Music Player Network

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Amplifying vintage keyboards #3002826 08/12/19 12:01 AM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 368
samuelblupowitz Offline OP
Senior Member
OP Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 368
Curious if anyone has any DIs, preamps, or effects boxes they like to use as secret weapons for electromechanical keyboards.

I’m prone to carting my Wurlitzer 200 and Clavinet D6 to gigs, because it brings me joy and because my back can still take it (for now, anyway!). I used to bring a Fender tube amp (Hot Rod Deluxe combo) in addition to my Motion Sound KBR-3D on those gigs, because the Wurli and the clav both sounded flat through a clean, solid-state amp. They needed to be brought to life a bit, like an electric guitar.

When I started bringing my laptop to gigs, I started using Mainstage’s amp sims to process the old keyboards instead. Saved me bringing more heavy gear, and gave me a lot of tonal flexibility. I like it, but it has tradeoffs — a hair of latency, some occasional digital sonic weirdness, and the usual risks of using a computer to process audio.

I have a SansAmp Bass Driver DI in my bass rig, and I’ve messed around with that with the Wurli — it’s cool, and quite powerful for tone shaping, but definitely tailored for the frequencies of a bass guitar more than a midrange keyboard instrument. Still, curious to try it with the clav...

I’d love to hear about other folks’ experiences and preferences, now or back in the day, onstage or in the studio!


Samuel B. Lupowitz
Composer. Arranger. Musician. Food Enthusiast. Bad Pun Aficionado.
KC Island
Re: Amplifying vintage keyboards [Re: samuelblupowitz] #3002834 08/12/19 01:23 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 106
Dr(!)Mike Metlay Offline
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 106
Originally Posted by samuelblupowitz
Curious if anyone has any DIs, preamps, or effects boxes they like to use as secret weapons for electromechanical keyboards.

I’m prone to carting my Wurlitzer 200 and Clavinet D6 to gigs, because it brings me joy and because my back can still take it (for now, anyway!). I used to bring a Fender tube amp (Hot Rod Deluxe combo) in addition to my Motion Sound KBR-3D on those gigs, because the Wurli and the clav both sounded flat through a clean, solid-state amp. They needed to be brought to life a bit, like an electric guitar.

When I started bringing my laptop to gigs, I started using Mainstage’s amp sims to process the old keyboards instead. Saved me bringing more heavy gear, and gave me a lot of tonal flexibility. I like it, but it has tradeoffs — a hair of latency, some occasional digital sonic weirdness, and the usual risks of using a computer to process audio.

I have a SansAmp Bass Driver DI in my bass rig, and I’ve messed around with that with the Wurli — it’s cool, and quite powerful for tone shaping, but definitely tailored for the frequencies of a bass guitar more than a midrange keyboard instrument. Still, curious to try it with the clav...

I’d love to hear about other folks’ experiences and preferences, now or back in the day, onstage or in the studio!


You need to get to know a quiet and humble genius in Texas (Arkansas?) named Greg Lounsberry. He specializes in keyboard-friendly mono and stereo overdrive and line boost pedals that are just exquisite. I have the Tall Fat and Wide as a secret weapon to effectively salvage the tone of any 1980s-era synth with wimpy output gain. Works wonders.

Learn more at his website.

Tell him "Dr. Mike" Metlay sent you.


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, whoop de doo)
Wordsmith - Musician - Tech Freak - Amiable Zany
Everyone on this forum is a friend I haven't met yet
-- except for Bryce, who's, well, YOU know.
Re: Amplifying vintage keyboards [Re: samuelblupowitz] #3002846 08/12/19 02:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 8,719
davedoerfler Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 8,719
Originally Posted by samuelblupowitz
effects boxes they like to use as secret weapons for electromechanical keyboards.


Agree with Dr. Mike about the Loundsberry pedals. I don't own any but JA uses/endorses them and Lachy Doley uses them on B3/clonewheels. My not so secret weapon stolen from Danny Louis (Gov't Mule) is the Line 6 M13. I have a Line 6 M9 on my Wurlitzer 200. Sounds fantastic and can be had used for about US $200. I'm more pickey with my Clavinet. I use analog pedals. I also have the Vintage Vibe pre amp replacement. This is worth every penny.PM me if you want more details.


