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#676667 - 12/20/08 04:47 PM Fender Rhodes  

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Hello all...anyone else out there interested in Fender Rhodes related things? I'm new here but have been a Fender Rhodes tech since the early 70s.

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#676668 - 12/20/08 10:30 PM Re: Fender Rhodes  
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I love 'em. I guess its the child of the 70's part of me that is responsible.

I'm very interested to see if the new Rhodes company actually does bring new pianos to market.


Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.
#676669 - 12/21/08 04:50 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  
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I have a Rhodes that's no longer playable. How much does it cost to rebuild one?


Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax
#676670 - 12/21/08 04:54 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  
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I have a Mk 1 which I don't play. Someday I'll get a tech to look at it. Know any near Bath? I don't want to sound a snob but, more importantly, I have a Fender Twin Reverb to go with it.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

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#676671 - 12/21/08 06:20 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  

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Joe...Check out the Rhodes Supersite on the Internet. They have just about every answer to your questions.

#676672 - 12/21/08 06:25 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  

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as to the release of any new Rhodes products...I wouldn't hold my breath.

#676673 - 12/21/08 06:49 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  
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Quote
Originally posted by E.F.Kolakowski:
as to the release of any new Rhodes products...I wouldn't hold my breath.
Sadly.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#676674 - 12/22/08 01:07 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  
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E.F.Kolakowski, being a Crusaders/Joe Sample and Donny Hathaway fan, I absolute adore the Rhodes!

May I ask if you any recommendations for virtual Rhodes/Wurly instrument software? I gather that the Native Instruments 'Elektrik Piano' is supposed to be the market leader, however it would be interesting to hear the thoughts of a long-serving tech.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#676675 - 12/22/08 04:32 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  

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James...It's always nice to meet another Rhodes lover. As to my opinion on software and virtual keyboards, I'm afraid I don't have much belief in the value of too much of that. The Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos are unique in that they actually have rudimentary piano actions inside of them. Basically, this means that touch is a large part of their respective sounds. Since most synthetic sounds are played on spring-loaded or "weighted" keyboards, I think that it would be impossible to get the same results from a synth that one would get from the real thing. Oh sure, tucked into a mix, you may be able to get away with it somewhat, much like grand piano samples. But if you're going for that Joe Sample, Richard Tee, Don Grolnick sound, I'm afraid the virtual stuff would ultimately dissappoint. As the old song says: there ain't nothing like the real thing. But, please keep us posted as to what you discover. This exercise is a bit like asking Hammond organ diehards about virtual B3 software.

#676676 - 12/22/08 08:23 PM Re: Fender Rhodes  
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E.F.Kolakowski, many thanks for your reply.

An old friend of mine own's a MK1 Rhodes - it can be unreliable at times, requiring a fair bit of gentle coercion to produce sound correctly...sometimes even during a gig! However, I gather that he puts up with these idiosyncrasies because the wonderful richness and warmth of a real instrument is so rewarding, and simply impossible to recreate digitally.

Your analogy with virtual B3 software is spot on also. My father grew up playing Hammond organs, and unsurprisingly still prefers the sound of a real B3 and Leslie over any software instrument, or even the modern-day Hammond products manufactured by Suzuki.

Thank you once again for the great post - I guess I should start saving, and keep my eyes peeled for a real Rhodes!

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
#676677 - 12/23/08 05:33 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  

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James...You think that a model MK1 needs some "gentle coercion"? You've obviously never played an old "silver top" Fender Rhodes or any of the other badly built models that came out of that factory over the years. Many, many artists hated to play those pianos but, were so seduced by the sound that they made some brave (and necessary) adjustments in their playing styles. Just to name a few: Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Stevie Wonder, and Herbie Hancock. Those instruments were extremely difficult to play and made some serious demands upon muscles and tendons. Be careful if you're looking to buy a used Rhodes. Play them for a long time when you are trying them out.

#676678 - 12/29/08 11:27 PM Re: Fender Rhodes  
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I have a Mark II that I bought new in '81, and it's mostly been in storage since then. I recently got it out and though the keyboard action and electronics seem all fine, there's an intonation problem I can't fix. The problem is that certain notes will be on-pitch if struck at light or medium force, but may be as much as a quarter-tone different if struck more firmly. This means I can't fix it by just changing the tuning mechanism for the key, since whether I tune it sharper or flatter, the discrepancy between different strike velocities will still be there. Any thoughts?
I realize this might be more appropriate for the tech/tuner forum, but since you've worked on 'em and brought them up, I thought I'd ask.
I really do love that uniquely creamy sound, though. And it does bring back the 70's, Chick Corea, Weather Report, and Ray Charles!

