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1
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Redoing a professionals job 206A
« on: March 12, 2017, 11:17:31 AM »
Dear Cinnamon,

thanks for your answers!

Yes, as per the manual there should be lost motion. There was none, but now I adjusted accordingly. Worked out nicely.

I refrained from touching the pickup and adjusted the lost motion and let off a bit more and now the transition you referred to is not as bad as before.

I will play the Wurly a bit and see if I need more bark and then try to "misalign" i.e. side shift the reed in the pickup a bit to get more bark.

Thanks again for your help,

Dote

2
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Redoing a professionals job 206A
« on: March 12, 2017, 09:43:35 AM »
Hi there,

so a long time ago I bought this 206A which I brought back to life and went the extra mile to get it really right. Played and sounded nice. But there was always this thought in my head that I am not a pro and so a pro might do even more magic to my Wurly.

Fast forward to some years ago, I took the piano to a pro and he did some work on it. When it came back it, was not what I had expected, it was good, but not magic. Also the action was set up way different from what I had done and not to my liking. So the Wurly went into hybernation/no use. Today I opened the Wurly up again and for the first time took a look at what had been done inside.

There was NO lost motion whatsoever. As a result the hammer butts were all across the place, not lying in a line on the rail. I readjusted the lost motion and the action started to feel better. Then I adjusted let-off and now have the notes playing more evenly for my touch.

Two notes (second octave B and B flat) sound dull. No bark on them as opposed to the adjacent notes. So I wonder if I should have a look at strike line for these two notes or try to adjust the sound via voicing, i.e. bending up or down the pickup.

Second question would be: if one adjusts the pickup, which direction to bend for more bark? Right now the pickup is horizontal to the reeds. Btw the notes are right where the bass section ends and the thinner pickup begins.

Any help is more than welcome!

Thanks,

Dote

3
Thanks for the video.

I have my doubts that these are bad tines since they do sound pretty good with the correct strikeline.

I think what makes the two tines you pointed out not sounding correctly is the fact that with the second "non-correct" strikeline the damperfelts of these two notes hit the tuning spring. Thus these notes are simply choked by the damper felts.

Dote



Here's a demo vid of the piano on which I've been experimenting with multiple clips. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVkwlzzqf1E&feature=share&list=UURBmRCrOHTxaZ1NJ05RB9xQ&index=1

Here's a vid demonstrating how to use strikeline to identify fatigued bass register tines:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umnBGsmvUBs&list=UURBmRCrOHTxaZ1NJ05RB9xQ

4
Thanks for the great ideas and for posting your findings!

Looking at the pic you posted it seems as if the tonebars were set so that the strinking point of the tip was above what I usually would think normal before you did start working on the setup. So I wonder if the original escapment (global) was correct? Did you check that? The throw of the hammer was too small and by tilting the tonebars (front screw out) and bending the PU you now have the correct postition where the hammer tip hits the tine with the "correct" velocitiy due to throw and at the best position.

In my understanding, great action is depending on:

1. where on curve of hammer tip movement you hit the tine (correct hamme throw)
2. where on the tine the tip strikes
3. if the pickup center is able to get the whole movement of the tine to achieve the greatest amplitude and with this sensitivity


Dote

5
For Sale / Sold
« on: August 23, 2013, 11:47:57 AM »
Sold

6
For Sale / Sold
« on: August 23, 2013, 11:45:38 AM »
Sold

7
Thanks for all the tips!

vanceinatlance was right, it was the speed pot. I opened up the pot and the conductive trace was in a really bad shape in the low speed region. Like almost not there anymore. Needless to say the remainings of the conductive material could be found inside the pot casing. Fortunately I had a similar CTS 100k (although lin) in my basket that I used the inner parts to repair the pot. So only the outer casing and the shaft are from the original pot.

The pot range is ok in my book, although the pot is lin now, there is a bit more fine tuning for the slow tremolo settings, but that suits me fine.

So look at the Speed pot if you have a tremolo that quits working in a specific range of the pot.

Thanks,

Dote

8
Hi gang,

as known, I was able to fix the clicking sound in a late MK2 preamp (with knobs, no sliders for the EQ). That was one of the LDRs not working. Oddly enough the Tremolo stops working when setting the Rate very low (say below 4 on the dial).

