The touch and action of the keyboard is designed to be as close to a piano as possible.Pressing a key results in a hammer striking a thin metal rod called a tine connected to a larger "tone bar". Well my bassman (who also plays keys) scored a pretty incredible vintage Rhodes on Craigslist yesterday and as the resident band geek, I'm trying to get some information for him. This would seem right as the controls are the concentric vol, tone and vibrato pots and the badge is Rhodes, not Fender Rhodes (whihc I understood started in '75 but perhaps this one was one of the first to drop the "Fender" on the name plate). It IS badged Fender Rhodes as you can see (below) - so maybe it's from earlier in '74. The amp doesn't have nearly enough volume to hang with a band - it would need to be mic'd and/or be run out to an external guitar amp cab to hang.Doing a lot of googling and spending a bit of time over at the Super Site - forum etc., so learning a bit, but thought I'd throw it up here and see if anyone can confirm some things and possibly inform me on others. Last two digits of its serial number ar 74, so that makes sense. I've read I can do that with the "1 Accesory" output on the suitcase itself OR through the extrnal speaker jacks on the amp. CAn I use a regular instrument cable to patch out of the suitcase to en external amp?By 1942, Rhodes was working for the Army Air Corps, where he was asked to devise a teaching program to provide therapy for soldiers recovering from combat in hospital.He was unable to supply enough acoustic pianos, so decided to develop a miniature electric model that could be made from surplus army parts.The instrument introduced the design that would become common to subsequent Rhodes pianos, with the same tolex body as Fender amplifiers and a fiberglass top.The tops came from a boat manufacturer who supplied whatever color happened to be available; consequently a number of different colored piano basses went into production.
A pickup sits opposite the tine, picking up its vibrations and inducing an electric current in a similar manner to an electric guitar.The Celeste did not sell particularly well and examples are now hard to find.The Student and Instructor models were also introduced in the late 1960s. All keys etc sound, action is really good throughout, clean as a whistle inside, tolex etc all in great condition, controls - vibrato etc. I'll post pix of the amp itself in a reply Using the 4 digit stamp at top right on the inside, I'm dating this thing to 51st week of '74.
In an effort to verify some things, LOTS pictures and then some questions...
Rhodes stayed with the company, and released the first Fender Rhodes piano, a 73 note model.