Author Topic: Lowest Octave Volume  (Read 3279 times)

Offline Harrygriffiths211

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Lowest Octave Volume
« on: May 07, 2016, 07:25:19 AM »
[ADMIN] Split this thread off from the Fender Rhodes Documentary thread just to keep things nice and tidy.

No worries! After playing it a little I'm wondering if I could increase the volume on the lowest octave slightly? I really like the tone of the note just want it a little louder without having to adjust the bass boost, is there a way I can do this by adjusting the pick ups?

Thanks
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 05:30:28 AM by Cormac Long »

Offline rhodesjuzz

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2016, 08:00:23 AM »
You might move the pickups towards the tines just a tad with a 1/4" nut driver or maybe you have a way to equalize the lower frequencies?

--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 Harrygriffiths211

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2016, 08:21:31 AM »
I have a peavey keyboard amp with an EQ on it but I'd rather the signal being sent by the piano have a little more low end on it so I'll try it and see how it goes! :)

Thanks for the reply

Offline siderealxxx

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2016, 05:39:32 PM »
You probably need to start a fresh thread for all this but...

I really like the tone of the note just want it a little louder without having to adjust the bass boost, is there a way I can do this by adjusting the pick ups?

You should start with the Bass Boost at 10 anyway, as this is the neutral position... it's actually a bass cut not a bass boost. Useful for rolling back if playing with a band/bass player or if you prefer it that way.

I have a peavey keyboard amp with an EQ on it but I'd rather the signal being sent by the piano have a little more low end on it so I'll try it and see how it goes! :)

The weak link and lack of bass is potentially your amp not the piano. You want to be careful making adjustments to the piano to compensate for the amp because if you then DI or play through a decent amp you will potentially have questionable results.

Ideally you set up the piano through a completely clean source first, then adjust the amp around that around that. If you're still not getting the right sound, the amp probably ain't cutting it.

Moving the pickups closer is fine and completely reversible but with a new refurb from a vendor, the setup *should* be ok.
Fender Rhodes MKI Stage 73 (1974)

Offline pnoboy

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2016, 06:22:24 AM »
I think the amp and pickup adjustment really depends on what kind of tone you want out of the piano.  Some people don't want much bass out of the low notes, and prefer to emphasize the kind of buzzy sound you can get if the bass frequencies are rolled off.  It that's your preference, then moving the pickups a bit closer to the tines may be necessary.  If you want a deep bassy sound out of the low notes, then moving the pickups a bit further away from the tines may well be necessary.  One nice thing about the Rhodes piano is that the ability to adjust the pickups does allow the player to select from a range of tones.

Offline Harrygriffiths211

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2016, 04:22:17 AM »
I think I just had a bit of confusion relating to the bass boost knob!

I've found a nice spot on the EQ of the amp now!

Offline rhodesjuzz

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2016, 06:47:08 AM »
Good news! The bass boost is actually a bass cut off knob. If you put the pot at max it gives the normal signal :)

--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 Harrygriffiths211

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2016, 07:53:46 AM »
I had no idea at first! I was almost convinced it was broken!

A relief to hear that. But yeah to clarify I just needed to tweak the EQ on my amp a little more and I now have a sound I'm very happy with, very nice for soft playing for chords etc but has a really nice amount of bark if I want it! :)

Offline pnoboy

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2016, 06:41:45 AM »
Good news! The bass boost is actually a bass cut off knob. If you put the pot at max it gives the normal signal :)

--Roy

Of course, you are correct--the control is a bass cut.  However, the fact that Fender calls it a bass boost suggests that for many players, the full bass sound is too full and boomy, and filtering it a bit may therefore be considered more normal.

Offline rhodesjuzz

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2016, 07:24:49 AM »
Good news! The bass boost is actually a bass cut off knob. If you put the pot at max it gives the normal signal :)

--Roy

Of course, you are correct--the control is a bass cut.  However, the fact that Fender calls it a bass boost suggests that for many players, the full bass sound is too full and boomy, and filtering it a bit may therefore be considered more normal.

True! It's been a time ago, but as far as I remember I never had it at maximum setting.  That said, I had it run through a Carlsbro bass amp, so enough bass there :)
The Carlsbro had a decent equalizer but I never really liked it. The guy who bought my Rhodes used a Fender Twin Reverb....regrets..... :-X

--Roy
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 10:21:23 AM by rhodesjuzz »
1976 Rhodes Suitcase 73 <effects loop || EHX Holy Grail Nano>
Line 6 midi keys
Scarbee Mark I, A-200 and Classic EP-88S

Offline siderealxxx

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2016, 02:00:26 PM »
However, the fact that Fender calls it a bass boost suggests that for many players, the full bass sound is too full and boomy, and filtering it a bit may therefore be considered more normal.

