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Rhodes Service Manual

Rhodes Service Manual

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A lbl"ieJ History of ear bel' Mode is and means by which these may be brought to curr-ent standards.

General Information on Ma.intenance and Adjustment of Key Dip, Damper Control, Escapement Distance, Signal Strength, Tuning and Dtsa ssernbly.

RHODES Keyboard tnstruments - 1300 East valencia - Fullerton, Ca.lifornia 926·31 (714) 879-8080


There has be,en a growing need for a comprehensive manual describing the Piano as it has pr ogr-es sed through the ye ars in its various stage s of de ve hopment.

Fundamentally, there has been no deviation from the original design pr ine. i pIe, t houg h the actual ccnrtguration of the parts has c hang-ed.


Figure 1

The Hammer Head was of the conventional "tear drop!' design. The Hammer Shank and Hammer Butt were formed from wood and therefore tended to suffer the weaknesses of wooden par-ts, such as off - cente r hole s, dr irting holes, warping, etc.

An interim change involved the insertion or an aluminum Clip (A, Figure 2) on top of the Key Pedestal. This was done to increase the acceleration of the old Hammer design.


F'igure 2



The next generation of Hamme r.s featured a molded Shank and a molded

Flange (Figure 3). 'The se parts were made 0 f CYCA LA C, a. m ater tal wh ic h has "withstood the test of time and has proved to be dimenaionafly far super-Ior to its predecessor, besides be ing practf cal ly imper vious to variations in temperature and weather. At this same hme the Felt Strip or ig iual ly attached to the earn curve of the Hammel' was instead placed on the newly designed

Pedestal surface 0 f the Key. .

The "tear drop" Hammer Head was exce llent for standard pianos, however, it tended to weal" a groove, and as the groove deepened, the quality of sound deteriorated. Replacement was cumbersome and costly.

HAMMER "-V/ l'IP_.-r

While this type of Head was r-etamed for awhrle, another innovation followed soon (Figure - 4) . It con si sted of a wooden Head with a Fe It Tip, which was easily removed for replacement. 'This Vias a major step torwar d in that replacement could be done mexpenaively by the musician.

- -'----

ESCA PEN!EN'f h-,;::.<>;:J "~ __ ----';~")~' POINT A

AD!~S'!ING ~Y~'::-G~/ ~::j ,_ DAMPER ARM

SCREWl 1,__rc::? .... rtf;~.C~S;!__ MOUNTING SCREW B

\ ~ _ari«'~ ~. A M ~

~{~/ ~~9&-- ~/ DAMPER R, r- j\

,~~ 1 V"'Q.:,v- (~~>~ .~,.- //... HAMMER F LANGE I

:=J - ~ jty~ SCREW II

)Vgyr--------HAMMER FLANGE ! .

,ii~;;~J~~FELT STRIP I ~

ty~,v ~ I

-- .iJ

I: .




Frgure 4

At the same time, research was going on with a. type of Neoprene which would be a usable substitute [or the felt Ttps, Felt - being what it is .~ was still subject to grooving. The form ation of a groove is costly in tone production, since the walls of the gr-oove act as dampers. It was hoped that a material could be found which wouldend the problem of grooving. The Ncopr ene Tips proved superior in every wa.y and wer-e introduced into the Ime ear-ly in I 9'71, foBowingextensive te st ing,



In the broad Claim of our original patent, NQ. 2~ 972,922, the tone source is de scribed as a "tuning fork of unequal legs ", In other words, we de via te from the traditional concept of a tuning fork in that, while both Iegs of the fork vibrate at the same frequency ~ the lower leg Jsmor e re siltent and, as a consequence, responds mor-e pos irive ly to the blow of a Hamme r. It is to our advantage to construct this lower Ieg in such away as to render it as

r e ai.stan t to we ar and fatigue as po ssfble, In pursuit of this, the Tone Bar A ssernbly has gone thr-ough three rn ajar changes through the year s.

1. In the original Piano, the Tone Bar Assembly (tunIng fork) was a single piece of cast iron which was suspended in a metal channel. The bottom leg was a length of piano wire of a diameter of .075 fl. (See Figure 5).


,oJ Figure 5

2. In the next stage the Assembly was constructed as shown in f'igu"re 6.

Several improvements were accomplished by this change.

a. The Tone Generator Assembly (Figllre 6) was now r'emoveable for easy replacement.

h. Timbre adjustment was more eas By accomplished.

i Tg~

i ~ //



Figure 6


c. E scapernent distance was mOl'€, easily adjusted.

3. In an attempt tofur ther improve the tone quality and at the same time to reduce w€jght; "we came up with the current Tone Bar de srgn, wh ich we call the "twisted steel bar" (See Figure 7). (Patent No. 3~644;656)


Figure 7


In our original design." the "Ttne " (bottom leg of the tumng fork) consisted of a length of plano wire .075, in diameter (Figure 8). Fine tuning was accornphshed by means of a sl ideable length of coil spring which was cr-imped to produce a Ir-ictton fit (Figure 7).

Figure 8

Later, in an attempt to distribute the vibrational shock created by a. heavy Hammer blow, the wire was tapered as shown in F'igur-e 9 ..

