#1
I actually got the Rhodes about 3 months ago, but haven't ever done a NAD for it, and I got the Fryette on Tuesday. But yea, both are awesome, and exactly what I had hoped to get from them. I'll post my thoughts, and I guess I'll start with the Rhodes since I've had it longer.

The Rhodes is their Gemini model. Hand built by Kyle Rhodes and (IIRC) an assistant or two in Indiana. It's on par with any other high end, high gain channel switcher, maybe better. Easily as rugged as the Diezels and CAAs I've had through here, and probably more rugged than many of the rest. Boards are mounted solidly to the chassis, with regular mounting screws so they don't flex much. Usual high end parts including an O'Netics hi-def output transformer.

The machined field panel looks killer, and is definitely a nice touch. Was an upgrade over standard and cost a bit of money, but totally worth it, IMO. One awesome thing about it is that the logo changes colors depending on channel or how you program it, so you can instantly tell what tone you've got pulled up from across a stage. Incredibly useful, IMO. On the topic of programming, I also sprung for the matching footswitch, which has way more functionality than any other I've used. It's got two modes, instant recal, and patch. Instant recall lets you change channels and switch the functions of the channels (fat, voice, mode, bright) along with the master and effects loop. Patch lets you set up patches with several settings, and have up to seven tones on instant recall. You switch between the two by holding down the two right most switches (loop and master) for a couple seconds. Great feature, IMO. You can also program it so that it works as a basic MIDI controller utilizing the MIDI out on the back of the amp, but I haven't used that feature yet.

The clean channel is one of the best I've heard in a high gain channel switcher, on par with that on my 100B and the CAAs I've owned, and a bit more versatile. The fat switch obviously adds some low end thump, and is really useful for single coils, or if you play at low volume. Bright adds treble, and is useful for humbuckers. Voice adds mids and gain, and you can get a little bit of crunch out of the channel with the gain turned up, and push it over the edge with the voice switch. This channel is pretty much always fat, and never thin in any way. I think it's great for pretty much anything, and is an excellent clean pedal platform. If I had to compare it to any other amp, I'd say it's a bit of a mix between a clean Plexi and a Hiwatt DR103. Very warm and round.

The crunch channel is great as well. Awesome low gain sounds. Tons of thump, and it sits great in a mix. Gain ranges from a pushed clean through early 70s classic rock in the lower gain mode, and the voicing is perfect for that genre. Not quite as dynamic as the Plexi-ish amps I've had, but more than adequate for my purposes. Higher gain pushes it into the 80s, though it also adds some low mids to my ears that make it voiced a bit too modern. I haven't found a whole lot of use for that particular setting yet, TBH, and it's probably the only one in the whole amp I'm not overly fond of.

The lead channel is definitely the highlight of this amp though. Four modes, ranging from hair metal levels of gain through ridiculous sludge/doom overkill. All of the modes are pretty tight, though the last (red) starts to get a little fuzzy at the higher gain ranges. I tend to use the lowest gain mode for hair metal rhythm tones, blue for hair metal leads, and then purple is my mainstay. Purple and red introduce a second gain control (shared with the crunch channel) to fine tune the level of gain and aggression. The treble has a pretty wide range, so you can dial it back to smooth and subdued, or more aggressive up to buzzy once you introduce the bright control. Fat has three settings, in addition to off. Green adds a little bit of fat, while blue and light blue add quite a bit of thump. Voice off is super tight, while green is a little more balanced, and orange adds a bit of low mid girth and wool. Obviously, with the various combinations of switches, tons of tones are available, and it's basically an encyclopedia of high gain sounds from the 80s through present.

Oh, did I mention that everything is switchable via MIDI? So you can set up a ton of tones and have them instantly recallable. It's an insanely practical amp, and the most effective use of MIDI I've found in an amp yet.



Onto the Fryette, I'd guess many of you guys are familiar with these since they've been around for so long. Another killer clean channel. Bright's function is obvious, while shift shifts the whole range of the tone stack, and seems to have the greatest effect on the treble and mids. Boost adds some grit and output. The clean channel has a ton of spank and treble on tap. Excellent for funk. I prefer the warmer cleans of the Rhodes, but could definitely live with just these.

The lead channel is really fat with a ton of low end punch. Not quite as much gain on tap as the Gemini, but that's really not necessary for most players. The entire range is very useable though. The edge switch is subtle, but adds a tiny bit of hair in the high end, and is great for lead work. Shift works just like it does on the clean channel. I tend to keep it brighter with more high mids. The Gemini is tighter, but the UL is more than tight enough for most players on its own, and it works great with a boost up front to tighten it up further. Outstanding clarity at any gain setting, and it works for rhythms and leads equally as well.

The rhythm channel is a bit less tight than the lead channel, with less gain/compression and more thump. Has the same edge/shift controls as the lead channel, but also has the boost function like the clean channel, so you can have two levels of gain at your feet. Great for any level of gain from classic rock through modern metal, and most players would probably live on this channel. Surprisingly dynamic as well, and you can even get it to clean up pretty well. For such a simple amp, there are a ton of tones available with a bit of finesse.

The EQ has a ridiculous amount of range. A bit too much, IMO. You can easily screw up a good tone by pushing any of the sliders too far. I tend to keep them right around flat, with small boosts/cuts, and leave it on all the time.



