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Fender Rhodes MK1A Purchase Advice
Old 24th January 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 
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Fender Rhodes MK1A Purchase Advice

If there is a better thread to post this in let me know.

I found a 1972 Fender Rhodes Stage MK1A for sale for $750, and I am trying to determine if the price is accurate for the value as well as any repair/maintenance costs. I am an aspiring Rhodes enthusiast (this would be my first Rhodes, despite the username ). I can tell already that a lot of work needs to be done. I am willing to do the work but my main concern is the investment cost. It has been sitting in an antique store for the past 2 months and the shop has no information about the previous owner or really much of anything.

It plays with the exception of the bottom 2 notes (which I believe to be dead pickups) and 2 of the highest keys that get stuck and don't produce sound. I did the screwdriver test and found all but 4 pickups work. Some pickups appear to be quieter than others, especially in the higher range.

The tines are rusted, and the tone bars moderately so. I have seen a few rust removal methods already such as using kerosene and sandpaper. Would I be able to save them with a bit of elbow grease?

The hammers strike true with the exception of one. The tips have a wear line and look like they need to be replaced. The dampers are also heavily worn.

The case is ratty but I am less worried about cosmetic issues at the moment. I also tried to set up the sustain pedal but I couldn't get it to function. This might have been user error.

I have a low budget, so I am looking to prioritize possible repairs. My goal is to get the best authentic Rhodes sound that I can for as little as possible (isn't everyone).

Is the asking price right?
What NEEDS to be adjusted?
What NEEDS to be replaced?
What are the first steps in this possible restoration process?
and.... How much will it COST?

In summary:
Found a Rhodes for cheap and want to know if it's worth the potential cost to fix up.
I have attached pictures for reference below.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 25th January 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
I've had four of the 70s era Rhodes. That's not a bad price for it. THe pickups might just need to be adjusted. There are millions of things you can do to improve the sound. One of the best things you can do is bypass the volume/tone control and just have the line from the harp pickups go straight to the jack. The tone control is pretty lame.

Find a place to get some parts, because you'll need them. Especially tines. They tend to break a lot. And you'll need to get the hang of tuning it and setting the tines for the best tone. It looks like you'll need to level the keybed. If you pull the keys up you should see washers underneath. I used to have it done at a local music store, but it isn't rocket science. Another thing you can do, if you want a brighter sound is to replace the lower and middle hammer tips with the hard hammers that are on the top keys. This brightens things up quite a bit and was a popular mod in the heyday.

You can start looking into parts here>

Parts for fender rhodes electric pianos - Google Search
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