I think its more a case of bad labelling given that what is labelled the "Input" is actually an Output! It took them about 15 years to fix that one ;)
Fender Rhodes MKI Stage 73 (1974)

Offline rhodesjuzz

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2016, 03:14:15 PM »
LOL  ;D
Never realised that. Was it on the MK5 they set it right?

--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 prtarrell

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2016, 06:24:45 PM »
Well,  I have a 1978 Mark I Stage  88 and I swear when I rotate the bass boost knob clockwise from 1 to ten the tone becomes bassier, fatter, warmer, and a little louder.

Offline goldphinga

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2016, 01:50:27 AM »
The passive Rhodes tone controls are nasty. Muddy, and destroy the beautiful tone. Go direct from the harp rca.

Offline siderealxxx

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2016, 04:18:59 AM »
LOL  ;D
Never realised that. Was it on the MK5 they set it right?

--Roy

I think that was the first commercially available one. I think it was changed before that on the MkIV prototype.

Well,  I have a 1978 Mark I Stage  88 and I swear when I rotate the bass boost knob clockwise from 1 to ten the tone becomes bassier, fatter, warmer, and a little louder.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about this… to clarify it will get bassier as you turn up the bass boost but only because you're returning it to its natural unaffected state. You havn't boosted the bass at all, you've returned it to it's natural unaffected state (position 10). The mistake seems to be people starting with it at 0 assuming it to be the neutral position then applying a "bass boost" to hear more bass. You're not! The 0 position is already fully bass cut so it seems as if you're adding bass but you're actually just returning it to neutral (10). I hope that makes sense!

I think the passive filter is something like a 12db shelf cut at about 100Hz? Can anyone confirm who knows about this?

The passive Rhodes tone controls are nasty. Muddy, and destroy the beautiful tone. Go direct from the harp rca.

Also very true. And to clarify with the above, taking the signal directly from the harp RCA socket will give you a raw signal which will (in theory) equate to both knobs being set at 10 (i.e. neutral/unaffected). In reality it will be a a bit warmer, louder and have more present highs. Just poor electronics! Anyone switched these out with something less crap?

Fender Rhodes MKI Stage 73 (1974)

Offline pnoboy

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2016, 07:25:07 AM »
LOL  ;D
Never realised that. Was it on the MK5 they set it right?

--Roy

I think that was the first commercially available one. I think it was changed before that on the MkIV prototype.

Well,  I have a 1978 Mark I Stage  88 and I swear when I rotate the bass boost knob clockwise from 1 to ten the tone becomes bassier, fatter, warmer, and a little louder.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about this… to clarify it will get bassier as you turn up the bass boost but only because you're returning it to its natural unaffected state. You havn't boosted the bass at all, you've returned it to it's natural unaffected state (position 10). The mistake seems to be people starting with it at 0 assuming it to be the neutral position then applying a "bass boost" to hear more bass. You're not! The 0 position is already fully bass cut so it seems as if you're adding bass but you're actually just returning it to neutral (10). I hope that makes sense!

I think the passive filter is something like a 12db shelf cut at about 100Hz? Can anyone confirm who knows about this?

The passive Rhodes tone controls are nasty. Muddy, and destroy the beautiful tone. Go direct from the harp rca.

Also very true. And to clarify with the above, taking the signal directly from the harp RCA socket will give you a raw signal which will (in theory) equate to both knobs being set at 10 (i.e. neutral/unaffected). In reality it will be a a bit warmer, louder and have more present highs. Just poor electronics! Anyone switched these out with something less crap?

The stage pianos use a 10k pot for the volume control.  Given the output impedance of the harp, that resistance rolls off some of the highs, and I believe that's what accounts for the perception that the electronics makes the sound muddy.  I changed the 10k pot to a 50k pot in my stage 78 after doing some experiments and determining that by the time that resistive load on the harp gets to 50k, there's very little change in the sound as the resistance gets higher.  If you want to do that, you must change the capacitor to a value that's about 5 times lower, i.e., .01 uF,  to get the same low-frequency rollof point.  To get the full bass cut, you'd also have to change the bass pot to a value 5x higher.  A 1 meg pot would be suitable, but reverse-log taper pots are scarce and I couldn't find any at that value.  So, I ended up leaving the bass pot unchanged.  That reduced the amount of bass cut that is available, but I never use the piano with the bass pot fully CCW, so that has not been an issue for me.

Offline siderealxxx

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2016, 08:04:36 AM »
Interesting.

