Author Topic: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp  (Read 10118 times)

Offline Tehu

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Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« on: January 25, 2016, 07:18:15 AM »
This weed-end, i've been lucky to find out a still sealed, brand new ''The Rhodie'' preanmp for sale in Montreal. I bought it and paid 50$ for it.
Since i'm planing to use it, I unpack it very carefully.
Here are picture of the packaging and of the unit unpacked.





Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 88 1977, Wurlitzer 200a, Columbia Elepian 713, Yamaha CP60M, Nord Electro 2 61, Korg MS20mini, Arturia Minibrute, Sequential Prophet 2002, Akai MPC2500, NI Maschine MKI&MK2, Ibanez UE-405

Offline Tehu

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2016, 07:22:53 AM »
Since I have a suitcase with Peterson Preamp, i don't find it very usefull for me on my Rhodes, but it give a good boost on the sound of my passive Elepian.

Also, the design is hided, everything colored in black, plastic plate on the other side.



Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 88 1977, Wurlitzer 200a, Columbia Elepian 713, Yamaha CP60M, Nord Electro 2 61, Korg MS20mini, Arturia Minibrute, Sequential Prophet 2002, Akai MPC2500, NI Maschine MKI&MK2, Ibanez UE-405

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2016, 01:15:14 PM »
That's a cool find!
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Offline laberge

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2016, 12:53:30 PM »
This weed-end


hehehe...

but really there's probably some people in this thread: http://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=4291.0 that would really love to see more pics/hear more on that elepian piano you have there. Those are like Mark III Rhodes rare...

Offline Tehu

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2016, 02:08:01 PM »
I started a thread about my elepian, with pictures, sounds demo.. tips for adjusting not long time ago, it didn't get much enthusiasm! ;)
Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 88 1977, Wurlitzer 200a, Columbia Elepian 713, Yamaha CP60M, Nord Electro 2 61, Korg MS20mini, Arturia Minibrute, Sequential Prophet 2002, Akai MPC2500, NI Maschine MKI&MK2, Ibanez UE-405

Offline Tehu

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2016, 02:13:29 PM »
Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 88 1977, Wurlitzer 200a, Columbia Elepian 713, Yamaha CP60M, Nord Electro 2 61, Korg MS20mini, Arturia Minibrute, Sequential Prophet 2002, Akai MPC2500, NI Maschine MKI&MK2, Ibanez UE-405

Offline JanneI

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2016, 03:04:08 PM »
Hi all,

Has anyone back engineered this "rhodie preamp"? Or are there schematics somewhere? All the components are painted black. I found one in a mk2 stage 73 (plastic keys, 2482), first one that I've come across here in Finland. It's not working and since I've never heard one I'd really like to repair it! All help appriciated!



Cheers,
Janne

Offline The Real MC

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2016, 04:30:46 PM »
You can start by replacing that rusted 9-volt assembly, telltale signs of acid leakage render them useless.

Offline JanneI

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2016, 07:40:36 PM »
Of course..but I was hoping to get a veroboard diy version of this quite simple preamp. Seems like a couple of tantalums, diodes, 1 ic and a bunch of resistors..

Offline Tehu

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2016, 02:20:13 PM »
Hi,

The design is hidden, and even in the original packaging, no information!
Maybe try to carefully remove the black paint.
Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 88 1977, Wurlitzer 200a, Columbia Elepian 713, Yamaha CP60M, Nord Electro 2 61, Korg MS20mini, Arturia Minibrute, Sequential Prophet 2002, Akai MPC2500, NI Maschine MKI&MK2, Ibanez UE-405

Offline JanneI

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2016, 12:52:44 PM »
Thanks! I was hoping that someone somewhere would have back engineered this. Seems like a IC, resistors, two tantalums, couple of diodes. My version is opened from the bottom side, so all the pcb traces can be seen. Maybe someone was trying to fix it before.

Does anyone have a soundclip of this preamp somewhere? I'd like to hear it in action before ripping it apart for "inspection" :D

Offline pnoboy

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2016, 06:13:40 AM »
You really don't need to back engineer it if you have the equipment  to measure frequency response.  If you can, measure its frequency response with the bass and treble controls set to various values.  Then measure its input impedance.  At that point, you'll know everything of importance.

