Author Topic: Pedal  (Read 456 times)

Offline cece

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« on: March 22, 2021, 10:34:19 AM »

My Rhodes (MKII, wooden keys, 1980) has been repaired by a professional restorer when I bought it, and it has always been in good shape. I have a Twin Reverb Red Knob, a Crunch Master or a ME-25 Boss pedal for amplification. But the problems I report below stay the same with all of these amplification options.

I have never been happy with the sound really, and I am always playing around with eqing in order to find a good sound. . Don't know if it's the valves of the amplifier, or my ears, but my perception always change from day to day. And I am usually not happy.

Question 1: in particular, I find that one setting is good for "comping": I play a bass line with the left hand around the bottom two octaves, and chords with the right hand around the center of the keyboard. In this way it sounds absolutely gorgeous. Its really fantastic.  But if I start improvising, playing phrases on the upper octaves, then it sounds bad.
Or the opposite: good equing for higher octaves (less treble), but then when "comping" it sounds lacking life.
If I try settings in between, it does not sound great: actually it becomes not so nice in both departments.

Question 2: how does the pedal behave in a Rhodes? On my Rhodes if I keep it pressed for more than, say, half bar, the sound become kind of hollow, empty, thin. So I have to use the pedal with extreme care, because it strongly worsen the sound. Obviously I am not saying I would like to keep the pedal pressed as in a piano, maybe even over sevaral bars, but really I'd like to be able to keep it pressed for longer time. Is this how the Rhodes pedal work, or maybe there could be an issue on my Rhodes?
« Last Edit: March 22, 2021, 10:41:45 AM by cece »
Rhodes MK II Seventy Three 1980
Fender Twin Red Knobs
Boss LE-25
Crunch Master
Electro Harmonix Small Stone re-issue

Offline mikecap

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Re: Pedal
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2021, 04:11:48 PM »
In regard to your 2nd point, about the pedal, I've noticed a bit of something similar when I play my Rhodes MkI. My theory is this, and it is more prominent on repeated striking of the same note: When the damper pedal is pressed and the damper bar does its thing, all of the tines are free to resonate. Even when you only play a note or a chord, I'm figuring that the vibrations from that note/chord are resonating the tines nearby. Here's my point: when you play a note the hammer tip meets the tine, when it is resonating (either from being struck once already or from neighboring tines being played) its resting position is different from where it is when the pedal is not pressed. The vibrating in the tines combined with a hammer strike might mean a dull interruption of the resonating note rather than a second clear attack. At least that's my theory and if that's the case I think playing a Rhodes with the pedal is just different than playing an acoustic piano, for instance. That's just my theory on it though, don't know if that's the hard and fast truth of it, but  hope that helps!

Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: Pedal
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2021, 04:11:13 AM »
Hello Cece,

As it is with most posts such as yours, vids and pics are a great aid for anyone trying to help with your issue.  They go a long way toward understanding diagnostic descriptions as "hollow", "empty" or "thin", which are so subjective.

The pedal on a Rhodes is part of a simple mechanical damping system, and isn't so complex that its problems can hide.   
Do you have a Stage Model, with the separate aluminum pedal and telescopic steel rod, or a Suitcase Model, where the pedal sticks out of the box housing the speakers.

Again, any vid of your problem in action would be very helpful.