Author Topic: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!  (Read 13557 times)

Offline Dan Belcher

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2016, 06:27:59 AM »
Just a heads up, if you want to hear essentially the dry sound of these recordings with the chorus, listen to only the left or only the right channel. It's a stereo chorus effect, so that will basically negate it.

My personal opinion: I think it has a great tone for what it is -- a bright Rhodes tone. I tend to think of dark and brights Rhodes tones as being like single coil vs humbucker pickups in guitars. Two totally different sounds, but both are equally "good" to me and just have their own places and fit in different songs and styles of music. A brighter Rhodes with a lot of the low-mid frequencies stripped away will fit great in a ballad, while a meaty, growling tone will be right at home in a fusion or funk record. This particular Rhodes is one of the best I've ever heard at creating a bright tone without being shrill or thin. It still has body and character, even if it's certainly thinner than say Herbie Hancock's sound.
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1978 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73

Offline DynoCzarus Rex

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2016, 10:32:50 AM »
Even though Herbie started off with a thicker Rhodes tone, his 1982 album "Lite Me Up" marks a pretty dramatic tonal transition with brighter overtones, less low midrange, and some stereo chorus. The track "Give it All Your Heart" is a great example of this change https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9MWbYfP-qo. I wonder if he was influenced by the sound of the E model by the time he worked with Rod Temperton on this release.   
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Offline Ben Bove

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2016, 12:28:29 PM »
I'd agree with Dan on that one as well, it really is a question of taste and what kind of record they were making.  Jay Graydon doing pop records on Al Jarreau and the like, they're looking for something that hits - bright and cuts through, rather than a mellow, laid-back sound. 

Headhunters would have sounded way different on the E Rhodes.  Pop records may not have sounded all that great with the Headhunters Rhodes.  So I feel it's a bit of give and take on application.  I have a '71 suitcase similar to the E (which is why I bought it) and I can definitely hear the similarities, and it's a great sounding Rhodes with a unique character.  What I can say is that with the treble all the way up, it actually dwarfs the bass, unless you back off some treble or raise the bass as well. 

I'm wondering if the E actually has a preamp EQ mod.  It can definitely be achieved with a graphic / parametric EQ - I just believe most people don't know how to dial in the sound they want... it takes an understanding of the Rhodes sound and what frequencies should be amplified or cut.  So if a preamp supposedly gives an improved default choice, I think people gravitate to that.
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Offline JanneI

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2016, 03:07:15 PM »
Speaking of Boss CE-1, I recently made a clone using all original parts. Here's a short comparison video (clone vs original) with jupiter-6 and rhodes markI:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZSkfZO0OzY

The "stereo" in CE-1 is actually left dry - right wet, when using both outputs. In mono it's mixed without a potentiometer to change the dry-wet ratio. In my opinion CE-1 and CE-2 sound totally different with rhodes and the winner is clearly CE-1. Add BBE sonic maximazer with the CE-1 and you're half way there even with poorly adjusted rhodes.


Offline sunrunner

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2016, 07:26:26 PM »
Ben,
Does your 1971 suitcase have Raymacs or Torringtons?  I noticed that on this thread, there are varying opinions on which type of tines were on the E Rhodes...
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Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #35 on: March 28, 2016, 09:19:15 PM »
I wrote to George asking about the electronic mods and  he was kind enough to take the time to try and explain the preamp mod to me. I'll quote what he said (hopefully he dosen't mind):

"all that Eddy did was bypass the volume control and tone controls and put in two electrolytic capacitors and a resistor to: a) boost the EQ in one area of the frequency spectrum and b) provide a high pass filter to control the bottom end"

He explained that he believed that it was a mod that was designed to be used in a studio to have a standard reference when recording. Flipping the switch bypassed the controls and gave a preset eq.  The key to the E sound he said is truly the piano its self. He said that he plugs directly off the harp with different amp setups and it retains its quality.
I also believe there is a special feel and sound to some pianos that are out there. Each group of model years have desirable characteristics to different people looking for a specific sound and feel. I'm sure I'm not alone in regretting selling or not buying a certain piano because I later found I just can't get even one of the same year to sound and feel quite the same....

