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Messages - mvanmanen

The reeds are different. If you phone or otherwise contact some of the online sellers of vintage keyboard parts (Vintage Vibe, Ken Rich, Retrolinear, etc.) some might have a small stash of them. I remember buying one for around $20-30 USD from one of them. Unfortunately, the price can add up if you need to replace multiple. I am not aware of anyone making them new.
I think what will be be interesting in time is how "vintage" will vintage keyboards be. My best playing/sounding clavinet D6 has new strings, new hammer tips, new grommets, etc.

I see from your signature you have a 1971 Suitcase Fender Rhodes. For me the tines and pickups from the 1960 to early 70s rhodes are really special. I appreciate it is harder and harder to find replacements...
I would dare to say that of the keyboards you have mentioned clavinets are the most challenging to emulate with software or other means. It is not simply the shallow key dip or the ultrafast key return. I find the strings and pickups literally breath like they are alive playing through a nice amp with choice effects. And, of course, clavinets also have aftertouch as you can sink into the keybed to give a bit of vibrato. In short, in a well setup instrument, there is a playing experience to clavinets that I have not found anywhere else. I do not play my clavinets as much as my piano nor rhodes, but I think they are wonderful.
Buying / Re: Prices
February 05, 2022, 11:40:00 PM
Quote from: Piano&Drums on February 05, 2022, 06:00:49 PM
Is $3K for a fully restored by vintage vibe Mark II suitcase a fair price? Wooden keys.

Yes...but it does depend what part of the world you are...

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Amplifier Advice
December 17, 2021, 08:46:36 AM
re: Alan's twin

Absolutely love the sound of a Fender Twin. I used to have one but also have a Dual Showman which is essentially the same amp in a head form. Following Alan, many guitar players are not interested in such powerful amps so the prices are much more affordable. I actually like an "overpowered" amplifier for at home levels because you get a completely uncompressed sound. That said, it is nice to push the tubes a little bit without getting phone calls from the neighbours.
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Amplifier Advice
December 16, 2021, 06:29:10 PM
There are so many nice amplifier choices. And really it comes down to your planned use, sound you like, budget, and availability. My main rhodes amplifier these days is a blackface Fender showman with a 1x15" cabinet. And, sometimes, I use it with a second amp after dividing the output with a Strymon bigsky pedal with the second amplifier being an old blonde tremolux with 2x10" cabinet. It's honestly heavenly.

I would strongly encourage you to not rush into buying an amplifier but rather borrow or try out some amplifiers to get a sense of what you like. And then, keep an open mind. Rather than chasing a particular amplifier, if you come across a well-priced used amplifier then consider it as an option. I have gotten great tone from vintage Ampegs, MusicMan, and other Fenders. I even once used a little Yamaha THR amplifier just for noodling at home which was quite nice for recording and playing with different effects.
I would suggest spending some time reading through the Rhodes service manual so you have a sense of order of assembly and adjustments to be made as you are assembling it. Here is the link:

If you get stuck then this (and the online Facebook group) are great places to turn to for advice.
Quote from: mjbarber431 on March 25, 2021, 06:25:04 AM
Thanks for the feedback! I have actually already replaced the hammer tips with VV's angled color tips, which are the softest they offer besides the felt ones. I'm really starting to dig the sound, however. FYI, my Rhodes is a 1983 mk II with plastic keys.

I swear I thought 1983 within just a few seconds of hearing your recording Rhodes Flower. The more rhodes you play and listen to then you really can recognize the tonal differences recognizing as people restore them with different parts they are creating different sounding rhodes. It really is wonderful how different each rhodes sounds. It gives those of us with a passion for these instruments many different textures to choose from.

Anyways, I enjoyed your playing and think the piano sounds very nice. I owned a 1983 suitcase for awhile. I really had it sounding quite nice but ultimately it was the action that lead me to sell it.
I feel very fortunate to have been to Iceland on a few occasions. It is truly one of the most beautiful, calming places I have visited. I hope you very much enjoy your Rhodes!!!!
100% agree with what others posted. That said, I have found myself willing to pay more for a vintage keyboard that is available locally. Being able to thoroughly inspect and play a keyboard, without having to deal with the expense and risks of shipping, is worth least this is how I rationalize it to my wife ;)
There are so many things that might differ between different models of Twins not just related to circuitry but also tubes, speakers, etc. That being said, I would suspect you would find the Twin sounds less compressed and certainly harder to overdrive...although both have a lot of clean headroom. Some of the Hot Rod series app sound a little loose too particularly in the bass register.

I quite like this DI box for use with PA:
I have played one with Rhodes. Definitely a very nice amp and I would not hesitate purchasing one if I came across one in good shape and for the right price. It sounded just a bit more compressed than the twins I have played through. That's not a bad thing...just a bit different.
Are you able to upload or send a link to a recording of what you are hearing? It seems very odd that it is limited to the middle section of the keyboard...
Another easy thing to check...check to make sure all of your pick-ups are screwed tightly down.
One of the nicest piano techs in town is Bruce Bishoff:
If you move the electronics out of the way then he could probably tweak the let-off.

