Author Topic: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?  (Read 4846 times)

Offline Dote

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Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« on: November 29, 2012, 12:01:38 PM »
Hi gang!

need your input on a rather 1st world problem.

I have a very nice MK1 that I completely refurbished, made in 1975, thus it has half wood/half plastic hammers and a mix of old style tines and Schaller ones (from the factory me thinks). I redid:

miracle mod, new key bushing felts, new damper felts, replated tonebars, retolex, grommets, turned around the hammer tips, the whole enchilada

and a nice MK2 from 1980 with pristine hammer tips + damper felts, new grommets, Tolex original but in pristine condition, even has the original music sheet holder and legs bag

I managed to get a Janus Preamp for the MK1 and am awaiting a preamp for the MK2 (knob version, no sliders).

Since I do not have the space to have both Rhodes pianos set up to be played at once, and since I really need a Kawai ES7 for piano sounds, I am pondering whether or not to let go one of the pianos.

The Mk1 has the sharp edge keys, but a fantastic action due to the new key bushings and barks a tiny bit more due to the hammers. The MK2 feels alos great, a tad more key flutter and a bit more side-to side motion since the key bushings are not completely new.

Here you can find a short recording of both pianos through the Janus preamp with identical settings. Recorded into a Focusrite interface, no post effects, tremolo from the Janus. When playing harded I do not hear too much of a difference. The difference is the bell like tonality when playing soft. Please forgive my amateurish playing!

I will not yet tell you when the MK1 or the MK2 are playing in the recording. Would love to see you guys take a guess! The name of the wav file does not correspond to the sequence of recording.

http://soundcloud.com/kranzbergg/mk2mk1

What would you guys do? Sell one and always miss that one? Sell none and keep on in storage? Since I have a spare black MK1 lid and the Stage rail for the MK1 I could keep the MK2 and either put on the MK1 Janus rail with lid, or the MK2 lid with corresponding MK2 preamp rail.

Thanks,

Dote

Offline David Aubke

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2012, 12:09:20 PM »
Wait a minute.. Schaller made tines? These guys?

And, I vote to keep the '75. I prefer the round harp cover to the flat tops.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 12:12:13 PM by David Aubke »
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Offline Dote

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2012, 12:17:06 PM »
Hi Dave,

if I am not mistaken, the Schaller guys made the later tines (of course some other suppliers as well). But I guess the 1980s Rhodes do have the Schaller tines.

If you get a chance to listen to the posted recording: which part do you think the MK1 or MK2 was used?

Cheers,

Dote
« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 12:19:42 PM by Dote »

Offline David Aubke

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2012, 12:31:54 PM »
If you get a chance to listen to the posted recording: which part do you think the MK1 or MK2 was used?

I really have no idea. My ear isn't good at those sorts of tests. I would have said it was all recorded by the same instrument.
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Offline Dote

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2012, 01:02:55 PM »


I really have no idea. My ear isn't good at those sorts of tests. I would have said it was all recorded by the same instrument.

What you hear is the two instruments. I cut the bits and put them together using Logic. So these are two instruments played alternate. I will post what is what soon.


Offline jean-papa

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2012, 01:44:57 PM »
i like what i hear all along, but prefer from the beginning till 0'18", then at 0'32, and at the end.
the sound is richer, more dynamic, is it the mark1?

Offline Dote

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2012, 02:21:46 PM »
Salut Jean-Pascal,

without giving it all away:

yes, at 0:18 the instruments change and at 0:32 and of course the high notes at the end 0:44.

On the piano from 0 to 0:18 the dampers give a very percussive sound at the end of each note.

I think the dampers have also an influence on the characteristic.

The mid range is a bit more pronounced in the piano from 0:00 to 0:18 and from 0:32 to 0:44. It sounds fuller and a bit more melodic.

Glad you like the overall sound of both pianos.

I will post which is which tomorrow.

Dote

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2012, 03:06:11 PM »
First piano is the earlier Mark 1, Mark II comes in at :18.  It's a close test for sure and you have them set up similarly :).

You have a good ear noticing the damper kiss on the tines at the end of the notes.  I believe that always does add a bit of analog character to the tone.

My battle is always the action versus the tone.  Even with the miracle mod, the Mark II action when set up right usually wins, because the factory bumps with maybe the right hammer curve just seems to be really even and great on a Mark II.  But, I prefer the slightly better tone of an earlier Mark 1.  So if the action is not bad, I prefer that.

It sounds to me like the Mark I is the one you might prefer already, with all the work you put into it?
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Offline tarkus boy

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 03:14:29 PM »
you should keep the Mk1 unless you enjoy with the Mk2 tone, clicking dampers and feel (...). anyway the preamp tremolo is really intoxicating and provides it's own tone color masking the original timbre specs. this does not help the amateur. i won't say anything more about identifying pianos since it's pretty obvious for a Rhodes tech. are you sure Ben??
i still remember that pleasant vinyl smell from a brand new Rhodes piano in 1975. you can't forget this.

