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#2034489 - 02/16/13 09:22 PM How come they don't make electric pianos anymore?
adak Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 282
Loc: Canada
Watched some youtube videos, I might want to try it out. What is the reason all the companies stopped making them?
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#2034493 - 02/16/13 09:30 PM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: adak]
torhu Offline
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Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 178
Who knows. Anyway they are still making them http://www.vintagevibe.com/
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#2034497 - 02/16/13 09:43 PM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: torhu]
anotherscott Online   content
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3149
Originally Posted By: torhu
Who knows. Anyway they are still making them http://www.vintagevibe.com/


Rhodes also still has their site up at http://www.rhodespiano.com but it's out of date, and I don't know whether any model is actually currently in production.

At any rate, a real electric piano is going to be a boutique item in this era... great as they may be, they're heavy, one-trick ponies, and moreover, expensive to make. Like any business, "why they don't make them" anymore is usually a matter of too few customers willing to buy them.

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#2034506 - 02/16/13 10:07 PM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: anotherscott]
torhu Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 178
It's sad... A good Rhodes has always been my second choice after a piano. It's so flexible, and you don't have to deal with the issue of monitoring, which is usually the biggest issue with using a piano. It's very limited compared to a piano, but it shines when you're playing in a bar or other place where there's no piano/crappy monitoring/etc.

EDIT: Should mention that I'm talking about improvised music here, I'm a jazz guy. In pop music you often have greater need for a spesific sound, and expressivity comes second. Of course, you rarely get paid for playing jazz...
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#2034579 - 02/17/13 03:30 AM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: adak]
Dave Horne Offline
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Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5275
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I'd much rather have a midi controller or a stage piano with a bunch of keyboard sounds than a collection of one trick ponies.

I am sometimes amused at the level of purity some folks want when it comes to an electric piano.
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#2034651 - 02/17/13 09:26 AM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: Dave Horne]
Possum SP280Krome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 616
I often wonder: Had digital sampling existed in the 1960's as it did today; we might not even have rhodes sounds and wurlitzer sounds.
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#2034656 - 02/17/13 09:33 AM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: adak]
Dr Popper Offline
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Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1717
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
Apart from Vintage vibe who still make them.... The new Rhodes company went broke... Wurli is long gone and Yammy and Kawai stopped making their electric grands over a decade ago. Samples killed the EP .... which frankly sucks.
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#2034677 - 02/17/13 10:22 AM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: Possum SP280Krome]
anotherscott Online   content
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Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3149
Originally Posted By: Possum PX130
I often wonder: Had digital sampling existed in the 1960's as it did today; we might not even have rhodes sounds and wurlitzer sounds.

True. They were designed as attempts to create a portable acoustic piano replacement. The way a Hammond was supposed to emulate a pipe organ, and a mellotron was supposed to provide the sound of orchestral instruments. Wonderful failures.

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#2034694 - 02/17/13 10:54 AM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: Dave Horne]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3019
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
I'd much rather have a midi controller or a stage piano with a bunch of keyboard sounds than a collection of one trick ponies.

I am sometimes amused at the level of purity some folks want when it comes to an electric piano.


You wouldn't have that "bunch of keyboard sounds" without the existence of the original one trick ponies from which they were sampled. And who wants an anemic sketch (as so many of these digital renditions are) of something that had character, vibrancy and, yes, balls. For me, it's less a level of purity that I want, than a sense of physical presence and a complexity of tone that does justice to the original.
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#2034696 - 02/17/13 10:56 AM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: anotherscott]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3019
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Wonderful failures.

That is the perfect way to describe these instruments. They were, after all, trying to do the same thing that Yamaha, Kawai and Roland are attempting to do today - and still failing!
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#2034704 - 02/17/13 11:21 AM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: voxpops]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1557
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Wonderful failures.

That is the perfect way to describe these instruments. They were, after all, trying to do the same thing that Yamaha, Kawai and Roland are attempting to do today - and still failing!


Really? I don't think they are failing...certainly not failing enough for any archivist or vintage sound enthusiast in the future to want to imitate them, surely? At least, I can't imagine it, somehow.

Although it is certainly true that Hammond were trying to do pipe organs and Rhodes were trying to do pianos and magnificently failing.....as were the pipe organ manufacturers of earlier centuries, by the way. They were truly heroic failures as synthesiser manufacturers, only being saved by the dense echo of their effects processing.
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#2034709 - 02/17/13 11:27 AM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: toddy]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3019
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: toddy
Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: anotherscott
Wonderful failures.

