E1 sounds thin on '73

Started by Krischu, February 15, 2022, 04:25:22 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


I'm intoning a 73 MK I and find that the lowest E (E1) doesn't sound as fat as its right neighbor "F" is sounding. Could it be that it is because the E1 doesn't have a pickup magnet left of it?



It might be so.  I dunno.  I never thought of that befo.  You could sit an extra pickup next door to the lowest E, but....

The distance from the tip of the tine to the tip of the pickup is a very strong factor.  Also, those low notes sound very different depending on how high the tine points above the pickup tip, so adjust the timbre setting to be identical.

I believe the tine length and tuning spring position can make a big difference.  If one tine is cut longer than ideal, and the tuning spring is pushed further up (away from the tine tip) - and the other tine is cut shorter than ideal, and the tuning spring is sitting very close to the tip of the tine... they will react differently to the hammer blow, and may sound different.

I assume that you have installed fresh new chewy grommets.  And we have to hope that the hammer tips are the same hardness.

And we are not done yet!  There is yet another variation from note-to-note... the StrikeLine!  It shouldn't make a huge difference between neighboring tines, but sometimes it is enough to be a bother.  Be aware that variations in the very large escapement at the very low notes can cause significant differences in the strike point where the hammer tip contacts the tine.

So you get to play around with all these adjustments before you get exactly the tone you want:
1.  Escapement Screw
2.  Timbre Screw
3.  Tuning spring position on the tine and tine length
4.  Pickup position
5.  Strikeline
6.  Hammer Tip hardness
7.  Grommet freshness

All that being said, I bet moving the pickup in a tiny bit will fix your woes.



Hi .-)

Maybe the pickups magnet is reversed.

Nomally, all Rhodes pickups have the south pole towards the tine. (There was a short time at an erarly stage when they used north pole towards, the tine).

Maybe the magnet was reversed accidently during production. Having a south-front and north-front pickup side by side will cancel the fundametals, leaving you with a thin tone...

Another thing is the shape of the tine's tip. Be sure that it is propperly grinded to a plane surface. Avoid a 'fizzy', blurry tip from impropper cutting.

Rhodes tech in Germany

VintageVibe 64 ACL + DOD FX25B, Tone City Sweet Cream, EHX SmallStone, Mooer E-Lady

Adams Solist 3.1 Vibraphone

In the Past:
Stage 73 Mk1 (1977)
Stage 88 Mk1 (1975)
Stage 73 Mk2 (1980)
Stage 73 Mk2 (1981 - plastic)
Suitcase 73 Mk1 (1973)
Suitcase 73 Mk1 (1978)


although the idea of reversed poles is an interesting point,
I did a test with a compass and the magnets are in sync.

pianotuner steveo

Is the pickup itself not working and be amplified by the F's pickup?

Does the E tine have the correct tuning springs on it?
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...


in addition to everything above, I would also recommend checking to see if the tine is properly oscillating.

It is common for the low notes to oscillate in a figure 8 pattern which can result in a lower volume and less "bark". If that is the case on yours then you can either A. buy a VV tine stabilizer B. add a second tonebar spring to the one you have or C. buy a new tine and hope it oscillates less.

1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype
1971 Suitcase Fender Rhodes
1977 Wurlitzer 270


First try to test to see if the pickup itself is working by tapping gently on the end closest to the tine with a screw driver. You should hear a tapping sound come through your amp.
It could also be a bad tine.
Are the keys of your Fender Rhodes cracked and wobbly? A worn out keyboard will leave you frustrated and stop you from expressing your music. But with new key bushings and key tops your keys will play and look like new.
Restoring your keyboard yourself is expensive and time consuming. But we have made it easy to have your keys professionally restored so you can get back to playing the music you love.
Simply ship the keys to Us and let us give your keys the restoration every Rhodes deserves. Contact us today to schedule your restoration!