Author Topic: Strange behavior with the pitch of the low G note...  (Read 1155 times)

Offline sunrunner

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Strange behavior with the pitch of the low G note...
« on: May 13, 2010, 08:38:59 PM »
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum.  Just last week, I acquired my first Rhodes -- a 73 key 1977 Rhodes Mark I Stage from my twin brother.  ("pcola_rhodes" on this forum).

I'm currently knee deep in the restoration process.  As imperfect as it currently looks, it actually sounds like a million bucks.  I've never seen an instrument in this cosmetic condition sound so good.  I'm currently about 1/3 of the way through recapping the keys with beautiful, white key caps from VV.

Anyway, the reason for my post is that I was closely listening to each note today, and noticed something kinda strange with the lowest G note on the keyboard.  Whether I hit the note hard or soft, as the note sustains, the pitch actually goes up as it fades out.

The note is tuned properly according to my tuner.  Even when I play the note in the context of a chord, or in octaves, it's right on the money... until the low G starts to fade out.  Then the pitch gradually goes up.

Anybody have an idea what might be causing this?  Is this typical of old tines?  Or maybe a problem with the tone bar?

Jeremy
Winter Park, FL
1973 Fender Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 88-key
1980 Rhodes Mark II Stage 73-key

Offline Rob A

  • Global Moderator
  • Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 1386
  • Modal Globerator
    • View Profile
    • Rhodes buyer's guide
Strange behavior with the pitch of the low G note...
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 08:52:45 PM »
It is typical actually. I can't say that I have experimentally verified this, but I believe that the close to the pickup your tine gets, the more pronounced that effect (rising pitch) is. The problem being that you will change that sound you dig so much if you try to back the pickups away. (Maybe it's an improvement, but it will be a change for sure.)

I usually compensate for it as best I can in tuning by paying attention to only the attack part of the note (it's loudest by a long shot anyway). If the first quarter-second is pretty well in tune, you'll be fine.


and welcome to the club.

Offline sunrunner

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Strange behavior with the pitch of the low G note...
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 09:20:07 PM »
Thanks for the welcome, Rob A!  I'm excited to be among fellow Rhodes enthusiasts.  

Thanks for the advice... the note is indeed "hot".  Perhaps it might benefit from backing the pickup away just a touch.  I'm going to experiment tonight with the pickup distance and the voicing to see if this makes a difference.  It's almost unnoticeable until I play the note by itself and listen closely.  It's kinda strange.  But the frequency of the low G definitely goes up as it fades out (about 20 - 30 cents).  I thought I would see if anybody has experienced the same thing with their Rhodes.

I'm going to check the other keys as well just to see if I notice the same thing.  I'll report my findings

Thanks again,

Best Regards :P  :P :roll:
1973 Fender Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 88-key
1980 Rhodes Mark II Stage 73-key

Offline jim

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 743
    • View Profile
    • http://www.myspace.com/cyberjimpatterson
Strange behavior with the pitch of the low G note...
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2010, 09:38:40 PM »
yeah it's definitely  rhodes thing down low.

but really, you're the only one who's gonna know, so maybe it isn't even a thing?

Offline pianotuner steveo

  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3288
  • A keyboard player in love with vintage guitars!!!
    • View Profile
Strange behavior with the pitch of the low G note...
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 04:21:29 PM »
Yes,I agree, pickup distance is the issue here

Also try tuning the tine a HAIR flat....
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 jim

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 743
    • View Profile
    • http://www.myspace.com/cyberjimpatterson
Strange behavior with the pitch of the low G note...
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2010, 06:36:36 PM »
add a single hair to the tine.  :D

Offline pianotuner steveo

  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3288
  • A keyboard player in love with vintage guitars!!!
    • View Profile
Strange behavior with the pitch of the low G note...
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2010, 07:30:21 AM »
Yes,Jim,that should do it.....
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...