Author Topic: Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes  (Read 3968 times)

Offline modorange

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« on: March 21, 2010, 01:08:12 PM »
Is there any problem with switching say, the keys from one Rhodes to another? I found out the later model 73 Stage MK 1 has the pedestals with bumps and felts on the pedestals and I was thinking of putting them on the MK1 Rhodes with the suitcase amp, because it has seen much more mileage and has the flat pedestals and the action isn't great (although it is still much better than before I cleaned it all up).

What parts would be required to be switched? The keys, the hammers, What about the harp? Can it be left on the other one? I'm assuming they made these all things being relatively the same for mass production? What about value? Hurt help or remain the same? Thanks.. You Rhodes Scholars... :wink:
Rhodes Mk 1 Suitcase 73, Mini D, Roland SH-1, Ibanez AD230, Ludwig drums, Zildjian cymbals, and various other musical toys

Offline sean

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 08:27:15 PM »
Why not just swap the nameboards, and flop the stage piano on top of your suitcase amp?   You should be able to finess the sustain pedal linkage with less effort than transplanting action parts.

You would remove the aluminum plate for the crossbraces, but you should be able to leave the leg flanges as they are.

If it works the way you like, then you could install the locator glides on the bottom of the stage piano, and you would be done.  Except, I think the glides might need to be right where the leg mounts are.  Hmmm...   Easy enough to install two additional cups in the top of the amp, and put the sphinx glides a little bit to the side.

Offline modorange

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2010, 11:18:46 PM »
No, I would rather put the guts of the stage into the case of the suitcase top. There is a complete set of pickups on the suitcase but the stage is missing the pickups. And it was in worse overall shape, so I want to stay with the original suitcase outides, and the tines/tonebar/pickup assembly. Well, I';ll just do it and see what happens. Thanks .
Rhodes Mk 1 Suitcase 73, Mini D, Roland SH-1, Ibanez AD230, Ludwig drums, Zildjian cymbals, and various other musical toys

Offline sean

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 08:03:26 AM »
Oh.  Okay.  Swap the whole action assembly.

If you pull the action out of each piano, and set them on a table side-by-side, you could compare mounting holes.  You could also measure the height of the harp supports to compare.

I would guess that the mounting holes line up exactly, except the Suitcase glides might require that you drill a pilot hole in the Stage Keybed.

All I am going from is:
http://www.fenderrhodes.com/org/manual/ch3.html#3-3
and
http://www.fenderrhodes.com/org/manual/ch3.html#3-4

The swap should go smoothly.   Reset your strike line and escapement, and you should be playing again.

Is there a difference between the damper push rod in the Suitcase, and the one in the Stage Piano?

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 10:02:21 PM »
Yes- you need to swap the whole assembly- key frame and keys at least, but all action parts would be best.
Don;t just try to swap the keys, they are fitted to their own keyframe and most likely wont fit the other perfectly.
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 modorange

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 10:34:23 PM »
I figured I'd need to switch both the keys and the frame holding them, because the balance rail is balanced according to the keys fitted to it. I'll see what I can do. There are a few other problems that need to be addressed.
Rhodes Mk 1 Suitcase 73, Mini D, Roland SH-1, Ibanez AD230, Ludwig drums, Zildjian cymbals, and various other musical toys

Offline jim

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2010, 02:31:55 AM »
what about doing a bump mod on the suitcase rhodes?
then you'd have the action you wanted on both pianos, and probably with the same amount of effort as swapping all the bits.

Offline jim

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 02:35:33 AM »
oh and sean there is a difference in length between the suitcase and stage damper push rod.

the suitcase pretty much aligns flat to the floor of the piano, while the stage is higher so the rod from the pedal can reach up into it and be guided by the piano base a little.

Offline sean

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2010, 09:15:24 AM »
Jim - yeah, so he would have to "finess the sustain pedal linkage."    A little biscuit stuffed in there might do the trick.  If I had to do this, I guess I would cut a length of dowel (stain it black with a sharpie), and screw it to the existing dowel.  All you have to do is get it to line up flush with the bottom of the piano.  Right?

