Balance Rail Felts
These small round white felts are not only used to set key level and height but also to separate wood of key from wood base of rail.
By now, your electric piano is likely 40-50 years old and the original felts and shims are performing less than ideally and probably looking compacted or completely deteriorated.
The function of the balance rail felts are to support each individual key, setting the height and keeping the action both level and quiet. In order for the felt to perform its job, it must be the proper size and density.
Installing new felts (and shims) will allow you to properly set your key height, which is paramount. You can't fix a house with a cracked foundation and the same can be said of electric pianos. It is imperative to begin at the key bed and make your way up; this is how any true professional begins the job.
Available in sets of 64, 73 and 88 with options for slim, medium or thick sized felts.
These balance rail felts are compatible with Rhodes and Wurlitzer pianos except for MK 2 with plastic keys*.
*Non plastic key MK 2 pianos use strips of felt on the front rail which can be kept or changed to individual felts.
My MK 2 has long strips of green felt on the front rail, what do I do?
You can keep the long strips or switch to individual front rail felts; it’s up to you. My opinion is that with individual felts you can control each key separately as opposed to with the felt strips. When setting after touch, you add shims to the front rail felt to limit travel after the hammer has reached proper stop lock. Excessive travel causes improper strike. With the long strips, this is not as easy to do as the shims do not sit evenly.
My balance rail felt seems ok, do I need new felt?
That’s for you to decide. It all depends on how serious you are about restoring your piano. If they look ok, then go with them. If you want to be sure, install new ones.
What is the purpose of the front and balance rail felts?
In short, balance rail felts are used to set key height and maintain a good feel. The front rail felts are used to limit excessive key travel and, with the use of shims, correct after touch. In Wurlitzers, the front rail felt is used a stop which sets the proper key travel. In Rhodes, the key does not touch the front felt, in Rhodes pianos the key is stopped by the stop lock position of the hammer and cam. Pressing on the key further can over extend this position; this is why with Rhodes you want to always check after touch.