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Messages - Solomon

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Thanks guys for your help wih my newbie buyer questions! I ended up getting neither of the above pianos. Instead I found a Mark 1 Stage 73 from 1978 in what I think seems to be pretty good condition! Other than tuning it, and learning how to twiddle all the little screws that control the tone and loudness of each tine, I'm supposing that my first major job will be to replace the hammer tips (some of which are deeply grooved and sometimes stick to the tines as a result.)

You can hear my very first recording here:

I took a direct signal from the harp, recorded on a Zoom R-24, and put in tremolo and an amp simulator with a wee bit of compression, and some reverb. I'm not sure if that's the best recording setup but it's my first experiment. Comments are welcomed!


For many years I've been feeling a low-level but constant desire to get a Rhodes, and this month I finally took the plunge! It's a 1978 mark 1 Stage 73. I don't have any previous experience with actual electric pianos (though I've played lots of Rhodes patches on digital keyboards), so I have no basis of comparison but I think it sounds pretty great!

Check it out, here's my very first recording with it:

Thank you (both Sean and The Real MC), that was very helpful.

discount at all for living far away from me.  The price is the price at my front door.

I don't mean that the price should be lower if it's farther from where I live. I meant it should be lower if it's farther from where most people live. I expect prices to be higher in a big city because there are more musicians and collectors and dealers and speculators around. Demand is higher. This Mark 1 is located in a town of 100,000 people, 200 miles from anywhere, so I would expect it to sell more slowly and thus go for a lower price. But expectations are irrelevant, so it's moot. :)

Higher resolution and better-focused photos would help.  You can hear either piano play through space-age technology - the telephone.  You could probably also arrange a facetime or zoom connection with the seller.

You make good point. I can probably ask the owner of the Mark II for some demo video/audio. Unfortunately, the person with the Mark I doesn't have an amplifier, and doesn't have the strength to set up the piano on its legs, and isn't a musician.

The first Rhodes, the 1976 Mark 1, has the wrong name rail logo for the year stamped on the harp, and it is missing the control panel. 
I hate the knobs that are on it.

That's interesting that it's the wrong name rail logo. I did notice that the brand name on the serial number sticker ("Rhodes") contradicts the name plate ("Fender Rhodes"), but I assumed that this particular piano came off the line at around the time when they were changing over, and the old nameplates must have outlasted the old stickers. But I gather from what you're saying that by 1976 that was no longer happening and it should definitely say "Rhodes".

The legs being disassembled is very worrysome to me.  The rubber feet are not the right ones.  They might be missing the couplers:  Are the leg mounts on the underside of the piano secure and undamaged?

Good question. That's hard for me to ascertain.

You should ask exactly what work was performed five years ago.  The damper felts look new, and that is great.  I assume the grommets were replaced as well.  Were the hammer tips replaced too?  Where is the leg brace knob?  It looks clean inside, but the tolex looks worn.  I wonder if there are more scars that are not shown.  Are the felts on the hammer cams or on the pedestals?  Hopefully they were moved to the key pedestals five years ago.  Where is the top lid?  Does it have the top lid?

The sad story here is that the seller is the widow of the owner. He bought the keyboard from a shop, five years ago, at which time it was "well-maintained", and then he never played it, and now he's dead. The widow doesn't have the sales receipt, but she did remember the name of the store... I guess I could try to phone them and quote the serial number to them and ask them if they have any info about it. But, the seller can't give me any more info herself.

Yes, it has the top lid; she showed me photos of both the top and the underside, and the tolex is quite torn.

Is that a crack or a shadow on the tip of the G and A keys just to the right of the volume knob?

Definitely looks like a crack to me.

If the felts are on the key pedestals, the hammer tips are new(ish), it has the top lid, and there are no unfortunate problems with the tolex, this Rhodes is probably worth more than $2000 - but the seller sets the price.  It is complete and ready to play.  It looks worth owning.

I don't think I can ask the seller about the key pedestals; she doesn't seem to be able or willing to do any more digging around inside the instrument than she already has done for me.

Thanks again for your detailed analysis! I might not end up with one of these two pianos, but everything I'm learning will help me in my journey.


The second one is right in the city, so I'd maybe expect to pay a bit more for it. This one is a Mark 2 Stage 73, purchased by its current owner from an individual about five years ago, definitely has not been serviced by its current owner; previous history unknown. (Current owner says "Unsure of past owners but the fella bought it from had three and seemed to have had it for a while"). What would be a fair price for this one?

Thanks for your help, everybody!


The first one is located in a remote locale, about 350km (220mi) from the nearest big city, which is where I'll be driving from. It's a Mark 1 Stage 73 which was purchased by its current owner from a reputable shop about five years ago, was newly serviced at that time but has languished in its case since then. I'm thinking there should be a discount on the price, as compared to finding the same instrument in a big city, given the eight-hour drive that will be required. What do you think would be a reasonable price?

Hey everybody! EP newbie here. I'm looking to buy my first Rhodes, and I'd love some expert opinions. I'm looking at a couple of instruments being sold by individuals online; because of the pandemic, I'm hoping to negotiate a price with the seller before travelling to their location, which means I won't have the opportunity to touch or hear the instrument before I go. Of course, if it's been grossly misrepresented then I won't take it, but I'd rather not return empty-handed.

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