Author Topic: wurlitzer or rhodes  (Read 32762 times)

Offline greasebox

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« on: April 03, 2006, 10:06:13 PM »
I have a Wurlitzer 200a.  I've played lots of electric pianos and I have to say, the wurlitzer is my favourite.  I only really like the very early rhodes models because they have a softer sound than later stuff.  Anything past about 77 sounds quite horrible to me cos it's too bell-like.  I associate that with the sound of the 80's.  My particular wurli is good cos it's very willing to distort in the low end.  I played a butterfly wurlitzer once (extremely rare) and it hardly had any bite to it at all - was very smooth.  I also prefer how wurlitzers look.

Which piano do you people prefer, and why?

Offline Miguel Tuna

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2006, 10:25:47 PM »
Guess what is mine... :P
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Offline filigroove

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2006, 03:28:11 PM »
Hi, this is my first post (sorry for my english 'cause english teachers are not so good here in Italy).
A Wurly is a good instrument with one good sound, but can' t compare with a Rhodes that has so many sounds (from herbie's to Jarreau's tones, both beautiful) with a bigger dynamic range.

CiAO

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Offline Hochstrasser

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2006, 03:50:01 PM »
I Think I'd have to answer that once I finish regulating my Wurlitzer action (need a capstan wrench...damn those minumum orders from piano suppliers) but I think overall I'm more a fan of the Rhodes. I love the really sort of dark electric piano sound more commonly associated with Wurlitzers. However, there is something about my Rhodes that is much more piano-like. I also like the fact that the Rhodes won't blow up my pedals (my Boss DD-5 stopped working after accidently having my Wurlitzer go through it.) So I guess my vote goes to Rhodes.

 - Erich

Offline dwilson

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2006, 04:40:02 PM »
I recently did a recording session at a studio that had a Mark II and a Wurli (and a B3 - I was in heaven! :) ) It was my first time playing a real Wurli and I absolutely loved it. Comparing it to a Rhodes seems like comparing apples and oranges to me. We used the Rhodes for some tracks and the Wurli for others - the different tracks just needed different sounds, and it was nice to have the option.

I suppose if I was forced to choose one or the other, I'd probably choose the Rhodes (and, given that this is a site for Rhodes enthusiasts, a lot of other folks here would probably agree), but in some situations, that Wurli sound is exactly what you want. They really are two different beasts.
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Offline greasebox

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ok
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2006, 09:24:08 PM »
i own a wurlitzer and i find it very versatile.

there's just something a bit unfriendly about rhodes???  i think wurlis sound more gay - as a friend of mine put it.

it can do all the nice soft stuff and can also really growl.  

i don't think i'll ever bother buying a rhodes.

Offline jim

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2006, 09:40:56 PM »
you're just trying to start trouble arn't you greasebox...

Offline greasebox

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lol
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2006, 10:05:09 PM »
yeh.  

no, seriously, im just curious.

at the end of the day, what's great for one person is poopy for another.

i happen to love the wurlitzer.  the name too.   mmmmmmmmm

Offline triphobbit

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2006, 03:34:31 PM »
Well I have owned five different wurlis (including a 145) and three Rhodes in my life and if I had to pick one I would pick a Rhodes.  Wurlies are good and have a great tone but they take more work to keep in tip top shape.  I just recently bought a Mark II after having messed with wurlies for a while and I couldn't be happier.  Ever try to tune your own reeds?  What a pain in the ass.

Offline sidneylogon

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2006, 08:07:29 AM »
I too have both, and it's like having two beautiful women at home.

There's Miss R: elegant and sophisticated, if a little on the heavy side. She's been around a bit, but within her hard, outer casing are tones so warm and gentle that they could melt the coldest heart. If you treat her well, she'll make all the right noises. But be warned, she likes her presents - it starts with something small like a preamp and then before long, she'll be demanding a Fender Twin Reverb!!

