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Messages - mjbarber431

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Attached is an image of the issue I'm speaking of. See how the pedestal felt is ramped slowly up the bump? I feel like it should be more pushed into the corner.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: How good is the Bump Mod?
« on: April 01, 2021, 08:28:18 AM »
Holy cow, that was an impressive video! It explains so much and helped me understand the Rhodes action better. I think if you like how it feels, then there is no reason not to try it, as you aren't permanently changing anything, at least with the tape setup shown at the end. I would be very interested in trying it myself, but I don't have a flat key pedestal piano or a 3d printer.

I'm really not an expert on Rhodes' actions, but one thing that may concern others is the reduced hammer throw distance, as you can see that the mod noticeably sits the hammers above the other notes. This may actually reduce dynamic range by reducing the max velocity of the hammer. I suppose the next step, then, would be measuring the output and "bark" from a standardized hard strike on the modded notes compared with unmodded or bump modded notes. Additionally, your dampers will not mute with as much force if your hammers are resting high enough to tension the bridle straps, so watch out for that. Other than that, which may or may not matter, more power to you! I'd love to see more reports on this as you perfect it.

Anyone please feel free to correct me if I got something wrong.

Hey Sean!

I actually moved mine to that position because of your advice. As it turns out, today I took off the whole action rail assembly and witnessed the poor QC regarding the placement of the key pedestal felts. The plastic key pedestal features an integrated "bump" that was being negated by the felts slowly ramping up the bumps rather than fitting snuggly into the bumps, if that makes sense. Anyway, I took a socket and just pushed the felts back into the right-angle of the bump to try and bond the adhesive back and it seems to have made a huge difference in the action. Unless this is purely placebo, the action feels much lighter and more proper. Perhaps I will buy some replacement key pedestal felts someday and adhere it to the bumps properly. Has anyone else tried something like this?

To those of you who own a plastic key Rhodes mark II, do you prefer the balance rail in the near or far position relative to the player? For people who aren't aware, they routed two grooves in the bottom of the case for the plastic balance rail giving players a choice of "soft" or "hard" touch. I recently moved mine to the closer position and am finding the action to be a bit too stiff, but I was wondering what others' preferences were and why. I can't decide if I should just leave and strengthen my hands over time or switch it back. Any input or information about my piano would be welcome!

Thanks for the kind words! That is sound advice. I recently moved the pickups a bit closer and raised the tines slightly higher which has created much more bark and a deeper tone. Regarding your post, Dan, does anybody know what kinds of changes there were in design and parts during that era (1983)? What changed besides the plastic keys and smaller hammer throw from earlier Mark II's and Mark I's?

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 took Sean's advice and moved the balance rail to the forward position which makes the keys feel much more substantial, plus the pin holes were much less worn so the keys appear more consistent and leveled after doing that. Only problem now is locating a source of 1/4" hole punchings for key leveling. Anything else I need to know about my new piano? Coming from a Casio, this is still a dream come true regardless of plastic keys.

Thanks for the diagram, but voicing has not been the solution the pingy attack. I've tried voicing every which way. Incidentally, the more I listen to the recordings, the more I like the piano so maybe I'm just not used to playing it yet. It's much different in real life.

Hello everyone! I'm totally new to the forum, so I hope this kind of post is appropriate. I recently purchased a Rhodes that was in near mint condition, came with the original warranty, owner's manual, tine repair kit, and even a polytone amplifier catalogue with schematics! Anyway, time alone had still worn some parts, so I have replaced all the screws, grommets, tone bar springs, hammer tips, and have meticulously voiced, adjusted pickups, strike line, escapement, key dip, and key leveling over the last few weeks. No matter what I do, however, a prominent bell attack sound prevails and I was wondering if this is just normal for Rhodes pianos and I should get used to it, or if I did something wrong with my setup. I have included links to Youtube videos of two recordings I made this morning, one with harder strikes and faster playing and one with slower and lighter dynamics to demonstrate the difference in 'bell-y ness' according to my playing style. Let me know what you think, and if you notice anything else I could work on based on the recordings. I recorded via direct-in with some EQ and compression, that is the best recording setup I have at the moment. I apologize for the sloppy playing  ;)

While we are all here, can anyone guess what era my Rhodes is from the sound alone? I am simply curious to see what people think of my piano without bias, haha! If it is pertinent to the discussion, however, I would be happy to disclose. Thanks so much for allowing me into the community!

Here are the links:


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