Offline Groove4Hire

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2016, 02:30:04 AM »
The difference between the E-Rhodes and a well set-up Dyno Rhodes isn't that big really... As gwike has pointed out, Robbie Buchanan used his own 1970 Dyno modified suitcase on a lot of recordings and told me personally that when Jay Graydon heard his piano he usually went with Robbie's piano. "Being with You" is played on his Dyno suitcase... If you listen to "Not Like This" you'll hear that in the recording the upper note has a glassy attack to it that the E-Rhodes lack... And Robbie told me he played his Dyno on "I Will Be Here For You"... I have tried several early (1970-1973) pianos through a Dyno preamp and the tone is there. The difference is how well set up the piano is... The E-Rhodes is indeed a very good specimen from the golden age imo :)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 04:43:13 AM by Groove4Hire »
Jon
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Offline Ben Bove

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2016, 01:57:16 PM »
Thanks Vance, that helps a lot.

I can also contribute in saying the sound of my '71 is a cool piano in itself.  It's hard to comment on the name of the vendor for the tines as I still have conflicting info even from the CBS engineers, but its definitely an earlier tine design.  Either a late Raymac or early Torrington design (it's possible tine design changed within a vendor, so Torrington's first run could be different than ones they refined 5 years later).  That information is pretty much lost unfortunately.

Agreed about Dyno as well from Jon.
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Offline goldphinga

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #38 on: March 29, 2016, 02:53:44 PM »
My '72 suitcase sounds very much like the E Rhodes- its got some magic, everyone that hears it seems to agree!

Offline DynoCzarus Rex

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2016, 05:14:53 PM »
Speaking of choruses, if anyone is in the market for one check out the Amdek CHK-100. Just bought one off of Reverb and it sounds phenomenal--very thick chorusing. It's essentially a pseudo stereo CE-2 that was made when Roland was getting bought out by Boss. It's also a little cheaper than a CE-2 as well at only $100.
Rhodes Mark I 73 key Suitcase Model (1978)
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Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2016, 12:27:58 AM »
Count me among those who are not completely gaga over the tone of the E piano.  Yes, I think it sounds very nice, but as far as cups of tea go, it's not what I'd like to have every morning.  Honestly, it's a little airy fairy for me.  Little too twinkly if you know what I mean. Were I to guess what it were, not knowing already, I would have thought by sound that it was a Mk II.  Still, it'd certainly be cool to have in the collection, for that sound, but I prefer something fatter and woolier.   As I've said before, I much prefer the sound of this piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD1nBPRZc-I
It's got twinkle, where needed, but it has a lot more body.
It may be sacrilege, but I'm also not a giant fan of the music this piano is famous for having played on.
Don't hate me. 

Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2016, 12:47:40 AM »
And another thing...
Every now and then, I read comments from people about "pre-CBS" Rhodes pianos.   
Well, I got news for you:  unless you're talking about a Piano Bass made during or before 1964, ALL Rhodes pianos are were made under the ownership of CBS, which took over Fender by I believe January of '65.   My understanding is that Fender didn't  mass produce the sparkle tops until Leo was out of the picture, as he wasn't a big fan of the sound. 
CBS also ran Rhodes when the "Fender" name was dropped as well, and did so until all Rhodes production ended in 85, followed shortly by CBS's sale of Fender.
Or maybe I'm a little off on the dates.   Anyone ever seen a '64 sparkle top?

Offline The Real MC

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #42 on: April 03, 2016, 01:40:26 AM »
Every now and then, I read comments from people about "pre-CBS" Rhodes pianos.   
Well, I got news for you:  unless you're talking about a Piano Bass made during or before 1964, ALL Rhodes pianos are were made under the ownership of CBS, which took over Fender by I believe January of '65.

There were a handful of "pre-CBS" pianos but they sounded awful.  Go to the bottom of this page

http://www.fenderrhodes.com/pianos/early.html

Some 73/61 key pianos appeared in the 1963/64 catalog before CBS, along with the piano bass.  No such piano has surfaced to date, and years ago an owner claiming to own one posted an audio recording (but no pics) and it was a terrible sounding piano.

I've heard the piano basses from that era and frankly they don't sound very good either.  The tone generator was a cast one piece resonator/tine block whose tines had a very short life (they were simple piano wire), and they were very difficult to replace in the field.

Quote
Anyone ever seen a '64 sparkle top?

Can't argue with that one...

For all intents and purposes, the rhodes piano didn't come into being until CBS took over Fender.