You're welcome to borrow my let-off tools as well. I have both the the ones from VV as well as Ebay.
It's actually worth owning both as they are slightly different.

They have a bunch of Wurlitzer's at NMC in Calgary ( if you want to compare to get a sense of what are reasonable expectations to have a Wurlitzer as far as action. Some years ago John Leimseider had adjusted the action on your Wurlitzer before he passed away. I made some adjustments over the years as well but it had sat idle for sometime so could use some tweaking.
I think it is hard to know the value without some pictures. But if it is complete probably at least $4000-5000 to the right buyer.
If you cannot get a teeny, tiny needle in then I would be inclined to just bead around the edge. The last thing you want to do is damage the key in the process of trying to fix it ;)

I usually just scrape away the old glue with a blade and sandpaper, and obsessively get rid of any dust, and then apply the glue.
I inject superglue with a fine needle between the key caps and frame...and then put a bead of glue along the edge and frame. It's important I think to remove any old glue you can and really give it some time to dry. Not sure if this is professional enough...but it has hold up very well for me and I have not damaged any keys from following this process
Your damper felts look pretty gnarly with long crooked teeth. Are they actually moving clear from the tine to allow it to vibrate on tine strike? If not I would be inclined to just cut away the teeth so you have a flat felt and then bend the damper arm so it is appropriately adjusted to briskly dampen on note release but also not interfere with tine vibration on strike.
Gosh I feel silly. I just opened it up while I was waiting for a reply and saw how simple it was. Easy fix.
Thanks Sean!
This just started happening:

On late-model suitcase pianos, the effects loop (Accessory 1 & 2) has an internal connection that is temporarily broken when you use the loop. Normally the connection is restored when you unplug your effects loop, but sometimes the internal connection goes bad. Symptoms that the connection is bad include a drop in the piano's volume, along with static that is only heard while you play a key. Try running a short patch cord from Accessory 1 to Accessory 2 as a quick fix for this problem. It should restore the signal to full volume and eliminate the static.

Where is the internal connection that needs fixing so I do not need to keep using a patch cord to bypass the issue?

Thanks so much
I have had this happen to me a number of times with my DUO and then I start to worry one of the pick-ups is going...then I relax and give my switches a really, really, really good clean....and then I work the switches....and then it's all good...Hopefully it is something as simple as this...
I wonder when they'll start cloning electro-mechanical keyboards ;)
For Sale / Re: Rhodes Piano Bass $999
January 09, 2020, 09:09:13 AM
Enjoy the clavinet!
For Sale / Re: Rhodes Piano Bass $999
January 08, 2020, 03:09:27 PM
Is the Clavinet for sale too?
Amps, Effects & Recording Techniques / Re: JC-40?
August 06, 2019, 06:43:27 PM
I recently came into a JC-120. It's a loud amp. If I lived in an apartment I would look at alternatives.

It really is worthwhile bringing your Wurlitzer to a music store and trying out different amps and maybe even a powered speaker to find what you really like. Everyone has their own preferences.

Any chance you could make a recording of it? Retrolinear has one of the best reputations in the restoration business. Without hearing it...I would not dream of making any recommendations.

What is your frame of reference for a Fender Rhodes? Most sampled or digital versions usually do not have the "character" that comes with electromechanical keyboards including the inherent noise of the upper registers from harder tips hitting shorter tines.
Gosh that is so funky! This is my favourite recording:
Buying / Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
March 03, 2019, 11:55:16 PM
$500 seems like a great price. If the 72 were near me I would snag it in a second.

If you have a chance to post some pictures please share.  :)
Buying / Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 73?
March 02, 2019, 08:44:13 AM
Offer him $1000 for the pair  ;)
I usually square off the ends of my tines after cutting them...this one does not appear to have been nicely cut...nor is the rest nice and cylindrical as you mentioned previously....I think you should replace the tine
Replacing hammer tips is something that just needs to be done as they get grooved, harden, worn, etc. from use and time. Thankfully there are lots of people who sell them (Vintage vibe, Ken Rich, Retrolinear, etc.) as mentioned. I am pretty sure that the ones offered by Ken Rich and Retrolinear are the same. I have had great experience with them, and those offered by Vintage Vibe.

Here is a video showing the process:

Fresh hammer tips is probably the best money and time I have ever spent on making my clavinets sound awesome!
Quote from: scotts72 on December 17, 2018, 07:06:36 PM
also... what is the outlet under the "ia" under the words "Stage Piano" ?

I bet you this is the jack for a power you would find on a guitar pedal. Perhaps it is one of those mini power supply jacks like you find on some older MXR pedals, tube screamers, etc.
It is possible one of the input jacks bypasses the electronics and you can simply plug and play from the front, and certainly you can plug and play directly off of the RCA jack once you have the correct cord as Cormac described. The reason for plugging into the RCA jack is that this is probably the fastest way to verify everything before the electronics in the signal pathway is functioning appropriately (and honestly may ultimately get you the best sound as all of these electronics may suck tone).