I swapped almost all the resistors and ICs around the Oscillator section (U1A and U1B), R15 is pending to be changed to new 47k.

Could the MPS14 be the culprit? A bad 100k Rev Audio pot of the Speed control? Any help? Attached you will find the schemo.

One sidenote:

I tried the MK2 preamp next to my MK1 slider preamp on my beloved MK1 piano. Interesting to note how different the two preamps sound. Where the MK1 preamp has a very organic depth and a lot of treble, the MK2 is a bit more silky. The overall volume of the MK2 is extremely dependent on the Treble knob setting. The bass and Treble dials do not at all interact. Very independent to my ears. Sounds a bit like a MK2 even with the MK1 (1974) Piano. Maybe thats psychoacoustics?

Thanks in advance,
Dote

9
For Sale / Re: Refinished (candy apple red) Rhodes MK1 Lid Europe
« on: May 09, 2013, 04:01:39 PM »
HI Ray,

thanks for the compliment.

Here is a slightly better pic with the lid on the piano.

I have packed the lid already so it would be a major hassle to unpack it and take some pics.

Cheers,

Dote

10
For Sale / Refinished (candy apple red) Rhodes MK1 Lid Europe
« on: May 05, 2013, 10:17:09 AM »
Gentlemen,

for sale is a Lid from a Rhodes MK1 (1975) refinished in Candy Apple Red (Nitro Lacquer).

good condition, some minor scratches here and there
inside has some glue marks from previous owner that glued aluminum foil on inside ( :o)
comes with SeventyThree Logo, Logo needs to be glued to lid, no "plate nuts"

155 EUR incl. shipping to Europe. Situated in Germany.

Dote

11
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Cleaning Your Tolex
« on: March 07, 2013, 12:09:08 PM »
Hi,

I use Fairy Ultra (or any kitchen liquid soap) in some warm water and a bigger nail-brush. Make sure you remove all hardware. Tackle small areas by using the brush slightly wetted with the warm water+liquid soap and move the brush around in small circles. Wipe off with wet towel. After you have gone over the whole cabinet, use windex or any other glass-cleaner and repeat the brushing, this time spraying the glass-cleaner on the Tolex and going at it with the brush. Wipe of with dry cloth. Let thoroughly dry.

Voila! You can get the Tolex to almos new looking (given you do not have to much tear and wear).

Hope this helps.

PS: a sunny day and doing this outside in your garden on a table really helps. Let the sun dry out any residual dampness.

Dote

12
FIXED

The fix was replacing one faulty LDR.

This is a VTL5C3/2 and in Europe you can get it here:

http://uk-electronic.de/onlineshop/product_info.php?products_id=125

I also had to replace the corresponding 1k resistor.

Before that I replaced all caps and the ICs and those were not the culprit, albeit the preamp has less noise now.

Hope this helps somebody!

Dote

13
I solved an issue similar to yours by using the VV grommet set for the "wobbl errant bass not" fix. I can not seem to find that kit right now on the VV site, but it has some very strong springs and smaller grommets. Using such a spring on the front screw (closest to the keys) fixed it on my piano.

Concerning Tonebar clips on lower notes:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nitrofunk/8312011509/in/set-72157632348323207

VV seems to use these on tonebars as low as #51 on their VVP according to this pic.

Cheers,

Dote

14
The fix was replacing one faulty LDR.

This is a VTL5C3/2 and in Europe you can get it here:

http://uk-electronic.de/onlineshop/product_info.php?products_id=125

I also had to replace the corresponding 1k resistor.

Before that I replaced all caps and the ICs and those were not the culprit, albeit the preamp has less noise now.

Hope this helps somebody!

Dote

So I got myself a MKII Suitcase preamp for my MKII. Some corrosion here and there and it works, but:

I get a very nasty ticking sound when activating the tremolo. There seems to be quite some DC on the output. I figured it must be a cap somewhere but before replacing all of them I wonder if I should start with the PS electrolytics C20 C19 (it does not hum though) or with C14 the decoupling cap after U3 or C25 or C26 (on the inputs of U5 and U6).

It seems that the ticking is isolated to one side. So maybe the LDR is defective? Since these LDRs are of the 5 pin type, where do I get a replacement if necessary, I seem not to be able to find a part number for that.

Any help is highly appreciated!

