Author Topic: My restoration questions thread  (Read 7027 times)

Offline laberge

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
My restoration questions thread
« on: May 13, 2015, 11:42:42 AM »
Hey Guys,

I've been slowly restoring my rhodes over the past month or so. Most of the key/hammer/damper stuff will be getting wrapped up soon. No issues there, it's all pretty simple to deal with, just a bit of labor involved.

This thread will be a containment thread for my questions. I'm only going to start with a few questions and keep adding them as I go along, as not to create too many threads unnecessarily.

First question, I see theres these redrilled holes on the harp:

How does this affect playing and should I try to fix the old holes? there's a bunch of them like this.


Thankfully I'm blesssed to only have 1 dead pickup on 88 potential ones!

Next piece is simply a request, can I get a few photos from you guys of a close up of the RCA harp jack? Would help me a little bit to clean up mine as it's a solder disaster.

 

Offline David Aubke

  • Vendor
  • Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
    • View Profile
    • Shadetree Keys
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2015, 12:29:07 PM »
My guess is that a previous owner tried to overtighten the screws and stripped out the wood. Rather than repair their damage, they just drilled another hole. I'd say as long as you're able to get the pickup into its proper position it's nothing to be concerned with.
Dave Aubke
Shadetree Keys

Offline goldphinga

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
    • View Profile
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2015, 06:16:34 PM »
Either that or they installed tines and couldn't be bothered cutting them down and so pushed the pickups back beyond their normal position in order to accommodate the extra tine length!!

Offline laberge

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2015, 11:26:28 AM »
Either that or they installed tines and couldn't be bothered cutting them down and so pushed the pickups back beyond their normal position in order to accommodate the extra tine length!!

Actually this may be the case on some of them... I noticed a few tines were random lengths some were a little longer than the next note even though they should be shorter... How much does this affect sound? I'd assume not by much

Does anyone have a tine length chart that I can print out to scale? I saw a doc file posted but the link is dead now.

The people that owned this in the 80-90s must have been sooooo lazy its incredible. I'm just glad it was stored in a dry space.

Offline David Aubke

  • Vendor
  • Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
    • View Profile
    • Shadetree Keys
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2015, 12:48:23 PM »
Unless I'm mistaken, you can't install a tine that's too long for the note. The tuning springs can only bring the pitch down, not up. If there's a tine sounding a higher pitch than its shorter neighbor to the left, my guess is it's the tine to the left that was cut way too short and compensated with a heavier tuning spring.

Further, if those extra screws were drilled to give the pickup clearance, then why are the original holes still visible through the tab's slot?
Dave Aubke
Shadetree Keys

Offline voltergeist

  • Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
    • View Profile
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2015, 09:30:08 AM »
Regarding tine lengths, here's a notated chart with decimal inch conversions.  This makes it quick and easy to use a digital caliper to measure out tine lengths.  Getting the lengths right helps achieve consistent tone across the board, and proper response from the high register.  When I overhaul a harp, I measure all the tines.  If they're short, but not too short, I generally let them be.  If they're long, I grind them down to spec.  All tines should have their ends ground flat.  This is very important for good tone and should not be overlooked.

A cheap (good enough) digital caliper can be found for around $20 or so at a hardware or home improvement store. 

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 james

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 538
    • View Profile
    • Rhodes Super Site
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 05:36:30 PM »
Where did the original chart come from?
Web Designer/Developer, Webmaster & Co-Creator
The Rhodes Super Site since 1996
1977 Mark I Stage 73 + Vintage Vibe Stereo Vibe

Offline Ledbetter

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2015, 12:14:42 AM »
See Figure 6-2 of the manual for a tine length chart:

http://www.fenderrhodes.com/org/manual/toc.html


Offline james

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 538
    • View Profile
    • Rhodes Super Site
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2015, 11:59:34 AM »
Right, that's the visual chart that came with the replacement tine kits. I was talking about the chart in the photo, which gives the specific measurements and mounting spring colors.
Web Designer/Developer, Webmaster & Co-Creator
The Rhodes Super Site since 1996
1977 Mark I Stage 73 + Vintage Vibe Stereo Vibe

Offline voltergeist

  • Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
    • View Profile
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2015, 12:42:33 PM »
Right, that's the visual chart that came with the replacement tine kits. I was talking about the chart in the photo, which gives the specific measurements and mounting spring colors.

That chart is from the Rhodes Service Manual.
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 David Aubke

  • Vendor
  • Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
    • View Profile
    • Shadetree Keys
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2015, 12:56:57 PM »
That chart is from the Rhodes Service Manual.

A different manual than what is posted at fenderrhodes.com? Is the fenderrhodes.com version incomplete? I can see in the image "Figure 11-4 schematic" on the previous page. I can find that page on the site but not that chart.
Dave Aubke
Shadetree Keys

Offline squarebubble

  • Sparkletop
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2015, 02:00:37 PM »
That chart is from the Rhodes Service Manual.

A different manual than what is posted at fenderrhodes.com? Is the fenderrhodes.com version incomplete? I can see in the image "Figure 11-4 schematic" on the previous page. I can find that page on the site but not that chart.

