Author Topic: Gibson key problem  (Read 242 times)

Offline Eminor

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Gibson key problem
« on: May 09, 2018, 03:40:35 PM »
Hi all,

I’m having a minor problem with a Gibson key that I’d like to figure out before it gets worse or spreads.  The second to the highest B key sometimes has a delay or weak start when it’s pressed.  Not all the time, seems like when it hasn’t been struck for a few seconds it happens but in rapid succession with other keys not so much.  I took it apart, sprayed out under and behind the key with compressed air but no difference.  Nothing looks out of place or loose with the “B” card not that that means much.   This is the only B that has this problem.

I’ve made a link and posted it so you can have a listen:   https://youtu.be/9JjzTt5F5q4

It’s not terrible, just bad enough to “B” annoying.  There’s a lot of Doors song in E minor counting on that note.  Anyone experience this or have any suggestions? 

Thanks in advance,
Chris

Offline alenhoff

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Re: Gibson key problem
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2018, 06:04:44 PM »
Chris:

The first step is to rule out a mechanical issue.

I'm not sure from your description whether you got into the key contacts, but that's where I'd start.  Take off the long flat aluminum panel on the underside of the organ and take a look at what's happening when you press the B key and adjacent keys. When you strike a note, the key sends a plastic pusher down toward the key contact, pushing it into making contact with the busbar that actuates the tone.  I'm wondering whether the B pusher might be higher above the contact than those on other notes. If so, you may not be hearing the tone until the key has been depressed to the bottom of its travel. The plastic pusher is screwed on, and its height can be adjusted by rotating it. Does that make a difference?

If not, try cleaning the B contact and the busbar with contact cleaner or isopropyl alcohol (90% or higher solution).  If that doesn't do it, look to see whether the contact might be bent, and doesn't make good contact with the busbar when the note is depressed.

Alan
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 08:48:32 AM by alenhoff »
1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73
1972 Rhodes Silver Sparkletop Piano Bass
1978 Hohner Clavinet D6
1968 Hohner Pianet N II
1966 Wurlitzer 140B
1967 Gibson G101 combo organ
1967 Kustom Kombo combo organ
1965 UK Vox Continental
1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H
1977 Fender Twin Reverb
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(SEE THE COLLECTION: https://vintagerockkeyboards.wordpress.com/ )

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Gibson key problem
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2018, 06:45:29 AM »
I agree with Alan, but I just want to say to be careful not to get any chemicals you use on the plastic parts. ( I.E. the keys, but also other parts) These parts are around 50 years old and can be brittle. Chemicals can make them more likely to craze or break. A real fine Emory cloth can sometimes be used to clean the contacts.
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 Eminor

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Re: Gibson key problem
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2018, 12:50:58 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a shot tonight.  I'll keep you posted.

Offline Eminor

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Re: Gibson key problem
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2018, 10:11:12 AM »
Hi guys,

I gently pulled back the thin contact rod, rotated the plastic pusher twice which lowered it and it worked.  That was several days ago and since then it sounds great, the note is solid every time.   So thank you for the tips, you probably saved me $125 at a repair shop if they knew what to do at all.

Thanks again,
Chris


Offline alenhoff

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Re: Gibson key problem
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2018, 12:57:49 PM »
Good work! That's great to hear!  It's hard to diagnose problems over the Internet, but sometimes we get lucky.  And now you know a little more about how your organ works.

(By the way, are you the same Chris who has some very nice Vox and Gibson Doors covers on YouTube?)

Alan
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 01:25:55 PM by alenhoff »
1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73
1972 Rhodes Silver Sparkletop Piano Bass
1978 Hohner Clavinet D6
1968 Hohner Pianet N II
1966 Wurlitzer 140B
1967 Gibson G101 combo organ
1967 Kustom Kombo combo organ
1965 UK Vox Continental
1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H
1977 Fender Twin Reverb
Vox AD100VT Valvetronix modeling amp
(SEE THE COLLECTION: https://vintagerockkeyboards.wordpress.com/ )

Offline Eminor

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Re: Gibson key problem
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2018, 10:56:32 PM »
Alan

I've taken off the top black cover many times and carefully poked around but for some reason I never went in through the bottom aluminum cover.  To be honest the Gibson has been so rock solid for the 11 years I've owned it I never had to.  Even if I had I wouldn't have known to turn the pusher to extend it's reach.

And yes, I am that Chris with the Doors pseudo-tutorial / gear fetish videos on Youtube.  It's been a while, I'd like to get back to making them, just need to think of an interesting angle that's actually doable...hopefully soon now that Gibson's back up to snuff.

Chris


Offline alenhoff

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Re: Gibson key problem
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 07:23:15 AM »
I'd like to get back to making them, just need to think of an interesting angle that's actually doable...hopefully soon now that Gibson's back up to snuff.

I'll look forward to seeing them.

Alan
1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73
1972 Rhodes Silver Sparkletop Piano Bass
1978 Hohner Clavinet D6
1968 Hohner Pianet N II
1966 Wurlitzer 140B
1967 Gibson G101 combo organ
1967 Kustom Kombo combo organ
1965 UK Vox Continental
1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H
1977 Fender Twin Reverb
Vox AD100VT Valvetronix modeling amp
(SEE THE COLLECTION: https://vintagerockkeyboards.wordpress.com/ )