Thanks,

Dote

15
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: VV EP 64: A review in german
« on: January 16, 2013, 02:21:54 PM »
Hi,

I have tried to come up with a translation. Wherever needed I did not translate in the literal sense since it would be very time-consuming and hard to read. I did this translation without permission of the original author. I hope he does not mind this. Hope you all enjoy! Oh and btw I added some comments here and there for you to better understand the text.

All the best,

Dote

"A dream come true in red: The Vintagevibe Electric Tine Piano. A Users Review.
Brainstorming: which three things come to your mind when you think about the Fender Rhodes? In my case it were the cool looks, the gargantuan weight imparting a sense of quality, the typical sound and that pleasent smell of wood and Tolex. A unique instrument, but not inimitable. Because the US based company of VV- for years the international top address for Rhodes restauration- has put its know-how into the construction of a new instrument that is more than a simple Rhodes copy: The VVP could well be the dream come true of a lot of Rhodes enthusiats, if they are willing to take some trouble on themselves

Tour to the Nethelands
These problems start with ordering. Because up until now there were only two european dealers, that would import from the states and sell the piano: Classickeys from the UK and EP-Service from the Netherlands. I myself ordered my piano (64 key model, red, active electronics, series # 077) without any trouble via EP-Service, if you take that long trip to the Netherlands out of count. Ordering goes like this: you pick out a model, decide upon the number of keys, type of electronics-and if wanted Midi electronics, colour and accessories. Marcel will then order the piano via email and you pay in advance.

Minor hickups (Kinderkranheiten - childhood diseases):

After ordering it took about 8 weeks until the piano was finished. I picked it up in the Netherlands and unfortunately tested it only upon my arrival at home. This is when found some minor problems with the piano: the dampers were not fully regulated so that 9 out of ten keys did sustain a tiny bit too long after key-release. It has to be noted though that this is my tenth electromechanical piano (I sold most of these old pianos again in the past) and so I know what has to be done in such cases: either contact my trusted Rhodes technician or adjust the dampers myself, which I did and thus remedied this problem. Also middle D would not want to return to the rest position, due to some glue residues on the front of the key, keeping the key from getting to the rest position. Really a very small problem. After fixing these minor hickups I had a piano in front of me that outshines all my past Rhodes pianos in terms of intonation, tuning and playability. I might contact my Rhodes tech (Jens Lüpke) this upcoming year for a final brush-up although I can not imagine anything right now that really needs to be improved upon. Because as the piano plays right now, it fully lives up to the expectations.

The looks

But let us go through each of the above mentioned points of my brainstorming list. Let us begin with the looks. At a glance, the VVP looks like a Wurlitzer. The case bottom looks like the one on my old 200 Wurlitzer, same goes for the legs, and the hood is fastened to the bottom by means of screws, just like on a Wurly. The hood is available in sparkle or high-gloss versions, albeit the sparkle version is more expensive. The hood of my piano is red and looks just like the bonnet of an old Cadillac- owing also to the impressive VV64-logo on the back. On the key side one finds the namerail, a shiny chromed rail, also sporting the VV-logo in the middle. on the left side: three knobs-one for volume, one for bass and treble each, one for intensity and one for rate of the stereo tremolo. In addition one can regulated the speedrange of the tremolo by pushing the middle knob, which makes the tremolo either very slow to slow or slow to very fast. This is a feature not found on my Suitcase Rhodes. All in all I really dig the looks: the shiny surfaces should make for quite an impressive sight on stage and the pure design looks very elegant.

One drawback of the smooth exterior (and with this we will come to the next bullet point of the list) is: The instruments does seem to be rather fragile and not like carved from a solid block like those old Rhodes pianos do. The surface seems to be prone to scratching, the logo can be easily marred if one does not pay attention in a hurried setup or breakdown and the VVP does not have the stability of a Stage-Rhodes due to the missing leg braces. The "new" piano is rather an artfully crafted light piece of machinery (lightweight).