• 0601'


Figure 9

This taper was accomplished by the "center less gr inding process". This new conftguration added consider-able life expectancy to the Tine.

As a. result 0'1' some si. x years of developmental procedure, a major breakthrough was accomplished in the processing of these new tapered Tines. Instead of the center-leas gr-mding process, and through the cooperation of the Torr:i.ng~?ll Ne.€(Ue iBe~ri!!~ C.?'. ~ we intrqduce.d the c.urrent .Tine, wh.ich we c all the Torr-ington 'I'ine (Figur e 10). In this new mno vation the Tine is formed by the swaging process, a process which by its very nature adds strength to the part by compacting the outer surface (skin) of the Tine.

Ou _-----.10

~ .060"


Figur-e 10

In a comparative shock test, T'Ine No. 1 'withstood 40;000 heavy Hammer blows; Tine No. 2 withstood 1, 500~OOO blows; Tine No. 3 was still going after '6,00000, ODD blows.

While it is the nature .of even the finest steel to deteriorate when shocked by stresses beyond its elastic limit and thus ftnalry to c rysta lize and break, we feel that in this new process we now have r eac hed the ultimate in providing a part capable of withstanding indettnttely aU but the most withering' treatmerit.


The remaining page s of th] s manual will be devoted to maintenance procedure and [0 de scription of the way s in which the various vintage models can be adapted to newer standards;

I. Suppose you have a Piano of the vintage depicted in Figure 1 and wrsh to bring it up to current sound standards. Proceed as follows:

a. Examine the condition of the Hammer Heads, If the g reeves are not more than 3/] 6 11 deep, they can be re shaped by sanding off the outer surface. To accomplish thi s, construct a shaping

tool from a 6 ff length of yard sttck to which has been cemented a piece of very rough sand paper. Beginning at Points A and Al work upward towar-d the c r-own - taking off enough ot the outer layer of felt to remove aU trace of the groove (see Ftgur e 1 I).




It should be noted that by the method chosen in this shaping process, you have a measure of control over theYstr.iking linen. (The point: of Hammer contact along the length of the Tine).

Suppose Point A (Figure 12) is the optimum point for best tone, and volume r:sponse. You. can shape the Hamme r so that the peak of the felt Is left or nght. of center m order to. accomodate to Point A.



FIG URE, 1 '2

You can determine the exact location of Point A by removing all the MountIng Screws from the Harp so that it can be slid back or forward On the Support Blocks. With the Harp free to move, slide it back or forward as you str-ike the Key unttl you Ioca .. ;;e the point of maximum power r e spouse, Next) mark this point on the Tine with a fe It pen, slide the Harp to or igtnal poaition, with Hammer raised, mark a spot on the Hammer Tip where the Felt Tip should be shaped. Thfs procedure should be repeated about every Bth Hammer throughout the scale. The intervening Hammer-s can be shaped to the "cur ve ' thus deve loped.

h. Next, test Felt har dne sa by playing the Piano through the midrange. lf the tone qualtty is har-sh, Indicatingexcesstve hardness of Hammers, the Felts can be softened by the ··VOidng'· process. This is accompl'ished through the use of a Voicing: tool, a variable In any piano supply house. Failing this, embed a common sewing needle in a hand dr-Ill, then "dr.ill " the needle dir e etly into the Felt at sever-al points in the striking area,

c. If the Hammer Heads ar,e too badly worn for salvage, remove all Hammer AssemibHe sand r-eplace with the ne w Hammers [Par-t No. 31-2021). The new Hammer Assembly will come

complete :vith. Flange and Br idle S~t'ap mounted. - It will appear "-

as shown In Ftgure 4A, ,( without T:Ip. )1


Proceed as foUows;

] ~ Remove-all Damper Shoes by sliding forward ( Figure I}.

2. Unsc rew Flange Screw and remove Hammer by sHding Bridle Str ap out over Damper Arm.

3. Mount the new Hammer A ssernbly by sliding the new Bridle Strap over the Dampe r Arm then by securing the Assembly with the Flange Scr ew,

4. SHde all Damper Shoes back into place.

5. Create a1/ a" x 3/8" x 3/8 n ahtm and glue into place on the Hammer Head as shown in Figure] 3. 'I'hia Js nece ssary in order to bring the Hammer Tip up to the fun height of the one r-epl.aced,

Your best bet is to purchase a 2, T length of balsa wood, dimension stock I/ 8!! x3/arr at your local model shop. Cut into square s with a sharp knife and cement to the Hammer Head with Elmer t S glue .

..----~~ ~ N1EOPRENE,

" ~ TIP





6. Secure an Neoprene Tfps following the instructions given

in the kit (Part No, 31-2022.). .0

7. The new Br idle Straps are sUghtly shorter than the old, re sultfng fun a Iower rest position of the Damper Fe Its. Adjus. tthese u)J~a.rd~o suit by bending the Maleabte Wire Damper Ar m ,( !Fl!gure 14).



r lvIA,", ,-,'_-' "L, '"EABLE ,\VIRE

- ,:p.~-:....


..,._ ~ .. ""'-- .... ---


..., ..... ..- - ..... _- .....

