Author Topic: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?  (Read 353 times)

Offline eddie_bowers

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Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« on: March 02, 2019, 02:18:59 AM »
I found a local guy with two Rhodes 73 stage pianos. The 78 is super clean inside and out. Very well taken care of.
The 72 has cosmetic issues including a cigarette burn that melted a dent in a key. It also has an unidentified electric box mounted inside. I'm assuming it's a home made preamp, but i'm not expecting much. It's in a cheap project box with a two prong lamp cord. It also look like the power transformer for it is mounted inside the piano fairly close to the pickups.
The harp and hammers all look good though. I can replace the tips or at least the ones I see that have a divot in them.

Because I want a project and it's an earlier piano, I'm leaning towards the 72. He initially said $650 for either, but that was before I saw the problems with the 72. I might could try for $500.

Does that sound reasonable? The only thing I don't know how to fix is burned plastic keys and the scratched top (very scratched). but it would be a good project piano to get good at setting up. I fear the 78 is just nice (if a little too chimey) and not much adjustment would improve it.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 03:42:53 PM by eddie_bowers »

Offline guizmo

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 73?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 05:11:43 AM »
In the title, you're talking about 78 & 73 and in your topic 78 & 72, is it a 72 or 73 ?
Have you checked the stamps on the harp on each ?

The best answer I can give is actually a question : Have you tried the pianos ?
If yes, what's your favorite ?

For sure the 72 seems to be in bad shape, but sometimes, visually it's bad, but sonically it's very good.

I owned 4 Rhodes in my life, 74, 77, 78, 72, I still have my 77 and 72, and I prefer the 72, but it's my personal opinion... The 2 are perfectly adjusted, so it's easy to make an opinion. But in your case, maybe the 72 doesn't sound as it should...

Another thing, 72's are more rare, so usually more rated, and for me of better overall quality...

You really have to test them, because a 78 could be an excellent piano and a 72 a bad one.
I disliked my 78, hated my 74, really really like my 77, love my 72 Buz Watson.

I hope I helped you

G

Offline mvanmanen

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 73?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 08:44:13 AM »
Offer him $1000 for the pair  ;)
Wurlitzer 200a
Wurlitzer 145
Fender Rhodes, now including a Celeste (1966, 1971, 1975)
Hohner Clavinet Pianet Duo
Hohner Clavinet D6s
Hohner Pianet T
Hohner Pianet N
Hammond B3

Offline eddie_bowers

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 73?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 03:53:46 PM »
Sorry for the bad title. The older one is definitely a 72. It might a bit tough to compare them sound wise without adjustment but I will try. I guess I should tap direct off the harp on both to compare since the 72 has some wacky rigged electronics added.

It's a place that has stuff staked up, so it was some effort to look at them. I need to take a day off and spend some time listening. Maybe being some portable headphone amp?

Offline guizmo

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 73?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2019, 04:28:30 PM »
I think the best would be a good guitar amp to test them...

Offline eddie_bowers

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2019, 06:10:11 PM »
Yeah, it's just a situation where you have to dig a bit and move heavy stuff just get a guitar amp next to it. I literally had a French horn case get dislodged and fall on my head. Lukely it was empty and light.

Offline guizmo

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2019, 06:24:52 PM »
The lightest gear you can use is maybe a MacBook with a small interface, like an apogee solo and headphones...
If you find a Moog Modular on that room please let me know ^^

Offline sean

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 08:51:09 PM »


I don't think the sound of these two pianos will be the big deal between them. 

These two pianos will feel so different under your fingers.

The 1972 piano will have rounded-top white keys, and sharp-cornered black keys.  The 1972 piano will have half-wood hammers and square hammer tips.  The 1972 piano action will probably feel heavy or sluggish compared to the 1978 (miracle mod will fix that). 

The 1978 piano will have nice flat white keys and more rounded black keys.  It might have a lighter-feeling action.


I always paste in this list of features when I see a pre-1973 Rhodes:

These are the major differences that this 1972 piano has from later years:
It will have half-wood hammers with square hammer tips.  Nice.
It will have rounded-top Pratt-Reed fully-skirted white keys.
The black keys will have more angular front edges, rather than more nicely-rounded edges.
It will have the split damper felts that look like tooth roots.
The action will quite likely be heavy or sluggish, so the miracle mod pedestal bump will help.
The key pedestals have their front edge beveled, but this portion does not contact the hammer cam.  Yours might have the marcel curve.
The black rounded lid will be thicker than later years, and feel more like vinyl than styrene.  It is taller than later years.
It still has the old-style small hinges on the back, doesn't it? 
The sustain pedal is the nice old non-painted style with the original shape.  Sweet.
The sustain rod might have Rogers USA molded into the wing nut.
The control plate on the name rail is mounted about two centimeters to the left, so the output jack is about one key lower (it sits over the A instead of Bb)
The piano logos still have Fender branding.
The sides of the case and the lid are not sawed straight, they have the birds-mouth notch so the sides of the piano dip below the cheek blocks before they get to the front of the piano.


However, none of that matters, because you have already been given the correct advice by mvanmanen:  BUY BOTH!