Anyone tried these:

http://www.vintagevibe.com/collections/fender-rhodes-parts-electronics/products/fender-rhodes-stage-passive-electronics?variant=899455343

Any advantage over the stock pots? Or would it still be best to plug off harp RCA?
Fender Rhodes MKI Stage 73 (1974)

Offline pnoboy

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2016, 03:59:19 PM »
I believe they use the same circuit you already don't like.  The early circuit is even worse, as it reduces the piano's treble response.  The problem you perceive with the Fender components is not caused by poor-quality parts--it's the circuit values that were used.

Offline rhodesjuzz

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2016, 06:00:53 PM »
This guy even eliminated the internal rca
https://youtu.be/E3DVoF9pQDY

--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 Harrygriffiths211

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2016, 08:25:16 AM »
interesting hearing about the advantages of taking the signal directly from the harp rca! May well try that tonignt.

I was wondering wether the vintage vibe pre amp would be worth the cost? Any of you lot used one of these?

Offline siderealxxx

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2016, 11:32:20 AM »
The VV pre-amp is designed for a Suitcase or for converting a Stage. I don't think you'll get any benefits in a Stage unless you're pairing it with a Janus or Satellite system (or custom similar).
Fender Rhodes MKI Stage 73 (1974)

Offline JanneI

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2016, 02:37:51 AM »
If you are talking about the vv stereo vibe pre amp, I'll have to say that with the headphones amp it's really the perfect add-on for stage piano. Forget the passive electronics, the bass knob only works as a attenuator, cuts out the bass.

Here's a clip of me playing my restoration project, MK2 stage -80, thru vv stereo vibe pre amp, with bbe sonic stomp & ehx small clone phaser (clone). Direct stereo line output from the vv stereo vibe. And it sounds exactly like this with headphones. Sweet.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8085136/Rhodes-stuff/Rhodes-phaser.mp4

Cheers,
Janne
« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 02:43:54 AM by JanneI »

Offline rhodesjuzz

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2016, 03:40:33 AM »
If you are talking about the vv stereo vibe pre amp, I'll have to say that with the headphones amp it's really the perfect add-on for stage piano. Forget the passive electronics, the bass knob only works as a attenuator, cuts out the bass.

Here's a clip of me playing my restoration project, MK2 stage -80, thru vv stereo vibe pre amp, with bbe sonic stomp & ehx small clone phaser (clone). Direct stereo line output from the vv stereo vibe. And it sounds exactly like this with headphones. Sweet.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8085136/Rhodes-stuff/Rhodes-phaser.mp4

Cheers,
Janne


Man, that sounds great. A perfect add-on indeed!

--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: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2016, 06:19:47 AM »
If you are talking about the vv stereo vibe pre amp, I'll have to say that with the headphones amp it's really the perfect add-on for stage piano. Forget the passive electronics, the bass knob only works as a attenuator, cuts out the bass.

Here's a clip of me playing my restoration project, MK2 stage -80, thru vv stereo vibe pre amp, with bbe sonic stomp & ehx small clone phaser (clone). Direct stereo line output from the vv stereo vibe. And it sounds exactly like this with headphones. Sweet.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8085136/Rhodes-stuff/Rhodes-phaser.mp4

Cheers,
Janne

Do you ever use the preamp with the bass boosted?

Offline JanneI

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2016, 04:00:31 AM »
I'd say the usual problem is more in the low mids (around 200hz) than in the bass. One of the mods I'd still like to add to this combo is one parametric eq to clear that low mid area. I'm not sure (yet) what freq's the eq in stereo vibe pre amp (=peterson) actually effects. Would be interesting to reverse engineer it and compare it to the original. At first glance the eq section of the pcb seems to be quiet exact with the original peterson model.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 04:04:10 AM by JanneI »

Offline pnoboy

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2016, 11:46:22 AM »
I'd say the usual problem is more in the low mids (around 200hz) than in the bass. One of the mods I'd still like to add to this combo is one parametric eq to clear that low mid area. I'm not sure (yet) what freq's the eq in stereo vibe pre amp (=peterson) actually effects. Would be interesting to reverse engineer it and compare it to the original. At first glance the eq section of the pcb seems to be quiet exact with the original peterson model.

I agree, the frequency response around 200 Hz often needs to be depressed in a Rhodes.  That's why I'm a fan of using an equalizer.  A parametric one would be best, but they're so darn expensive.  I modeled the frequency response of the Peterson preamp in LTspice, and it's just the typical bass and treble controls with some additional hi-frequency rolloff starting around 3 kHz.  It's input impedance is 33k, which seems a bit low.  All in all, I was not impressed.

Offline Harrygriffiths211

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Re: Lowest Octave Volume
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2016, 05:22:50 AM »
Been taking the signal from my suitcase direct from the harp RCA for a day or two now, it seems like I was loosing a fair bit of high and and low end through the passive controls?

Going to keep using it this way for a little while I think.