------ __ -"'""

_- -



8., Ca:refully peel off the red woven FeU from the cam curve of the old Ham mer s, exer crsfng care to leave a smooth, clean surface, and cement to the top of the Key Pedestal. This applte s whethe.r the Key is as shown In Figure 1 or Figure 2.

2. Suppose you have a Piano of the vintage depicted in Figure 4 but with the type Tone BaTS shown in Figur-e 61, and you wish to restore it. Proceed as fOUows:

a. Remove al.l Fe It Hamme r Tips with a jack knife. Make certain that the maple Hammel' Head surface is ctean of an Felt and okd glue, If the Hammer Head is of the variety shown in inset Figure 4B, remove the back shoulder with a pail' of end cutters in order to provide ample surface for the new Neoprene Tips, See Figure 15.




b. Using 3M Weatherstripping Cement No. 80'01 'Ora simifar bondiug agent, cement the new Neoprene Tips following instructions given in the kit No. 31~202'2.

1 + Remove aU Tone Generator A ssernbl.ie s by, removing a] 1 Tone Generator Mounting Screws (Figure I).

2. Mount all new Tone Generator Assemblies following instructions given in kit No. 3'1-2020.


3. Adjust Timbre Adju stmg Sere w (Figure 1 )un til working edge of Tine rests on at plane slightly above dead center witJli the Pick-Up as shown in Figure 16. Let your ear guide you in this.





4. Slide all. Pick- Up A!:,,~s in or out to esta~lish a ~ap between Pick-Up and Tine of between 1/16 P. and 1/ B" as shown in Figure 17.

It should be noted that the smaller the gap between Tine and Pick-Up the greater the volume of sound and" more importantly - the pronounced the D'YNAMIC RESPONS.E.

By Dynamic Response is me ant ~ 'per centage of volume :incre'as€ in response to increased weight of touch", In Pianos bunt since March 1972"a gap of .020n can be accomodated in the middle and upper range. )


lJOIH 110 lllME




5~ Remove the Mounting Screw's {incfuding the hinge screw) On the left '(bass) side of the Harp; Figure 18. Whtle strik:ii.ng Middle C, sltde the left side of the Har-p away from you approximately 1/4 I'. This should resul t in a noticeable increase in volume re spouse of the tone being struck. The reason for this is to re-e stabl tsh a new striking !!.ne as dictated by the change s just de scr-ibed.

6. When you have located this new Harp positton to your satisfaction, sink. two new holes in the ill aple Side Support Blocks '(Use a No. 10 driUJ., then secure the Harp by remounting the Scr-ews, Next, re-mount the Hinge by drilling a new hole {No. 10) in the aide of the Harp Frame. Exercise extreme, care in gurdmg your driB through the steel

so as to avoid plunging the drill into the Pick- Up.



1. Tines

2~ Dampers

8. Damper Release Bar

9. Harp Mounting Screws ]0. Typical Tone Bar

11 & 12. Tone Ear AdjMstment Scr-ews

13. Action RaH Guide Pins

14. Front Rail Guide Pins

15. Nameboard Mounting Screws FIGUR18 18

3. 4. 5 .. 6. 7.

Harp Hinge Pick-ups

Pr eamp - jack. Pick-up Arms

Plck-up Mounting Screws


1. }{ey DilI' Ke~ diP. and Hammer tr a yet. are control led by the height . of the. Ae Ion Rail (Figure 1'9). Key dIP IS the term used to deacr ibe the downwar-d HmH of travel of the Key when depr e ssed. 3/8" is ideal. This Is eontr ol led by means of shims placed between the Action RaH and the Key Fr-ame, To adjust, remove the entir-e Action from the box. Along the back of the Key Frame under the Action Rail will be five wood screw's. Remove these, then either remove shim s OT add shims depending upon whether you wish to reduce or increase the Key dip.


2. Dam_er CQntrolli. The Damper ideallyc lear s the Tine by at Ieast 3/8!'

to tV en f e Key Is depressed. Convarsely, when the Key is at

rest, the Damper should bear firmly on the Tine in order to effectively damp the aound, I( Se e Pigu re 19).



KEY Drp 3/8 t r IDEALl








To mamtain this relationship, there are two adjustments possible.

a. Tension. The Damper Arm is actually a Ieaf spring. (See Figure '=I). Tension can be mer-eased by "Ironing' a sUght :reverse curve in the part with your two nng. er s .. Anot. her, way 1,S to pull upward on the Arm atPornt "A" (Fi;gure 20). The added tension thus imparted will result in improved Damper response .•



b. Alignment. With tension thus ,€ stabl ished, proper Dampe r coordinati 011 is achieved by bending the for ward portion of the Damper Arm up or down as shown in Figure 21.


F--1 - __ ~_ t,


3. EscapemenL Escapement is the wor d used to describe the distance between Uie stziktng edge of the Hamme r Tip and the Tine when the Key is fully depressed. This distance varies from between 3/16f" and 1/4" in the bass section to between 1/16 TT and 1/8" m the mid section and between 1/32" and 1/16" in the treble section, The shorter the escapement distance, the more sensitive the touch.

