Author Topic: inherited a KMC 1  (Read 3607 times)

Offline chet

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inherited a KMC 1
« on: February 20, 2014, 08:48:30 PM »
Greetings good sirs of Rhodes love!

I was lucky enough to inherit a student model KMC 1 last week.  I'm mostly a guitarist-songwriter-studio owner but do play a bit.  Up until this time I've mostly used samples (I must say fwiw the sonic couture EP3 is a very good sounding sampled source).

If I may ask, my main question evolves around trying to "fix" 2 notes that do not play except for when the sustain pedal is engaged. I've heard it may not be a tough fix.  (I'm in Philadelphia and at this moment, not aware of any Rhodes savvy tech types here).
Otherwise, a couple notes have somewhat less output (in the higher range) but not really too much of a sonic issue.

This will be used exclusively in my smallish studio so moving is not of too much concern.  That said, the bottom speaker cabinet / amp are not of much use to me in that it seems I'll most likely take the direct out (RCA if I'm not mistaken?) out to an amp like a Vox AC30 for micing / effects etc.   Considering a chop somehow but oddly feel I don't want to be disrespectful either.

I'm thankful for any insights & look forward to tracking it's beautiful sound.

(oh & yes the lower RT corner of the amp is dented in!  ...no doubt some youngsters left patella was unhappy one day  ::)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 08:50:48 PM by chet »

Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2014, 04:03:09 AM »
Congrats on your new Rhodes.

Someone on the site will be able to direct you to threads and advice that can address your mechanical problems with your Rhodes.  Sounds like you may have some dampers or damper felts that need replacement or adjustment.  But you'll probably need to describe more of the symptoms to get it sorted out..

Here are my two cents on chopping...

Please don't.

I realize space in a small studio is of critical importance, but that's a unique piano, with its own special place in Rhodes history. 

If you just want something in your studio with "the sound" and "the feel" but can't deal with big footprint the KMC has, then sell it off to someone who can appreciate it for what it is, and then just get yourself a Stage Model.  They much more common and not very expensive.

Whatever small spacial advantage you get from chopping this thing isn't worth dissecting a perfectly fine, rare piece such as you have.

Ray

Offline Peter Hayes

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2014, 06:28:09 AM »
Sounds like broken bridle straps to me.
Peter Hayes
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Offline voltergeist

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2014, 08:04:29 AM »
I agree with Ray and Peter:

Keep it intact- no chopping!
and
You have broken bridle straps.
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2014, 09:09:17 AM »
Yup Peter's got it,
I woke up this morning thinking about it, and DING! the light went off: the only reason those dampers wouldn't come up, outside of the big bar releasing all of them would be if the straps had crapped out.
I haven't replaced any before, but they are readily available from the usual suspects.  Salvage may be another way to go, as I see them being sold with hammers on ebay for just a few bucks.
Ray

Offline chet

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2014, 09:50:39 AM »
Very kind of you guys, thanks.

Although I will seek to have it looked at / tweaked to fair functionality by an appropriate tech down the road ...funds are so tight at this moment I may have to seek out a you tube video that addresses a bridle strap fix for those two keys.
Or atleast look into the validity of any of these DIY options.

No chopping will ensue.  I'll find the space somehow and accept it as my duty to create some good tracks with this.

This has been a once in a lifetime stroke of good fortune in that I watched it on craigslist over a few months until the seller, having not had an offer to buy it, posted that he was moving the next day and was free to p/u.   I was lucky enough to see this at the right time (& before 40 emails came to him) and was able to fit it into my suv.

This stuff never happens to me.  Well almost never. Thankful.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 09:57:47 AM by chet »

Offline voltergeist

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2014, 10:49:54 AM »
Bridle straps are not terribly difficult to replace.  Pretty sure VV has a demo vid on the subject, and they sell replacement bridle straps.  I've got several to repair in my KMC (mice had gotten into it at some point in its life), so I'll post pics on my thread:

http://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=8069.0

Incidentally, Vintage Vibe has a pick-up/drop-off in Philidelphia, so no complaining about not having access to a tech!
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline voltergeist

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2014, 10:57:32 AM »
Salvage may be another way to go, as I see them being sold with hammers on ebay for just a few bucks.
Ray

