Does the preamp/Vibrato work without the Suitcase amp?

Started by james, March 25, 2005, 03:25:29 PM

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A couple of companies out there sell "power up" boxes that power the effects and let you run the output to an amp or mixer. Normally these will only be compatible with the 5-pin DIN or XLR preamp connector (i.e. not the 4-pin version). If you don't care about the EQ and Vibrato, the piano will still work with a guitar or bass amp: run a 1/4" cable from the Accessory 1 jack on the front panel to the amp input, and you should get sound. If you have a 4-pin preamp without the Accessory jacks, you may need to remove the harp cover and run an RCA-to-1/4" cable direct from the pickup rail output to the amp.
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The Rhodes Super Site since 1996
1977 Mark I Stage 73 + Vintage Vibe Stereo Vibe


I have one of those "power up" boxes - it works excellent, power to the preamp, then I get the signal out through a 5 pin din. Vibrato and EQ is really nice. However, I have a problem:
The output from my "power box" through 2 1/4" mono outputs. I have an adaptor which connects the 2 to a classic guitar cord, then I put it into my Roland JC. But the tremolo isn't there. Do I need 2 speakers – one for left and one for right? How can I get the tremolo (l-r-l-r-l-r) effect? the vibrato is there but not the tremolo.
I also have a quite powerful stereo and I am only playing at home anyway. Can I get the tremolo effect through that?
My rhodes is a mark II stage with preamp, made for the janus system. But obviously I don't have the janus sat speakers...
thanx in advance!

p.s. probably people will say: use the chorus effect on the JC120. well, it's not really the same thing..
1981 Mark II Stage Piano with Satellite Preamp
Roland Jazz Chorus 120


yes you totally need two speakers. The effect relies on being stereo.

and i wont suggest you use the chorus on the amp.
i suggest you hook up two amps, one on your left, one on your right, light up a spliff and set the vibrato intensity up high. :mrgreen:

Rob A

Quote from: "jim"and i wont suggest you use the chorus on the amp.
i suggest you hook up two amps, one on your left, one on your right, light up a spliff and set the vibrato intensity up high. :mrgreen:

And you can trust him, he's a doctor. I've seen his diploma personally.


so I guess I'll throw out my JC. Do you recommend anything? It got to be the same model on both or the sound will be strange when panning...
And definitely I will light that spliff as it's on recommendation from a doctor..  :wink:
1981 Mark II Stage Piano with Satellite Preamp
Roland Jazz Chorus 120


I got it now, as I described in another thread just recently. Thanks! It sounds great. A bigger problem is getting that spliff...
1981 Mark II Stage Piano with Satellite Preamp
Roland Jazz Chorus 120


where can you purchase one of these "power up" boxes?

Mark II


speakeasy, vintage vibe, CAE offer them.
make sure to order the right version, 4 or 5 pin.

kind regards

Mark II
Rhodes Stage 73 Mark II 1980 / modified Peterson Suitcase Preamp

John Brevik

Just a word here: The CAE supply is a bit cheaper than the Speakeasy; however (at least in the "4-pin" supply), it is unregulated. This may make it noisier, although to be fair I haven't heard the other one.
John Brevik

1966(?) Student 73
Hammond A100 chop/Leslie 21H 2-speed


Hi There,

I own a Mark 2 Suitcasemodel for a couple of monts now. I don't have the speaker cabinet, so I used it without. But I wanted to use the preamp, so I build a device (power up box). It works great and now I can use the controls on my Rhodes on stage, without the speaker cabinet. It plugs into the desk like a normal stereo keyboard. It works fine and sounds great!!! (Really, I didn't expect it to sound so much better).

Now that I build one, I can build more if someone out ther likes it too.

Here is wer you can see it.:
Sorry for the Dutch language[/img]

Chris Carroll

Vintage Vibe sells a unique power supply for the 4 pin- It comes in a Cheek Block- no external box needed- Just replace your existing cheek block- Dead quiet operation with two 1/4 inch outs included- we can even include effects loops and foot switch tremolo for you if needed.

This is the smartest design out there for your Suitcase to stage conversion-
Vintage Vibe will do all we can to help anyone out in a fair and honest way. Call us up or email anytime.  "Love is the answer"

Commander Fluffypants

Hi folks,

I've done some searches on this site and others and this thread is one of a few that come close to my question, so I figured I'd try here first.

What I'm looking for is similar to a kill switch for the speakers. What I'm thinking is that a power amp kill switch is probably what I want. Perhaps there is already a way to do this and no mod is necessary. I have a humble project studio and for overdubbing the Rhodes by itself I will surely see what kind of results I get from miking the speakers. However, when tracking a live band in one room, I'd like to be able to use the preamp outputs without having the speakers on.

Would it be possible to wire in a switch that turns the power amp off, leaving the preamp on to get a DI signal? Even better, replacing the two position power switch with a three position switch...? And are there any concerns with damaging the preamp by having its signal only go to the preamp outputs?

I see that I can buy... or possibly used to be able to buy... an expensive preamp box that might do the trick, but these parts are already in the Rhodes! Or am I missing something?


Ben Bove

Simply plug in a bare headphone adaptor to the headphone jack, and this will cut the speakers while allowing the External Amplifier outputs.

Depending on which version of Rhodes you have (3 knob "Peterson" preamp, or EQ fader preamp) there may or may not be the slightest bleedthrough, but none that should interfere too dramatically.  If you do need total silence on a 3-knob Peterson model, then you may have to get a little deeper.

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Commander Fluffypants

Excellent! I have the fader preamp. Easy solution. Thank you so much!