Author Topic: How good is the Bump Mod?  (Read 943 times)

Offline drpepper

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How good is the Bump Mod?
« on: April 01, 2021, 07:48:13 AM »
I have been playing around with my action on the 1975 mk1 Rhodes, hybrid hammer, flat pedestal piano.

The bump mod improves it, but it doesn't feel natural to me or what I want.
I have tried to measure the improvements the Bump Mod offers with a rig I have setup.

This has led me to design my own bump/mod and I think I like a lot more - I have got action feeling similar to my WurliTzer action.
I still want to play around with the shape a bit more.

I have put what I have created in this youtube video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUY0o2_SuRw

I am interested in what others with more experience think of my idea.

I did have to setup the escapement lower for this setup, but I finally have a dynamic range as seen in the video.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2021, 07:54:57 AM by drpepper »
Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline mjbarber431

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Re: How good is the Bump Mod?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2021, 08:28:18 AM »
Holy cow, that was an impressive video! It explains so much and helped me understand the Rhodes action better. I think if you like how it feels, then there is no reason not to try it, as you aren't permanently changing anything, at least with the tape setup shown at the end. I would be very interested in trying it myself, but I don't have a flat key pedestal piano or a 3d printer.

I'm really not an expert on Rhodes' actions, but one thing that may concern others is the reduced hammer throw distance, as you can see that the mod noticeably sits the hammers above the other notes. This may actually reduce dynamic range by reducing the max velocity of the hammer. I suppose the next step, then, would be measuring the output and "bark" from a standardized hard strike on the modded notes compared with unmodded or bump modded notes. Additionally, your dampers will not mute with as much force if your hammers are resting high enough to tension the bridle straps, so watch out for that. Other than that, which may or may not matter, more power to you! I'd love to see more reports on this as you perfect it.

Anyone please feel free to correct me if I got something wrong.
'83 Rhodes Mk II Stage 73
'76 Rhodes Mk I Stage 73

Offline sean

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Re: How good is the Bump Mod?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2021, 04:56:02 PM »

This is very cool!

When you get the bugs worked out for the full range of the piano,  I think I will want to buy a few sets of 73! 

There may have to be a minor adjustment for later key pedestals that have a factory "bump" implemented as a raised lip on the front of the pedestal.  But that would be a quick change to the drawing.

Hmmm... if the STL file were available online, this would easily justify the purchase cost of a 3D printer.

Sean

Offline drpepper

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Re: How good is the Bump Mod?
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2021, 02:42:47 AM »
I'm really not an expert on Rhodes' actions, but one thing that may concern others is the reduced hammer throw distance, as you can see that the mod noticeably sits the hammers above the other notes. This may actually reduce dynamic range by reducing the max velocity of the hammer. I suppose the next step, then, would be measuring the output and "bark" from a standardized hard strike on the modded notes compared with unmodded or bump modded notes. Additionally, your dampers will not mute with as much force if your hammers are resting high enough to tension the bridle straps, so watch out for that. Other than that, which may or may not matter, more power to you! I'd love to see more reports on this as you perfect it.

Thank you

Two good points there,
Reduced hammer throw - yes, if the pedestal is the only thing changed the volume and ability to get bit drops off. But I lowered the escapement and this brought up the volume and bite. I suspect a bit of bite is lost thought I am still playing with shape and escapement. I was able to get the volume to match the unaltered keys, that was how I measured it. Though agree might be worth looking at this more.

Reduced damper force - Once more if the pedestal was the only thing changed the notes still dampen, but there is noticeable loss in force. Reducing the escapement solved this issue also. 

But playability and dynamic range is so much better, at this point in the video I go from whisper quiet to a bit of bite.
https://youtu.be/MUY0o2_SuRw?t=461
This wasn't an option before.





Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline drpepper

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Re: How good is the Bump Mod?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2021, 02:48:14 AM »

Hmmm... if the STL file were available online, this would easily justify the purchase cost of a 3D printer.


Thanks Sean, if this post doesn't tempt you my next 3 might....haha. I have a few more ideas in the works.


« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 03:41:05 AM by drpepper »
Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline 4kinga

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Re: How good is the Bump Mod?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2021, 08:13:25 AM »
Wow indeed!
Very thorough.  I'll be watching this more closely for the next posts/videos.

Offline drpepper

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Re: How good is the Bump Mod?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2021, 09:43:56 AM »
I have created a new video on my custom bumps, for the Fender Rhodes mk1 action.
It also shows how to download them in you are interested in trying them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wjBQh6KYJY
Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline Cookymonster

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Re: How good is the Bump Mod?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2021, 02:03:06 PM »
Hi Dr Pepper.
Really interesting research.
I have an early 1975 Rhodes with hybrid hammers and flat pedestals. 
The seller-technician installed the pedestal mod.  the bump was at the edge of the pedestal.
Although it might be an improvement to earlier action, I still wasn't happy with the action.
So I started experimenting. I came up extending the pedestal and adding extra bump.
Somehow it looks a bit to what you designed... but mine being much more basics.
I just glued a piece of wood on the extension of the pedestal and added some pedestal felt.
Hope you can see the picture.
I experimented in heights and lengths.
Some of the almost reaching the measures of your design.
The one on the photo was my lowest. These are still in the midrange of my Rhodes.
I will turn all my mountains into rhodes.

Offline Cookymonster

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Re: How good is the Bump Mod?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2021, 02:10:36 PM »
I have to add.
There is definitely a lighter action.
But after two years, I am still not sure whether too keep the mod or to remove it.
Like some other forum members, for some reason, I just can't reach the same dynamics and bark... whatever I try with escapement or hammer throw.

I also have a Wurlitzer 200A.  The action is different.
It has a totaly different concept. It has a simplified real piano mechanism.
The Rhodes has a different concept. I guess it's just impossible to obtain the same action with it.
I think that's just the essence. It's a different instrument.  You need to work it harder. But it rewards by more pronounced dynamics and versatility in sound.
I will turn all my mountains into rhodes.

Offline drpepper

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Re: How good is the Bump Mod?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2021, 08:05:25 AM »
Hi Cookymonster,

Yes my piano is an early 1975 also. If you are not happy with the bump mod, you should try without....

Interesting we got the pretty much the same solution. I am sure, covered in felt it will feel about the same.

I am still trying some new shapes, but agree that this is an improvement, I am not 100% convinced it's perfect.
The does reduce the hammer throw distance, but I am not sure what that actually means.

I don't expect to achieve the same action feel as a wurli, just something that I can enjoy more. 

Rhodes Suitcase 75
Wurlitzer 200a
Gibson es 335

Offline Cookymonster

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Re: How good is the Bump Mod?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2021, 10:16:56 AM »
If the hammer is on the bottom in in rest position, and if the stop-lock position remains the same, then the "hammer throw" distance has not changed.
What changes is the "lever"-action.  In both yours and my mods we extend the lever.  That results in lighter action.
On the other hand, in the old action, a short but heavy strike will cause more "inertia"... which overbridges the escapement space (between stop-lock and the tine)  with more violence.
This gives more "whack".   That's my theory.  Although I must admit that there may be a healthy compromise. In some Rhodes piano's  the action is so heavy that you can actually feel the resistance from the sliding of the felt.  So I may remove my diy extension. Not sure if I will remove the small bump-mod.   Greetings from Belgium.
I will turn all my mountains into rhodes.