Author Topic: What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?  (Read 48914 times)

Offline james

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« on: March 25, 2005, 03:34:13 PM »
The Fender Twin Reverb was used by most Rhodes players in the 1970's, and it is now regarded as the ultimate Rhodes amp. It was also used in the factory as a reference amp for the Rhodes, which meant that the pianos were unintentionally designed to sound best through that particular amp. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to the Fender Twin, any guitar or bass amp with 12" speakers should do the job. A tube amp will give you a better sound than a solid-state amp, although (ironically) almost every version of the Suitcase amp was solid-state.  If you're using a keyboard amp or PA, a bass cabinet emulator (that's right, BASS) works well with the Rhodes tone, acts as a preamp and usually gives you the inline effects you need (chorus, tremolo, phase shifter, etc.).
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Offline jaktron

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2005, 09:30:43 PM »
The twin is cool, but if you want a closer sound to the suitcase, including that stereo pan then get a Roland Jazz Chorus, any model. The lush chorus is very nice and spreads out the timbre in a way that is not too dissimilar to the panning of the suitcase and the solid state amp gives more definition to the sound. AER amps are good too and light. If you want to make your stage into a suitcase there is a replica Rhodes preamp with stereo pan made by somebody (do a google search). Feed this to a pair of JBL powered P.A. speakers, and its show time!!! use a guitar tube distortion pedal before the preamp to get the crunch factor. A lexicon multi fx stage wouldn't hurt.
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Offline adrian480

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2007, 06:20:12 PM »
This is a short Fender Rhodes amplification test comparing a Roland KC-350 keyboard amp and a Fender Twin Reverb

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMCNT0lKNjM
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Offline dano

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how to hook up stereo
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2007, 01:27:29 AM »
Using a Stage 73 mark 1, how do you get a stereo output? (considering it has one output). Is the output stereo?

Offline Spookyman

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2007, 01:49:40 AM »
Simply add a guitar effect in Stereo. Like a stereo chorus, a stereo Tremolo, etc...

Mono IN and Stereo OUT  :wink:
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Offline keysandslots

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2007, 07:59:04 AM »
That's what  I use, a Boss mono in stereo out chorus.  The Rhodes goes into a Tube MP right off the harp, and then into the chorus.  

There's not much use going stereo with a Rhodes unless there's something actually generating a stereo effect, like a chorus or ping pong tremolo or something like that.

If you go the chorus route, don't forget to pan the two channels left and right.  For some reason that I'm not sure of, the effect seems to work better if I do not pan completely left and right.  9:00 and 3:00 seems to be about right.

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Offline dano

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2007, 02:54:12 AM »
Right! Just what i was thinking;but im still demoing (online) different guitar effects pedals. Any reccommendations on a stereo vibrato/tremolo/ping pong unit that costs no more than 200 usd?

Offline dano

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2007, 03:25:23 AM »
I'm looking at the Boss TR-2, and Line 6 Tap Tremolo units. Any reviews/comments on those, would they be great for what im looking for?

Offline Spookyman

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2007, 07:29:23 AM »
Give a look to this :



Under 100$ (new) and really good sounding  :wink:

I have one since a few months, and it's really a perfect analog pedal for everyone looking for a stereo Auto Pan. But you can use it as a mono tremolo too. (and made in USA...)

Edit : Sorry for the picture size  :?
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Offline jim

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2007, 07:53:29 AM »
that picture is a reasonable size.

Offline John Brevik

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2007, 11:46:30 AM »
Hello, all,

Since you're posting about stereo effects, I thought I might try this question in this forum -- sorry if you've read it elsewhere.

This is really just a request for advice/opinions -- my experience with amplification over the last 15 years has been a Leslie and a Suitcase amp.

I now have a Stage piano with the Suitcase-style preamp, and I'd like to put together a simple, fairly portable, and not-too-expensive stereo rig to preserve the wonderful tremolo. It doesn't have to be very powerful at all, since I generally play small spaces. Anybody doing something similar? Thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
John Brevik

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Offline tnelson

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2007, 02:24:35 PM »
Two small PA speaker enclosures plus a powered stereo mixer or a mixer that has separate amps for "monitor" and "speakers." Run your two output channels from the preamp into two mixer inputs. If it has monitor/speaker paths, run input-1 to monitor and input-2 to speaker. Your two speaker enclosures are connected one to monitor output and the other to speaker output.  If it has a stereo path, pan one input full into each channel (L/R), and each channel to one speaker. You can enhance the stereo effects by placing your speaker enclosures on opposite sides of the stage.  However, even a small space at low volume can be reflective and boomy enough to make it difficult to hear yourself play through the PA speakers  if they're too distant from you, and you may want to adjust your stereo ping-pong and speaker placement to deal with cancellation/reinforcement of reflections.

