Posts tagged Fender Rhodes
In Restoration: Rhodes Mk I

A customer brought this Rhodes in for restoration. It had been in storage for some time, and he asked us to bring it back to optimal playing condition.

The instrument was out of tune, missing most of its tolex, and suffered from a sloppy, unresponsive action. It had clearly been well-used for a while, and then at some point it had been put away and not used at all. Overall, though, it was in good shape, because all of its fundamental parts were present and more or less functional. That is, the wood parts weren’t warped, the plastic parts hadn’t deteriorated, and nearly every pickup worked. It was a great candidate for restoration.

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What's the Difference Between a Rhodes and a Wurlitzer?

The Rhodes and the Wurlitzer are sometimes mentioned interchangeably, but they’re actually pretty different. We do spent 99% of our time around electronic pianos, but trust us: it’s not just our bias talking. A Rhodes and a Wurlitzer sound different, feel different, and were invented in completely different contexts. Most studios would benefit from one of each. (Well, one Rhodes and two or three Wurlitzers - but now this might be our bias talking.)

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About the 1981-1984 Late-Model Rhodes Mk II

The last iteration of the Rhodes Mk II, released between 1981 and 1984, is one of our favorites. Despite having more plastic parts than previous models of Rhodes, we find that keyboards of this period tend to have a dynamic, modern feel and excellent timbre. Plastic has a bad reputation these days - which it deserves - but this model of Rhodes is a rare case of plastic manufacture improving a product’s consistency and longevity.

Here’s a list of the details that are unique for the last years of the Mk II.

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In Restoration: August 2018

We drove through the eastern U.S. on a pickup/delivery run last week. (Little-known fact! We do deliver long-distance. More info here.) We dropped off our gorgeous Wurlitzer 720a, and then picked up a handful of new pieces: a teacher/student 206a/207a pair, a 203w wheeled console Wurlitzer, an extremely rare Wurlitzer 140a, and a Fender Rhodes Mk I.

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