Author Topic: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!  (Read 2212 times)

Offline Babysquid

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Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« on: November 23, 2016, 06:54:21 AM »
Hi Everyone.

This is my first post so please excuse the length, I'm trying to give as much information as I can.

 I have attempted a search of the forum but I've perhaps missed the information I need.
Basically I can't get my treble notes to sound as loud as the did before I replaced the hammer tips.
Way back in April 2010 I bought a Rhodes mki stage 73 off eBay. I'd always wanted a Rhodes but had had no experience with them ( I'm a guitarist really) and the closest I'd come was an old pianet T. The tine was broken on the low E but I didn't think that mattered as I planned to get it professionally serviced anyway. I'd also noticed that the wooden hammer tips were chipped and indented.
 I took my Rhodes to the service place which was a good 2 1/2 hour drive away and a couple of weeks later drove all the way back to pick it up. They'd replaced the tine and tuned it but it still sounded not right and one of the guys there said there were good Rhodes and bad Rhodes and mine wasn't particularly a good one and something about once you get into changing the grommets and stuff it's a whole different ball game. Anyway they charged me £500 for parts and 9hrs work.
 When I got home I noticed that one of the keys wasn't ringing and I phoned them up to ask about this and if there was something I could do myself to fix it. I was told that the guys colleague's work ( he who'd undertaken the service)was basically beyond reproach and he was the best in the business and I should bring it back. Obviously I didn't want to go that route and eventually I managed to get the guy to tell me how to adjust the screws on the tine bar, but he made it out like it was some black art and I should be very careful as not to mess up his colleague's good work.
 So I got by with this bad Rhodes for a few years, scared of trying to do anything to it in case I mucked it up, ( I don't gig, it's just in my studio) and decided I'd make do with what I'd got. Then I started checking out forums regarding Rhodes maintenance and discovered that changing grommets wasn't a "whole different ball game" but one of the standard procedures in serviceing an old Rhodes.
Since then I've started checking out forums like this, and watching vintagevibe tutorials on YouTube. I bought some new grommets, screws and neoprene hammer tips ( the service guys hadn't changed those either) and I started working on getting my piano back up to spec. I've eased the keys which has made a difference, swapped out all the grommets and screws and I've voiced the piano from middle C outwards ( I've also found out that I'd been severely ripped off).
The thing is the piano is sounding great in the bass, pre mid and mid bits but then drastically looses volume in the treble bits and it seems no matter what I do adjusting the tine bar and pick ups really changes this. Is there some trick that I'm missing? Could anyone point me to a good video or web source to help me? I'm a little wary of taking it to be professionally serviced now for obvious reasons ( I can't actually believe I went back to those guys a little later on another matter) and I think it's best I do this myself as much as possible, but it appears I have his a snag. I can be a bit of a butterfingers and I'm no great shakes with a soldering iron but adjusting stuff with a screwdriver seems pretty straightforward... until it isn't!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I do hope somebody can help me.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 07:30:15 AM »
Have you tried to adjust the strike line of the harp? You may need to pull the right side of the harp toward you a little to get the best sound. It could need going the other way, but more likely pulling toward you. Loosen the harp screws enough so that you can see it move, pull it, tighten the screws and see how that changes the sound. In some cases, you need to drill new holes, but before doing anything permanent, try simple steps first. It could also be dead pickups, or a broken wire to the treble pickups, but try this first and see what it does. Your escapement may be set too high also- do the tines look to be higher than the tines that sound good?

From your description, I don't see how anyone could have spent 9 hours on this piano. You can do a lot of work in 9 hours.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 08:17:53 AM »
Babysquid where are you based in the UK?

I'm in Bristol and restore them. I'd happily help out for a couple of beers if you were in the area.

Definitely sounds like a lot of rubbish and £500 for 9 hours is outrageous, if you can PM I'd love to know who they were as that is quite concerning.

Luckily there's only going to be a few things which cause it and Steveo's comments about strikeline would also be a good place to start.

Can you show us some photos of the new hammertips on the hammers? (Just want to check their positioning)

Then we'll go from there and narrow it down.

