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The Rhodes Mark 8

Started by Peter Hayes, May 20, 2021, 03:42:32 PM

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Peter Hayes

So, who knows anything about this?

https://www.rhodespiano.com/

[admin edit]: Renamed thread and moved to sticky
Peter Hayes
Electronic Edge
http://www.elecedge.com
937-767-7174

gacki

A company from Leeds/UK?

Jenzz

Maybe JD73 can tell us more about that? ;-)

Jenzz
Rhodes tech in Germany
www.tasteundtechnik.de
www.spontaneousstorytelling.net

VintageVibe 64 ACL + DOD FX25B, Tone City Sweet Cream, EHX SmallStone, Mooer e-Lady

Adams Solist 3.1 Vibraphone

In the Past:
Stage 73 Mk1 (1977)
Stage 88 Mk1 (1975)
Stage 73 Mk2 (1980)
Stage 73 Mk2 (1981 - plastic)
Suitcase 73 Mk1 (1973)
Suitcase 73 Mk1 (1978)

goldphinga


piano1071


[/quote]

;)
[/quote]

Wow, can you give us a little teaser?

DAtkinson

There isn't enough popcorn in the world to accompany a reading of this historic thread: https://gearspace.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/191821-rhodes-mark-7-a.html

goldphinga

Hey everyone, very happy to finally announce my official appointment as Rhodes' Chief Product Officer. As always, I'm here to assist and answer questions as appropriate and I will continue to be an active member on here, as I have been since the forum's inception. Everyone at Rhodes firmly and respectfully supports this amazing community of like-minded Rhodes and EP lovers and we are all very excited to show you what we have been working on soon. And just to add- we promise to honour and respect the amazing legacy laid out by Harold Rhodes  whilst taking things into the future...Thanks for your support and all the best.

Dan

drums1225

1978 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73 with Split Mod

vanceinatlance


goldphinga

Thanks everyone! Looking forward to showing you what we've been cooking up soon  :)

Nelson 54

Here is some more recent coverage of the Rhodes reboot including statement from the new firm's chairman, Matt Pelling.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.musictech.net/news/rhodes-relaunches-for-a-new-chapter-as-rhodes-music-group-ltd/%3famp=1
1980 Rhodes 54
2018 Kawai ES8
1981 Korg BX-3
1981 Korg CX-3
2020 Casio Privia PX-S3000
1965 Fender Vibrolux Reverb
1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb
1969 Fender Deluxe Reverb (SF)
1966 Fender Princeton Reverb
1960 Maestro (Gibson) GA-2RT
1960 Bell (Maestro/Gibson) BA-15R
Motion Sound KP-500SN
Motion Sound KBR-M
Speakeasy Vintage Music - Tube Preamp (for Motion Sound/Clonewheel)
Neo Ventilator (original version)

piano1071

Is there any update on this issue?


Nelson 54

A Pre-order offer for new Rhodes MK8 was released today:

https://rhodesmusic.com/rhodes-mk8/?dm_i=72BK,1RBX,QI39W,6CFM,1

Not cheap:  Just under $10,000 for no frills model ... but it looks pretty sweet!
1980 Rhodes 54
2018 Kawai ES8
1981 Korg BX-3
1981 Korg CX-3
2020 Casio Privia PX-S3000
1965 Fender Vibrolux Reverb
1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb
1969 Fender Deluxe Reverb (SF)
1966 Fender Princeton Reverb
1960 Maestro (Gibson) GA-2RT
1960 Bell (Maestro/Gibson) BA-15R
Motion Sound KP-500SN
Motion Sound KBR-M
Speakeasy Vintage Music - Tube Preamp (for Motion Sound/Clonewheel)
Neo Ventilator (original version)

Nelson 54

You really have to dig to find the weight but it's buried in the technical specs under the FX menu option.  It says 75 lbs.  its not clear whether that includes stand (listed under specs but also under options??) and also can't tell if there is an outer lid.  The mark 1 stage is about 130lbs. But I believe that includes lid and legs. Apples to apples provable about 20-25lbs less than Mark1 stage without wooden lid.
1980 Rhodes 54
2018 Kawai ES8
1981 Korg BX-3
1981 Korg CX-3
2020 Casio Privia PX-S3000
1965 Fender Vibrolux Reverb
1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb
1969 Fender Deluxe Reverb (SF)
1966 Fender Princeton Reverb
1960 Maestro (Gibson) GA-2RT
1960 Bell (Maestro/Gibson) BA-15R
Motion Sound KP-500SN
Motion Sound KBR-M
Speakeasy Vintage Music - Tube Preamp (for Motion Sound/Clonewheel)
Neo Ventilator (original version)

pianotuner steveo

Almost $10k.
Yikes.
No thanks.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

siderealxxx

It looks and sounds amazing from what I can tell.

