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-Keyboard Projects

Bob Gerhard Stage rig

The amazing Bob Gerhard, from "Wish You Were Here" and "Into the Blue", is always sending us pics of his massively impressive stage rig. We love seeing the stuff that we built (or rebuilt) in different setting, so we thought you might like to as well. 

The full, large stage rig includes : KPB3 portable Hammond (The Black Beauty), Farfisa Compact Duo (MKI or MKII), Custom F/AR reverb, Wurlitzer 200A, Moog Voyager (rack unit), Kurzweil PC3 76, Korg Kronos, Leslie preamp, Leslie 145 and Yamaha powered cabinet (most recently) for monitoring all that sound.

Fender Contempo Organ

Recently a big box arrived in the mail with a fun repair project for a customer inside. Inside the big box was a big foam lined road case. Inside the case, a stunning Fender Contempo Organ in beautiful condition. It had a few notes that weren't sounding properly, and needed a good tuning.

The Speedbumps Wurlitzer 200A

Here was a great looking Wurlitzer 200A brought in by Erik Urycki from The Speedbumps. They are an amazing band and well worth checking out. The Speedbumps Site

This Wurlitzer had a few issues like becoming increasingly more intermittent with the output, and some action issues. So we started the journey to repair. There aren't pics of all the repairs and adjustments made, since we wanted a quick turnaround for Erik. At the end, this Wurlitzer played and sounded like it was brand new. It had that late 200A smooth sound with the ability to bark when called on. Everyone was very happy with the results, and it was returned to the stage within a week.

Farfisa F/AR MKII

A new custom built F/AR controller circuit with reverb for a Duo MKI or MKII. It was fitted into a vintage gutted F/AR chassis. No F/AR's were hurt in the making of this piece. This came in with the Duo MKI shown in a previous gallery.

Sample: Pink Floyd Set the Controls to the Heart of the Sun... Farfisa Compact Duo and Custom F/AR MKII

KPB3 Portable Hammond - Chris Hanna

Here is a look at the build of the third custom built KPB3 portable Hammond organ. This one was for Chris Hanna, a stunning player who can be seen on stage with "Brent Kirby and his Luck" and "Thor Platter" as well as a few other groups. This one started as a massive non starting RT3 with unknown functionality, once we got it to start we found out that there were issues with the percussion, vibrato scanner and a few of the other usual suspects including cracked power wires, that could have caused some serious damage if it ever did run. After getting the list of mods wanted and detail, we set out on another custom build journey.

Rhodes Suitcase 73- Part 2

We had previously restored the electronics and mechanical parts of this Rhodes, which gave it an amazing sound and great "playability". The customer wanted this Rhodes to look as good as it now sounded, so we did a full restoration. This included new tolex, grill cloth, hardware and a custom finished plastic lid. When it was done, it was a LOOKER! Damn fine, if I say so myself.

Farfisa Duo MKI

Here is what looked like a fine example of a Farfisa Duo MKI. But the insides hid a dark and cheesy secret. It was former mouse house. Another of the dozens (if not hundreds) of Farfisa hating mice had exacted their revenge for building the Farfisa factory on the sacred mouse burial ground the "Necropoli di Roditori". After main repairs were complete, we added a custom built REPEAT circuit and control panel. This mod gives a little of the bells and whistles of the MKII, and is completely reversible.

Rhodes Suitcase 73

 Here is part 1 of a 2 part rehab of a Rhodes Suitcase 73. This started as a repair to make it playable. After that was finished, it was still kind of -erm... worn looking. So we have a part 2 to follow.

KPB3 - Black Beauty - Bob Gerhard

Here is a look at the build of our second KPB3 portable Hammond organ. The customer wanted a bit of a different look for his KPB3, something "stealth". So, we went with an all black design and she became the "Black Beauty". This organ can be seen on stage with Bob Gerhard in Cleveland's own Pink Floyd Tribute "Wish You Were Here", also the amazing Grateful Dead tribute "Into The Blue" and a few other stellar bands.

Farfisa Duo MKII Part 2

Once this Duo was repaired and fully functional, the idea was to build a replacement lid. It wasn't going to be elaborate or perfect. Just something to keep the wires safe. This turned into the longest "on again-off again" project yet, and one of my favorites. It was just a lid, then it was a better lid. Then a faceplate, then labels. then it all came together into a full blown repro piece.

KPB3 Portable Hammond Prototype

Here is a behind the scenes look at the building of the first prototype Keyboard Projects Portable Hammond organ.

Farfisa Duo MKII

This road warrior of a Farfisa Duo MKII came into the shop as a basket case with no top lid. Play-ability; Unknown. Serviceability; Unknown. A possible parts unit. After some exhaustive rewiring and fault finding, followed by the actual repairs. She was brought back to life, and onto the stage she so sorely missed. She was named Filomena. This is a 2 part gallery. This gallery is just about the organ in it's original condition. Another gallery will cover the final fixes and the repro lid project.

Mellotron M400 Midi Controller

Here are some pics of one of the earliest "Keyboard Projects"  from 2010; The Custom Built Mellotron M400 Midi Controller. This was a complete ground up build to customer specs, with MIDI control, channel switching (via Tape A/B/C knob) with Volume and Modulation control.

This was designed and built for my friend Matt Riddle. Matt is truly a gifted player and teacher. If you ever get a chance to see Matt Riddle on stage with his Yes tribute "Going for the One" or anything else... go see him and you will be blown away. Matt (and this Mellotron Midi controller) was featured in a Dec 2010 Keyboard Magazine online "Dig My Rig" article. Here is a great video of Matt showing off his gear, this Mellotron is featured at 4:30.