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Accessorizing my Fender Rhodes - Pedals, Amps, Etc.
Old 14th October 2013
  #1
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Syne Cosyne Dan's Avatar
 

Accessorizing my Fender Rhodes - Pedals, Amps, Etc.

I started a thread a few weeks ago about getting my new Fender Rhodes and expressing just how excited I am by it. After months of looking for the best EP, i finally got around to just buying a Rhodes. Got everything fixed up, replaced faulty tines, changed the grommets, and tuned it all up myself. I'm simply in love with the instrument. Now it's time to accessorize.

I've currently got a JC120 and I don't really like the sound as much as I do on my monitor speakers. However, it does take to pedals nicely so I'm currently accessorizing with pedals.

Here is what I'm looking for in particular.

1. I'm looking for a good phaser and leslie simulator but welcome recommendations that others have tried that sounded good. These are my priority effects.

2. I don't care about whether it's analog or digital. Just want something to give it a good and natural sound. If it's a digital effects processor, I don't want it sounding too digital and losing that "bark" and wildness that makes a rhodes.


3. Some degree of usability with my synths and guitar. I have an EHX Cathedral reverb and I use it to reverb everything because I love it that freakin much. Sounded awesome when I used to have an ultranova and reverbed that all day. Pedals that I can love on all instruments would be nice.


I give more weight to multieffects pedals because it just seems more convenient to have it all in one package. I was looking at an Eventide Modfactor as it seems to encompass everything I could want as far as effects and everyone says that it does an absolutely killer leslie sim. However, I don't know how well it'll take to a Fender Rhodes.

Should I go the route of several pedals or one end all be all pedal?

Here is my current setup. Not pictured here is also a pedaltrain jr. and morley gas station. I slapped the reverb and the disnortion onto the pedalboard.

Old 14th October 2013
  #2
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Maybe line 6 M9 or M13? I think you're going to want the delay/looping
Old 14th October 2013
  #3
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I thought the Line6 stuff was convenient but not that impressive tone-wise. For example, there are two Leslie simulators, neither of which is as good as a Rotosphere or a Digitech RPM. I suspect that in any kind of analog or semi-analog you're going to get better performance from a dedicated pedal that does ONE thing really well than an "all in one". That said, if I were looking for all in one, I'd consider AxeFx, Eventide or Lexicon, and I wouldn't limit myself to pedals (a Lexicon MPX1 is a KILLER mod/delay/reverb box at less than $300-less than most dedicated Leslie pedals cost).

For a pedal form factor, I'd go with the Neo Ventilator, the H&K Rotosphere or the Eventide H9 or the Strymon or the Soundblox Orbiter. For reverbs I'd look at the FlashbackX4 or Coliseum, with the editor for Toneprints. Anything by Strymon is highly regarded now, as is the Soundblox stuff.

For an amp, you may actually want two. One for clean tones (and the JC120 does that quite well, but a Fender Showman/Twin or a Vox do really well, too) and one for more distortion-almost any simple topology tube amp like Marshall, Vox, Fender Tweed or blond, Hiwatt, Orange etc would work there...
Old 14th October 2013
  #4
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real tubeamp with built in vibrato and spring reverb. For me those multi fx things dont work. Rhodes sounds good even if you record it via DI, but to get that big acoustic sound when you get through a TWIN with some delay, vibrato or maybe little phaser is hard to get later.
Too much acoustic interferences are goin on in those cabs. I tried the H&K tube rotosphere, and i like that pedal much, but this FX belongs to organs....and just to organs

its alarming how i am getting conservative but the cruical Fx for Rhodes is: Vibrato !!!
(leslie for Organ and Autowah for Clavinet, Delay for Synth.......)
Old 15th October 2013
  #5
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monkeyxx's Avatar
I can vouch for that, the Showman is killer on guitar, bass, or keyboards, through the proper cabinet and speakers. What a versatile and good amp. Glad to have one, my own.
Old 15th October 2013
  #6
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code green's Avatar
I'd get a ring mod to go with it...I have the Moogerfooger and love it, but it may be overkill for this application.
Old 15th October 2013
  #7
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Syne Cosyne Dan's Avatar
 

I've been eyeing a neo-ventilator for some time now but every time I try to convince myself that it'll be great, I can never seem to justify dropping $400 on just one effect.

I'll look into a second amp first maybe. What I really wish I could do is take my rhodes over to sam ash and test all the amps. Someone recommended that I actually get a recording of my rhodes and just run it through the amps to see which sounds best. I may actually try that. It's hard wanting to try everything on a Fender Rhodes because you can watch videos of people playing their guitars through the pedal but there's just no way to know what a rhodes or synth will sound like it through it without trying. I mean who wouldn't want to know what the heck a Fender Rhodes sounds like through an EHX Ravish Sitar pedal just because?

Been wanting a nice tube amp but also considering things like tube pedals like a Vox Cooltron or an English Muff'n. Anyone know if these sound decent with solid state amps? I've been considering just trading up the JC120 which I'm not too crazy about, for Fender Twin Reverb. But I may hold onto the JC120 if I can get more of the sound I'm looking for through a tube pedal.

