Author Topic: So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)  (Read 18834 times)

Offline jeff da rhode

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« on: July 24, 2008, 10:48:06 PM »
I've had a Rhodes for about a year and have had it working satisfactory for several months.  Nice and easy, I turn on the amp (peavey classic 30) and just play.

So this morning I was doing my 30 min at the keys before work and about 1/2 way thru I was just sitting there thinking, not playing, and an elevated bit of background static started coming over the amp.  Then when I did play it got worse.  Directly related to how hard I hit the keys.

I got out a guitar to see if it was the amp or cord and the guitar doesn't seem to have the same issue.

It was still that way tonight and I think getting worse.

Any thoughts why/what this electric crackle/static would be caused by?

Offline james

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2008, 01:06:42 AM »
This is similar to what I'm working on with a guy right now, with the difference being that he's got a Suitcase.  The static crackle is heard when he plays and is even worse when he hits the sustain pedal!  He says it's one of those things where everything was fine, then he moved the piano a few hundred miles and weird stuff happened.  Obviously in your case that's not what happened....

I've posted this as a sticky in hopes that we can get insights on this one.  My experience with other pianos has been along the lines of

* loose solder joints on specific pickup terminals
* the wire connecting pickup #1 to the RCA jack disconnecting or going bad
* the grounding wire being unscrewed on improperly connected
* the piano being stuck in a closet for 10 years (playing for about 15 min. brought it back to life)
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Offline james

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2008, 01:09:22 AM »
P.S. What kind of thinking were you doing? Is it possible that you were creating electromagnetic interference that hypercharged your pickup rail into an unusable state???  :shock:
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Offline Mark II

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Re: So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2008, 03:13:25 AM »
Quote from: "jeff da rhode"
I've had a Rhodes for about a year and have had it working satisfactory for several months.  Nice and easy, I turn on the amp (peavey classic 30) and just play.

So this morning I was doing my 30 min at the keys before work and about 1/2 way thru I was just sitting there thinking, not playing, and an elevated bit of background static started coming over the amp.  Then when I did play it got worse.  Directly related to how hard I hit the keys.

I got out a guitar to see if it was the amp or cord and the guitar doesn't seem to have the same issue.

It was still that way tonight and I think getting worse.

Any thoughts why/what this electric crackle/static would be caused by?


jeff
assuming that you are using a stage piano makes me think of:
remove the harp cover and jiggle the grey RCA cable.  
check the srews on pickup and tonebar rail, tighten them to get a good ground connection.
use a jack to rca adapter and play your rhodes right off the harp output to the peavey.
that's all you can test

good luck
Rhodes Stage 73 Mark II 1980 / modified Peterson Suitcase Preamp

Offline Mark II

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2008, 03:20:33 AM »
Quote from: "james"
This is similar to what I'm working on with a guy right now, with the difference being that he's got a Suitcase.  The static crackle is heard when he plays and is even worse when he hits the sustain pedal!  He says it's one of those things where everything was fine, then he moved the piano a few hundred miles and weird stuff happened.


check:
harness
solder joints
and the things mentioned above.

when working with a suitcase its always nice to break it down to:
is it the top, the cable or the amp causing the problem.

so, check the harp's output with another amp, preamp, mixing desk what ever
use the amp with a guitar or IPOD (turn the volume down) in case it has the power amp input jacks.
check the preamps outputs with a mixing desk/hifi amp in case the suitcase amp has the preamp output jacks.

kind regards
Mark II
Rhodes Stage 73 Mark II 1980 / modified Peterson Suitcase Preamp

Offline jeff da rhode

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2008, 07:53:44 PM »
Ok so I found my problem.  Its rather silly but there is some chance this might help someone to diagnose a more real issue here I'll explain my sillyness.

So I sat down to play the other morning and all was well.  I noticed that middle C was not as loud as the surrounding notes so I grabbed the socket and adjusted the pickup.  Middle C is now rockin.  But what I failed to notice is when I laid the socket back down I laid it on the bit of electronics around what i guess is a resistor on the upper end of the harp.  I then laid a peice of sheet music on it and really hid the problem.  Turns out this was just shorting out  and causing the static I described earlier.

BTW what exactly is the extra bit of wiring/resistor on an 88s upper register?

See the 2 pics.

STATIC


NO STATIC


So while this was totally silly, it does show how a short can lead to the problem so perhaps that info could be helpful....or if not feel free to smile at my expense.

Offline Ben Bove

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2008, 07:56:30 PM »
Jeff!!  You have a piano that's very close to either the last hybrid wood hammer or the first all-plastic hammer model Rhodes.

Can I get some info from you?

Obviously, do you have wood/plastic hammers and wood support blocks under the harp, or all plastic hammers and metal supports under the harp?

Serial number?
Is the blue date in the upper right corner 2975 or 2375?

The extra wiring on top of an 88 is to reduce some mechanical hammer-to-tine noise when you hit the very high tines.