Very curious to see/know how the action is, a video on this would've been nice.

But it's very very very expensive. On that basis the market is going to be very narrow unfortunately; high end studios and global artists.

Not to say it's not worth it, I can only imagine the work and love that's gone into it. But it's out of reach for most work-a-day musos. We can (and will) dream.

I guess the 2nd hand market continues unaffected!
Fender Rhodes MKI Stage 73 (1974)

Nelson 54

I agree that the MK8 is targeting a very narrow market.  The price -- which ranges from about $9.5K to around $12K for all the extras -- is disqualifying to most players. 

The one thing that would have made it more appealing is the weight.  The 75lb claim omits the 13 pound stand/legs and it has no wooden top lid like the Rhodes.  This compares to a Mark1 or 2 Stage 73 at 91lbs without legs or lid -- a less significant savings of around 16 lbs.

Their choice to build in an array of effects – chorus, phase shifter, delay – is odd.  More stuff to break and require service from a company in the UK.  And it feels a little cheesy – like adding options to a car to mask issues like core performance and reliability.

Vintage Vibe is already doing this.  Their 73 weighs 60 lbs including the legs – about 2/3 the heft of the new Rhodes and a much more gig-friendly weight.  Vintage Vibe also has organically developed an artist following – this would be a smart move for the new Rhodes folks.  Getting major artists to endorse or at least be seen playing the MK8 would help their marketing.  The most important asset they have over Vintage Vibe is the Rhodes brand name and its cachet.

They say they are making 50 pianos per month -- so these will be rare birds (compared to maybe 50 pianos a day from the original Rhodes factory in its heyday).  So it's more of a custom shop approach at custom shop prices.  That also puts pressure to keep the wait time short or build more and risk quality issues, or, if marketing isn't strong enough, suffering even a small decline in orders against their target quota to put their operation at financial risk.
1980 Rhodes 54
2018 Kawai ES8
1981 Korg BX-3
1981 Korg CX-3
2020 Casio Privia PX-S3000
1965 Fender Vibrolux Reverb
1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb
1969 Fender Deluxe Reverb (SF)
1966 Fender Princeton Reverb
1960 Maestro (Gibson) GA-2RT
1960 Bell (Maestro/Gibson) BA-15R
Motion Sound KP-500SN
Motion Sound KBR-M
Speakeasy Vintage Music - Tube Preamp (for Motion Sound/Clonewheel)
Neo Ventilator (original version)

Alan Lenhoff

Quote from: Nelson 54 on November 02, 2021, 09:30:15 AM
They say they are making 50 pianos per month -- so these will be rare birds (compared to maybe 50 pianos a day from the original Rhodes factory in its heyday).  So it's more of a custom shop approach at custom shop prices.  That also puts pressure to keep the wait time short or build more and risk quality issues, or, if marketing isn't strong enough, suffering even a small decline in orders against their target quota to put their operation at financial risk.

I agree with most of what you've said here. One added insight: In some of the better sales years, with the "benefit" of the CBS bean-counters standing next to assemblers with stop watches to encourage their productivity, the Rhodes factory was producing 100 pianos a day, and working five days a week. So, the production disparity between the companies is even greater than you suggest. CBS Fender was at times producing as many pianos in a week as the new Rhodes folks are planning for their first year. 

Alan
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Find it on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1574417762/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1983 Roland JX-3P; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; 1983 Roland JX-3P synth; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

spave


I know $10K is a crazy high price compared to 2-4K for a vintage Rhodes or less for a decent vst but that is nothing compared to the boutique/vintage guitar market and is actually comparable to a decent new upright piano so there could definitely be 500 a year who would be interested.

The biggest issue will be what Nelson 54 said about the featured artists. This new Rhodes "sound" needs to get attached to some new memorable songs that will make it an instrument that people aspire to own. As an example, just think about how many people on this forum have spent years tracking down sparkletops so they could nail the sound of Bitches Brew.


It would be really cool if the parts on this Rhodes were swappable with the MK1 and 2. I think they could sell a few of their preamps to compete with Vintage Vibe and Avion Studios. There would also be a decent market for their new pedal if it could somehow retrofit to the old stage models too.
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype

Tom999

Quote from: spave on November 02, 2021, 11:11:38 PM
It would be really cool if the parts on this Rhodes were swappable with the MK1 and 2.

