Rhodes Mark 8 Piano
For the guitarist, it's the Fender Stratocaster. For the keyboard player, it's the Rhodes piano. Even today, a Rhodes can only be inadequately simulated in detail. A good Rhodes is therefore a real investment and well-maintained instruments are rare. When I received the request from Dan Goldman to design the new Rhodes Mark 8 piano, I was therefore immediately enthusiastic. But I also remembered too well the grandly failed attempt to reincarnate this legendary instrument only a few years earlier.
It was clear to us that the design had to honour the great history of this instrument. At the same time, the design must arrive credibly in the modern era. Internally, the Rhodes remains what it always was: an electromechanical keyboard instrument with an incredible number of individual components that only unfold their magic in perfect interaction. The creative freedom is therefore kept within narrow limits.
The sound generator, called the "harp", has the shape of a massive block and determines the shape and format of the cabinet. In the first Rhodes models, the harp was covered with a removable plastic hood. We wanted to keep this principle, but with a high-quality appearance. In order to elegantly conceal the required height, we certainly drew more than 100 different contours, which only after further optimisation finally merge into an aesthetic unit with the classy wooden base shell and the extruded aluminium profile of the control panel.
For the first time, the instrument can provide important sound effects on board in addition to the basic functions. This, as well as further, manifold individualisation possibilities make the Rhodes Mark 8 an exclusive instrument, which can be put together by the user via configurator according to his individual wishes. The range is extreme and, depending on the configuration, the Mark 8 can be a classic stage instrument or an exclusive boutique instrument.