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Seems the new Rhodes is Coming...


Cliffk

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quote:
Originally posted by BluesKeys:

Dave, our memories are the same.

:freak::rolleyes:;)

 

Yup. My Rhodes had wheels. :thu:

 

I went from:

 

RMI Electra Piano => Wurlitzer EP => used Rhodes => New Rhodes with wheels ;) => DX7 => DX7 with Kurzweil 1000PX rack => Kurzweil K2000 => Kurzweil PC2X.

 

I'm sure the wheels saved my back. I wouldn't buy a new Rhodes today, but if Kurzweil made a 76 key PC2 with the same weighted action as my PC2X (not semi-weighted or lightly-weighted), I'd give serious thought to moving in that direction.

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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I'm planning to wait until it actually hits the market, if it ever does.

 

That way I can assess the actual end product, then decide whether to bitch and moan.

 

I'm not into premature bitching and moaning.

 

I might be interested in one if it's smaller and lighter than the orig, and sounds better - it would be nice to somehow get the suitcase sound out of a lighter model, not sure how that could be achieved. Midi would be cool, as would a built-in digital piano (could be triggered internally by midi). But we'll just have to wait and see, won't we? First thing is to see if it actually comes to pass. I've been hearing stories of a 'new rhodes' for years and years. Believe it when I see it.

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:bor: I'm not excited about the new Rhodes piano. They don't fit in most styles except fusion, ballads, and some eclectic stuff (Radiohead).

 

I sold my Rhodes years ago because the action was terrible and the sound was always getting buried in the mix. A wurlitzer did a better job cutting through.

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I could probably find a half-dozen Rhodes Pianos free for hauling away without looking too hard. Most guys I know don't even want a free one so how are you going to sell them a new one?

 

I get a little iritated at the "lazy-ass musician" comments I read here occasionally.

 

Like many here, I started out with a B3 and two Leslies 122s. Later, I added a suitcase Rhodes, a Clavinet, a Prophet-5 and a Twin Reverb. That's an hour load-in for two men, an hour set-up, an hour tear down and an hour load-out. That's also a full-size heavy-duty truck and the goodwill of at least one other man to help you move all of that stuff. Add it all up and you get 8 hours to play a 4 hour gig. Clearly, a young man's game.

 

Now, I play 4 to 5 gigs per week - all 4-hour one-nighters. That's 4 to 5 load-ins and set-ups at a half-hour each and 4 to 5 tear-downs and load-outs at a half-hour each. Add it all up and you get 5 hours to play a 4-hour gig.

 

None of that includes drive time and sound check.

 

I can only speak for myself, but if I can save 3 hours per gig, move 1,500# less gear by myself in my Suburban and emulate the Rhodes sound (and 1,000+ others) with pristine samples and complete reliability, you can call me anything you want - including lazy-ass musician.

 

I'll be home having a beer while you're still wrapping cords.

 

Best,

JC

Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. W. C. Fields
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FOlks who say that a Rhodes only fits limited music styles must not have had to play with that as their main or only instrument much. I find it plays rock, blues, jazz, and pop quite well!

 

But still it is a one-trick pony. A very GOOD trick, but still ... And IMHO not as versatile as a Hammond, which is also a one trick pony.

 

Of course, an acoustic grand piano is also a one-trick pony, but it's a DAMN good trick. For versatility, I'd take piano over Hammond or Rhodes any day, even though I play Hammond more often than piano when I play live (blues). If I had to pick just one, I wouldn't hesitate a moment.

 

Fortunately, I get to play all three, and without breaking my back! Plus those synth sounds & (gak) strings are there if I want 'em. OK, strings are cool for motown.

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A few comments I'd like to respond to:

 

Gas in the Car

 

The Rhodes' day has come... and gone. Let's move forward. AND We've passed the age of the electro-mechanical Rhodes.

 

As I recall you're a pretty big Steely Dan fan. Do you happen to know which Rompler or soft synth Rhodes sound Donald Fagen currently uses? Must be the Kurzweil, as that's your favorite. Does Donald have some thoughts related to all this? Just curious if you knew.

 

Dave Horne

[grumpy old guy mode] Having grown up with the Rhodes, I have no fond memory of lugging a one trick pony and a heavy one at that, up the steps. I now just use one stage piano and consider the trade off more in my favor.

 

I'll venture a guess that your P-250 in its case weighs as much or more than my Rhodes Mark V (in its case). I'm curious as to how many different sounds (tricks) you use on your P-250 each night.

 

Busch.

