Author Topic: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.  (Read 22251 times)

Offline LeonSpinks

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Or is it? 

First, the full-frontal:





Googling "Fender Rhodes Executone" turns up few results, most of which point here.  However, the Dallas Rhodes Museum page shows this photo:





And helpful ep-forum member Dzdpgtehu posted a link to this photo:





"Holy crap!  This newbie has an Executone!  Damn him!"

Not so fast.  If you look carefully you'll see that none of these are identical.  No tape deck in the above rig or mine, where there is one in the 72 Dallas find.  No biggie there;  could have been removed or added at any point.  The main differences are that my rig has the preamp offset several inches to the right, compared to the location on the other two Executones.  While the faceplate has not been modified on mine in any way the cover has been (rather crudely) cut to fit.





The indent for the logo is normal, but there's another hack-job to accommodate the jacks and switch on the right.  Speaking of them:  the switch is to toggle an external cab on/off.  This is quite helpful if you are an absolute masochist and want to destroy the world through Rhodes overdosing.  Or just want to point a cab at an audience.  (If you switch the external cab on while none is present, the onboard speakers still lose half their power.  Weird.) 

Speaking of weird, the left jack is wired up but I can't figure out what it does.  The right jack is not hooked up to anything, and doesn't even fit a standard 1/4" cable.   So yeah, weird. 

And the weirdness continues:





Fits the year mentioned in the Dallas page.  I do wonder about the ring with what looks kinda like a 1 in it.  Haven't seen that in any pictures of other date stamps.  The little doohickey next to it is increasingly weird as well, but more on that at a later date.





Home pianos didn't technically seem to hit the market til 76 or so, according to a thread on them here.  Also the serial numbers were in the 6xx,xxx and 7xx,xxx range.  And the weird-train keeps a rollin' with the blank AMP section.  No amp, huh?





Weird.  More to come...







Offline goldphinga

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2013, 04:21:13 AM »
Prototype?

Offline Dzdpgtehu

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2013, 09:16:21 AM »
I think its a student model with biuld in Fender Twin reverb silverface!
Rhodes Mark I Suitcase 88 1977
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Offline Opie

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2013, 12:55:06 PM »
 Very, very cool! Kinda looks like the 2nd channel of a Silverface Vibrolux Reverb amp. Nice find !!

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 03:18:46 PM »
That is a very cool unitt! I have a similar student model, but there is only one pedal for sustain. The amp is located under the left side of the keys  just right for destroying your knee. The rail preamp on your unit looks really slick.

Offline AFeastOfFriends

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2013, 03:39:23 PM »
I agree with Opie and Dzdpgtehu, it looks like somebody has installed a Fender silverface era amp in a student Rhodes. That silver rail bar's controls go in the same order as all the 2nd channels of amps from that time that were derived from the Twin Reverb. Then the amp inside has the pedal inputs for the footswitch even.

But then the label inside says "Home" on the model, so perhaps it is a prototype built by Fender. Very strange.

Either way, fantastic find, and thanks for sharing it with us to scratch our heads over.

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2013, 07:37:22 PM »
Here are some pics of my fr-7055 student for your comparison. I took one of the lower front where there is the amp and a shelf on the student model. Mine is missing the original tape recorder on the right unfortunately. The amp label is also blank on my sticker. There appears to be an aux out tapped from the upper most tine of the student as well, maybe for the tape recorder.  I was curious what kind of hammers, tines etc. were on your piano.  Are there felt hammers, square tone bars etc.. ? I am definitely jealous of the tube amp, must sound amazing. Anyways, hope the pics help.

Offline LeonSpinks

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2013, 08:44:48 PM »



Thanks for this post;  very helpful.  This pic is the first one I've seen with that same attachment, and is exactly where mine is.  Mine has a black cable that snakes down to the gap and terminates in a mono male 1/8" cable, so your are probably right about it being for recording onto tape.  But where is your date stamp?  I thought they were all stamped in the upper right corner like mine is. 


Offline LeonSpinks

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2013, 08:52:15 PM »
I agree with Opie and Dzdpgtehu, it looks like somebody has installed a Fender silverface era amp in a student Rhodes. That silver rail bar's controls go in the same order as all the 2nd channels of amps from that time that were derived from the Twin Reverb. Then the amp inside has the pedal inputs for the footswitch even.

But then the label inside says "Home" on the model, so perhaps it is a prototype built by Fender. Very strange.