Thanks!
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Offline jeff da rhode

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2008, 08:22:46 PM »
This one is plactic hammers and metal supports.
Serial: 50074
Blue date: 2975


I also have a 1973 Fender Rhodes which is hybrid wooden/plastic hammers and wooden supports.

I had intended one to be parts for the other but most of the parts do not interchange.

Offline Mark II

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2008, 03:04:14 AM »
and this part is a capacitor.

Mark II
Rhodes Stage 73 Mark II 1980 / modified Peterson Suitcase Preamp

Offline Ben Bove

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2008, 02:25:56 PM »
Hahah wow Jeff!  you have the 74th piano that had plastic hammers.  The earliest I've seen to date.

That would mean plastic hammers were just starting to be installed right around 32nd or 33rd week of 1975.  Pretty cool thanks!

This also means plastic hammers started 2nd week of August, and not September as the user manual says (I'm sure it was general).

http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/index.html?year=1975&country=1

P.S., the serial numbering system is all over the place and doesn't go in sequential order.  There are a number of 73s with 50,000 serials, but yours in that era would correctly represent.
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Offline jeff da rhode

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2008, 09:27:41 PM »
Wow.  I think I'm both frightened and intrigued by the database of serial number to feature mappings you must have.

Offline Ben Bove

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2008, 12:01:18 PM »
I would agree.
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Offline ppeterso2

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2008, 06:44:01 AM »
About that crackling short... My later Mark I suitcase (sliders) was doing the same thing.  It sounds like you already looked at the RCA but FWIW, I had to adjust the angle of my rca/harp connection because it was shorting and vibrating with the top on the piano--no issues now!

Offline rick88

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2008, 06:04:45 PM »
I have  had   this same problem for sometime ! And i can say without a doubt the crackling is from a bad wire connection on the pickups ! I first changed out the passive preamp and RCA connector only to find it still crackling . Then i decided to check every wire my keyboard and BAM there it was a bad wire . Now the problem solved !!!!

Offline zguignou

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2008, 01:07:29 PM »
Same issue here...

And no way to make it go.
The wire you changed is the very little wire between the pickups ?

Or the long ones ( one black on red in my rhodes) that run to the RCA ?

Offline Tattvamasi6

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Buzzing in older rhodes 68ish - capacitors!
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2009, 04:07:41 PM »
So I recently purchased a student model rhodes built in 68 and when I received it it had a mild buzz to it. I took it apart cleaned it and it worked fine for a few weeks. Now the buzzing has returned and is worse than ever, and the interesting thing is it remains when i turn the pickups all the way down. After research I have come to the conclusion i need to replace the electrolytic capacitors, supposedly they are responsible for a constant humming in vintage speakers quite often. I recommend people check that out. I am trying to replace them myself but have never worked electronics before so if anyone has advice about replacing capacitors that would be so much appreciated. Hope this opens some doors for people.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2009, 07:15:23 AM »
The main thing to watch for is make sure the value matches,the voltage can be higher than the originals but not lower, and most importantly, if they are polarized (Most electrolytics are - I.E. except in crossovers) be 100% sure you do not reverse the + and - leads!
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline ppeterso2

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Re: So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2015, 11:49:35 AM »
Hahah wow Jeff!  you have the 74th piano that had plastic hammers.  The earliest I've seen to date.

That would mean plastic hammers were just starting to be installed right around 32nd or 33rd week of 1975.  Pretty cool thanks!

This also means plastic hammers started 2nd week of August, and not September as the user manual says (I'm sure it was general).

http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/index.html?year=1975&country=1

P.S., the serial numbering system is all over the place and doesn't go in sequential order.  There are a number of 73s with 50,000 serials, but yours in that era would correctly represent.

Well I know this is an old thread, but I think mine is from the 19th week of 1975--the writing has become faint over the years.  I have hybrid wooden hammers and wood support blocks.  The key caps seem smoother on the edges than an older model that I used to play.  Action is slushy--ordering the miracle mod this afternoon.

This one seems to sound barkly/fuzzy/"Snewww" buzz attack in the lower register (love it!) exactly like the older "Fender Rhodes" that I mentioned but very different than my 1977 model I had a few years ago. I guess I can hear the difference.  I have it hooked to the 1977's suitcase cabinet bottom (top is gone) and action rail until I can find a Peterson bottom cab--well one day, I guess

Offline conroy

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Re: So it started to crackle (or perhaps static)
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2018, 03:24:24 AM »
One thing you may want to check is your harp mounting screws. If you have aluminum harp supports this can be a problem. If I'm working on things and forget to screw down the harp I'll hear a bit of a staticky crackle when playing notes. Tightening down the harp mounting screws can fix this issue. Next time you have the harp off give those screws a cleaning. Clean the threads and the flat part below the screw's top. Also clean the metal they come in contact with. You can use a bit of rubbing alchohol or deoxit. This should improve the ground connection. You might as well clean the harp pivot links as well.