Pedal is actually my preferred form since I'm sort of pooling in for guitar equipment with an actual guitarist. We figure that we can get more bang for our buck if we share our equipment. Otherwise, I myself as mostly a synth player would not mind just getting rackmount everything. Honestly, considered just getting a Virus B rack and kill two birds with one stone. Awesome effects to run other instruments through and still get a killer synth.
Old 15th October 2013
  #8
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I think you'll be disappointed with many tube overdrive pedals into SS amps. For that application, you really want a tube preamp to shape the sound, not just distort it. Something like the SIB Varidrive/Fatdrive, the Mesa Vtwin, any of the H&K "Machine" series, Siegmund...
Old 15th October 2013
  #9
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monkeyxx's Avatar
I have a solid state Fender Eighty Five that loves all kinds of pedals, boss fulltone whatever all of them. Really depends on the amp itself more than if it has tubes or not. I had a seemingly similar solid state Fender Deluxe 112 amp that hated anything I threw at it, and I hated that amp for a long, long time.

Pedals are great. I want a Virus B.
Old 15th October 2013
  #10
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godotzilla's Avatar
Yeah, you want a Clyde McCoy wah pedal and a Deluxe Reverb. Rhodes sound amazing with just a touch of that grit and verb that only comes from a good Fender tube amp.
Old 15th October 2013
  #11
Gear Head
 

MXR script Phase 90
Old 15th October 2013
  #12
I think you are covered pretty well with the JC 120 however, a good EQ and the script phase 90 would be nice. After that An Eventide Harmonizer should get you just about any other sound you could want on a Rhodes.

As for distortion, never really got into distorted Rhodes sounds.
Old 15th October 2013
  #13
I would add this anecdotal story: I had a Music Man 130 head and 2-12 folded horn cabinet that sounded great. I then switched to a solid state Crown Power amp with an Electrovoice cabinet with 1 15' speaker and a horn. The Crown/EV setup was very clean and powerful and NEVER sounded as good as the humble Music Man tube amp. I eventually went back to using the Music Man. Switched the Rhodes for a Yamaha DX7 (all the rage in those days) with a Moog Source. That was a pretty nice sounding rig. The original Rhodes would have been nice but I was doing so many gigs then that the moving would have been a real PITA.
Old 15th October 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patchmonkey View Post
MXR script Phase 90
or phase 100
Old 15th October 2013
  #15
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code green's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmbeatz View Post
or phase 100
Love the Phase 100. And for anyone who might be wondering: yes, there's a night-and-day difference between the script and the block logo versions.
Old 16th October 2013
  #16
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monkeyxx's Avatar
I have a current issue Phase 100 that I like pretty well. I've used it on guitar, keys, bass, anything. It's can be pretty smooth generally so it works.
Old 16th October 2013
  #17
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Syne Cosyne Dan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by code green View Post
Love the Phase 100. And for anyone who might be wondering: yes, there's a night-and-day difference between the script and the block logo versions.
What's the difference?

Another reason why I want a multi-effects is because I don't like the idea of unnecessarily adding too many pedals and ruining the sound by trying to bypass like ten pedals. One pedal that can do it all just seemed a tad bit more sensible.

Also, after some fiddling with the knobs, moving around the room placement, getting a better cable, and trying it out in different channels, I got it to sound a bit better. I can actually hear the rattling of certain parts of my basement when it's cranked up past 3. The JC120 around a bit it's slowly gaining my approval. I'd actually thrown it on the market at the time of making this thread. Maybe I'll just take it back down. I just wish it wasn't so hissy.

I leave a low very low distortion when I want a little extra bite. I really crank up the distortion to my Rhodes when I want to make it sound like an electric guitar. Just for fun (what you do when you can't play guitar and you have a girlfriend who tells you you would be hotter if you played guitar instead of piano )

Before I start going crazy, I think I'll go in this order of purchases

1. Wah Pedal. It'll be fun having that expressiveness again. Should make me feel at home moving from synths back to instruments with no mod or pitchwheel. Thanks for the Clyde Mccoy recommendation. Also welcome other recommendations for a good solid wah.

2. An 1 or 2 effects pedals (either a dedicated phaser and dedicated rotary or a multeffects with all of it) and/or a tube preamp

3. My second amp, looking for a tube amp to juxtapose the clean sterile sound of the roland amp. Something to really give it character.
Old 16th October 2013
  #18
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monkeyxx's Avatar
single pedals are the way to go for me...I just hate the "multi" interfaces, completely. I like one knob per function, HATE menu diving. They usually sound better too with the variety.
Old 16th October 2013
  #19
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I love the Kemper amp in my Rhodes. A trainwreck profile, maybe a chorus and in triphop heaven
Old 16th October 2013
  #20
Lives for gear
I've played pretty much all the multi-effects heavyweights and I'd argue that they're all compromises. You can get some stellar sounds out of things like the Kemper, the AxeFX or the MPX1 but they seem to fall down when they're just emulating simple analog devices. Two examples:

1. The MXR Phase 90/100 talked about earlier is a primitive device, a bit hissy, cheap to build and simple. And yet I've yet to find a multieffects processor that can reproduce that sound!

