The Electric Piano Forum

Repairs, Maintenance & Upgrades => Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs => Topic started by: axlejam on September 03, 2021, 06:47:16 AM

Title: Fender Rhodes in bits in Ibiza!
Post by: axlejam on September 03, 2021, 06:47:16 AM
Hi All! I'm new to this forum. Im looking for advice. I have been gifted a 1973 Fender Rhodes mark 1 73. I've been a keyboard player for years (Nord electro 6d is what I use at the moment ) but having a rhodes has always been a dream. I'm so delighted to have received this one especially as its previous owner was a fantastic musician here on the island of Ibiza who passed away about 8 years ago  and with whom I had the pleasure of playing with.  Rip Blues Dave!

Anyway,  The thing is that it was taken apart years ago for cleaning and never reassembled. It's been sitting in parts up an old villa in the hills and so even to my untrained eye I can see that it will need some serious work to get it functioning properly again. (Lots of rust, some bent tines and wood bits broken off) I would be unable to send anywhere for professional servicing so I'm hoping to do this restoration myself. I would like to know where to begin and maybe what parts I definitely need to be replacing and if there are any good sites that I should be looking at specifically for this model.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Alex .
Title: Re: Fender Rhodes in bits in Ibiza!
Post by: gacki on September 03, 2021, 12:36:21 PM
I'd probably first take stock what exactly is there and what is missing.

I see a "Fender Rhodes" nameplate, composite hammers with neoprene tips and I think newer tone bars? Old style key pedestals. This would put it into the 72 to 74 time frame?

The two lowest tone bars and tines are missing. The dowel for the sustain pedal is in the small parts bin so that is good. I don't see the damper rail among the parts. Is there any additional hardware, like legs or sustain pedal? Are all 73 keys there?

The damper felts don't look too bad at first sight.

The first thing I would probably check is the pickups. Connect the harp output to an amp and touch each pickup magnet lightly with a metal screwdriver. Working pickups will respond with an audible "thunk". This would give you an idea if you need any new ones (and if so how many). Of course this will only work if the harp wiring is intact. Not sure what is dangling across the pickups in the second pic...

All in all it looks doable to me but it's hard to guess the additional costs and the amount of work involved.
Title: Re: Fender Rhodes in bits in Ibiza!
Post by: mvanmanen on September 03, 2021, 11:01:59 PM
I would suggest spending some time reading through the Rhodes service manual so you have a sense of order of assembly and adjustments to be made as you are assembling it. Here is the link:

If you get stuck then this (and the online Facebook group) are great places to turn to for advice.
Title: Re: Fender Rhodes in bits in Ibiza!
Post by: sean on September 05, 2021, 12:29:50 AM

The videos that Vintage Vibe and other folks post on YouTube are a good resource too.

This video shows them rip apart a Mark 1 that should look mostly identical to your piano:

Or this one

Then watch some of the simpler repair and adjustment videos, and you will understand the repair manual a LOT better.