Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

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Re: Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

Post by The Elf »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
The Elf wrote:...a big part of the reason I have two blokes and a van arriving to take away my old Hammond tomorrow morning.


Burn the heretic! :shock::evil:


Yes, it pains me mightily, I can tell you, but I can't even give her away.

I'm now eyeing that XK5...
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Re: Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

The Elf wrote:Yes, it pains me mightily, I can tell you, but I can't even give her away.


Really? Which model?

I'm now eyeing that XK5...


It's a really great physical emulation. Probably the best currently on the market.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/hammond-xk-5

Although the facilities, configurability and entire menu structure are very similar to the XK-1 and SK-series instruments, the underlying MTW1 sound engine is an incremental step up from the already extremely good VASEIII system used in those other models.

But by far the real clincher for the XK5 instrument is the bespoke keybed which, while still not quite as good as the real thing -- or the fantastic keybed used in the 'New B3' -- is massively better and more playable than the still slightly plasticky, springy offerings in the XK and SK keyboards.

For anyone not particularly familiar with the real thing, the difference might seem extremely subtle, but for a seasoned Hammond player it really is a chalk and cheese difference.

There are only three reasons I don't have an XK5 myself: I already have a vintage A100 in good nick; the smaller size of the SKX makes it a lot more practical for my gigging needs; and the XK5 is an expensive beast, especially if you want to do it right with dual keyboards.
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Re: Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

Post by Arpangel »

Yeah, the Rhodes keyboard is great..."Nice" in fact 8-)
And shades are de rigueur when playing it... :D
But, a nice valve amp is also essential IMO, something with a bit of drive, and, a compression pedal.
Like a lot of things, I passed up a good Stage 73 in the early 90's, for £200!
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Re: Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

Post by The Elf »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
The Elf wrote:Yes, it pains me mightily, I can tell you, but I can't even give her away.


Really? Which model?


T202. The pall bearers arrive at 11. Sniff... :cry:

Hugh Robjohns wrote:But by far the real clincher for the XK5 instrument is the bespoke keybed...


For me it's less about the physical properties of the keyboard than it is the way it models the pickup of the buss bars during the key travel. That gives a real Hammond a bit of velocity-related 'feel' that I miss on all Hammond emulations.

I'm a casual Hammond player, in that it forms part of a mix, rather than playing solo - and I never use the bass pedals - so for me a single keyboard with quick access to my favourite registrations is more important than a full console-type organ. A bit of a chordal 'snarl' and some snorty lead licks and I'll be happy.

Yes, I think I could be happy with an XK5 - a bit of an outlay, though... :shock:
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Re: Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

The Elf wrote:T202.


Ah... nice sounding spinet organ in its own way. Surprised no one will part with money for it. Transistorised successor to the L100, really. Tonewheels, but solid-state amps. And none of the emulations currently reproduce the bespoke spinet combination drawbar sounds.

For me it's less about the physical properties of the keyboard than it is the way it models the pickup of the buss bars during the key travel. That gives a real Hammond a bit of velocity-related 'feel' that I miss on all Hammond emulations.


Yes. Only the New B3 does it properly. The XK5 fakes it remarkably well with three contacts and some electronic fudgery. But again, it's one of those unique characteristics that most casual players don't notice, but hardcore aficionados value highly.
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Re: Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

Post by Arpangel »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
The Elf wrote:T202.


Ah... nice sounding spinet organ in its own way. Surprised no one will part with money for it. Transistorised successor to the L100, really. Tonewheels, but solid-state amps. And none of the emulations currently reproduce the bespoke spinet combination drawbar sounds.

For me it's less about the physical properties of the keyboard than it is the way it models the pickup of the buss bars during the key travel. That gives a real Hammond a bit of velocity-related 'feel' that I miss on all Hammond emulations.


Yes. Only the New B3 does it properly. The XK5 fakes it remarkably well with three contacts and some electronic fudgery. But again, it's one of those unique characteristics that most casual players don't notice, but hardcore aficionados value highly.


I've never got into things like Hammond organs, I can appreciate them 150%, love them when played well, but it's one of those instruments that I find very difficult to do anything with other than it's good at/meant for, it's like a blues harmonica in that respect.
You have to throw it about a bit, the reason I never took up the guitar was for the same reasons.
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Re: Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

Post by Wonks »

Maybe it's the visible knife marks between the keys (plus a couple of really well jammed-in knives) that have put prospective buyers off the Elf's T202. :D
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Re: Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

Post by The Elf »

The deed... it is done. I feel like I just sold off a kitten... :cry:
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Re: Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

Post by N i g e l »

The Elf wrote: A web-based patch storage system really is not an answer


yep, I never signed up for that. I can generally get a specific sound quickly by twiddling the CPs limited No. of knobs from memory. Granted Im not on stage inbetween songs. Is there not some (ancient) MIDI device that can interrogate synth patches and regurgitate them on demand ?

I used to think the Reface combined MIDI socket was silly but anything goes now with devices having MIDI on jack sockets.

The Reface form factor is small so although it doesnt tick the BIG box, it is great to put in a bag along with a laptop or a phone with a drum machine app when out and about !

Arpangel wrote:My favourite EP sounds have always been from the DX7,


I have a favourite FM synth preset for a modified Rhodes in the style of Dyno-my-piano

:)
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Re: Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

Post by The Elf »

N i g e l wrote:Is there not some (ancient) MIDI device that can interrogate synth patches and regurgitate them on demand?


It's just a pretty standard Sys-Ex dump request...
CS = F0 43 20 7F 1C 03 0E 0F 00 F7
CP = F0 43 20 7F 1C 04 0E 0F 00 F7
DX = F0 43 20 7F 1C 05 0E 0F 00 F7
YC = F0 43 20 7F 1C 06 0E 0F 00 F7

Record the output and spit it back as needed.
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Re: Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

Post by Dan LB »

Arpangel wrote:Yes, looking to buy a dedicated Rhodes keyboard, as I'm using that sound more and more these days, I thought about a real vintage one, but reliability, tuning etc, could be a pain.
I'm just after people's preferences, and why, looking at the Zarenburg, Korg, and some Nord offerings.


Check out Vintage Vibe pianos......

https://www.vintagevibe.com/products/vi ... tine-piano
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Re: Current Rhodes pianos, any opinions?

Post by Arpangel »

N i g e l wrote:
The Elf wrote: A web-based patch storage system really is not an answer


yep, I never signed up for that. I can generally get a specific sound quickly by twiddling the CPs limited No. of knobs from memory. Granted Im not on stage inbetween songs. Is there not some (ancient) MIDI device that can interrogate synth patches and regurgitate them on demand ?

I used to think the Reface combined MIDI socket was silly but anything goes now with devices having MIDI on jack sockets.

The Reface form factor is small so although it doesnt tick the BIG box, it is great to put in a bag along with a laptop or a phone with a drum machine app when out and about !

Arpangel wrote:My favourite EP sounds have always been from the DX7,


I have a favourite FM synth preset for a modified Rhodes in the style of Dyno-my-piano

:)


I have an Alesis Datadisk SQ that loads all my old DX Patches, it's still a useful thing to have around.
I have "all" of my DX7 sounds loaded into FM8, but it's not hardware!
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