Offline Fred

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2016, 11:54:34 AM »
It's funny that the Rhodes Service Manual does say that the early Piano Bass tines where "a length of piano wire". In my research for replacements, I found piano wire is not available ( and seemingly never was) in that diameter.

I'll also say that my Fiesta Red bass sounds great and records remarkably well. In over 12 years I have yet to break a tine (admittedly, one sounds a lil funky, hence my search for replacements). Could be setup, or a "to each his own" type of thing.
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Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #44 on: April 03, 2016, 12:57:01 PM »
I thought the early ones used chimes like a clock. I thought I remember reading somewhere where Harrold worked with a clock manufactureing company to produce some of the first piano tines. I could be totally wrong, Ill have to look through my saved articles...

Offline Fred

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2016, 01:07:25 PM »
You may be thinking of the Pre Piano, which does use ground steel rods similar to what is found in some clock chimes or toy pianos. The earliest Fender Rhodes pianos (which came later than the Pre Piano) feature a thinner diameter tine inserted into a 1 piece tone bar/generator block to form the first generation "asymmetrical tuning fork".
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Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2016, 01:21:31 PM »
Ahhh, that must what I was thinking about.  I have an article from Keyboard magazine november of 77 that interviews Harold and it states that there are no pre cbs pianos, only the piano bass can claim to be a pre cbs as it was produced before his affiliation with cbs.
It also stated that the pre piano used tines made by the Torrington Needle Bearing Company. The Torrington Needle Bearing Company was manufacturing things for clock chimes at the time and he thought they would work better than what he was prevoiusly using. I think this is what I was remembering.
The article later refers to the tines as thin round pieces of music wire without eleborating further. (Oops, it did elaborate further) First tines were piano wire .075" in diameter. They broke too easy so the next tine wire base then started at .1" and tapered to .07" an inch out from the base and then tapering down to .06 from there to the tip. The third tine was swaged by the torrington needle bearing company. The third tine swaged down to .06 only a half inch from the tine's base.
This is one of the best articles I personally have seen yet on the Rhodes piano history and development as told by Harold himself. Wish there was a way to share it with everyone.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 01:48:35 PM by vanceinatlance »

Offline pnoboy

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2016, 04:05:15 PM »
You could share it by scanning it and then putting the file in a Dropbox and sharing the link.  I, for one, would love to read it.

Offline Froggy NR

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Re: New photos and recordings of Leeds "E" Rhodes!!
« Reply #48 on: July 06, 2016, 03:53:45 PM »
Just take my opinion as a newbie's, I am just getting on that rhodes thing since a few months.
I really think it has something to do with that amplification
and EQ on those recordings of the "E" . I can tell from owning a CE3 that the piano sounds very full tough I do not hang that much on the EQ.
I really dig that old seventies sound that Herbie and others had, like Tom o' gots on his Resolution 88 album. Rich low mids and creamy highs.
his is pure butter rhodes to my ears. Just taste and opinion.

I had my piano (1977 stage 73) voiced and tuned recently along with a VV Stereovibe preamp installed.
I got shocked when the guy who worked on it tested it thru his Janus system. The sound was huge, basses were deep and powerful, sharp mids and highs and the thing could also get crunchy at the same time. He told me not being a big fan of pre 75 pianos he had that thing on this one, and work has been fluid.

Got back home. Only options were an od solid state Peavey solo 65 with a few mods in it and my two Alesis Monitor One monitors.
The monitors option was the best option for a clean and full sound but sure it lacks some personality, while the Peavey can bu useful for a more muddy sound. Basses sound like carton box in it. Shitty. No deepness even with the knob all the way up.
As months passed by I guess I really forgot how great the piano could sound until a friend of mine let me try his Carvin Belair 212 tube amp.
I just re descovered my piano thru this amp and realised a very well voiced and sounding piano can sound dull with bad amp choices and EQ (a matther of taste once again).
Funny thing is I got Senheiser HD25 headphone I had slept on for a while since I use another from the start to practice at night. I decided to plug it back the other day to practice. I knew it has a tendency to compress some frequencies but was not expecting some serious change. Surprise ! Here I got this lovely and similar to Janus tone back again.

It's really like  the importance of each element is involved in the sound. This "E" rhodes sounds very full but I would really love to ear it with another EQ or a nice tube amp.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 04:29:59 PM by Froggy NR »