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EP's - Wurli or Rhodes....


Philip OKeefe

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Not sure what you'll make of the results. I never got to answer Wurlie, even though I think it's a classic sound and very useful. It takes a 2nd place to Rhodes for me, but that doesn't mean it deserves a zero.

 

And you didn't have a choice for "more than one of the above", which I would have used for at least two questions, IIRC.

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Oops. Well, it's too late to change it now. Sorry about that - I should have given more options for the answers. Again, I'm sorry about that. :(

 

Anyway, this isn't meant to be a scientific survey... I just wanted to get a idea of what people generally prefer. I think a Rhodes is generally easier to work on that a Wurli, and generally has a better "build quality". I agree that both are classic tones. I was just looking for some opinions and preferences. It seems to me that most people generally prefer the Rhodes tone over the Wurli tone, and I'm probably an exception to the rule in that regard, because in general, if I had to pick one over the other to use exclusively for the rest of my life (from a purely sonic standpoint), I'd probably opt for the Wurli.

 

I was just wondering if anyone else felt that way or not. :) But please feel free to elaborate on your views in this thread - if there's something you wanted to answer differently than the available options allowed, please tell us about it right here. :wave:

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Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:

It seems to me that most people generally prefer the Rhodes tone over the Wurli tone, and I'm probably an exception to the rule in that regard, because in general, if I had to pick one over the other to use exclusively for the rest of my life (from a purely sonic standpoint), I'd probably opt for the Wurli.

 

I was just wondering if anyone else felt that way or not. :)

Well, you might be in the minority here, but you're not alone. I'm right here with ya! :D

 

--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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Originally posted by Botch.:

Phil, there's like a three page discussion on this very topic very recently here in the Keyboard Corner, as soon as I find it I'll post a link.

Yeah, it's called "Groovin' on the Rhodes", below.

 

Hi, I'm Botch and I approved this post. :wave:

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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I never like the sound of a Wurli until I bought "Breakfast in America". Then I bought a Whurli, again, and learned most every song on that albume. I loved that band and that CD is still a favorite. (Did I just hear DB moan?)

 

I also voted the Wurli as being more road worthy. Tuning a Rhodes is no fun.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.
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Please forgive me as I know it's heresy to say, but I've never liked the sound of a Rhodes at all. What all the fuss is about is totally beyond me.

The Wurly's o.k.

If I have to use a piano sound that isn't acoustic, I'd rather have a CP70 or an RMI or move to a clav or harpsichord sound.

 

Please don't hate me :D

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Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:

It seems to me that most people generally prefer the Rhodes tone over the Wurli tone, and I'm probably an exception to the rule in that regard, because in general, if I had to pick one over the other to use exclusively for the rest of my life (from a purely sonic standpoint), I'd probably opt for the Wurli.

 

I would probably pick the whurli too. But I used to get to play a real wurli back in the seventies wheras I never got to play a real rhodes.

 

Perhaps because of this I will generally choose a wurli patch over a rhodes for comping. The Rhodes definitely has more bight. Having had reasonable version of both, in a synthm, I would find it hard to go back to just using 1 or the other. And I must say I like a modern weighted 88 action much better than any rhodes action I have come across in a used shop recently. Haven't seen any used Wurlis.

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Originally posted by Sir Jeebus:

Rhodes and Wurlies both have a classic sound, but the Rhodes is by far the more versatile and dynamic instrument. It can lay low, but it can be up front and bite when it has to.

I agree.

 

Furthermore, a Rhodes can come a lot closer to the dark vibe of a Wurlitzer than a Wurlitzer can come to the bright end of the Rhodes tonal spectrum.

 

I'm surprised, however, how many voters seem to feel the Rhodes is easier to maintain than a Wurlitzer. Perhaps it's because the Rhodes was my main gigging electric piano for six years whereas the Wurlitzer was only my main gigging EP for six months, but I really got tired of breaking and tuning Rhodes tines while I never once had to repair or otherwise maintain the Wurlitzer.

 

My personal preference as to which piano to use depends on context. However, if I were just sitting down to play for the fun of it, of the two I'd most often prefer a Rhodes.

 

As for imitations, the FM Rhodes sound has to be one of top tonal clichés of the 1980s. It was so overused that I almost cringe to think about it. Its pretty bell tone was larger than life (like much of the 80s sound), exaggerating that dimension of the real Rhodes sound and excluding all the meat. I think I could stand to wait at least another decade before it falls back into fashion!

 

Speaking of fashion, with the exception of neo-classic/retro R&B (Angie Stone, India.Arie, Erykah Badu, etc.), I've heard woefully little electric piano of any kind in today's music. OTOH, with the current retro rock trend, it seems we're about due for a broadened resurgence.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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Originally posted by Geoff Grace:

Speaking of fashion, with the exception of neo-classic/retro R&B (Angie Stone, India.Arie, Erykah Badu, etc.), I've heard woefully little electric piano of any kind in today's music. OTOH, with the current retro rock trend, it seems we're about due for a broadened resurgence.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

Yup, agreed!

 

I think we all just got sick of it. I know I did.