The escapement distanc'€ could be called the "free thrown area. In other words thfs is the are a of Hamme-r travel after the energy imparted by the touch is no Ionger effe cti ve. In order to under stand the philosophy ~ suppose the escapement distance were ]/2!!. Under this condition, it would require an extremely sharp blow to impart enough acceleration

to the Hammer to enable it to reach the Tines. Now reverse the aituanon, suppose that \Ve reduce the escapement to zero. The Ilgntest feather touch will produce a sound, However, sustained Hnger pressure on the Key wiU cause the Hammer to smother the sound. Now

baek off a bit. Raise the escapement to the point where the Hammer

can no longer smother the sound. This becomes the ideal setting.

To achieve the Ideal escapement setting, the r e are sever-al adjustments possible depending upon the vintage Piano involved.

1. To decrease thee sc apern ent distance) cornpr e 5S both Escapement Adjusting Spr mgs (Figure 4). This will lower the entire TOone Bar Assembly thus reducing the gap. Once this jis accomplished reestablishment of timbre and volume setting is done in the usual way •.

2~ If the escapement tsexce ssrve through out the entire Piano, proceed as fol.lows:

a. Remove the two Side Support Block s.

b. Using a table saw~ shave off the desired amount from the top surface of each Block. (1/16TT to 1/8") (Figure 18).

c. Replace the As sernhly, then reset the Dampers for maximum performance.

3. An alternate method of accomplishing the same thing is to remove aU Hammer 'rips; add a Shim, then replace the T'iP5~ as outlined on page 7. This pr'oeeedur e , while perhaps a bit more tedious, requires no equipment nor re=adjustment of Damper-s,



As also is the case in string pianos, the escapement distance in the bass secHon should be greater than. in the middleand upper sections. This requirement is even more pronounced fun our instrument due to the wide are of Tine movement encounter-ed, Escapement distance on Tone Bar 1 could be 3/8' r. Insufficient e scapernent in this area. invites "double st.roktng " with an accompanying disturbing sound.

Signal Strength.:

Originally the 73 Pick Up Coifs were joined in a se r ie s paralfel arr-angement as shown rn Figure 22.


Later ~ basic voltage output was quadrupled by changtng the seriesp,araHel ar r angement 9.S shown in Figure 23.




This change can be made on any of the older Pianos simply by re-rouUng the bus wtr eaas shown in Figure 24. The output Impedance then becomes appr oximately 2500 ohms.


\\Ill.ere a Ma.rk I Stage Piano is connected to an outside amp which has ahigh

.~ mnplllt impedance (one megohm) an impedance matching transformer 'is recommended,


Choose a tr-ansfer mer with the fonowing ape ctfication:

1. Primary = 5.,000 to 10~OOO ohms

2. Secondary = 100;000 to 500,000 ohms

Under the condtticns described, this wHI step up signal strength by a factor of 5 to 10.

Tc avoid the possibility of any loss of "high s", it is recommended that the transformer be mounted neal' the auxiliary amp. The length of cable from Piano to primary is not important. Stancor manufactures such a transformer that selts for approximately $3. 75.

III cases such as thts, many dealers have mounted inexpensive battery operated pre amps behind the Nameboard of the Piano, These often have the advantage of pr'ovidmg tone controle,


Generally speaking it can be said that the Piano win not "so out of tune", Certainly it doe s not go generally out of tune over the entire keyboard as does the tr.adtt ional string piano+

What may happen is that one or more notes may .go out of tune because of a loose Tuning Spring or as a result of Tine fatigue under the stress of constant heavy blows. Under the se conditions tuning simply requires pitch comparison with the tone an octave below and Shifting of the Tuning Spring until pitch alignment is achieved. In the case of extreme Tine fatigue; the tine should

be replaced.

An extremely helpful feature is the easy removal of the Tine por-tion (Tone Generator .A ssembly) (Ftgure 1), from the tuning fork by Simply unscrewing the Tone Generator Mounting Screw (Figure 1); thus, should a Tine become damaged for any reason, replacement will be easy and inexpensive. Replac.ement "I'one Generator Assemblies are available in kit form, with the Tine at maximum length. These can be cut to desired Iength w~th a pair of sidecutter-s, (Order part No. 31-2024 - Tone Generator Assembly Kit) (See Figure25).



, 1'-'

, '

. ,

: I:




y- ---

Complete Tuning I ~

If you are a piano tuner by profeas.ion, and if you preter not to use one of the avail able tuning devices such as the Strobctuner, proceed as follows:

L Remove the Mounting Screws from the Harp Fr-ame (lI. 3- Figure 18). 2. Raise the Harp to a vertical po sit ion. {See Figure 26).


3. Mark the letter names of the 73 Tines on the Tone Bar Rail.

4. Turn up the volume and pluck the Tines with the fingers. Set the destred pitche s by manipulating the little Tuning Springs' (Ffgur e 27)_ Set your temperament in the same manner employed with a string plano.

Proceed up and down the keyboard pr-ecisely as you would with a string piano. The job wiH be much easier in this case since ther e will be no need to tune unisons.

Stretched octave tuning is recommended where the musician is an accomplished soloist.


