Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Rhodes Update

So, I've officially started the refurbishing process on my Rhodes. At the moment, it is in about a hundred pieces scattered around my studio. That is not a figure of speech. It truly is in about a hundred pieces. I've removed all 73 keys and I'm currently in the process of pulling all of my tonebars and tines off of the harp and cleaning them. This has turned out to be a really long process, but I'm looking forward to playing it after all of this work is done. I'm using Scotch bright to scrub off any oxidation and rust that I find on my tines. It is obvious from the tines (and the condition of the wood on the keys) that this Rhodes was stored in a damp place for a long time. Nearly all of my keys had expanded and that is what was causing a lot of my action problems. This is also (if I didn't mention it last time) a 1976 Rhodes. It was around this time period (76-77) that Rhodes placed the key felts on the bottom of the hammers and not on the top of the keys. So, pianos made during this time period tend to have a "heavier" feeling action anyway. That plus the swollen keys is holding this particular instrument back as far as playability are concerned.

To fix the action issues, I've ordered the "miracle mod" or "bump mod" which is designed to fix the felt on the bottom of the hammers issue. I'm also going to lube my guide pins and stretch out my bushings. This should help with the expanded wood issue on the keys. That should fix most (if not all) of the action issues. The best laid plans of mice and men... eh?

While I'm working on fixing the action, I am also going to work on the sound. I've also ordered new damper felts, screws, washers, grommets, and hammer tips to completely refurbish this Rhodes. My grommets are beyond the point of needing to be replaced, the srews are bent and rusted out, the damper felts are grooved and the hammer tips banged up. So, thats what I have on my plate. Alot of work still ahead, but so worth it.


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