Author Topic: Hammers stay up when played hard  (Read 407 times)

Offline Oliver Sheen

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Hammers stay up when played hard
« on: February 25, 2019, 02:31:43 PM »
I have an issue with  my hammers. I have replaced the pedestal felt and installed miracle mod. When playing at a normal volume the hammers strike then fall back as they should but when I play hard the cam of the hammer seem to get stuck on the back of the pedestal. When holding down a key after a hard strike (with the cover off and the harp up) I can push the hammer back to its proper position but there is some resistance (not much) and the sound of the hammer gliding against the felt.

Do I need to use some sort of lubricant or is it not set up right?

Many thanks


Offline pnoboy

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Re: Hammers stay up when played hard
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2019, 07:35:09 AM »
Does this occur mostly with hammers at or near the bass end?  I think this effect is latent in all Rhodes pianos.  A simple experiment all could try is this: rotate the harp up, and then while holding a key down firmly, use your hand to move a hammer from its escapement position flat against the key pedestal, up to the position where it would strike its tine and back down again.  You will feel friction.  On the bass end, where the escapement is large, and where the tine can bend quite a bit when the hammer strikes it, the hammer moves up quite a bit away from the escapement position when striking a tine.  The hammer relies on its bounce away from the tine, plus the pull of the damper as transmitted through the bridle straps to bring it back to escapement.  Any friction between the pedestal felt and the hammer plastic can inhibit this ability.  The problem you are encountering is normally much less likely to occur toward the treble end of the piano, where, because of the reduced escapement and the increased stiffness of the tines, the hammer does not move far at all from its escapement position when striking a note.  The sad fact is that the simplified action used in the Rhodes works very well toward the treble end of the piano, but much less well toward the bass end.

I believe some lubrication is often necessary, depending of course, on the felt used on the pedestal, and the condition of the plastic of the hammer.  I haven't tried it with my piano, but I suspect that stiff, dense, somewhat thin felt would be helpful, but because I haven't tried it, I can't specifically recommend it.  The idea of lubing the pedestal felt has been a contentious topic in this message board, and for that reason, I am not going to recommend any specific lubricant or course of action.  On my own piano, I have "lubed" the felt/hammer interface by modifying the surface of the hammer at the portion of the hammer where is touches the pedestal, but many might consider my solution somewhat radical, so I'm not prepared to discuss that either.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 07:36:46 AM by pnoboy »