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Messages - goldphinga

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The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Tone Generator material
« on: July 29, 2015, 11:19:29 AM »
That was a great read. Never heard of this before, but i have experience some later pianos that sounded like trash. The 80's ones have great tone in general. Nice find!

It appears the MK2 preamp was modded in addition to the vibrato switch. 
Those caps in the front end and the resistor underneath are not from the factory.  They did not use components that looked like that.  You can also see that the soldering on those components is not factory (i.e. wave soldered).
I would expect that those mods on the front end are what is creating the differences in gain and frequency response. 
The apparent board rev has nothing to do with it.

If you put your Mk2 back the way the factory intended you will get the same sound as the Mk1 rail.

Best regards,

Hey Tim, so remove the resistor underneath, replace C19 and which others? Many thanks for your help!

New link:

The mark 1 is def a rev a preamp and the mk2 is marked rev d. So Rhodes def changed the components as you can see on closer inspection when zooming in. Question is which components are responsible for the lower overall output and general weaker mids/tone on the mk2 (rev D) pre...Maybe this change is one of the reasons why Mk2' suitcases are often said to have a more sparkly less ballsy tone. This mk2 rev D one here is all sparkly tops and round lows with massively scooped mids. 

So just been servicing a late (1979) mk1 and I have a 1980 mk2. Both have the haigler preamps in. Intriguingly, on the same piano when swapping the rails, the sound is very different. The late mk1 pre has considerably more gain, warmer/fuller midrange and general depth, whilst the mk2 has less overall gain and sounds much more scooped in the mids.

Now- i did have my mk2 preamp modded but just the switch and the vibrato intensity pot were changed to stop the trem bleeding into the audio path, i don't see how this would have such a radical bearing on the sonics if at all?

You can see that the mk2 pre has some different components ( the mk2 is the one with the orange caps in and the mk1 has blue)


Make up a jumper wire with wire and aligator clips. Start at the bottom and jump pickups out of the circuit until you find the culprits.

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Wood=tone?
« on: July 13, 2015, 02:47:01 PM »
So how much bearing on sustain/tone does the amount of wood have on the tone of a Rhodes? For example the wood in the harp, keybed, the older wooden hammers, older wooden support blocks? Some say the wooden hammers/support blocks make for a better sound though I've heard and worked on some pretty incredible sounding metal frame Rhodes'.

SO-The rhodes tine/tonebar combo is essentially de-coupled from the wood, but does it have any bearing on the sound and quality of tone/sustain? If you were to remove all the wood from the harp for example, and mount all the tines and pickups in carbon fibre, would the tone radically alter? That's the kinda thing I want to discuss...

Thoughts please!

Looks great!! How does it sound and play? Looks like you need to do some key levelling there (sorry dont mean to be picky but couldnt help noticing)

Can anyone shed any light on these later preamps installed in the later MK2's? Is it the same circuitry/preamp as the Haigler preamp with eq sliders?

Thanks 8)

So i have a 1978 FR7710 cab without the matching piano top and i've been running stereo synths into the power amp input. However, i want to be able to then get that signal out of the cab at line level. The pre amp outs don't allow this- is there a way to mod the circuit to get a feed out of the cab to send to an audio interface for recording. I know you cant use the headphone out due to the wrong impedance i think? Also theres no way to make a lead to run into the 5 pin preamp in socket?



EDIT- my tech has found a solution :)

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: White Suitcase Project
« on: June 26, 2015, 04:37:48 AM »
amazing!! cant wait to see the finished article and hear some clips too! did you get the front rail chrome plated?

Aha! The thread rises again. Well, I had my mk2 rehoused in a lighter flightcase, knocked the weight down to 102 lbs, much more manageable and its fully touring ready- so couple of pounds more than a mkv currently but thats with a Janus front rail installed with the heavier rail/preamp and the case is much more sturdy than a mkv. With a normal rail it weighs 99lbs fully cased. Im planning on modding the innards next and once thats done (cutting down the damper rail, the harp wood and making new harp frame sides the weight will hit about 90lbs fully flightcased.

