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Rhodes Mark 7 shopping


Brad Kaenel

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Next month is my half-century birthday, and I'm piling up pennies in the corner to buy a Rhodes Mark 7; a basic black, mono, passive 73, like the Mark II I owned in college. I loved my Mark II, on which I did almost all of my early fusion writing/arranging; I'm looking forward to getting all retro (hmm...), and actually again owning a keyboard I don't have to plug in. (baby grand in the living room, not withstanding) ;)

 

If you haven't read this month's KBMag feature on the Rhodes' comeback, you should get it. Many arrows have been slung at Mr. Brandstetter & Co. over the past decade; mostly, I believe, because a singular passion to accomplish anything of such grand vision is usually derided as arrogant and self-serving.

 

What the new Rhodes company has done is nothing short of phenomenal in today's economy, and I'm going to do my part to help them be successful by buying my own Mark 7. And, no, not because I'm feeling noble -- because I just *want* one. Really bad. :love:

 

Now to the shopping...

 

KBMag's article listed the prices for the various Mark 7 models (starting at $3K for the Passive (uh, "Standard") 73). But I had some other questions about cases and colors, so I left a voice mail for the Sales dept on Wednesday. Guess who returned my call? Joe Brandstetter, himself!

 

Now how cool is that? I got to spend 10 minutes on the phone talking to the man who's spent a decade of his life bringing back his friend's beloved musical invention. Props to you, Mr. Brandstetter, for what you've accomplished, and for remaining grounded enough through it all to want to talk with customers personally. +100.

 

Rhodes builds the pianos in Long Beach, but because I also live in California I can't buy one directly from the factory (state sales regs, I guess). No worries, though, because they have a distributor up in Chatsworth where I can go and play the pianos, check out the cases, etc., and place the order thru *them*.

 

So, in a couple of weeks I'm driving out to the Valley to check out the Mark 7, hopefully with enough pennies to get my order in the pipeline. I will post a report here, but if anyone has something specific you'd like me to find out for you, just let me know. After all, I'm like *this* with the Man, right? ;)

 

Here's to 50!

 

Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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Congrats on the big Five-O...

 

The whole Rhodes issue has been a heated debate - with all the nasty things said about Brandstetter and lawsuits etc...

 

That being said, I believe building the new Rhodes pianos is an incredible accomplishment, and I think they are beautiful instruments. I had a beat up old Rhodes several years ago, and if I had disposable income, I'd order a new one for sure!

 

I wish you the best on your potential purchase, and hope everything goes well!

 

Stuff and things.
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:thu:

 

That was a great article in Keyboard Mag. I've got it right here.

 

The Mark 7 would be nice to have in the studio. I wouldn't want to move it often.

 

Congratulations on turning 50. It's a good excuse to party because everything goes to hell from here on out ya know. :sick:

 

Tom

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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:thu:

 

 

Congratulations on turning 50. It's a good excuse to party because everything goes to hell from here on out ya know. :sick:

 

Tom

 

Not to hijack this thread, but I turn 30 this summer... 30!!! AAAHHHH!!!!

 

What should I buy for myself?

Stuff and things.
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You got that right; I won't want to move it much, either -- 100 lbs. each for piano and case. Ouch. At least the case has wheels. And since I don't move around much either, so do I. :)

 

The only thing I was a little disappointed to learn is that the new Rhodes don't have the screw-in legs like the original stage models -- you have to put 'em on a stand, which I think will just look dorky. But, Joe said a custom, legged-table kind of stand is in the works, so I'll reserve judgment for now...

 

Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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WOW! 3 grand for a Rhodes... I'm trying to remember what I paid for my suitcase 73 back in 1977 or so. I'm thinking it was around $450 - is that possible?

 

I bought mine in '79, and I was thinking it was closer to a grand. But 30 years ago? I can't remember what I had for dinner last night... :blush:

 

At any rate, I think it's pretty reasonable for a real, hand-built instrument that hopefully will remain in my family long after I'm gone.

Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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Congrats, Brad!

 

I have wanted a Mark VII every since I played a prototype at NAMM '08, and when I played it again at NAMM '09 I wanted it even more.

 

2010 will probably not be the year for me, unless something changes pretty drastically. Between buying our first house last year -- which needs a little work -- and trying to get a small cushion back in the bank, I just don't see it reaching the top of the priority stack.

