Author Topic: 1969 transition model Rhodes  (Read 6405 times)

Offline Ben Bove

  • Vendor
  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3279
  • Formerly bjammerz
    • View Profile
    • Retro Rentals Website
1969 transition model Rhodes
« on: August 07, 2015, 04:47:39 PM »
Just came across a very rare transition model suitcase from 1969, in the Mark 1 style with a lot of mid-transition stuff going on.  The great thing about it is that it's very very clean, I can tell it has not been messed around with too much (has every original Raymac tine), and therefore a very good example to historically reference.  The date stamp is 4269.  Some cool things about it:

Tonebars are single twist silver
Felt cube hammer tips
Marcel curve key pedestal
Red pickup wire
Red felt-lined case lid like sparkle-top era, with 60's rear hinges
First-generation plastic harp cover with a single cutout in front, has a different texture pattern than normal
First-generation aluminum namerail, wood rail underneath and one screw on the end
Logos are still metal - 2-prong "seventy three" script, large rear cabinet badge in metal.  (rear bagde on this piano is top left corner metal, but baffle may have been recovered and flipped from bottom?)
Ribbed kickplate
4x12" speakers, 3 are 328750 which if I'm correct is Utah brand, 50th week 1967
4-prong Cinch-Jones cable/socket
Amp modules mounted sideways in cabinet
Preamp faceplate lettering is a bit different than 70s
First-generation Peterson preamp on brown board

Check out the photo album here:
http://s3.photobucket.com/user/bjammerz/library/1969%20Transition%20Rhodes



Retro Rentals
Vintage Music Gear

http://www.RetroRentals.net
(818) 806-9606
info@retrorentals.net

FB: https://www.facebook.com/retrorentals.net/
IG: @RetroRentalsNet

Offline vanceinatlance

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 222
    • View Profile
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2015, 12:14:19 AM »
Wow that piano is in amazing shape for its age! What a great find!
 I noticed in one of your album pictures that the harp has a piece of tape with the number 303 on it. The two student pianos I have run across from the same year have a peace of tape about the same size with a three digit number as well.  I thought a school may have placed it there for their use, but it appears this was done from the factory?

Offline Student Rhodes

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 610
    • View Profile
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2015, 04:33:42 AM »
Hey Ben,
I checked out the link for more pics.  That's one great looking Rhodes.  I have one from earlier in '69, but it wasn't in nearly as nice shape when I bought it.   It's essentially the same as yours with corresponding latches, Marcel curve, cinch plug, red velvet, metal logos, wood/aluminum name rail etc., except mine still has the tear drop hammers and lead weighted keys.

I'd be interested in your observations on the sound of the Peterson.   My 69 Peterson is the strongest and deepest off the four or five preamps I have. 
Ray

Offline The Real MC

  • Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 751
    • View Profile
    • My '67 sparkletop Rhodes
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 11:14:09 AM »
Wow, great find!  It's ready for new tips though.  Looks like the change from green wire pickups happened before '69.

Offline laberge

  • Fiesta Red
  • **
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 01:27:17 PM »
Woah crazy this is the first piano I've ever seen like mine with just the DIN connector and no other connections on the preamp.

The insides on that one are beautiful. what a find.

Offline Ben Bove

  • Vendor
  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3279
  • Formerly bjammerz
    • View Profile
    • Retro Rentals Website
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2015, 06:12:22 PM »
Thanks it's great to see one that is in a low production period, and hasn't been messed with, so we can see what was going on during that time.

Vance I've seen the same masking tape on other piano harps from that era, with a 3-digit number.  I've only seen one other suitcase from around this period, and I believe it had the tape too.  I would've thought it was maybe a quality control thing but the numbers change, so maybe it was some other organizing system.  Not sure.

Ray yes - the preamp I had on another '69, the first generation Peterson, was actually louder than the later Peterson models.  Side by side, these early ones have a noticeable increase in max volume.  Good to know about your other one, so we basically can determine the felt cube tips came out sometime in later 1969.

