistakes. Thoughts??   

Thanks for the great pics, David!

The Rhodes Billy Preston played is the 1st generation of the Peterson stereo pre amp - dead giveaway there is the hard-wired power cable on the name rail.

I believe that is a Pianet N on the rooftop, not a T. I'd put my money on the "N" being played in the "Let It Be" (F Em Dm C etc.) descending line.

The Pianet T uses electromagnetic pickups (similar to a Rhodes). The earlier N uses an electrostatic pickup (similar to a Wurlitzer).

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Harp brackets
« on: June 08, 2017, 10:19:33 PM »

They're not that expensive if you can find one local. Perhaps looking around would be less hassle than fabrication

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Harp brackets
« on: June 07, 2017, 04:16:16 PM »
I have some but I do not know what VV charges for them, nor can I set prices for shipping or taxes. You're welcome to one if you cannot find a more cost effective option, tho it sounds like you may be pretty far off from the Northeast...

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Harp brackets
« on: June 07, 2017, 12:31:45 PM »
Not all parts (especially used parts, as there is an ever changing stock) are listed on the website. Give them a call. If they don't have one, I should be able to dig one up and bring it to them.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Which glue for felt hammers?
« on: June 03, 2017, 11:06:52 AM »
You're welcome Oliver

Yes, that is correct.

No. Cut enough material out of the tip so that it's bottom surface makes full contact with the hammer between the two lips.

Good Luck!

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Which glue for felt hammers?
« on: June 02, 2017, 01:47:13 PM »
Hello Oliver

Use the industrial adhesive on all but the wood core tips, and always have the grain running horizontally. For your piano, you will have to notch the felts to fit around that second lip. They can be cut off (which would indeed facilitate installation of new tips in the future, felt or neoprene) but the best way to do this would be to remove the hammers from the action rail and set up a jig on a band saw to run them through. Failing that, hand tools are a bit more tedious but could do the job. I would still remove the hammers from the action rail however, as you'll be able to exercise more care in the removal of the lip, and you won't chance stressing the hammer nipples and flange.
What you have however, is a pretty rare first run of the "hybrid hammer". Whether or not you detract value by modification imo lies only in the quality of the execution.

You got it - Good luck!

Make sure the bridle straps are tight within the slot of the hammer.

CAREFULLY apply thin super glue carefully to the rounded interior of the slot in the hammer. Remember, the super glue provides a mechanical connection as well as an adhesive connection. Once the glue dries, it's shape simply cannot be pulled through the slot without breaking (glue or hammer) apart.

Be careful not to apply to much! you don't want excess glue dripping all over the place, like the flange or pedestal in particular. You also don't want excess glue wicking up the bridle strap, making it stiff.

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