The weight and interior
Speaking of lightweight: the instruments weighs a mere 25 kg and one can easily carry it around without any help. This is in part die to the very thin hood (I personally would not put another keyboard on top), and also due to a radically economic interior. In contrast to the lucious exterior of  my "real" Rhodes the inside of the VVP looks like stripped to the bare necessities. You only find wood were it is absolutely necessary, the harp stands realtively free, and the guys from VV have settled for smart solutions to carve off a bit of weight here and there, e.g. concerning the novel sustain pedal mechanics, where the classic wooden dovel was replaced with a small plastic one. Yet there are other differences in the interior compared to the old models: the hammers are blue, not cream like on the old ones, they have an optimized form, which is supposed to make the more resistant to breakage by adjusting and also should give them a better breaking power (stopping power); the newly designed tonebars ("tines in the original text") are silver and not brass-coloured, the wood of the harp is painted black, all connectors are higher quality than those of the old models and the hammers do have a small step that was also used in later Rhodes pianos ("I think the author is referring to the pedestals).

Playability
This last mentioned modification is seperately available from VV and called "miracle mod". It effects that a piano with a more pronounced action point ("I think he is referring to pianos with a hard action") is easier to play. I have this MM in my 1974 Suitcase Piano and even though the mod is also from VV both pianos do play differently. The suitcase has a very light touch due to the VV MM although it is missing a bit of "body". I feels a bit undifferntiated and hakelig ("sorry, now way of translating this, I think he means that you will get a bumpy feeling, IMHO this is a sign of a not correctly done MM btw). Fats runs are not a problem but the dynamics are reduced. The MM in my case leads to a cut of when playing very softly or when playing very hard ("choking?"), inhibiting that bark. This reduced dynamic range is also in my case witnessed on the VVP64, althought only on the most soft range, because this instrument can bark: if I play the notes very softly, sometimes no sound is produced. Oddly enough mostly if the sustain pedal is depressed. But maybe that is just a matter of a proper regulation, we will see what Jens Lüpke has to say when he will play the instrument for the first time. Apart from that the action is miles apart from the life-less action of the Suitcase: it feels like the action of my old MKV during its best days. Playability is way better on my VVP64 than on the MKV. The touch is not too hard, but has a perceptible counterweight, feels very elastic, clearly differntiated and precise, round and full. The best action I have ever experienced on any Rhodes. Period.


Sound
Talking about superlatives: how about the next point on our list- the sound? Well, the sound of my piano is even and flawless, one thing I have not heard before on any other model. Flawless means: all notes do have a wonderful homogeneity, no sustaining tines ("I do not know what the author means by that, maybe tonebars hitting the harp braces?") no typical "thunks" that occur when the damper or the hammer kisses the tine (as said all this after removing the above mentioned minor hickups), volume and timbre are very homogenous, the sound is full and covers a broad part of the frequency range. I just start to realize that it is difficult to describe the sound because it is not as characteristic as the one from vintage Rhodes pianos. It is not as snotty unbridled as the one of earlier Silvertops, not as lean and bell like as the late MKII, it has more of the body of the Mark-I-models and the distinct punch of a MKV. It is a very clean consensus-timbre without a pronounced character. And this is not meant in a negative way.

Electric

Responsible for the sound is also the installed Stereovibe-preamp, which seems to be a copy of the Suitcase preamp. It rather bright, which means that the Treble pot leads to a crystal clear sound early on. In comparison my old Suitcase Rhodes sounds rather dull-which to me is unbelievably charming. Another difference to the old model is the sound of the tremolo. On the old models it was produced by means of small light bulbs (all techs please forgive my unprecise wording); on the new models (and on the VVP) it is produced by means of LEDs which results in a slightly different Stereopanning. All in all the preamp is awesome: in my opinion it a fantastically low noise level, features a headphones out and is much more flexible compared to the Suitcase when it comes to the range of tremolo.


To the last point on the list: the smell. Well, concerning that the VVP does not stand a chance against the old Rhodes unfortunately. If any at all, it smells like electronic components. But not like wood and tolex.

Conclusion
The lack of that typical Rhodes smell dwarfs against that almost risible low weight, the wonderful homogeneous sound, the splendid looks and that fantastic of owning a high-class piano.

