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Rhodes mark 7 versus mark 1


Dglavko

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Since the Mark 1 hasn't been made since 1979, it's impossible to generalize accept to say it's going to be a rhodes that's at least 32 years old.

 

If someone is selling a 32 year old rhodes for ~$3,400 (or whatever a used Mark 7 goes for nowadays), well, clearly the seller thinks it's a pretty special unit.

 

 

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BTW, I'm not trying to be Captain Obvious or anything, I'm sure you're already aware of everything pin my previous post.

 

My opinion, since I already own a dyno'd Mark 1 right next to me - I have yet to touch a Mark 1 I'd pay anything over $1K for. There are too many great alternatives with WAY less hassle and schlep factor. But that's probably just me.

 

If you're a guy who absolutely has to have a real rhodes, seems to me the $1600 for a close-to-brand-spanking-new Mark 7 is a good starting point - what I mean by that is I'm betting an experienced negotiator will be able to shave the down substantially.

 

 

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If I buy one, it will mostly stay in my home studio and not be schlepped about. (Mind you, the mark 7 is lighter...)

 

There are plenty of keyboards that emulate it perfectly in a pop-rock setting I hope to expose/embrace its analog elements and use it w moogerfoogers etc in a modern jazz/fusion with a few other old school keys.

 

The Mark 7 seems to shiny and new for that but then it might reduce the hassle of modding it... But will it sound as raw/organic? I think not but wonder what y'all think

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You won't find a Mark I with decent action. You have to modify it with the "Miracle Mod". There are videos on YouTube as to what it does.

 

I did my own "Miracle Mod" on my 1973 Fender Rhodes Back in the day - spent a weekend glueing matchsticks onto the front of the pedestal - and it made a huge difference, although it was still a pretty challenging action to play.

 

At the time I thought it must have been a manufacturing error, as though they had made a change in one component without changing the complementary part. So how did they manage to produce substandard instruments for four or so years without an outcry? I did make a few complaints but at the end of the day I needed the instrument to gig with so I just put up with it. Eventually i worked out the solution by examining the diagrams of what I believe is called the "Marcel" action in the manual that came with my instrument.

 

 

Legend Live, Leslie 251, Yamaha UX1, Yamaha CP4, Hammond SK1, Ventilator and various other bitsânâpieces.
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Same price??????? And only $1700????

 

Are you talking used? If so, where did you see it for that price?

 

I would buy one at that price.

 

Any time I look, I see them going for around $3000.

 

For example:

 

http://www.audiomidi.com/Products/rho_m7p73-s/

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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For that price the Mark 7 would be a great deal. As Mark posted, the ones I've seen advertised are $3000 and up, no thanks.

 

Being that I bought my Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Rhodes brand new in the summer of 1979, I have the last model before Rhodes started making the Mark II. I've always loved the sound and action on my Rhodes and I wouldn't sell it or trade it for anything else, even if I had the money.

 

That said, anyone that doesn't have a Rhodes and wants the real thing, especially for studio use, would do well with a Mark 7 if they like the sound and the action. I wouldn't worry about it being as "organic" as the Mark 1. The Mark 7 has a lot of refinements since the Mark 1 was produced. So you should be getting a better instrument.

 

 

Cheers,

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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Action modded or not, I fear that the mk 7 will be too pretty/perfect for what I'm seeking - which is more craig taborn, zawinul, mmw (w moogerfoogers, ring mods, tube amps, feedback, strange sounds from pickups) than Styx (way more actually) - thoughts?
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You are really talking about effects here. To me, the Mark 7 has a great sound, fuller than the Mark I, and it's unlikely that it will disappoint you. That said, once you have connected a wha, a ring mod, a phaser and a delay, I think it will be difficult to tell the two apart. BUT the Mark 7 is lighter, more playable, and its dynamic response is more controllable.

 

 

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You are really talking about effects here. To me, the Mark 7 has a great sound, fuller than the Mark I, and it's unlikely that it will disappoint you. That said, once you have connected a wha, a ring mod, a phaser and a delay, I think it will be difficult to tell the two apart. BUT the Mark 7 is lighter, more playable, and its dynamic response is more controllable.

 

 

Agreed! I spent about 30 minutes with a perfectly adjusted MK7, and IMHO it may even be easier to get the sounds you mention since you have better velocity control and a hotter output. I'm sure the MK7 can be adjusted to any tone you want.

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You are really talking about effects here.

Actually, I think the OP is talking sound/vibe. I've seen Taborn play Rhodes several times and he always has a Mark I Suitcase. A Mark 7 isn't going to sound the same, at least not out of the box.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I saw one of these on Friday - bright shiny red - very bright, very shiny. I don't mind red (have Nords) but this was way over the top. Maybe one day it will grow on me but what were they thinking? Perhaps that what a new vox looked like at first?