Fingers crossed that replacement tines will be available and at a more competitive price than VV.  This would really endear existing Rhodes owners.  Personally, I just refurbished a plastic key mk2 earlier in the year so I'm not in the market right now, but one day I would love to own a brand new, modern engineered Rhodes.  I don't think the price is out of step for what it is.

pianotuner steveo

#21
:-)
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

siderealxxx

I wondered how the weight would compare. I imagined it would be difficult to lose much weight whilst keeping the integrity of the original design, and this seems to be the case. The VV is better in this respect but is ugly IMO and I don't think sounds the same at all.

I was also expecting an artist spotlight. I assume they could've had anyone... Herbie and/or someone contemporary. Also some focus on the action/mechanism as this is the real selling point for a new model.

As for exchangeable parts with old models I don't know. I imagine most of it isn't exchangeable, including the tines but who knows. Really hope they can make this work, but the price would have to come down significantly for me to be in with a chance!
Fender Rhodes MKI Stage 73 (1974)

Nelson 54

I think spave makes a good point about the likelihood of finding annually 500 customers worldwide who will spring for the new Rhodes.  In fact, it seems like 'small' is what the company wants.  The website positions this not as a workingman's instrument, but as a hand-crafted luxury car that many will want but few will own! 

Their challenge is going head-to-head with the vintage Rhodes restoration market.  Unlike vintage guitar buyers who disdain alterations and upgrades, restored Rhodes pianos with upgraded features to improve playability (like the miracle mod) are welcomed by buyers.   Refinishing and replacing parts on a vintage guitar can destroy more than half its value; retolexing and restoring/upgrading the innards of a Rhodes can double the value over an older "original condition" piano.

There are tens of thousands of Rhodes Mark I and II pianos out there available for restoration or for vintage parts. They already have "the sound" that defined the Rhodes, era by era.  A custom restored, reliable vintage Rhodes that is road-or-studio-worthy is readily obtainable.  And the market has settled in roughly the $3-5K range, based on cost of the unrestored instrument, cost of restoration, and demand.

This is the new Rhodes dilemma.  If they "upgrade" the sound, it won't be a "Rhodes".  If they upgrade component quality, Rhodes restoration experts can near match it at one-third to half the cost.  The weight concern is not fully addressed.  And the onboard effects are a gamble with many musicians and studio engineers who would rather pick and choose their personal choice and mix of processors (like Joe Zawinul did with a Mutron pedal) . 

So the company is going small, betting on a collector or wealthy artist/player market that wants a luxury piano and a rare status symbol.  And it will stay that way unless/until perhaps a well known and respected artist—legendary or up-and-coming—makes this the piano of choice and, better yet, dials in some "secret sauce" from the combo of onboard effects that creates an original  "new Rhodes" sound that is obtainable only from the MK8. 

But if they want to make a real splash, the smartest thing they could do, artist/producer-wise, is to bypass the legends--forget about Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones and the "Bitches Brew sound" -- and go to the hip-hop/electronic dance music/retro-R&B community.  Put it in the hands of producers like Mark Ronson or Calvin Harris, or up-and-coming genre-busters like Kenny Beats or Kiefer, a jazz piano player and beat producer.  Send an MK8 to Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak who are doing retro R&B with their Silk Sonic duo project. These are the "influencers" who will define the future of electric keyboards for a new generation.
1980 Rhodes 54
2018 Kawai ES8
1981 Korg BX-3
1981 Korg CX-3
2020 Casio Privia PX-S3000
1965 Fender Vibrolux Reverb
1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb
1969 Fender Deluxe Reverb (SF)
1966 Fender Princeton Reverb
1960 Maestro (Gibson) GA-2RT
1960 Bell (Maestro/Gibson) BA-15R
Motion Sound KP-500SN
Motion Sound KBR-M
Speakeasy Vintage Music - Tube Preamp (for Motion Sound/Clonewheel)
Neo Ventilator (original version)

melveyr

It's too expensive for me, but I think they will do well if the action is good. I like that they moved to a pull sustain pedal. I really find the sustain pedal on my Mark I to be clunky. With that said, what this REALLY makes me want to do is just invest a little more $$$ into my Mark I and get it playing a bit better  :)

spave

Quote from: Nelson 54 on November 03, 2021, 11:04:11 AM
The website positions this not as a workingman's instrument, but as a hand-crafted luxury car that many will want but few will own! 

There are tens of thousands of Rhodes Mark I and II pianos out there available for restoration or for vintage parts.



Saw this in their newsletter today, "Steeped in heritage, the new limited edition MK8 is based on early engineering diagrams from Harold Rhodes."

This most likely means A. the first 500 2022's are considered "Limited Edition Launch Models" or B. The MK8 is going to be the hand made sparkletop to a later MK9? that would be lower cost but made with cheaper parts and possibly outsourced manufacturing.