Offline modorange

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2010, 12:06:08 PM »
I think these are all good, valid suggestions. Here's one of the things.. I feel more confortable switching parts than I do performing a bump mod, because I've never done that before.

Also, the stage piano is in the restoration process, other than the keys which I've cleaned up. So there are other issues with the stage piano: 1) Pickups are off the harp, and I have some pickups that will need to be moved to it from a 54 key that I initially thought I'd put the 73's pups on; 2) There are 3 missing damper felts on the stage piano; 3) The stage piano was not stored in a dry place and there were things that got in there, so the harp needs some cleaning and attention including removal of some paint or something that got in there (left open in a room that was being painted?); 4) one of the damper bridle straps is broken on the stage piano.

So, basically, the only thing to really be proud of is this came out of the factory with the bumps and felts on the pedestals.

The Suitcase piano I'm wanting to move the keys and hammers to has its main issues with its existing hammer felts: 1) several were moved around on the hammers but I have repositioned them so all hammers play fluidly 2) several of the hammer felts have much wear and probably need replacing, they're flattened out on the hammers. Still, after I cleaned them up and put all the hammer felts back on the hammers that needed to be repositioned, the action and playability is 150% better than before. But the other suitcase I've got with the older amp but same keys/action plays smoother, to the point that it probably doesn't really need a bump mod (although I'm sure one would improve the action a bit).

I think the little pedal plug could easily be lengthened or perhaps simply replaced with one of suitable length. And I didn't look, but the feet on the bottom of the suitcase tops may be in a place that it would be easy enough to put 2 feet on the stage bottom so it fits perfectly on the suitcase bottom.

So, I have decided to leave everything on its original piano for now and focus on restoring the stage top. Then when it is in good playing condition I can explore the possibility of adapting it to the suitcase top, or switching the keys/hammers.
Rhodes Mk 1 Suitcase 73, Mini D, Roland SH-1, Ibanez AD230, Ludwig drums, Zildjian cymbals, and various other musical toys

Offline jim

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2010, 11:25:36 PM »
sean, right right!


yeah i think that swapping out action parts just creates a world of trouble and should be avoided at all costs.

Offline modorange

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2010, 02:27:21 PM »
As I said I'll probably try to put it back in shape in the stage bottom before I explore the possibility of moving the keys, etc. to the other suitcase top box. I'm not necessarily averse to trying though, so if you're right about "avoiding it at all costs" I may indeed find out, through first hand experience, why. Thanks again. All the screws that hold the action assembly in to the top are the same on both pianos although I guess it is possible there are minute spacing differences.
Rhodes Mk 1 Suitcase 73, Mini D, Roland SH-1, Ibanez AD230, Ludwig drums, Zildjian cymbals, and various other musical toys

Offline sean

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2010, 04:41:16 PM »
I really don't think it would take you much more than an hour or two to do a test swap of the whole action assemblies.  Lift one out cheekblocks and all, and slide the other one in.  Look around to see if there are major problems with the final fit.  See if the screws line up in the bottom, maybe one is an 1/8" out of place.  I doubt there will be much to worry about.  Swap the harps if you want, and swap the namerail.  Done.

You can do this before you clean them both up or after.

I think what you should avoid at all costs is moving individual pieces of one action into the action frame of another.  I mean, don't try to just move the keys themselves and expect great results.

You will have the fewest surprises if you move the whole action assembly from one piano to the other.  And if it doesn't float your boat, you have a quick path to swapping them back.

I think any differences between the mounting holes will be no worse than you might find between two pianos of the same exact model.




All that being said, it would also only take you five minutes to remove the namerails, and put some of the bump-having keys in to the other piano.  You will probably find that they fit mostly pretty good on the other piano's balance rail, but then you might also find an octave that doesn't fit right.  Or maybe it will be just two or three keys that don't move smoothly on the foreign balance rail and guide pins.  

