Rhodes bust?

Posted by: orangefunk

Rhodes bust? - 01/29/12 04:58 AM

Just heard some rumours... wondering to confirm either way.
Posted by: JeffLearman

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/29/12 11:48 AM

Google news doesn't pick anything up on that. If it's true, it's still a secret.

I never had much hope for the business model, but I hope I was wrong about that.
Posted by: MikeT156

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/29/12 12:05 PM

Neil:

Where did you hear that?


Mike T.
Posted by: orangefunk

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/29/12 12:39 PM

A prominent dealer I know this side of the pond is concerned that he's had no response for months. I hope its not the case though...
Posted by: Rusty Mike

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/29/12 12:57 PM

While at NAMM last week an exhibitor told me he heard the current owner is shopping the brand around. He didn't get into any more detail than that.
Posted by: genesisfan

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/29/12 03:26 PM

Hoping production & orders are enough to break even monthly
The recession hit like a tsunami
Posted by: Dana.

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/29/12 05:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Rusty Mike
While at NAMM last week an exhibitor told me he heard the current owner is shopping the brand around.

Considering all the legal action that guy took over the name? facepalm facepalm
Posted by: ProfD

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/29/12 07:46 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if it is true. I always felt the Mark 7 was a boutique piece at best.

Nowadays, KB players just have way too many choices whether it is a vintage Rhodes, DP or ROMpler. cool
Posted by: The Real MC

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/29/12 08:02 PM

Originally Posted By: D-Bon
Originally Posted By: Rusty Mike
While at NAMM last week an exhibitor told me he heard the current owner is shopping the brand around.

Considering all the legal action that guy took over the name? facepalm facepalm


Yeah. He even burned his bridges by threatening trademark infringement action against his potential future customers - the Fender Rhodes discussion forum, the largest collection of Rhodes owners in the world. As a result, there is NO discussion allowed of the new Rhodes on that forum.

The guy had zero concept of customer relations taz
Posted by: JeffLearman

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 06:00 AM

Originally Posted By: The Real MC
Originally Posted By: D-Bon
Originally Posted By: Rusty Mike
While at NAMM last week an exhibitor told me he heard the current owner is shopping the brand around.

Considering all the legal action that guy took over the name? facepalm facepalm


Yeah. He even burned his bridges by threatening trademark infringement action against his potential future customers - the Fender Rhodes discussion forum, the largest collection of Rhodes owners in the world. As a result, there is NO discussion allowed of the new Rhodes on that forum.

The guy had zero concept of customer relations taz
Look on the good side: if Brandstetter's company crashes and burns, new Rhodes will become Vintage and they'll be able to change the policy! laugh

Normally, brand policing raises the value of the brand: protecting the intellectual property. But Mr B went overboard. I did wonder how fenderrhodes.com got to change their name back from fenderhordes.com. Perhaps some lawyer offered his time to explain that "Fender Rhodes" referred to a historical fact, and discussions about it couldn't be injoined by trademark laws, despite a valid trademark. Or maybe Mr B just took a chill pill? On the site it just mentioned that the issue had been resolved, with no details.
Posted by: burningbusch

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 07:46 AM

Originally Posted By: genesisfan
The recession hit like a tsunami


Yeah, then the tsunami hit, Japan at least.

If you think music is recession proof, think again. Yamaha had 550b yen in sales in 2008 and is now down to 373b yen. Roland shows similar decline. Both have lost money in recent years. Yamaha is predicting 2012 will be worse than 2011.

Busch.
Posted by: Dana.

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 07:54 AM

Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Yamaha is predicting 2012 will be worse than 2011.

Maybe they should revamp their P series so that they can better compete with Casio. idea
Posted by: ProfD

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 08:05 AM

Originally Posted By: D-Bon
Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Yamaha is predicting 2012 will be worse than 2011.

Maybe they should revamp their P series so that they can compete with Casio. idea

If they expect 2012 to be worse, they could simply drop the price of the current inventory of KBs by a few hundred bucks each. wink cool
Posted by: Dana.

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 08:15 AM

Since you quoted me, I clarified my post.
Posted by: StJohn

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 08:40 AM

Originally Posted By: ProfD
Originally Posted By: D-Bon
Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Yamaha is predicting 2012 will be worse than 2011.