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Originally posted by Blue JC:

I could probably find a half-dozen Rhodes Pianos free for hauling away without looking too hard. Most guys I know don't even want a free one so how are you going to sell them a new one?

 

I get a little iritated at the "lazy-ass musician" comments I read here occasionally.

 

Like many here, I started out with a B3 and two Leslies 122s. Later, I added a suitcase Rhodes, a Clavinet, a Prophet-5 and a Twin Reverb. That's an hour load-in for two men, an hour set-up, an hour tear down and an hour load-out. That's also a full-size heavy-duty truck and the goodwill of at least one other man to help you move all of that stuff. Add it all up and you get 8 hours to play a 4 hour gig. Clearly, a young man's game.

 

Now, I play 4 to 5 gigs per week - all 4-hour one-nighters. That's 4 to 5 load-ins and set-ups at a half-hour each and 4 to 5 tear-downs and load-outs at a half-hour each. Add it all up and you get 5 hours to play a 4-hour gig.

 

None of that includes drive time and sound check.

 

I can only speak for myself, but if I can save 3 hours per gig, move 1,500# less gear by myself in my Suburban and emulate the Rhodes sound (and 1,000+ others) with pristine samples and complete reliability, you can call me anything you want - including lazy-ass musician.

 

I'll be home having a beer while you're still wrapping cords.

 

Best,

JC

Seeing as I made the comment, I'll try to defend it. I gig a bit as well. 14 nights in February. Many different venues and bands. One weekly gig is a two hour background jazz lite. I use a Fantom X7, V-stand, bench and now the Roland SA-300 amp. I can bring in everything in two trips and be set up in five minutes. Total weight is under 100lbs.

 

In another larger horn disco/funk horn band I bring the Clav as I play clav parts on over half the tunes. Playing the real thing is SO MUCH more fun and sounds SO MUCH better than the Electro I look forward to playing songs that are otherwise complete crap. Obviously I use other keys. I would use the Rhodes, but there just aren't enough Rhodes parts in the songlist to justify it.

 

Sometimes taking out just the Rhodes is wonderful because the sound is so fat and full, in comparison to the sampled version. I would love a Rhodes with MIDI.

 

Yes I too used to be full time with the Hammond and Leslie, then CP70, P5, Rhodes and Clav all with road cases. Yes, those days are gone.

 

I still play for the enjoyment of it. I get a lot more enjoyment out of playing the real things than the fakes. They sound better and respond better.

 

I just traded my C3 for an absolutely pristine B3 and 122. I'm 52 years old and together with my 16 year old son we loaded/unloaded them in a van with a very high gate. It was no big deal. I will probably never gig with the B3, not because it's too heavy but because it's in nearly flawless condition and taking it out would be criminal.

 

Yes, I think a lot of keyboard players have gotten lazy-ass. The first question is often how much does it weigh? We're not strapping these things around our neck all night, just carrying them or rolling them in. It used to be 50-60 lbs was acceptable, now that's too heavy.

 

Everything we play are digital recreations. I have asked this before and have never gotten a satisfactory answer from anyone. If these are so great, why don't guitar/bass players use MIDI guitars (no tuning, no breaking strings, more sounds, etc), drummers using V-drums (lighter/smaller, big fat kicks and snare sounds, more variety), horn players (always playing tune, hit any note, sop/alto, tenor all in one), etc. They could have made the same compromises that keyboard players have made for all the same reasons (weight, portability, tuning/mechanical issues, sonic variety). They haven't because the real things still sound better and play better. And what would live bands sound like if everyone used digital equivalents?

 

Busch.

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Originally posted by burningbusch:

A few comments I'd like to respond to:

 

Gas in the Car

 

The Rhodes' day has come... and gone. Let's move forward. AND We've passed the age of the electro-mechanical Rhodes.

 

As I recall you're a pretty big Steely Dan fan. Do you happen to know which Rompler or soft synth Rhodes sound Donald Fagen currently uses? Must be the Kurzweil, as that's your favorite. Does Donald have some thoughts related to all this? Just curious if you knew.

I'm sure he's aware of Fagan's love for MIDI timing. Fagan did use an early 90s Roland board (FP4?) at one stage because he liked the sound of it (I seem to recall an interview in Keyboard, mid 90s). Don't know about his gearlist now, but I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on his new album.

 

I dunno about the economics but I'm sure the guy has plenty of info from the Rhodes forum to have made a well-reasoned decision.

