Rhodes Mk II: Setting escapement - shims vs

Started by ziondave, November 10, 2021, 08:52:45 AM

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Hi all,

I'm faced with a dilemma while trying to restore a 1980 Mk II with wooden keys. Really happy aesthetically with how the piano has turned out. I've put a lot of work into cleaning individual tines, tone bars, keys, replaced felts, hammer tips and levelled the keybed. It's feeling way better now in terms of action, as I also removed the wooden shims on top of the aluminium harp supports on either end. Without any supports on the bass end, there is still probably a bit too much escapement, while on the treble end I need to add cardboard shims to raise it. With one thing cardboard shim on the treble end, I'm not getting enough escapement really for the tine to ring clearly, but if I raise the tone bar using the tone bar screws, then I can no longer achieve "ideal" timbre because as the tines are so short the hammer will again impede their movement. The way I see it, either I raise the harp on the treble side substantially and drop the individual tone bars on rest of the harp, or I have to accept the "deep" timbre setting for those keys. Unfortunately I don't think there's a way to lower the escapement on the bass end since the harp supports are aluminium? Also, I really dislike the sudden change in feel as soon as the wooden keys begin on the treble end. Maybe it would be worth swapping these out for rubber keys?

Any thoughts would be welcome. My thanks in advance!  :o