And if you pass on the 1972 piano, you will regret it.  Do not lose out on that one.  The action might turn you off initially, but you will eventually love it.  The 1972 will probably be easier to get that "honk" from hard strikes (and I think that the honk is desirable - nice to have that different tone color, texture, and variety in sound).

If you get both, you can have the 1978 piano to play now, while you do the work on the 1972.  When you are done with the 1972 restoration, you can use it as your main piano while you tear apart the 1978.  If you decide that two pianos are too much for you, you can eventually sell the 1978.

Sean

Offline mvanmanen

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2019, 11:55:16 PM »
$500 seems like a great price. If the 72 were near me I would snag it in a second.

If you have a chance to post some pictures please share.  :)
Wurlitzer 200a
Wurlitzer 145
Fender Rhodes, now including a Celeste (1966, 1971, 1975)
Hohner Clavinet Pianet Duo
Hohner Clavinet D6s
Hohner Pianet T
Hohner Pianet N
Hammond B3

Offline eddie_bowers

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2019, 02:25:07 PM »
Here is a fairly blurry photo of the 72 with the top off.

Offline guizmo

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2019, 03:04:40 PM »
Like this it doesn't seem to be ugly !!

All I can say is :

- The harp was achieved the 22th week of 1972
- The piano leave the factory the 2x week of 1972
- It has been modified with a preamp, it explains the wires
- The keys seem to be in good shape, and they maybe are from the Marcel Curve pedestal era which is very good.
- Some grommets are bads and maybe stiff
- the tonebar plating seems to be good and not too oxidised
- Except the preamp, it seems to be original (little ground wire, RCA cable...).

I'd really go for this one, and like the others said : buy the 2 !

Offline eddie_bowers

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2019, 03:48:27 PM »
Thanks so much guys!
I guess now I just need to make workshop space for it and then convince my wife it's really worth the money. Getting both would be ideal, but that would be a very hard sell even though I'm sure I could make some money on the 78. Space is always a problem. I give my wife a hard time when she buys stuff and she has no place to put. She it will at least have fun making me eat my words   :D

Offline guizmo

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2019, 05:58:29 AM »
Tell us, have you bought the Rhodes ?

Offline eddie_bowers

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2019, 11:31:48 AM »
It's not super close to my house. I'm back over there on Tuesday and will take a headphone amp to connect to the harp of the 72 to check the pickups. Then I will make an offer.

I happened on another one in really terrible shape the other day (76 maybe). It's keys where not straight (all over the place) and it had tons of stuff piled on it. The guy at the shop wouldn't even bother letting me dig it out. He said his boss is the only one that could tell me what he would sell it for anyway. This was a music store with pretty typical low end new instruments, but in a large corner they literally had piles of interesting vintage stuff in really rough shape. That's the stuff I want to see, but that guy wouldn't let me. Weird.


I will post back after my visit on Tuesday.

Offline guizmo

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2019, 01:29:37 PM »
but in a large corner they literally had piles of interesting vintage stuff in really rough shape.

God bless America  8)

This kind of stores are pretty rare in Europe ! Some in Paris or London...

Keep us in touch ;)

Offline eddie_bowers

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2019, 05:18:54 PM »
I visited the piano today and tested it. It has one dead pickup (no big deal). I can only get sound directly off the harp. That preamp (assuming that's what it is) currently doesn't function. Good news for negotiating a price.

I was a little surprised that the output from the harp easily distorted the input on my little zoom headphone amp. I expected it to be lower than a guitar signal.

The guy suggested he might let it go for $500.
I just need to scrape up a tiny bit more cash and it's mine.
I asked if I could put some money down, but he told me not to worry about it "it will still be here in the next couple of weeks".

Offline guizmo

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #16 on: Yesterday at 05:09:56 AM »
Cool ! Did you like the sound coming from the harp?
Have you tried the 76 too ? Differences between the 2 ?

Offline eddie_bowers

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #17 on: Yesterday at 09:48:29 AM »
Yes I did. It was surprisingly hot though. I like a dirty rhodes sounds, but I couldn't get it clean with my little battery powered headphone amp (made for guitar, but I turned off all the modeling and effects). The pickups do appear to be adjusted as close as possible. It has a nice fat sound. Less clear and percussive as the 78, but that could be a difference in setup and hammer tips. It has the cube tips. Some badly indented. Some show a hint of paint color (original tips?).

Offline guizmo

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Re: Clean Rhodes 78 or ugly 72?
« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 10:12:12 AM »
If the pickups are close to the tines it's normal to have a fat sound.
I think the rhodes's impedance is lower than a guitar, so it's normal too to have more juice with the rhodes.
A guitar has 6 strings, but with a piano you can play 10 notes at the same time + the ones you play with your sustain pedal... That makes the signal even fatter, and make your headphone amp overdrive...

The hammer tips are a big factor in sound differences between early and late models, it's a good thing to be able to compare a 72 with a 78 side by side, you'll get the best sounding to your ears.

The color on the tips represents the hardness, so yes, if they are slightly colored, they might be originals (if they are totally colored they are VV reissues).
Take a look on the 1st picture on this link : https://www.vintagevibe.com/products/fender-rhodes-hammer-tip-kit