Offline Tehu

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2016, 02:52:53 PM »
I'll try to do a demo with my Rhodes to show the sound
Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 88 1977, Wurlitzer 200a, Columbia Elepian 713, Yamaha CP60M, Nord Electro 2 61, Korg MS20mini, Arturia Minibrute, Sequential Prophet 2002, Akai MPC2500, NI Maschine MKI&MK2, Ibanez UE-405

Offline JanneI

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2016, 10:05:38 AM »
That would be great! And please record same straight from the harp rca for reference!

Offline Max Brink

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2016, 10:25:09 PM »
Very cool to find one in the original packaging!!!

Quote
Has anyone back engineered this "rhodie preamp"? Or are there schematics somewhere? All the components are painted black.

I'm not an electrical engineer, so I can't explain that is going on at a theoretical level, but my understanding of the circuit is that it is a very basic IC preamp. I'm pretty sure with a little reverse engineering the whole thing could be "photocopied" for under $10-15 of parts...
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Offline JanneI

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2016, 11:47:48 PM »
Hi all!

Does anyone know where to find those old Bourns potentiometers? The volume pot is broken and the legs are little peculiarly shaped on these pots. Since the pcb is mounted with the pots to the name rail, I wouldn't want to use different type of pots... if there's no exact replacement pot available, then there's no option.

All help appreciated, thanks!

Cheers,
Janne

Offline sean

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2017, 12:44:59 PM »

http://www.potentiometers.com/select_Bourns.cfm

http://www.mouser.com/Bourns/

Are there any markings on the pots installed on the preamp?

R.A. Gresco is probably still alive.  Anybody in California know what he is up to now? 

Sean

Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2017, 03:23:15 AM »

http://www.potentiometers.com/select_Bourns.cfm

http://www.mouser.com/Bourns/

Are there any markings on the pots installed on the preamp?

R.A. Gresco is probably still alive.  Anybody in California know what he is up to now? 



You could probably get in touch with him through their Facebook page:

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Offline Jenzz

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2017, 10:35:34 AM »
Hi .-)

I had a Mk1 witrh the Gresco installed some years ago...

The pots are Bourns 81/82 series pots... Since there is a 'RoHS compliant' marking on the datasheet, these seem to be still available...

See attachment...

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Offline JanneI

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2017, 11:42:35 AM »
Thanks! I turned out that the pot wasn't broken, problem was elsewhere, now solved. I did some backengineering on that rhodie preamp and found out that it's really a basic active eq with one ic. I lifted and measured the resistors and capacitors, and drew a basic schematic.

Offline JanneI

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2017, 11:46:56 AM »
Here's my unverified veroboard layout. I figured that since I don't have much time I could just share this if someone likes to try it out. A wise move would be draw a pcb with 9mm alpha pots with same mounting holes as in mk1 panel.. Maybe I'll do it someday :)

Offline sean

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2017, 02:40:02 PM »
Very nice job, Janne!

It appears to be based on the tone control circuit designed by P.J. Baxandall and published in 1952 (originally with tubes).

See http://www.learnabout-electronics.org/Downloads/NegativeFeedbackTone.pdf if you want to start with the original history. 
TI has a good application note showing how to build it with their op amps http://www.ti.com/lit/an/sloa042/sloa042.pdf.
There is also a good writeup about using the circuit in a passive network with no amplification at http://makearadio.com/tech/tone.htm.

I will build it on a breadboard, and see how I like the sound and the crossover point.

Your schematic shows really small values for C7 and C2, but your board layout drawing shows very reasonable 10uF value for C2.  Is that just a typo on the schematic? 

Also, the 50K volume control should be an audio-taper potentiometer.  (The bass and treble pots in the feedback network should be linear.)

Sean



« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 02:28:50 PM by sean »

Offline pnoboy

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2017, 04:33:46 PM »
Very nice job, Janne!

It appears to be based on the tone control circuit designed by P.J. Baxandall and published in 1952 (originally with tubes).

