Author Topic: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978  (Read 44969 times)

Offline eisenhower

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1976
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2013, 11:18:49 AM »
take your model key and replicate placement on all the rest of the keys.

Should a straight edge be used to line up the rest of the keys and place the bumps?

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2013, 11:55:31 AM »
You can do that - just make sure that the keys are all aligned at the very front of the keycaps as if they were in the piano - they're not perfectly uniform so sometimes key pedestals are longer, wider, etc. and as mentioned, if the action rail isn't perfectly level front-to-back in the piano, the point can shift from the bass register to the treble.  So you have to check the lowest note in the piano, see where the hammer rests on the pedestal, and check if that's relatively the same spot as the high register.

It's not a perfect science, to really get the most even action you will probably have to redo a few of them because the manufacturing tolerances weren't the most exact.  You'll feel those trouble notes after you install the mod over the piano.
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Offline eisenhower

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #32 on: March 15, 2013, 08:15:24 PM »
how much escapement difference is too much? the hammer is resting on the tine, and to fix it, a very large shim is required on the right side..

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2013, 11:45:11 AM »
This means that the bumps are probably too far back on the pedestal. 

Experiment with a few keys with the bumps a little closer towards the front.  The bump should really be out of the way with the key depressed - the hammer should rest almost entirely on the pedestal by itself, almost not in contact with the bump.
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Offline David Ell

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2013, 05:24:57 AM »
One thing I don't see ever mentioned is checking the back flange of the piano before doing any mod at all. Many times it is not up tight against the key bed. You have to ask yourself if this was done after assembly to ease double strike (common on late 70s rhodes) or was it never flush to begin with? You can do all the mods you want, but not getting this right, well....
Also, there is nothing wrong with doing the old version of the key pedestal mod like they did in early '78. It's all about getting the bump the right size per the piano. Done right it does not increase double strike. It was good enough for the late 70's/early '80s pianos and feels great if done correctly.

Offline Gonzo

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2013, 07:21:45 AM »
I did install the Miracle Mod - including the re-felt on a '77. It feels so s**tty! The action is lighter - but more toysynth-like lighter. I get a very small area of velocity where the dynamic range lays. When touched very lightly i don't get a note compared to the non MM-Keys and the MM keys are rebouncing much after hitting the tine (dont know if this is meant by "double strike").

I don't know what i did wrong. When installing it more towards the hammer it affects the stop lock position slightly.
Installing it more towards the keys is impossible since the bump is already at the end of the pedestal.

The strange thing is, that even before the keys where slightly above the "theoretical" stop lock position (which would be when they where lying flat).



Offline David Aubke

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2013, 09:05:50 AM »
Gonzo, are you able to take any pictures?

"The strange thing is, that even before the keys where slightly above the "theoretical" stop lock position (which would be when they where lying flat). " - I can't figure out what this sentence means.
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Offline Gonzo

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2013, 06:19:22 AM »
Yeah sorry, dont know how to describe.

I mean - when you press a key very slowly the hammer will rest on the pedestal just as flat as it is supposed to.
But when pressed faster/harder I have the feeling that the hammer will rest (stop lock) higher than that - not using the full flat area of it.

Similar to when you press the key without the harp very hard: the hammer will tilt at the end of it. 
Maybe this is normal - but because of that it is kind of hard to place the bump, since it won't support the hammer when it is just placed on the geometrical correct place behind the curve. Maybe this is the rebouncing?

I will take some pictures soon. I have a feeling that the keys on the upper register are much better, so maybe it isn't the mod itself.
But Maybe I just like the wobbly sluggish rhodes feeling since I'm not into the fast playing stuff (I don't know any better at the moment ;)


Offline goldphinga

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2014, 06:33:47 PM »
I've just finished two 1975 Golden Tine pianos and I've done the Miracle Mod to both. It was interesting how different a placement the bump needed to be on each piano. One had the bump quite a way in from the front of the pedestal for it to feel fast and light whilst the other required the bump to be right on the front edge of the pedestal.