Most likely your KMC has felt hammer tips, so replacement of the assembly is not a good option.  The replacements you find will most likely have neoprene tips and will not sound right when all the other tips are felt.  If you did a replacement with a felt tip, it would need to be from the right zone of the piano.  Fixing what you've got is probably the best option.
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2014, 08:48:13 PM »
I found that the previous owner of mine had replaced a few bridle straps with what appears to be lengths of shoe laces. Not recommended, I am sure, but they work well enough that I have yet to get around to replacing them.
I agree with everyone else that it would be a shame to chop such a unique and fairly rare piano. I have really grown to like it's sound and look. I may need a knee replacement soon though...
If you get inside it, could you post some pics of the hammer tips and such just for comparison?
Vance

Offline chet

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2014, 09:42:29 PM »
I found that the previous owner of mine had replaced a few bridle straps with what appears to be lengths of shoe laces. Not recommended, I am sure, but they work well enough that I have yet to get around to replacing them.
I agree with everyone else that it would be a shame to chop such a unique and fairly rare piano. I have really grown to like it's sound and look. I may need a knee replacement soon though...
If you get inside it, could you post some pics of the hammer tips and such just for comparison?
Vance

Knee replacement, yes. I've had it a week and already on that road.

I'll try to get some pics of the hammer tips tomorrow.  I'm committed to keeping it whole, in it's meant to be condition.

Offline cfishel15

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2014, 08:15:22 AM »
If you're in the Philadelphia area, you may want to contact Tim Warneck at Retrolinear, Inc. He's located in North Wales, PA:

http://www.retrolinear.com/about-us.aspx

I hope to pack up my newly restored Rhodes and send it to him for some fine tuning soon!

Charlie
1978 Rhodes Mark I Suitcase 73

Offline chet

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2014, 10:40:55 AM »
If you're in the Philadelphia area, you may want to contact Tim Warneck at Retrolinear, Inc. He's located in North Wales, PA:

http://www.retrolinear.com/about-us.aspx

I hope to pack up my newly restored Rhodes and send it to him for some fine tuning soon!

Charlie


Just checking back in.
 I've been loving the tone of the KMC & just playing in general.
Thanks to Tim (retrolinear), I have a few bridle straps on their way.
It's been a rare & unexpected pleasure to be able to have it as recording option here in the studio.

Offline chet

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2020, 02:39:22 PM »
Years later check in  :o...

Bridle straps replaced did the trick back then, check.

Sadly, I've only been able to enjoy the KMC in a capacity of sampling chords etc into my MPC 3000 downstairs and, then taking the sampler back upstairs for studio work.  It's a tough one to not be able to get the beast upstairs for more consistant use but have tried to keep it intact & its original non-cut form.  It's more the "getting up a flight of stairs" issue than finding space up there.

I'm curious if anyones succesfully removed the keyboard part out of the cabinet without cutting ??
In which case one could then have the option to reassemble at a later date?

It does have a nice full sound coming out of the amp/speakers but,  micing the speakers for recording also poses issues with pedal sounds etc that ultimately make the RCA outputs into a seperate amp more of realistic working scenario. 

Thanks for any further KMC thoughts.

Offline voltergeist

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2020, 09:25:55 AM »

I'm curious if anyones succesfully removed the keyboard part out of the cabinet without cutting ??
In which case one could then have the option to reassemble at a later date?


The entire keyboard assembly is simply screwed to the cabinet, and can be removed and reinstalled with no alterations whatsoever.  It takes a fair amount of disassembly to get at the screws, though, as I recall. 

My advice would be to just leave it alone.
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline chet

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2020, 05:11:16 PM »

I'm curious if anyones succesfully removed the keyboard part out of the cabinet without cutting ??
In which case one could then have the option to reassemble at a later date?


The entire keyboard assembly is simply screwed to the cabinet, and can be removed and reinstalled with no alterations whatsoever.  It takes a fair amount of disassembly to get at the screws, though, as I recall. 

My advice would be to just leave it alone.

Sounds like wise words. Might just do that.
Thanks for the thoughts.

Offline TimeAndTineAgain

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2020, 04:10:16 AM »
My advice. Absolutely chop it. Do it nice like how the big boys do the Wurlitzer 206a chops.