 

But it's definitely ON the priority stack for me, and it will probably reach the top next year if all goes well. I really hope that RMC can stay alive in a tough economy. Not only for the selfish reason that I want them around when I'm ready to buy, but because they have done something extraordinary, and they deserve to reap some benefits from it.

 

I would actually carry mine. I can really see it as the centerpiece of a brand-new, more "real" rig. Of course, to make that happen I'll need the Active/MIDI model...

 

--Dave

 

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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I bought my Suitcase Rhodes new Summer of '76, and I it was like $1400. Of course, I was young, dumb, and bought it from a Hammond dealer, so you know I paid close (or more) than list probably. But after having been to a few music stores, it was still the only decent keyboard I saw (the other being a Univox Compact, which the salesman told me to run away from *thank you!*). Loved it, wish I still had it, but I wouldn't be moving it.
Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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I was 14 then, paid cash. I had actually saved up for a motorcycle as my parents said I could have one if I could pay for it (thinking of course at 14, where would I get the moneyand that that desire would diminish; it didnt until she had the good sense to take me to that organ store in the midst of visiting a number of motorcycle shopsshe hated motorcycles as her brother had gotten hurt pretty good on one). I gigged that thing for years, in my 75 Maverick (keys in the trunk, speaker cab in the back seat, cables in the lid, and 2 metal milk crates to elevate it for standing position). Never complained about the size or weight, or thought to: I WAS ROCKIN!!!

 

Nownow that would be a different story.

 

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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I bought my Suitcase Rhodes new Summer of '76, and I it was like $1400. Of course, I was young, dumb, and bought it from a Hammond dealer, so you know I paid close (or more) than list probably.

I think my Stage 88 w/Super Satellites was around the same price around that same time. Bought mine from a Hammond dealer, too. Strange that I do remember exactly how much I paid the same store for my ARP Odyssey: $888 inc. a free Anvil case.

 

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It doesn't seem like the new Rhodes is actually more expensive than the old, to me.

 

A gallon of gas cost like 35 cents, and you could get a new car for under 3 grand.

 

Multiply tonysounds' $1400 by 3 or 4 or 6 and the new Rhodes doesn't seem so expensive.

 

 

While we still get $100 for the gig.

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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While we still get $100 for the gig.

 

I'm playing for $75 tonight. Close to home, 3 hours/2 sets, long break for dinner (included) , with very good players and easy load in. :thu:

 

Brad-

 

Happy 50th to you!

 

Good luck on the Rhodes thing. I haven't played the new ones since the first year they were introduced at NAMM--and that was what, 2 or 3 years ago? I remember they did feel less clunky and smoother than the old ones. Trying to hear what something really sounds like at NAMM is a study in frustration, so I couldn't make a comparison there.

 

Is this a store out in Chatsworth where one could stop in and play unannounced or more a small dealer "by appointment only" kinda thing?

I'm occasionally out in the West Valley for misc. stuff, I'd like to fall by and check them out sometime.

 

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

 

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I read the article as soon as the new Keyboard mag came in. Seems like an impressive feat, and also that they addressed some shortcomings of the old Rhodes using modern design and materials. Nice.

 

If one bought a Rhodes in 1976 for $1400 (as someone said earlier), adjusting for inflation it would be $5238 in 2008.

A $3000 Rhodes today would be approximately $800 in 1977.

 

Sounds like a bargain!

 

Source: Newegg Inflation Calculator

Muzikteechur is Lonnie, in Kittery, Maine.

 

HS music teacher: Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Chorus, Music Theory, AP Music Theory, History of Rock, Musical Theatre, Piano, Guitar, Drama.

 

 

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I'm playing for $75 tonight. Close to home, 3 hours/2 sets, long break for dinner (included) , with very good players and easy load in. :thu:

 

Brad-

 

Happy 50th to you!

 

Is this a store out in Chatsworth where one could stop in and play unannounced or more a small dealer "by appointment only" kinda thing?

 

Thank you, Dave!

 

The Chatsworth location is an actual retail store where you can just go in during regular business hours. Joe said they had all three models setup, so you tryout whatever you want. I'll send you a PM, since we're not supposed to mention actual store names (right?).

