Author Topic: Different years different wood.  (Read 2912 times)

Offline Skiroy

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Different years different wood.
« on: January 13, 2016, 05:39:57 AM »
Heys guys I pulled the trigger and bought a Rhodes. It is a late to early 1975 Rhodes which I always loved the sound. But I took it out of the case because it is a stage and I wanted to convert it to a suitcase. I found that it at some point had termites and the wood that the keys sit on closest to the player were tore up. I say 35 percent of it is gone. I drove 9 hours away and got it for really cheap. Returning it is not an option so I was looking into replacing the whole frame that the wood support and everything is screwed to.

My question is I have a 1976 and cant use it because of dimension and screw hole location differences. But i NOTICED IT SEEMS LIKE THE WOOD IS DENSER.

Does anyone here know if different woods were used around 1974-1975 than the later models?It would make sense since each year sounds different.

Offline Skiroy

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2016, 06:00:55 PM »
bump

Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2016, 03:35:27 AM »
Do you mean the front of the keybed has been eaten or the balance rail where the keys rest (in the middle)

The thickness in wood will have no effect on the sound of the Rhodes, this is down to other factors.
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Offline Skiroy

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2016, 04:29:30 PM »
The front bed. Also the back where the Wooded harp supports sit on and screw into.

Offline sean

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2016, 11:07:15 AM »

Well, from 1969 until 1973 they were using maple from this one tree, then they had to switch to another maple tree....

The keybed should be all-maple.  Trees do differ, and obviously, you got a maple tree that is delicious to termites.  (It probably was some other bug.  Termites need wet conditions, and they should have sampled much more than just the keybed... unless the previous owner had the piano broken down in pieces, and the keybed was in a very unlucky part of his garage.)

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Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2016, 02:24:22 PM »
Not sure about varying woods, but as long as you stayed with a strong, dense wood, you should alleviate any potential sagging issues.
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Offline Skiroy

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2016, 12:46:45 PM »
You think a frame from a 1974 with early 1975 keys will change the action? From what I understand there was a key change from early 74 to late 74-early 75. I have an early 75. The keybed frame Im looking at is a early 74. Will it change the action? What are the main factors of the action?

Offline Skiroy

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2016, 05:51:11 AM »
action?

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 01:13:42 PM »
I believe the key bed / action construction should be the same from very late 1973 through september 1975 when they made the change to the aluminum action rail, and the key pedestals had no felt.  Before that, these should be the same with flat-top keys and a slightly yellowed front cap.
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Offline Skiroy

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2016, 01:12:02 PM »
I found out the hard way this is incorrect. I bout a late 1973 keybed and the screw hole are a inch further from the front of the keybed to the back. This sets my hammer rails to far back.

Also about the so called myth/joke that they used the same tree on the late 1974-early1975s. I guess its true. I listened to hundreds of samples. This year range always sounds smoother/thicker to me. I bout the keybed,supports and keys from a 1973 which always sounded brighter to me on all the samples I heard. The wood is denser,has more rings in the wood and has a way brighter tone when tapping it compared to my rhodes.

Its confirmed to me the wood makes a big difference. Even my wife and kids said mine sounded thicker without asking them anything but to listen to it and tell me the difference.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2016, 04:27:08 PM »
The wood used makes zero difference in the sound of a Rhodes. It will alter the sound in acoustic pianos, acoustic guitars, hollow body guitars, etc, but not in an electric piano. There are other things that cause different year Rhodes to sound different such as different tines, hammer tips, pickups, even just setup. The wood used in case parts makes no difference in the sound. It's not an acoustic instrument
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 08:39:15 AM by pianotuner steveo »
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 Skiroy

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2016, 07:41:39 AM »
thats tines vibration travels through the wood. How does a guitar wood change the sound?

And why is it commonly excepted that the a mojor change in the rhodes sound in the later years had to not only do with the hammers going to plastic but also the wood harp supports going to aluminum?

Offline martin

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2016, 08:23:20 AM »
wood doesnt change an electric guitars sound either
'77 stage rhodes mark 1>'73 traynor ygl3a mark III>'60's selmer pa100sv>Wurly200a>Nord Stage Compact>hh ma100>1x12 fane twin cone speaker>smartlight pa>2xhz speakers>selmer pa100>Samson Auro D210 active pa cab

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2016, 08:25:58 AM »
@ Skiroy, If the Rhodes were not an amplified instrument, maybe this would be true. Or if the cases were amplified by microphones, but they are not. The Rhodes is not an acoustic instrument, but a guitar is.

