Author Topic: Pianet T tuning - reeds gradually raising in pitch as they sustain + other ?s  (Read 265 times)

Offline SwamiRob

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I've finally got round to giving my girlfriend's Pianet a decent tuning after buying it for her (a bit for us possibly but I did get her other presents too!) and it was running pretty much universally sharp. My only problem seems to be that as easy as it is to tune, the notes sharpen after playing quite quickly, and chords sound a bit rubbish. This was the case beforehand, and the whole thing sounds alot more musical now it's going through a decent valve amp, but I really have no idea why this might be happening.

Not done the whole thing yet, started from the bottom and gone up. The notes seem to be more stable as I've got to the higher middle keys, but the others are quite unstable. I've been tightening the reeds as I seem to remember it saying that was the best way of getting the most sustain somewhere, but can't see why that would make too much difference. Nothing to do with the other reeds vibrating as I've just made sure that wasn't the case by putting all the sticky pads on but that doesn't make any difference either. Definitely certain reeds that are doing it more then others, and having just had a mess about, pickup position makes a slight difference but nothing close to keeping the things at a constant frequency.

Anyone had any experience like this with their Pianet?

Offline conke

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For me, some of the notes go flat or sharp if I hold them too long. Also, the lower notes especially go a tad bit sharp if I hit them hard, or flat if I barely graze the key.

It's possible that the magnet from the pickup is affecting the vibration, though I can attest to what you said about the adjustments not making much difference.

Be careful when tightening the reed screws, the reeds are delicate and they are much more rare than say Rhodes tines.

Also out of curiosity, do you have the original red pads or the clear/white ones?

Edit: English
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 11:37:21 AM by conke »
Hohner Pianet T
1977 Rhodes Mk I

Offline pianotuner steveo

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I haven't owned a planet since the '80's, but I can tell you from years of musical instrument tuning experience that our ears tend to hear bass notes as being sharper than they are, and treble notes flatter than they are. In general, bass notes should be tuned slightly flat. Treble notes can be tuned 10 cents sharp and still sound ok to most people. Some tuners even tune the highest notes up to 20 cents sharp ( I don't, I think that's too much for my ears) I don't know what you are using as a tuner, but generally, the lower priced apps are not great for the lows and highs of keyboards, but especially the lows. This is partly why professional piano tuning apps cost $300-$900.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
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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 SwamiRob

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Cheers for the replies guys, seems like this is pretty normal then! It doesn't sound godawful or anything just it's very noticeable on bigger chords, fiths seem to come out quite clearly without much issue, but I know that's the closest interval harmonically. I'm only using a cheap TU boss tuner  pedal in stream mode, but that's been quite accurate for me when playing bass and guitar, I've seen the ones they are referring to though and they do very accurate! Can see what you mean about the higher notes, as even though I've not done the top third, it all seems to sound quite into itself even though that is all about 10 to 20 cents sharp.

I do have the clavinet.com clear sticky pads and they work really well. with the key set up with a decent action they're very touch-sensitive, and together with the expander box that I'm using have managed to widen the dynamic range quite a lot. So can play quite gently and then set level of incorrectly so it sounds like it's got some bite when I dig in. Makes a really massive difference. Currently I am using a trace Elliot dual band compressor as a preamp, which I modified to crossover an octave lower. I use this to even out the bottom end but then bypass the top end compression and just use it as a signal boost mostly, then run into the expander, which according to the controls gives the signal an extra 50% dynamic range, makes the quiet notes really quiet and can play some really atmospheric stuff. I'll probably do a quick video once I've finished setting it up. Also to show off how good the OverDrive sounds with the new tube amp!

One thing I forgot to mention, if you take the keys out, is there any way to adjust the springs? Some seem to have more life in than others. And obviously that affects feel and much you can get the sticky pads to stick to the reeds obviously affecting volume. There's a few notes where I've had to move the pads closer or further down the Hammer, just to get the right attack and comparative volume, but I'd ideally like to have a bit more pressure to play with, then I could have the pads a little further back on the higher notes to mellow them out a bit, some are a little harsh at the moment.

Offline conke

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One thing I forgot to mention, if you take the keys out, is there any way to adjust the springs? Some seem to have more life in than others.

There's a youtube video about removing the keys, but I think you have to take out the entire keybed to do that (https://youtu.be/gyfZWkLTz1U). I believe there are a bunch of screws to remove on the bottom. Haven't done it on mine, but one day I'd like to see what's going on in there.

In terms of some keys being more responsive than others, it's possible that the adjustment you need is bending the arms that hold the pads. There's a tool from clavinet.com called keyshaft bender or something that allows you to safely bend the arms to level the keybed. But it also can be used to change the height and angle the pad sits on the reed, which can make quite a difference.
Hohner Pianet T
1977 Rhodes Mk I

Offline SwamiRob

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Ah yeah I've got that tool already, it was more that some keys have a bit more resistance when you press down on them. Those ones have the best dynamic range, because they're generating the most force down on the sticky pads to the reed, so if you press gently it can be lifted off more sensitively, and also because of the better connection there's more volume when you press more aggressively. Most of them are quite uniform but there's a few that are a little stronger or weaker than others that would be nice to sort out, as you're having to compensate with adjusting the Hammers with that tool, which makes the action and the sound a bit uneven. Plus ideally I'd quite like to tighten the whole thing up a bit, the keys with the more lively springs sound by far the best to me.