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Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2012, 03:29:54 PM »
haha - well maybe I listened too quickly?  Thought the 1st piano had more mid-range but I guess that could be just in the tone set up when you think about it... thought the 2nd piano had more of a Mark II attack but hey - wouldn't be the first time I was wrong
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Offline Dote

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2012, 01:20:23 AM »
Ben has it right:

0:00 - 0:18 and from 0:32-0:44 is the MK1

0:18-0:32 and from 0:44 on is the MK2


I agree that the Tremolo effect should not be used in a comparison. I will try to record another comparison without Tremolo if you guys would be interested.

As Ben also mentioned, I have a hard time letting go the MK1 since I put so much work in it. But I also dearly love the MK2 and plan on putting it in the rehearsal room of the band. Would be a shame to let go of one of those nice instruments only to come back later and try to find another one.

I have owned 2 Rhodes in the past because of that. Buying, selling, regretting, buying. And each time it actually got more expensive :-(

Thanks again for the input!

Dote

Offline Dan Belcher

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2012, 01:01:38 PM »
The MK1 in that clip sounds gorgeous. I strongly prefer it over the MK2.
Proud owner,
1978 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73

Offline cfishel15

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2012, 08:05:35 PM »
I agree with Dan. The Mk1 sounds SOOOOO sweet! :)
1978 Rhodes Mark I Suitcase 73

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2012, 12:02:56 PM »
You might be able to get more out of the Mark II if you slid the pickups a bit closer, and screwed down the front tonebar screw so there's a little more overtone than fundamental.  It sounds pretty uniform which is great but you can possibly get a little more grunt and tone out of it
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Offline Dote

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 01:15:23 PM »
Thanks for the nice words about the MK1s sound. It is indeed a great piano!

I will try to get the MK2 to sound more closely to the MK1 and report back.

Here you hear an extremely nice late (1979) MK1 that alos has that damper sound (listen to the low notes in the beginning of the song).

Played by the great Ulf Kleiner of Jazzteam:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogEiCPhVyBo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVIhtSOShNU

The idea is to get the MK2 sound like Ulfs piano.

Cheers,

Dote

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2012, 09:20:33 PM »

What would you guys do? Sell one and always miss that one? Sell none and keep one in storage?

Reading your various posts, I'd say you're looking for someone to tell you that you ought to keep both.  (You KNOW you want them both.) So, I'd be glad to perform that service for you:

These are two wonderful pianos, each with its own distinctive characteristics.  If you sell one, you will surely regret it all the days of your life.  Find a storage spot, or get rid of something else in your home that you don't need. (Perhaps you really don't need a refrigerator or a bed.) 

Just trying to be helpful.  I think most people on this list would agree that you really can't have too many Rhodes pianos...  ;)

Alan



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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; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
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Offline Rob A

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2012, 10:06:57 PM »
Buy another one. Two is nowhere near enough.

Offline Dote

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2012, 02:39:17 AM »

What would you guys do? Sell one and always miss that one? Sell none and keep one in storage?

Reading your various posts, I'd say you're looking for someone to tell you that you ought to keep both.  (You KNOW you want them both.) So, I'd be glad to perform that service for you:

These are two wonderful pianos, each with its own distinctive characteristics.  If you sell one, you will surely regret it all the days of your life.  Find a storage spot, or get rid of something else in your home that you don't need. (Perhaps you really don't need a refrigerator or a bed.) 

Just trying to be helpful.  I think most people on this list would agree that you really can't have too many Rhodes pianos...  ;)

Alan

Hi Alan,

thanks for the tip. You hit "the tine in the right spot", indeed I am not really willing to let go any of the two beauties. Since I do need a fridge for a nice cool beer and I am really fond of my bed, I need to find a place to store the MK2 or MK1.

Rob has come up with an interesting point, maybe I should just buy another Rhodes?

Again thanks for all the comments and for keeping me from doing something dumb again (selling a Rhodes to regret it later on).

Now coming back to the Damper percussive sound: The MK1 sports the VV damper felts and I found that these give a lot of that damper release sound. Anybody else think that this is an important part of the Rhodes percussiveness? The MK2 has the original damper felts which lack the damper release sound.

Cheers,

Dote
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 02:42:06 AM by Dote »

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Which one to keep? Mk1 MK2 keep both?
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2012, 09:14:24 AM »
Buy another one. Two is nowhere near enough.

Now that I think of it, they're kind of like kids and pets:  If you only have one kid or pet, they seem to require constant attention and supervision.  But if you have more than one of each, they tend to play together and amuse themselves.

I know my vintage keys have become far more trouble free -- and self-reliant -- as my collection has grown.   ;)

Alan
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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; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )