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The Rhodes Mark 8

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

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Thanks for the link ! A good read and like you Id like to see exactly who this product is aimed at. The considerable price aside, its not totally clear (maybe it shouldnt be).
But truth is, I can get a lot of synth and piano for 10 grand.
No midi out of the box ???!?
P.s. have i missed something, or have vintage vibe stopped making the clavinet ?? (Understand this might not be the correct bit of the forum for such a question).


Saw this on the Rhodes site today, looks like they are setting up a dealership network. I'm guessing its just for merch and parts (at least for the time being) as it seems the MK8's will only be available on their website. Maybe the network is laying the groundwork for a possible MK9? that could be sold off the shelf like a normal digital keyboard?

Interestingly, only one location on the list is considered a service center. That probably means the setup process is different enough for the MK8 that they don't feel comfortable giving that designation to places like CEPCo or Fender Rhodes LA without training them first.
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype


1979 Suitcase 73
1980 Stage 54


The MK8 will be at NAMM this weekend. If anyone checks it out, let us know what you think. It's received a lot of hype — can it live up to it?


Quote from: Dave on June 02, 2022, 08:30:17 PMThe MK8 will be at NAMM this weekend. If anyone checks it out, let us know what you think. It's received a lot of hype — can it live up to it?

How about a demo by none other than Mr. Stevie Wonder?

Dr. Mix happened to be at the Rhodes booth when Stevie was there and caught a good portion of him playing the MK8. Stevie doesn't say anything about the MK8 itself in the video but he clearly enjoyed playing it.

Hearing Stevie play the MK8 makes me want to try one even more. It sounds really good in this demo and with the upcoming midi option it seems like it really could be the ultimate keyboard. I also heard a rumor that Rhodes might be leaving a demo unit in LA so I'll have to see if I can try one out soon.
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype

The Real MC

Played the Rhodes Mk8 at NAMM 2023 in April.

As a Rhodes player since 1978 who has gone through four pianos looking for "the one", the new Rhodes is excellent.

Dan was maniacal about making a quality piano with the best traits of pianos from each era, and he succeeded.  They have great action, the pickups sound excellent and can get anything from that bell tone to fusion bark with playing dynamics.  That is a feature I love with my '67 silvertop and was never able to duplicate with the later Rhodes.  Dan was aware of the superiority of the early pickups from '65 to '72.  I played the basic model and the one with FX, both had the same feel and raw sound.  Finally someone is making a Rhodes that is consistent from unit to unit, which Fender could never do.  The new Rhodes is almost half the weight.

Yes there are thousands of used Rhodes at a fraction of the price, but they varied all the map due to CBS/Fender ruining the product through corporate bean counting, inferior parts through poor substitution (which drove Rhodes engineers nuts), and stopwatches to monitor production rates that resulted in forced inferior product out the door.  Many of the deficiencies of the older pianos aren't easily fixed.  Frankly my experience with buying used Rhodes was a crapshoot until I found my silvertop.

Cyril Lance designed the preamp and effects and I know Cyril from his days at Moog Music.  I asked him some engineering questions regarding his design, and I liked what I heard.

The effects include compressor, chorus, phaser, and delay.  Nothing fancy but they fit the Rhodes well.  Compressor is nice for getting that Herbie Hancock vibe.  The other effects are stereo.  Chorus is effective, phaser sounds like the EH Small Stone.  Delay is stereo and I found it most effective at short delays combined with chorus.  The FX model has a headphone amp with the jack in the left side cheek.  I neglected to check for MIDI ports.  There are buttons right at the name rail for toggling the effects in/out and are easily accessible while playing.

The preamp in both models feature volume, envelope, drive (overdrive), three band EQ with sweepable mid, and stereo tremolo with selectable modulation waveshapes.  One thing they missed is that the classic Peterson stereo tremolo is modulated with a trapezoid waveshape LFO.  The new Rhodes offers square, curved ramp, triangle, and sine - no trapezoid.  The closest to trapezoid to my ears is sine; I mentioned this to Dan, apparently there is a feature to remedy this in firmware but I haven't played with it.

Complain all you want about the price - you're getting quality that Fender could never have dreamed of.

I passed the Rhodes booth multiple times at NAMM and the booth was busy every time.

Alan Lenhoff

Thanks for the review and insights...

I'm quite happy playing my beautiful'74 Rhodes Stage, which I bought it maybe eight years ago for roughly the cost of the sales tax on a nicely equipped Mark 8. But my hat is off to those who are building new tine pianos. Given the plentiful supply of vintage pianos, they took on a lot of risk to bring these new models to market. (They are fortunate, however, that the huge run-up in vintage Rhodes prices in recent years makes their new piano prices seem more reasonable than they might have appeared a decade ago.)

Just wondering: Have you also played the Vintage Vibe Tine Piano? If so, discounting the electronics built into some of the Mark 8s, did you prefer one over the other?

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

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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.
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The Real MC

Quote from: Alan Lenhoff on April 16, 2023, 08:14:44 AMJust wondering: Have you also played the Vintage Vibe Tine Piano? If so, discounting the electronics built into some of the Mark 8s, did you prefer one over the other?

No I haven't, and I always wanted to.

From what I heard on VV's YouTube demos, their piano sounds like my sparkletop with the felt hammers replaced with wood/plastic with neoprene tips.  Which sounds great but isn't the atypical Rhodes sound.

The Mk8 sounds more like the atypical Rhodes.

Both are great sounding pianos, can't really say I have a preference.  I would definitely prefer them over the vintage deal, because so many of them are crap!


Hi :-)

There are some interresting pics from the inside Mk8 at NAMM on the german 'Musikerboard'...

Rhodes tech in Germany

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)


Hey folks. Here's a brand new demo of the MK8 FX model piano we laid down, showing the unique power of the built in analogue FX and preamp. Hope y'all dig it!