Just when you thought electric piano samples had reached the pinnacle of authenticity, complete with sticky key sound and power supply hum, the real Rhodes electric piano is staging a comeback.

Using the original electromechanical method of sound reproduction based on the Mark V and updated with a gorgeous chassis design, the introduction of the new Rhodes means you’ll no longer have to search for a rare used one of questionable condition and price.

Several models were on display at NAMM, some of which sported USB and MIDI ports so you can even…trigger electric piano samples. Wow!

A new foldable metal stand was shown, as well as a beefy stand with built-in stereo amplification.

Don’t delete your Rhodes samples just yet, however. The new Rhodes is still somewhat a work in progress, but is scheduled to ship in time to make your Thanksgiving a happy one indeed. Pricing should be in the $2-5k range.

More at www.rhodespiano.com

Ed.: Retro? I say timeless. That’s better than physical modeling / emulation. We’ll naturally follow up on this story after the show. Technically not digital, it’s true, but that’s never stopped us before — and where would we be without the Rhodes? I want a red one. -PK

  • Bryan

    Drool. This makes me feel less bad about selling my Seventy-Three.

  • http://www.keithhandy.com Keith Handy

    But can they be Dynoed?

  • erik

    Yes!

    Life is good…

    I think I've waited my whole life for this, and it may be perfect!

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  • Adrian Anders

    Question, can the new rhodes be triggered by MIDI input as well? Crazy idea I know, but I wouldn't mind seeing a "sound-module" version of the rhodes with just the electromechanical guts that can be triggered by midi input. Sure it cuts down on the coolness factor, but it would help to save space in a crowded production studio….

    ATA

  • http://melodiefabriek.nl/ Marco Raaphorst

    Wow! Great news!

  • http://melodiefabriek.nl/ Marco Raaphorst

    Btw hope the amp has been improved because that has been a weak part of the old Rhodes. I also preferred the sound of the pickup directly.

  • http://www.myspace.com/digitalemotion Bryan Tewell

    Man those are sweet, too bad I just got an old 73 for free.

  • http://www.daveahl.com dave ahl

    very cool — i particularly like the pitch bend.

    the people who make the rhodes are very coy about the weight of the mark 7, only saying the weight is "reduced" (which i take to mean not substantially under 100 lbs).

    i like the new rhodes, if only for the reason that it will keep the price of the old models down. i suspect the purists will keep their old rhodes but it might bring some new people into the game… maybe studios will prefer a waranteed new keyboard.

    i am still rocking my nord electro 2 (73 key)… great rhodes sounds (mark 1, mark 2s, mark 5s at various settings) not to mention organs and pianos… plus it only weighs 20 something pounds.

  • cp

    I need a little red one and a big black one!

  • http://toysatellite.org/agarton/ andrew garton

    gorgeous! i've had an original, brand new rhodes and wurlitzer and recently sold my yamaha CP70! i can't wait to see what comes out next… perhaps a revamped (and lighter) solina string machine!

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  • http://www.sighup.ca Steve

    I'm really glad someone is finally making an electromechanical piano again, and I have no objections to any of the new stuff they've added, but did they all have to be so damned shiny?

  • David

    Wow! My dad had an original Rhodes back in the 70s and he offered it to me when I was 13 but I didn't accept it. I have kicked myelf ever since because since then he has sold/traded it. I've gotta have one of these new ones for myself now because this is as close to the old one he had I may ever get. Thanks Rhodes.

  • http://fallsastar.com Foosnark

    It's just so weird to see pitch bend/mod wheels on a Rhodes.

    I want one just for the nostalgia value. I played a suitcase Rhodes in high school jazz band and have missed it ever since.

  • inasilentway

    I hope the atrocious key action has been fixed. I have both a Suitcase 73 and a Wurly 200A and the Rhodes just sits there with its cover closed while the Wurly gets all the play time due to its far superior action (and sound, IMO, but that's up for debate).

    Really, the only thing that keeps me from trading the Rhodes for a Nord Electro is that I know the Rhodes will hold its value but the Nord won't.

  • pantaloons

    Hey "inaslientway"

    just so you know, if you go to vintagevibe.com – they have a "miracle action mod" for the rhodes which is pretty easy to install. I makes your action on the rhodes unbelievable. I put it on my squishy felling suitcase model and it now feels very soft, sensitive, and springy. Anyway, just tought I'd throw that out there.

    These new ones look pretty awesome. I want to see one in person so badly.

  • http://www.andrewswihart.net Andrew Swihart

    This is awesome, I don't know why no one (nonethe least Rhodes themselves) have made them for so long. Certainly every keyboard player is at least envious of one of them, if not jumping in their car out to go buy one!

  • http://www.gearwire.com dan

    http://www.gearwire.com/rhodes-piano-wnamm-1.html

    The audio is not outstanding but it gives you the idea. I need to start saving up to get one of these for my dad.

  • Lawrence de Martin

    Mercy,mercy, mercy! A real piano is re-born. My 88 was a real inspiration, not to mention Joe, Chick and Les. I'm guessing the weight reduction is mainly in the amp. The horns are disappointing, there are lightweight treble drivers that don't HONK!

  • Heavy C

    These things are UGLY. I hope they sound better than they look.

  • http://www.eccentricgenius.ca Kaden

    Yeah…who'd want something that looks like that in their bedroom?

    And its' supersaw sucks too.

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  • http://kluverbucy.com Mike Oristian

    This is phenomenal. I can't believe I just paid $2K for a silvertop Celeste 49-key. Where's the signup sheet? Who do I pay? Are they stage/suitcase configurable? Or do you have to decide at purchase whether to lug around the cabinet or not. After all the wurly/rhodes maintenance I've been dealing with over the past few years, this is a welcome change!

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  • Kris

    Mechanical pianos are for a long distance and It's nice that someone had recognized that and start to produce them again. .I can't wait to try it, and I hope that will be available soon in Europe cose am allready saving for one 61 pearl white. .ah

  • HeadandNeckSessions

    WOW A NEW RHODES!!!!

    Come and check out what we do with an old one at http://www.myspace.com/headandneck

  • Naoh Steinstein

    The old rhodes is better! Dont try that vintagevibe mirical mod.It sucks

  • Gip C

    Seems like a great addition 2 the rhodes fam. :D

    Can't wait 2 hear what it sounds like!

    PeaC3

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  • Ryan

    Well, a year and a half later, and it's still not here. No word on when.

    BTW, there are some weird comments here. Supersaw? Do you even know what this is? In the bedroom? WTF? This is for musicians, not kids.

    And how in the world would MIDI trigger an electro-acoustic piano? Little motorized springs under the keys, I guess. That might increase the size and weight a little…

  • clem

    midi out onli I suppose…

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