Remember, there were less than 500 sparkletops a year in the first years of Rhodes production so this MK8 is actually going to be similar in that regard. The MK1&2 had its production gradually shifted to Mexico for the same reasons of cost, so a "budget" MK9 after the "limited edition handmade" MK8 would be following the CBS guidebook to a T.


Also, addressing Nelson 54's point on tens of thousands of Rhodes on the vintage market. That is a figure applicable to those of us in the States but in Europe where Rhodes are scarce and prices are about double, the MK8 is actually pretty comparable in price and might be the only option realistically available.


One thing I thought was interesting was the lack of a "suitcase" option. Rhodes most likely assumes their market is in studio instruments that will have monitors so that probably explains their lack of weight reduction and external case lid.
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype

Nelson 54

spave - I emailed the new company a few days ago to learn that the 75lbs was without legs and with no lid. They also responded that they will put their own soft and hard wheeled cases on the market within a few weeks.  So they do expect this to be a gigging instrument. Good point about the rarity of usable Rhodes across the pond!  This might indeed be an attractive and comparable offer to what is available on the European vintage market. 

Interesting theory about a possible mass market successor to the initial run of MK8 pianos.  Who knows.  They may have intended all along to make a bigger splash but are setting their initial goal and quota low so they can (they hope) crash through it and declare 'success'.  And "limited" sells!   All better than having a warehouse full of unsold pianos!!  And the "slow but steady" pace of this initial release probably means they want to do all they can to avoid the missteps of the MK7.

Actually, the MK8 is well aligned with the Vintage Vibe "Deluxe" model -- which has the nicer custom color sparkle top and is "master" built, vs. the "factory" build on their "Classic" model.  The base cost of the VV Deluxe 73 is $8,500 -- roughly in line (about $1K below) the MK8 -- and the "factory" built Classic is 2 grand less at $6,650.   So the idea of an eventual mass market MK8 or MK9 seems very reasonable.
1980 Rhodes 54
2018 Kawai ES8
1981 Korg BX-3
1981 Korg CX-3
2020 Casio Privia PX-S3000
1965 Fender Vibrolux Reverb
1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb
1969 Fender Deluxe Reverb (SF)
1966 Fender Princeton Reverb
1960 Maestro (Gibson) GA-2RT
1960 Bell (Maestro/Gibson) BA-15R
Motion Sound KP-500SN
Motion Sound KBR-M
Speakeasy Vintage Music - Tube Preamp (for Motion Sound/Clonewheel)
Neo Ventilator (original version)

spave

QuoteAlso by keeping the case wood (but changing the type of wood) and by using lighter weight aluminium frameworks, the acoustic noises are kept to a min and we use a thicker plastic lid which helps with rigidity and sound insulation too. Having said that, due to the new hammer tip design, and by using high quality thicker felt all round, there is very little in the way of extraneous acoustic noise escaping compared to the older Rhodes models too.

This is a quote from Dan Goldman taken from a different forum talking about the reduction of acoustic sounds from the new MK8.

I personally love the acoustic noises in my Rhodes and I'll sometimes play with the lid off just to hear them better. Am I in the minority on this? I feel this could be a subtle choice that makes people feel this Rhodes has less "soul" than the earlier ones. I feel like as a player, taking away the mechanical noises would make playing the MK8 more like a VST of just the Rhodes output.

Even Keyscape lets you dial in the mechanical noises that were once considered imperfections so maybe this is something that Rhodes will change in the future? I know Hammond had a similar issue when they tried removing the key click that the engineers hated but the musicians loved.

Or maybe its just me who likes the mechanical noises...
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype

Nelson 54

spave - I think you're on to something.  I'd want to hear the new Rhodes in person to give it the benefit of the doubt.  But imperfections and unintended uses are what players accessed to put soul into these instruments.  Hammond key click, leakage and foldback -- even distortion in a guitar amp (originally seen as a design flaw to overcome) -- have become part of the player's vocabulary.  The extraneous piano action sounds (damper noise) and feel (escapement) are now being built into most higher-end digital pianos to create realism. 

This is related to the issue I have with the suite of onboard effects on the MK8.   Tinkering and experimenting with an instrument's output is how players have achieved their signature sounds.  Especially for an analog instrument -- and during a time when players are returning to the tactile and the analog -- adding what amounts to a multi-effect unit (even though they claim it's technically "analog") feels dated.  You see it in the guitar world.  Boutique amps boast simplicity and tone.  Players string together their personal choice of effects on a pedal board.  Digital multi-effect units and amps with 200 COSM effects are passe.

