Author Topic: Sparkle top w/out suitcase amp  (Read 1634 times)

Offline jpenner

  • Pre-Piano
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Sparkle top w/out suitcase amp
« on: April 15, 2016, 01:09:30 PM »
Just how much is a sparkle top worth?

I see them listed online for 4000- 5000 USD but have no idea what they actually go for in purchases.

I have someone who is looking to sell me just the piano (good to great condition) with no suit case for $1500, is this a great deal? Or is it a reasonable deduction for someone trying to sell it with out the suitcase amp?

Offline Student Rhodes

  • Mark I
  • ****
  • Posts: 628
    • View Profile
Re: Sparkle top w/out suitcase amp
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2016, 06:37:18 PM »
I see Sparkletops often listed on ebay for the $4K to $5K, but they don't seem to sell.   If it's "all there" it could be an okay deal, if you had a cab to pair it with.   But without the cab, the top is little more than a glorified State Model (sans actual legs), with what I consider to be the less desirable teardrop hammers, and harder to replace Raymac tines. 

Last year, I bought a nearly complete Sparkletop for $800.  But that was a once in a lifetime score.  However, I bought another that included bottom cab for $1200.
 
I suppose if it's a later version with a Peterson pre-amp it could make using a post-sparkletop cabinet a possibility, but the cab is not an exact fit.  The Sparkletop piano and cab are about an inch or so narrower than the post '69 Suitcase model.   You'd have to jigger the positioning to make the damper pedal line up.  Not super hard, but something to consider.
 
I totally get the appeal of having a really clean Sparkletop.  They're beauty nearly transcends their function as a Rhodes.  But why not offer him/her a grand, or $1200. 

I'd say if you're willing to hunt, and perhaps wait a year or two, for a Sparkletop era cab, then a nearly great condition piano top for $1500 isn't terrible (considering the pair may fetch 4K), but why not use the lack of a cab as a strong bargaining position?

Worst case scenario is you have to come up to his price, and start hunting for the other half of the combo -- which isn't as impossible as it sounds.  I see cabinets pop up for sale a every so often.  In the mean time, you could put a Sparkletop on an X stand and use it like a Stage Model, plugging it into an amp, after you secure some kind of damper pedal.

Good luck,
Ray
« Last Edit: April 15, 2016, 06:43:01 PM by Student Rhodes »

Offline jpenner

  • Pre-Piano
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Sparkle top w/out suitcase amp
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2016, 07:48:10 PM »
Ok thanks that makes since, i figured the 4k+ don't actually sell for that.

I already have a suitcase 88 key from 1978 and a 73 key stage. I bought cheap and did the refurbish myself. Both have a very different sound. I've always wanted the sparkle top model for the tone of it and the rarity.

I wasn't on the hunt for anything but saw this on craigs and couldn't help but to look into it. Glad to hear they can go for under 1500 every once in awhile. Considering I work 5 minutes from the original factory.

Thanks for the info.

Offline The Real MC

  • Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 774
    • View Profile
    • My '67 sparkletop Rhodes
Re: Sparkle top w/out suitcase amp
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2016, 06:36:18 PM »
Five years ago I bought my sparkletop for less than $500, it was missing the preamp and power amp but the wood/plastic hammer set with neoprene tips that replaced the felt hammers more than made up for it.