Author Topic: My first rhodes "repaired"  (Read 1176 times)

Offline Swabian_Keys

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My first rhodes "repaired"
« on: June 29, 2018, 10:12:10 AM »
Hey,

I just got a 79 Stage Mark I for 900€. My first EP ever. It was quite used so i started repairing.

First i rebushed the keys, the back and the balance rail.           --> No loose key action anymore.
I also used teflon spray for lubing, but im sure that isn't the way professionals would do.
For the backrail i got an 5mm piano cloth.
 I know its thicker than the original, but i wanted to try silencing the noise from the keys falling back.

It showed up that i fucked my action with that. So i shimmed the complete harp plus the harp support.
Also i used to get my keydip quite even with this.                     --> 9,5 to 9,9 mm

I leveled the keys a little, but it doesn't need to be perfect for me. Someday i'll might be more into that.


Next step was to get the pickups done.
I had seen the pickup winding "maschine" http://www.shadetreekeys.com/2011/09/09/pickups/ build by Shadetree Keys. Thanks for the nice programm btw!
A cheap and funky construction. So i rewinded 6-7 Pickups with it. It worked pretty good for me. 180 Ohm each and total output was ~1350 Ohm.

Escapment was quite similar to the preferences in the Serice Manual so i left it.

Voicing was done as well is i could. And tuned it quite equal with abletons build in strobo tuner.

I have some bad pictures for you to see my folish reparings as im sure there'll be a shitstorm on shimming harp support etc  ;D

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1blOQWWTOjMXiUykdpY92sdgDEI8M4ZXM

I also have an audio file recorded to hear how it ended up.
Signal chain: Presonus TubePre 2-> XLR-> Proceed AVP2-> shitty laptop sound cable-> Ableton -> little Reverb + Phaser

https://www97.zippyshare.com/v/TAmazeud/file.html


So now im curious if i should mod it with felt hammers and VV tines to get more bark?
As i only payed 40€ for cloth and wire i could afford new stuff. 
I only read hate about moding different to the construction year. But would love to get it barkier though.


Love&Peace

« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 10:34:42 AM by Swabian_Keys »

Offline pnoboy

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Re: My first rhodes "repaired"
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2018, 06:22:54 PM »
I don't believe felt hammer tips will give more bark; if anything I would expect them to reduce it.

Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: My first rhodes "repaired"
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2018, 02:02:46 AM »
Agree with pnoboy, you’ll get a softer strike of the tine rather than that initial percussive strike, I don’t believe it will make your Rhodes bark..

Have you tried adjust the pickup in proximity to the tine? How have you voiced it?
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Offline Swabian_Keys

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Re: My first rhodes "repaired"
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2018, 10:01:25 AM »
I tried to get the tines as close as possible to the pickup. Then i noticed that it kills the sound in a strange way. Now i'm ~ 0.5-1.2mm away from the pickups, depending on the loudness of the individual notes. I leveled the tines on the higher notes to the center of the pickup. The ones in the middle and lower region are leveled above the pickup center so that the bottom of the tine is  slightly above the center.


Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: My first rhodes "repaired"
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2018, 03:35:51 PM »
Yeah, I think moving the pickups too close to the tines kills tone because the magnetic pull of the pole pieces limits the natural travel of the tine.  That's how it is with guitar anyway.

When it comes to the classic bark of a Mk I, I suppose the hammers could have something to do with it, but the felt factor, whether hammers or cube/tips, was gone by late 70/early 71(?).  The bark that we've come to appreciate was certainly heard throughout the early to mid-70s, so it's reasonable to deduce it may be a function of the early pickups, or early tines, or the combination of both. 

With a '79 Rhodes, though still a Mk I, you don't have the Torrington tines that are often credited for some of that classic Rhodes sound.  I believe you have either Schaller or Singer tines, as found in the Mk II pianos, which to my ear were gradually brighter and less "woolly" than earlier pianos.

I don't know if this was a case of Fender trying to veer toward the increasingly popular sounds of Dyno'd pianos, or just some sort of bean counting budget issue, but the later Rhodes pianos sound tighter and brighter to me. 

That said, a lot of this stuff seems to be voodoo.  I'm sure there are MkII pianos with incredible bark.

Have you tried taking the signal straight from the harp?  I'm not savvy enough to know, but outside of pickup adjustments, I wonder if different caps in the tone circuit might get more bark?




Offline voltergeist

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Re: My first rhodes "repaired"
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2018, 11:48:19 AM »
The biggest factor in getting "bark" is the pickup distance, from my experience.  One can get too close, so it's a balancing act.  Distance and voicing are key, it'll bark when they're both right. 

Also, the ends of the tines should all be ground flat (to the specified length, ideally).  If a tine end is jagged, its harmonics will be weird and you won't be able to get the pickup distance right.

I agree with priors that felt tips most def will not get you what you're looking for. 
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270