Rhodes Electric Piano Services
updated January 1st, 2019
I do NOT service Wurlitzer Electric Pianos or Digital Keyboards.
My shop is located in Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas. I do not provide restorative work or extensive repairs to Rhodes pianos outside of our shop. The tools required for these jobs are not carried in my vehicle. For this reason, for any Rhodes service beyond the scope of a standard tuning, I require the customer to bring their electric piano to our Oak Cliff location.
We require 50% payment up front (in form of Cash, immediate Debit Card transfer, Venmo or Cash App) for Rhodes repairs and restorations. This secures your position in the work queue and allows us to purchase supplies and parts for your repairs. Final balance must be paid in cash or immediate debit transfer upon pickup of your Rhodes. We will not accept check, credit or PayPal.
Reconditioning Package for Rhodes Pianos - $ 750 plus sales tax -- For customers wishing to have their Rhodes thoroughly reconditioned, we are now offering a special package price. The package includes replacement of rubber tonebar grommets (this is our redesigned kit, including 3 hardness/durometer ratings for improved tone and longer decay), new neoprene hammer tips (your choice of hardness - from Vintage Vibe the "black graduated" tips are little harder overall and will be slightly more percussive in tone), replacement of felt key bushings (using correct key bushing sizing cauls and felt thickness to match your piano's key pins), key leveling & dip, damper felt replacement and damper arm adjustments, and tuning and voicing services. This is a $275 discount off of the total for these individual services and includes free hammer tips. The price of $750 includes all parts and labor. If you suspect you have faulty pickups, they will be checked at the time the piano is brought to our shop. There is an additional fee (listed below) to repair bad pickups. This package price does not include the "key pedestal acceleration mod". Pricing for replacing tolex is listed below as a separate service. Don't forget to purchase a preamp 4-pin or 5-pin cable if yours is missing. This is not included with the reconditioning service.
Rhodes EP Voicing/Tuning Service - $ 250 plus sales tax -- In order to properly tune a Rhodes, the tonebars and tines must be properly adjusted beforehand. This is why the voicing and tuning is provided as a single service. The two items are not separable. This is our basic Rhodes service.
Tonebar Rubber Grommet Replacement - $ 300 plus sales tax -- If your tonebars are loose when you gently move them left and right by hand, or if the tonebars are buzzing against each other when you play, you will need your grommets replaced if you want the piano to voice up nicely and have good sustain. If the grommets look deteriorated or are hard and/or crumbling, this is also an obvious sign that they need replacement. This price includes the cost of the supplies. If receiving this service, the voicing/tuning service will also be needed, but we will discount the total to $500 ($50 off) if you decide to replace grommets. To save you from wasting money on an initial tuning/voicing on your Rhodes which may not hold properly due to failing original grommets, this service is strongly recommended on your first visit. Adjustments made to new grommets will last significantly longer.
Key Leveling / Key Dip - $ 75 plus sales tax -- If your keys are very uneven in their height from key to key, or they are shallow or too deep when you depress them, then this is a service we provide to correct these issues.
Key Bushing Replacement - $ 200 plus sales tax -- Your keys may be very sloppy or loose from side to side. You may notice that they keys wiggle a lot and are harder to control. If so, then you likely need new key bushings.
Damper Replacement / Adjustment - $ 200 -- This is not a very common service. I only suggest damper replacement when the dampers are either hard from exposure to humidity (causing a percussive "zing" when they come back to mute the tines) or are so compressed that they no longer mute the tines.
Pickup Rewinding Service - $ 12.00 per pickup (red 3" pickups) $20 per pickup (white Mark 2 pickups) -- Rewinding service for Rhodes pickups that no longer function. We completely unwind then rewind each pickup. White Mark 2 pickups require new copper wire. For this reason, we must charge extra. A quick test to check to see if a pickup is bad is to turn the piano on and gently tap each pickup head with thin magnetic piece that will not damage the pickup. If a pickup does not produce a tapping sound through the amp, then that pickup is bad. You may also see that the end of the wire for that pickup (near one of the two posts that stick up) is broken or green from oxidation.
Key Pedestal Acceleration Mod - $200 plus sales tax -- Some later-model Rhodes from the late-70s were purposely manufactured with de-accelerated actions to prevent warranty calls from broken tines. Your action may feel extremely sluggish or hard to play or control, and this is likely the reason. Check to see if the portion of your keys touching the bottom of the hammers if raw wood and if the plastic of the hammer has white felt glued to it. This is the type of setup that causes poor response.
Re-Tolexing -- The prices below do not include the price of your chosen tolex or new chrome hardware. There are many textures and colors available online. Most options run between $80 and $100 for enough to re-tolex an entire 88-key piano and the amp. If you are more comfortable selecting your own tolex and bringing it to us, we will need 5 yards for a piano and lid, or 6 yards to include an amp. The prices below include stripping off the old hardware and materials, sanding down the cases smoothly to accept new adhesive, cutting new tolex pieces to properly fit your instrument, carefully and evenly applying adhesive by hand with a spatula while attaching new tolex pieces accurately before the adhesive sets, cleaning up adhesive from tolex seams, reattaching hardware (price of new hardware not included), and securing the piano back into the case.
* 73-Key Piano and Lid only -- ($400.00)
* 88-Key Piano and Lid only -- ($425.00)
* 73-Key Piano, Lid and Amp -- ($450.00)
* 88-Key Piano, Lid and Amp -- ($475.00)
All amplifier repairs sent to us are performed by Victor Soto in Frisco, Texas. If you need service performed on your Rhodes amp or preamp, this is who we recommend and use. To ask him a question or schedule service, please contact Victor at 817-905-8562 (call or text) or visit his website at www.cleartunin.com
Do It Yourself - Don't want to pay someone to replace your tonebar grommets? We offer the best aftermarket grommets available. 3 hardness levels for different sections of the piano. Instructions included. Visit http://www.smithpianoservicing.com/store.html for details.
Below you will find recordings of some Rhodes pianos we have serviced. Some were simply tuned and voiced, while others were completely restored. On the recordings where the treble seems lacking, these were the pianos that probably needed grommet replacement, but the customer did not want a complete restoration. We'd love to make your Rhodes sound just as good as some of these.