C:omple'~e Tuning 2: ~

If you have a Strobotul1er, start at C below Middle C. Set the Strobotuner on G :andmlnmpula.be the Tuning Spring until Hille strobe disc seems to stop. M,ove on to c,,~ €ttc,. Continue to . High C above ,Middl,e C. . For str,et,c hied octave tun ~ .~.~ oonUDlleas .Follows. Forthen,exthaU octave, (ei::, D, Di", E, F~ nand

G)I set the Stl'oboruner one cent sharp,., '(On the St.rotu.)tll,ner,. each maiked ca,Hbrati(lllJi rellH·e~se'nr[s f'h',e' {)I!ilJe Hundredths {)if a selll:ltone~ 01' 5cewliJ'~~,. On the more sophrsticated StroboConn, eacb m arked cahbratton represents on€: one

hundredth of a. sem itona or 1 cen t.} .

For GI~A~ All ,B and e set the stl"obobi.mel'aIlother cent shm;r:p~ Centtmse raiamg the SI:roDornnell." one eentfen- ,e.acb h~:f octaveunUI you reach thetop ofth,e PilaJilo,. Next, start 'wUh B liJe]O\'ll! Low C'.

Set the Strobotuner I cent Hat. Tune B, Bb, A) A~ and G. Set Tuner another cent flat and tune (;~j F~ E~ E~~ D, D~ and C. Continue to bottom of Piano.


1. P~ar-ll{liCove'r RS'm.ovM

The Cover is formed of A • .B~ S~ materfal ana tspraetieally i.mpe:r~ vious to damage. Three metal cUps located along tbsback surface

ICiI£ HH~ NameboarlQ hold the Cover firm1y in place, To l'emQve~ lift up


on the two back co rner s of the mu]ded top. With this dune, simply pull the front edg"e freE: of the clips ...

2. Piano Harp Removal

The Harp is secure J. to two maple block s c allcd Harp Support Block s. (Fjgure 28). In later model s. the Harp is also secured by Hinge nods.

1 1 I





Complete removal of the Harp, then, is accompl'ished by removing the fou r Mounting Sc rew s at; well as the two bo It s which se cu r e the Hinge Rods.

The Harp consf sts of three major assemblies, -the Fr ame, the Tone Bar Rail and the Pick - Up HaD. The Tone Bar Rail and. the Pick - Up Rail are joined by two metal brackets caned Harp Brackets.

Disassembly begins with removal of the se two Br ackets, Next, tur n the Harp over and remove the wood sc re WS which hold the Tone Bar Rail in place. With removal of these screws the Tone Bar Rail, complete with Tone Bar s, srmply lifts off.


FinaUYJ removal of the Pick -Up Hall is accomplished In the same way.

The only practical reason for such activity mfght be for the purpose of reaching the Pick- Ups and thus to make easy the change of seriesparatletaltgnment of the Pick- Ups as outlined on pages 13 and 14.

a.Loosen, but do not r'emove, the two Screws (1 and 2~ Figure 29).

h. With a pair of needle-nose pliars, pull the Rod loose from the nylon bushing in the Support Block,

c. Remove the Levefe r Screw located in the center of the Damper Release Ear I( 1F:i.gure 29).

d. With the same needle-nose pl.iar s; drop the Tension Spring (Figure 19).

e. Slide the entire Damper Release Bar loose from the bushing In the other Support Block.

Of Course removal otthe Damper Release Bar is required in order to reach the 73 Damper Arms for the adjustmen ts described on Page s 12 and ]. 3.

4. Damper Removal

a. Remove Damper Arm Mounting Sc rew ,( Figure 4).

b, With a knife 0 r screw dri vel' ~ pun the secured end of the Dampe r Arm Ioose from the semi non-hardening cement. You w:U] notice that" besides the Mounting Screw, the Damper Arms have

been held in place by a layer of semi non-hardening cement. ~,


C':. Holdin~ the _Bridlt~ Strapwith une hand. ,carefuUy pun the Dampe r .• :!\rm buck so as to break the g-iue hond between ttl (I strap and

the Iorrued tonp,:u C' in the Darnpe r Arm w ithout dam ~I ~'i n~ t h f' tong LIP,

'Once the Damper hasbeen removed. the Hammer Assembly is rernoved by removing the Hammel' Fhl!:nge Screw (Fi~ure4),. Hammel' rernoval does not require prior removal of filA Damper Arm nor of the Damper Release B:I,l'.

\;~;ritlh care" the screw dr iver can be guj.ded between Damper Arms .. Once EIl·(!· Flange Screw is removed, pufI forward 0111 the Ha mmer .. Again~ cxarctse care not to damage the Damper Arm tOJl;-.ue.Replacement Hammer-s are awailalJl,e as complete as sembltcs ,con:sistin;~ of Ham mer t Hammer Flange, Br:id~e Strap and Hammar Head, withDU t the Neopr en s Tip~ part No. 3,1- 2022.

16.. Key Removam

a. Remove tl1.e ameboardAssembly by removing the Mounting SCr'lelvs I(Figure HO ..

Key Ievcling is ac compltshed by adding or removing sh im s from the center rail pin. Sticking Keys are eased by compressnn; the wood. arnun d the Gu~.de· Pin slot with 8! pa~r' ·of n€!·€!dle-ncls·E' pbal~s.,


Before turning the Piano up-stde-down, be sure the Name board is sec ured in pl ae 0 as a jirecautlon agah'l.st lus:hl!.g· the Ke'ys:rund. the' paper ]I;:e'y-!e''!I!''eUnp: shtms ..