 

But yeh I'm one of those lazy ass musicians who isn't keen enough on keeping chiropractors off the street, and play too many short gigs on shared bills in upper rooms (and lower rooms in the case of 2 venues) where there are no lifts to make it a viable option for me if the weight doesn't come in under 20kg.

 

And if you think the Rhodes is a one trick pony you need to discover fx pedals. Seriously. It's like saying the electric guitar is a one trick pony.

Gig keys: Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Crumar Mojo 61, Crumar Mojo Pedals

 

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I'll venture a guess that your P-250 in its case weighs as much or more than my Rhodes Mark V (in its case). I'm curious as to how many different sounds (tricks) you use on your P-250 each night.
I don't mind the weight of the P250 since I have more than one sound to choose from.

 

I don't have to open the P250 before every job to make adjustments, that plus the action is extremely consistent. I pretty much use the acoustic piano patch and also use the Rhodes. I might layer strings against either and have been known to use a split with a Rhodes in the left hand and a solo instrument in the right. I also use a few B3 sounds during an eveing when working in a trio. When I play solo, it's pretty much the acoustic piano patch and the Rhodes.

 

The Rhodes is a dinosaur. If you like it, great. It was nothing but a hassle for me as I always had to make adjustments.

 

A grand piano is a one trick pony as well, I admit. Somehow I can live with an acoustic piano sound for an entire evening, but a Rhodes sound (for an entire evening) is a bit limiting.

 

Each to his own.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by burningbusch:

A few comments I'd like to respond to:

 

Gas in the Car

 

The Rhodes' day has come... and gone. Let's move forward. AND We've passed the age of the electro-mechanical Rhodes.

 

As I recall you're a pretty big Steely Dan fan. Do you happen to know which Rompler or soft synth Rhodes sound Donald Fagen currently uses? Must be the Kurzweil, as that's your favorite. Does Donald have some thoughts related to all this? Just curious if you knew.

 

Busch.

I said that I do not think introducing five new models of an electro-mechanical Rhodes to the marketplace made much business sense.

 

I did NOT say that any rompler sounded better than the original Rhodes.

 

BUSCH, why do you take my words and twist them around to meet your needs? :rolleyes:

 

Go back and read my posts. It's all there.

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Gas, you did state that you preferred a real Rhodes to the clones. Sorry I missed that. In other posts, I didn't sense that same sentiment.

 

I agree the guy has a business challenge ahead of him, if it ever comes to pass.

 

Busch.

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Originally posted by burningbusch:

Gas, you did state that you preferred a real Rhodes to the clones. Sorry I missed that. In other posts, I didn't sense that same sentiment.

 

I agree the guy has a business challenge ahead of him, if it ever comes to pass.

 

Busch.

Thank you, Busch.

 

I know you're passionate about your Rhodes, Clav, and Hammond. I don't blame you a bit.

 

My argument was purely on the business angle.

 

On the other hand, if there is a small market for a boutique product and he decides to go that route, well, I dunno what his chances are because I don't know the size of that market, or his costs.

 

But I wish him well.

 

Thanks for clearing that up. ...didn't mean to make ya mad. :)

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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I said that I do not think introducing five new models of an electro-mechanical Rhodes to the marketplace made much business sense. [/QB]
Well if you'd been keeping up with the threads on 76-note keyboards you'd know there'll be one keyrange E-G cause it's traditional; an A-C model for those who like to know they can reach out and hit the bottom note without looking and find like a piano it's an A, with a C at the top; a third C-E for those who demand a bottom C; a slightly longer C-G model for those who played the original but also need bottom C and Electro users who found top F handy; and an 88-note model for those folks who have discovered a use for the bottom 3 notes.

;)

Gig keys: Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Crumar Mojo 61, Crumar Mojo Pedals

 

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yeah, ditto :D

 

Busch, you asked if digital is so great, why don't other types of players use it?

 

Main reason: We need to, they don't.

 

First, keyboard players are expected to be able to cover a wide range of keyboard instruments, including grand piano, upright piano, tonewheel organ, electric piano, and clavinet -- and of course, let's not forget synthesizer. And not just ONE classic synth, but several (well, for cover bands anyway). For the moment, I'm not including non-keyboard instruments we're expected to cover (strings, horns, etc).

 

Second, note that these are all KEYBOARD instruments, where there are a limited number of means of articulation, such as velocity and pedal. Right: on all classic keyboard instruments, what happens AFTER you press the key and before you release it does not matter! So, this relatively simple model of controlling an instrument lends itself much more to MIDI control and thus the digital domain than most other instruments, which have a much wider range of nuance in articulation, such as guitar and sax.

