Are Clavinets worth current prices?

Started by spave, June 11, 2022, 12:52:36 PM

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spave

Hi all,

To the Clavinet owners out there, how often do you use them compared to your Rhodes/Wurly (if you have one)? It seems like rough condition D6 and E7s are going for the same or more as good condition Rhodes or playable Wurlys but I doubt I would use a Clav more than my Rhodes/Wurly to justify the price premium. Not in a position to buy one at the moment just curious to know how often they are used by current owners compared to other keyboards in your collection and if you didn't buy one recently, do you think they are worth more than a comparable Rhodes/Wurly (for usability not rarity)?
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype
1971 Suitcase Fender Rhodes
1977 Wurlitzer 270

mvanmanen

I would dare to say that of the keyboards you have mentioned clavinets are the most challenging to emulate with software or other means. It is not simply the shallow key dip or the ultrafast key return. I find the strings and pickups literally breath like they are alive playing through a nice amp with choice effects. And, of course, clavinets also have aftertouch as you can sink into the keybed to give a bit of vibrato. In short, in a well setup instrument, there is a playing experience to clavinets that I have not found anywhere else. I do not play my clavinets as much as my piano nor rhodes, but I think they are wonderful.
Wurlitzer 200a
Wurlitzer 145
Fender Rhodes (1966, 1971, 1975)
Hohner Clavinet Pianet Duo
Hohner Clavinet D6s and C
Hohner Pianet T
Hohner Pianet N and Combo Pianet
Hammond B3

spave

#2
Quote from: mvanmanen on June 12, 2022, 07:20:59 AMI find the strings and pickups literally breath like they are alive playing through a nice amp with choice effects. And, of course, clavinets also have aftertouch as you can sink into the keybed to give a bit of vibrato. In short, in a well setup instrument, there is a playing experience to clavinets that I have not found anywhere else.

Thanks for sharing your experience mvanmanen. I haven't had the chance to play a real clavinet before but I've heard similar accounts on how special it is to play a real one compared to an emulation.

One thing that is interesting about the Clavinet market is how it seems to be the first vintage electric piano that is/will be more expensive than its modern counterpart (ie the Vibanet). I'm curious to see if the price of a new Vibanet becomes the ceiling for vintage clavs or if D6/E7 prices will continue to rise above them similar to how pre CBS Fenders continue to go up in price compared to their modern equivalents. The way that Clavs go will probably be a good indication on what the future holds for the Rhodes market as well. Who knows, maybe one day a new VV or MK8 will be cheaper than a vintage Rhodes  :o
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype
1971 Suitcase Fender Rhodes
1977 Wurlitzer 270

mvanmanen

I think what will be be interesting in time is how "vintage" will vintage keyboards be. My best playing/sounding clavinet D6 has new strings, new hammer tips, new grommets, etc.

I see from your signature you have a 1971 Suitcase Fender Rhodes. For me the tines and pickups from the 1960 to early 70s rhodes are really special. I appreciate it is harder and harder to find replacements...
Wurlitzer 200a
Wurlitzer 145
Fender Rhodes (1966, 1971, 1975)
Hohner Clavinet Pianet Duo
Hohner Clavinet D6s and C
Hohner Pianet T
Hohner Pianet N and Combo Pianet
Hammond B3

spave

#4
Quote from: mvanmanen on June 13, 2022, 03:23:59 PMI think what will be be interesting in time is how "vintage" will vintage keyboards be. My best playing/sounding clavinet D6 has new strings, new hammer tips, new grommets, etc.

That reminds me of the ship of Theseus thought experiment. For instance, at what point would you consider your D6 to actually be a Vibanet in a D6 shell? EP collectors are a lot more tolerant of this than guitarists but should prices rise to the level of vintage Gibsons/Fenders we might see a change in that philosophy especially with there being fewer and fewer completely original units left.

Quote from: mvanmanen on June 13, 2022, 03:23:59 PMI see from your signature you have a 1971 Suitcase Fender Rhodes. For me the tines and pickups from the 1960 to early 70s rhodes are really special. I appreciate it is harder and harder to find replacements...

My 71 is from the later half of the year and has either early Torringtons or late Raymacs with the small springs. I still have a good supply of extra Torringtons should one break but I have no way of telling what year they were made to ensure "historical accuracy".

I'm curious what your philosophy for your 66 is though. Do you only play it gently? Would you only use 1966 tines should one happen to break? I've been keeping an eye out for a 73B Sparkletop for a while now but I think I'd be too afraid to lay into it for fear of breaking an unreplaceable tine.
1969 KMC Home Rhodes Prototype
1971 Suitcase Fender Rhodes
1977 Wurlitzer 270