RHODES Keyboard Instruments- 1300 East Valencia ~ Funertont California 92631 (714) 879 -808,0


The following are the important dtmensional standards for maximum perfor+ mance of your Rhodes Piano.

8 7



1. The distance (1" from back qf Key to front of Action Support Rail with Key depressed should be 15/16H•• This dimens'ion should be checked

at Hammer Number 1 and at Hammer Number 73. Observance of this dimenston win insure proper relationship between Hammer Cam Cur va and Key surface, The objective is to insure a fuH platform for the Hammer as it rotates through its fun swing. When the Hammer ills at the top of its swing, the extr-eme rea r surface of ite Cam Curve should be approximately 1/16ft from the rear edge of the Iett pad of the Key. (See Figure below.)

To insure free action, thefe It pad should be saturated with graphite, teflon or siltcone,

2. The distance of.downward travel of the Key front (2) is called "Kay Dip." Ideal.ly, this Is 3/8". Some pianists may prefer a deeper dip, This is accompltshed by increasing the height of the Action Support Rail (3). This is done by removing the Action Support Rail Screws and fitting cardboard or fiber shims of the desired thickness between the Action Support Rail and the Key Frame, Factory standard for drmenston (3) is 1-15/16".



3. Hammer rise (4) should be 4_29/3211 Irom top 01" Key F'rarno to top 'Of Hammer Tip. This measurement should be taken at Hammer Number 1. A ser:linus deviation from this diruen sion would indicate nlisalig-n~ ment of dimensions (1) and (3,).

4. The height of both left and r ight Maple Harp Support Blocks (5} should be 4-1 » /2",

5.. The initial dimensional setting of all Tone Bar A ssembfies (6) is 3/' 3" above the Rail. With this accomplished, rotate the T'i mbrc Ad jus tmen! Sc t,WV.,.' unt il the end of the Tine is sl.ightry above an imaginary center line running through the Pick-up. The idea] T'i mbr e setting is deter'miued by ear , See Timbre Setting, Page g, in the Service Manual.

6. The gap (7) remaining between the Hamrne r Tip and the Tine 'with the Key depressed is caned the Escapement distance. This should vary fr-om I/ 4' r to. 3/8 tT at Tone Bar 1 to a distance of 1/16' r to 1/8 tt 'It Tone Bar 34, fina].'i.Y to a dista nee of 1/32 rf to 3/ 32~' at 'Tone Bar 73. (See Figur-e balow.)

1/4" to. 3/ B rr




The philosophy behind this var:i.ation isqlat, _ while the ideal Escapement for the most responsive touch :is 1/32 ", the whipping- action of the Tine in response to the Hammer blow increases as it becomes Ionger toward the Bass end 0.1 the Keyboard, making this ideal setting impossible.

In. older model Pianos, an appr oxrmatron of the ideal was achieved by raising the entire Harp Fr'ame on the left hand (Bass) sjde& This was done by adding' a number of black fiber shims to the top of the left hand Harp Support Block. See Figur e 281 Page 17 in the Service Manual.

Recentlyv an order to develop lucre touch sensitivity in the Mid-range, an added step was taken. The N eopr ene Tips were in creased in size starting with Hammer Number 24 and extending upward to the extreme right side {Hammer 73}.. (See Figure below.)

o 0 0 0









Co 0








The result of this then, is that there i.s a 1/106 t t step -up at Tone Bar 24 wrth a welcome 1/16" reduction in the Es capement distance a,s shown in the above Figure.





A quick glance at the Iol'lowing Fig-ure win r eveal that there are threo wa YS of

ncnieving a fine, custom ndjustment of the Escapement distances. .

Adjustment Number ][: Each of the 73 Tone Bar Assemblies is separated from the Ra:H bY two adjustable coil Springs.. By means of these, the height 0] the Tone Bar Assernbly can be raised to 1/2" or lowered to 3/16 t r (factory setting is 3;'8ti}. Frorn the Ftgure below, it can be observed that this adjustment drredly affects the Escapement distance and thus provides for a fine degree of custom adjustment.

FACTORY ____ ~~::SE::': .=T=T=I~:::J~l



It should be noted that any major change of adjustment by this means requires re-aHg:nment of Timbre setting, Volu me setting and Da rnper setting.

Adjustment Number 2: The height (thickness) of the Hammer Tip can be altered with relative ease. To r sduce the Escapement, increase the height of the Tip. This is accompl tshed by removing the Tip by wedging: the blade of a Jack knife on the rear edge of the cement bond and flipping the blade upward. !he cement is a se.mi-non-har~e/tling ~YBe d~signcd f,?r easy. removal ... Next, insert and cement III place a 3/8 x 3/ 8 ShIm. of des'ired thickne ss , Balsa wood is available in strips of 1/16 rr x 3/8 T1 X 2: T and 1/8 'T x3/ 8!! x 2 f at most model shops. Note the steps :ii.Hustrated in the foHo\;;;·l.ng Figure.