2. The distortions available from the multieffects stuff ALL see to be sort of homogenous-different EQs and amounts of saturation, but there's just not the huge difference between a model of a Tubescreame and a model of a Rat as there is between a real Tubescreamer and a real RAT.

Ergo, I use multi boxes for convenience but if I'm looking for a specific sound, I pull out one of the (way too many) stomp boxes I have.
Old 16th October 2013
  #21
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The Fender Dual Showman Reverb is the head version of the Twin Reverb - same chassis, wiring, electronics, everything. Often cheaper than a vintage Twin Reverb, and I like the option of experimenting with cabinets/speakers.

Agree that multi-effects are a compromise. Never heard one that could sound as good as the individual outboard components, and I hate menu diving.
Old 16th October 2013
  #22
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code green's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syne Cosyne Dan View Post
What's the difference? [between scipt- and block-logo MXR Phase 100]
Tough for me to answer with specifics, since it's been a good while since I heard the comparison, but I'll give it a shot. I had been using a script-logo 100 on my main synth (Prophet 600) for a couple of songs in a band context and, when that one was momentarily broken, I borrowed a block 100 for a while. I was well accustomed to exactly what the script 100 did to the particular sounds for which I used it, and the difference with the block 100 was immediately apparent to me--a perception I trust because, honestly, I didn't expect there to be an appreciable--or any--difference between the two.

My recollection is that the phasing effect on the script went deeper, and that the phaser's stages were more apparent (on the script). On the block, the effect seemed more "added on" to the original signal, brighter (the script was darker), and that the cycling through the stages was harder to discern. The phasers (aside from the Phase 100) I'm most familiar with are the Boss PH-2, Maestro PS-1a, and Moog MF-103...which I'd characterize as:

Boss: somewhat "plasticky" and very pitchy (which def. has its uses)
Maestro: very subtle
Moog: heavy on accentuating the stages, somewhat metallic sounding

I own the first two and would like to own the Moog, which I like a lot. But even if I had the Moog, the Phase 100 would still be my go-to for most things. It's extremely lush and--sorry--"organic." Which isn't to say that the block 100 is plasticky or anything else particularly negative--I just found it generally lacking in distinguishing character...and it made me really miss the script 100 while it was taking its place in my setup.

I should add that I was just kind of chiming in for my love of the 100 on this thread...but the phase/chorus pedal I hear mentioned most often in relation to Fenders/Wurlys is the EHX Small Stone.

As far as an all-in-one box vs. multiple pedals goes, I guess it depends on your aims. Speaking very generally, I think you might get individual effects with greater distinction by going the individual FX route--if you're in the studio, you can of course add/subtract from your chain according to the needs of the particular track. If playing live, I think you're likely to find that each song has its particular needs, but you're unlikely to need/want more than 3 pedals to cover your basis in a given set (e.g., phase, ring mod, delay) and unlikely to want/need any more than 2 at a time. In a live sound context, I don't see a 3-pedal chain doing significant damage to your tone.

I'd also echo what's said above regarding multi-effect boxes: in my experience, each tends to do a couple of things really well, but the true all-in-one is elusive. Even in terms of something like reverb, one box will excel at plates but be so-so for ambience; another, the opposite. It should be noted that I have no experience with high-end boxes such as Eventides, Demeters, etc. I've generally used mid-level Lexicons, various obscure multi-FX like the Peavey Addverb (I find it very hard not to buy a multi-FX when I see one for sale for <$25; there's usually something great in there), and the Ensoniq DP/Pro and DP/4.
Old 19th October 2013
  #23
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Syne Cosyne Dan's Avatar
 

Thanks for the advice. I tried hunting down the script MXR but couldn't resist getting the block MXR phase 90 at Guitar Center today for a mere $50. Birthday present to myself (it's my birthday today btw) and I told the guy that if it sounded terrible on my setup, he'd probably see me again tomorrow for a return.

I have to say, he may see me again tomorrow but only to talk about how happy I am with the pedal. Phaser + Roland Chorus = but beauty of never knowing how good the script one is is never knowing what I missed out on and being content with what I have now. When I run the disnortion through the phaser, my rhodes sounds like some sort of alien spacecraft takeoff. Lots of potential for fun weirdness.

Looks like I won't be getting a multi effects. Unless I take off the mini-mixer and move the power source to the bottom, I have only enough room for the wah pedal on my pedaltrain jr. and I can't see myself taking off anything other than those 2. Looks like delays and tape delays will have to for a later time. I might want to get that tube preamp next.
Old 19th October 2013
  #24
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Jazz Noise's Avatar
An envelope follower could be worth the time and money, but if you're thinking more about Wah type pedals the new Minifooger Drive + an Expression pedal could be the thing for you. Loads of dirt, Moog filter with 2 resonances settings. Very tasty looking.
Old 19th October 2013
  #25
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monkeyxx's Avatar
happy birthday that's a great present!
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