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Messages - Ben Bove

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Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Re: Modern Preamps: VV, Avion, LA
« on: December 12, 2019, 02:03:38 PM »
The stage piano with a guitar amp - a Twin Reverb, a JC 120 - they are already "preamped" and that's its own sound.  I personally don't recommend adding another preamp on top of those amplifiers because they would both add treble and bass EQ that collectively colors the sound.  It's also difficult to work with a stereo set up.

The best route in my opinion is to pair one of these preamps with 12" PA speakers / powered monitors for true stereo vibrato.  These will take the accurately developed EQ of these preamps and correctly amplify them.  Any good set of PA speakers / monitors are also cheaper than 2 guitar amps.  They can also be at ear level which is an incredible experience compared to a suitcase cabinet at your knees.

I personally own Nir's preamp and VV's.  They are exceptional. 

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Loose hammers
« on: October 05, 2018, 12:32:49 PM »
Spot on.  if there's excessive movement left-to-right, where a hammer runs into the other, then one of the hammer hinge pins is probably broken off but still in the flange (so it looks fine).

This sounds like a power supply regulator assembly issue.  With your multimeter, I would unplug both amp modules from the supply, and test the pins inside the connectors.  Referring to the schematic, you should be getting readings around +35, +25, and -35 for both. 

Does the Rhodes make sound on channel 2, no matter which amp module is plugged into it?  That will help you rule out a bad amp module - that you can swap either out on a good channel.

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Rhodes Stage 72' Restoration
« on: October 05, 2018, 12:15:13 PM »
The lateral shimming you talk about was done at the factory.  During this era, that's how they dealt with alignment of a wood action frame piano.  Replacing the harp support may be a good idea, depending how good the glue job was.  It can change the escapement of the bass section of the piano due to a height difference.

I'm not sure if I follow you on the key dip / key pedestal felt question.  Your era of piano with wooden harp supports, would have key pedestal felts (not hammer cam felts).  When doing the miracle mod, you'll want to remove the key pedestal felts, do the bump mod, and reinstall new key pedestal felts.  If there are no felts between the key pedestal and hammer currently, this will allow the keys to dip lower than they should when depressed. 

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Is this mould on my keys?
« on: October 05, 2018, 11:57:37 AM »
The grime on the side of the keys is from hands dragging :) If you notice, it's only down far enough between the keys where a hand could touch it.  I'm sure you'll see that it's deepest towards the front of the key (furthest travel down), and trangularly gets smaller as it goes back.

Usually the smell from Rhodes comes from the tolex - give it a good smell up close.  It's a porous material, and everything else in the piano is mostly covered - by the harp lid, by plastic key caps, etc. which usually keeps the smell in.  So your best bet would be to clean the tolex with something like an orange cleaner or something that's not too harsh but has deodorizing properties.  You can always test on the inside of the case lid or some other area which isn't readily seen in case it does affect the material or color of the tolex.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Key Pin replacement problems
« on: October 05, 2018, 11:48:46 AM »
A few months late - but yes  :)

Good news, it looks like a new CEO is at Photobucket, and they've reversed the photos held ransom.  I've checked a few forum posts, and the photos are showing up again.

Great to see our work has come back.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Key Pin replacement problems
« on: July 16, 2018, 12:27:34 PM »
for the plastic key pin sections, on this 88 I recently worked on, they just cut a section for the remainder of bass notes.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Escapement Issue
« on: July 16, 2018, 12:25:19 PM »
Great.  Also, instead of hammer tip shims, we have the luxury of different sets of hammer tips that Vintage Vibe sells.  The aluminum frame pianos have factory hammer tips that have various heights - shortest in the bass, up to tallest in the wood core.  So, you could purchase the "square tip" older version of the hammer tips from the early 70s, which would be taller, and put those in the bass section.  That would eat up some of the big escapement

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Wurlitzer 140B
« on: July 12, 2018, 12:36:36 PM »
I would definitely agree that this amp is a candidate for rebuild.  The electrolytic capacitors alone (black) are well past the intended life expectancy.  Even if they were quality Sprague!

The question would be if you're comfortable removing components and soldering.  If not, I would recommend a rebuilding service.  It's straightforward enough with the rebuild kit, so any decent electronics repair shop or "guitar amp guy" could do a rebuild.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Key Pin replacement problems
« on: July 12, 2018, 12:26:51 PM »
Take a look on reverb, I believe there are a couple sections for sale.

You may be able to find the broken pins inside the piano, or broken off inside the bottom of the key itself.  You can position the broken pin to match up with the way it broke off from the channel, and superglue it in.  Otherwise, you can drill a hole and insert a replacement pin of some kind that is of the same height and width (i.e. from a cabinet shelf, etc.)

Bill Evans - From Left to Right, confirmed from that era because of album cover, and best example of that era

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« on: June 07, 2018, 03:10:26 PM »
It went for a ride on a boat and is currently living in Norway :)

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Case support bolts/music rack
« on: June 04, 2018, 04:12:52 PM »
Yes what Steveo said about the dampers - the bolts can go above the reed bar shield.  The holes in the reed bar shield are drilled out wide enough that they can sit higher.

