Author Topic: MK I restoration questions  (Read 1163 times)

Offline rockstardave

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MK I restoration questions
« on: June 03, 2010, 09:24:32 AM »
Hello.  New member to the forum.  Been fiddling with digital knockoffs for years, dreaming of the real deal.  I finally picked up a 1970 Stage 73 MK I recently.  A little beat, but a very good candidate for restoration.  Replaced some chewed up grommets and bent tonebar screws, cleaned the tuning forks with Scotch Brite, did some voicing, and its really coming together.  Still planning on a full replacement of hammer tips, damper felts, grommets, and tonebar screws.  I've done lots of research, I have the service manual, just have a few questions.  My apologies if this has all been discussed a million times, a link to an old thread would do just as well as an answer:

1)  I have factory felt hammer tips, which actually don't sound half bad after lowering the escapement.  I have enough neoprene tips to do a replacement, but I noticed something... the furtherest eight treble hammers get smaller and softer, but I thought it was supposed to be the other way around... small, soft tips on the bass end, working up to harder, smaller tips on the treble end.  What gives?

2)  What's the best method for cutting tines to size?  Have lots of replacements, but they're all cut to the same length--way too long.

3)  Aside from the pedestal bump and adding a backcheck system, are there any other mods to this vintage of Rhodes that are worth doing?

5)  I'm voicing the low end gritty, the mid range extra gritty and percussive, and gradually edging the treble end towards bell tones (my favorite arrangement), but that last part is a little tricky.  Any tips for getting good bell tones out of the high end?  

Thanks for reading.
Rhodes, Clav, Hammond, Pianet, still waiting for my Wurly.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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MK I restoration questions
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2010, 02:49:13 PM »
I'm confused about your question 1...

Are you confusing damper felts and hammer tips?

The stock way was to have the hardness increase as you go up the scale towards the treble, but some people prefer a softer tip in the treble for less bell like tone

It's possible someone changed them around the opposite way,but I'm confused about what you actually have

Question 2... I'm not sure someone should have an opinion

Question 3.. Replacing worn parts would be the first thing to change, then bump mods if installed correctly. I have never played a Rhodes with the back check mod. Cleaning,easing,lubing,escapement ,all important.
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 Tim Hodges

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MK I restoration questions
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2010, 03:49:34 PM »
Quote from: "pianotuner steveo"
I'm confused about your question 1...

Are you confusing damper felts and hammer tips?


Nope some of the older stage pianos actually used felt hammer tips before the major implementation of neoprene square tips which we now know today.

MusicPartsGuru is currently selling some replacements:

Link

As for the cutting of the tines I use the cutting guide:

http://www.fenderrhodes.com/pdf/tine-cutting-chart.pdf

I then use a normal pair of cutting pliers and cut longer than required (leaving room for error) as the pliers will leave an imperfect cut (the end needs to be flat) I then sand down the end of the tine until it is flat and it fits correctly, and by doing so after leaving room when cutting it makes sure it's not too short either.

Unfortunately I've never had the opportunity to voice a felt tipped Rhodes like this so it's difficult for me to say how you can get the bell like tone in this instance.

Any other questions please feel free to ask!

Tim
Bristol Electric Piano
UK

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Offline jim

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MK I restoration questions
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2010, 07:40:30 PM »
and be sure your cutting guide is printed at the correct size!

the zero tine should measure at 6 and 1/8th of an inch on the sheet.

Offline rockstardave

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MK I restoration questions
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2010, 01:39:41 AM »
thanks for the replies, very helpful.  Yes, the hammer tips are indeed felt, or rather wood covered in felt.  Old style.

Another question couple questions:  any tricks, besides Scotch Brite, for restoring/cleaning tonebar assemblies?  Mine look better after hours of scrubbing, but still dull and corroded (they seem to sound fine, though).

Also, I've read the top harp cover can be painted black to restore its shine.  Any suggestions on type of paint?
Rhodes, Clav, Hammond, Pianet, still waiting for my Wurly.

Offline Tim Hodges

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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2010, 06:11:46 AM »
I prefer the original look, when it's painted glossy black it just looks cheesy to me. What I did was I used black boot polish, a bit of spit and polish. I got the original look back of the cover and secondly as the polish dries hard when left I used it to fill up the deep scratches I had too.

Also try wire wool something fine if you want to get a bit of shine to the tines.

T
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Offline rockstardave

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MK I restoration questions
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2010, 08:44:17 PM »
Restoration is going great!  Replaced all the hammer tips, took all the keys off, vacuumed out the case, replaced the upstop felt on the name rail, scrubbed the tone generators to a dull shine, polished the guide pins, lots of general cleaning, tightening screws, inspecting parts, etc.  Waiting on a bottle of Slide All in the mail to lube and reassemble.  New grommets, tonebar screws, damper felts, and pedestal felts will come when I get the cash, but I've replaced the worst offenders.

Anyone ever try vacuuming felts to revive them?  I've been delicately vacuuming all the felts, which makes an obvious difference in their appearance and spring.
Rhodes, Clav, Hammond, Pianet, still waiting for my Wurly.