Now whats interesting is many folks say be careful not to have the bump too far forward but sometimes the bump needs to be right at the front of the pedestal.

I think one of the 3 or 4 trial bump positions should always include a bump right on the front edge of the flat pedestal, especially as in the MKV and my 1980 Mk2 the bump is right on the front edge from the factory.

Anyone care to add anything to this? Seems to me ideal placement is not necessarily as in the diagrams on this thread but can also be right on the front edge as on the 1978 pic with the white felt above.

Anyway, be creative and dont be afraid to try radically different bump positions. Though the very front edge may seem like a none too ideal place, it might just be the best place for the piano youre working on and in fact it seems like the standard factory placement unless im mistaken...

« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 02:12:31 PM by goldphinga »

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2014, 06:34:00 PM »
Completely in agreement.  In fact, I recently did a piano with the bump in the front.  However, I think most people default to that position - and it's many times not ideal.  And they end up with popping hammers.

I did a bump mod on a 1971 with the marcel curve, and the bump was exactly on the crest of the highest point of the pedestal - not in the curve.  What I noticed, is that the curve isn't severe enough of a dimension to mess up the process.  The hammer butt lined up perfectly with the back of the key pedestal when the key is depressed, and the bump was directly after the curve ended.

One last point, I saw a bump mod where a heavy amount of contact cement was used.  What happened was that the cement filled up a gap from where the felt met the bump, and sort of created a gradual slope up to the bump - not a hard separation.  So what was happening, was the effectiveness of the bump was taken away - it went back to a non-linear projectile.

At this point I'm advising to use superglue to adhere the pedestal felts, with emphasis on creating a tight fit of the felt around the bump, so that it juts out distinctly. 
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Offline David Aubke

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2014, 08:23:03 AM »
At this point I'm advising to use superglue to adhere the pedestal felts, with emphasis on creating a tight fit of the felt around the bump, so that it juts out distinctly.

I made a clamping caul from the block of a broken tine.
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Offline Ben Bove

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #41 on: December 10, 2014, 01:57:57 PM »
Now that's genius :).
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Offline voltergeist

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2014, 08:22:04 AM »
At this point I'm advising to use superglue to adhere the pedestal felts, with emphasis on creating a tight fit of the felt around the bump, so that it juts out distinctly.

Oy, superglue for pedestal felts?  I don't know about that.  Sounds like a nightmare the next time they need to be replaced, besides superglue being generally awful to work with.  Much respect, bjammerz, but superglue on pedestal felts doesn't strike me as a good idea.  If there's a problem with contact cement, I'd say it's in how it's applied, not in the suitability of the adhesive.

Proper application of contact cement should not result in a buildup that would affect the transition to the bump.  I use the back of my Exacto knife to seat the felt at the base of the bump and define the bump in the felt (both sides of the bump). 
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Offline sean

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2014, 01:06:28 PM »


Really Ben?

Don't you mean that the superglue would be used for the bump strip only, not the felt?

Offline David Aubke

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #45 on: December 11, 2014, 01:59:31 PM »
Is this caul for holding the felt around the bump?  What's getting clamped?

The caul is for holding the felt down over the bump while the glue sets up. I have a picture of it in action but unfortunately, it was taken from an angle that made the image very confusing.

I use hot hide glue which sets up in less than a minute.
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Offline goldphinga

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #46 on: December 11, 2014, 02:25:08 PM »
I've had no issues using contact cement on the felt and pedestals but everyone has their own preferred method-

For getting the felt to fit round the bump I use the edge of a flat head screwdriver to gently press the felt into the bump on both edges first before glueing the rest of the pedestal felt down.