 

To put it simply, keyboards don't need nearly as much articulation control as most other popular instruments. Anyone who disagress probably hasn't played many other instruments.

 

Of course, the third reason is that the real thing still sounds better, in most cases. (I actually find that I prefer my Rhodes soundfont to the real thing in many ways simply because that damn white noise at -50dB that's impossible to remove from a real Rhodes has been surgically removed from my samples -- ditto for Scarbee -- so it sounds MUCH better when EQ'd the way I like it.) Plus I like not breaking tines.

 

Likewise, my digital piano sounds WAY better than most real pianos do when stuck on a stage and miked (in a high volume act). No question that an excellent real piano in good condition sounds better, but not on a 100+ dB stage, and certainly not in most bars. And sorry, it's just not realistic for me to cart a piano around.

 

So, in short, why do we?

 

A) We need to

B) We can

C) It sounds better

D) It's a lot less work

 

Note that these are only true in certain circumstances, but they're the circumstances we find ourselves in very often.

 

I'll probably take a lot of crap for the "It sounds better" claim. But man, I've heard (and even played) a lot of pretty crappy Rhodes pianos, and I won't even go into how most bar pianos are!

 

Also, I like the fact that I know a priori what my rig is going to sound like.

 

Digital technology is great. Feel free to disdain it if you like, but I'm very happy with it and anyone who doesn't see the virtues ... well, I won't go there.

 

Cheers!

Jeff

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I really did not intend to repost in this thread but what Learjeff wrote reminded me of just how bad the original Rhodes keyboard action was. It really was not fun to play, it sounded great, but it was not a sophisticated action. I'll take a Roland A80 (or A90) or any weighted Yamaha action any day of the week. (Hell, I might even like a Fatar action in place of.)

 

If this story is true about a guy bringing back the Rhodes, I would be surprised if he makes a profit. I hope he does, but I rather doubt it.

 

But ... on the other hand, I just gave away a hundred or so LPs to my wife's nephew and he was extremely happy. I don't understand this, I grew with LPs (and 8 track and cassettes) and have no idea why some folks love LPs. Perhaps I should take a green Magic Marker and mark the edge of my CDs to give them a better sound ... or was that a yellow Magic Marker? Jeeesh.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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The action of a rhodes depends on how it's been maintained. For about 6 months with one band I joined years ago the keyboard player I replaced had his Suitcase in the rehearsal studio and I played it every wednesday evening. Great sound and nice feel - not stiff or sludgy but clean with great dynamics and a perfect finger-key-sound relationship. A few months back I played a set on the stage rhodes owned by the kayboard player with the band whose tribute night it was. Great sound, sludgy uneven feel. It needed some tech attention. A properly set up rhodes is a pleasure to play.

Gig keys: Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Crumar Mojo 61, Crumar Mojo Pedals

 

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Originally posted by burningbusch:

Do you happen to know which Rompler or soft synth Rhodes sound Donald Fagen currently uses? Must be the Kurzweil, as that's your favorite. Does Donald have some thoughts related to all this? Just curious if you knew.

He doesn't "romple the Rhodes" :D There are various interviews where he clearly says that.

 

A quote from his recent interview:

 

...

 

And what's more, if you want to continue with the technical thing, as far as the other instruments are concerned, if you use synthesizers for all the keyboards and stuff like that, they're always out of tune, technically, and I can hear it. It's like the top end is always a little flat, and the bottom end is always a little sharp, because the keyboards aren't what they call "stretched." Like, when a piano tuner tunes a piano, aside from being tempered, they'll stretch the tops of the harmonics so they aren't flat on the top and sharp on the bottom. So they're...there's no groove and they're out of tune.

 

...

 

Well, I sometimes use synthesizers, but only in special situationsI'll play a Rhodes piano, which is tunable, or some other kind of, like a Wurlitzer piano, which is also tunable by a piano tuner, because I just can't take the out-of-tune quality of synthesizers.

 

...

 

This quote is from:

http://www.mp3.com/stories/3491.html

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Originally posted by Roland Genske:

I just can't take the out-of-tune quality of synthesizers.

 

...

 

Roland, Busch knew this. And he knew that I knew it. :) He was just teasing me because he thought that I had said that the Rhodes was dead in every way.

 

I wrote him back and explained that I simply thought introducing five new models of Rhodes in today's marketplace seems a bit risky from a business point of view.