Even the Vintagevibe piano is not free of minor flaws: it does not seem to be as robust as the old models and has a very delicate surface finish (I am yet undecided to cancel my order of the Vintagvibe softcase and get a real flightcase instead.... which would up the weight of course).  The hood being fastened to the bottom by means of screws makes for a less servicable piano in comparison to the old pianos with their detachable lids.
Because of the mentioned homogenous and clean sound, faulty adjustements seem to stand out. In my case as said there was a problem with the dampers. On my old suitcase it never bothered me if the piano was not set up perfectly. The great playability makes for a trade off in terms of playing very soft notes- this might be a problem of the correct adjustement of the piano though. And most importantly: the price really hurts. I paid about 3900 EUR including shipping, customs via Marcel, legs, pedal and the not yet delivered Softcase and the Stereo-Preamp. Those of you that might now want to buy one of these pianos will have to dig a bit deeper into their pockets: Vintagvibe has upped the prices during the past weeks.


Summary:

I fell in love with the little red one . Even if it does not smell like my old Suitcase. I will not sell the "big" although I have this new dream piano. Albeit the new one scores with reliabilty, playability, transportablity and sound, it has to abandon the field in one aspect: it does not quite reach the charme of the old lady!

16

What would you guys do? Sell one and always miss that one? Sell none and keep one in storage?

Reading your various posts, I'd say you're looking for someone to tell you that you ought to keep both.  (You KNOW you want them both.) So, I'd be glad to perform that service for you:

These are two wonderful pianos, each with its own distinctive characteristics.  If you sell one, you will surely regret it all the days of your life.  Find a storage spot, or get rid of something else in your home that you don't need. (Perhaps you really don't need a refrigerator or a bed.) 

Just trying to be helpful.  I think most people on this list would agree that you really can't have too many Rhodes pianos...  ;)

Alan

Hi Alan,

thanks for the tip. You hit "the tine in the right spot", indeed I am not really willing to let go any of the two beauties. Since I do need a fridge for a nice cool beer and I am really fond of my bed, I need to find a place to store the MK2 or MK1.

Rob has come up with an interesting point, maybe I should just buy another Rhodes?

Again thanks for all the comments and for keeping me from doing something dumb again (selling a Rhodes to regret it later on).

Now coming back to the Damper percussive sound: The MK1 sports the VV damper felts and I found that these give a lot of that damper release sound. Anybody else think that this is an important part of the Rhodes percussiveness? The MK2 has the original damper felts which lack the damper release sound.

Cheers,

Dote

17
Thanks for the nice words about the MK1s sound. It is indeed a great piano!

I will try to get the MK2 to sound more closely to the MK1 and report back.

Here you hear an extremely nice late (1979) MK1 that alos has that damper sound (listen to the low notes in the beginning of the song).

Played by the great Ulf Kleiner of Jazzteam:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogEiCPhVyBo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVIhtSOShNU

The idea is to get the MK2 sound like Ulfs piano.

Cheers,

Dote

18
Ben has it right:

0:00 - 0:18 and from 0:32-0:44 is the MK1

0:18-0:32 and from 0:44 on is the MK2


I agree that the Tremolo effect should not be used in a comparison. I will try to record another comparison without Tremolo if you guys would be interested.

As Ben also mentioned, I have a hard time letting go the MK1 since I put so much work in it. But I also dearly love the MK2 and plan on putting it in the rehearsal room of the band. Would be a shame to let go of one of those nice instruments only to come back later and try to find another one.

I have owned 2 Rhodes in the past because of that. Buying, selling, regretting, buying. And each time it actually got more expensive :-(

Thanks again for the input!

Dote

19
Salut Jean-Pascal,

without giving it all away:

yes, at 0:18 the instruments change and at 0:32 and of course the high notes at the end 0:44.

On the piano from 0 to 0:18 the dampers give a very percussive sound at the end of each note.

I think the dampers have also an influence on the characteristic.

The mid range is a bit more pronounced in the piano from 0:00 to 0:18 and from 0:32 to 0:44. It sounds fuller and a bit more melodic.

Glad you like the overall sound of both pianos.

I will post which is which tomorrow.

Dote

20


I really have no idea. My ear isn't good at those sorts of tests. I would have said it was all recorded by the same instrument.

What you hear is the two instruments. I cut the bits and put them together using Logic. So these are two instruments played alternate. I will post what is what soon.


21
Hi Dave,

if I am not mistaken, the Schaller guys made the later tines (of course some other suppliers as well). But I guess the 1980s Rhodes do have the Schaller tines.

If you get a chance to listen to the posted recording: which part do you think the MK1 or MK2 was used?