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #47 on: December 11, 2014, 02:57:19 PM »
I completely agree about contact cement, and continue to use it myself.  I have tested superglue which was a good result as well on felts ... it's definitely not the cement at question, but how it's applied.  With this DIY thread I'm looking at it from a point of view where there will be the least amount of user error possible - factoring in people that aren't techs or experts, and would be doing this one time on their Rhodes piano.

I just had to look at it again when someone said "I followed your thread on the miracle mod" and when I saw the contact cement buildup and a poor install that basically invalidated the improvement, it showed me that you have to plan for people not knowing how to do things and something didn't translate here, and I had to undo and redo the process.  I guess there could be an image or something demonstrating the tight fit required of the felt around the bump, otherwise it can be a problem if the volume of the contact cement isn't controlled.

On a future worn felt replacement, dipping the key pedestal in straight acetone should make for easy removal.  If you know what you're doing and install with contact cement as a few people noted with clamps, screwdriver pushing down, the caul thing is interesting - then that is a great solution.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 03:18:25 PM by bjammerz »
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Offline ppeterso2

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #48 on: April 07, 2015, 04:46:34 PM »
I think I want to try this mod because I can't stand the action on my weird 1975 73 Suitcase w/ hybrid wood hammers compared to the 1977 I had (but I prefer the sound...lol).  It hurts my hands to play it for a while.  I'm no Rhodes expert (but I've had 3 lol), but this 1975 seems like an in-between model???  It's like a cross btw a 1974 "Fender Rhodes" and a 1976 plastic hammer model--I've never seen one like this.

Anyway, sorry for the newbie question, but to install this mod, do I have to take the piano out of the case like I see in most of the videos? 

And does anyone know what I'm talking about with this seemingly short-run 1975 model?  Any gotcha's with the 1975?

Thanks!

Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2015, 05:26:12 PM »
I'm not sure which features on your piano you think may deem this an "in-between" model.  The Mk I had hybrid hammers until around mid-September of '75 (as seen on the date code) after which the factory installed an action as found on your '77 -- plastic hammers, aluminum harp supports, felt on the back of the hammer cam etc.  Generally, the later model with felt on the back of the hammers were found to be more prone to being sluggish than the pre Sept/75 models.  Either way, I'm sure if you do the miracle mod, your action will be dramatically improved.  I think to access the key pedestals you need remove the action rail (with hammers and dampers) which I believe requires pulling the bed, and removing the harp supports etc. 

As far as the differences in tone: I believe by '77, Rhodes had switch tines supplier, from Torrington to either Singer or Schaller.  Everyone seems to have a preference.

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #50 on: April 07, 2015, 06:51:39 PM »
You wouldn't have to pull the piano from the case if you didn't want to.  You could remove the name rail that goes across the keys, pull the keys out in sections.  Test a couple keys with bump mod positions and then reinstall them just to make sure it feels great before doing all the keys.
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Offline ppeterso2

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2015, 07:22:33 AM »
Thanks for the responses! I think I can do this ...lol! I've been reading various posts about removing the felts (they're on my keys; not hammers).  I think that may be the main challenge for me.

Have to do something as I've find myself using the Hammond more and I used to find myself doing most things on the Rhodes before I bought this particular one.

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2015, 01:42:20 PM »
If you've got a 1975, the glue for the key felts is taken down pretty well by acetone.  A quick run to home depot etc., you don't need a lot at all.  Just put in a shallow tray of some kind like a disposable tupperware container, dip the back of the keys (felts) into the acetone, give it a few and remove.  Make sure there's a little ventilation for you, and make sure not to get acetone on the key caps in the front.
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Offline voltergeist

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2015, 03:27:32 PM »
I don't know how common this is, but on my early '75 the glue on the pedestal felts dissolved with acetone, but the glue on the other felts on the keys did not respond to acetone at all.  I ended up having to steam those out.   
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Offline ppeterso2

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2015, 09:29:12 PM »
I really appreciate yall--wife likes this alternative to me buying another Rhodes Suitcase.::lol
Plus this one has the real smooth keys but wooden hammers

I surely hope acetone works on mine! I notice the MM kit has a bottle for saturating the felts--why would I need to saturate the felts?

