Author Topic: eBay: 1967 Sparkletop with Raymacs and wood/plastic hammers and neophrene tips  (Read 2167 times)


Offline Student Rhodes

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Odd...
I don't think the hammers are original.
The earliest Mk I pianos from two years later still had the tear drop hammers.  This smells of FrankenRhodes to me.
Am I wrong?
Ray

Offline Groove4Hire

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I believe the seller may be wrong with the date on this piano... This could be an early 69 with the square felt tips which later on has been switched out with neoprene tips. I restored a 1966 piano a few years back and it had the teardrop felt hammers.

Jon
Rhodes-tech, www.vintagebua.no, Norway

Offline The Real MC

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The service manual does suggest replacing the felt hammers with the then-new hybrid wood/plastic hammers.  I have a 1967 piano with this configuration.

Offline Student Rhodes

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I believe the seller may be wrong with the date on this piano... This could be an early 69 with the square felt tips which later on has been switched out with neoprene tips.

Perhaps you're right. 

I'd thought the '69 Sparkle Top would have had four 12" speakers, rather than the 2x12/2x10 configuration, as well, no?

If this were a '69, might it also have had the early twisted steel tone bars, as found on my '69 Suitcase and '69 Student models?

Based on pianos I have, I think the switch to twisted steel bars came before the switch to hybrid hammers.

I think the most likely scenario is this is pre-'69 piano, as evidenced by the earlier damper and tone bar configuration, that's had its hammers swapped.   I wonder if it has the metal pedestal bump?

Whatever this is, this hammer and tip configuration isn't '66/67 factory original.  I guess with something this old, such swapping is to be expected.

Offline Ben Bove

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I believe he may be right on the date - circa 1967 / 1968.  Reason being that 1969 pianos usually were equipped with the Peterson stereo vibrato amp per the Fender catalogue.  It's very hard to pinpoint that transition date as they only started date stamping rails in '69 at some point, and there are very few pianos to compare to each other.  The serials are a guessing game with no Rosetta Stone either. 

I could see what you were thinking Jon with the felt cube tip pianos, and then perhaps neoprene was swapped later, but this one strikes me as maybe an earlier piano not only because of the early dampers and Jordan amp, but mainly because shims were obviously needed for the hammer tips to make them work in this piano - visible on zoom, all the tips are shimmed.  If it were originally a cube-tip piano, I believe the escapement would've been set properly and no shimming would be needed on the tips.  So I believe yes - factory would be teardrop hammers.  However as also mentioned, it was recommended to switch out to the neoprene hybrid hammers due to teardrop problems.  So this is probably what happened, and judging by the tip configuration it looks like somewhere between 72-75 era.

I believe the 4x12 speakers came with the upgraded Peterson stereo amp.  I think all Jordan pianos came with the 2x10/12.  So you might be pretty right on Ray. 
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Offline The Real MC

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I wonder if it has the metal pedestal bump?

My 1967 sparkletop has the metal pedestal bump and is the best playing Rhodes I have laid hands on.