Cheers,

Dote

22
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« on: November 29, 2012, 12:01:38 PM »
Hi gang!

need your input on a rather 1st world problem.

I have a very nice MK1 that I completely refurbished, made in 1975, thus it has half wood/half plastic hammers and a mix of old style tines and Schaller ones (from the factory me thinks). I redid:

miracle mod, new key bushing felts, new damper felts, replated tonebars, retolex, grommets, turned around the hammer tips, the whole enchilada

and a nice MK2 from 1980 with pristine hammer tips + damper felts, new grommets, Tolex original but in pristine condition, even has the original music sheet holder and legs bag

I managed to get a Janus Preamp for the MK1 and am awaiting a preamp for the MK2 (knob version, no sliders).

Since I do not have the space to have both Rhodes pianos set up to be played at once, and since I really need a Kawai ES7 for piano sounds, I am pondering whether or not to let go one of the pianos.

The Mk1 has the sharp edge keys, but a fantastic action due to the new key bushings and barks a tiny bit more due to the hammers. The MK2 feels alos great, a tad more key flutter and a bit more side-to side motion since the key bushings are not completely new.

Here you can find a short recording of both pianos through the Janus preamp with identical settings. Recorded into a Focusrite interface, no post effects, tremolo from the Janus. When playing harded I do not hear too much of a difference. The difference is the bell like tonality when playing soft. Please forgive my amateurish playing!

I will not yet tell you when the MK1 or the MK2 are playing in the recording. Would love to see you guys take a guess! The name of the wav file does not correspond to the sequence of recording.

http://soundcloud.com/kranzbergg/mk2mk1

What would you guys do? Sell one and always miss that one? Sell none and keep on in storage? Since I have a spare black MK1 lid and the Stage rail for the MK1 I could keep the MK2 and either put on the MK1 Janus rail with lid, or the MK2 lid with corresponding MK2 preamp rail.

Thanks,

Dote

23
I think the best would be if VV had a European retailer. Shipping would then be via container in bulk, customs would only have to be paid once and be divided up to all, then the retailer would of course add a little so he gets his share and voila.

This retailer would then supply all european techs and have a direct shop for end customers. This retailer could of course also sell the VV Pianos!!! :P :) ;)

I know that EP-Service in NL does offer most of the VV stock, but their prices are quite something. The VV hardware kit costs more than 100 EUR (129 US$) as opposed to 50 US.

Dote

24
Hi there,

I am looking either for a MK2 Suitcase Preamp with sliders or all pots version. Or just the black Faceplate for a Haigler/Janus preamp.

Thanks in advance,

Dominik


25
Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: 1980 MK2 with huge escapement
« on: October 11, 2012, 04:26:35 PM »
I found an old thread by StevenK where he described a MK2 that had some serious problems with escapement or hammer to tine distance. That Rhodes was from 1980 as well.

http://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=4721.msg23033#msg23033

So in this case Steven probably routed down the part of the keyframe where the Harp supports sits.

It might just be that there were some pianos from 1980 that did have some problem with the thickness of the keyframe from the factory?

I will try to measure the thickness of the keyframe. Could anybody out there do me a favour and measure the thickness of the keyframe where the harp supports are attached on a 1980 MK2? A lot to be asked, but maybe we find out if that is the reason for the problem with my Rhodes and supposedly with Frans Heemskerks Rhodes.

Thanks,
Dominik

26
Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: 1980 MK2 with huge escapement
« on: October 11, 2012, 12:57:43 PM »
So I removed the harp shim on the bass side of the piano and now have approx. 8 mm of escapement. Now I can play soft notes on the bass side as well  ;D

The Escapement on the treble side is still at about 7.5 mm as opposed to the 2.4 mm max escapement called for in the manual.

The Treble side shim is 4 mm so removing that would bring me at least down to 3.5 mm.

After removing the shim on the bass side I do fortunately not get blocking or double striking. This might change when reducing the treble side shim. I have the feeling that the upper notes (still having some sustain problems on some notes) might get better response and strikeline when reducing the escapement by those 4 mm.

Yet I find it very akward that the escapement was so high from the factory.

Btw: when measuring the escapement, I put the tine in the position where the timbre would be as I like. Clearly changing the timbre and thus the position of the tine in relation to the hammer tip as well will lead to a change in escapement. How do you guys do this:

Set escapement before timbre? Set timbre before escapement? Both are interrelated to an extent.