 

I love the Rhodes and don't think that any rompler can replace it when it has been properly maintained. It has a bark and a growl and a sweet bell-like tone when played by someone who knows how to get the most of it. Plus, as you pointed out, it can be stretch-tuned like a piano. Plus there is absolutely no MIDI latency involved.

 

Of course, I'm looking for an 88-key, velocity-sensitive keyboard that has at least five iterations of every classic keyboard and synth ever made. Oh, and I also need it to fold up into about four sections so that when I need to take it on trips, it will fit into my backpack. ;):freak:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Did he say that he would bring 5 new models based on the original design or did he say that he would bring out 5 new Rhodes based a new design?

 

AFAIK it could be done the same way Hammond is doing it, by using a well designed emulation. This would allow different models, a much lighter weigth and a lower price.

 

I'm just speculating....

The fun has just begun TM
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Furthermore, Fagen's objection is silly because it takes FAR less technical ability to adjust any software sample player for stretch tuning than it takes to stretch a Rhodes. Also, note that Rhodes are not stretch tuned at the factory. So, Fagen disses synths but doesn't dis the Rhodes.

 

Sorry, Donald -- you lose points here! Next time, just ASK the technician if the instrument can be tuned the way you want it!

 

Also, he's incorrect here: "they'll stretch the tops of the harmonics so they aren't flat on the top and sharp on the bottom". In fact, they stretch the tops so they are sharp on top and flat on the bottom. For two reason

 

(1) so that upper notes don't beat with harmonics of lower notes

(2) compensate for human perception tending to hear perfectly tuned high notes as flat & low notes as sharp.

 

However, if any instrument tuned bass notes sharp enough to compensate for (2), it would sound terrible. Seriously: if there are any in-tune harmonics in such stretched low notes they'd beat like crazy with in-tune higher notes, because the amount we're talking about here is large (it's a pretty obvious effect with certain sounds). So, piano tuners focus on (1). You can read a little more about this (and see a chart for how many cents tuning change normal stretching amounts to) at fenderrhodes.com.

 

There is no need to stretch tune a Rhodes based on (1), because the harmonics aren't sharp like they are on a piano. However, if you play a Rhodes alongside a piano, it's best to stretch tune it (or not stretch tune your piano).

 

I think the guy is playing a loser's game, because the only folks who will really be interested in his instrument are vintage buffs. And since the new instrument won't sound exactly like the original (unless it's a true duplication, which would be kind of silly), vintage buffs won't be happy. Especially since the real deal is available for $800.

 

For example, the keyboard could be made to have a lot better feel for most keyboard players, a bit lighter and trying less to imitate a grand piano (which it never succeeded at in the first place). But vintage lovers won't like the new feel any more than they'd like the new tone -- even if the dang thing feels beautiful and sounds fabulous on its own merits.

 

But hey -- I hope I'm wrong. I'm probably in the minority that would like the new instrument even if it's quite different than a Rhodes, as long as it has good tone, character, and articulation. But not enough in the minority to actually buy one.

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Ok Tom, so I'm sorry for being a smart-ass :D

 

And Jeff, I admit I tend to not question anything DF says. That's simply because I so much love what he does. Thanks for reminding me ;)

 

I once had an early Mark I, the one with the Fender logo. Played it through a Fender Super Twin Reverb. Unfortunately traded it for a motorbike, one of the things I did that make me wish to be able to turn back time :)

 

I'm honest, I now have a Yamaha S80 and it works very well for me. Stretch-tuned or not ;)

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Originally posted by Roland Genske:

Ok Tom, so I'm sorry for being a smart-ass :D

 

Not a problem, Roland. You'll fit in quite well here, I believe. ;)

 

And Jeff, you're a smart ass. Why don't you go back to your marketing job? ;)

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Off topic: Gas, GREAT avatar. You are a gentleman and a scholar. :thu:

"I had to have something, and it wasn't there. I couldn't go down the street and buy it, so I built it."

 

Les Paul

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That is just Fagen putting everybody on - he has a lot of the old jazz/hipster in him. He knows that's b$. He plays synth solos on his new records, he runs his rhodes [which is beautiful by the way] through a phaser effects pedal. His piano player was using a V-combo for organ parts when I saw them live a few years ago. So cut Donald a little slack, he's just jivin'. And the new Rhodes - what a neat thing to have - like a $25,000 new B3. This guy is putting himself in the same position as Hammond trying to sell new B3's for a lot of money while most of their dealers want to sell vintage B3's because that's where the dealers make their profit.
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
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