Rhodes Mk1 restoration--remove pickups?

Started by square_wave, March 31, 2022, 06:57:51 PM

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Hi All,

Continuing with the journey of refurbishing a Mk1 73 Stage I bought in pretty rough condition. A lot of the job is really just cleaning, since it was somewhat mildewed inside and very dirty in as well, but in ok working condition. I have so far sanded, re-painted and re-tolexed the box, and removed and cleaned all the keys thouroughly. Now on to the harp!

The harp's condition is ok, but it's quite dirty so I'd like to clean it up. All pickups worked when I tested the piano when I first got it. My plan is to remove all tines and tone bars and clean those up a bit, then clean everything else up as well as I can and put the tines and tone bars back in with new grommets and screws (that I bought from VV). I have two questions:

1. I'm hesitant to remove the pickups to clean under them, it just seems too risky when all is in working condition. But I'd really like to get the job done right while I'm in there. Any advice?

2. I also have a "donor" piano. (A mostly incomplete one I bought to try to harvest some key caps from.) Its harp's structural parts are in great condition, but it lacks pickups, tines and tone bars. So it's more of a harp "skeleton" if you will. As an alternative to cleaning my main piano's harp structure, I could just move everything over to the skeleton of the other harp. But is that too risky a maneuver for the pickups? Will I damage the wiring or something and create more headaches?

What would you wise folks do in my position? (I can take some pictures if useful.)

Thank you,



You will find it remarkably easy to remove all the screws and slide all the pickups forward onto a large cardboard or wooden board.  You can run a strip of masking tape across the pickup mounting tangs if you want to keep them less jumbled. (You can even remove the whole pickup rail from the piano first if you want to.)

Some pianos may have the far left or far right connection soldered rather than a eyelet terminal.  In that case you should clip the wire, and install an eyelet terminal (or simply unscrew the RCA jack and let it move with the pickups.