Author Topic: Affordable Distortion/Tube Drive Pedal for my Fender Rhodes Mark I Seventy-Three  (Read 1236 times)

Offline maxkatz515

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Looking for an affordable (under $150 or less) distortion pedal for my Fender Rhodes Mark I Seventy-Three.

Please let me know what you use and/or what you'd like to use. 

I appreciate it!


Offline keyboardlewis1

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What kind of distortion are you looking for? Have you tried any in the past?
Current Rhodes:
1975 Rhodes Suitcase 88 Mk I
Rhodes Mark II 54
I've had many others over the years.

“Life is like learning piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.” -Tom Lehrer

Offline thetrufflehog

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It really does depend on how much gain you want. The main issue with distortion on Rhodes that I have found is that most of them sound unpleasant and "honky"...something about the way they interact with the overtones coming from the rhodes itself. Its all personal preference of course, but I have tried Big Muffs, Catalinbread Karma Sutre, Ibanez "ram's head" distortion, EHX LPB2ube (which has 2 12ax7's), and several other's I can't think of right now, and really did not like any of them at all.

For ridiculous high gain, I've really had good luck with the Boss HM-2/Behringer HM300. The eq's work in a really sweet spot for the rhodes. But its an insane distortion pedal that will always sound over the top...even with the distortion ALL the way down, it is a considerable amount of gain, and you will not get it to clean up at all unless you turn the rhodes volume halfway down.

I mainly use an EHX Soul Food. It is always on, and I usually have it set clean, but I can turn the distortion up when I want it, and it's as much distortion as I need in most situations. It seems well suited to the Rhodes in that when you turn up the distortion, it isn't honky (as long as you appropriately fiddle with the "treble" knob) and leaves the character of the piano itself intact. I think most people would be very happy with this pedal (or other Klon type drive).

The tubeworks "blue tube" is supposed to be really good though I have never tried it.

I would avoid most "tube" distortion pedals. They generally don't carry enough voltage to work the tubes properly and I find they sound harsh. I hated the EHX 2ube and its supposed to be a good pedal. If you are looking for amp breakup, get a tube amp and turn it up loud. I think the rhodes tends to respond best to "power amp" distortion, which you wont get from any of the tube pedals.
1974 Stage 73
Korg Arp Odyssey
Nord Electro 3
Mason and Hamlin Model 50 Upright
Motion Sound KP200S
Kustom Coupe 36
(Rhodes) Behringer C9 Comp > EHX Soul Food > MXR Univibe Kokko Space Reverb > Speakeasy Vintage Stereo Vibrato Preamp
(ARP) Donner Yellow Fall Delay