Maybe I'm wrong.  But I have the impression that the effects module was the brainchild of the builders and technicians--not at the recommendation of artists.   That's how FM synthesis started - and we know what happened with that.  (How do you like that DX7 "Rhodes" sound?)  I may be showing my age, but simple is better.   
1980 Rhodes 54
2018 Kawai ES8
1981 Korg BX-3
1981 Korg CX-3
2020 Casio Privia PX-S3000
1965 Fender Vibrolux Reverb
1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb
1969 Fender Deluxe Reverb (SF)
1966 Fender Princeton Reverb
1960 Maestro (Gibson) GA-2RT
1960 Bell (Maestro/Gibson) BA-15R
Motion Sound KP-500SN
Motion Sound KBR-M
Speakeasy Vintage Music - Tube Preamp (for Motion Sound/Clonewheel)
Neo Ventilator (original version)

goldphinga

#29
Quote from: Nelson 54 on November 04, 2021, 03:00:59 PM
spave - I think you're on to something.  I'd want to hear the new Rhodes in person to give it the benefit of the doubt.  But imperfections and unintended uses are what players accessed to put soul into these instruments.  Hammond key click, leakage and foldback -- even distortion in a guitar amp (originally seen as a design flaw to overcome) -- have become part of the player's vocabulary.  The extraneous piano action sounds (damper noise) and feel (escapement) are now being built into most higher-end digital pianos to create realism. 

This is related to the issue I have with the suite of onboard effects on the MK8.   Tinkering and experimenting with an instrument's output is how players have achieved their signature sounds.  Especially for an analog instrument -- and during a time when players are returning to the tactile and the analog -- adding what amounts to a multi-effect unit (even though they claim it's technically "analog") feels dated.  You see it in the guitar world.  Boutique amps boast simplicity and tone.  Players string together their personal choice of effects on a pedal board.  Digital multi-effect units and amps with 200 COSM effects are passe.

Maybe I'm wrong.  But I have the impression that the effects module was the brainchild of the builders and technicians--not at the recommendation of artists.   That's how FM synthesis started - and we know what happened with that.  (How do you like that DX7 "Rhodes" sound?)  I may be showing my age, but simple is better.

Hey guys, firstly, the piano still has all those lovely noises we all love, dont' worry. It still has all those special Rhodes characteristics! Second, the effects were my initial idea in collaboration with our team & artists during our research for the MK8. The majority of players we spoke with (including myself) wanted all the classic effects they love, built in so they didnt have to carry another pedal board with them when touring and playing sessions. Also the effects though familiar by name are built specially for the MK8 from the ground up and they were conceived as part of the instrument since day 1. And interestingly enough the majority of our sales so far have been FX models. However, if you don't want them you can spec the piano without of course.




Nelson 54

goldphinga -- Great to hear from you in this thread.  No need for us "speculatin'" when we can get the word from the source - thanks!  If you developed this with artists and were answering an expressed need, all the power to you. As I mentioned in an earlier post on this, I hope you can bring artists visibly into the picture -- especially if they can use your custom effects to dial in a new "signature sound".  That could help bring the masses calling.  And seriously - if a Mark Ronson can work the MK8 into a session -- or you can get it on stage behind a well known hip hop artist or a neo-soul throwback like the new Mars-Paak project, you can dial into a new generation of players. 

I guess I should ask -- as was discussed above, are you looking to stay small with an ongoing limited issue - or are there mass marketing plans in the works?
1980 Rhodes 54
2018 Kawai ES8
1981 Korg BX-3
1981 Korg CX-3
2020 Casio Privia PX-S3000
1965 Fender Vibrolux Reverb
1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb
1969 Fender Deluxe Reverb (SF)
1966 Fender Princeton Reverb
1960 Maestro (Gibson) GA-2RT
1960 Bell (Maestro/Gibson) BA-15R
Motion Sound KP-500SN
Motion Sound KBR-M
Speakeasy Vintage Music - Tube Preamp (for Motion Sound/Clonewheel)
Neo Ventilator (original version)

goldphinga

#31
Quote from: Nelson 54 on November 04, 2021, 05:38:31 PM
goldphinga -- Great to hear from you in this thread.  No need for us "speculatin'" when we can get the word from the source - thanks!  If you developed this with artists and were answering an expressed need, all the power to you. As I mentioned in an earlier post on this, I hope you can bring artists visibly into the picture -- especially if they can use your custom effects to dial in a new "signature sound".  That could help bring the masses calling.  And seriously - if a Mark Ronson can work the MK8 into a session -- or you can get it on stage behind a well known hip hop artist or a neo-soul throwback like the new Mars-Paak project, you can dial into a new generation of players. 

I guess I should ask -- as was discussed above, are you looking to stay small with an ongoing limited issue - or are there mass marketing plans in the works?

