Poll

do you want a bump on your pedestals?

yes
4 (36.4%)
no
7 (63.6%)

Total Members Voted: 11

Voting closed: February 21, 2007, 08:43:29 PM

Author Topic: mk1 vs mk2 action  (Read 8557 times)

Offline jim

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mk1 vs mk2 action
« on: February 01, 2007, 08:43:29 PM »
ok so i want everybody's opinion on this.
so i am currently restoring a 1974 mk1 rhodes. it has those awesome old tines in it and is getting new grommetts and felt (action/key bushings) and a sweet red top and white tolex. man it's gonna be nice.
the purpose of the restoration is to sell it in the end.
now my question is about what kind of action people prefer.
if i were going to own this rhodes i would leave it's action as per the year it was born. i find that the early action conveys the dynamics i want a lot more sensitively.
but i also am aware that many people prefer the mk 2 action. which i find far too button like and lacking in transferal of dynamic range.
can everyone please tell me what they would prefer?

do you guys reckon that players prefer mk2 action simply because some mk1 they played had real old felt and dust and dirt throughout?

Offline Pale

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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2007, 01:52:30 AM »
Your poll has a major logical fault: people with Mark II and Mark V already have bumps, so they don't need them! It's obvious those people will vote "no" in your poll.
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Offline hammers

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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2007, 04:43:27 AM »
I have a Mk1 from 1975 and I voted 'No'. I experimented with bumps on a few keys and noticed a difference in the bite. Granted I did not set up the rest of the piano to compensate for the reduced hammer throw but the action is fine as it is without the bumps.
1975 Rhodes 88 Mark 1

Offline keysandslots

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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2007, 07:53:54 AM »
I also have a 1974 Stage 88, and the action is fine as is.  When it was new, I took the entire thing apart, lubed the felt on the bottom of the hammers with a silicone spray, and haven't had to touch it since.

I'm considering the new grommets, let me know if it makes much of a difference.

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Offline Fred

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Bump
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2007, 10:05:18 AM »
I vote yes. The bump seems to make the action feel a little lighter, which I prefer. Also, if properly placed, it does help in braking, which minimizes double stroking. A smaller bump than what is found on the late 70's, early eighties pianos works better on the earlier Rhodes, which have a different curve in the hammer cam.  I discovered the small bump when I restored my '68 Silvertop...It had an original pedistal mod which consisted of a metal clip with a very small bump pressed into it. The action didn't feel too light, but was nice and quick. I believe V.V.'s Miracle Mod is based off of that design. Keep in that because of the difference in hammer cams between the early and late models, the action mod described in the Service Manual (1979?) may have a different effect on the earlier cam of the 1/2 wood 1/2 plastic hammers...
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Offline jim

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mk1 vs mk2 action
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2007, 06:08:59 PM »
randy,
yes the grommetts do make a difference. a FANTASTIC difference.
i just put some in my girlfirends rhodes and we both can't stop playing it and saying "it sounds so good !"

Offline Dan Belcher

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mk1 vs mk2 action
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2007, 06:27:54 PM »
My piano is from the summer of '78 when they first started to install the bumps in the factory.  The action on my Rhodes is very light (almost too light on the rightmost keys in fact!!) and super quick, and I definately have great dynamic range.  I can make soft bellish notes, or I can put some muscle behind it and really make it bark.
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1978 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73

Offline james

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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2007, 08:07:37 PM »
I think the perception of "bark" in the early 70's pianos is more due to the fact that you have to pound the s**t out of them in order to get a decent tone.  The one I've got now is the third I've played from the half-wood/half-plastic era, and with the bumps added it feels a lot closer to the '78 Suitcase (i.e. with the factory-standard Key Pedestal Mod) that I sold last year.  The bump really does increase the touch sensitivity of the action, which gives you more control over the tone differences when you play hard vs. soft.  It works for me.
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Offline hammers

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mk1 vs mk2 action
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2007, 08:55:32 AM »
Yes, I suppose it has a lot to do with playing style. But I also expect playing style fashions to have changed throughout the history of the Rhodes, and the requests for different set up factory Rhodes might have influenced the placement of the bump pedestal. Personally I don't find the action heavy on this '75 Rhodes (without bumps) but it does feel heavier than with bumps added. When I play it through an amp I find the action great without bumps, since I'm playing loud and dynamic. When I'm recording straight into the computer the volume is a lot lower and then bumps feel more comfortable for some reason.