That is the perfect way to describe these instruments. They were, after all, trying to do the same thing that Yamaha, Kawai and Roland are attempting to do today - and still failing!


Really? I don't think they are failing...certainly not failing enough for any archivist or vintage sound enthusiast in the future to want to imitate them, surely? At least, I can't imagine it, somehow.


LOL... No, I don't think anyone will want to imitate the Yamaha P35 fifty years from now! But I also don't think that even Yamaha would claim they yet offer us a perfect facsimile of one of their own grand pianos.
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#2034719 - 02/17/13 11:43 AM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: adak]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5275
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Having played real Fender Rhodes on concerts and jobs, I'll take the digital sampled variations that exist today thank you very much.

The original Rhodes' keyboard action was a real pain to deal with and the shortcomings that exist (for some) in the many sampled variations of that original theme are something I know that I can live with.

I'm a practical musician, not a purist. smile
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#2034726 - 02/17/13 11:58 AM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: Dave Horne]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3019
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
Having played real Fender Rhodes on concerts and jobs, I'll take the digital sampled variations that exist today thank you very much.

The original Rhodes' keyboard action was a real pain to deal with and the shortcomings that exist (for some) in the many sampled variations of that original theme are something I know that I can live with.

I'm a practical musician, not a purist. smile

I'm actually with you on this, Dave. I'm having a blast with my recently acquired SV-1, even though it has plenty of shortcomings. That said, I've yet to come across a Wurli patch in any current DP that gives me the same sense of involvement that I had on my 200A (that I stupidly sold in 1983).
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#2034731 - 02/17/13 12:13 PM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: voxpops]
anotherscott Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 3149
Originally Posted By: voxpops
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
The original Rhodes' keyboard action was a real pain to deal

I've yet to come across a Wurli patch in any current DP that gives me the same sense of involvement that I had on my 200A (that I stupidly sold in 1983).

If you ever come across a Kurzweil MIDIboard, if finger memory serves, that felt a lot like playing a Wurli. Triggering some good Wurli sample and playing it from that keybed could be a winning combination.

As for the Rhodes... they varied a lot. I had one that I hated, the action was "rubbery." But I have played other ones that felt great.

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#2034770 - 02/17/13 01:26 PM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: voxpops]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1557
Loc: Portugal
Originally Posted By: voxpops
I ... don't think that even Yamaha would claim they yet offer us a perfect facsimile of one of their own grand pianos.


Yes of course that is true - that's what some of us here spend our time complaining about. And it's interesting to speculate where the line is drawn between magnificent failure (mellotron, rhodes etc) and boring competence. I seem to remember that early low quality Fairlight 8 bit samples have later been praised as being 'crunchy' - and subsequently been re-sampled. And then there're now decades we've had to put up with the awful bumps and burbles produced by the Roland TR808.
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Mics: SP B1 & MXL V67g/ Alesis MicTube Preamp/ Xenyx302/ Yamaha HS7s .

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#2035050 - 02/17/13 11:48 PM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: toddy]
Dr Popper Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/09
Posts: 1717
Loc: Hancock Park LA (not again)
Originally Posted By: toddy
And then there're now decades we've had to put up with the awful bumps and burbles produced by the Roland TR808.


shocked
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#2035059 - 02/18/13 12:18 AM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: toddy]
Kawai James Online   content
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 8844
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: toddy
I seem to remember that early low quality Fairlight 8 bit samples have later been praised as being 'crunchy' - and subsequently been re-sampled.


8-bit, yeah, now you're talking! wink

I grew up listening to (and occasionally creating) Amiga computer music using 8-bit samples. Incredibly good stuff, given the technical limitations of the day!

/off topic

James
x
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#2035320 - 02/18/13 03:05 PM Re: How come they don't make electric pianos anymore? [Re: Kawai James]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 546
Originally Posted By: Kawai James
Originally Posted By: toddy
I seem to remember that early low quality Fairlight 8 bit samples have later been praised as being 'crunchy' - and subsequently been re-sampled.


8-bit, yeah, now you're talking! wink

I grew up listening to (and occasionally creating) Amiga computer music using 8-bit samples. Incredibly good stuff, given the technical limitations of the day!

/off topic

James
x


Linkin Park uses 8 bit samples to great effect!
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