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#2894542 - 12/07/17 10:41 AM Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer?
scottasin Offline
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Registered: 01/06/07
Posts: 653
Loc: Fort Collins CO
So, bit of a musical dilemma I've got. Local used store got in a suuuuuper nice condition Wurlitzer, and I brought up the idea of trading in my Rhodes for it. I've always said I would never part with my Rhodes, its my baby, but at this point I would really get more and better use out of a Wurlitzer. It's where my tastes currently lie... I really use the Rhodes very rarely these days, and it needs a bit of work as well.

Basically, I know I'd get more use out of a Wurlitzer, but if I get it I'm going to want to use it live and start bringing it around with me. I know my Rhodes handled it relatively well, but I really know nothing of the roadworthiness of a wurlitzer.

Another plus, its quite a bit smaller.

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#2894543 - 12/07/17 10:44 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: scottasin]
mate stubb Offline
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I would turn a Rhodes into a Wurlitzer in a New York minute. Wurlis have been hauled around since the dawn of time, so yes they are road worthy.
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#2894545 - 12/07/17 10:45 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: scottasin]
jeffinpghpa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 378
Loc: Charlotte, NC
I would get what you're going to use and get use of, personally. My Rhodes was also my "baby" that I hadn't touched in over a year and had been relegated to the garage. When my teen daughter needed braces I got over selling it really quickly. When I had some money fall on my lap I bought another new board that I wanted.

It's the way it's meant to be. You only live once and you can't take this stuff with you.

(my opinion, others will call this blasphemy)
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#2894546 - 12/07/17 10:47 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: jeffinpghpa]
scottasin Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/06/07
Posts: 653
Loc: Fort Collins CO
right now the hard part is rounding up a buddy to help me get it in my car, honestly. My mind is pretty much made up, but I was looking to see if there's anything in particular I should be afraid of with a wurli.

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#2894549 - 12/07/17 10:53 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: mate stubb]
RedKey Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/20/09
Posts: 1286
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
I would turn a Rhodes into a Wurlitzer in a New York minute


Yup! Do it.

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#2894551 - 12/07/17 10:57 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: RedKey]
Legatoboy Online   content
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Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 3618
Loc: Huntington Sta., New York (LI)
I always felt more satisfied after playing a Wurli for some reason. I still enjoy playing Rhodes...a Wurlie just seems more 'immediate' for lack of a better term...responds to small deviations in my playing better and quicker and quirkier! Go man Go! They tend to sit in mixes well also!


Edited by Legatoboy (12/07/17 10:58 AM)
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#2894552 - 12/07/17 11:00 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: RedKey]
Gary75 Offline
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Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 1494
Wurlitzer is a beautifully crafted instrument inside, makes the Rhodes look extremely primitive from a design point of view. Wurli cuts through nicely and fits in a lot of genres. I'd also say trade. Make sure all your reeds are intact though. They are pricey to replace.

I'm getting a piano tech to adjust the let off and lost motion on mine as well as key rebushing, but mine is from 1968.
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#2894556 - 12/07/17 11:25 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: Gary75]
drawback Offline
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Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 3274
Loc: Canada
For playabiliy? No contest. Just make sure and get yourself a whack of reeds and brush up on your soldering & filing skills. I used to go through pretty much anything that fell victim to my left thumb (ie G, A, Bb).
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#2894560 - 12/07/17 11:41 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: drawback]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 5584
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
My first ever keyboard was a Wurlitzer in 1966. It was a terrible one though.

Generally speaking and not all inclusive - I feel the Wurli is much better suited for rock while the rhodes fits better for funk, fusion and some jazz.

If you're playing RnB and mainly comping , not soloing a lot, I'd say it's a tossup and more dependent on your playing style and whichever one seems to fit the music better.

Which ever one seems to fit best in your current musical direction is the one I would go with.

Fwiw, I never enjoyed soloing on a Wurli. Comping in a rock context was great though. Rhodes never cut or blended with rock guitars.


Edited by Dave Ferris (12/07/17 11:55 AM)
Edit Reason: added thoughts
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#2894561 - 12/07/17 11:41 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: drawback]
roygBoo! Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/04/15
Posts: 352
Loc: Pacific NW
You should absolutely do it!

I faced this exact same dilemma..back in 1982.

Traded my Rhodes for a Wurli. Best choice I ever made. The Wurlitzer is waay lighter, smaller, and easier to move around.
Also, as noted above, it cuts through in a band setting better, and sounds super cool with some distortion.