We are on with talking to many artists at the moment, so def expect more on that front very soon. We will have lots of great visual and audio content coming on top of the sound clips and website that are already out there. Regarding staying small- well, we have some very big plans, the flagship MK8 is just the start, we obviously want to get Rhodes products into the hands of as many musicians as possible.

Jenzz

Hi :-)

What about the Rhodes-direct-to-Amp lovers? Do you consider an all-passive version?

regards, Jens :-)
Rhodes tech in Germany
www.tasteundtechnik.de
www.spontaneousstorytelling.net

VintageVibe 64 ACL + DOD FX25B, Tone City Sweet Cream, EHX SmallStone, Mooer e-Lady

Adams Solist 3.1 Vibraphone

In the Past:
Stage 73 Mk1 (1977)
Stage 88 Mk1 (1975)
Stage 73 Mk2 (1980)
Stage 73 Mk2 (1981 - plastic)
Suitcase 73 Mk1 (1973)
Suitcase 73 Mk1 (1978)

goldphinga

Quote from: Jenzz on November 05, 2021, 01:56:54 PM
Hi :-)

What about the Rhodes-direct-to-Amp lovers? Do you consider an all-passive version?

regards, Jens :-)

You can run direct from the send on the Fx accessory loop for a direct passive pickup signal. A passive piano... 8)

spave

goldphinga-- First, let me just say thank you for helping bring the MK8 to market in the first place. Regardless of what anyone on this (or any other) forum says about the MK8, I know we are all happy that it managed to happen at all. I do truly wish the best for the MK8 (and whatever future products you have planned).


I have a few questions that I'd love to know if you can share info on them.

1. What era are your new tines based on? I know VV says theirs are based on 1974-75 Torringtons. Did you start with a specific Rhodes and try to match the sound or are these tines not supposed to replicate any specific model year?

2. Same question but for the hammer tips. I believe the Rhodes site says there are 4 hammer zones. Why only 4? I know VV and others have tried to find ways to increase the amount of zones so I was surprised to see the MK8 have less than previous models.

3. Will there be demo models avalible for people to try? I know you can't put one in every Guitar Center across America and Europe with only 500 total but will there be at least one in LA, NYC, London, etc?

4. Merch! I know a lot of people (including myself) can't afford the MK8 but would buy a new Rhodes T shirt, hoodie, hat, etc in a heartbeat. Any chance of anything like that happening soon?


Thanks again for everything you are doing for the Rhodes legacy
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype

goldphinga

#35
Quote from: spave on November 05, 2021, 06:25:31 PM
goldphinga-- First, let me just say thank you for helping bring the MK8 to market in the first place. Regardless of what anyone on this (or any other) forum says about the MK8, I know we are all happy that it managed to happen at all. I do truly wish the best for the MK8 (and whatever future products you have planned).

Thank you for the support. We just wanted to build the best Rhodes we could and really push the instrument forward. This is not about recreating the past but retaining the classic Rhodes tone whilst truly moving the instrument into the future in a sensitive way. The exciting thing for me is that the MK8 and the hybrid/new technologies that we have developed for it provide a very flexible ecosystem/platform which we can utilise far into the future.

My answers in line below:

I have a few questions that I'd love to know if you can share info on them.

1. What era are your new tines based on? I know VV says theirs are based on 1974-75 Torringtons. Did you start with a specific Rhodes and try to match the sound or are these tines not supposed to replicate any specific model year?

We simply wanted to create a great sounding tine that embodied the unmistakeable classic Rhodes tone from across the eras. During development of the new tines, I had a 1969 MK1 with felt hammers, 1972 MK1 suitcase, 1979 MK1 suitcase, 1980 MK2 suitcase and 1984 MKV in the lab alongisde the MK8 protototype. The tines have the clarity of later models, with the fat round-ness of the earlier models too- so the idea really was to make a tine that could represent all the eras. The way the new tines are made and the tolerances involved are completely new (the block, wire material and whole assembly is completely unique to the MK8 and different to any previous Rhodes tine).

2. Same question but for the hammer tips. I believe the Rhodes site says there are 4 hammer zones. Why only 4? I know VV and others have tried to find ways to increase the amount of zones so I was surprised to see the MK8 have less than previous models.

One word- material. The entirely new hammer tip material allows us to have all the sonic benefits of neoprene but with much better resistance to cracking and hardening, whilst keeping its elasticity. Also the shore values are tightly controlled throughout the production process which has allowed us to reduce the number of tip zones and transition points across the keyboard.

3. Will there be demo models avalible for people to try? I know you can't put one in every Guitar Center across America and Europe with only 500 total but will there be at least one in LA, NYC, London, etc?

Yes, we are just working on this at the moment and we will have demo units across the globe soon. I'll come back with more on this once we have it all in place. It's a huge logistics operation but we are on it.