Tim

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Offline Babysquid

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2016, 08:46:57 AM »
Yes I've realized you can do a lot of work in 9hrs and I'm no expert! Thank you tjh392 I'm near Newmarket way so Bristol is a bit of a trek. I'll try and take some photos and post them. I'll also try what Steveo said. How do I check the pick ups are okay? I'm pretty sure they were before I did this. I hope I haven't messed it up😀
 Thank you for your replies I'm sure I'll get to the bottom of this with your help. So glad there are places like this to lend a helping hand.

Offline David Aubke

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2016, 10:08:21 AM »
Personally, I wouldn't be looking too hard at the strikeline. Steve Woodyard's article on setup says that you make this adjustment by anchoring the treble end and moving the bass. The fact is, there's precious little room for adjustment on the treble end and given the proportions, I don't think the strikeline is such an issue up there.

It's easy to check the pickups by tapping them with a metallic object (screwdriver). The sound that's produced is obviously different between a working and a dead pickup so this test is certainly worth doing.

I find that the treble tines need to be positioned well above the center of the pickups to get a good sound. Beyond that, it is a bit of voodoo. Try touching a screwdriver to the escapement (key-side) mounting screw. If that helps, try adding a second washer to that screw (for the additional mass). And speaking of additional mass, have you tried any tonebar clips?
Dave Aubke
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Offline goldphinga

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2016, 04:36:57 PM »
Would be great to hear a sound clip if poss so we can assist you better. Possible?

Offline Babysquid

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2016, 01:16:07 AM »
Would be great to hear a sound clip if poss so we can assist you better. Possible?
How do I do this?

Offline Babysquid

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2016, 02:13:35 AM »
If I get a chance this weekend I'll do a YouTube video and post a link. I'm really appreciating everybody's comments as I do need the help. Thanks guys

Offline Babysquid

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2016, 08:56:03 AM »
Ok here are some photos I took. I'll upload the video link when it's ready!
http://[/URL][/URL][/URL][/URL][/URL][/URL][/URL]

Hope this works
« Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 08:19:57 AM by Babysquid »

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2016, 09:34:26 AM »
Nope, didn't work....
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 200A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2000 Yamaha acoustic piano
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
....and a few guitars...

Offline Babysquid

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 08:30:57 AM »
I'll try again









Ok I'm hoping it's worked this time! I'm having trouble with the bloody video too!

Offline Peter Hayes

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 10:35:54 AM »
The hammer tips are in the wrong place, for starters. The wood core tips should be in the upper register, not the lower.
Peter Hayes
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Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2016, 02:05:40 PM »
What Peter said.

The smaller tines in the treble section need more force to ring out so that is why those hammertips have a wooden core.

You should have some instructions with the hammertips kit which should show you where the placement needs to be. You can carefully remove the hammertips with a Stanley knife and reposition them in the correct sequence.

Here's a Rhodes with the vintage vibe coloured tips.


Here's a link which can tell you more about the placement:

http://www.fenderrhodes.com/service/hammer-tips.html

I'm on my phone right now but there should be a post on here which shows the number they change at. It's difficult for me to tell if you've got the other types of hammertips in the right position.

If you need images let me know and I'll post up the order of the correct hammertips.

Even looking at the other images I can't really tell what Hammond Hire have done to warrant a bill of £500!
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Offline rhodesjuzz

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2016, 02:22:24 PM »
That's right. There may be a chance the other hammertips (colour charts depends on the supplier) are also installed on the wrong location. At least now you know almost for sure what caused your quiet treble notes :)
1976 Rhodes Suitcase 73 <effects loop || EHX Holy Grail Nano>
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Offline Babysquid

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2016, 01:58:46 AM »
Thank you! thank you! thank you! Ok I feel a bit like an idiot because I put the tips in back to front but there were no real instructions with the tips just numbers on the separate bags and as I've said before the tips already in the piano were wrong anyway so I had no reference. So glad I asked.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 02:04:12 AM by Babysquid »

Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: Treble notes too quiet. Noob alert!!!
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2016, 03:42:17 AM »
So as a point of reference, the wooden core hammer tips on your 73 key piano begin at key number 57 (ignore the number of the tonebar) all the way to 73.

I'll take some photos tonight of the hammer tip profiles so you can match them back up. I have a 1977 MK1 I'm restoring for someone at the moment which will do the job (because hammertips changed during the production of these pianos between felt, square, not square etc.

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