See http://www.learnabout-electronics.org/Downloads/NegativeFeedbackTone.pdf if you want to start with the original history. 
TI has a good application note showing how to build it with their op amps http://www.ti.com/lit/an/sloa042/sloa042.pdf.
There is also a good writeup about using the circuit in a passive network with no amplification at http://makearadio.com/tech/tone.htm.

You lose 20dB of signal passing through the Baxandall network, so you need the op amps to make up that signal loss.

I will build it on a breadboard, and see how I like the sound and the crossover point.

Your schematic shows really small values for C7 and C2, but your board layout drawing shows very reasonable 10uF value for C2.  Is that just a typo on the schematic? 

Also, the 50K volume control should be an audio-taper potentiometer.  (The bass and treble pots in the feedback network can be linear.)

Sean

There is about a 20dB loss using the"James" tone control circuit, which is like the Baxandall circuit, except the components are placed at the input of the following tube/transistor/op amp.  The version shown in the schematic is placed in the feedback loop of the op amp and has no loss at all.   It's a very standard topology--nothing special at all.

Offline sean

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2017, 07:29:16 PM »

I built the circuit in a circuit simulator (I used TINA-TI, based on Designsoft's Spice-like kit, free download from Texas Instruments).

There is the TL;DR summary:
1.  The EQ caps should match, or you get asymmetrical response curves and no way to set it for flat response.
2.  The isolation caps in Janne's unit are kaput.  They should be replaced with new 10uf caps.

Here is my revised schematic (same topology as Janne's drawing, just drawn differently):




« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 07:50:44 PM by sean »

Offline sean

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2017, 07:36:48 PM »

Below is a plot showing the expected frequency response for the circuit I just posted.  With the component values shown in the schematic, you get a lot of EQ within the range of fundamental frequencies of the notes on a 73-key Rhodes.  A few piano notes are shown on the graph for reference.


Offline sean

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2017, 07:47:30 PM »

Two more diagrams as attachments.

First one shows why you should not use Logarithmic Audio-Taper Pots for the bass and treble controls in a Baxandall circuit.

Second diagram shows the curious behavior when the capacitors are mis-matched in the Baxandall circuit.


Offline pnoboy

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2017, 04:49:40 PM »
One thing I do like about this preamp is that the designer selected the values so the frequency around which the controls works is at 200 Hz, which is often a place where a Rhodes can sound a bit muddy, and where one would like a dip in the frequency response.  With the circuit set up as it is, turning both the treble and bass controls up the same amount effectively creates a dip in the response right at 200 Hz.

Offline DynoCzarus Rex

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2017, 01:32:52 PM »
I happen to have a Rhodie preamp as well that I plan to have installed in my '78 suitcase Rhodes at some point as the primary EQ circuit. Have never been very satisfied with the Janus EQ. Does the attached schematic have mods done to the original Rhodie preamp and is this frequency response the one of the modified Rhodie? Or is this an original Rhodie with no mods? I'm a little confused. 
Rhodes Mark I 73 key Suitcase Model (1978)
Fender Rhodes 88 key Stage Model (1973) with original 1982 Dyno-My-Piano Pro EQ
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Offline JanneI

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2017, 05:16:23 PM »
Nice job Sean! I'm no expert by any means, so I'm happy to see someone more qualified to continuing this. :)

I measured the caps with a semi-cheap DMM, so the cap measurements are "guidance only" -values (and the C2 obviously wrong in the schematic: NOT 11nF, 11uF). My idea was to breadboard this and try different components, but since you already did this and even showed plots that shows how it clears the 200Hz "muddy-area", I feel that there's no need for more prototyping. Thanks a lot!

One thing that I didn't remember to measure was the dimension between the the pots, does anyone have this? I think it's the same dimension as the mounting holes in MK1 name rail? Would be fun to draw and order a prototype pcb, even though it's just a basic eq... but it might be hard to find a concentric 1M pots? I think Bourns have them on Mouser.

Best,
Janne

Offline JanneI

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Re: Brand new still sealed ''The Rhodie'' preamp
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2017, 05:21:04 PM »
I found this on my cellphone, here's the original note from where I made the schematic. I think those caps were 10uF tantalum caps.