Steely Dan, Round 2.

ROUND 2! You may recall seeing our article on Donald Fagen's Rhodes piano "Grace". Steely Dan sent all three Rhodes in for the upcoming tour preparations. We're starting with "Lucy"  which has not gone through our process. The photos below depict how this Rhodes arrived at RetroLinear.  Please note: many issues/problems mentioned are the result of years of road use, emergency fixes and improvisations.

Survey says? Lucy is in bad shape! After 20 minutes of noisy operation the electronics died on our bench! Dead power amp channel, preamp dead.. Moving along, the action is lacking proper setup.  End to end all keys have excess bounce, they're unlevel and riddled with remnants of modifications and holes which require filling. At some point McMaster-Carr isolation grommets were installed which squashes the sustain Rhodes are known for. The harp frame, tines and pickups are also corroded.

Lucy's action has been improperly setup. Thick key punchings were added under the front rail felts.  We have seen this now in several pianos and it just doesn't work! That additional 1/16" - 1/8" spacing prevents full key travel.  Action issues such as these create an inaccurate tine strike which produces less than desirable tones and makes the action excessively bouncy.  Stick-n-peel pedestal felts were used to replace the original felt.  With  Rhodes pianos there are no shortcuts! Every stick-n-peel felt lifted, shifted and exposed the improvised "zip tie" bump mod. This shortcut led to a gritty/high friction feel in the action.

The fun continued-  scraps of zip ties, washers, putty, old felt and gaffers tape were used as harp shims. very "interesting"....

Lucy will receive a full restoration top to bottom! Disassembly, cleaning, action rebuild with new bushings, proper sized bump and real pedestal felts. Tuned and voiced to perfection followed by a complete electronic overhaul for reliability.

 
Donald don't worry , Lucy's in good hands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 



 

 

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