And there's Miss W: More slender and lightweight, but don't be fooled: her bark is much worse than her bite, and although she's not so versatile, she can really make herself heard if she wants to. She's pretty high-maintenance and if she opens up, thngs can get complicated. She's not like Miss R, where you can fix the problems with a couple of screws. Miss W needs specialist attention, and if you don't know what you're doing you might get a nasty shock.

So you can see it's not easy - sometimes I wonder if I can really handle them both... But then I could never choose between them, so we'll just have to learn to live together!

 :wink:

Offline Ben Bove

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2006, 04:11:32 PM »
I think the best way to put it is that a rhodes is more like a piano.  The wurlitzer is not as versatile as a rhodes stylistically or mechanically.  It's very limited being a 64 note keyboard, plus the sound decays much quicker with the flat style reeds as opposed to the longer sustaining rhodes with broader registers.  Furthermore, the tone itself comes off as being much harsher and more distinct which I believe limits its usage in all genres.  The more pacifying/docile tone of the rhodes, much like that of a piano, can be used more readily in all styles of music from Country to Dance to Jazz.  In my opinion the Wurly thus is more of a novelty/sound keyboard than a real piano like the rhodes to sit down and have the ability to express as a pianist.
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Offline andi85

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2006, 04:39:18 PM »
i find both great :)

but right, miss R seems to be a bit easier to handle. i love mine... <3
Tuning instruments makes the band sound thin!

Offline TineDaily

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2006, 07:00:14 PM »
I have my Wurly sitting right on top of my Rhodes. I mainly use them for recording. While I can get the middle registers on both pianos to sound nearly identical, the main difference to me are the high and low registers.
The wurly's low octaves are preferable to me...consistent and growly. The rhodes' low end on my piano is a bit hit or miss...the old problem of the very long tines drifting in and out of pitch due to the large arc of the tine at the pickup. Often times the low end just sounds plain farty. The high octaves, on the other hand, seem far more useful on the Rhodes. The wurly's high notes are flat-sounding, clipped, and non-sustaining compared to the rhodes. If I run a BBE with the wurly, I can get a reasonable rhodes approximation, but the sustain still isn't there on the high end. I also think the wurly is better for chording and comping, while the rhodes is better for lead runs. The old cliche seems to be true-- the wurly is better for straight rock, in the role of a rhythm guitar, it cuts through better in the mix than my rhodes, but the rhodes is more expressive and does the funk-jazz thing in spades. Having both together gives me the best of both worlds... I keep the wurly dark sounding, and the rhodes bright. I go back and  forth between them while I record EP parts, and with the end result, I often can't distinguish which piano I used for which part...but often times I double a part on both pianos...very cool! I guess I compare the two pianos to a Les Paul vs. a Strat. Overall though I prefer the wurly's action, although there are the problems with the ageing preamp, hum, etc.
And the rhodes can't pick up radio stations nearly as well! (funny to hear a  radio station through the wurly..it Wurlifies an entire song!) Hey, that just gave me an idea...broadcast my rhodes signal with a radio transmitter, and record it through the wurly's speakers....LOL

Offline BackRoomSounds

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2006, 05:04:29 AM »
Quote from: "TineDaily"
I have my Wurly sitting right on top of my Rhodes. I mainly use them for recording. While I can get the middle registers on both pianos to sound nearly identical, the main difference to me are the high and low registers.
The wurly's low octaves are preferable to me...consistent and growly. The rhodes' low end on my piano is a bit hit or miss...the old problem of the very long tines drifting in and out of pitch due to the large arc of the tine at the pickup. Often times the low end just sounds plain farty. The high octaves, on the other hand, seem far more useful on the Rhodes. The wurly's high notes are flat-sounding, clipped, and non-sustaining compared to the rhodes. If I run a BBE with the wurly, I can get a reasonable rhodes approximation, but the sustain still isn't there on the high end. I also think the wurly is better for chording and comping, while the rhodes is better for lead runs. The old cliche seems to be true-- the wurly is better for straight rock, in the role of a rhythm guitar, it cuts through better in the mix than my rhodes, but the rhodes is more expressive and does the funk-jazz thing in spades. Having both together gives me the best of both worlds... I keep the wurly dark sounding, and the rhodes bright. I go back and  forth between them while I record EP parts, and with the end result, I often can't distinguish which piano I used for which part...but often times I double a part on both pianos...very cool! I guess I compare the two pianos to a Les Paul vs. a Strat. Overall though I prefer the wurly's action, although there are the problems with the ageing preamp, hum, etc.
And the rhodes can't pick up radio stations nearly as well! (funny to hear a  radio station through the wurly..it Wurlifies an entire song!) Hey, that just gave me an idea...broadcast my rhodes signal with a radio transmitter, and record it through the wurly's speakers....LOL