Tedtous as this method of adjustment may seem, it should be noted that none of the other sensttive setttngs a.re disturbed by it.

i\djlustment Number 3: Adding or subtracting shims from the Harp Support Blocks should bg resorted to ?n~y for lU:~ purpose of -est~blish~ng· the desired Escapement at Tone Bar -1 (1/4' to 3/8 ") and Tone Bar 73 0/ 32TT to 3/32ft).

Having now been introduced to the various adjustments available to you in achie-ving the best Escape men! settings for optimum touch response) you should strive toO tailor the Escapement settings in accordance with the particular style of play employed by the person who plays the Instrume-nt. A senst trve mustcian such as a Chick Corea or a Sergio Mendes or a Bill Evans win be Iooking for extremely close settings in the Mid- and Upper-range. A musician who p. .lays heavy, strong octaves in the Bass area wHl require even

,,,.J} I

greater Escapement distances in the left hand area. Thus, you now have the ~

tools by which to customize the action to the mdt vidual tastes and needs or

the mus ici an,

7. ttStriking Lme" is the term used to describe the best place along the Iength of each Tine to aim the striking edge of the Hammer, Like the t!sweet spot" of a baseball bat, there is a point [If maximum response. This was deter-mined by a painful trial process and resulted in the precise curve given to the Tone Bar Ra il,

Proper striking line is as sur ed by scttmg the Harp in such a way as

to arrive at a dimension of 2 -13//32 ft between. leading edge of the Hammer Tip and the leading edge of the Tone Generator en. This dimension should be taken at Tone Bar 1. At Tone Bar 73, this dimension is approximately 1/8H•

If a deviation from this sett.ing oc cur-s, then relocate the Harp on its Support Blocks and drill fresh mounting hole s in the Blocks. As a te st of the validity of the Harp setting for best striking Iine, remove all restrictions from the Harp, then as you strike Middle C, rotate the left side of the Harp forward and back until the maXim1.11H tonal response oc curs. Next, repeat this procedure at C below Middle C, etc. Continue until you are satisfied with the settmg, Next, secure the Harp to the Support Blocks at this new setting.

Voic ing Your Piano:

There are pres,ently five gradations of hardness in the Hammer Tips. Tips 1 through 23 are of a hardness of approximately 30 as read 011 a "Durometer-",



Tips 24 thr-ough 33 arc of a harclurss of 50. Tips 34 through 43 are of a hardness of 710. Tips 44 through 57 are of a hardne-ss of 90. Tips 58 through 73 arc wrapped.

The change-points f'roru one har dn E'SS specifica tion to a nut her could hr a matter of choice. For instance. Tons 33 would re spond with mor e brHliance with a Tip of the hardness used in the rang,'C' of 34 through 43. On the 'Other lund, Tone 34 would be more m ellow ira Tip of the hardnr ss used in the range 'Of

24 through 33 wcr c used. .

From this it is appar-ent that it is possible to establish grf'atcr brilliance throug-hout by moving to the harder Tips at for instance; Tones 20, 30, 40 and 54. Conver-sely, it is possible to achieve mor-e mellowness by making the change is at Tones 28_, 38" 48 and 6:2.

Any technician who has work sd on the voicing of a standard piano is wel.I aware of the fa c:t that the ultimate tonal characteristic of a g-hren piano depends bea vily on the Ham mer Head ha.rdne s s. Br.i ll iauce or me Ilowne ss on a standard plano is achieved by ironing or pricking' the felt Hammers - a procedure to be attempted only by a qual ified technician since the Hammcr s could be permanently ruined In the hands of a novice. Not so in our case, where a eOlnple~e. r.ep.laeernf;;'nt set of Tips is available at a nominal price. (Kit Number ,)1 -2022,).

The Damper System:

The Damper mechanism is the epitome of simplicity. It consi sts of D. length of tempered alum inurn, one end of which :is secor ad to the hack of the Action RaH at such an. angle as to create some spring tension when joined to the

Br idle Strap. At the other el"l.d is a felt Damper Pad so positioned as to bear against the Tine and 'Ihus to damp the sound.

The Bridle Strap Is a part of the Han-HUeI' As sernbly. It Is designed to engage a ~ tho ok' , which is Iorrned into the Darnpnr A ssernbly at approximate Iy its midpoint. As the Ham me:r swings upward, the Bridle Strap pul ls the Damper

Ar m downwar d, thus d isengagtng the Da mper felt from the Tine. As the Hammer strikes the Tine, the Damper rs at the point of maximum. clearance (8)" thus allowing the Tine to vibtate unimpeded. As the Hammer drops back into Its posrtion 0 f rc st, the Damper r e -cngages the Tine, thus damping the sound.

The Damper Release Bar provides a foot-activated mechanical means of disengaging all Damper-s, thus allowing al I Tines to vibrate freely.

The Damper Arm is subject to two easy adju stments. Both ar e de.scr ibed in detail in the Servi ce Manual, P ag'e 11.









