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Messages - retro-mike

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer replacement amplifiers
« on: January 20, 2020, 06:00:14 PM »
Thanks for all the kind words Alan and Doc

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Vibrato Knob
« on: January 08, 2020, 01:37:17 PM »
Hey WurlieNewbie
If you can shoot an email to  we'll get ya sorted out.


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 200A potentiometer taper
« on: June 07, 2019, 01:34:49 PM »
Good to hear!  Just so you know- we have our amp kits and replacement parts setup so if your purchasing an amp + additional parts like the varivib, knobs, pots, output board etc the add-on items are  discounted :)

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 200A potentiometer taper
« on: June 06, 2019, 02:16:05 PM »
Almost forgot, our CTS Switched vol pot is 10K Audio taper.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 200A potentiometer taper
« on: June 05, 2019, 03:13:25 PM »
Our new production CTS Volume pots work with original Wurlitzer 200A and our EP200A Amplifiers
if you need one shoot me an email >>   - we'll get ya situated ;)


My advice would be to try softer tips in this area, (its not futile to change out tips at all!) Give some square 'white' tips a blast from VV which are softer than the standard graduated white tips and see if this improves things or alternatively, extend the yellow tips upwards into the white tip area and see if this helps.

Also, you can shave a little off the tip edge to remove the grooves and this will likely help too if you don't want to change out the tips. Also, changing out the grommets and screws in this area may well help- hardened grommets give a more pronounced attack. It may just be that changing the grooved tips for new white graduated tips will do the job too. But you are correct in as much as these tips and the woodcore tips do groove up quicker than other areas...

GoldPhinga we know you have an excellent amount of knowledge on Rhodes, however in this instance we'd like to politely ask that you please don't offer advice for an instrument you haven't seen, touched or evaluated in person.

We don't know anything about the tips your are recommending so- if they're not the same height as the tips currently installed in his piano it will likely cause escapement and strike line issues, which leads down a path of endless frustration.     This piano was just restored, not even a month ago.
Out of every Janus Rhodes we've restored this is in the top 3.  It has new grommets among many other new or original parts under the hood and a complete electronic rebuild.  As for the hammer tips inside the piano, they have maybe 10% wear, they're still supple and they passed our sonic standards, if it ain't broke we're not gonna "fix" it..

His piano sounds great, dynamics out that wazoo-   It reacts the way it does not just because its setup well, but because it's not packed full of questionable parts.
Take a listen>>

We'll be in touch with Thelonius :)


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Variable Vibrato
« on: March 29, 2018, 05:06:08 PM »
We (RetroLinear) Manufacture the Warneck Research Variable speed vibratos and amps, same as Ken offers :)  Our Amplifier and Varvibs have proven their reliability on the road and in the studio! If you have any questions or concerns adding the 3rd hole w/ faceplate, we have you covered!  Everything we produce here at Retro is supported 100%!   

Also the entire electronics package is very simple to upgrade, can be done in about 1.5-2 hours total.

Nice find! Estate stuff is becoming few and far between.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Metallic sounds on release of keys
« on: January 04, 2017, 04:35:33 PM »
Did you by any chance install new damper felts?

FWIW- most guitar overdrive / distortions won't handle the transients a Rhodes produces very well. Don't waste too much time/bucks its just going to be a fizzle festival :P
The compressor can boost yes, but will also "knee" or "shelf" the attack/thump of the bass tone. Results may vary with the compressor.

An option would be wiring your stage piano for dual output- Split the lower register and wire in a Rhodes piano bass tone stack and setting up / voicing the lower register like a piano bass.
It's a project for sure but the piano bass tone stack/setup is the ticket imo!  I believe Ray had this done on a few of his pianos, one of the youtube vids floating around has that setup or at least appears to have that setup. Again the crucial aspect is having the voicing / setup nailed down right.