4. Merch! I know a lot of people (including myself) can't afford the MK8 but would buy a new Rhodes T shirt, hoodie, hat, etc in a heartbeat. Any chance of anything like that happening soon?

And yes to this too- we will have a merch store on the www.rhodesmusic.com website soon.

Happy to answer more questions, let me know and hope this answers everything for now


Thanks again for everything you are doing for the Rhodes legacy

Tom999

Quote from: goldphinga on November 07, 2021, 04:28:40 AM
The way the new tines are made and the tolerances involved are completely new (the block, wire material and whole assembly is completely unique to the MK8 and different to any previous Rhodes tine).

That appears to answer my question of "will Rhodes be offering any replacement tines for older models"  :-\

goldphinga

Quote from: Tom999 on November 08, 2021, 06:02:02 AM
Quote from: goldphinga on November 07, 2021, 04:28:40 AM
The way the new tines are made and the tolerances involved are completely new (the block, wire material and whole assembly is completely unique to the MK8 and different to any previous Rhodes tine).

That appears to answer my question of "will Rhodes be offering any replacement tines for older models"  :-\

But they fit in the same way to any older piano...  8)

spave

Goldphinga-- Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions. I can only imagine how busy you are right now with the launch.


I have a few more I'd love to know if you could share some light on them.


1. What was the design/sound inspiration for the new preamp? Is it designed to replicate the sound of the Peterson (or any of the other preamps) or is it supposed to be something completely new? Also, why not use more concentric knobs instead of spreading the preamp out?

2. What model year(s) are the pickups based on? I know they have gone through a few revisions so I'm curious if the MK8 is sticking with a previous design or if these are completely new.

3. How similar are you able to get each MK8 off the assembly line? I know the sparkletops and early MK1 Rhodes could often be very different even if they were right next to each other during production. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing for voicing as it helped give each Rhodes a distinct voice but it could also mean one would play quick and responsive and the next would be slow and sluggish.

4. I know you did a lot of research on the design of the harp and harp supports so can you share with us once and for all: What is the benefit/effect of wooden pickup/tonebar rails vs some sort of lighter composite?

5.Same question but for the aluminum harp supports. I know people have spent years arguing about how the wood harp supports are a big part of the early sound but I am guessing that if you kept the wood on the top but not the supports that's probably not true.

Thanks for the info
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype

goldphinga

#39
Quote from: spave on November 08, 2021, 04:27:29 PM
Goldphinga-- Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions. I can only imagine how busy you are right now with the launch.


I have a few more I'd love to know if you could share some light on them.


1. What was the design/sound inspiration for the new preamp? Is it designed to replicate the sound of the Peterson (or any of the other preamps) or is it supposed to be something completely new? Also, why not use more concentric knobs instead of spreading the preamp out?

It's supposed to give the truest uncoloured sound of the piano when set flat, but to add beautiful musical colour when the features are used such as EQ, drive, envelope, or panning. It's an-all new design from the ground up and not based on anything previously. This wasn't about trying to recreate the past but to simply take the core Rhodes sound forward in new ways, all in one self-contained instrument. My vision was ultimately to have the quality of a Neve, Amek or API preamp, coupled with Moogerfooger quality analogue effects. The panning circuit is hugely flexible too so it can sound like a Peterson doing bulb panning, or a Janus and LOTS more besides- inc. ring mod, crazy noises, talking vowel sounds, synth textures/layers, pulsing sounds, it's very unique in its abilities.


2. What model year(s) are the pickups based on? I know they have gone through a few revisions so I'm curious if the MK8 is sticking with a previous design or if these are completely new.

The pickups are a new design but again are simply designed to bring the best out in the MK8 and retain the classic Rhodes soul, with a new shaped pickup head that allows the precisely cut tines to get dead on the end of the pickups. The pickups will saturate nicely and also have an anti-slip design so when you tighten them down they don't move out of the desired postion. Sound-wise, they are fat with plenty of clarity and punch, espeically in the mids, with nice clarity at the top and a round extended low freq response.

3. How similar are you able to get each MK8 off the assembly line? I know the sparkletops and early MK1 Rhodes could often be very different even if they were right next to each other during production. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing for voicing as it helped give each Rhodes a distinct voice but it could also mean one would play quick and responsive and the next would be slow and sluggish.

They are all setting up very consistently. This is something that was important from day one and the piano has been designed so that it sets up as close to the same every time. We have very tight setup procedures and measurements and this has been made achievable by really improving part and manufacturing tolerances and methods, pushing the Rhodes technology into new areas- so that effectively  now it's a precision-built and setup instrument.

