Sunday, 11 October 2009

Hohner Pianet T

In my last post I mentioned that I would be gettign a Hohner Pianet T

Well, it arrived on Wednesday, and I've been working on it ever since.

Most of the keys were in tune, though the action was a little off on most of them (probably happened in transit). A quick google search told me what I'd need to do to remedy the problems, and I've done what I can.

For those who don't know, a Pianet T is a type of electric piano, with a similar sound to a Fender Rhodes, although thinner. It works by holding a metal reed in tension until you press a key and release the reed. They are effectively plucked by a sticky rubber "hammer".

The metal strips with the copper coil round them are the pick-ups; each reed has it's own. They're passive, so there's no need for an external power supply.

The keyboard itself is quite portable in comparison to the Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, although it is still about 20 kilograms. I walked up from my house to my college with it on Thursday (a relatively short walk) and by the time I got there I was in agony. However, these are ideal for gigging if you have a car. Once I got it to college I plonked it on a table in the hallway and plugged it into a practice amp. An idiot could set one of these things up.

There are two main drawbacks to owning one of these over the bigger EPs; the first being the lack of a sustain pedal. This might not seem like a big deal, but it's surprising how much you want it when it's not there, especially for ballady numbers.

The second is that it has no tremolo effect, although you can add this with an effects pedal. I've got mine to sound great by running it through the Juno's MFX system, the tremolo chorus setting adds a lot of depth to the sound.

Overall I'm very pleased with this keyboard. Once it's tuned I'll start taking it out on the road, maybe do a few open mic nights with it.
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