Maybe they should revamp their P series so that they can compete with Casio. idea

If they expect 2012 to be worse, they could simply drop the price of the current inventory of KBs by a few hundred bucks each. wink cool


Problem is, you have to sell more keyboards at a discounted price to break even with your previous year's revenues. You could sell the exact same number of boards as last year, or even slightly more and still be worse off from a revenue perspective.
Posted by: ITGITC?

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 08:43 AM


The bigger question is:

Is there a market for the Rhodes piano today?

My take is that for the gigging musician, the current selection of ROMplers meets the need for good Rhodes sounds. Additional sounds are included. Size, weight, and price are a factor.

If I were building a studio and wanted a Rhodes for its authenticity, I would consider the new Rhodes.

But since his company seems to be on the skids, he blew off the user forum, and phone calls left are unreturned... rolleyes

I would first look at the offerings from Vintage Vibe.

Tom
Posted by: JeffLearman

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 09:31 AM

Spot on, Tom. My original market analysis was this:

Most keyboard players have little use for an inexpensive real Rhodes, let alone a new expensive one, due to the schlep factor and the fact that, while it's amazingly good, it's amazingly good at only one thing: being a Rhodes. That limits the audience to three types of buyers:

1) Rhodesaholics
2) Studios
3) Superstars (folks with staff to handle it, on the road)

Second, I assumed that the new Rhodes wouldn't quite sound like a vintage Rhodes. (After all, many folks seem to think that Mark I's sound different than Mark II's -- yet there were zero changes to the instrument between the last I's and first II's.) So, vintage piano nuts would still want the old ones.

As it turns out, a lot of the vintage nuts really like the sound of the new one, so my second argument didn't pan out much.

But the first still stands. Also, I'd predict that sales at first would be bigger than continuing sales. That is, folks who'd have wanted a Rhodes but didn't like certain issues with the vintage beast, would run out and get the new one as soon as good reviews came in. But after that first rush ... where's the ongoing market going to come from?

I wouldn't have touched this investment with a 10 foot pole.

Regardless, they seem to have done a good job of making an instrument that captures the essense of the classic ol' beast, and my hat's off to them for that. (I was NOT happy to read what Harold's daughter said about him making her father's life miserable at age 89. To her credit, she didn't go into details.)

I hope the company survives, or if Mr B loses it, someone picks up the pieces on the cheap and continues to build the pianos. Many a successful venture started with the bankruptcy of a failed one. With no debt, it's a lot easier to turn a profit.
Posted by: Skinny

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 09:33 AM

Originally Posted By: learjeff
Stop on, Tom.


laugh
Posted by: JeffLearman

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 09:36 AM

dyslexia of the fingers. makes for some interesting keyboard parts!
Posted by: ProfD

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 09:58 AM

Originally Posted By: learjeff
I hope the company survives, or if Mr B loses it, someone picks up the pieces on the cheap and continues to build the pianos. Many a successful venture started with the bankruptcy of a failed one. With no debt, it's a lot easier to turn a profit.

It might be harder to build the pianos but a company might do well offering the Rhodes Mark 7 as software to run on computers and samples to load up in KBs capable of supporting them. cool
Posted by: MikeT156

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 10:47 AM

There's one other thing that I thought about when the new Rhodes showed up with the current owner......the original Rhodes company built a hoard of those pianos. There are still some of the original pianos around in good/great condition that can be had for a fair price.

Spending the kind of money the new Rhodes wanted for their latest rendition of Rhodes just isn't practical for a one trick pony. deadhorse


Mike T.
Posted by: orangefunk

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 11:07 AM

I was lucky to go to the Swedish launch of the Rhodes Mk 7 and got to talk with the prominent techs, sales people and some of the people on the fender rhodes list (by skype later).

My feeling was that the Rhodes Mk7 was a nice idea... much lighter.. very consistent across the keys and great dynamics. The feel of the keys was great too.. better than my MkII for sure, and that has a very nice action compared to other Mk Is and IIs I have played. One problem I noticed with the MK7 was that it was so light that the sustain pedal lifted the rhodes off the stand... but I am sure this could be solved by some other means i.e. maybe the rod was set too high...

Price-wise it was a little expensive but not really when one thinks about the fact its mechanical and not a bunch of samples. A rhodes in the UK in 1972 was getting close to a 1000 (looking at the price index in an old Arbiter catalogue).. though I think by the mid 70s they were a bit cheaper (a Mk1 was 575 in a magazine I had). So I guess the price shifted around a lot due to exchange rates and perhaps improved building practices.

I think learjeff pointed out the potential owners correctly. I think young musicians into the old sounds would probably rather have the older ones because they look better and are cheaper.

