You are here

Budget hammer action keys with good Rhodes sound?

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Budget hammer action keys with good Rhodes sound?

Postby Evie McCreevie » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:09 pm

There's a bunch of not too expensive hammer action pianos available now, priced around 300-500 quid. Korg, Casio, Thomann brand etc.

Can anyone suggest which has the best Rhodes sound? As in warm, dynamic and a reasonably accurate imitation of a Rhodes... A good acoustic piano sound would be a bonus.

I need a decent Rhodes for my production work – plus I'm looking to knuckle down and really learn piano properly, and imagine I won't stick to it if the thing sounds awful.

TIA for any advice.
User avatar
Evie McCreevie
Regular
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Dublin

Re: Budget hammer action keys with good Rhodes sound?

Postby Dave B » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:33 am

You're asking a bit of a loaded question here I'm afraid. What is 'the Rhodes sound'? There's a lot to it and no two of them ever sounded the same due to factors like type, being mod'ed, fx, amps, playing style, etc

To me, the Rhodes - and the Wurli - should be slightly dirty and quite dark sounding. But to others, it's quite bright and cutting. I prefer the sound to blend into a mix, but proper players often want it to stand out. I've stunned people playing old Kurzweils which have a laughable number of samples compared to modern gear, but the sound was 'right'. Likewise, I've played very pretty sounding gear which is totally authentic sounding but it left me cold.

I suspect that everything relatively new will have a reasonable Rhodes sound. And you could tweak it a little to get it 'right'.

FWIW, I think that Korg have a reasonable sounding Rhodes. Personally, in your shoes I'd be looking for something s/h from Kurzweil. Their SP4 series are usually going cheap on fleabay and that's very playable. An old PC2x will give you a lot of fun in that price range.
User avatar
Dave B
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4696
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Maidenhead
Veni, Vidi, Aesculi (I came, I saw, I conkered)

Re: Budget hammer action keys with good Rhodes sound?

Postby Ken P » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:28 pm

Alternatively, get a s/h Studio Logic SL990 Pro which, for the money, has a pretty good hammer action, and hook it up to your laptop or whatever.
User avatar
Ken P
Regular
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Somerset, UK

Re: Budget hammer action keys with good Rhodes sound?

Postby James Perrett » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:38 pm

I'd go for the virtual instrument option - I'm more of a Wurlitzer fan and I found GSI's Mr Tramp virtual instrument to be a pretty good emulation of the real thing so their Mr Ray should be worth looking at.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 7557
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Budget hammer action keys with good Rhodes sound?

Postby resistorman » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:25 pm

My experience with budget piano action Keys is that they put most of their time and budget into the acoustic piano sound and the handful of other sounds are pretty limited and two dimensional.
User avatar
resistorman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 586
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:00 am
Location: Asheville NC
future26.com

Re: Budget hammer action keys with good Rhodes sound?

Postby Evie McCreevie » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:16 pm

Just to answer my own question (and in case anyone else is interested). After trawling around the shops, and playing some real-life products...

The Korg SV-1 is king, but beyond budget for the moment.

Back in sub-500 land...

The Casio CDP 130 has a beautiful keyboard action, and costs only 300 approx. The grands, EPs and organ are very good. But that's it, full stop. Only a dozen or sounds – no clav for example – and none are editable. It's a bargain if you can live with the limited sound set.

The Casio CDP 230 is a similar machine, but with a load more sounds (still non-editable), and some other features. Arpeggiator, beats, basic recorder, LCD display etc. Price is 450-ish.

Both of the above felt and sounded better (to me) than the similarly priced (and more expensive) competition. I tried some Yamahas, Korgs etc

There's an interesting blind test on the Casio vs Yamaha grand piano sounds on YT.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AtjS4stIh8
User avatar
Evie McCreevie
Regular
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Dublin


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: johnny h