2021- Where we are heading
Updated: Mar 3, 2021
Well, the last 12 months have certainly been turbulent and game-changing for the entire world, that is for sure!
1) Wurlitzer & Rhodes electro-mechanical pianos were the core of KKGB business. Typically, we were processing 10 a month, with a reasonable selection of all models at an attractive price, sourcing (mostly) from the USA, via 4 containers a year, each one bringing 16 or so across the Atlantic. Now its 2021. The overall supply has tailed off big-time; as both brands ceased manufacturing early 1980s, its understandable that there are far fewer left out there. Consequently, prices have to rise,.... supply & demand, and all that. No-one knows how many EP200/200A Wurlitzers were ever made, there WERE 250,000 Fender/Rhodes pianos built, we figure.....either way, supply will continue to fall. EP200As will be selling for £4000 by 2022 <> Fender Rhodes Stage 73 (1973) could be selling for more. They ALL have to be refurbed/repaired/voiced/tuned - this can take three days of patient crafting. Right now, its an EVENT to sell either, not an everyday occurrence.
2) Synthesizers:- as patents have expired, the market has gone crazy. Anyone can now copy & create clones of anything. Sequential have re-launched the Prophet 5, for example (SP around £3K!, and it is brilliant & improved). The thinking behind this?" Oh, we best re-make our own synths before somebody else does. " Korg and ARP are holding hands and making Oddyseys etc ~ Behringer (always innovative & inventive) have introduced lots of new items (eg CAT synths, Roland imitations etc). Nord (Sweden) continue to capture a huge slice of the keyboard market, good for them. Novation & Modal are the British outfits that are impressing a lot of musos, good for THEM! Moog seem to be oblivious to much of this; the Voyager is still the ONLY mono synth to have, even though its out of production and the ONE is here to stay, no debate required. Roland & Yamaha seem to be low on fresh products. Kurzweil seem happy keeping a low profile (top stuff, Kurzweil).
All these developments have also altered the value of the original items. Although there are some synths that can never be beaten (OB-8 & Memorymoog being my favourites), much of the old kit has to drop in value. Reliability, spare part supply, and maintenance costs are frightening fiscal factors.
Klassic Keys GB will continue regardless, remaining small & flexible. We are not interested in things in boxes eg drum machines & effects. The policy is to focus on the quality, known keyboard/piano brands...always happy to check out new stuff, however remember, every synth we handle has been checked by one of our 4 freelance specialist techs. Its NOT going to die on day two of ownership... re electro-mechanical instruments <> Hohner Clavinets/Wurlitzer EP200/Fender Rhodes <> KKGB are the leading UK suppliers of refurbed, working items to "pro" standard, as used by Abbey Road Studios & many musos (eg Jacob Collier) & producers (eg Fraser T. Smith). We are also brokers, handling rare items (eg Synergy), on behalf of established collectors, happy to source fresh items world-wide. KKGB know how to pack/crate & ship to (nearly) every country on the planet (eg Hammond C3/ Yamaha CP-70B).