Author Topic: Is a 30watt Crate Amp not powerful enough for '73 Rhodes high end notes/sounds?  (Read 298 times)

Offline JB

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Morning,
     Don't laugh too hard, at an impasse with my "73 Rhodes Stage 73 not apparently putting out any sound on the last 11 keys, 62-73. All pickups tested good by the magnet tapping test and I can't see any breaks in wiring so I have a  question. Since these keyboards don't have much output to begin with and I'm using a cheapo POS Crate 30Watt amp, could it be it's not strong enough for the high end or am I just howling at the moon? I have a friend who has some vintage Fender amps but don't want to bother him if this is surely a pipe dream. Thanks very much.

Offline sean

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JB,

RTFM  http://www.fenderrhodes.com/org/manual/toc.html
Bookmark this site:  http://www.fenderrhodes.com/

Especially see:  http://www.fenderrhodes.com/org/manual/ch4.html#4-7
See also http://www.fenderrhodes.com/service/tine-settings.html

Play around with the pickup position and the timbre adjustment screw.  You will find your sound.

The timbre adjustment screw is the leftmost screw/spring in this diagram:
http://www.fenderrhodes.com/org/manual/ch4.html#fig4-3
(That is the tonebar adjustment screw that is closest to the rear of the piano, closest to the pickups.)

To make the notes louder, you can slide the pickup closer to the tine tip - loosten the pickup mounting screw, gently nudge the pickup to get it unstuck from 47 years of living in one place, then slide the pickup forward so that it is closer to the tine, gently re-tighten the pickup mounting screw.

Have you confirmed that the hammers are indeed contacting the tines?  If the escapement is abnormally high, sometimes the hammer will hit the end of the damper arm before it gets to the tine.



Sean

Offline pianotuner steveo

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No, I don't think it's the amp. 30w should be plenty loud enough.  Are the ends of the pickups really far away from the tines? A previous owner may have moved those pickups back because he/she felt those notes were too loud.

The small bolt in the oblong pickup hole is the adjustment for this.
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 pianotuner steveo

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Lol. Sean posted as I was typing...
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 sean

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SteveO - hah!  I beat you by 77 seconds.

Wanna race on the next one?

 ;)

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Sure...
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 JB

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Hi Pianotuner and thank you for trying to help. Actually the higher treble keys and tines that I'm having trouble getting much sound out of are very close to the pickups, closer than the rest of the keys almost touching the magnets. I retested the pickups one more time with tapping method while plugged in to my amp and they all made the same sound so that's good sign. I have a guitar luthier friend who knows his stuff but can't look at it and he mentioned that the tapping method isn't fool proof. The high end hammer pads 72, and 73 are hitting the tine block instead of the tine rods and one gets stuck against the block. And I think the others may not be hitting the tine rod or are barely. I know the tines are quite short up at the right end. How do I get the hammer tips to come up higher and how do realign it to not hit the tine block? Thanks. And just as an aside I was watching Chris on Vintage Vibe replacing grommets and his upper registers didn't sound to good or loud either.

JB

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Some Rhodes pickups just plain die (coil opens up) and tapping dead pickups will not produce an amplified sound. That is how that helps.  It sounds like that is not your issue, so that is good. Can you post close up pictures of the treble end? It could be as simple as a strike line issue, or it could be broken pins on the plastic hammers causing them to go crooked, or it could be an escapement issue, or a combo of the above. Do you have the correct hammer tips on those hammers?
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 JB

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Thanks very much Pianotuner...Here are a couple of pics of that area. JB

Offline JB

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One more pic...am having trouble posting them.JB

Offline JB

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One more pic. JB

Offline sean

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JB,

Tine 72 and 73 need tuning springs.
The tine block for tine 72 is pinned against the tonebar rail, so it will be damped.
Tine 71 is well above the pickup, and the pickup is extended too close to that tine.  Tine 73 may be too high as well.

