Author Topic: Where from comes the timbre?  (Read 335 times)

Offline Willis

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Where from comes the timbre?
« on: July 12, 2020, 08:56:48 AM »
Where from comes the timbre? Is it in the tines? Tips? Tonebars?

Seriously though, I'd like to hear opinions on what the most important components are in imparting the different timbres found across the model years.

As in: would a 1980 mk2 bark like sparkle top if only you replaced the 'X's with 1969 'X's...

Offline bourniplus

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Re: Where from comes the timbre?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2020, 09:33:03 AM »
In no particular order:
-tine
-hammer
-hammer tip
-strike line (where the hammer hits)
-how long the hammer stays in contact with the tine
-tonebar
-how the tine and tonebar are mounted
-pickup (wire, number of turns, magnet, etc)
-where the pickup is located relative to the tine
-how the pickups are wired together (parallel / series)
-tone and volume

I'm sure I'm forgetting some. I'll leave it to someone else to say which are more important. To me, everything contributes to the end result.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 09:34:55 AM by bourniplus »

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Where from comes the timbre?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2020, 05:52:38 AM »
The list sounds about right except, what would the hammer have to do with it? The tip, yes, but the hammer itself? If one hammer mounting pin is broken, that will alter the sound, but if the hammer itself is in perfect condition, I'm not sure how that would affect the timbre.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline bourniplus

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Re: Where from comes the timbre?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2020, 06:59:58 AM »
The material of the hammer would probably go at the bottom of the list in order of importance, but in my humble opinion it still makes a tiny difference. And yes the tip must have much more impact on the end result. But let's imagine an extreme example, where the hammer body would be made of cardboard, or styrofoam... I can only guess it would make a difference. More than wood / plastic, but still. I've only worked on a few Rhodes in my life, mostly my own MkI and MkV, and between these two I definitely hear a difference in sound, and they have different hammers.

Now that you mention it Steveo, the hammer pivot system does have its importance too. It might be more felt in the action, but it's also heard in the sound to some extent. I've converted one of the hammers of my MkV, for which the comb was broken, to "metal center pin and wooden flange with felt bushing", and I can definitely tell the difference, mostly in the action. (Whatever difference in sound may be psycholgical side-effect...)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 07:58:12 AM by bourniplus »

Offline Willis

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Re: Where from comes the timbre?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2020, 11:06:31 AM »
Grateful for the opinions! Thank you