Perhaps there's a way to flip the tips and fill the grooves, to keep the felt sound.
Retro Rentals
Vintage Music Gear

http://www.RetroRentals.net
(818) 806-9606
info@retrorentals.net

FB: https://www.facebook.com/retrorentals.net/
IG: @RetroRentalsNet

Offline Peter Hayes

  • Vendor
  • Mark I
  • *****
  • Posts: 193
    • View Profile
    • http://www.elecedge.com
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2015, 07:44:50 PM »
Ben, I've got some felt you may want to try to match these worn ones. I think I have your shipping address. I'll pack some up and you can see if they'll work.

Peter Hayes
Electronic Edge
http://www.elecedge.com
937-767-7174

Offline Oliver Sheen

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 117
  • 1969 Suitcase 73
    • View Profile
    • Oliver Sheen Pianist & Vocalist
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2015, 06:48:40 PM »
This looks very similar to my '69 although mine was made 2 weeks earlier (4069) Are those single twist tone bars available anywhere? I'm missing bottom E and another higher up (will post tomorrow which one)

Offline Ben Bove

  • Vendor
  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3279
  • Formerly bjammerz
    • View Profile
    • Retro Rentals Website
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2015, 12:48:19 PM »
Single twist in the low register?  Will be impossible to find.  I'd recommend just replacing with a standard E tonebar, and painting it silver if you don't like the color mismatch.  Otherwise you'll probably be looking forever... very short period of time in 1969 that they didn't have the bends in them.

What are the hammer tips on your piano? Felt cubes, full tear drop piano hammers?
Retro Rentals
Vintage Music Gear

http://www.RetroRentals.net
(818) 806-9606
info@retrorentals.net

FB: https://www.facebook.com/retrorentals.net/
IG: @RetroRentalsNet

Offline David Aubke

  • Vendor
  • Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
    • View Profile
    • Shadetree Keys
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2015, 02:05:20 PM »
What's "single twist"?
Dave Aubke
Shadetree Keys

Offline Student Rhodes

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 610
    • View Profile
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2015, 03:52:49 PM »
Single twist tone bars were the fist generation tone bars that came after the square stock version found in the Sparkeltops.
As you can see in the photo, they have only a single 90 degree twist, and lack the left and right jog in the metal that was later instituted to prevent the tine from contacting the tone bar after being struck.  I think the change happened some time around '70, but I can't say for sure.
Ray
« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 04:21:06 PM by Student Rhodes »

Offline Ben Bove

  • Vendor
  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3279
  • Formerly bjammerz
    • View Profile
    • Retro Rentals Website
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 03:53:10 PM »
The very first generation of twisted tonebars in 1969 only had the single twist at the mounting point, there were no bends in the middle of the tonebar.  They very quickly changed this design as the lowest register tines collided with the tonebars... so they put in the 4 bends oin order to allow the trajectory of the tine to swing fully.
Retro Rentals
Vintage Music Gear

http://www.RetroRentals.net
(818) 806-9606
info@retrorentals.net

FB: https://www.facebook.com/retrorentals.net/
IG: @RetroRentalsNet

Offline Student Rhodes

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 610
    • View Profile
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2015, 03:55:15 PM »
Though mine are in good shape, I've been told they were also more prone to corrosion.  They have a slivery plating on them rather than the zinc that was used later.  I believe they were also from the era when foam damper type devices were affixed to the tone bars.  And I just noticed, there was already a picture of them in this thread.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 04:21:38 PM by Student Rhodes »

Offline David Aubke

  • Vendor
  • Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
    • View Profile
    • Shadetree Keys
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2015, 04:20:16 PM »
Thanks all.
Dave Aubke
Shadetree Keys

Offline Oliver Sheen

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 117
  • 1969 Suitcase 73
    • View Profile
    • Oliver Sheen Pianist & Vocalist
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2015, 05:18:53 PM »
Mine are felt cubes which I beleive can sound rather sweet  :)

Offline The Real MC

  • Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 751
    • View Profile
    • My '67 sparkletop Rhodes
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2015, 06:10:39 PM »
Be warned that painting is not the same as plating.

The tonebars are designed for a resonant frequency approximately equal to the pitch of the tine, and paint may alter that resonant frequency due to the weight it adds to the mass.  Your tines may thud and no longer ring.