But more importantly, you might find that the swapped keys are not the exact same length, or that their pedestals don't sit under the hammer cams in the precisely perfect way.  Or that the pedestals are all a tiny bit taller.  Or that they shrunk more than the others, and don't fit at all.  You really don't know before you try, but there are no guarantees, and you might find yourself fiddling with it forever.  (Then again, you might get lucky, and wonder what the heck we are whining and warning about.)

Sean

Offline modorange

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2010, 01:37:54 AM »
Thanks Sean, that makes lots of sense. The only thing about switching individual keys besides the balance rails being set for the other keys, is the felts being on the keys rather than the hammers, so there's that problem, so I need to keep the hammers and keys together. I'll try to get the desired results sometime next week.
Rhodes Mk 1 Suitcase 73, Mini D, Roland SH-1, Ibanez AD230, Ludwig drums, Zildjian cymbals, and various other musical toys

Offline modorange

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2010, 03:18:57 PM »
Here's what I did. At first I thought I might be able to adequately adjust the slightly older keys without the bumps but afterwards they were still very sluggish. There was a pianist coming in to jam and he was commenting on the inconsistency.

So I took the "good" keys and hammers, and replaced the year-older keys and hammers. I removed the end blocks from each and switched them, so the harp and pickups on the piano was original. I also kept the dampers to match with the harp, because they were in much better shape than the dampers that were on the stage piano with the bumps..

Other than a few keys that are double stroking the switch went off fairly well and the action is 100% better. Next time I'm in the market for a transition (before bump, after bump) era Rhodes I'll definitely try to find out if the keyboard is later era or not, because this Suitcase piano is basically the same as a later MKII now, and I bet there are several hundred, maybe thousand, Rhodes with the round top that have the same insides basically as the MKII. The only way to tell is to look at the keys inside.

All of this is from my avoiding doing the bump mod. I just need to now learn how to do the bump mod on the remaining keyboard.

The other design difference is the older models have the felts on the hammers, instead of the keys. A professional Rhodes player in the area once told me he didn't put a bump mod on the older Rhodes he played, but he simply removed all the felts. He said it made more noise when you played it but it was smoother and faster.

Does the bump mod also involve putting felts on the keys instead of the hammers? Or is there a design difference on the older hammers that makes that not work (older hammers with no felts)
Rhodes Mk 1 Suitcase 73, Mini D, Roland SH-1, Ibanez AD230, Ludwig drums, Zildjian cymbals, and various other musical toys

Offline jim

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2010, 09:09:23 PM »
the older older rhodes have felts on the key peds, then they switched to felt on the hammers around 76-77? then back to on the pedestals after that.

you can do a bump mod on the felt on hammers piano by putting the bump on the key pedestal and leaving the felt as is.

sometimes sticky tape over the pedestal and bump will smooth out the action also. normal sticky tape.

the guy with no felt on his piano probably has completely gouged out hammers by now. it will play worse and worse as time goes by until it's shot.

i'd imagine he would have a lot of key bounce also.

Offline modorange

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2010, 01:40:56 AM »
Actually this guy gigs continually worldwide but I'm not sure if I heard him exactly correctly about how his piano is set up, although I am pretty sure he said he took all the felts off and adjusted it to play with the keys directly playing the hammers. He has a tech who sets up the electronics when he uses the suitcase amps but does all of the adjustments on the piano himself. Last time he came through town the piano sounded fine, he said it was a '72 model I think? Does that one have wood hammers? Anyway.. if I get a chance to talk to him again I'll certainly retain more of the info about it, after opening these up and familiarizing myself with the various parts.
Rhodes Mk 1 Suitcase 73, Mini D, Roland SH-1, Ibanez AD230, Ludwig drums, Zildjian cymbals, and various other musical toys

Offline jim

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Question regarding switching parts between Rhodes
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2010, 06:08:51 PM »
yeah 72 is wood hammers,
although it's still plastic sitting on the pedestals.

i guess if it works, it works!