Looking at Vintage Vibes stuff I think they have it right with the aesthetics more but I haven't had a chance to play one.. yet. wink
Posted by: innervisions89

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 12:09 PM

They weren't at NAMM, so I assumed they finally went belly-up...
Posted by: JeffLearman

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 03:13 PM

It's lighter, but at the expense of a built-in case. If I understand it correctly, to compare the weight of the two, we'd have to get a road case for the new Rhodes.
Posted by: orangefunk

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 05:16 PM

yep and then it weighs more than the original rhodes... I mentioned that to a lot of people at the time...

It was a nice design but i didn't get the point of the curved back... I think they could have made different versions to suit the different needs (e.g. built into a wooden case as before.. or maybe like the MK5 in an ABS case)... but I guess its more expense that they could not justify.
Posted by: MikeT156

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/30/12 05:37 PM

Businesses that are not well financed are disappearing in this tight economy. I've seen a number of small businesses in my area that went belly up since 2008. Medium and larger businesses are probably easier prey for the bankruptcy courts too.

Welcome to life in the 21st century. So far, I don't like it.


Mike T.
Posted by: The Real MC

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/31/12 06:13 AM

Originally Posted By: MikeT156
Welcome to life in the 21st century. So far, I don't like it.


More like poor market assessment.

Brandstetter chose a poor time to make a new electric piano. There is no shortage of used Rhodes pianos, plenty of EPs have a tine piano preset, and decent software Rhodes that run on your laptop at a fraction of the weight are out there. It's a crowded market for an expensive piano.

While the new case looked cool, I was immediately turned off by the lack of carrying handles. These pianos are definitely not designed for gigging.

Brandstetter may be a good lawyer but he is a poor marketer.

At least VV made it to NAMM, they seem to be doing well with their EP. And they got possession of the Torrington machine that makes the tines.
Posted by: Dana.

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/31/12 06:31 AM

Vintage Vibe also does restoration which is a huge advantage.
Posted by: StJohn

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/31/12 06:34 AM

I'd love a Rhodes for nostalgia's sake, but Brandstetter and even VV are pretty expensive for one tone with a few variations. I like what VV is doing, but damn, vintage reconditioned Rhodes are cheaper than that.
Posted by: ITGITC?

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/31/12 07:28 AM

Originally Posted By: StJohn
I'd love a Rhodes for nostalgia's sake, but Brandstetter and even VV are pretty expensive for one tone with a few variations.

Yeah...

But playing a Rhodes that has been set up correctly through a Roland Chorus like the one below made for lots of great times.



This was a great-sounding chorus unit. thu

Tom
Posted by: JeffLearman

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/31/12 07:57 AM

This is the one I used; still have it:



It cost almost as much as the Rhodes I played through it, even though I got it with my roommate's employee discount.

Haven't used it in a long time. Anyone wanna make an offer?
Posted by: mate stubb

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/31/12 08:07 AM

Originally Posted By: learjeff
This is the one I used; still have it:




Can one still get tapes for these beasts? I had a RE-201 that I was very fond of.
Posted by: MikeT156

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/31/12 08:13 AM

Quote:
by The Real MC:

More like poor market assessment.

Brandstetter chose a poor time to make a new electric piano. There is no shortage of used Rhodes pianos, plenty of EPs have a tine piano preset, and decent software Rhodes that run on your laptop at a fraction of the weight are out there. It's a crowded market for an expensive piano.

While the new case looked cool, I was immediately turned off by the lack of carrying handles. These pianos are definitely not designed for gigging.

Brandstetter may be a good lawyer but he is a poor marketer.

At least VV made it to NAMM, they seem to be doing well with their EP. And they got possession of the Torrington machine that makes the tines.


I certainly agree. The new Rhodes is probably priced accordingly when the cost of marketing, manufacturing, after-the-sale warranty and tech support, spare parts, etc. are taken into consideration.

But as Mike said, there's a lot of other choices out there at considerably less $$$.

I find it interesting about the Torrington Tine information. thu

This reminds me of a classic song lyric "I was in the right place, but it must have been the wrong time".


Mike T.
Posted by: The Real MC

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/31/12 09:33 AM

Originally Posted By: ITGITC?
Yeah...

But playing a Rhodes that has been set up correctly through a Roland Chorus like the one below made for lots of great times.



