Author Topic: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn  (Read 5673 times)

Offline Student Rhodes

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The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« on: March 23, 2015, 04:04:05 AM »
This little item popped up on Craigslist.

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/msg/4941058660.html

To say the least, the title in the listing planes another slice off the very thin reed that separates "cleverly ambiguous" and "deceptive."

And to avoid any legal issues let me make clear, I make no claim of knowledge as to the contents of that cabinet, and I wish nothing but satisfaction to both parties in any subsequent transaction. Hey, I think most people are basically honest, so sure, maybe there is a vintage 1930s Fender amp in that old wooden radio box.

It's another facet of the new mini-trend that's been going on out there, if ya' believe what's in the papers.  There's a growing community of amp builders who either ape vintage style, or load cool tube amp builds and rescues into yesteryear's radios, TV's, ammo boxes and laundry hampers. 

And I want to know, where's that TV show?

I long ago grew bored with all the DIY home flipping, bike swapping, remodeling and/or garbage picking, storage warring Alaskan swamp shows on cable.  Can't stand 'em. 

But I'd watch the hot dung out of a show where a couple guys, and their attractive female friend who doesn't talk much slice, dice, solder and glue together wire, wood, tubes and speakers: "Okay, Charlie here has gone and salvaged the amp and speakers from this Silvertone Hi-Fi console and stuffed it into this stainless steel Amana space heater... Let's plug it in. " 

Gear fag heaven.

Even on this site, the most interesting posts are often from people showing what they've done to optimize, personalize and customize their Rhodes.  All gets me thinkin' about what would be the coolest rebirth of a Rhodes I can envision. 

As my Rhodes gets 92% of its playing in my living room, it's aesthetically part of our furniture (not sure if the sparkle top helps or hurts).  So, to bite the style of Wurlitzer's electric butterfly (Model 270), I might consider stuffing an 88 Suitcase into an baby grand case.

That may sound like sacrilege, but there are plenty of pianos on craigslist that will never be worth what it would take to properly restore them to full beauty or function.  If you've ever been to a city dump, you've seen where so many end up.

So now I ask: If you were rich or crazy enough, in what manner of shell would you stuff a Rhodes?  Perhaps a tidy cherry spinet?  A sleek upright?  A Hammond B3?  A roll top desk? An island wet bar? And if it soothe your conscience let it be built from a salvage Rhodes. 

And if you're still reading, I'll keep this post more in line with what this forum is supposed to be, I'll pack my ebony baby grand Rhodes with a '72 harp, '69 Peterson, hybrid hammers with square tips, '78 keys with '74 flat tops, pre-'70 steel badges and unlimited Wi-Fi.

Fire away
(Wurli, submissions will be considered on a case by case basis)

Offline vanceinatlance

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 10:38:43 AM »
I have seen a few items like this pop up as well. I have to admit they do get my curiosity  going. Custom can be a very cool one of a kind thing, but it can also burn your house down or fry your rocky mountain oysters  if it wasn't  done right. I am a tinkerer at heart so I would also be glued to a show like you mentioned.  Fails would add to the excitement for sure...
I am suprized nobody has stuffed a Rhodes into the trunk of a 59 caddie or other late 50's super finn car trunk.

Offline Peter Hayes

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 11:07:36 AM »
The late Paul Revere (of the Raiders) had a couple of custom car fronts that housed his keyboard (most likely not a Rhodes, but still pretty cool). Google Paul Revere and the Raiders and click on images.
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Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 03:36:44 PM »
Woah! Maybe that's what I'll do with my antique radio taking up space in my office.. Right now, I just have a pair of speakers connected to a vintage receiver, but I like this idea more. My wife is always saying my Fender amp is in the way....

This reminds me of Billy Joel, he has a digital piano and TelePrompter mounted in the shell of a grand piano. He hasn't used an acoustic grand on stage in a long time.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline David Aubke

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2015, 05:44:13 PM »
This reminds me of Billy Joel, he has a digital piano and TelePrompter mounted in the shell of a grand piano. He hasn't used an acoustic grand on stage in a long time.

Flyin' by wire. Piano's always in tune but still prone to its own problems. When Jeremy Renner hosted Saturday Night Live, someone forgot to switch on the concert grand piano they'd wheeled out on stage. When he sat down and struck the first silent chord, things suddenly got awkward.

