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Joined: Jan 2021
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arrgee Offline OP
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Like a genius, I decided the start of a new national lockdown was a good time to (accidentally) break my favourite musical instrument! Here's the story and then some questions.

My GEM PRP-800 is about 13 years old. Lately a few keys have been misbehaving (in particular, making banging noises on press) so I decided to take a look inside and see if it was something easy to fix.

The source of the problem turned out to be degraded rubber on the hammers - some little nubs had worn right through, and, in some cases, completely fallen off.

My first thought was to glue these rubber bits back onto the hammers but this has proved to be fiddly and difficult, and it strikes me that it's unlikely to last long even if I manage it.

Now I'm not sure what to do next. I tried looking for replacement hammers instead but I'm not sure where to look or how to even identify which hammers I need. I'm aware that GEM are no longer in business which has made tracking down information difficult. I found some old forum comments which seem to imply the keybed is made by Fatar (who are still in business, I think?) but the more I search the more confused I get, so I'm hoping somebody here can help clarify everything.

So, here are my questions:

1) Does anyone know what keybed (and therefore hammer model - do those things go together?) is in the GEM PRP800? I can provide pictures of the hammers / keys etc if that's useful for identification purposes.
2) Is it still possible to buy replacements for the hammers?
3) If so, where would you recommend I buy from? (I'm in the UK, if that's relevant to the answer.)
4) Is there a more sensible way of doing all of this that I'm missing?

Thank you for your time, and I hope you're well smile

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Maybe first take a look the various hammer action models at http://www.fatar.com/

They have some small diagrams/photos of each.

Do you recognise the action as a Fatar model?

I've understood GEM also had an action of their own design at some point.

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Tyr Offline
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The GEM PRP-800 isn't a Fatar action afaik.


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arrgee Offline OP
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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Do you recognise the action as a Fatar model?

It looks vaguely similar to some photos but I'm very much not an expert, I may have misunderstood some old posts where people were discussing the PRP800 as well as some other keyboards. Hence the questions here, am hoping someone has a definitive answer to what the keybed is.

Thank you, I'll browse through those sites you provided and see if I can visually recognise the parts.

Originally Posted by Tyr
The GEM PRP-800 isn't a Fatar action afaik.

Quite possibly. If it was made by GEM then am I out of luck for replacements since they're out of business? Or is there a company who still services these old keyboards?

Thanks again for all your advice, it's much appreciated!

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Might not be completely satisfying, but one thing you might try is to swap the damaged hammers with ones at the outer edges of the keyboard that you probably don't play as often. (Kinda obvious, but it didn't occur to me the first time I tried to fix an old keyboard).

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Originally Posted by gsamsa
Might not be completely satisfying, but one thing you might try is to swap the damaged hammers with ones at the outer edges of the keyboard that you probably don't play as often. (Kinda obvious, but it didn't occur to me the first time I tried to fix an old keyboard).

No, I definitely appreciate the idea! I haven't been able to find *any* similar hammers online so my current plan is to do exactly that, so at least the middle range is playable and the keyboard is usable again. It's reassuring to know that's not a completely silly idea laugh

If I do come across any more information I'll update this thread in case anybody else finds themselves in a similar situation.

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The hammers might come in e.g. four different weights if it's a graded action.


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