The body of the acoustic guitar amplifies the sound. Different types of wood will make it sound different. Ovation guitars have a fiberglass back and have a very distinct sound.

Plastic hammers don't alter the sound, (how can they?) the different hammer TIPS and tines alter the sound. Felt tips, neoprene tips, different hardnesses of neoprene tips, yes they all alter the sound.

Harp supports could possibly alter the sound a little because the pickups are attached to them indirectly.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 08:51:16 AM by pianotuner steveo »
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 pianotuner steveo

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2016, 08:40:20 AM »
Martin, Wood doesn't change the sound in solid body electric guitars, true, but it can make a difference in hollow bodies (a little) and amplified acoustic guitars.

There are solid body electric guitars that aren't even made from wood. And there are some acoustic pianos where the key frames are made of metal. Neither alters the sound.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2016, 08:53:15 AM by pianotuner steveo »
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 Skiroy

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #15 on: February 29, 2016, 12:09:41 PM »
This goes against everything I have ever read about electric guitars or personally heard with my own ears about solidbody guitars. If you go to any luthier website in regards to wood they explain the tonal character of the wood. People prefer Alder for its smooth tone,ash and maple because its brighter ect. A Les paul with a maple cap is brighter than a solid chunk of mahogany. Its fact. I hope you right though and Im concerned over nothing. It relieves me some.  It would make sense that just the wood the tines are attached too and harp supports would only effect the sound but realistically everything is all connected and sound travel everywhere. But we will see.

Offline rhodesjuzz

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2016, 04:18:51 PM »
This goes against everything I have ever read about electric guitars or personally heard with my own ears about solidbody guitars. If you go to any luthier website in regards to wood they explain the tonal character of the wood. People prefer Alder for its smooth tone,ash and maple because its brighter ect. A Les paul with a maple cap is brighter than a solid chunk of mahogany. Its fact. I hope you right though and Im concerned over nothing. It relieves me some.  It would make sense that just the wood the tines are attached too and harp supports would only effect the sound but realistically everything is all connected and sound travel everywhere. But we will see.

You might have a point there Skiroy. I think steveo is right about hammertips etc are the most important parameters that determine the sound, but just take a look and listen to the new vv piano. The absence of wood at some of the most critical parts may influence the sound a bit at least?! Wood absorbs vibrations differently than plastics do and the same goes more or less for different types of wood.

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Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2016, 04:34:11 PM »
I do believe that you've read that about electric guitars, but I'm sorry, I don't believe for one minute that different body materials will make a difference in the tone of a SOLIDBODY electric guitar. It's the different types of pickups, different gauge strings, electronics, etc.

It sounds like a bunch of poppycock to me.

Yes wood absorbs, or vibrates sound differently than plastic or metal, etc, but how can that affect the sound in an electric piano (that doesn't have an amp and speakers built in) or a solid body guitar??  It makes no sense to me whatsoever. You aren't amplifying the case/ body in any way. You are amplifying the tines, reeds, strings, not the case.

I'm not trying to argue with anyone, I just don't see how these changes would alter the sound.  ::)
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 rhodesjuzz

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #18 on: February 29, 2016, 05:06:01 PM »
Maybe we can take a wurlitzer and alter it by embedding the reed bar (hope it is the correct technical term) in a wooden harp. drop the whole inside in a Rhodes casing and listen if the sound has changed.

I don't think most of the human ears will notice the differences, but I find it an interesting subject :)

--Roy
1976 Rhodes Suitcase 73 <effects loop || EHX Holy Grail Nano>
Line 6 midi keys
Scarbee Mark I, A-200 and Classic EP-88S

Offline pnoboy

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Re: Different years different wood.
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2016, 06:58:34 AM »
We have to be a bit careful about comparisons between Rhodes pianos and electric guitars.  All guitars have resonances having to do with the neck and body vibrating in various modes.  If you do some searching, you will find some diagrams created by finite element analysis of these phenomena.  Therefore, to some extent, the Young's modulus and damping of various woods used in guitar bodies and certainly necks could affect the guitar's tone. Given that in all Rhodes, the tone generators are acoustically isolated by their grommets and springs, and are then supported by a very thick piece of baltic-birch plywood  on a steel frame, the ability of the rest of the piano to affect the tone in any substantive way seem a bit remote.