Ahahahahaha.... I think your spot on about the pro's and con's mate well put

Offline geronimo

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wurly sits on top of rhodes?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2006, 04:50:26 PM »
isn't that wurly a bit heavy to be setting on the rhodes? I agree with most people here on both ep's. the rhodes does sound and act more like a real piano but dig the fact that the wurlitzers' insides is designed like a real piano. hammers, felts, dampers, etc. it's the only ep that duplicates a real piano action, i think. but the rhodes sounds more like a real piano but the action design is totally alien to any former piano action design. go figure. i have the pleasure of owning one of each & i use the wurly in most rock/pop songs and the rhodes for more espressive jazzy & ballad type stuff. ever try to play r&r with a rhodes? it ain't fun. but with a wurly it's got it going with r&r all the way. but you can't beat that sound of the rhodes' expressiveness & versatility. I recently installed a BBE Harmonic Clarifier on the rhodes & the sound is totally awesome. i have a 75' stage model that i fixed up real nice. I also have a 145b wurlitzer, the last of the wooden case pianos. it sounds better than the newer 200a model in my opinion. it's got more of a bark. i used to have a 200a & i have to say i like the older girl more- for the sound & for that classic wooden piano style. it just looks for regal sitting there with that fancy music rack!

Offline Ben Bove

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2006, 04:13:54 AM »
I have a picture somewhere of a suitcase rhodes with a wurly ontop and a clav stacked yet again on top of that in a tri-stack vintage thing.  it's pretty wild, no stands just physics.
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Offline CherryFive

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Re: ok
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2006, 07:23:49 AM »
Quote from: "greasebox"
it can do all the nice soft stuff and can also really growl. i don't think i'll ever bother buying a rhodes.


If you don't think you're going to like owning a Rhodes than don't buy one. If someone is so vapid to not see the beauty in all of these vintage miracles I really have to wonder. I think deep down you want a Rhodes to compliment your 200A. You probably haven't played a mechanically sound 1974 or early 1975 Fender Rhodes. I know if you did you would bother buying a Fender Rhodes!  

...And there is such a huge difference in sound between the "Rhodes" and "Fender Rhodes" (particularly where upper midrange frequencies go). But how does anything past '77 sound 80's? The insides of a some 78's are identical to the updated '75s and '76s. The updated '78s (i.e markII's) have a markII sound, but more often than not, the people who complain about harshness in late 70's models don't know how to properly set the piano up. I took a pinching '78 once and simply added more fundemental to the pickup/tine relationship. I had the '78 because I was working on it for a friend, specifically I was just changing all of the hammer tips because they were rock hard. When he came to pick it up he was enthralled to say the least. The thing that pleased him most was the ability to slam the higher notes without worring about harmonic shrill.

Sorry about the rant. To answer your initial question I wouldn't choose one over the other. That's stupid. That's like asking me if I'd rather have a mellotron or a string solina. I don't know. They both sound very good.