Offline John Brevik

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2007, 11:35:18 AM »
Thanks for the insights. I am definitely looking for a setup like that, but having no familiarity with the various makes and models, I was hoping for a few specific suggestions as a starting point.

Best,

John
John Brevik

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Hammond A100 chop/Leslie 21H 2-speed

Offline BJT3

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2007, 12:16:46 PM »
May be a bit of overkill if your playing mostly smaller venues, but the Mackie SRM 450's sound great. They make them so they can lay on their side like a monitor, or mounted to a stand for mains. You could also look into some keyboard amps like the Roland KC series.
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Offline dano

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2007, 12:19:09 AM »
I will look into this product; as im travelling to the u.s. this weekend.
...and thats a good size pic; thanks!

Offline Rhodesman

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2007, 07:32:03 AM »
I'm looking at a Hot Rod Deville, should I go 4 10 or 2 12?  What would the differences be? Thanks :)
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Offline Rhodesman

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2007, 07:34:48 AM »
or possibly just go for a vintage twin reverb?
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Offline Jordy

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2008, 10:14:22 AM »
Quote from: "Rhodesman"
I'm looking at a Hot Rod Deville, should I go 4 10 or 2 12?  What would the differences be? Thanks :)


I think 2x12 is better for if your audience is on the same height as you are, and 4x10 is better if you play on a stage that's higher than your audience. (4x10: the vertical soundfield may be bigger)
'71 Stage 73  >>  Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Offline andi85

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2008, 01:20:34 PM »
So you bring two amps to every gig and look which one is best for that night? ;)
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Offline Jordy

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2008, 03:22:37 PM »
Quote from: "andi85"
So you bring two amps to every gig and look which one is best for that night? ;)


No, you probably know if your on a stage that's higher than your audience. If you play mostly in little clubs without a stage (higher than your audience) you should go for 2x12 for bigger stages go for 4x12.

Or just mic it  :wink:
'71 Stage 73  >>  Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Offline Mark II

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2008, 03:28:15 PM »
or just use a amp stand or an empty botle case.

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Offline Jordy

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2008, 05:25:56 AM »
Quote from: "Mark II"
or just use a amp stand or an empty botle case.

Mark II


Exactly!  :) It has so much character if you do that.  :D
'71 Stage 73  >>  Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Offline Rob A

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2008, 09:25:18 AM »
You have to empty the bottles yourself. I find a fresh, full case for every gig works the best.

Offline Jordy

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2008, 10:04:59 AM »
Quote from: "Rob A"
You have to empty the bottles yourself. I find a fresh, full case for every gig works the best.


Man, you really get the BEST of the BEST info on this forum.
Every amptech has got to know that sort of facts.
'71 Stage 73  >>  Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Offline Mark II

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2008, 12:27:22 PM »
Quote from: "Jordy"
Quote from: "Mark II"
or just use a amp stand or an empty bottle case.

Mark II


Exactly!  :) It has so much character if you do that.  :D


well, I dont get your point.
yes, I do drink beer, but not a hole case. :D
and I mask the empty case with a back cloth, smooths your eyes and brings the loudspeaker on ear level.

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

Offline Jordy

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2008, 12:50:04 PM »
Quote from: "Mark II"
Quote from: "Jordy"
Quote from: "Mark II"
or just use a amp stand or an empty bottle case.

Mark II


Exactly!  :) It has so much character if you do that.  :D


well, I dont get your point.
yes, I do drink beer, but not a hole case. :D
and I mask the empty case with a back cloth, smooths your eyes and brings the loudspeaker on ear level.

Mark II


No, drinkin' a lot of beer isn't cool.
It justs looks vintage (the amp on a couple of empty-cases), gives me the kind of feeling when I look at Woodstock-videos :D
'71 Stage 73  >>  Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Offline Jordy

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2008, 01:54:02 PM »
Quote from: Jordy
Quote from: Mark II
Quote from: "Jordy"
Quote from: "Mark II"
or just use a amp stand or an empty bottle case.