I looked for a YouTube clip but apparently he sang some copyrighted tunes.
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Offline voltergeist

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2015, 08:12:42 AM »
An 88 suitcase in a baby grand 270-style is a cool idea.  I think I'd be looking for the smallest baby grand I could find.  The stereo effect probably wouldn't be all that effective pointed up and reflected out in one direction by the top, but I imagine it would still sound cool.  I would probably use a rackmount power amp and an aftermarket power supply instead of suitcase electronics, and a Peterson or VV StereoVibe preamp. 
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2015, 08:52:22 AM »
The stereo effect could sound cool if you point the speakers just right. Maybe angle them a little.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline voltergeist

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2015, 09:45:41 AM »
I suppose if a person were really ambitious it might be possible to split the top of a baby grand and make it open like a butterfly.  That would give good stereo separation. 
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline voltergeist

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2015, 09:09:31 AM »
Using a baby grand, I think I'd use a StereoVibe preamp.  That way both of the non-sustain piano pedals could control preamp switches- one for trem on/off, and the other for trem half-speed/full-speed.  An effects loop on/off might be a decent alternative to trem half-speed/full-speed.

Given there's so much room to work with, I think I'd be tempted to do something other than just 4x12.  Maybe a 2x10/2x12/2x15 arrangement or something like that, with a 200W power amp.  I would think speaker holes could be cut right into the soundboard.

The first trick would be finding a baby grand that is small, cheap, looks good, and ideally is in bad enough mechanical shape to not feel guilty about gutting it.   Maybe a piano in not-so-good cosmetic condition could be used if a body shop would be able to put a nice gloss paint job on it for a reasonable price.
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline voltergeist

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2015, 11:03:25 AM »
I suppose if one were going for a worn beat-down honky-tonk look that would make finding a piano easier and cheaper.  If one were planning to paint it that would make modifying it a lot easier, since you wouldn't have to worry so much about matching wood tones and such.
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline voltergeist

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2015, 11:25:42 AM »
As far as the details of the Rhodes piano one would build into it, part of the beauty of the idea is that if it's done right any 88 Rhodes could be dropped in it.  Also, (again, if done right) the Rhodes could be pulled out and put back in a Stage or Suitcase case in about 15 minutes.  So, a person could have just one Rhodes 88 with a gigging case and a stately home case that even the wife might approve of.  If the piano's key lid were useable with the Rhodes conversion, you wouldn't even know when the Rhodes was out of it.
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline David Aubke

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2015, 11:36:06 AM »
voltergeist, seems like you should make one of these things. You're finished with that student hybrid, right?
Dave Aubke
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Offline voltergeist

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2015, 11:50:42 AM »
voltergeist, seems like you should make one of these things. You're finished with that student hybrid, right?

Yeah, the KMC is done but for the music stand.  I need to get that 270 finished and out of my shop, too.

If I can find the right piano at the right price I probably will.  Part of me says it would be a cool project but I don't have room for it and probably couldn't get my money back out of it if I were to sell it.  However, the part of me that likes quixotic "awesome for the sake of awesomeness"-type projects has been searching Craigslist for baby grands. 
Restored or Overhauled: '65 A-model Sparkletop, '78 Suitcase 73, early-'75 Satellite 88, '81 MkII Stage 73, two '77 Mk1 Stage 73's, '74 Mk1 Stage 73
In Progress: 1 '78 Suitcase (2nd one), '70 KMC - Customized w/ Peterson 4x12, '77 Wurli 270

Offline David Aubke

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2015, 11:58:36 AM »
Chickering was the make of one of Glenn Gould's favorite pianos. The one at his family's cottage on Lake Simcoe.

I've been getting way into Glenn Gould lately and this thread reminds me of him every time.

Dave Aubke
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Offline Ben Bove

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2015, 12:13:57 PM »
I haven't done it yet, but my idea of the ideal custom home Rhodes would be basically a suitcase installation in an upright piano - one with a relatively taller top section like those tall black Yamaha U-series upright pianos.

Strip the acoustic upright of everything but the shell
Install the modular rhodes piano top into the piano area
Cut and mount speakers in the bottom section of piano, and then custom cut and install speakers in the upright top section - so finally, your ears are at the level of the speaker output.
Install controls to vary output between top and bottom speakers - so that you can turn down the top section and not blow your ears out, and turn up the bottom section


The acoustic piano shell would basically serve as a resonant cabinet already, and putting up against the wall defeats the rear-facing speakers, so you'd have a player-facing upright 4 speaker suitcase piano.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 12:46:45 PM by bjammerz »
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Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2017, 09:10:09 AM »
This popped up and seemed relevant:

Fender Rhodes 73 piano. Unique in baby grand style case.

Quote
This instrument is a unique collector's item. It is a Fender Rhodes 73 stage piano in the case the style of a baby grand. The speaker is inside the case. It makes a wonderful sound. The instrument itself is pristine and barely used. The case has a few knocks and scratches, but nothing major. When we had another instrument repaired by specialists we were told that this particular instrument had been made for Elton John.

It comes apart, the stand is separate from the main body, the lid (which is heavy) comes off , it can be lifted sideways so will go through standard doors. There is a matching stool , which is not shown in the photos.

it has been in storage for a few months and was also dismantled for transport and the photos show it put up to give purchasers an idea of what it is like, but not all of the screws have been put in .