#676679 - 12/30/08 08:38 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  

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Secco.....That sounds a bit odd to me. You say that you have replaced the tines (the thing for each note that produces the sound when struck by the hammers)and the problem remains? If so, I'd like a little more info, please.
If you haven't changed any of the tines, I'd say that you need some new ones, that should solve that intonation problem. Old tines get flabby (before they break completely)and a hard blow really sends them moving, pitch-wise, especially in the bass.
There was a great Fender Rhodes parts place in Atlanta called Numerous Complaints. I'm not sure if they're still in business but, you could look into that. Also, take a look at the Rhodes Super Site on the Web. Loads of info for you there.

#676680 - 12/30/08 11:17 PM Re: Fender Rhodes  
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Clams...no, I didn't replace the tines, but I ha been wondering if the age of the tines was affecting their vibrational response, as you are suggesting. I'll look into getting new tines. Thanks for the info and the tip on the Rhodes site.

#676681 - 12/31/08 06:30 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  

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Secco....That's a good idea to change the tines. It is a bit time consuming and tricky but, not that difficult and well-worth the time and effort spent. If that piano has been stored for more than 25 years, it may need more than just new tines. Downlaod the technical manual from the Rhodes Supersite and see if you can figure things out. It's not that hard.
Please keep me posted as to how things go and I'll try to help you if you have further questions.

#676682 - 12/31/08 07:09 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  
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Cool site. I may even start playing mine again (if I can get the action less stiff).


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#676683 - 12/31/08 07:19 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  

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keyboardklutz...If you're interested, I can give you some advice as to how to get a better feel from your Rhodes. Do you have any technical ability? Also, download the tech manual from the Supersite....it's loaded with good info.

#676684 - 12/31/08 09:47 AM Re: Fender Rhodes  
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Just downloaded that. My Rhodes lives in Bath, I'm off back to London on Friday, maybe next time I'm here I'll PM for help.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

#2458829 - 09/11/15 11:06 AM Re: Fender Rhodes [Re: Anonymous]  
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Reply to Kawai James question:
"any recommendations for virtual Rhodes/Wurly instrument software?"

I can recommend pretty well all sampled instruments from Sampletekk
including a great range of pianos to suit every genre and taste, Grands and uprights.

http://www.sampletekk.com/electric-pianos?product_id=201

Tubed Keys - Rhodes MkI 73 played into a Fender Twin amplifier, samples recorded by mic.
16 velocity samples per note, + 16 release samples = 32 samples per note.
Several format options: EXS24 MkII 24 Bit, Kontakt 24 Bit, HALion 24 Bit
Download or wait for a physical DVD.

I haven't played a real one yet, but I find this sample set satisfying for studio recording.


#2458944 - 09/11/15 06:28 PM Re: Fender Rhodes [Re: Anonymous]  
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Sorry to be coming in late in the conversation. I rebuilt my 1973 Mk 1 88 key stage piano with parts from VintageVibe.com. They have youtube videos on how to replace tines, adjust escapement and fine tune the action plus many other repair videos. I agree that the action is a big part of the sound. Mine also has the active electronics from vintage vibe with the suitcase vibrato. I even took the harp apart and painted it.

On the tines, oxidation builds up on them and before you replace them I would use a rotary brush to polish them up. Just number them with a sharpie first to keep them in order with the bar.

I did not have to replace my tines and they sound great!


#2459625 - 09/14/15 02:38 AM Re: Fender Rhodes [Re: Kawai James]  
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Check SonicCouture EP73(deconstructed) and Broken Wurli - very good sound. Also e-instruments Electric Piano. But SonicCouture in my humble opinion gives feel of real thing. Very good instrument.

Originally Posted by Kawai James
E.F.Kolakowski, being a Crusaders/Joe Sample and Donny Hathaway fan, I absolute adore the Rhodes!

May I ask if you any recommendations for virtual Rhodes/Wurly instrument software? I gather that the Native Instruments 'Elektrik Piano' is supposed to be the market leader, however it would be interesting to hear the thoughts of a long-serving tech.

Cheers,
James
x


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