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Rhodes Mark II, 26 dead pickups. What would you do?

Started by SeanBonham, March 09, 2021, 04:02:03 PM

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Hello all, new guy here.  Just picked up a Rhodes Mark II for next to nothing.  I knew going into it that many of the pickups were bad, it has the dreaded "white tape" pickups that have the corrosion issue.

Went through and tested all of them using the Vintage Vibe youtube videos as a guide.  26 were bad ::)

I am on the fence as to what to do next.  Keeping with the spirt of a budget project I don't think I am going to buy 26 new pickups and install them.  Leaning towards rewinding all of them as I don't trust that the remaining "good" pickups wont fail down the line.  I've got more time than money and building a jig for rewinding is not an issue.  I have searched here and have found some good info.  I think I will follow this post as much as I can

Anyone have a good source for 37 or 38 AWG magnet wire?  Amazon is most likely where I'll pick it up.  Seems like slightly smaller spools is a good idea to reduce breakage.

Am I a crazy person for wanting to rewrap all these?  haha
Going to order some parts soon and will keep posting updates if folks like.  Other than the pickups everything is in good condition here.  Little wear from age but I like some patina.
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37AWG Magnet Wire?  Bell wire? Pickup wire?  Enamelled wire?

Amazon has three miles of it for thirty bucks:

You can get it from what appears to be the factory's website:

Digikey Sells Remington Wire too.  Get the five pounder!  You're gonna want 24 kilometers of wire!  Do it!  HA!




You are doing the right thing.  However, this does not mean you are not crazy.   ;)     

GrooveMonkey has a good pickup winding video -

Hey, does anybody have a good source for BRAIDED tinned wire that would be used between the pickups?  The vintage vibe stuff isn't braided, that's fine, but I want some braided wire.  Is the stuff marketed to lamp making the right stuff (if I get 18AWG tinned copper braid, that should be the right stuff, right?)?

This is the closest braid I can find, but I don't want to buy 1000 feet:
Maybe they will sell in smaller lengths.  I also would prefer a round briad.

I wish I could just walk in to RadioShack or Heathkit and find it.

Sean OG


That for the info other Sean:)

I think my only concern is with whatever coating that will be on the new wire and getting it to tin and make a good contact with the pickups.  Gonna start unwinding tonight I think :o



The brand new wire will be insulated with a thin layer of polyurethane.  You can scrape off the coating with a razor blade or pocket knife if you want to test or play with it.  However, when you want to solder it to the pickup terminals, just wrap it around the terminals, and the solder will melt through the polyurethane to make the connection.



Perfect!  That was the answer I was hoping for.  Thanks!


Late getting back to the party, but me and this Rhodes went there and back again.  Broke it down most of the way and deep cleaned.  Rewound all of the pickups on a little jig I made.  Reassembled, and have been tweaking and tuning over the last few days.

I am NOT a keys player just a dabbler/synth nerd/drummer, but dang it is my favorite sounding instrument.  Only had the pickup wire break once while rewinding.  Incase anyone was wondering, 1 pound of 38AWG will get you 72 pickups at 2900 rotations (if you mess one up) haha  Had to order a 4oz to finish the last pickup....  Pickups took about 4 nights of moderate work. 

All in I think I spent about $430 including the piano.  Lots of hours though.  Sustain pedal and cross bars were a little pricy, but top notch stuff from Vintage Vibe.  My goal was to keep costs low, worked out well.
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Wow.  That's awesome.  The whole row of rewound pickups looks so pretty!

Was the turn counting device something as simple as the $15 counters from Amazon?

Like ??

I never noticed them before, now I wanna buy one!  I wonder if I saved all my dead pickups downstairs.  Hmmm... anyway -

Congrats.  Piano looks great.