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Rhodes MK8 images, video and tech specs revealed: here's what we know so far

Rhodes has unveiled the first images and video of the MK8 electric piano, the much-hyped revival of the iconic instrument first announced in July.

They've also shared a full list of tech specifications, which expands on the analogue effects section, onboard preamp, three-band EQ and Kluge Klaviature keyboard announced previously, revealing finer details on the keyboard's action, pickups, vari-pan and much more. Scroll down for the full list of specs. 

Rhodes have announced that their full website will be available from Monday 1st November to anybody who has signed up to their newsletter by that date. Public access to the site will be from 1st December. 

Those who register early will also be able to access an "interactive customisation tool" prior to general release, which lets players build a customised Rhodes, choosing from four lid colours (classic black, transparent, purple and gold) and an optional effects section.

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Rhodes

(Image credit: Rhodes)

The Rhodes MK8

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Rhodes

(Image credit: Rhodes)

The MK8's effect section

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Rhodes

(Image credit: Rhodes)

The MK8'S preamp controls

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Rhodes

(Image credit: Rhodes)

The MK8 with lid removed

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Rhodes

(Image credit: Rhodes)

MK8 with sustain pedal

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Rhodes

(Image credit: Rhodes)

The MK8's hammers

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Rhodes

MK8's tines in view (Image credit: Rhodes)

MK8's tines in view

In a statement, they confirmed that "the full release of the much-anticipated Rhodes MK8 is fast approaching. Our website will soon go live and pre-orders will be taken." 

The new Rhodes MK8 will feature USB connectivity, though details on its exact functionality have not yet been specified. The LFO will be able to run into audio rates, giving players the ability to produce "modulated soundscapes and polyphonic synth-like layers". Coming in at 75lbs, the MK8 is much lighter than previous Rhodes models.

The MK8's preamp boasts a fully analogue signal path, from pickup rail to output, while the analogue stereo effects unit features a VCA compressor with ratio and blend controls, phaser, chorus, and delay. The sustain pedal can be used to control effects parameters such as phaser rate, chorus rate, delay time and delay feedback. 

Visit Rhodes' website and sign up to their newsletter to gain early access to their website on November 1st.

Full Rhodes MK8 specification

  • Tone Generation: Rhodes custom precision steel tines and tonebars.
    Tine and pickup rails in sustainably sourced Baltic birch.
  • Action: Rhodes custom high-impact black ABS hammers with in-built lubrication. Rhodes new design uniform height quad-zone hammer tips. Rhodes custom aerospace damper combs (bass, mid and treble sizes). Rhodes custom black wool damper felts.
  • Keyboard: 73-note (E8E80) Rhodes custom spruce keyboard by Kluge Klaviaturen GmbH, oak and beech key frame.
  • Pickups: Rhodes custom precision-wound alnico pickups with anti-slip adjustment for accurate voicing and flat-ended pickup heads for accurate volume adjustment.
  • Effects option: Rhodes custom analogue stereo effects processing unit: VCA compressor with adjustable ratio and blend control; phaser; bucket brigade chorus; bucket brigade delay.
  • Front panel and rear grille: Black/Silver anodised aluminium.
  • UI Panels: Brushed-aluminium foil. Black with silver legend or silver with black legend.
  • Left side connection panel: 2x Balanced XLR outputs (L/R), 2x 1/4′′ jack outputs (L/R).
    1x 1/4′′ jack send, 1x 1/4′′ return. Direct pickup out via send socket (can be run alongside main outputs). 1x 1/4′′ left cheek block-mounted headphone jack, with independent headphone volume control.
  • Right side connection panel: USB (Reserved for future firmware updates). Expression control input jacks 1 and 2.
  • Power supply: 15volt, 4-pin locking XLR external supply with universal voltage.
  • Analogue preamp section: Analogue signal path from pickup rail to output. Volume, drive, envelope (auto-wah) controls.
  • Analogue EQ section: Active EQ (low, mid, high, +/- 15dB). Voltage-controlled mid-filter frequency control accessible by envelope and/or expression pedal for real analogue wah effects and keyboard- controlled slow-phase effect.
  • Vari-pan: Rhodes custom vari-pan circuit with rate and depth controls. Four selectable wave shapes (square/cats-eye, upwards ramp, triangle, sine). LFOs can be run into audio rates, performing anything from classic Rhodes stereo panning to modulated soundscapes and polyphonic synth-like layers. Use the depth control to blend between dry Rhodes signal and audio-rate modulation effects.
  • Stand: Rhodes custom telescopic polished steel stand in tough powder-coated black or classic mirror-polished chrome. Height-adjustable front legs. Packs compactly for transport.
  • Lid: ABS black, custom colours.
  • Case: Lightweight ply case with tolex, aluminium base plate, solid walnut option.
  • Sustain pedal: Rhodes custom twist-lock piano connector with flexi-cable. Damper mechanism adjustment access via rear badge. Chrome footplate. Aluminium shell. Rhodes folding protective rubber non-slip mat. Standard matte black, custom colours to match lid.
  • Assignable pedal control: Volume, mid frequency (wah), both (pedal 1). Pan rate, pan depth, both (pedal 2). Phaser rate, chorus rate (pedal 1, FX version). Delay time, delay feedback (pedal 2, FX version).
  • Weight and dimensions (approx.): 75lbs/34kg. 1153 (w) x 563 (d) x 225 (h).
Matt Mullen

I'm the Features Editor for MusicRadar, working on everything from artist interviews to tech tutorials. I've been writing about (and making) electronic music for almost ten years, and when I'm not behind my laptop keyboard, you'll find me behind a MIDI keyboard or a synthesizer. My latest obsession is the Arturia MicroFreak, which will have to do until I've saved up for a Prophet-6...