4. I know you did a lot of research on the design of the harp and harp supports so can you share with us once and for all: What is the benefit/effect of wooden pickup/tonebar rails vs some sort of lighter composite?

We tried many materials during the dev process but wood rails are time proven and work well, and now with modern processes we can make these as precisely as possible too. The rails carry a lot of weight and have to also absorb vibrations well, plus they need to look great, drill well, hold the screws well, and not warp- there is still no better material than the highest grade baltic birch imho, at least for this piano.


5.Same question but for the aluminum harp supports. I know people have spent years arguing about how the wood harp supports are a big part of the early sound but I am guessing that if you kept the wood on the top but not the supports that's probably not true.

The wood vs alu supports has weirdly become a thing but it really isn't a thing!! The impact aluminium has on the sonics vs wood should really have been put to bed a long time ago, as it really isn't a contributing factor to how great a Rhodes can sound. The alu rails simply allow much better tolerances, decrease setup time required and enable more consistency during production, plus they give the piano extra strength and less opportunity to warp and twist. Also we coated the alu in the piano to reduce any chance of internal reflections (no shiny surfaces) so really, there is zero advantage to wood supports imho. Alu supports are a big part of the MK8 and it really benefits from them. If we had made the frames from wood, tolerances would be nowhere near as exact, build time would increase and it would not be as roadworthy either. That's all very important to the MK8.

Thanks for the info

Pleasure! d

piano1071

Hey

Will it be possible to buy parts?

Cheers
B

Cormac Long

Dr. Mix has uploaded a video of his visit to the factory shop in Leeds. It gives a great overview of some of the hardware improvements and electronics.

https://youtu.be/42e5HuHLrsQ
Regards,
   Cormac

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siderealxxx

Quote from: Cormac Long on December 10, 2021, 04:21:27 PM
Dr. Mix has uploaded a video of his visit to the factory shop in Leeds. It gives a great overview of some of the hardware improvements and electronics.

https://youtu.be/42e5HuHLrsQ

Very cool. Amazing really, just so expensive! I hope they have enough business to keep going and scale things up.
Fender Rhodes MKI Stage 73 (1974)

spave

Quote from: Cormac Long on December 10, 2021, 04:21:27 PM
Dr. Mix has uploaded a video of his visit to the factory shop in Leeds. It gives a great overview of some of the hardware improvements and electronics.

https://youtu.be/42e5HuHLrsQ

One thing that I thought was interesting in this video was how much of the demo section was dedicated to using the effects in ways that were previously unavailable on the earlier models. Particularly with the envelope filter and the "ring mod" effect from the tremolo. It seems like Rhodes expects MK8 owners to always have one of the effects on by default so that it can be more easily distinguished from the previous models.

Because of this, I almost think of the MK8 as the spiritual successor to the MK III EK-10. Mainly because they are the only two Rhodes (aside from some electronic models that shall not be named) that take the classic sound and combine it with new sounds that were not previously possible.

Jury is still out for the MK8's effect on Japanese television stations though ;)
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype

Miles

That would be awesome!

Quote from: piano1071 on November 15, 2021, 09:30:59 AM
Hey

Will it be possible to buy parts?

Cheers
B
Restoring a Rhodes MkI 73 Stage from 1976

CJMorgan

The You Tube Channel Doctor Mix did a video about his tour of the new Rhodes factor in Leeds England.

It should be available at this link: https://youtu.be/42e5HuHLrsQ

derreny

Has anyone actually bought this thing ? The article in sound on sound doesn't deserve the word 'review'. Im surprised that, expensive as it is, I've heard nothing about it for a while now...

spave

Quote from: derreny on March 25, 2022, 05:23:47 AMHas anyone actually bought this thing ? The article in sound on sound doesn't deserve the word 'review'. Im surprised that, expensive as it is, I've heard nothing about it for a while now...

I don't think they've made their way to the public yet. I believe most of the early orders will only start being delivered later this year.
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype

derreny

Quote from: spave on March 27, 2022, 06:51:31 PMI believe most of the early orders will only start being delivered later this year.
Ah ok, thanks v much.

spave

Here's another preview article from Reverb: https://reverb.com/news/rhodes-taken-the-many-comebacks-of-the-rhodes-piano

 Not much new info but it seems to confirm my previous hypothesis that the MK8's key selling point will be its synth features. Rhodes appears to be targeting more "electronic" artists that are mainly synth players whereas the VV piano is aimed at people who already own a Clav, Wurly, and B3.


I'm curious to know who the average customer is for the MK8 once they start appearing in the wild. It will be interesting to see if most have other Rhodes in their collection or if they are mainly first time EP buyers who never wanted to deal with the quirks of vintage gear.
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype