Tag Archive for Hohner

Hohner Clavinet D6: “Rebirth” Restoration

An Overview of The Chicago Electric Piano Company’s Clavinet Restoration Service

Hohner Clavinet D6 Logo and Latch

Clavinet CEPCo Brick Logo & Case

Wow! Cosmetically this is THE most mint Clavinet that has ever passed through the workshop! This Hohner Clavinet D6 must have spent most of its life packed up in a safe place. And now after receiving our “Rebirth” services this thing is playing and sounding better than ever! –Scroll down to have a glimpse of the pictures below!

Hohner Clavinet D6 with Legs Full View

Hohner Clavinet Back Full View

This Clavinet was restored with what would fall under our “Rebirth” Clavinet Services with all new hammer tips, strings, electronic servicing, and a complete detailed setup. Through the restoration process each key was removed individually for cleaning and a thorough setup for the proper key travel and an articulate percussive attack. We used our favorite hammer tips and strings from Ken Rich Sound Services, which have proven to be hands-down the top quality of all the Clavinet parts available. This D6 now delivers all the percussive attack and tone you want from a Clavinet.

Clavinet Strings and Yarn

Clavinet Strings and Yarn by The Chicago Electric Piano Company

Clavinet Damper Arm

Clavinet Hammer Tips by Ken Rich Sound Services

Clavinet Strings and Pickups

The D6’s amplifier is notoriously noisy and we service all our amps to reduce this noise without interfering with the classic tone that we all know and love about the D6. Then an enclosure of copper shielding is formed around the amplifier that helps reduce any interference noise picked up by the amplifier. From our experience many of the hiss reduction techniques suggested on youtube videos, forums, and sold as “Hiss Reduction Kits” suggest implementing techniques that negatively affect the tone of the amplifier. That is because these techniques use low pass filtering techniques that overly impacts the tone of the amp. These filtering techniques are not necessary with the right knowledge of how the D6 amplifier is supposed to be setup.

Clavinet D6 Copper Amplifier Shielding

Clavinet D6 Amplifier Shielding and Low Noise Hiss Reduction

These days there aren’t too many Clavinets that still have their original legs and latches. And the wood and tolex were also in immaculate shape. It was a pleasure to come across this instrument and it sold on our waiting list before we even had a chance to list it for sale.

If are looking for a fully restored Clavinet please contact max@chicagoelectricpiano.com and we will help you track down a Clavinet to meet your budget. All instruments are appraised based on the model, cosmetic condition, and their overall condition.

Clavinet Case and Legs

Clavinet D6 Back Logo and Wood Top

Clavinet D6 Top View

Clavinet D6 Control Panel

Clavinet d6 Faceplate Logo

Hohner Clavinet Control Panel

Clavinet D6 Faceplate Closeup

Clavinet Damper Arm Adjustment

Clavinet Damper Arm

Hohner Clavinet D6 Pickup and Damper

Clavinet d6 Keys Closeup

 

Hohner Clavinet D6 at Chicago Electric Piano

Hohner Clavinet D6 Back View Lid Open

Hohner Clavinet Logo Closeup

If are looking for a fully restored Clavinet please contact max@chicagoelectricpiano.com and we will help you track down a Clavinet to meet your budgetAll instruments are appraised based on the model, cosmetic condition, and their overall condition.

 

Clavinet Schematic Updated

Clavinet E7 and D6 Wiring Translated by The Chicago Electric Piano Company

Over the years we grew tired of attempting to remember the English translations for the German Clavinet schematics. Here are updated schematic files with English translations which are also the only publicly available schematic to show the proper pickup switching for the A/B and C/B pickup switches. I hope that you will find these translations and notations helpful.

For more information about the Clavinet Tone Controls please visit our previous post “Understanding the Clavinet Tone Controls”.

Clavinet D6 Schematic

Clavinet E7 Schematic

 

 

Note: There are slight variations on some Clavinets’ preamplifiers from what is noted in these schematics. The most common is finding 15nF capacitors in place of 10uF capacitors as noted by the schematic. The difference is subtle but the 15uF will establish a lower cutoff filter frequency.