 

I owned Rhodes and Wurlitzers and an RMI, as well as a DX7. The EP was my primary sound through the years. Now I mostly use the acoustic piano sounds on my Kurzweil PC2X. They just sound cleaner, or something. I'll choose the Rhodes or the Wurli on occassion. However, I gravitate towards the stereo, triple-strike Kurz piano more than any other sound these days.

 

Tom :cool:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Funny Phil...I knew you were going to say you prefer the Wurli as soon as I saw this poll...for the style of music you make the Wurli is almost the ONLY choice that makes sense.

 

Wurly is a pop/rock mainstay...kinda like a '52 Les Paul :) or a Ric guitar

 

Other types/styles of music ARE important even if they don't generate the same kind of cash ;);)

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I couldn't really respond to the poll because my answers are very situational in terms of preference. I think Wurly, from a performance standpoint, comes closer to an acoustic piano. There are certain ways of playing and phrasing that sound more lyrical on a Wurly than a Rhodes. The one I played had a more consistent tone -- less dynamic I guess you could say -- than Rhodes, which I guess is the same perception and someone above who said the Wurly cuts thru a band better?

 

However, Rhodes I've found always have more bottom end and fullness. More of a "cushy" sound, and there are times when ya really want that. Also, there is the bite and bark.

 

Since I've never actually OWNED either, I couldn't testify to maintenance preferences either.

 

Now, I get to choose between the 2 tones with my Nord Electro, which I think does a good job of emulating both. Also, what's nice about the Electro is it's very expressive and playable; it isn't just how the samples sound, it's the behavior of the instrument that I like.

 

As for not hearing Rhodes or Wurlies in today's music, I kinda have to disagree. IIRC Norah Jones and Tori Amos, right off the top of my head, have songs in airplay that have Wurly in them. I think in R&B (new stuff) you are going to find more of these sounds too. I think they went away a bit in the 80s, but since acid jazz, in which there was a resurgence of Rhodes, I pretty much hear these vintage keyboards in a lot of new music.

 

Peace,

 

gg

Original Latin Jazz

CD Baby

 

"I am not certain how original my contribution to music is as I am obviously an amateur." Patti Smith

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I've got and love them both. I'll go to the Rhodes more often than the Wurli I guess and I go to the S90 more than both of them for my jingle gig, just because I have to work so fast.They each have their place. Les Paul or Strat? I love the wurli on the Donny Hathaway Live lp and all the rare Keith Jarrett solos and Herbie on a Rhodes gives me chicken skin.
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I really like the way they complement each other. listen to Musiq Soulchild or any other modern r'n'b for blending wurly and Rhodes. Heck, even Steely Dan albums are great for this. For me, a Rhodes does not replace a wurly, and the other way around. In terms of maintenance, I´d prefer a Rhodes. Maybe wurlies don´t break down quite as often, but they´re a pain to fix, espescially with all the electricity involved... :freak::cool:
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You can't judge a rhodes by rhodes patches on synths. The real thing is a very different beast, and definitely has more "bite" -- more "bark" too.

 

Count me in with the bunch that says you can cover a wurlie part with a rhodes, but not as much vice versa.

 

But I'd hate to have to choose only one.

 

Rhodes are easy to deal with inside; I've never been inside a wurlie. Yup, I've broken tines, but they're not hard to replace.

 

Recently I broke keys on my MR76. The rhodes sound isn't bad -- good enough to fool me when I've had a few too many. But it doesn't bark enough when I dig in, so I was (without realizing it) digging in harder and harder. Fortunately, I was able to fix the MR's keys. Now if only my thumbs would heal ... ;)

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I don't think either really compares to an acoustic piano. I never cared for a wurli when I had a chance to play it myself, but the other day I heard Merle Saunders do some really nice wurli stuff on a Jerry Garcia Band track. He really had the touch and ideas for it, and it worked very nicely indeed.

 

Me, I like the xylophone bell like sound of the rhodes, much more mysterious, and you can get fat bass out of an 88 that I don't think you can get from a wurli.

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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Originally posted by Steve LeBlanc:

Funny Phil...I knew you were going to say you prefer the Wurli as soon as I saw this poll...for the style of music you make the Wurli is almost the ONLY choice that makes sense.

 

Wurly is a pop/rock mainstay...kinda like a '52 Les Paul :) or a Ric guitar

 

Other types/styles of music ARE important even if they don't generate the same kind of cash ;);)

Who said there's any cash in the stuff I do? ;)

 

I actually am fairly eclectic Steve - I like a lot of different things. :)

 

I do prefer the Wurli sound, but a "real" Rhodes can be a thing of beauty too. I've probably spent more time playing on a real Rhodes than on a real Wurli, but I like them both... I just prefer the Wurli's tone overall. Maybe that is a stylistic thing.

 

Speaking of Wurli tones, I heard a good one last night that I had forgotten about - Sweet's "Love Is Like Oxygen". Okay, okay, laugh all you want about my powerpop nature ( :D ) but that's a cool tune, and the stereo vibrato Wurli that comes in at about 3:13 is SOOO cool. Actually, the EP and the acoustic piano together work really well in that song.

 

It's okay to hate me. :D

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Well I think a wurli is a lot tidier, maybe it would be preferable for recording and some live situations for that reason. Lots of mud potential with a rhodes- takes up a lot of real estate on tape before the clarity comes through.

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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