Have you adjusted the tonebars so that they are about 3/8" above the surface of the rail?
Adjust the escapement screw so that the distance from the bottom of the tonebar to the top of the rail is 3/8. 
Look right here at the place where the #1 arrow is pointing:




Use a 3/8" block as a feeler gauge (we all use the mounting block from an old broken tine).  Then adjust the timbre screw so that the tine is pointed at the tip of the pickup (and re-check the 3/8" gap again), then adjust the pickup so that it is nice and close to the tine. 

Take a look at chapter 4 of the repair manual, and search this forum for "strike line."

Sean
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 02:46:26 AM by sean »

Offline JB

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Hi Sean,
    Thanks for helping this t-rex. I have the missing springs for those 2 tines as I found 3 or 4 cut tines and 4 springs when checking out the keyboard. Magnetic wand sure came in handy to get those out of various places. I noticed and wondered about that one tine block against the rail compared to the rest and can that be adjusted away from the rail? As far as what I've read there isn't much room to move the treble end by moving the harp but am not sure. I've been absorbing a lot of info and still don't see how to adjust the hammers or whatever so the last 2 will hit the tines and not the tine block. I guess I should move the pickups on those 2 away a bit from those tines because they are too close? And to get the springs on the 2 tines I will have to move the tines away from the pickups to get them on correct? And lastly the corrosion on tone bars, should I clean them somehow or leave them alone. I will check to see if I have the tonebar springs 3/8 above the bottom.  Thanks Ace! Added a couple of more pics.

Offline mvanmanen

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Your damper felts look pretty gnarly with long crooked teeth. Are they actually moving clear from the tine to allow it to vibrate on tine strike? If not I would be inclined to just cut away the teeth so you have a flat felt and then bend the damper arm so it is appropriately adjusted to briskly dampen on note release but also not interfere with tine vibration on strike.
Wurlitzer 200a
Wurlitzer 145
Fender Rhodes, now including a Celeste (1966, 1971, 1975)
Hohner Clavinet Pianet Duo
Hohner Clavinet D6s
Hohner Pianet T
Hohner Pianet N
Hammond B3

Offline JB

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Thanks for your input. The tooth shaped damper felts do move away from the tines when struck but do look a bit inconsistent. JB

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Tine #69 also looks pinned against the rail...
# 70 & 71 look like the pickups are too close.
A few other pickups also look too close below those.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 12:42:32 PM by pianotuner steveo »
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 sean

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JB,

You cannot adjust the position of the hammers.  You can only move the tines or the pickups. 

You have five ways of moving the tines:
1 - fiddle with the "timbre" tone-bar mounting screw
2 - fiddle with the "escapement" tone-bar mounting screw
3 - add or remove shims from the harp supports
4 - slide one or both ends of the harp forward or backward (this adjusts the "strike line")
5 - if the tine is mounted off-center, loosen the tine-block mounting screw, and align the tine so that it is straight

You have two ways of moving the pickups:
1 - loosen the screw, and slide the pickup a tiny bit forward or a tiny bit backward
2 - if the pickups seem abnormally high or low, you can very delicately bend the aluminum tang to get the pickups to sit right (straight is best, but... you gotta do what you gotta do.  Be careful not to break the pickup bobbin off the tang.)

In the situation that a tonebar is leaning down so much to get the tine facing the pickup, bend the pickup to sit higher, and the tonebar won't be leaning down so much that the tine block is pinned against the rail.

Are these new tonebar grommets or old tonebar grommets?  New grommets will fix (or change) lots of positioning issues.

To re-install the tuning spring, you should remove the tonebar and tine from the harp, and hold it steady in a bench vise.

Sean

Offline pianotuner steveo

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You can't align the hammers to the tines, but you can align the harp to the hammers a bit. (Strike line)  plus, alignment steps that Sean covered.
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 JB

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Thanks Stevio, it's all about attitude and alignment just like life. JB