 

Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a wonderful wife. :love:

 

After doing the math on the real out-of-pocket price of a new Mark 7 (being a California resident adds nearly a Grand to the bottom line!), I confessed to her I just couldn't, in good conscience, pull the trigger on spending $4000+. So she suggested "Why not buy an old one and have it restored? That would be even cooler than getting a new one, wouldn't it? You'd have a classic."

 

So after a week of Internet shopping, we found an '80 Mark II Stage in great condition, with all the accessories (pedal, legs, cover) still intact -- just an hour's drive down to the beach, and for only $700. This is the exact model/year I used to own, and the manufacture date stamp pegs it at being built with 4 months of the one I bought for myself, back in college. One of the last production runs before CBS switched from wood to plastic keys.

 

Next step was to research the handful of restoration houses with good credentials, so of course I talked with Speakeasy, VintageVibe, TheRhodesMan, ElectronicEdge, and finally FenderRhodesLA. I have to give major props to the fellas that operate these gigs; not only for their skill and desire to preserve classic instruments, but for their customer-friendly attitudes. It was not an easy choice, and of course, they're all booked with work for months and months into the future.

 

In the end, I caught a break because of a booking cancellation, and even better, it was with FRLA -- which meant I could deliver/pickup the Rhodes myself, rather than have it shipped (which is not an insignificant budget item on something as big, heavy, and valuable as a Rhodes!)

 

So last week I drove on into Los Angeles, and spent just a fascinating couple of hours with Nir (the tech at FRLA) talking about my piano, his pianos, how he learned about them from the Steve Woodyard (one of the original Rhodes engineers at Fender Music); just one of those once-in-a-lifetime visits, with a class-act guy. We planned out everything that needed doing (plus a couple of "extra" things), and next week I'll get to bring'er home -- all fixed-up, dressed-up, and ready to get funky again!

 

FRLA even documents the restoration process with pix, so you have a before/after record of everything: http://fenderrhodesla.com/support.html (Scroll down to the gallery named "Brad K - 1980 Stage")

 

So, a great big "thank you!" to my wife, who steered me from "new" to "vintage", and gave me back one of my most treasured musical memories. Love ya', babe! :thu:

 

Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Brad,

 

Good luck with you're Mark II, I have one 80's something MarkII as well with wooden keys. The action is one of the best I've tried on old rhodes pianos.

 

Brandstetter also called me when I had some questions about my new Mark 7, he's really interested in getting a good customer realtion, and in getting the instrument just right.

 

If you wan't to hear a comparison of my collection of Rhodes pianos tune in to my youtube channel, you'll hear a mark 1, a mark II, a mark7 + a nord stage

 

 

/Fred

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I know it's just teasing, NZ -- yah, guess I didn't quite come thru for Joe B. and company out of my own pocketbook. But I take back nothing I've said nor experienced with the new Rhodes company. They *do* deserve my $$ -- I just don't have enough to give them. :blush:

 

Restoration expenses: roughly $1200 for replacement of worn hammer tips, damper felts, pedestal felts; new set of tone bar grommets; regulation/voicing/tuning; new nickel corners and incidental hardware; Tolex repair and cleaning; sustain pedal repair.

 

Preamp: The Mark II had a Stewart 9-volt active preamp already installed in it; similar to the Harmonic Clarifier and other battery-powered preamps that were available in the '80s. I wouldn't have sought one out, but it was cool enough to leave it in place. What I hated was the ugly blue "Stewart" nameplate that was glued to the original name rail and covered up some of the original graphics. Nir felt my pain, and made a trade for an original Mark II name rail to replace it.

Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My birthday present is home!

 

Picked up my "2280" Fender Rhodes on Friday night, and gave her a place of honor in the music room -- fully-restored, with a sweet custom voicing by Nir at FRLA; http://fenderrhodesla.com/support.html (Scroll down to the gallery named "Brad K - 1980 Stage")

 

We decided to leave the 9-volt preamp in-place, rather than damage the original name rail by trying to remove the 30-year-old glue on the back of the "Stewart" name plate. So call it "Vintage+" condition. ;)

 

And she sounds GREAT, too. Plugged in my MXR Phase 90 and channeled "Steely Dan" and "Doobie Brothers" for about an hour. Then ratcheted-up the "bark" with the preamp and copped some Chick and Herbie.

 

Wow. I loved this piano 30 thirty years, and I still love it now.

 

Not as much as my wife, though. (see above) :love:

Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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