Either way, fantastic find, and thanks for sharing it with us to scratch our heads over.

The overall structure and piano are certainly the same as the student piano, and the later Home edition, but in addition to the eq section and model indicated on the label, mine has all three pedals.  Left Reverb, middle sustain, and right Tremolo.  Also I took one of the speakers out earlier;  I have no reason to suspect this is an aftermarket customization. 

You're the third person to mention the possibility of it being a prototype.  It IS a really odd configuration, and I can see why it never went into production. 

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2013, 11:23:22 AM »
The only stamp I could find on mine is on the harp support below the harp to the right.  I too think this must have  been a prototype.

Offline LeonSpinks

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2013, 08:07:35 PM »
The only stamp I could find on mine is on the harp support below the harp to the right.  I too think this must have  been a prototype.

Weird.  All the pics I've seen of various models have date stamps on the top and are very visible.  Feel free to post more pics of yours, btw.  In and out.  There is a paucity of inner photos of home and student models, for the most part.  Especially Executones.  There is at least one Executone owner on this site, but no mention from them yet.

Here's an interior shot:





I can say with 99% certainty this is NOT an aftermarket mod-job. 

More pics to come.

Offline LeonSpinks

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2013, 02:50:40 PM »
Here are some pics of my fr-7055 student for your comparison. I took one of the lower front where there is the amp and a shelf on the student model. Mine is missing the original tape recorder on the right unfortunately. The amp label is also blank on my sticker. There appears to be an aux out tapped from the upper most tine of the student as well, maybe for the tape recorder.  I was curious what kind of hammers, tines etc. were on your piano.  Are there felt hammers, square tone bars etc.. ? I am definitely jealous of the tube amp, must sound amazing. Anyways, hope the pics help.


As far as I can gather it's a standard 73, aux out notwithstanding.  Here's a shot of the keybed:





As far as the sound, dear God!  Way too loud for any practical use if you crank it.  It'll even feedback without being played if you really crank it.  Totally senseless. 

Here's something else I found inside:





I'm curious if your Student piano has a stamp like this on the inside.  No clue what it means.


Offline Ben Bove

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2013, 11:53:45 AM »
Great photos!

That student model probably doesn't have a date code on upper right hand corner of harp, because it's before 1971 production date.  By the model on the badge FR-7055, they referred to pianos by model number instead of name like "Home" or "suitcase" up until maybe 1970 or 1971 not sure off hand.

If he were to unscrew the harp and flip it upside down, he may see an 1970 date code.  I'm not sure if they were stamping there in 69.

119636 is most likely a Fender part number.  Just like the harp stamp on a 1971 piano would be 110254 - 6 digit starting with 1.  There is also a stamp on the underside of my Home model's bench, that is a 6-digit number starting with 1 or 0 (I forget).

That pedal configuration in the bottom of the cabinet is wild.
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Offline Rob A

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2013, 09:47:10 PM »
my Home model's bench,

And where are you hiding the pics of this?

Offline LeonSpinks

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2013, 12:29:18 AM »
Aux cab on/off switch and jacks of mystery:





Namerail and holes:





And the money shot:





It's partially taken apart at present in order to have an amp tech give the amp and pots a once-over.  When it's all back up and flying I'll get video and audio at the studio. 

Oh yes.  For the first time ever, an Executone* in action.  HD, no less.

*or is it?



Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2013, 01:30:21 AM »
Those pictures of the inside of the cabinet are insane! I can't believe how much is going on in there. Can't wait for the video!! The two 1/4" jacks and switch on the right look kind of like someone added those later?

Thought I would mention my scenario with the power cables on my unit since I saw lots of power cable going on in your pictures. Hopefully yours doesn't have this issue, but it is worth checking out just in case. My piano had burn marks in the foam in some places where the power cable was resting. The power cables were badly deteriorated and extremely cracked. I replaced the cables immediately when I noticed the marks inside.

I looked under the harp of the fr7055 after reading bjammers post, but it was also blank. There are a few stamps on the keys, but I don't know if they have any useful meaning. There appears to be an aux out in the back, but I am suspicious that this might have been added after it left the Rhodes factory (Made from a light fixture bracket?).