Make it gig worthy with a booty (base) to sit on at home.

No handles.




Offline voltergeist

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2020, 09:05:20 AM »
My advice. Absolutely chop it. Do it nice like how the big boys do the Wurlitzer 206a chops.

Make it gig worthy with a booty (base) to sit on at home.

No handles.

"Chop it."  There's advice from an ignorant, destructive fool.  All you have to do to make a KMC action "gig worthy" is pull out the action and drop it in a Stage case. 
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline voltergeist

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2020, 09:20:15 AM »
My advice. Absolutely chop it. Do it nice like how the big boys do the Wurlitzer 206a chops.

Make it gig worthy with a booty (base) to sit on at home.

No handles.

"Chop it."  There's advice from an ignorant, destructive fool.  All you have to do to make a KMC action "gig worthy" is pull out the action and drop it in a Stage case.

Frankly, if you want a Stage, get a Stage.  If you want a KMC, keep it a KMC.  KMC values will go up as chop-happy dolts continue to destroy the few decent ones that are out there.
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2020, 02:50:46 PM »
Have you considered just running a long cable to a remote speaker in an area free of pedal noise? That would take care of your recording issues.

I get that the KMC-1 has spatial limitations, but it is a more rare piece in the Rhodes history. Perhaps you'd do better off just selling the unit, and getting a Stage.  Heck, get a beater Stage, and resto-mod it to your personal taste.

I think it'd be a shame to chop up this piano.  As far as chopping it the way the "big boys" chop Wurli 206s, I will say the 206 seems a lot more in supply than KMC-1s.

Offline chet

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2020, 06:15:39 PM »
Have you considered just running a long cable to a remote speaker in an area free of pedal noise? That would take care of your recording issues.

I get that the KMC-1 has spatial limitations, but it is a more rare piece in the Rhodes history. Perhaps you'd do better off just selling the unit, and getting a Stage.  Heck, get a beater Stage, and resto-mod it to your personal taste.

I think it'd be a shame to chop up this piano.  As far as chopping it the way the "big boys" chop Wurli 206s, I will say the 206 seems a lot more in supply than KMC-1s.


Interesting you mention that. I didn't honestly consider running a long speaker cable to a separate cab to mic. (therein retaining the preamps output stages) but it's not a bad idea.
 What I have done however, is run a long shielded cable through the floor of the upstairs studio down to the downstairs that can plug directly into the RCA output of the KMC.  Which means I can either run it direct into a preamp upstairs or, into a fender amp upstairs & mic that.

I also ran a headphone extension cable downstairs because the issue is...I need to be able to "overdub" the KMC while "monitoring" the track at the same time. 

The tricky part, for me, is that I do much of the playing as well as the engineering stuff on my own ...so if I don't have a 2nd engineer upstairs or, another player downstairs, the KMC doesn't get used.   
I'm more of a muti instrumentalist than a keys player. Hence why I'm not really looking to sell it & get a more portable Rhodes.

Heck, I'm just grateful that I inherited it & it's here!  I'd love to pay a few strong dudes to get it upstairs for into the studio but, my wife would not be happy.  There's just not enough room up there for it.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 06:19:20 PM by chet »

Offline Dan Belcher

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Re: inherited a KMC 1
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2020, 07:08:33 AM »
Luckily nowadays my wife and I have our own house where I am able to have my computer and all of my instruments in the same room. However, many years ago when I lived with my parents, I had my Rhodes and my desktop computer and audio interface in my bedroom. When I bought an electronic drum kit, I didn't have room for it in my bedroom, so I set it up in the basement. I drilled a small hole in the floor by the baseboard (with my parents' permission of course LOL) and ran a long MIDI cable and headphone extension cable through it. This let me connect my drumset to my PC and record with it. It was inconvenient having to go up and down the stairs all the time, but it certainly worked when I didn't have any better options. Whenever recording, I would set up my DAW to have plenty of extra space before the start of the track so I had time to get down the stairs and in position before the song started. Also sometimes I would set it to loop so I could play through multiple takes in a row if I wanted to without having to go back up the stairs and click anything.
Proud owner,
1978 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73