Understanding the Clavinet Tone Controls

The Clavinet Tone Control and Pickup Settingsclavinet D position

How do the Clavinet Controls Work?

Players are often confused about the controls of the Clavinet, and rely on ‘guess and check’ methods to find a tone they like. Although the names on the switches can be helpful, most instrument owners have little understanding of what the controls are changing within the amplifier circuitry. Below we will describe the functions of the every switch in detail, and give a few hints to remember different settings.

The toggle switches of the Clavinet are separated into two categories: four tone controls on the left and two pickup switches on the right. The pickup switches control different configurations of the pickup wiring before amplification and the tone controls toggle EQ filters within the preamplifier of the instrument.

The Clavinet Tone Controls

The four tone controls of the Clavinet offer a series of high or low pass filters that sculpt the EQ response within the preamplifier. The Brilliant (Scharf) and Treble (Hoch) switch between high pass filters that create the clav’s characteristic twangy and punchy tone. The Medium (Mittel) and Soft (Tief) switches activate circuitry that acts as a low pass filter resulting in mellower, darker tones. Experimenting with different tonal combinations will compound the EQ filtering, giving the player many tonal options.

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Without any tone controls selected the Clavinet should not produce any sound! The tone switches are in the “on” position when the toggle leans towards the player. It is best to test each sound individually to make sure that the tones are discernible from one another. If the instrument produces sound without a tone selected or if the tones are not discernible from one another there is likely a short within the switching circuitry. This is a common issue with Clavinets.

The Clavinet Pickup Controls

The pickup controls are a little less obvious since the pickups are not labeled and the selectors are not very intuitively organized. The Clavinet has two pickups. One is located near the bridge, and the other closer to the hammers. With the C/D toggle the player chooses whether the pickups are used individually (C) or together in parallel (D). The A/B toggle switch then controls the subsets within the two pickup modes, detailed below. A properly setup clav will have a wide range of voices with all four pickup configurations.

Individual (C) Pickup Mode:

With the individual (C) selection the player can select either the rhythm pickup (A) or the bridge/lead pickup (B)

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Individual Pickup Mode (C) Bridge Pickup (B)

–Helpful letter association: remember “B” for Bridge.

The rhythm (A) pickup selection will give the player more bass response with a smoother attack while the bridge/lead (B) pickup will have a punchy attack with more treble in the sustain of the note. When setup properly, both pickups should have the nearly identical volume output across the octaves of the piano. 

Parallel (D) Pickup Mode:

With the Parallel (D) pickup selection the player can select using the pickups either in-phase (A) or out-of-phase (B).

clavinet D position

Parallel (Dual) Pickup Mode (D) In-Phase (A)

–Helpful letter association: remember “D” for Dual Pickups.

The in-phase (A) selection will sound rich and balanced while out-ofphase (B) will sound thinner because the signals of the pickups are working against one another. If these two sounds are not discernible the pickups need to be adjusted.

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Eliminating Clavinet Noise, Hiss, and Interference

Clavinets are notoriously noisy instruments, commonly suffering from radio interference, ground loops, and poor components. Most of the hiss and noise within the Clavinets can be eliminated with proper service of the amplifier. Many of the solutions currently offered online, such as hiss reduction kits, filter out too much high or low end from the EQ of the instrument, resulting in a thin or bland tone. The best approach will not sacrifice the sonic palate produced by the instrument.

For Updated Clavinet Schematics Click Here to View our Follow Up Post

Due to variations in amplifier design, the different Clavinet models have slightly altered tonal characteristics. For example, the Clavinet model C’s gritty sound can be attributed to germanium PNP transistors. The amplifier in the D6 has more gain, resulting in deeper tonal colour–or Klangfarbe as notated on the original German schematic.

If you are experiencing issues with your Clavinet amplifier and would like to restore the classic tone of the instrument contact max@chicagoelectricpiano.com for shipping instructions to The Chicago Electric Piano Co.