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The Definitive Guide to Vintage Vibe Hammer Tips
Fender RhodesTech Tips

The Definitive Guide to Vintage Vibe Hammer Tips

Posted by Vintage Vibe Jul 24, 2015

The secret to the best sound lies in the quality of your hammer tips. We've designed our Vintage Series of hammer tips for real durability, great sound quality and maximum playability.


Graduated Hammer Tips

Our graduated hammer tips are custom made for use in any Rhodes or Fender Rhodes piano. It is an unfortunate reality that all Rhodes piano hammer tips wear out at some point. They become grooved and as a result, tone is lost. The deeper the grooves on a hammer tip, the greater the negative impact on the strikeline; and in turn, the duller the sound. This is why it is important to replace hammer tips at the appropriate time in the pianos life. Our graduated tips are our "go to tips" for all repairs and installation in our Vintage Vibe pianos.

Besides grooving, hammer tip hardness (or Durometer) changes over time. The correct hardness of each section of tips is imperative to an even scale, this is why replacing tips is high on the list when restoring.

Listen: Vintage Vibe Piano - Passive Model

Purchase Graduated Hammer Tip Kits »

Square Hammer Tips

Neoprene hammer tips have always been recognized and distributed by Rhodes and various aftermarket companies by color code. This started in 1970-1971 after Fender Rhodes changed from felt to neoprene. The colors Red, Green, Yellow and White denote varying ranges of rubber density (or Durometer) and where the different tips are placed on the piano’s hammers. Since then, tips have always been referred to by color. We have embarked on bringing the true original square hammer tip back with the same hardnesses and colors. They look and sound amazing.

Our Vintage Series neoprene hammer tips are all the same height (3/8") and with a range of five different hardnesses. Vintage Series tips will make the restoration of your Fender Rhodes easier to voice and sound and look more authentic.

Listen: 1974 Fender Rhodes 88 Suitcase
Listen: 1974 Fender Rhodes 73 Stage Piano

We are offering this new Vintage Series line of square neoprene tips in the classic color palate or natural black.

Purchase a Square Hammer Tip Kit here »

Angled Hammer Tips

The newest of the Vintage Series tips to come along; Vintage Vibe original hybrid hammer tips are made with the best of both worlds in mind. Classic square hammer tips crossed with angled graduated tips. They feature a beveled tip, 3/8” height and are available in the classic color palate or natural black. 

Vintage Vibe angled tips have the angle of the graduated and the even height of square tips. This offers the advantaged of both old and new in one newer style of tip. 


Purchase Angled Hammer Tip Kits Now!

Felt Hammer Tips

Going back to circa 1969-1970, Fender Rhodes pianos were built with square felt hammer tips before going to neoprene tips. The reason Fender changed to neoprene was because the felt tips wore out over time. Although this holds some weight, the tone that the felt tips produced was warm and creamy and not replicated by the neoprene tips.

A uniquely warm early Fender Rhodes tone is achievable by installing felt hammer tips alongside performing a proper set up. Our Vintage Series felt hammer tips come in different densities to properly accent the various ranges of your piano’s scale.

Listen: 1970 Fender Rhodes Audio Sample 1   Listen: 1973 Fender Rhodes Audio Sample 1

Listen: 1970 Fender Rhodes Audio Sample 2   Listen: 1973 Fender Rhodes Audio Sample 2

The Vintage Series felt hammer tip kit includes a set of hammer tips, glue and felt hardener (the hardener allows for custom hardness applications and includes an application brush.)

Purchase a Felt Hammer Tip Kit »

Teardrop Hammers

Vintage Vibe replacement tear drop hammers are custom made for the 1960's silver sparkle top and student space age models in mind. These teardrop style hammers can be used in any old Fender Rhodes piano. They are custom measured tapered and bored in our shop. These tips are sold as a set or installed with new hammers and bridle straps.

Purchase full set »
Purchase full set installed on hammers »

Wood Core Hammer Tips

Vintage Vibe offers two types of wood core tips for repairs and restorations both are well suited for all Fender Rhodes pianos.

Molded Wood Core Hammer Tips

Molded tips are made with a cavity mold where rubber is injected around a wood core then cut to size. These tips are made quicker and inexpensively compared to custom tips through this molding process. These tips in height are 0.50” tall and 3/8th wide. They are an economical choice and they sound great. We have been making these molded tips for years as well as using them. We have sold over 100,000 of these tips.

Custom Hand Wrapped Tips

Custom hand made tips start with rock maple wood then goes through the process of shaping the wood core to size. The two layers of rubber are wrapped around individually and shrunk to fit. The each piece is cut to size. These tips are 0.375" in height, which is 3/8th" tall and 3/8th" wide. We also make a slightly taller wood core tip that is 7/16" tall x 3/8th wide.  The idea of having two different heights of wood core tips is to have the ultimate flexibility when dealing with escapement.

Custom 3/8th" wrapped tips allow for a more consistent escapement when using square hammer tips and angled hammer tips or when you find blocking in the upper range is interfering with a proper escapement. They have a unique tone that is somewhat softer than the molded tips but still have all the clarity you want.  The same method and style Rhodes employed in their tips all through the years.

Upgrade your hammer tip kit »
Purchase new wood core tips individually »

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