Author Topic: Notes not working  (Read 2952 times)

Offline 5077

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Notes not working
« on: December 13, 2010, 10:41:03 PM »
Hello,

I just purchased a late '77/early '78 Stage Mk1 73 that needs some work.  There are multiple issues, but I'm going to try to tackle them one at a time instead of dumping everything into one post.

I have a few notes that aren't sounding properly. 

1. Middle C: doesn't have a pickup, so I'll be ordering one from Vintage Vibe. 

2. B below middle C: makes a sound but only very quietly. I noticed that the pickup is only connected in the back--the front is not connected to a pickup on either side (primarily because the pickup to the right of it is missing), so maybe that's the issue?

3. F below middle C: volume's ok, but it makes a weird oscillating sound (like a shallow tremolo or something), which I notice even when the Rhodes isn't plugged into an amp.

4. Lowest A: makes a sound, but only very quietly.  There doesn't seem to be any issue with the pickup, so I'm totally stumped on this one.

As I said, there are some other issues, but I'd like to get these cleared up first.  Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!  ;D

Offline Wavedude

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Re: Notes not working
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 11:34:15 AM »
If you can, check the pickups with a multimeter. Vintage Vibe has a youtube video for that. Those pickups with low volume are most likely bad, but take them out and check them just to be sure.

The one that is making weird oscillations is probably a wack tine. It could be uneven on the tip, so take it out and check to see if the end of it is nice and flat, if its not, file it down.

Also try adjusting the pickups closer or further away from the tines to get better sound results. Hope that helps, Rhodes are a pain for maintenance arent they? ;)
Fender Rhodes 88 key - Suitcase Model

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Notes not working
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 08:24:34 PM »
The weird  sound on that F could be the grommets, or the tone bar is touching the one next to it, or something else related to the tone bar. I really doubt it is the tine, that is rare.Do make sure the tine bolt is not loose,though.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline 5077

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Re: Notes not working
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2010, 10:07:19 PM »
F problem solved!  It was a bent tine, which I (very carefully and slowly) bent back as straight as I could get it.  (How do those things get bent like that?!)  Interestingly enough, the E next to it was bent just as much, but it didn't have the same effect on the sound...

All that's left is the B and the C which I need a pickup for.  As for the low A...I'm at a loss, which makes me think it's the pickup.  :( I should be able to get hold of a multimeter tomorrow.

Incidentally, this Rhodes was also missing the sustain pedal when I bought it (although it did come with the Rogers sustain rod), so I'm looking to buy one online.  Since these things seem like custom builds, is Vintage Vibe the place to get one from?  There are other places, but they're more expensive...


Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Notes not working
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 08:27:34 PM »
A rhodes pedal is just a simple lever that pivots in the middle if you want to build something yourself out of wood.
Bad pickups is a common problem, you should pick up a few on ebay or whatever. There isnt much else that can make a random note here and there quieter than its neighbors.

Your low A could possibly be that the pickup is slid back too far away from the tine. Try moving it closer,if it doesnt get louder, the pickup is likely dead.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline 5077

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Re: Notes not working
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2010, 09:56:53 PM »
Thanks for the replies :)

Does anyone know what kind of wire is used to connect the pickups?


Offline 5077

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Re: Notes not working
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 01:55:05 PM »
Ok, it's been a while since I've updated this situation, but I was waiting for parts from Vintage Vibe which just arrived today :D

At the moment, my first concern is the non-sounding notes.  The middle C doesn't sound, but that's because the pickup has snapped from the metal rail.  I've got a replacement pickup and wire ready to go, so I'll replace it and hopefully I'll be good to go.  (The B beside it also doesn't really sound--it's pickup works fine, but I'm hoping that it will start functioning again once I get the C wired in.  I'll update once the work is complete.)

My real problem is the low A, which has me a little stumped at the moment.  Testing the pickup (by touching the front and the back of the pickup with a screwdriver) tells me that it's actually working, however the note just won't amplify.  It doesn't sound any different from any other tines when not plugged in, and I pushed the pickup as close to the tine as possible and it still won't work (I can hear the signal start to distort--as one would expect--when I move the pickup closer, but the volume doesn't come to anywhere near the correct volume).

I've got a replacement pickup ready to go for it, but I'd rather not install it if the one that's there now is working fine.  Any other thoughts on what could be wrong with this note?

Thanks.

Offline rockstardave

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Re: Notes not working
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2011, 02:10:23 PM »
That low A could be a bad tine.  When the hammer strikes that low A, watch how the tine oscillates.  It should go strait up and down.  If it goes side to side, then the tip of the tine may be wavering away from the pickup.  VV has a video about bad tines that demonstrates this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BVvhpWqQ0k

Could also be that the tine is not tight against the tonebar, causing most of the vibration to be lost.
Rhodes, Clav, Hammond, Pianet, still waiting for my Wurly.

Offline sean

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Re: Notes not working
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2011, 11:42:04 AM »


On that low A, I suspect that the pickup is dead.

Tell us again exactly how you tested it.  You can't check it for continuity with a multimeter unless you completely disconnect either the front or back solder terminal from the harp wiring.

If you tap the tip of the pickup rivet with a screwdriver, and you get a deafening POP from the amplifier, you know the pickup works.  (It should behave just like the neighboring pickups.  If it does not, then it is dead.)

The symptoms you describe certainly are curious.  Ususally the long tines can generate some signal in adjacent pickups, so that might be how you are getting some signal.  If you really did test the pickup for continuity, but it just doesn't generate signal; then the culprit is a defective, missing, or separated magnet inside the pickup.  (Solution is just replace the pickup.)

If you really suspected that it was something related to the tine, then it is very easy to install the tine in the wrong place (next door), and see how it behaves with the adjacent pickup.

sean