This chapter deals with the important dimensional standards for maximum performance of your RHODES Piano and adjustments available to maintain that performance.
Figure 4-1. RHODES Modular Action - Single Key Depressed
When Key Dip is changed, reestablishment of Escapement
and Striking Line is required.
Figure 4-2. Escapement Distances
The philosophy behind this variation is that while the ideal Escapement for the most responsive touch is 1/32" (0.794mm), the whipping action of the Tine in response to the Hammer blow increases as it becomes longer toward the Bass end of the Keyboard making this ideal setting impossible.
In order to maintain touch sensitivity through Escapement variation, the Neoprene Hammer Tips are graduated in height as well as hardness from extreme Bass through extreme Treble.
There are presently five gradation of hardness in the Hammer Tips and therefore, corresponding height differences. They are:
|Hammer Tip Number||Durometer Reading
|1 through 30||30||1/4" (6.350mm)|
|31 through 40||50||5/16" (7.938mm)|
|41 through 50||70||3/8" (9.925mm)|
|51 through 64||90||7/16" (11.112mm)|
|65 through 88||Wrapped (extra hard)||7/16" (11.112mm)|
As is apparent from the above chart, there is a 1/16" (1.588mm) height increase from one Hammer Tip section to the next, except in the extreme Treble area, or 3/16" (4.762mm) overall Hammer Tip height increase from Bass to Treble (left to right).
The precise change points of the Hammer Tips are subject to individual taste. While the factory settings are listed above, some musicians prefer to continue the Tips of the 90 durometer clear up to Hammer Number 67 or beyond. This is done to avoid the sharp change in tone characteristics experienced as a result of the difference in Tip hardness. This provides further opportunity for customizing in accordance with individual taste.
A quick glance at Figure 4-3 will reveal that there are two ways of achieving a fine, custom adjustment of the Escapement Distances.
Figure 4-3. Escapement Adjustment Locations
Figure 4-4. Adjustment Location 1
Any major change of adjustment by this means requires
re-alignment of Timbre, Volume and Damper Settings.
Having been introduced to the adjustments available to you in achieving the best Escapement settings for optimum touch response, you should strive to tailor the Escapement settings in accordance with the particular style of play employed by the person who plays the Instrument. A sensitive musician will be looking for extremely close settings in the Mid- and Upper-range. A musician who plays heavy, strong octaves in the Bass area will require even greater Escapement distances in the left hand area. Thus, you now have the tools to customize the action to the individual tastes and needs of the musician.
Figure 4-5. RHODES Damper Arm Tension Adjustment
Figure 4-6. RHODES Damper Arm - Alignment Adjustment
There are four possible conditions which could result in malfunction.
|The Tine is out of adjustment in its vertical aspect (Escapement).||The factory setting places the Tines slightly above dead center of the Pickup. See Timbre Adjustment, Page 4-7.|
|The Damper Release Bar is bearing down excessively, thus disengaging or partially disengaging the Damper from the Tine.||See Damper Push Rod Assembly, Page 2-2.|
|The Damper Arm has sustained damage sufficient that it no longer bears firmly against Tine (Tension).||Remove Damper Release Bar and disengage Bridle Strap. With Damper Arm thus free, note if it assumes a position similar to the neighboring Arms. If so, bend upward slightly on the surface nearest the point where it is mounted to Action Rail. The aluminum is of an alloy purposely chosen to invite this type of adjustment. Caution should be exercised to avoid excessive correction which would result in some loss of touch control due to the strong resistance thus introduced in opposition to the upward travel of the Hammer.|
|The leading edge of the Damper has been bent downward. The leading edge referred to is that portion of the Damper Arm which extends forward from the Bridle Strap tongue and thus actually provides adjustment possibilities in terms of higher or lower setting of the Damper Felt (Alignment).||With Bridle Strap in place and having determined that none of the first three conditions exist, notice whether the particular Damper Felt is in approximate vertical alignment with the neighboring Felts. If not, with the fingers of two hands, bend this portion of the Damper Arm upward while exercising care that in doing so, you do not disturb the configuration of the back portion of the Damper Arm, and thus inadvertantly introduce the previous condition.|
RE-ESTABLISHING STRIKING LINE
Figure 4-7. RHODES Harp/Action Assembly
Timbre Adjustment is accomplished by manipulating the Timbre Adjustment Screw (Figure 2-1, 9) until the end of the Tine rests on a plane slightly above dead center of the Pickup (Figure 4-8). Let your ear guide you in this procedure.
Figure 4-8. Timbre Adjustment Diagram
Slide Pickup Arms in or out to establish a gap between Pickup and Tine of between 1 16" (1.588mm) and 1/8" (3.l75mm) as shown in Figure 4-9.
Figure 4-9. Volume Adjustment Diagram
It should be noted that the smaller the gap between Tine and Pickup, the greater the volume of sound. More important -- the more pronounced the DYNAMIC RESPONSE.
By Dynamic Response is meant "percentage of volume increase in response to increased weight of touch." In Pianos built since March 1972, a gap of 0.020" (0.5080mm) can be accommodated in the middle and upper ranges.
When Timbre and Volume Adjustments are made,
Pitch should be re-established. See TUNING THE
RHODES PIANO, Page 5-1.
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