No, drinkin' a lot of beer isn't cool.


Except when others drink a lot, than you can laugh at them.  :D
'71 Stage 73  >>  Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Offline martin

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What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2009, 07:59:48 AM »
i have a traynor ygl3a which is like a twin but with el84 out put valves insteaed of 6L6's. i am going to have them changed to 6L6's to give it a twin sound. they are a lot cheaper than twins as they are not that well known.
'77 stage rhodes mark 1>'73 traynor ygl3a mark III>'60's selmer pa100sv>Wurly200a>Nord Stage Compact>hh ma100>1x12 fane twin cone speaker>smartlight pa>2xhz speakers>selmer pa100>Samson Auro D210 active pa cab

Offline Freddan

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Re: What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2010, 10:19:40 AM »
I know this isn't a common view, but I do not think tube amps are the ultimate. The Rhodes itself has always ( even since 1965 ) been solid state, and there's somting about guitar-amps and keyboards that never match.
My preference is a bass-rig, powered monitors or even a small mixer/amp pa.
You need something that can amplify the whole range clearly without colouring the sound, and something that doesn't make the sound messy and distorted unless you want it that way.
Just my two cents.

All the best,
Freddan
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Offline Rob A

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Re: What amp should I use with my Stage Piano?
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2010, 01:54:56 PM »
My amp view is quite similar.

Interesting relevant post from another thread:

I got this message privately, but I thought it might be informative to share the answer.

Quote
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to learn, hands on, about what parts of the circuits give certain characteristics to the sound and how to build a preamp or power amp from scratch?

Serious engineers would build a mathematical model, and run a computer simulation. Of course, nobody I know in the music business does it that way.

For example, my old friend Paul Rivera taught himself how to design guitar amps without using any sophisticated analysis at all. He started as a guitarist with a great ear for tone. He also understood electronic circuits on an intuitive, rather than mathematical level.

After many, many hours of experimentation, he was able to develop an intuition for which components, and circuit topologies created a particular tone.

There are two philosophies followed by designers of musical instrumentation amplification:

The "HiFi" philosophy calls for the amplifier to add or remove nothing from the original sound. Among engineers it is sometimes called "a wire with gain". The idea is to increase the voltage of a signal, while reducing the output impedance of the circuit. In the pure case, absolutely no changes are made to the overtone content, or dynamics. Purist circuits do not even have bass, treble or other "tone" controls.

This philosophy tends to be desirable for amplifying something like a grand piano. The sound is assumed to be perfect, the only requirement is to make it louder.

The "guitar amp" philosophy calls for the amplifier to actively contribute to the production of the tone. A good guitar amplifier has several stages, each stage overdriving and distorting in its own unique way. Every component from the tubes to the output transformer to the speakers, adds to the tone.

So...which philosophy is best for the Rhodes?

I don't know for sure, but my intuition says about 80% HiFi and 20% active tone shaping. A committed experimenter could spend many hours discovering the real percentage. We obviously don't want the extreme "heavy metal crunch", but there may be some subtle distortions that are musical.

Then there is the question of the pickups. Each tine excites an individual pickup. Ideally, each pickup would go directly to its own separate amplifier.

That's a lot of amplifiers!

Because of cost, and the state of electronics long ago, the pickups were wired together and fed to a single amplifier. This approach has some downsides. Each pickup produces a very weak signal. This signal then has to push current through all of the other pickups!

Pickup coils are inductors. Inductors pass low frequencies and block high frequencies. The combined wiring of the traditional Rhodes therefore adds inductance, and reduces high frequency output.

With modern intergrated circuits, it might be possible to produce an amp-per-pickup system, but it would still be a lot of wires.

We never built such a system in the lab, and don't know for sure if it would sound any better, but if I was going to try to build the ultimate Rhodes preamp, it is the direction I would go.

So...what should you do?

I am assuming that you already know the basics of electronics. If you don't, you will need to take some classes or read some books to learn enough to get started.

Set up a simple electronics lab. Start playing with components. Listen carefully to the results of each experiment. Take notes. Try to detect patterns.

The goal of a musical instrument engineer is to develop an artistic intuition that relates design decisions to tone. Many have tried, only a few are respected as masters...but that's no reason not to try.