As a brand-new decade was approaching, and at the elevation of the piano"s popularity, CBS made decision to put a brand-new face on the Rhodes product line. The Rhodes Suitcase Piano was updated through a sleek black color design, a removable music rack, and also a level harp cover because that supporting second keyboard. Aside from this cosmetic enhancements, the "new" Suitcase pianos that 1979 were similar to the previous "Mark I" version.

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And after 10 years of being designated "Mark I", the Rhodes mark II stage Piano do its debut. Like the Suitcase models, it was a last-generation mark I piano through the new all-black design.

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The Suitcase and also Stage pianos continued to be easily accessible in 73- and 88-key configurations, but for some people, the stage 73 was no portable enough. In 1980 the Rhodes 54 was introduced, a 54-key variation on the phase model. This version spanned the middle register of the piano, intended because that players that were just interested in utilizing the Rhodes because that chords and also melodic passages throughout live performance.

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During that year, plastic tricks were presented as an alternative to the wooden keys, i beg your pardon were found to be vulnerable to warping after years on the road. As a result, the later on Mark II-era pianos have an activity that feels more like a digital piano. The plastic keys are many easily identified by looking inside the piano: the keybed is completely black.

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Harold Rhodes was disappointed in this change, which was not his idea. He argued that it lower the quality of the piano and had a an adverse impact ~ above the feel of the keyboard. However this "improvement" was nothing contrasted to those discovered in the Rhodes note III EK-10, likewise released in 1980. This was a phase 73 v an combined synthesizer component, draft to produce "futuristic" sounds by modulating, mutating and also mutilating the Rhodes tone.

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The EK-10"s former panel had the volume and EQ controls friend would mean to discover on a phase 73, jumbled in addition to volume, filter and tuning controls for the synthesizer voices. About theory you might turn down the volume for the synthesizer, leaving only the pure Rhodes sound. Even if it is this worked in truth is unknown (and unlikely). Within the piano, the pickup rail to be wired to several circuit boards, which were configured as 2 separate keyboard zones (controlled by a move on the namerail). This enabled the treble and also bass arrays of the piano to be influenced differently once fed to the synthesizer.

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All of these experiments on the part of CBS to be in reaction come the advancement of polyphonic synthesizers, which were conveniently eating up the key-board market. As major Key"s man R. McLaren put it, you can "throw a synth in the back of your VW Beetle" a lot more easily 보다 a Rhodes, and also ultimately the Yamaha DX7 would placed the pond in the electrical piano"s coffin.