RHODES Keyboard Instruments - 1300 East Valencia - Fullerton, California '92631 ('114) 879 -8080


/ ._.,


The unig.u? tone 0,[ your Rhod.e s Piano derives from _the pr inc iple of the tuning fork. Whi le the common tuning fork has two Iegs (tines) of equal length and mass ~ tne tining f01" ks in your Rhodes Piano differ from these in one very important way. The two. prong's (Hnes or legs) of our tuning fork are not of tJ;e sa me _~ass, shape or siz,E': . They are aUk€' o~llyin pitch. Th~ low~e:r, . mor-e r-e sil.iant leg responds vi.sfbfy to the blow of a Hammer by vtbrating Jln

a wide arc at a certain. frequency.

• -:1





The upper leg, while not so visibly, does vibrate at the sa me frequency. The importance of this upp,er leg- can ,easily be demonstrated by the Jollowing simple experiments.

1. Str-ike any note, preferab]y In the mid-range of the Piano. With the Sustain Pedal down, squeeze the upper leg with the fingers. The tone die tmmediatefy.

2. Perfor-m the same experiment, but this time touch the upper leg very lightly. The vibration will be dtsttnctly fe It under the fingers.

This patented concept of: the tuning fork ofter s many advantages, One of these is that the upper leg supports the piteh variations in the lower leg (Tine).. In other words, asaum tug G to be the target pitch, the lower leg could be de Irberately tuned to F~ F#-, G} G# or A without any appreciable loss of support from the upper leg. This opens up a world of poasfbtltttes as wfll be shown.

You will note a small con Spring on the lower leg so designed as to be a tight fit. This coil Spring: acts as a counter-weight and therefore as a pitch control. Moving this Spring will. r ssult in a change. of pitch. By thi s means, then, it is poss ihle to arrive at a fine tuning merely by sliding the Spring to the desired spot on the Tine. See Tuning' Your Rhodes Piano.

ThE' Tines in your Rhodes Piano, like the strings of a guitar, are subject to brea,kage under stress. We here at the factory are constantly on the alert for ways to achieve the Ionge st pos sthle life in these as weH a.s in al l other com ~ ponent parts of your Piano. In actual tests, Tines picked at random have withstood in exces s of 6, OOOf 000 blows in a test machine, Thi s machine 1 S so constructed as to simulate actual playing conditions. Despite this, ste'el wire of even the finest qualrty, invariably has flaws along its sur-race. If these m'icroscoptcally small flaws occur 'On a node pomt, they can become the point of eventual fracture. This is offered to explain the fact that, while one per sons Piano may play for three years under constant use with no more than a couple or three broken Tines. Another musician may experience a similar breakage

within a, few weeks. .



.'4"- -",

i, ;.- i" "

L. / i "1 •· .. r -

~ ," ',,',

For reasons just descr-ibed, the 'I'ino s cannot be covered :in the general w~'rranty of the P iano,


In anticipation of this, we have devrsed a,' srmple procedure for r eplac ement - e ,

- . I~./~: _:

one which the musician can perfor-m in about the time it takes to replace a' ,$'

gutta .. r string. . ~ tI_ ."".... . _t,' ··t,.~'·

Since all Tines throughout the pitch ~e o~.tloe same conf'iguration anI. vary only in length, and since the Ti ' ¢asil~4fi),e cut to sii~ by means ~~

a pair of side ~u Iter pJie 1'8) it_ [oU"'"s tha all.l1,e.~rt tfici~" needs i s a set of \

replacement T:I!JWS of the maximurre length, " t' J

\ " . --

To aid the music ian, r eplaceme I s are packaged in Kits of six, In eac h

Kit Is an assortment of Tuning ~_'I, ..... ~~"hS and a complete cutting chart,

. ,.-

To perform. the replacement pro. 're~ you wil l need the fol lowing tools:

1. A Ph.illip s Ser ew Driver ,(No. '2)

2. A parr of Side Cutter oS

3. A 1/4tT and a 5,/16" Wrench

y pressed into the little cross-piece called . parts when joined together become the Kit then Is known <1.$ the Tone Generator mber 31- 2024 .

Each of the six Tines comesa lr the Tone Gener a tor. Thus, the "Tone Generator Asaemblv", T Assembly Replacement Kit Part

Comple te r-eplacement re'quires only the tollowing simple steps. 1. Remove the Cover.


2. Remove the Tone Gen erato]' Mounting Screw. (__

3. Remove the four SCl'e\vs which secure the Piano Harp Frame to the Harp Support Blocks and stand the Harp ver-tically on its Hinge .


.... l l


./ ./



4. Consult the cut Ung chart In the Tone Gene rater Assembly Replacement Kit and cut the Tine to length with a pair of sharp side cutter-s.

5. Mount the Tuning Spring.

6. Secure the new replacement by tightening the Tone Gener-ator- Mounting Screw shown in the drawing be low.

'1.. Turn on the Amp with the Volume at maximum setting.

8. Re-set Volume by Ioosenmg the Volume Adjustment Screw and sliding the Pick-up Arm in or out as you play.

9. Re- set Timbre (tone color) by rotating the Timbre Adjustment Screw as you play.

10. With your Ieft hand, pluck the Tine an octave below the Replacement Assembly. With your right hand, pluck the Replacement Tine and slide the Tuning Spring until pitch alignment is accomplished.

11. Check for pitch once more.

12. Secure Harp and replace Cover.








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