Author Topic: Very Low Output Problem  (Read 229 times)

Offline RhodesToronto

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Very Low Output Problem
« on: September 30, 2019, 05:57:40 PM »
Hi All,

First off, love the forum and have found great info here in the past. I've searched for this issue and haven't been able to find a solution so here goes!

I have a 1980 Stage model 54 key Rhodes. It has one slider for volume and one for tone.
It has suddenly started putting out extremely low volume, like almost inaudible with the amp cranked compared to the normal output it's had for the years I've had it.

I've isolated the problem to somewhere before the RCA jack on the harp. If I plug a guitar into the RCA cable there is a normal amount of volume going through the volume slider on the Rhodes. I assume the problem is something to do with the pickups or other element of the harp side of things.

Let me know if anyone has experiences similar issues or has suggestions on how to troubleshoot from here.

Thanks!!!

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Very Low Output Problem
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2019, 07:26:34 AM »
Have you checked for a broken or poorly connected wire, such as the ground wire for the pickups? It has to be something simple like that due to it happening suddenly, and to all notes. Pickups can fail, but not all at once.
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 Fred

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Re: Very Low Output Problem
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2019, 08:02:53 AM »
What Steveo said, BUT...
The FiftyFour is wired in series, so if one pickup goes, they're all out. Use an alligator clip to jump pickups until you isolate the faulty connection and/or pickup.

Also, make sure none of the lower tone bars are touching pickup poles or bus wires while you're at it.
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Offline RhodesToronto

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Re: Very Low Output Problem
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2019, 01:00:33 PM »
Thanks for the tips Steveo and Fred!

I tried the jumping trick with the alligator clips and have isolated a failed pick up. After further reading the 1980 and later models had the 3 in "white pickup", which are apparently prone to failure. Off to order some replacement pickups!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2019, 07:24:07 PM by RhodesToronto »

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Very Low Output Problem
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2019, 06:44:25 AM »
Save the old pickup(s). When you feel daring, they can be rewound with new wire, but it requires patience!

Pickups fail because the coil of wire opens up. I've seen it happen on Fender basses too. I don't know why this happens...Does anyone know why and can shed some light? It's not like they have high current running through them....

I've never seen this happen on any other guitar brand, but maybe it's just a coincidence.
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 Tim Hodges

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Re: Very Low Output Problem
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2019, 01:00:31 AM »
Thinner enameling on the wire makes them more sensitive to corrosion. Late 1979 is when they switched over, you can identify these pianos with the pickup rail number:

017249-TBJ
Bristol Electric Piano
UK

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