Author Topic: Restoring my mom and dad's rhodes, will have many questions as I go.  (Read 934 times)

Offline smallwins

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Hi!  I recently talked my father into giving me his Rhodes to try and fix it.  It is in pretty good shape minus the pickups and some oxidization on the tone bars.

The front panel electronics are fine, I plugged an amp into the front and a guitar at the rca jack to test that section and the knobs sounded clean and not crackly.  The pickup(s)? are a mess, and I managed to burn the posts off the plastic on two of them trying to take them off after tapping the magnets with a screwdriver and not getting signal.  I have done soldering for my guitars and basses over the years, but the plastic so close to the iron is new to me and it was not very forgiving.  I tested all the pickups with a meter, and got ~180 ohms, on many of them ~60 on some and no signal on others.  I fear that half the pickups may be dead??

 I guess my first question is, does the fact that they are in series with each other affect the ohm readings? Do they have to be isolated to test individually?  I am not sure how the signal flow works with resistances and that.   

I would be willing to put up some pics and document my very naive attempts to learn and not wreck this very cool instrument if anyone is interested. The piano is two years older than me (it's a 1979) and I remember it being in the parents music room my whole life.   If I can get it back to making sounds (besides the first couple of keys) that would be lovely.

I have been reading and learning a ton from this site and just wanted to say thanks!

Offline sean

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Re: Restoring my mom and dad's rhodes, will have many questions as I go.
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2019, 05:13:04 PM »

Oh yes!  The parallel nature of the pickup wiring shows up on the ohm-meter!

I would expect you to put your meter between the front and back terminals on the same pickup.

In a group-of-three, you should get about 60Ω if all three pickups are working,
In a group-of-three, you should get about 90Ω if two pickups are working,
In a group-of-three, you should get about 180Ω if only one pickup is working.
If your meter says OL, infinity, or just blinks at you, then all three pickups are dead.

Use the alligator clip and screwdriver method to determine exactly which pickups in the group are working.  Basically, you bridge across the dead pickups with an alligator clip, so that you can hear the remaining good pickups work.  See or, and, of course, see

Once you get the dead pickups sorted out (you may have to buy a handful), you should be able to read the service manual a few times and get this Rhodes back on the road.  My decade-old simplistic tech method:
See also the videos from Vintage Vibe.