If you have a heavy keyboard on top of a wurlitzer, you may notice that the lid is actually hitting the back of the black keys (sharp keys), and making a mechanical clacking noise.  Setting the bolts higher will prevent the lid from flattening out, and running into the back of the keycaps.

You can sort of see in this photo that the bolts are slightly above the reed bar shield, especially the right one.  Couldn't quickly find one from a horizontal view.

Hi, thanks for the video.  Always helps in diagnosing problems.  First off, let us know the steps you're doing to adjust the escapement - are you noticing the problem is worse or better in certain cases?

There are a couple different things going on, but pay attention to the 2 parts of any strike - does the noise happen when you hit a key (happens on attack), or does it only happen on release of a key, after attack.  I'm hearing a couple notes that have mechanical noise when you release after an attack, then on some other notes, I'm hearing mechanical buzzing or other noises on initial attack only.  Those are two separate issues.

You may want to play some of these notes with the sustain pedal down, and that will help you differentiate what happens on attack or release, as the sustain pedal will eliminate the dampers on release from the equation.

Anything that's strictly a buzz on attack - check for tonebars touching neighboring tonebars, or the metal braces.  For bass/low notes, it could be tines swinging high enough to contact a neighboring tonebar.  See if moving the tonebars temporarily by hand clears up the attack noises.  Sometimes adjusting a tonebar screw (that are often bent) will move a tonebar in a direction out of the way of colliding with a neighbor.

For the core problem I think you're talking about, the noise seems to be when you release an attacked note, and the tine is dampened by the felt.  If you lift and drop the hammer or just pull the damper down and let it go, the tine swing is not part of that equation and therefore doesn't replicate the problem.  So, you're specifically dealing with a tine swing coming to a stop (which is the job of the damper, but definitely a few sound louder than necessary).

Take a look at the actual damper felts themselves on the offending notes.  Make sure there isn't any glue on the top surface or even on the sides, towards the top.  Any hardness in the felt will be heard as that hard surface interacts with a metal tine.  It would be the equivalent of stopping a diving board from vibrating with a pillow or a piece of wood.

If a damper arm doesn't have enough tension in it, it will bounce off the tine repeatedly when you release it rather than stop it on a dime.  That repeated bouncing can make mechanical noise.  Your piano is the hybrid wood hammer version, with single damper arms, so they're a bit more susceptible to "bad bending" when someone tries to bend the damper tips up.  If they're not bent correctly, they may get bent too far down the shaft and reduce arm tension.  It's a little hard to get inside to check, as you need to remove the damper sustain rail under the harp, but check to see if the bad notes look like the damper felt is bouncing around worse than neighboring notes, when you release after a strike.  The frame rate on the video is just fast enough that I can't make it out.

As a note, the black material acting as a shim is a factory method.  Sometimes there is 1-3 shims, sometimes a repair tech later removed it to lower escapement.  Depending on the piano (and your vintage of piano had a lot of factory tech variability), you may want to leave it on there.  Shims usually are on the bass (left) side of the piano - the treble section doesn't have as much of an escapement problem, as the tine swing is much less.

The leg flanges have an angle to the threading.  You want the angle to point towards the corner of the Rhodes, so that when the legs are installed, they flare outwards.

For example, the front left corner flange should have the threading positioned in a way that the leg would point southwest as you're looking at the piano.

The bottom flange in your picture has a leg's threading jammed in it.  You can unscrew the threading, and take the leg and thread to a welding shop to have them spot weld it into place.

When possible, I do prefer cutting with a dremel as it's best to square off the tine at the end.  It does a pretty good job with nice cutters though.  If they're cheaper, I've seen them chip a fragment of the tine off that breaks off farther up the shaft.

The heat generated from the dremel cut won't affect it, but you will need to clamp / grab the tine itself close to the cutting point for longer tines to stabilize them when you cut.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Mute Slider
« on: March 22, 2018, 04:17:19 PM »
Sometimes the mute about halfway down reduces the brashness of the Clav.  The full-mute position is maybe only for a muted guitar sound, but it really kills all the treble strings.  So I'd agree.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Strike line on a Mark II
« on: March 22, 2018, 04:15:54 PM »
The hammer tips you used - are they the different heights version where they're shorter in the bass than the wood core treble tips, or are they the earlier style at all equal heights?  That would explain eliminating the bass shim and maybe raising the treble shim.  The factory tips on a Mark 2 were graduated in height, and that's how they set the escapement vs. through shims.  All aluminum frame pianos had the exact same height shims from the factory.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Strike line on a Mark II
« on: March 19, 2018, 01:58:48 PM »
A lot of Mark IIs came out with not-that-great strikelines, as the aluminum frame pianos were designed to be assembled as-is.  I was told the harp wasn't hand-located by technicians for the optimal spot like on wooden frame models.