One of our collector customers has both the silver and gold sparkle piano basses which he runs into a vintage ampeg SVT, totally nails the sound, no pedals necessary.
Any amp without a HF driver will probably get you close, especially a 15" w/ tubes-  big slow responding speaker will equal flubo tones like the original recording.

Happy new year!

Glad we could assist! 

Personally all though the Wurly speakers have a certain "Lo-Fi" charm they're not exactly practical for live use..
Drilling the lid to mount speakers is nerve wracking!! And without a drill template its difficult to line everything up uniform- keep in mind you get only 1 chance!!!

You could use a rotary selector to toggle between front/back/off or whatever configuration you settle on..

Post up some pics :)

Since its mono why not just mount one speaker forward (audience) and one speaker toward the player?
A speaker kill switch w/ Line out is useful too for recording.
Also you might need to deaden/dampen the cabinet so it doesn't oscillate the piano.

And lastly- a tad of shameless self promotion, One of our amp boards would be a nice addition :D

Here is a layout diagram :)

We are working on install videos, its been on the TO-DO list for a while!!

if you have any other questions or need help please don't hesitate to contact us, were here to help ;)
215-699-8000 or you can email


Here are my two personal favorites.
Miles shreds...

beach boys shreds.

youtube has hundreds of shreds videos..
Some good, some bad... :D

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Best Rhodes MK2
« on: October 20, 2016, 05:15:26 PM »
Alan, we did remove the bump on that 1979! However the dynamic response is the result of a good setup! We're all about the setup and Tim is nothing short of fanatical about nailing the subtle nuances of what makes a great playing/sounding Rhodes.

If anyone cares to do some comparative listening here is a range of pianos we've done over the last 5-6 years, notice the consistent sound from era to era? :-)

• 1973 Suitcase 88>
• 1973 Suitcase 73>>
• 1975 Suitcase 88>>
• 1976 Stage 73 >>
• 1977 Suitcase 73>>
• 1978 Stage 73>>
• 1979 Stage 73 Mk.II>>

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Best Rhodes MK2
« on: October 19, 2016, 08:03:03 PM »
For example this one ;) Late 1979 Mk.II.

Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / GROMMETGATE
« on: August 12, 2016, 04:21:32 PM »
Grommet Gate, love it :D

If I can just make a blanket statement as this thread seems to have quite a few individuals heated.

There are many grommets available on the market, some right, some wrong, some are merely McMaster grommets being resold on ebay which are fine for use elsewhere but not as a Rhodes part.

RetroLinear has spent a considerable amount of time/funds on prototype batches of grommets and screws to get our recipe right.  As always I back my statements up with how our pianos sound when finished.   I'll provide honest sound advice but our customers make all final decisions on their purchases.

And to be blunt--   none of us parts manufactures are producing 6 types of screws for every era of Rhodes piano, that would be pointless. The only reason why there were so many screws used throughout the years was because the vendors changed.

Our grommets are identical to the originals. Back in 1989 Tim found a Rhodes parts supplier (MDS, Chicago, IL) He purchased original unused Rhodes grommets and we've cloned those - every detail dimensionally and chemically. The screws we produce are custom sized to fit these grommets. We have installed our grommets into over 100 pianos without any problems.  We also have a group of technicians using our grommets without any problems.

Moving along- traditionally mixing different era parts in a Rhodes does not pan out, it's safe to say that's a pretty factual statement. The forum search feature on this website can infinitely reinforce that statement.   The term "uniform production" obviously wasn't important in the span of Rhodes manufacturing, otherwise there would not be so many inconsistencies.

I constantly preach this to clients on the phone.  You have to use the right stuff to get the right results. You also need to understand what you are doing. There are specialist shops for a reason. The skills required to set these up RIGHT are heavily based on experience. For instance Tim has been working on Rhodes Pianos for 25 years, before the internet, I trust he knows how to produce a grommet.