Being the perfectionist, I miss the original harp shim fibre stuff already. I plan on putting on some sort of very thin veneer or shim to make sure there is no direct metal to metal contact from harp to harp support.

Dominik

In the pics you see the escapement before removing the shim and after. Hard to take a picture of measuring the escapement.

27
Interesting!

My MKI is from February 1975 (73 Mk1) and I have the date stamp on the same position. My guess is somebody messed with the action rail and put the gaffer on the highest notes to reduce key dip? The gap and the length of the action (leading to the gap) are probably from the time the Rhodes left the factory and the person who installed the gaffer left out the shims to make up for the gap between harp support and action rail.

I would just find some shims and put them in there.

Concerning the shim under the action that Dave showed: I had a long strip of black fiber board under the action rail on MK1 as well. I removed it resulting in a deeper key dip which helped the action a lot after installing the miracle mod.

Cheers,

Dominik

28
Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: 1980 MK2 with huge escapement
« on: October 11, 2012, 02:10:47 AM »
Hi Ben,

thanks for your reply.

This is a 73 MK2. The bass register is indeed a bit hard to play.

I assume that all aluminum harp supports did have the same height, so the only thing difference of these "large escapement" Mk2s to ones with smaller escapement could be due to:

height of harp shims
key dip (backrail felt thickness)
height of action rail (I did not have any spacers under the action rail in my piano, so I guess then there could only be a problem with the key frame)

You said you have problems with the middle section when dropping the escapement in your 88. Could your harp be sagging in the middle thus giving you lower escapement in the middle region? You could check this with a long ruler. You should of course be able to set the tonebars higher in the middle region to get rid of double striking.

What week of 1980 is your MK2 suitcase from?

What I found on my MK2 is that there is a higher amount of "aftertouch" compared to my MK1 from 1975. Be aware though that I have the keyframes leveled in both Pianos (using cardboard shims as in a Wurly) and secured with extra screws, so that the keyframe is not flexing under a heavy stroke (especially in the middle section). Maybe this extra "aftertouch" has something to do with the double striking in your case?

I will try to remove the harp shims and report back.

Thanks again,

Domini


29
Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / 1980 MK2 with huge escapement
« on: October 10, 2012, 02:29:44 PM »
Hi gang,

so I pulled the trigger on a 1980s Mk2 (9th week 1980). After a good cleaning the piano is cosmetically in great condition (replaced the corners, handles and logo, but the rest is in great condition). No rust on tines, Damper felts are fine.

Playing this thing is really tiresome and I have extreme problems getting it voiced. I installed new VV screws and grommets for the tonebars and had to fix 1 note with low sustain using a thicker spring in the higher register.

Tonight I measured the escapement on the bass side and low and behold it is 13 mm on the lowest bass note. The tonebars are all set to 3/8 inch using the tonebar adjustment screw.

How come the escapement is so much off from what the manual says? On the bass side it should be 6.35mm - 9.52 mm.

The factory installed shim is 3.9 mm. So even if I would shave off the complete shim, I would get to min 9.1 mm.

When the Rhodes arrived it had the tonebar escapement screws set even higher than 3/8 inch, I would say 12 - 13 mm. Thus the piano must have left the factory with a whopping 17 mm escapement.

Key dip is 10.6 mm.

So what do I do next? Shave of the shims?

Any ideas why this piano has this much escapement?

Thanks in advance,

Dominik

30
Hi Ben,

thanks for the reply.

I got it fixed by using one of the springs of the VV tine stabilizer set in the "timbre adjustment" position.

Couple of observations:

Using only the rigid tine stabilizer spring on the middle tonebar screw (timbre adjustment) produced the best sustain, but side to side motion was really bad without the escapement screw in place. Maybe somebody should be looking into producing rubber stand-offs for the escapement side?

Using the original timbre spring on the escapement screw got nice sustain (albeit not as long as with only the tine stabilizer on the timbre side) and restored tightness with acceptable side to side motion.

I also tried using old grommets, but again if the sustain was great, side to side motion was really increased.

Oddly enough my MK1 did not have any of these problems using the much tighter fitting no name grommets and screws that had shoulders with threading.

Thanks again. Will post some pics of the MK2 soon.

Dominik

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