Please note this item is very heavy and will need at least two people to collect and three to unload, using ropes is a good idea.

Ebay Seller: 1963jasmine (for when the listing eventually disappears)
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Offline David Aubke

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2017, 10:45:16 AM »
How did they make a Seventy Three fill the width of the keybed? I guess the cheek blocks look a little fatter than normal, maybe that's all it took.

I wish they'd taken a picture of it closed up.
Dave Aubke
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Offline Ben Bove

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2017, 01:53:09 PM »
Incredible find.  I've seen pictures of an unknown piano player with Harold at a showcase in Europe, and they were at this grand piano shell Rhodes.  It's not exactly similar (didn't have red knobs in the photo) but it's the same "Don Pallas" cabinet maker.  Could be the same piano?  Highly unique and definitely factory
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Offline David Aubke

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2017, 02:10:46 PM »
Incredible find.  I've seen pictures of an unknown piano player with Harold at a showcase in Europe, and they were at this grand piano shell Rhodes.  It's not exactly similar (didn't have red knobs in the photo) but it's the same "Don Pallas" cabinet maker.  Could be the same piano?  Highly unique and definitely factory

Ohhh. I saw "Chickering" but forgot this was an old thread. I'm no expert on acoustic pianos but I did think it looked strange for a baby grand.
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Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2017, 03:03:38 PM »
I seriously doubt that this was built for Elton John. Yes, he used Rhodes on several tracks, but if I remember correctly, they were mainly played by James Newton Howard, (late '70's) or other sidemen.  One exception would be on "Daniel". I believe Elton played the Rhodes on that and a few other tracks. "Honky Cat" may be another since it was the album prior...
« Last Edit: August 18, 2017, 07:44:01 AM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline Tim Hodges

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2017, 03:10:20 PM »
I've seen pictures of an unknown piano player with Harold at a showcase in Europe, and they were at this grand piano shell Rhodes.  It's not exactly similar (didn't have red knobs in the photo) but it's the same "Don Pallas" cabinet maker.  Could be the same piano?  Highly unique and definitely factory

Would love to see those photos if you can find them.
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Offline Ben Bove

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2017, 01:43:52 PM »
Found one but it's very small.  I've seen it at full res, and it's definitely the piano.  You can make out that it's Harold, and the player has the satin Rhodes jacket on.  The base of the piano and the bench are visible at the top

https://www.snapfish.com/photo-gift/share?via=link&token=KKl3PtORH1TuhLogqJQkZw/AUS/27946378299070/SNAPFISH

Haven't had a chance to correct the photo issue, here's a Snapfish link
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Offline rhodesjuzz

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2017, 02:43:42 AM »
I seriously doubt that this was built for Elton John. Yes, he used Rhodes on several tracks, but if I remember correctly, they were mainly played by James Newton Howard, (late '70's) or other sidemen.  One exception would be on "Daniel". I believe Elton played the Rhodes on that and a few other tracks. "Honky Cat" may be another since it was the album prior...

I always thought Elton played Wurlitzer on 'Daniel'.
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Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2017, 06:45:14 AM »
No, that is a Rhodes on Daniel. Elton only used Wurlitzers in the very beginning, I believe. Lady Samantha, the original demo of Grey Seal, and other songs from the Lady Samantha / Empty Sky era. I can't think of any later songs of his with a Wurlitzer, but there may be some I am just not thinking of.

Another great song with a stereo Rhodes is Elton and John Lennon doing John's "One Day at a Time".
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline Student Rhodes

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2017, 02:53:20 AM »
Captain Fantastic's title cut is dripping with Rhodes.
There are others on the album, and the albums of that period that list Elton as the player.
I checked the credits on a few of those LPs last night. Interestingly he's also listed as playing a "Leslie Piano" on a certain tracks.  I'm going to have to listen to them again to see what they're talking about.
Ray
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 03:21:42 PM by Student Rhodes »

Offline rhodesjuzz

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2017, 07:07:48 AM »
No, that is a Rhodes on Daniel. Elton only used Wurlitzers in the very beginning, I believe. Lady Samantha, the original demo of Grey Seal, and other songs from the Lady Samantha / Empty Sky era. I can't think of any later songs of his with a Wurlitzer, but there may be some I am just not thinking of.

Another great song with a stereo Rhodes is Elton and John Lennon doing John's "One Day at a Time".

Funny, after listening more carefully to the song it's a Rhodes for certain. It has been years since I heard this song, you're absolutely right :)
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Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: The Rhodes in a Chickering Box/Rhodes Porn
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2017, 10:42:39 AM »
Another one that comes to mind is Philadelphia Freedom, one of my least favorite Elton songs.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...