This was a great-sounding chorus unit. thu


I got the Moog MF-108M ClusterFlux a couple of months ago and I *LOVE* that box on the Rhodes. Very flexible. Limited edition pedal though, they're only making 1000 of them.

Posted by: MikeT156

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/31/12 09:48 AM

I have the Roland CE1 Chorus as ITGITC posted. I use it on my Alesis ION, the ION's FX are pretty minimal. Even though the CE1 is mono, having Chorus on one side of the ION with Chorus is better than none.


Cheers,


Mike T.
Posted by: funkphingerz88

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/11/12 01:50 AM

well its true about Rhodes, just found out..so question is, whos going to buy the company..someone has to, these pianos are amazing.
Posted by: Joe BrokeIt

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/11/12 05:15 AM

Where did you find out? If it's online, linky?
Posted by: Marzzz

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/11/12 07:51 AM

Their website is still active and taking orders, FWIW.
Posted by: Synthoid

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/11/12 08:09 AM

Originally Posted By: learjeff


It cost almost as much as the Rhodes I played through it


Why was it so expensive? I'm not familiar with that technology...
Posted by: mate stubb

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/11/12 08:17 AM



Lots of stuff inside. It's a tape delay unit with a bunch of playback heads, a record head, capstan, motor, plus a spring reverb unit.

The tape spills into free form loops inside a cartridge as it is moving.
Posted by: Dana.

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/11/12 08:20 AM

Originally Posted By: Marzzz
Their website is still active and taking orders, FWIW.

If production has stopped, it makes sense to sell remaining inventory. Ostensibly, the Mark 7 is now a collector's item.
Posted by: Marzzz

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/11/12 08:46 AM

Well, they are on sale......!
Posted by: JeffLearman

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/12/12 07:43 AM

Originally Posted By: mate_stubb
Can one still get tapes for these beasts? I had a RE-201 that I was very fond of.
A few years back, I saw some on ebay but wasn't looking for them. You can actually make them, if you can find any 1/4" reel tape, ideally the thickest mylar you can find. And if you can still find a splicer!

Originally Posted By: MateStubb
The tape spills into free form loops inside a cartridge as it is moving.
To clarify: the tape loop comes in a cartridge. When you change tapes, you remove the plexiglass cover and old tape, place the cartridge at a little gate on the left of the tape chamber, thread the tape through like on a reel-to-reel, replace the plexiglass, and turn it on. It pulls the tape out of the cartridge.

In normal use, the tape spills into the plexiglass-covered chamber. The tape has to be rigid enough to stand on edge in the chamber to avoid tangling.
Posted by: Jim Alfredson

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/12/12 07:51 AM

Originally Posted By: learjeff
A few years back, I saw some on ebay but wasn't looking for them. You can actually make them, if you can find any 1/4" reel tape, ideally the thickest mylar you can find. And if you can still find a splicer!


You can't use just any 1/4" tape. It has to be loop tape, which is lubricated. It is available.
Posted by: JeffLearman

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/12/12 07:57 AM

I've read reports of folks making their own. Yes, you have to splice it into a loop. Don't know about the lubrication, but that makes sense. The most obvious difference (other than the loop splice) is the stiffness of the tape, so it stands on edge.

But if they're still available, that'd be better than fabricating one. I should probably get a couple while they're still available. Mine probably has some dropouts on it as it is. I think I last changed it in the late 80's or early 90's. laugh
Posted by: kanker.

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/12/12 09:42 AM

Originally Posted By: learjeff
Don't know about the lubrication, but that makes sense. The most obvious difference is the stiffness...so it stands.
I just wanted to quote that.

carry on.....
Posted by: Joe BrokeIt

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/12/12 10:37 AM

laugh
Posted by: JeffLearman

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/12/12 05:21 PM

oh sheesh
Posted by: zephonic

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/13/12 01:44 AM

I played the Mk7 last year and it was by far the best Rhodes I ever laid hands on. I'd love to own one.
Posted by: Marzzz

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/13/12 02:35 AM

I was interested in checking out the RPC-1 controller.
Posted by: ABECK

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/13/12 06:57 AM

Originally Posted By: learjeff
I've read reports of folks making their own. Yes, you have to splice it into a loop.

I've replaced with spliced 1/4" tape several times when I was working as an engineer. We'd typically replace the tape at the start of a new project. It was a bit of a pain to get it in the cartridge, but not too bad.
Posted by: mate stubb

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/13/12 07:12 AM

I never bothered with sticking a homemade loop back in the loading cartridge - just threaded it by hand.
Posted by: ABECK

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/13/12 08:25 AM

Just let it all hang out, did ya? wink
Posted by: Suit & Tie Guy

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/14/12 10:47 PM

Originally Posted By: The Real MC
Originally Posted By: MikeT156
Welcome to life in the 21st century. So far, I don't like it.