The only reason I wouldn't do the trade is if I was a Jazz dood and could play piano like Herbie.

But I most definitely am not that, rather, am more in the (bad version of) Ian McLagan school of keyboard playing. For that, the Wurlitzer is definitely the way to go.

Also as noted above, the Wurli plays much better, lighter, springer, and more "present" or "immediate" as Legatoboy noted above.

One last comment - I see Rhodes way more often on Craigslist and Music stores that carry used equipment. The Wurli's, when they pop up, tend to not last long. The point being, you can probably re-sell it in a pinch relatively easily.

EDIT - just posted this and saw Dave Ferris posted his - I agree with his comment completely.


Edited by roygBoo! (12/07/17 11:42 AM)

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#2894564 - 12/07/17 11:46 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: Dave Ferris]
davedoerfler Offline
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Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 6539
Loc: thin ice
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Generally speaking and not all inclusive - I feel the Wurli is much better suited for rock while the rhodes fits better for funk, fusion and some jazz.
Which ever one seems to fit best in your current musical direction is the one I would go with.


Exactly.
What model is the Wurli you are trading for, Scott? I'm guessing a 200/A but there were quite a few models. Check the sustain pedal and tremolo circuits also as they are pricey to replace.
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#2894565 - 12/07/17 11:48 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: roygBoo!]
bennyray Offline
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Registered: 12/06/14
Posts: 739
Loc: USA
The only drawback is that the Wurly may need tuning more and is a PITA to tune. Brush up on soldering skills. I agree Wurly is better for rock and Rhodes better for funk and jazz. Good luck in your decision.
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#2894570 - 12/07/17 12:03 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: davedoerfler]
scottasin Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/06/07
Posts: 653
Loc: Fort Collins CO
Originally Posted By: davedoerfler
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Generally speaking and not all inclusive - I feel the Wurli is much better suited for rock while the rhodes fits better for funk, fusion and some jazz.
Which ever one seems to fit best in your current musical direction is the one I would go with.


Exactly.
What model is the Wurli you are trading for, Scott? I'm guessing a 200/A but there were quite a few models. Check the sustain pedal and tremolo circuits also as they are pricey to replace.
200A I'm pretty sure, black with the built in speakers. Tremolo and sustain work great. The thing apparently sat in a storage unit for a couple of decades. The guy at the store said the spent a full day cleaning the thing out, but that it seems to be in great condition. Apparently very dusty/cobwebby though.

Yes, my worry is more the breaking/replacing reeds thing. I'm pretty heavy handed all things considered, and I like that top end grit a wurli gets when pushed, I'm a Medeski fan big time. These days I'm playing in a folk/roots rock band, rhodes never really fits. I throw a wurli patch in like 3 songs, but I have the real thing I'll probably incorporate it a bit more in the sound.

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#2894575 - 12/07/17 12:25 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: Dave Ferris]
MAJUSCULE Offline
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Registered: 06/10/09
Posts: 4553
Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
Oh yeah baby. Feel like there are more Rhodes around too. You shouldn't have too much trouble finding another one if you want to swing back around.
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#2894590 - 12/07/17 02:18 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: MAJUSCULE]
J_tour Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 605
Loc: PDX, OR
Can someone remind me of who it was in the '00s who was playing pretty straight-ahead jazz using a Wurlitzer EP? I think it was a 'she,' and I don't recall if she/he/it put out any records.

Anyway, I echo a bunch of people above, IF the Wurlitzer is tuned perfectly, and electrically perfect, then of course I'd trade an unkempt Rhodes for it.

However, I know people who claim it's "fun" and "fast" to tune the Wurlitzer, but I claim it's the opposite. FWIW I think the Rhodes is a b**** to tune as well.

They're fine being traveled with around town, anyway. Never had one break, whereas it seemed like there was also something shifting around inside the Rhodes, probably because it's so f****** heavy and awkward.


Edited by J_tour (12/07/17 02:39 PM)
Edit Reason: changed language for the f****** children

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#2894602 - 12/07/17 03:29 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: J_tour]
Gary75 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 1494
I just ordered a Warneck amp for mine. Mines not bad noise wise but past 70% on the volume pot, it's quite apparent. Gearing up to rent some of my stuff out so wanting it as good as possible. 200A amps noticeably quieter than 200
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#2894606 - 12/07/17 03:38 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: Gary75]
mcgoo Offline
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Registered: 11/03/07
Posts: 2291
Loc: Indianapolis
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris

I feel the Wurli is much better suited for rock while the rhodes fits better for funk, fusion and some jazz.