I've also experimented in trying to measure the speed of the action, I did not detect any difference with or without bumps for a given velocity..
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Offline paulb

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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2007, 09:34:29 AM »
For those who prefer no bumps, where is the preferred felt location?  On the bottom of the hammer or flat, without the bump, on the key pedestal?
1977 Mark I Suitcase 73
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Offline hammers

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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2007, 09:46:43 AM »
I would imagine that felts on the hammer would have better stopping power (felt against wood) and reducing double strikes but I have no way of verifying this as mine has the felt on the pedestals (felt against plastic).
1975 Rhodes 88 Mark 1

Offline jim

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mk1 vs mk2 action
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2007, 05:51:34 PM »
i prefer the felt on the hammers with sticky tape on the top of the key peds.
i've always really enjoyed playing any rhodes with this action. and have found that the people who own rhodes's with this action are always the ones who REALLY love their rhodes's the most.
i find that often Mk2 bump owners are never really that into their rhodes.

Offline Fred

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action
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2007, 02:50:16 PM »
Sticky tape??? WTF!
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Offline jim

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sticky tape!??
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2007, 04:27:50 PM »
yeah sticky tape.
it's a dyno my piano thing i'm pretty sure.
for the models with the felt on the hammers, they would stick normal transparent office type sticky tape on the tops of the pedestals. sticky side down of course, and usually a little bump of plastic on one end under the tape(for the bump).
it smooths up the action even without the bump.
(i learned this when i purchased a mouldy rusty dyno my rhodes off ebay)

Offline willedsmithmo

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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2007, 06:27:28 AM »
Quote from: "james"
I think the perception of "bark" in the early 70's pianos is more due to the fact that you have to pound the s**t out of them in order to get a decent tone.  The one I've got now is the third I've played from the half-wood/half-plastic era, and with the bumps added it feels a lot closer to the '78 Suitcase (i.e. with the factory-standard Key Pedestal Mod) that I sold last year.  The bump really does increase the touch sensitivity of the action, which gives you more control over the tone differences when you play hard vs. soft.  It works for me.

Indeed it is all about style - I play most instruments with no training at all because i find it a lot more fun and spiritual and that way i tend to get my own, original sounds. As for my style - i tend to be quite percussive in all instruments i play (except maybe for the xaphoon), and so this goes through to the Rhodes. I am not a keys player, i just love the Rhodes sound so much i knew i needed one and now i've got one my dreams are finally about something other than the Fender Rhodes, huraaaaaah!
But yes - style, percussive, not very into the mellow late rhodes sound therefore the s**tty action (which despite the non lube on my rhodes, the action is actually quite good and has just got better over time) is preferred by me.  :D
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Offline Ben Bove

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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2007, 01:07:07 AM »
it really depends if you set it up properly with a bump.  I have a 1973 stage 88 with a bump that's done from a tech before I bought it, and the action is much much faster than the factory obviously, but it's noticeably duller, if you will.  I think if you're just selling it, it woiuld be profitable to make the action "better" on earlier models which people complain about but still retain the market value of a "Fender Rhodes" early 70s piano.  if you were keeping i'd say no bump.
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Offline hammers

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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2007, 03:00:25 AM »
In a shop last summer I played a beautiful '78 with bumps and it had bark and bite. The key dip was rather large, the keys would almost go down to cabinet. It was one of those actions that almost know what you want to do before you do. I regret not picking that piano up when I had the chance.
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Offline tnelson

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« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2007, 07:11:21 AM »
I don't have enough experience playing Rhodes with and without bumps to know whether differences I've noticed are due to the bumps or to other features of the action on the particular pianos I've played.  However, I'd like to suggest one factor that also contributes to how heavy the action seems:  the psycho-acoustic effect of the quality of sound you produce.  For me, at least, the action on any piano, acoustic or Rhodes, feels heavier and less sensitive when the sound produced is out of tune or lousy in some other way. When the sound is in tune and beautiful in quality, the same action feels much more sensitive and easy than when the sound is lousy. It's an unconscious feedback adjustment in the brain and muscles of the player.  Also, anyone else notice that the feel of a Rhodes seems much different when you listen to output on headphones as you play, versus listening through speakers? My own Rhodes (1975 Mk I Stage with hammer butt felts, no bumps) has an action that feels pretty much like a piano action to me.  Maybe some of the bump/no-bump preferences depend on what other keyboard instruments you play, so differing expectations?

Offline kitchen

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« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2007, 02:24:01 PM »
I totally agree with you on this one. Never played on bumped Rhodes, but I do have an acoustic upright and a digital piano with hammer action( Rd-500) so I'm pretty used to that

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