More like poor market assessment.


poor market assessment and the burning of bridges you mentioned. i'll bet many potential customers who would have bought a new Rhodes just to buy a _new_ Rhodes wouldn't buy one from Dick on GP (general principal.)

btw, hello. this is my first post. i know some of you already. i just realised that there was a keyboard forum i'd never signed up for.
Posted by: Steve Force

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/14/12 11:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Suit & Tie Guy
Originally Posted By: The Real MC
Originally Posted By: MikeT156
Welcome to life in the 21st century. So far, I don't like it.


More like poor market assessment.


poor market assessment and the burning of bridges you mentioned. i'll bet many potential customers who would have bought a new Rhodes just to buy a _new_ Rhodes wouldn't buy one from Dick on GP (general principal.)

btw, hello. this is my first post. i know some of you already. i just realised that there was a keyboard forum i'd never signed up for.


Welcome! You are a great addition to this forum!! wave
Posted by: Suit & Tie Guy

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/14/12 11:29 PM

haha, thank you. i'm glad my history of talking inside of the internet sets such a high bar of expectation but i probably won't be racking up 1K posts here anytime soon.

i love talking to other musicians but i have a lot of work to do, and i'm taking on more. as i get busier my forum time is getting slimmer.

i'll try to pop in daily though. lots of nice people here. (not that other forums don't have them, i should add.)
Posted by: mate stubb

Re: Rhodes bust? - 02/15/12 06:23 AM

Hey STG, welcome. Nice bunch of pro and amateur gigging musicians here.
Posted by: loudee

Re: Rhodes bust? - 12/10/12 01:24 PM

I did get a chance to play a Vintage Vibe tine piano, as they refer to them, at their factory in Rockaway NJ, a stone's throw from where I live. They are very nice. While looking more like a Wurlitzer than a Rhodes, they sound just like a Rhodes. The action is very nice, a much better feel than my Mark I and Mark II I used to own. One issue I found while playing a 64 note model was that when I attempted to play pianissimo, some of the keys did not sound. I had to hit the key bed a bit harder. Upon questioning, the guy in charge said there was nothing wrong with the action, that I just needed to "dig in" more. As a jazz pianist, there are times when I certainly do not want to "dig in" more. I assumed he was going to say an adjustment was in order and was a bit surprised at his response. However they have done a nice job over there and the fact they restore vintage Rhodes, Wurleys, and other boards, gives them another revenue stream, something Rhodes Piano Corp did not have.
Posted by: Musicale

Re: Rhodes bust? - 12/11/12 06:22 AM

Anybody interested in investing in "THE NEW ANALOG HAMMOND B3"...

I'm taking minimum investments of $1,000,000 and need at least 500 people to invest to get it started up. PM me if interested...
Posted by: JMcS

Re: Rhodes bust? - 12/11/12 06:43 AM

Originally Posted By: Musicale
Anybody interested in investing in "THE NEW ANALOG HAMMOND B3"...

I'm taking minimum investments of $1,000,000 and need at least 500 people to invest to get it started up. PM me if interested...


Call it the New Solar Power Hammond B3 and you'll get government money out the ass.
Posted by: The Real MC

Re: Rhodes bust? - 12/14/12 02:02 PM

Only if it has MIDI in and the keys move like a player piano.
Posted by: NiftyNiblick

Re: Rhodes bust? - 01/11/13 05:43 AM

Does the new Rhodes speaker platform, presumably already out of production, work with digital keyboards?

This is an issue which brings me back forty years. We once had a female keyboard player who preferred the sound of the Wurlitzer piano and the Vox organ over the Rhodes and the Farfisa, but played the latter two because their stands had modesty panels and the former two didn't.

The new Rhodes platform looks like a good option for all keyboards if they can be adapted.
Posted by: funkphingerz88

Re: Rhodes bust? - 12/06/13 12:45 AM

Well I'm very happy with my Mark 7 active Midi. Sounds absolutely superb. Love plugging it into my suitcase amp from my '72 Rhodes.
Posted by: Resolution 88

Re: Rhodes bust? - 12/06/13 05:58 PM

I can vouch for Dan's Mark 7 - I've played it and it's beautiful!