Yep- and that there is justification to own both, much like how a guitarist might own both a Start & a Les Paul. Different animals for different uses.

Originally Posted By: b3boy
I just ordered a Warneck amp for mine. Mines not bad noise wise but past 70% on the volume pot, it's quite apparent. Gearing up to rent some of my stuff out so wanting it as good as possible. 200A amps noticeably quieter than 200


I just got one for my 200. What a difference!!! Awesome upgrade.

On a different note, in younger (translate stupid) days, I owned both a Rhodes and a Wurlitzer and traded them both even for a Baldwin Electro Pro. WTF was I thinking??? facepalm
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#2894612 - 12/07/17 03:55 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: Dave Ferris]
Moonglow Offline
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Registered: 03/15/03
Posts: 4453
Loc: Northwest Indiana
I've always been more of a Rhodes guy. The best Rhodes I've ever played trumped the best Wurlitzer I've ever played, but this was a truly exceptional Rhodes. The problem is that there are considerably more bad Rhodes than good Rhodes, IMO.

Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Generally speaking and not all inclusive - I feel the Wurli is much better suited for rock while the rhodes fits better for funk, fusion and some jazz.

+1

Also love me some Rhodes on 1970's disco or yacht rock.
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#2894614 - 12/07/17 03:59 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: mcgoo]
allan_evett Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 3718
Loc: Westville, IN
Yes. Do it !
When I went out on the road, at 21, the act provided a Rhodes, RMI, and single-manual Yamaha ‘drawslider’ organ w/Leslie; I provided the synths. I asked, right away, if they would consider trading the Rhodes and RMI for a Wurlitzer. Nada. While the group did a fair share of R&B, they did a lot more classic rock, country, and 50’s rock; in other words, lots of piano playing that needed the immediate attack. Granted, the R&B ballads sounded beautiful on the Rhodes, but a chorus pedal on a Wurli would’ve been fine. While I did bang on the RMI for some of the rock songs, the lack of velocity was a pain. But playing rock piano on the Rhodes was like punching marshmallows.
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#2894616 - 12/07/17 04:04 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: allan_evett]
scottasin Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/06/07
Posts: 653
Loc: Fort Collins CO
To be completely honest, although my Rhodes has a little fixing up to be done... its got the best action of any I've ever played by quite a bit. I've played some really 'unuseable' rhodes in my opinion, and my isn't one of them.

Again though, doesn't much matter if I'm not using it.

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#2894629 - 12/07/17 05:30 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: scottasin]
El Lobo Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/23/14
Posts: 720
I miss my Wurli from the 70's. Lost in the divorce. *sigh* Now I make do with the Wurli sound on my Nord.
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#2894641 - 12/07/17 07:12 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: El Lobo]
burningbusch Offline
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Registered: 10/22/00
Posts: 7664
Loc: Ghost Planet
You should have both. They're classics. Sounds like a Wurly better fits the styles the OP is up against. Dave's genre classification is on point. I never was much of a Wurly guy but do own a beautiful 200A. It's easier to find Wurlys that haven't been beat/gigged. The design with the internal speakers and music rack made it more appropriate for home use during the 60s/70s. Mine was never gigged. I wouldn't be too interested in a heavily gigged Wurly. Rhodes are different in that they're passive (exclude the Suitcase) and I'd be less concerned about external wear affecting internal electronics/components.

I've owned maybe 20 Rhodes pianos (I've lost count). Everything from Sparkletop, and damn near every year between 1970 to 1984. Dyno, Mark V, plastic action MKII. I could pick up a Mark III tomorrow, but I'm not sure I want a Mark III.

The Rhodes is socially more versatile than the Wurly, IMO. It can be bell bright or mellow as you want. Phaser, chorus, Wah and stereo vibrato have a bigger impact on the sound, IMO, than the same effects on a Wurly. With fusion, the Rhodes was absolutely a cornerstone instrument. I know of no genre in which you could say the same of the Wurly. But the Wurly has that wonderful funky, warm tone and it's great on its own.

Again, you need to own both if at all possible.

Busch.

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#2894644 - 12/07/17 07:30 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: burningbusch]
Tom Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 647
Loc: West Virginia
If this were 1980, I would chuck the Rhodes for the Wurly without hesitation. The Wurlitzers were brighter and could (with a little EQ) sub for an acoustical piano nicely. Also, their action didn't feel like I was jacking up a small van.