I think there must be a battery or power cord to supply the custom electronics...but having never seen these custom electronics I have no idea how they work.

It looks like a really interesting Fender Rhodes. Congratulations on the purchase. I am sure you will get it playing soon :)
I cannot see really well what is going on with the wiring of all of the knobs. I imagine for people to be of assistance you are going to have to unscrew the harp and take some more detailed pictures of the wiring...unless someone on the forum recognizes this effect/preamp unit from the posted pictures. If you are anxious to just get playing. You could plug an RCA cable directly into the harp and tap the signal while you are figuring out the electronics.
Could you take the lid off and take some pictures of the inside? I am sure someone with more experience will chime in but the additional controls featured to the right of the Bass Boost / Volume knob are for an aftermarket effects unit / preamp which will rely on a battery or some other power source. I imagine your answer will be found when you take the plastic lid off ;)
I think both are very much suited for mellow stuff, although a lot of the R&B and Hip Hop I hear sounds like sampled rhodes to me.

As far as which is more mellow, I think it truly does depend very much on how they are set-up. I think that the early 1970s can be voiced across a wider range meaning I can voice a 1973 to sound similar to the late 1970s/early 1980s Rhodes. But I find it hard to get a late 1970s/early 1980s Rhodes to cover the same voicing range as a 1973. To my ears, late 1970s/early 1980s also have a bit of a thin, nasal quality to their sound that while being very musical never gets quite as fat as the early 1970s models.

If price is no issue, I would suggest buying the 1973 and send it to a really experienced tech to restore and set it up exactly as you like it. I have no doubt a well restored 1973 can be voiced however you like it!
1973 really produced some very nice pianos. I would be inclined to "rationalize" paying a bit above market value for such if that makes your decision easier. Besides getting an amazing deal on a piano that you ultimately are just not that big a fan of the tone of or needs tons of work is not a bargain unless you enjoy fixing them up.

That being said, I could not see any pictures of the inside to get a sense of the hammer tips, grommets, and whether there are any broken tines. Replacement tines do add up in price. I have found most of the early 1970s pianos really benefit from having their grommets ± hammer tips replaced which is not a huge job by any means but still is an additional cost of time and parts to consider.

Good luck with your decision!
I have a RE-201 and do find that it unavoidably colours the tone, but I never gig with it so it is not a big deal to plug in or plug it out for when I feel like using it. I have heard of some people giving it a capacitor job but am not sure whether even with fresh caps that you are not going to loose some tone through the 201's circuitry. My suggestion therefore would be to look at some kind of loop interface pedal so you can completely remove the 201 from your signal chain when it is not in use, and a higher end splitter to divide your signal send to your amps. I use a SupraTrem2 as a "splitter" and find the tone is very much preserved. Plus you get stereo tremolo bouncing back and forth between the two amps.

BTW I would love to hear your set-up. Twin Twin Reverbs sounds epic!
It reminds me of a chord organ. Do you have pictures of the inside?
Are you taking the signal of the rhodes directly off the RCA jack (harp) using a DI?
It is high...but honestly shipping is high these days when dealing with vendors from the United States.I rarely buy anything off eBay that is not through the Global Shipping Program and certainly am hesitant buying from vendors who use USPS. I end up getting royally dinged with shipping fees, brokerage fees, etc. for anything coming from the United States. If someone knows of shipping tricks please share. Perhaps as a Canadian I am better now buying from oversees?
Glad to hear you found a solution that worked!
I hear what you are saying about the cost of these replacement reeds.
I would look inside you pianet to see if there are any weights loose in the bottom of the case.
Then I would phone Ken Rich, Vintage Vibe, Chicago electric piano company, etc. and ask if they have any they could sell you.
Perhaps someone on the forum might have some extras?
I do not have any experience DIYing replacement weights.
A weight had fallen off one of my pianet reeds which was "way off" in tuning. I would double check you are missing any weights before tuning it.
I love my Pianet T for what it is...

You could try re-magnetizing any particularly quiet reeds. I also have found it useful to experiment with some different amplifiers to find the right match, or even just trying out an EQ pedal, even something simple like one of those MXR 10-band EQ pedals. All that being said, I have found it most useful to adjust the pickups primarily with the aim to get even volume/tone across the keybed (rather than maximum bark) as some tines just seem to bark more than others on my pianet despite all manipulations.

Quote from: EvanBingham on November 18, 2017, 06:17:20 AM
Does the supa-trem 2 have less background noise?

I have one. No background noise.
Very little to no tone loss.
Excellent pedal.
I know it is a bit expensive but I use this.

I put the bag partially on when the legs are still screwed then lay the wurlitzer on the side to unscrew the legs and zip up the bag the rest of the way. This way the surfaces of the wurlitzer never see contact with the floor. The bag for the the pedal and legs works fine too.

All that being said, if I were to have other people moving my stuff I would invest in a hard case.
Problem solved...I measured the resistance of all the pickups and one was way off. The wires are corroded. Anyone have an extra green 1960s pickup I can buy off them? I only need one ;)