Offline ppeterso2

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #55 on: April 19, 2015, 07:54:46 PM »
Weekend yielded some good Miracle Mod work!  I have the 20 highest keys left and the difference is unbelievable--feels more like a piano should! I setup 3 adjacent keys to find the best location (glad I did, one location (all the way front)  didn't work at all!  Also I had to find more super glue--long story but it involved shooting some glue up in the air and across the room

Different piano for sure--keeper! Love the mod
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 04:24:14 AM by ppeterso2 »

Offline ImNotDedYet

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #56 on: April 19, 2015, 08:40:36 PM »
Weekend yielded some good Miracle Mod work!  I have the 20 highest keys left and the difference is unbelievable--feels more like a piano should! I setup 3 adjacent keys to find the best location (glad I did, one location (all the way front)  didn't work at all!  Also I had to find more super glue--long story but it involved shooting some glue up and actions the room

Different piano for sure--keeper! Love the mod

I actually considered beginning this this weekend, but instead I worked on tinkering with the voicing a bit.  I never minded the action on my baby until I started taking lessons and playing my digital piano, then going back to the Rhodes.  But my Rhodes action isn't as bad as many - but it sure feels like a sponge after playing a digital with good, weighted keys and action.

Offline ppeterso2

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #57 on: April 20, 2015, 04:55:50 AM »
I can understand that--my Hammond A105 (C3 w speakers and reverb) is, of course, an organ and has no weight on the keys--you can rapid fire on one key with one finger lol
But this 3rd Rhodes and my first with wooden hybrid hammers.  It sounded and barked so good I was mesmerized but the more I played it, a couple things irritated me:
-the flat mushy feel compared to the others I once had--got worse as my felts hardened over time; and
-I had the suitcase bottom and preamp from a 1977 model and installed it years ago on this early-1975 AND can't stand the sound of the preamp compared to the Peterson ones I've played (I can't get the bass and treble to sculpt the sound I want and no matter where I put the intensity on the tremolo, I don't like it). It is louder though lol
I see a 4 pin set up in my future (I have the original rail for it lol)!

Offline voltergeist

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #58 on: April 20, 2015, 09:49:22 AM »
I don't know how common this is, but on my early '75 the glue on the pedestal felts dissolved with acetone, but the glue on the other felts on the keys did not respond to acetone at all.  I ended up having to steam those out.   

If anyone encounters felts that don't respond to acetone, the process for steaming out felts is actually pretty easy.  Lay a damp rag over the felts of a group of keys, then run a hot iron (a regular household iron) over the rag on top of the felts.  This creates steam, and the adhesive should release and allow easy removal of the felts.  If the felts are not coming out easily, steam them again.  Remove the leftover adhesive with an exacto knife while the glue is still soft from the steam. 
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Offline ppeterso2

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Re: The "Miracle Mod" on hybrid wood hammers Pre-1978
« Reply #59 on: April 20, 2015, 01:43:09 PM »
I don't know how common this is, but on my early '75 the glue on the pedestal felts dissolved with acetone, but the glue on the other felts on the keys did not respond to acetone at all.  I ended up having to steam those out.   

If anyone encounters felts that don't respond to acetone, the process for steaming out felts is actually pretty easy.  Lay a damp rag over the felts of a group of keys, then run a hot iron (a regular household iron) over the rag on top of the felts.  This creates steam, and the adhesive should release and allow easy removal of the felts.  If the felts are not coming out easily, steam them again.  Remove the leftover adhesive with an exacto knife while the glue is still soft from the steam.

Great tip because I have 20 to go!
But, 10 seconds in Kleeer Acetone and the flew right off to bare wood with a large flat blade screwdriver.  But I did note that mine had really gotten stiff over the years.  The looked untouched, but tough nonetheless.