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: Amplifying vintage keyboards [Re: samuelblupowitz] #3002854 08/12/19 03:38 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 5,720
T
The Real MC Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
T
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 5,720
For recording I like to use DI straight off the harp RCA connector on Rhodes pianos. The pickups are extremely sensitive to input impedance of receiving devices (which is why I bypass passive controls on stage pianos), enough that the wrong box can screw up the tone. Noise can get worse with the wrong DI too. After experimenting with different DIs I settled on the Countryman type 10, quiet as a mouse and great tone.

I reamp the Rhodes signal into an old British guitar tube amp - Selmer "croc skin" Truvoice Twin Thirty with original alnico speakers. Why should guitar players have all the fun?

For gigs I plug straight into a Fender Dual Showman Reverb - head version of Twin Reverb, lighter and cheaper - into speaker cabinet.

Re: Amplifying vintage keyboards [Re: samuelblupowitz] #3002893 08/12/19 01:45 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,369
RedKey Offline
Platinum Member
Offline
Platinum Member
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,369
When going direct with Clav & Wurli, I've used the Tech21 (Sansamp) Flyrig 5 with a Vox Wah.
Reverb, Tap Delay, 2 Ch of shaping and drive, speaker emu. Weighs a pound and fits in the lid of the Clav.
Looks like V2 has XLR DI built in. Nice.

[Linked Image from cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net]

Re: Amplifying vintage keyboards [Re: samuelblupowitz] #3002921 08/12/19 04:20 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,432
CEB Online Content
10k Club
Online Content
10k Club
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,432
Attachments won't upload .... I prefer my May 1965 Twin Reverb.

I unfortunately can't recommend modern reissues. Money would be better spent on used Silverface faces that can be easily serviced, repaired and rebuilt and used good components and proper construction methods.

Last edited by CEB; 08/12/19 04:23 PM.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!
So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt
Re: Amplifying vintage keyboards [Re: samuelblupowitz] #3002935 08/12/19 05:23 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 7,289
ElmerJFudd Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 7,289
I grabbed a Fender PA-135 head and had it serviced and modded by a local legend.
But access to guys like this is fading as the years go by.


Live: Casio PX-560, Roland VR-700
Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Yamaha S90ES
Re: Amplifying vintage keyboards [Re: samuelblupowitz] #3003051 08/13/19 03:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 70
P
pianomike Offline
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
P
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 70
! do not know if there still around but I have a Speakeasy 1000watt pre amp I would like to try on a wurly if I had one . In the seventies when I played in acountry rock band I had a Wurlitzer 200 a and a Ampeg Vt 212 not sure that's the right number ,but it had two 12inch speakers and a 100 watt tube amplifier which weighed 95 pounds but the wurly sounded beautiful through it . Wurlitzers used to cost $650 brand new , the last one I bought was $500 new because they were doing a gone out of business sale .

Re: Amplifying vintage keyboards [Re: samuelblupowitz] #3003054 08/13/19 03:51 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 13,841
AnotherScott Offline
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 13,841
I'd be curious to try the Audient Sono that I keep seeing advertised here. Tube preamp with classic speaker/amp modeling.


Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!
Re: Amplifying vintage keyboards [Re: samuelblupowitz] #3003064 08/13/19 04:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,590
A
Al Coda Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
A
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,590
Kemper ?

A.C.

Re: Amplifying vintage keyboards [Re: samuelblupowitz] #3003065 08/13/19 04:31 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,555
MAJUSCULE Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,555
Dan's Heart rig rundown also has the Tall & Fat into a Radial Space Heater into his Leslie/back-up Vent.


Eric
Website
Rhodes Mk 1 Stage 73; Hammond M3; Kurzweil SP-6; Roland FP-4, Juno-106; Nord E3-73; Studiologic Sledge; DSI Mopho KB; Moog Minitaur; Stuff
Re: Amplifying vintage keyboards [Re: samuelblupowitz] #3003066 08/13/19 04:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,555
MAJUSCULE Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 5,555
And yeah, Kemper/Axe FX/Helix are all very viable solutions.


Eric
Website
Rhodes Mk 1 Stage 73; Hammond M3; Kurzweil SP-6; Roland FP-4, Juno-106; Nord E3-73; Studiologic Sledge; DSI Mopho KB; Moog Minitaur; Stuff
Re: Amplifying vintage keyboards [Re: samuelblupowitz] #3003077 08/13/19 05:21 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,750
Jim Alfredson Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,750
The Lounsberry WurlyGrinder will solve the problem for you. And you can use it into standard powered speakers / PA, etc.


Moderated by  Dave Bryce, Stephen Fortner 

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3