Author Topic: Finding a replacement Suitcase for Mk2  (Read 1213 times)

Offline Kombucha Kyle

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Finding a replacement Suitcase for Mk2
« on: December 11, 2017, 03:55:07 PM »
Hi guys,

I purchased a 1980 wooden key Mk2 suitcase top over the weekend. I got a great deal on it. It's my second Rhodes and I'm really happy with it. I'm planning on buying a Janus external power supply but would love to acquire a suitcase for it. Having checked on the net there doesn't seem to be any for sale and I get the feeling that it's not a common occurence. Has anyone seen them for sale before or is it a pipe dream?

Thanks

Offline sean

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Re: Finding a replacement Suitcase for Mk2
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 05:38:50 PM »



You can build a power supply for your preamp, see http://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=9657.0  If you built one of the battery-based power supplies, it would be cheap and quick. 

You need the 5-pin XLR cable too, so see http://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=9533.msg52502#msg52502

If you are not up for DIY, then Vintage Vibe, RetroLinear, Avion Studios, and others can get you the power supply and cable.


The suitcase bottom might take a while to find, so you should be prepared to patiently wait.  You might get lucky on this forum, but you should get on the telephone and call Vintage Vibe, Avion Studios, RetroLinear, and every music store in your area.  Someone might have a beauty or a carcass that they are willing to sell.  I assume you are already camping on ebay and craigslist.

Sean

Offline Kombucha Kyle

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Re: Finding a replacement Suitcase for Mk2
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2017, 05:57:03 PM »
Hi Sean,

Thanks for the reply :) Yeah I was thinking that I would most likely buy the 5 pin cheek block conversion kit from Vintage Vibe. However reuniting it with a suitcase would be amazing. I just wrote to VV directly.

Cheers

Offline sean

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Re: Finding a replacement Suitcase for Mk2
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2017, 07:11:26 PM »


Take a look at the wiring diagram for the cheekblock power supply:
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0666/2821/files/5_Pin_Cheekblock_Power_Supply_-_Preamp_PCB_Diagram.png?4765

Watch the install video too:  https://www.vintagevibe.com/products/rhodes-5-pin-cheek-block-power-supply
(Your 1980 piano has the Janus preamp with sliders, right?  Not five knobs, right?)

Personally, I would not be very excited about having to solder connections onto the bottom side of the circuit board.  I am great with a soldering iron, but I dunno why this bothers me.  I am peculiar.  The external power supply with the 5-pin XLR works for me.  However, lots of folks love the cheekblock power supply.  Go for it if you are good with the soldering iron.

Do you know that your preamp works?  Have you inspected it, or tested it?

Sean


Offline Kombucha Kyle

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Re: Finding a replacement Suitcase for Mk2
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2017, 07:18:18 PM »
I didn't realize that the cheek block supply required soldering. I was also considering the one from Avion. I don't believe that theirs requires soldering. I haven't been able to test it yet. Is there a way that you would recommend? Yes it is the Janus with the sliders. Thanks so much for your advice. Much appreciated.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 07:20:12 PM by Kombucha Kyle »

Offline sean

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Re: Finding a replacement Suitcase for Mk2
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2017, 09:53:18 PM »

Morgen at Avion Studios has a nifty little deal.  His power supply includes the 5-pin XLR cable to plug directly into your preamp.  That saves you some money, and his power supply is only $155.  Pretty good deal.


The cheapest way to test your preamp is to make a battery-powered power supply (http://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=9657.msg53392#msg53392).

Instead of putting it into a fancy metal box and buying the D5F and cable, just slap it together in a cardboard box, and buy a cheap 5-pin XLR female cable-end connector (like Seetronic SC5FXX-B - wow, three bucks on amazon).  You can follow the directions in the linked post above, and build a good-enough-for-testing power supply for under 40 bucks.  There is a complete shopping list with the directions in my post.  I guess you need soldering skills, but maybe one of your friends could help you if that is not your style.

If you live near a surviving electronic parts store, you might be able to buy 8-cell battery holders.  Two 8-cell AAA or AA battery holders will only give you plus and minus twelve volts, but the Janus preamp works fine on +/-twelve volts instead of +/-fifteen.  (The op amps  don't care, and you really won't miss the headroom.  The tremolo oscillator might operate in a slightly different range, but I couldn't hear the difference in my testing.)  That being said, you could also steal the batteries out of your car and your lawn tractor, and use them as the twelve-volt supplies.  Many home alarm systems, FIOS router UPS, and Barbie Jeeps use a 12V battery.  I still think the battery holder with AAA or AA batteries is easier.

I bet a pair of nine volt batteries would work too.  Stupid that I never tested that.  I will take a look at that tonight or tomorrow.

Sean

« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 09:55:53 PM by sean »

Offline sean

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Re: Finding a replacement Suitcase for Mk2
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2017, 01:22:21 AM »

Okay, so, I am back after testing... and a pair of grocery-store off-brand 9V batteries worked fine for powering the Rhodes Janus preamp!

So a complete test rig would require:

2 each  9V batteries
2 each  9V battery clips, I like Keystone 237-M or 237
1 each  5-pin female XLR cable-end connector, Seetronic SC5FXX-B
2 each  Switchcraft L11 or 11 - mono 1/4" jacks
1 each  DPDT switch if you want to be able to turn the power on and off (you can also simply unplug the XLR to disconnect the power), like E-Switch 100DP1T1B1M1QEH
1 each  Solderless breadboard, like Bud BB-32621 or similar
a few feet of 20AWG wire, a few different colors ideally (Red, Black, Green, White, Blue)
You will need a soldering iron and solder.

I think you can put it all together for twenty-five bucks if you find somebody to give you the wire for free.

I will slap together a drawing to show you how to connect it (tomorrow afternoon). 

This will provide the following setup on the XLR connector:
Pin 1 = Ground
Pin 2 = -9V DC
Pin 3 = Channel 1 preamp output
Pin 4 = Channel 2 preamp output
Pin 5 = +9V DC

The 9V batteries run the Janus preamp so that you can test the Volume, Bass, Treble, Tremolo Rate, and Tremolo Depth.  It sounds just fine (I did not crank the volume up and pound on the piano to see if I can drive it into distortion (maybe I will try that tomorrow)).


Sean

Offline Kombucha Kyle

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Re: Finding a replacement Suitcase for Mk2
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2017, 08:47:43 AM »
Wow Sean. Thank you so much for all this amazing information! I think I'm going to go ahead with the system from Avion. It's the most affordable. At the same time I'm going to order some other things from them that I need for my refurb on both my Rhodes :)

Offline Oregone

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Re: Finding a replacement Suitcase for Mk2
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2018, 10:24:21 AM »
Avion studios sells just the power supply section, of the power supply. The circuit board that is. Its like $20. Then you have to buy a project box, 5 pin jack, power switch, power jack, 1/4" out jacks, fuse holder etc... but it works out great.

I am into the power supply breakout box for about $60, and it works flawlessly. Of course, I had the 5 pin cable, which would be another $50. I also had some other odds and ends, wire/jacks etc.

If you had to buy all of the parts, including the 5 pin cable, it would total about $125. That's pretty close to the VV cheekblock PS, which is really slick. If I would have had to buy the cable too, I would have went with VV. I just couldn't justify ponying up that kind of cash, plus shipping, so I build my own.
1962 Hammond M3, 1958 Hammond M3, Hybrind SS Leslie, Leslie 22H, Korg SV-1, 1978 Rhodes MK1 Suitcase, 1970 Wurlitzer 200, Roland VK8. Yamaha MO6, Leslie, Roland Amps, Fender tube amps, recording room etc.