The grommets function is to isolate each note from one another and eliminate unwanted sympathetic vibrations.   For the grommet to function properly it requires a semi-snug fit,  it must have the proper hardness and be made from the correct materials so it doesn't dry out, crack and split.
The kits come complete with screws and washers because over the last 30-40 years most of these pianos have had "improvised" repairs and its optimal to have straight / uniform screws for a good setup. If the tone bar mounting screws are bent it will cause the tone bar assembly to shimmy left and right.  Having the tone bars pivoting left/right is quite a nuisance in setup and it moves the head of the Tine away from the pickup which is not optimal.  Ideally you want the end of the tine centered on the pickup.

Our screws and washers have a plating which resists rust/corrosion, this plating was chosen for its function.  We have had some folks say "hey they aren't chrome plated" but keep in mind -it's not a cosmetic part and the goal is to produce a long lasting reliable part that doesn't break down, rust etc.

"Bark" comes from setup and voicing.  The grommet has no effect on the percussive side of the piano or the dynamic response of attack.

Roy, as we discussed in email your Rhodes has a mixture of tines which creates strike-line issues! Setting up your Rhodes is a complex task to achieve without addressing the mixed tines issue. When you have all 3 types of tines in a Rhodes the strike line is not consistent and getting consistent sounds is tough. Please keep that in mind.
When installing new grommets, screws, washers you will have to reset escapement on the entire harp.  Escapement is set by the 1st screw on the tone bar, closest to the keys. you need to take the square part of the tine (tine block) and place that on the harp as follows. See escapement_1.jpg
Picture #2 shows the height difference.

Start at one end of the harp and set escapement for each note. Set escapement at  .375" or 9.5mm.
That is the correct procedure. This will give you a good baseline to start voicing which is where the bark and dynamics comes into play.

Please accept our apologies on your difficulties,  I cannot express enough to our clients and customers that the sum of a good Rhodes isn't just about bolting new parts in and getting instant results! We have had dozens of folks buy $400-600 in parts off the internet, install them into their pianos and have had poor results at best - a good deal of these pianos come to our shop essentially destroyed..

Good parts can solve functional problems etc, but good setups make good instruments that's what really counts with a Rhodes.

Awesome, congrats ;)


Digitech Drop?

Preamps, Modifications & Upgrades / Re: Harp voltage
« on: January 27, 2016, 10:49:51 PM »
Peterson preamps are 4 pins, Janus preamps are 5 pins, just to clarify!

Start with verifying that you have installed the transistors and caps correctly.
Check the collector, base and emitter pinout of each transistor.
if you install a transistor in the pre-amp backward it will create distortion/clipping sounds.

There is a mixture of capacitor types inside. Some capacitors are standard "plus & minus" setup but- there are also non-polar capacitors.
if you install a standard in place of non-polar and vice versa, that can also create issues.

There could also be a biasing issue.

pics might help - its difficult to troubleshoot electronics without bench gear (scopes etc)..
if you get in a bind we can rebuild your preamp, amps etc- very common thing to do :)

Good luck!

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Just finished up this cool 206!
« on: January 15, 2016, 05:01:00 PM »
We just wrapped up a 206 for Glenn McClelland of Ween!
Take a listen :)

smooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooth ;D

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Play Test your E.P.I.Q.!
« on: October 27, 2015, 01:21:14 PM »
We'll have the next one out soon :)

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Play Test your E.P.I.Q.!
« on: October 26, 2015, 04:20:59 PM »
Here's the answer!

Stay tuned for the next one, we'll be doing them weekly :)

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Play Test your E.P.I.Q.!
« on: October 26, 2015, 12:53:34 PM »
it is a series!
The correct answer will be revealed later today :)

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Play Test your E.P.I.Q.!
« on: October 23, 2015, 01:22:17 PM »
Test your E.P.I.Q. - This weeks episode:   Whats wrong with this note?
Watch the video here>>>
Vote here>>

answer here>>

For Sale / Re: Mystery Rhodes Pedal?
« on: October 14, 2015, 07:14:06 PM »
Speaking of Mystery Rhodes pedals, this came into our shop not too long ago!
Everyone here was really at a loss for words..

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