I happily played and maintained a Wurlitzer -- maybe model 112? -- in the 1980s. Beware of conductive dust getting between the reeds and the capacitive sensor. And since tuning a reed often involves sanding off a little solder (reduces mass and raises the pitch)....

But as I write this it's 2017. There are $300 instruments that sound more like an AP than any Wurly, let alone Rhodes, ever would. Most of them have Wurly and Rhodes samples to boot.

Unless the atmospheric EMP Bomb destroys all the sound engines, I don't expect to gig with an electromechanical piano ever again.

So, keep whichever one warms your heart, and then play something less likely to crackle when you go out to gigs. :-)
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#2894645 - 12/07/17 07:40 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: Tom Williams]
burningbusch Offline
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Registered: 10/22/00
Posts: 7664
Loc: Ghost Planet
In the 80s, you pretty much had to have that damn CP70/80 if you wanted to cover AP material. The Wurly and Rhodes had their own sound.

Busch.

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#2894649 - 12/07/17 08:26 PM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: burningbusch]
davedoerfler Offline
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Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 6539
Loc: thin ice
Originally Posted By: burningbusch
You should have both. They're classics.


THIS twothumbs
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I'm not in favor of killing all lively and poetically exciting artistic-technical efforts in favor of a bottom up approach to help technos to power. At all. Not even when "there is coverage". Theo

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#2894675 - 12/08/17 04:37 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: davedoerfler]
JWhllr Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/30/15
Posts: 144
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
+1 to having both... I think the Rhodes has a greater dynamic range. The Wurlitzer however captures me every time I play it. I don't know how or why (and I adore my Rhodes!) but it's just something. Wurlies are magical.
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#2894677 - 12/08/17 04:57 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: JWhllr]
Joe BrokeIt Offline
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I keep thinking, if you have a good Rhodes, you should keep it since there are so many doggy and dodgy ones out there. Someday you might or will want one, and don't want to regret trading this one. But get the Wurly, too. wink thu

I know, having both might be a financial issue. I just wanted to throw that out there and agree with those who have voted "Both."

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#2894706 - 12/08/17 09:45 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: Joe BrokeIt]
scottasin Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/06/07
Posts: 653
Loc: Fort Collins CO
Well... talk about f^&%ing disappointments.... I called the owner and had him put a hold tag on it yesterday when I was unable to find a single person in town able to lend 10 minutes to help me get my rhodes downstairs and into my car. The hold tag was his idea actually, I said I can't make it today but I've really got my sights set on that Wurli, he said he'd hold it. WELLLLLL I load up my Rhodes with my roommate this morning, get all ready to go and decide to call the store to make sure the owner is in... and he f^&*ing sold it last night... he said he didn't get the tag on it in time and someone offered full price (I'm guessing more, he had it listed for 1k, which is a steal)... my band's bass player was in there about an hour before close (probably 4 hours after he said he'd hold it for me) and talked to the owner about my getting the wurli and how excited I was. Apparently several hours isn't enough time to take 6 steps to put on a hold tag... to hold one item for 16 hours for a loyal customer...

Does anyone have suggestions on fun things to hit with a baseball bat? I think you all are probably the only people who can truly understand my disappointment.

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#2894713 - 12/08/17 10:10 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: scottasin]
J. Dan Offline
Bannination Free Since '08
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Registered: 07/25/08
Posts: 11316
Loc: St. Louis, MO
Originally Posted By: scottasin
Does anyone have suggestions on fun things to hit with a baseball bat?


The store owner?
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#2894714 - 12/08/17 10:13 AM Re: Trade Rhodes for Wurlitzer? [Re: scottasin]
burningbusch Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/22/00
Posts: 7664
Loc: Ghost Planet
Sorry it didn't work out but not to worry. Finding good vintage gear takes time. I know you're in a smaller community but setup searches in your CL for "Wurlitzer electric", "200", "200a", "140b", "Wurlitzer piano", etc. You'll get an email any time one is listed locally. Expand your search range to neighboring communities. If you're willing to drive to Denver that should help out tremendously. Research the models and potential issues so when you try one out you know what to look for. If you really want to trade the Rhodes, then sell it off now and hold the money for a Wurly. That will give you more options.

Personally, I love this whole process. It's far more rewarding finding these instruments, fixing them, playing/sampling/recording, buying/selling than to go into GC and buying new with a credit card. If you're smart (and lucky) about all this, you can make a little money in the process.

It's taken me years to find certain instruments and others I'm still searching.

Busch.

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