I do find it odd that you had to shim the harp even higher on the treble end.  Before you lock it in, you may want to take another look at the treble placement.  Often when a shim is put in and the piano sounds better, it's because the hammers are now hitting the tines farther back, and actually hitting the optimal spot only because the harp went higher.

I don't believe I have a schematic for the Dyno Tri Stereo Tremolo, but if you search "Dyno my piano schematic" on google, you'll find the standard "pro piano" preamp on the left side of the piano.

Came across an interesting old site regarding a NOS D6 clav in a metal case, apparently a letter from Hohner Canada:

"This is a rare version of the Clavinet... The original Clavinet D6 was Hohner Model Number HK205. This version of the Clavinet is Hohner Model Number HK215 and is know as the D6-N... It is apparently a D6 Clav in an E7 Case... Some short time later, the updated E7 was introduced...

This information came to me in the form of a letter dated 23 October 1979 from G. W. Wilson, General Manager of Hohner Canada Inc. when I inquired about the D6-N we received instead of the D6 we ordered...

As well, in the letter, Wilson states that the original D6 was discontinued earlier in 1979 with 'N' (for 'new') being it's replacement... What I personally REALLY believed happened was that the E7 was developed and ready to ship in 1979. The factory ran out of D6 cases, BUT still had some D6 chassis to sell. So, the remaining D6's put into E7 cabinets until the D6's were sold out... Then the E7 was rolled out... Some Clavinet experts are not even aware of the D6-N's existence..."

WOW.  Fantastic.  Are there varying shades of whiteness across the keys or did they come out pretty uniform?  Hard to tell via pictures, but curious if they all whitened exactly the same or only minor shade differences between keys

Haha wow, an almost decade-old post!  As for me, I've gone the pedal route for a touch of basic reverb when needed.

Here's a much better approach with VV and a well-integrated unit:

1974 - In 74, the stamps often get wiped away or disappear.  Other indicators:

Non-skirted keycaps on an 88 means it's not a 1973 or earlier
Fender Rhodes gold foil badge means it's not an early 1975
40k Serial number often falls somewhere in the '74 range

You might be able to look for a very faint outline of a blue ink date stamp, in the top right corner of the wood harp.  Try a couple different lights, looking from the side, low/higher brightness etc. and you might see a 74.

Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Re: Miracle Mod Issue
« on: February 13, 2018, 11:45:20 AM »
Thanks for being thorough with the pics and description.  The action rail (the aluminum extrusion where all the hammers are screwed into) is slightly misaligned with the key bed.  This can happen on your era of piano, because it didn't have a factory bump, and there was more room for error when assembling and attaching without any noticeable quality control problems.  The hanmmer rolled over the key pedestal just fine in both high and low sections.

The highly involved and correct way to rectify this would be to reposition the action rail and harp supports as they're attached to the key bed.  Basically, rotating the entire left of the action rail back slightly, so your low hammers intersect the key pedestals further back.  However, there's a lot involved with this small adjustment, including redoing the harp's strikeline as its attached to the action rail / supports.

Unless you're down for removing the piano from the case, getting it up on a stand and taking a look at how the aluminum frame is attached to the key bed, and seeing how to adjust it, you may want to take a look at methods like pnoboy is suggesting or other fixes.  The bass section is where the escapement matters most, so you could be running into double-striking in the low section, and definitely a difference in feel across the piano if you did a bump mod as-is.  I wouldn't recommend doing bumps on some and not others - the feel difference would be dramatic.

You might be able to get away with starting on the lowest E at the very edge of the key pedestal, and matching that position all the way up, so your high E is also further back, to match the low E.  Then, when all your hammers match that, you can globally set escapement by raising the harp etc.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Remove corrosion on metal parts?
« on: January 30, 2018, 11:45:53 AM »
A word of warning as well about using abrasives on metal parts while still on the harp - being that the pickups are magnetic, they have a good chance of grabbing onto metal fragments both in front and behind the pickup coil.

I just went through a Rhodes with a neodymium magnet, and it pulled off a palm-full of steel wool and fragments. 

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: How to remove stuck tine?
« on: January 25, 2018, 11:25:19 AM »

If the screw head strips off, or if you don't have a vise handy, a decently long adjustable wrench can be fit over the tine block (because it's square), and a big pair of crescent tongue and groove pliers to grip onto the tonebar (with a towel etc. to prevent marring the finish).  You basically twist the tine block and tonebar against each other to loosen the screw.

Very interesting.  Perhaps the fiesta red models from the catalog were these from 1963?

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: 1973 Hohner Clavinet D6 Restoration
« on: December 19, 2017, 11:17:20 AM »
I recently used 1 piece for a factory C retolexing, and I can tell you it's a beast.  I had to very carefully cut a perfectly straight line on the back corners from top to bottom, to get the tolex pieces to marry right next to each other.  It looks great but there was no turning back if I slipped up.

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