 

Anyways, I shut my eyes and asked the sales guy if I could try it out - I said a guitar player-tube amp would be great but he hooked it up to an EV PA anyway - I didn't like that at all!

 

Then I eyed an old deluxe reverb and finally got him to plug it into that - sounded really good - noiseless, smooth tremolo. I dimed the mid on the Rhodes eq and it barked quite nicely - the mid eq focus knob even works like a wah if wiggled quickly.

 

The action was kind of weird though - not like a piano or clunky old rhodes at all - actually not at all like any other keyboard I can think of - but very even and I could get used to it I think.

 

And as advertised the price was reduced from $4000 to $1599 because the Cdn distributor is pulling out - no warrantee - He told me that only 8 have bee sold in Canada since release! Canada is small but not that small. That'd be the equivalent would be something like 80 in the USA I guess.

 

Anyways, as nice as it was, and hassle free action, I just could not pull the trigger - even though they had a black one too (same price, equally shiny) I just couldn't see playing it instead of my Wurli 200A, Nord or would be vintage 73 etc. Something just wasn't uh... right?

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For a Mark I or Mark II, consider about $800 plus $150-$200 in parts for hammer tips, grommets, miracle mod, and back checks. A little more for pianos made before 1976, less for those made after 1977. Add a couple days of labor and the result is a great instrument.

 

BTW, they come in black, red, white, and yellow. Just be glad it's not yellow!

 

So how did they manage to produce substandard instruments for four or so years without an outcry?
I don't think the action got worse per se. It just improved in 1978 when they added the pedestel bump.

 

There were a number of incremental changes in those years, including going from wood hammers to all-plastic hammers, and whether the felt was on the pedestal or the hammer.

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I don't think the action got worse per se. It just improved in 1978 when they added the pedestel bump.

 

My 1967 sparkletop has the pedestal bump. Sometime after that the bump was omitted from the pianos. That ruined the action. The Rhodes I have played that had good action all had the pedestal bump.

 

There were a number of incremental changes in those years, including going from wood hammers to all-plastic hammers, and whether the felt was on the pedestal or the hammer.

 

And those parts are NOT interchangeable between pianos of other eras :mad:

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The only sparkletop I've had the pleasure of playing sounded amazing (with those square tube tonebars!) but the action totally sucked due to being beat to hell. It was as bad as the worst old barroom upright. That was about the time I got my Rhodes, say 1978.

 

Thanks for the correction that older pianos did have the pedestal bump. I wonder how they lost it!

 

I guess I'm pretty used to the "lost decade" action. They feel "like a Rhodes" to me. But yeah, the later models are faster, and I'll be adding the pedestal bump mod to my own 1977 piano in the near future.

 

BTW, I'd thought that the Mark 7 was lighter. But, at 90 lbs and needing a case, I think I'd prefer the original for gigging. I did haul mine out for a jazz jam recently; the first time it's been on the road since the 80's. Purists might cringe at how I managed to move it by myself, with a dolly. Next time i think I'll put a packing blanket on the cement before lowering the Rhodes from my minivan onto its end. Kinda hard on the corners & handle.

 

At least an aftermarket case could have wheels. I've seen Rhodes cases that had wheels attached -- I think Tom (ITGITC) did that to his back in the day!

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$1599?!! For a new one?? My VISA card is straining against my pocket!

 

Yes, Tom, I'm sure it's the VISA! ;)

 

:facepalm:

 

You talkin' to ME?

 

Did I miss something along the way?

 

I never put a lot of keys on my keyring. It always tends to weigh down my pockets.

 

Not sure why a VISA card would strain your pockets though, Mr. MonksDream.

 

Yeah. :snax:

 

Tom

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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$1599?!! For a new one?? My VISA card is straining against my pocket!

 

Yes, Tom, I'm sure it's the VISA! ;)

 

:facepalm:

 

You talkin' to ME?

 

Did I miss something along the way?

 

I never put a lot of keys on my keyring. It always tends to weigh down my pockets.

 

Not sure why a VISA card would strain your pockets though, Mr. MonksDream.

 

Yeah. :snax:

 

Tom

For some reason I thought you'd 'poke' fun at me mentioning something straining inside my pants. My apologies ;)

Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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And as advertised the price was reduced from $4000 to $1599 because the Cdn distributor is pulling out - no warrantee - He told me that only 8 have bee sold in Canada since release! Canada is small but not that small. That'd be the equivalent would be something like 80 in the USA I guess.

 

Link please? Do they ship to the USA?

 

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$1599? And you didn't buy it? :crazy:

Nope - I usually get excited/inspired when I try new and vintage keyboards, but this one just didn't do it for me, deal or not... Mind you, I'm not sure where I'd put it in my studio anyway, and I certainly would not bump the Wurli out for it... Maybe I'm just not a Rhodes guy after all.

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