It's the last page of the manual that I have after all the schematics. But for the life of me I can't find where you can get it online now. I'm pretty sure I downloaded it from The Rhodes Super Site years ago.

Offline james

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 538
    • View Profile
    • Rhodes Super Site
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2015, 02:39:15 PM »
The chart with the list of measurements and spring colors was never on the Super Site. I'm glad you were able to share the photo of yours!
Web Designer/Developer, Webmaster & Co-Creator
The Rhodes Super Site since 1996
1977 Mark I Stage 73 + Vintage Vibe Stereo Vibe

Offline Peter Hayes

  • Vendor
  • Mark I
  • *****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
    • http://www.elecedge.com
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2015, 07:51:01 PM »
I'm pretty sure I have that same chart in a Service Manual I got from an older piano technician. If I do, I'll make the manual available to the Super Site for scans.
Peter Hayes
Electronic Edge
http://www.elecedge.com
937-767-7174

Offline 73 Keys

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 40
    • View Profile
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2015, 08:40:46 PM »
It's in mine too!

Offline Groove4Hire

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 164
    • View Profile
    • http://www.vintagebua.no
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2015, 02:24:43 AM »
Now if only you guys could do as the rest of the world and convert to the metric system this chart would make sense to us on the other side of the pond too... ;-) Haha
Jon
Rhodes-tech, www.vintagebua.no, Norway

Offline voltergeist

  • Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
    • View Profile
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2015, 08:24:25 AM »
Now if only you guys could do as the rest of the world and convert to the metric system this chart would make sense to us on the other side of the pond too... ;-) Haha

All you have to do is push the english/metric button on your caliper.
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 laberge

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2015, 11:07:52 AM »
Regarding tine lengths, here's a notated chart with decimal inch conversions.  This makes it quick and easy to use a digital caliper to measure out tine lengths.  Getting the lengths right helps achieve consistent tone across the board, and proper response from the high register.  When I overhaul a harp, I measure all the tines.  If they're short, but not too short, I generally let them be.  If they're long, I grind them down to spec.  All tines should have their ends ground flat.  This is very important for good tone and should not be overlooked.

A cheap (good enough) digital caliper can be found for around $20 or so at a hardware or home improvement store. 

Thanks for this! Thankfully I have a digital caliper. I wish I could remove the extra 15 keys on my rhodes haha. The lows will sound OK but the highest of notes on the 88 are bleh.

Appreciate all the help so far.


On to my NEXT QUESTION!

The previous owner of the piano had "begun" (as in removed some screws, parts and lost them) to restore the piano and filled in the harp mount holes with some wood filler. Any advice as to the best location for the harp to go? Or should I just place the harp on the mounting brackets and move it around until I find the sound I like?

A few interesting points on my piano:

There was a miracle mod from probably the 1980s, they used small nails which they cut and placed on the keys:


And while I don't have a picture for this other mod they did, it appears they drilled a second hole into the upper register dampers about 50% further back in the other hole, allowing them to reach a little further down the tine. Not sure if the dampers have issues reaching the highest tines but I though it was an interesting mod. Will test both locations to see.

Offline Ben Bove

  • Vendor
  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3280
  • Formerly bjammerz
    • View Profile
    • Retro Rentals Website
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2015, 12:23:09 PM »
Yeah damper placement is hard... if the felt is too far down the shaft of the tine, it will collide with the tine swing.  Too far up the shaft and it may not have the ability to dampen as effectively.

There are a few threads on how to align "strikeline" as its called for the harp.  The harp isn't always in the best factory location when it's hooked up to the brackets.  The rough and dirty explanation - align the highest note where the hammer doesn't get hung up on the tine, hold the right side in place and swing the left side of the harp forward and backward until you get the best sound from the piano.  I advise to repeatedly play a large chord in the middle register to hear when it "gets the loudest."  There's suggestions in the manual about playing specific notes, but sometimes that's hard if tines have been replaced, and it happens to be an improper length tine that you're testing against.
Retro Rentals
Vintage Music Gear

http://www.RetroRentals.net
(818) 806-9606
info@retrorentals.net

FB: https://www.facebook.com/retrorentals.net/
IG: @RetroRentalsNet

Offline laberge

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2015, 12:38:45 PM »
Just out of curiosity, how long did it take you guys to get everything tuned and "true" once you reassembled it?


Also, my hammers are all slightly different heights when resting, but the only thing that matters is that they all strike at the same level and the key travel distance is the same, right? Also some hammers rest quite close to the one beside them but never touch, is that okay? I probably should of spent more time leveling/setting the balance rails...

Thanks for everyone's help by the way, this forum is an excellent resource.

Offline laberge

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Re: My restoration questions thread
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2015, 11:49:02 AM »
Does anyone know the dimensions of a MK1 88 key suitcase top? I am just about to start retolexing the case and wanted to build a top, I will likely measure it out but figuring out the factory specs would be greatly appreciated.

Also, when retolexing, should I sand the box back to the wood or just apply contact cement over the old glue to reactivate it?