Didn't bother to take a pic of the Fat Bottom cab, but I've got mixed feelings about it. It's a little dark, and doesn't play well with much other than the UL, Gemini and my modded 6505. The 100B sounds awful through it, and is 100% unusable. The rest of the frequency range is pretty balanced though. Haven't tried recording with it since I get ludicrous amounts of interference and noise in my apartment, but I think it might record better than it sounds in the room. It is the best match with the Ultra Lead though.

Both amps:

E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#2
Great write up and photo's.

Sounds like the Rhoads made the MIDI work like others wished they could.

thanks for sharing.
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#4
I dunno if I'd say prefer, but it's definitely up there.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#5
Quote by Ippon
Awesome review and beautiful pics! So many positive things about the Gemini, sounds like you prefer this to the Cameron and CAA?



Man that MIDI was designed for some real use. Love the fact the colors change as well. I've never heard one before. Sounds like it set the bar overall with features and sound characteristics.


Matt- have you recorded any clips that you would care to share with either or both?
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#6
HNAD man, serious gear over there

Mesa Royal Atlantic
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PRS Swamp Ash Limited Custom 24
EQD Acapulco Gold
MXR Carbon Copy
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Fuzz Hugger Algal Bloom
Way Huge Fat Sandwich
#7
Quote by R45VT
Man that MIDI was designed for some real use. Love the fact the colors change as well. I've never heard one before. Sounds like it set the bar overall with features and sound characteristics.


Matt- have you recorded any clips that you would care to share with either or both?


None of the Fryette. And I think the only one I did with the Rhodes was for WTLT to compare power tubes. Recording in my apartment is just a total PITA since I get such ridiculous amounts of EMF interference. Can't even use my oscilloscope because there's like 1/2V of noise at the input... Also wasn't set up for ideal tones, but you can kinda get the idea.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8021347/Tube.mp3

EDIT: And yea, the MIDI is insane. Kyle really outdid himself with that shit. I always liked the Diezels I've had because of the MIDI, but this totally one ups that. Channels/loop/masters switchable like the Diezel, but so are modes and voicing switches. I've got 7 unique tones I can recall instantly at my feet with one all tube amp. It's awesome. My only complaint is how pricey the footswitch was, but that's really not a big deal considering it's basically a MIDI controller and has so many uses. It's way more involved than any other footswitch I've seen.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
Last edited by mmolteratx at Feb 22, 2014,
#9
Thanks Matt. Bummer on the situation at your apartment. Sounds pretty beefy and has clarity.

Dare I ask how much extra the foot-switch was?
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
#10
If you like the Marshall-y grind to the upper mids, the PT/OD are better. And if you like the really sparkly cleans. If you like warmer cleans and a slightly more modern voice (think SLO-ish, but with more voicing options and more lows, with a more balanced high end), try the Gemini. I'd try to get that guy down a bit as well, if it's the one I'm thinking of on RT. Or order an Orthos from Kyle, which is basically the Gemini without the fancy switching options, though you still have the ability to switch voicings with the master.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#11
Congrats again Matt! Looks and sounds sweet!
Gibson SG Standard
Gibson Les Paul Traditional
Cort Explorer
Squire Standard Strat rebuilt with Fender USA parts
Squire Tele
Krank 1980
Orange Tiny Terror
Traynor YCV 50 Blue
Peavey Vypyr 75

Will fly for food. Call me Dylan
#12


Dizzam.

Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#13
Aaaaaaww I want a Gemini, the lights thing is just awesome.

Happy NAD man
Name's Luca.

Quote by OliOsbourne
I don't know anything about this topic, but I just clicked on this thread because of your username :O
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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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I guess spambots are now capable of reading minds.
#14
HNAD! Honestly never played either one, but have heard amazing things about both. Your gear is quite an impressive list of high quality items, very jealous of that. Congrats!
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Mesa DR Tremoverb combo 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#15
HNAD

you have a serious problem............all those heads and only one cab
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#16
awesome
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#17
Very interesting. HNAD!
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PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
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Ampeg GVT52-112
#18
damn...

what you need next is a Peters.

I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#20
Quote by gregs1020
damn...

what you need next is a Peters.



No I don't. Half the reason I showed you that cheap one was because I didn't need the temptation. A couple of two and three channel models have popped up in the last few months, but they're all priced higher than I'd like to spend.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
Last edited by mmolteratx at Feb 23, 2014,
#21
that cheap one was my old one, so glad i grabbed it.

yeah i saw there were a few out there right now. the 20 watter is nice too with the two gain channels. rare to see those.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Last edited by gregs1020 at Feb 23, 2014,
#22
I didn't realize his prices had gotten so high though. $2800 for the base two channel and $4k for the three. I'd definitely need built in MIDI if I were to spend that much again. I'm sure they're nice, but that's another Rhodes and a nice chunk of change left over, or a Diezel, with some change left over if buying the D'Moll. Or hell, a CAA with a bunch of money left over.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#23
Quote by mmolteratx
I'm sure they're nice, but that's another Rhodes and a nice chunk of change left over, or a Diezel, with some change left over if buying the D'Moll. Or hell, a CAA with a bunch of money left over.


it's not about the money n00b.

it's about the TOAN!
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.