Yep. Unfortunately the rust has eaten the tines away. There's no way they will ever sound good or a their best. The pitting is so severe that the oscillation of the tines is bound to be affected as well as sustain and clarity. I think you're honestly best selling the good parts from the piano and not wasting any more time on this one. It's going to end up being totally uneconomical to repair- ie a set of new tines is going to be way more than the piano is worth. Sorry.  :-[

I've also seen Mk2's with red pickups and slightly different front faceplate writing, from '79.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Crooked tone bars and tines
« on: May 16, 2015, 02:44:03 AM »
The story goes that Harold Rhodes visited the Rhodes factory in Mexico and he was shocked to discover that the drill press being used was standing on an uneven dirt floor amongst other things, hence issues with the placement of tonebar holes on some Rhodes....

Its all here on Mike Peterson's site:

Either that or they installed tines and couldn't be bothered cutting them down and so pushed the pickups back beyond their normal position in order to accommodate the extra tine length!!

Could you upload a sound clip of the offending notes?

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: vintage Vibes piano -- MIDI
« on: April 13, 2015, 01:02:24 AM »
My Rhodes has got an optical midi system in made by staedler electro. It has poly aftertouch too. Not used the midi9 pnoscan system but heard it's good. Strange that vv will still fit it but don't offer it as an option. A Rhodes

Hey man, if you can post some pics so we can see the date stamp (top right with the lid off) the forum will be able to point you in the right direction. Im presuming its going to be pre 75, but all can be sorted, don't worry. Please supply us with as much in the way of pics and if you can some audio/video and we'll be able to help.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: What is in your lid?
« on: March 24, 2015, 09:18:39 AM »
crisps and gig snacks.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Favorite Rhodes on Youtube
« on: March 12, 2015, 06:09:38 PM »
theres a few on my channel you might like... 8) can I even say that?

definitely not stock, custom mod

I keep seeing faces in the speaker cover!??

Vv cut a section out- there's a video on YouTube

Great info guys- but can this explain the low readings on my last 6 pickups? Any ideas whats causing the gradual drop in volume? Do you think i should just replace the low reading pickups?


I should go into more detail...

Basically all the pickups are passing audio in the piano, but from pickup 14 down to pickup 8 (the first 6 pickups on the piano) the volume output gradually decreases. They are all set close to the tines like the other pickups.

All the pickups on the piano read 62.5 from the top note down to pickup 14, then from 14 down to 8 they all read 27.5 (these are all the ones where the volume is getting lower and lower).

So I'm thinking either all 6 must be bad or one is knocking them all out perhaps?

Any ideas gratefully received! I'm normally good with this sort of thing but its stumped me currently!

I knew you'd know David! Many thanks, just checked my piano now and they read 62.5 each. Seems I have some bad ones reading only 27.5 from notes 8-14. White tape if course!

On a stage 73 how much should a pickup read on the multimeter when connected in situe as normal? I know when out of the piano they read between 160-190 ohms...


Have you tried re lubing the felts with silicone spray? Could it be they are totally dried out and there's too much friction there? Try it if not. I can't see anything that sticks out to cause this otherwise.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / 54 vs 73 weight observations
« on: January 02, 2015, 11:28:07 AM »
Whilst I had a 1980 54 in for service, I weighed it without the lid on (harp lid on) just out of curiosity and it weighed exactly 5 stones which is 70lbs. My 1980 stage weighs 91lbs without its transport lid. So yes, thats 20lbs difference in weight between a 73 and 54.

Just wanted to note this down for the group as it may be useful in some way!

I also noted that the 54 doesnt have the front or back pieces on the harp frame which also helps reduce weight, nor does it have a centre screw plate underneath for leg braces.

The output still says input too!

Happy new year!  :P

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