Offline geronimo

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wurly sits on top of rhodes?
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2006, 03:51:16 PM »
a wurly & a clav on top of a rhodes? yes maybe physics will also come into play when the plastic top on the rhodes cracks in half. i wouldn't put nothin' on top of my rhodes except maybe a moog-rogue, which weighed a mere 12 lbs. or so. what can we do to persuade you that the rhodes is the electric piano to have. not the old fender rhodes, not the late 70's rhodes but the 75' ,74' stage rhodes. you play one of those & i'm sure you'll be converted or at least impressed. I had a brand new 79' suitcase back in 79' & it sounded so dull I got pissed. last year i picked up a junky looking 75' stage rhodes because when i played it in the store it just had a beautiful tone. inside that awful looking piano came out a sound that forced me to buy it right then & there. previously i had 2 suitcase's- a 72' &  a 79' & they both were dull. after fixing the junky stage piano up by installing new felts, some new neoprene hammer tips and some adjustment, then a McClellen Harmonic Clarifier- i got the nicest sounding stage rhodes this side of the picket line. of course i love my 145b wurlitzer which i also had to fix up just a little.

Offline TheStranger

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Re: wurly sits on top of rhodes?
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2006, 04:29:50 AM »
Quote from: "geronimo"
a wurly & a clav on top of a rhodes? yes maybe physics will also come into play when the plastic top on the rhodes cracks in half.


My 1980 Suitcase (with the MkII top) has two 50lb keyboards on top of it, an ARP Omni II and a Yamaha SK-20.
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Offline greasebox

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mmm
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2006, 03:14:13 PM »
Oh I've played plenty of Rhodes pianos.  They suck.

Offline Miguel Tuna

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2006, 04:18:28 PM »
Yeah, they really suck, greasebox
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Offline andi85

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Re: mmm
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2006, 04:29:30 PM »
Quote from: "greasebox"
Oh I've played plenty of Rhodes pianos.  They suck.


hm...wrong forum? :)
Tuning instruments makes the band sound thin!

Offline CherryFive

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Re: mmm
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2006, 04:45:13 PM »
Quote from: "greasebox"
Oh I've played plenty of Rhodes pianos.  They suck.


Get  out of here. No one wants you here.

Offline Uptownruler

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Re: mmm
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2006, 08:07:08 PM »
Quote from: "greasebox"
Oh I've played plenty of Rhodes pianos.  They suck.


Well, you've come to the right place then, cause we all feel the same way... :roll:
You can't hold no groove, if you ain't got no pocket.

81' Rhodes 73 stage piano > Morley Bad Horsie 2 > Small Stone Phase 90 > Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Offline jim

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2006, 10:00:45 PM »
i reckon greasebox favours those keyboards that have the keys light up so you know which note to play.

Offline greasebox

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yeh
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2006, 10:16:16 PM »
good one you guys

you keep on playing in your nice covers bands where your rhodes comes in so useful - you'll go far.

Offline BackRoomSounds

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wurlitzer or rhodes
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2006, 06:02:51 AM »
AHahahaha

The name "greasebox" kinda sums it all up doesnt it....

Dont let this fool wind you up  8)

Offline CherryFive

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« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2006, 06:46:03 AM »
Quote from: "BackRoomSounds"


Dont let this fool wind you up  8)


I agree, he is trying to wind us! As I said earlier, I'm sure this guy would love to have a Rhodes. He states that the Rhodes sucks, but when was the last time you went to an instrument forum regarding an instrument you felt sucks? Really, would you waste your time?

Offline CherryFive

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Re: yeh
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2006, 06:53:51 AM »
Quote from: "greasebox"

you keep on playing in your nice covers bands where your rhodes comes in so useful - you'll go far.


This I have to take you up on. Please share your original mp3's with us. You know, original music, as opposed to covers! And when you are trying to argue in any capacity, it will kind of make you look stupid if you can't use grammar to your advantage.

Offline andi85

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Re: yeh
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2006, 01:00:20 PM »
Quote from: "greasebox"
good one you guys

you keep on playing in your nice covers bands where your rhodes comes in so useful - you'll go far.


learn how to play piano first.
Tuning instruments makes the band sound thin!