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I Put my MK1 Passive Circuit in a Cheek Block

Started by qlyde1973stage, September 20, 2021, 02:44:23 PM

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Alright so, 1973 MK1 Stage going under full restoration at the moment. It was in great shape to begin with but it is going to be a studio work horse Rhodes and I wanted it to play like a new instrument. I ordered the RetroFlyer preamp for studio use because it's so damn awesome but I would be lying if I said there wasn't Magic in the MK1 Passive circuit as well. This way you can simply plug into the RetroFlyer on the name rail or the Passive Circuit on the cheek block! I didn't want to build an external box to house it because then moving it is kinda sketchy with cables hanging out, but I wanted it to be built into the Piano without drilling any holes in the name rail. So I ordered a repro cheek block from VV and boom here it is. 4 holes later (one for the RCA cable) and it's all mounted & fits perfectly on the piano. I don't have any pics of it finished yet since the Rhodes is currently in 1000 pieces waiting on other parts to arrive. But I test fitted it and it works great.

Pictures ->

Now it's a Classic and Modern Rhodes all in one!

I will post a thread of my restoration from Start to Finish once it's all completed and the parts have arrived. Parts are scheduled for delivery in 2 days so it shouldn't be too much longer until it's all back together and making sweet sounds once again. I've decided against re-doing the tolex and hardware because it's still nice enough where it looks proper for a 50 year old instrument and it's got the original legs + shiny original sustain pedal so I'm going to keep the exterior original for now.

When the time comes to do an aesthetic makeover, here is my plan for it. Picture ->


Hey Q,

Morgen with Avion here. I was a bit unclear about how you have everything configured here.
But I wanted to point out for anyone who was considering this that when things wired are in parallel you're still basically loading the output off the harp.
Thus defaulting to that lower fidelity sound of the passive controls. A classic sound for sure, but not one that's doing the RetroFlyer any favors.

The simplest way to address this is by adding a switch. In your case you may be able to add one on the cheek block.
If single pole, just run the RF full time and then run a signal wire from the RF input to a switch.
When the switch is off the RF is unloaded, when the switch is on just use the passive setup.

Or run direct signal and ground from RCA to a double throw and switch the whole thing back and forth.

I hope that helps. Any questions, just let us know.

All the best,