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2013, 12:22:30 PM »
Well sorry you didn't find a date.  You may have already dated it prior but figured I'd also recap for you, with the silver tonebars and 2nd generation twist in the bass (the straight single silver twist was 1969 before they noticed tines colliding with tonebars in bass register), and the felt cube tips it's definitely a 1970, so my guess would be an early-ish 1970 but very difficult to give an exact time.  The date on the harp would have been similar to this:



my Home model's bench,

And where are you hiding the pics of this?

Well, I'll get around to it :).  It's currently tucked in back in the garage with the amp non-functioning, so it's a project to tackle at some later date.  I thought it was funny there was a part number for a piano bench but of couse, makes perfect sense.  Big part.
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Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2013, 12:50:01 PM »
I should have stated that I had replaced the tonebars with VV tone bars. Here is a pic of the original ones. Thanks for the information. The only thing that resembles a date so far to me is the green wooden harp support stamp "0721".

Offline The Real MC

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2013, 01:27:40 PM »
When all else fails, the pots - volume and tone - should have a datecode.  I don't remember the secret handshake.

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2013, 02:27:47 PM »
Aha!  Thanks for that info on the tonebars :).  Definitely late 1969 then, slight chance of early '70 because of the hammer tips
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Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2013, 02:25:56 AM »
I didn't even think about the electronics. I took a lot of pics inside the amp when I replaced the power cord. Maybe I'll stumble across something there.
It is good to know that it is in the 69-70 ballpark at least. That narrows it a lot closer than I would have ever guessed myself.
Thanks to both of you for the great information!

Offline GetWithTheTines

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2013, 06:40:53 AM »
Wow! That is so cool! It does seem to have a Fender Twin built in. Incidentally, those RCA tubes and JBL speakers are pretty coveted. Would love to see a video of you playing that thing!

Offline LeonSpinks

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2013, 04:31:24 PM »
Wow! That is so cool! It does seem to have a Fender Twin built in. Incidentally, those RCA tubes and JBL speakers are pretty coveted. Would love to see a video of you playing that thing!


It's torn apart at present.  I'm having the treble pot replaced by an amp tech.  I'll get some video and audio of it once I get it reassembled.  And yeah, all the original tubes are there, and the amp works perfectly; as in complete and utter overkill.  Here's the amp by itself:





I'm wondering if Rhodes sent these to dealers and didn't get any orders?  That would explain the very few of them that were ever seemingly made and sold.  Weird.

Offline BerneseMtnDog

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2013, 06:13:41 PM »
This guyt popped up on my local Craigslist.  Looks similar?
http://roseburg.craigslist.org/msg/3785304841.html

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Offline LeonSpinks

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2013, 08:47:11 PM »
I recorded some feedback with my Rhodes last night.  Super odd and very fun to do.

https://soundcloud.com/thegreyzone/rhodes-feedback

I'm having trouble with a loud rattle that is coming from somewhere inside the beast.  (Although it makes cool sounds in feedback mode.)  And I took my camera to the studio, so I'll try to get video/audio of it in action soon. 

Offline hchinaski

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2013, 01:39:01 AM »
Is the giant wirewound resistor in the lower left part of the cabinet part of a speaker mute arrangement?   (Yyou can't run a tube amp without a speaker attached, it will melt the output transformer).

Offline LeonSpinks

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2013, 07:12:42 AM »
Is the giant wirewound resistor in the lower left part of the cabinet part of a speaker mute arrangement?   (Yyou can't run a tube amp without a speaker attached, it will melt the output transformer).

It's hooked up to the secondary speaker output switch, so it has something to do with that.  It says 4 ohms on it, with other markings.  I ran it solo into my Bag End 2x12 earlier and the bass vibration noise wasn't there, which tells me something inside the piano is rattling with low frequencies.  I'm still trying to find out what is causing that.  Other than that the thing is an absolute tone beast.  Way too loud for home use, which I suspect is why it never went into serious production.

Offline LeonSpinks

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #27 on: July 09, 2013, 06:01:53 AM »
Here's a brief overview and audio sample of the Rhodes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKoX3yqMuFc&feature=youtu.be

Offline goldphinga

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2013, 06:53:15 AM »
Fantastic insight in your video thanks got all the detailed info. Man! It sounds amazing. VERY similar tone to my may '72 suitcase- definitely the same tines!! Can tell them a mile off.

Offline David Ell

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Re: 1972 Fender Rhodes Executone (or is it?) I just aquired. Weird.
« Reply #29 on: July 09, 2013, 03:24:10 PM »
Sounds like Raymacs.