Offline Student Rhodes

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 610
    • View Profile
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2015, 07:27:24 PM »
Be warned that painting is not the same as plating.

I'm not certain this was in reference to me, but the plating on mine isn't paint, and it is original.  But your point is correct.  I have a project and I was/am considering plating the tone bars in gold, but I'm concerned about how that may affect the tone.   Only one way to find out I guess...
Ray

Offline Peter Hayes

  • Vendor
  • Mark I
  • *****
  • Posts: 193
    • View Profile
    • http://www.elecedge.com
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2015, 08:18:19 PM »
Gold? Real gold plating?
Peter Hayes
Electronic Edge
http://www.elecedge.com
937-767-7174

Offline The Real MC

  • Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 751
    • View Profile
    • My '67 sparkletop Rhodes
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2015, 10:18:06 PM »
Not real gold... they have a plating that LOOKS like it, but not quite exact.

Offline David Aubke

  • Vendor
  • Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 1196
    • View Profile
    • Shadetree Keys
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2015, 09:12:55 AM »
I believe the tone bars are enough of a brute-force type of component that gold plating, and even painting wouldn't be a problem. That is to say, I don't think they're tuned so precisely that a modest change in mass would cause a noticeable difference in tone or sustain.

I can't back that up with any evidence.. more of a gut feeling.


And I don't think gold plating would be ridiculously expensive.
Dave Aubke
Shadetree Keys

Offline The Real MC

  • Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 751
    • View Profile
    • My '67 sparkletop Rhodes
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2016, 02:11:42 AM »
A tech friend of mine just landed a home Rhodes piano with a teacher control module like the Jetson pianos (metronome, etc).  Heavy one piece finished wood cabinet.  He dated it to 1970 by the datecodes on the pots.  Same attributes as the suitcase at the beginning of the thread, no Peterson preamp.  Nice action, Torrington tines.  I didn't have a camera at the time.  Couldn't get any decent look to see if it had the pedestal bump.

Something I never saw before - because this has the first generation twisted tonebars without the bends in the bass register, there were heavy felts placed on them to prevent the tine from striking them.

Offline pnoboy

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 395
    • View Profile
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2016, 02:36:19 PM »
I had a '69 suitcase piano that looked just like that.  It sounded pretty bad when I got it, but I changed out the factory speakers, which had an exceptionally dull sound, and then, when they came out, I changed the felt hammer tips to neoprene.  With both of the those changes, it sounded pretty good.  I sold it and bought a stage piano, however--the suitcase was just too darned heavy.

Offline Student Rhodes

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 610
    • View Profile
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2016, 05:42:42 PM »
Something I never saw before - because this has the first generation twisted tonebars without the bends in the bass register, there were heavy felts placed on them to prevent the tine from striking them.

I always thought they were put there to have some kind of resonance dampening, as merely putting one's hand on the tone bars will have that effect.  I guess it makes sense that the felt would eliminate the clink of the tine hitting the tone bar, but the additional twists are obviously a better way to go.

Ray

Offline JanustheManus

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 132
  • 1977 Mark 1 Stage w/ Stereo Vibe
    • View Profile
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2018, 03:21:56 PM »
Mr. Bove, will you eventually add this piano to your Retro Rentals Rhodes collection?
Why didn't Fender Rhodes stick with the lovely reflective Sparkle Top rail?

Offline Ben Bove

  • Vendor
  • MIDI Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 3279
  • Formerly bjammerz
    • View Profile
    • Retro Rentals Website
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2018, 03:10:26 PM »
It went for a ride on a boat and is currently living in Norway :)
Retro Rentals
Vintage Music Gear

http://www.RetroRentals.net
(818) 806-9606
info@retrorentals.net

FB: https://www.facebook.com/retrorentals.net/
IG: @RetroRentalsNet

Offline JanustheManus

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 132
  • 1977 Mark 1 Stage w/ Stereo Vibe
    • View Profile
Re: 1969 transition model Rhodes
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2018, 05:56:38 PM »
Glad it found a new home!  :D
Why didn't Fender Rhodes stick with the lovely reflective Sparkle Top rail?