Author Topic: Rhodes issue (with sound clip)  (Read 594 times)

Offline DarrenJones

  • Pre-Piano
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Rhodes issue (with sound clip)
« on: June 24, 2019, 09:10:38 PM »
Hey all,

First off, I've learned so much from the years and years of posts in this forum, so thank you all for the education.  I've managed to get my 1972 Stage Mark 1 (with a 1980 harp) into much better shape with all the tips I've picked up here.   :)

Moving on, I have an issue with several of my lowest keys.  The tines respond with a kind of clang when struck.  It is particularly bad on a few keys.  I've adjusted escapement (via screw) and voicing, but not improved the sound.  I've even pulled the tine out and realigned them with the tone bars, which didn't help. 

Here is a recording:  https://soundcloud.com/user1444781/rhodes-issues/s-yWc1B  -- the issue is more noticeable when I play softly, so that's mostly what is heard in this recording.

Is this a problem with tine oscillation which would be fixed by stronger springs under the escapement screw?  Or is this a damper issue?  Thanks in advance for any insight!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 12:27:40 AM by DarrenJones »

Offline spradders

  • Sparkletop
  • ***
  • Posts: 86
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with sound clip)
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2019, 04:04:38 AM »
Hi - soundcloud error: "This track was not found. Maybe it has been removed"

Offline pianotuner steveo

  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3269
  • A keyboard player in love with vintage guitars!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with sound clip)
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2019, 06:44:00 AM »
Yeah, there is no sound clip.
Maybe it's the damper (metal) clanking against the hammer "shank"?
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline DarrenJones

  • Pre-Piano
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with sound clip)
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2019, 09:37:22 AM »
Sorry, the link is fixed now.  Here's the working link:

https://soundcloud.com/user1444781/rhodes-issues/s-yWc1B
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 09:45:26 AM by DarrenJones »

Offline groovemonkey73

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with working sound clip)
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2019, 04:18:17 PM »
What are the tone bar grommets like? Could the metal of the screws/washers be rattling in the tonebar if the grommets are worn/perished? Would explain why you can hear it more at lower velocity strikes as the barking of harder strikes may mask it?

If there is any tine oscilation, this is usually because its too close to the pickup.
1979 Mk1 Rhodes 73
Nord Stage 2 Compact
Hammond XK3c
1915 John Broadwood & Sons Upright

Offline DarrenJones

  • Pre-Piano
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with working sound clip)
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2019, 06:56:00 PM »
The grommets were changed out 5 years ago and they appear to still be in good shape.  I'll open the piano up and see if the pickups are too close.  I recently moved the pickups closer to the tines overall and the sound improved quite a bit, but I believe the oscillations were happening before I moved them. 



Offline groovemonkey73

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with working sound clip)
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2019, 01:53:17 AM »
Hmm, OK.

As the grommets are OK, and you've moved the pickups closer to improve the sound, you may need tine stabilsers to stop them from oscillating/wavering.

https://www.electrickeys.co.uk/collections/fender-rhodes-tines-tone-bars/products/fender-rhodes-custom-tine-stabiliser

According to factory specs the pickups should be between 1.5mm & 3.1mm (approx) away from the end of the tine.
1979 Mk1 Rhodes 73
Nord Stage 2 Compact
Hammond XK3c
1915 John Broadwood & Sons Upright

Offline spradders

  • Sparkletop
  • ***
  • Posts: 86
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with working sound clip)
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2019, 02:59:44 AM »
I wonder if it could be that your tine is touching the damper felt when it is first struck, which could cause an odd sounding harmonic (the 'metallic' sound you hear).  I'm not sure about this, but it would explain why you don't hear it when pushing down the felt manually. You could try adding a couple of mm bend to the end of a couple of damper arms and see if the problem goes away.  I would expect raising the harp by a few mm would help too, although that could cause other issues.

Offline pianotuner steveo

  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3269
  • A keyboard player in love with vintage guitars!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with working sound clip)
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2019, 10:07:39 AM »
I've heard this sound in many pianos, but don't remember the solution. It may be a voicing issue. What are the hammer tips like? Are they worn and hardened?
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline DarrenJones

  • Pre-Piano
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with working sound clip)
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2019, 11:57:30 PM »
As the grommets are OK, and you've moved the pickups closer to improve the sound, you may need tine stabilsers to stop them from oscillating/wavering.
This might be the culprit.  I've ordered some stabilizers from Vintage Vibe with fingers crossed.  Thanks!

Spradders:  it appears that the dampers are clear from the tine when it is struck.  Judging from these photos, new hammer tips might help my overall sound, but I don't know if it will solve this issue. 

Here is a picture of the hammer tips, most of them have tiny grooves in them:
https://i.imgur.com/Uf3uYCj.jpg

and a picture of the hammers and dampers:
https://i.imgur.com/o2shKDT.jpg

Thanks all for your input!

Offline spradders

  • Sparkletop
  • ***
  • Posts: 86
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with sound clip)
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2019, 04:26:27 AM »
Your bridle straps look quite tight

Offline Jenzz

  • Sparkletop
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
    • View Profile
    • http://www.tasteundtechnik.de
Re: Rhodes issue (with sound clip)
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2019, 06:35:35 AM »
Hi .-)

This the typical sound of hardened grommets + and a slightly off-set striking line or too hard hammertip. Move the harp back and forth, there will be a point were the 'zing' will reduce to an acceptable level...

Jenzz

Offline DarrenJones

  • Pre-Piano
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with sound clip)
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2019, 03:48:19 PM »
This the typical sound of hardened grommets + and a slightly off-set striking line or too hard hammertip. Move the harp back and forth, there will be a point were the 'zing' will reduce to an acceptable level...

I believe the grommets are ~5 years old and in decent shape.  I just tried to adjust the strike line but found no improvement in the problem area.  It might be my hammer tips as they are a bit worn.


Offline Student Rhodes

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 610
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with sound clip)
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2019, 12:37:16 AM »
Has the outermost surface of the hammer tip rubber gotten hard and crystalized?
If so, you can get some more mileage and better tone by trimming the tip back to fresh, soft, rubber w/a razor.   
I suppose this may affect your escapement slightly, but I haven't had a problem with it.
Ray

Offline DarrenJones

  • Pre-Piano
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Rhodes issue (with sound clip)
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2019, 10:21:26 AM »
I have replaced hammer tips in this area and while it has helped the tone a bit, it has not fixed the issue.  I have narrowed it down to the damper arms, and Chris Carroll saw a clip I posted on Facebook and said that it is specifically due to weak damper arms, which apparently happens a lot to older pianos. 

I've ordered some new damper arms and felts and am hopeful this will clean up the clangy noisy low end section on my piano. 

Thanks everyone for helping me chase down this issue!