Inherited a Fender Rhodes. Anyone know about them?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by RiverDog, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. RiverDog

    RiverDog Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    1,515
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    This was my late father-in-law's Fender Rhodes suitcase piano. He passed away about six years ago and this was sitting in his basement. I had no idea until my mother-in-law passed in December and my wife brought some of her stuff home a couple of months later.

    I was hoping someone might be able to tell me an approximate value. I wanted to fix it up and play around with it but my wife lost her job and I'm now selling things just to pay the rent and utilities.

    It's a bit rough on the outside from sitting in a damp basement. Actually I guess it's not in the greatest shape inside, either. As you may have noticed the plate that I assume would have the model and serial # is gone.

    Any ideas on what it might be worth?

    Thanks

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. RiverDog

    RiverDog Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    1,515
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    [​IMG]

    I think the "FLAT" and "VIBRATO" controls were replaced with bolts or something. I didn't have much time to investigate.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. stevens

    stevens TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    58
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Location:
    United States
    Well it might be worth 500 to 1000 depending on who finds it. Now for the 1000 price, it will take some restoration.
     
  4. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,978
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Location:
    Southern, California
  5. goonie

    goonie Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,453
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
     
  6. pondcaster

    pondcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    5,340
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Tryon, NC
    Great clip Goonie, everyone except the BB are great.

    Blues Bros are just disgraceful.
     
  7. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,182
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Location:
    Jasper, TN
    Pretty rought condition, really going to hurt the value. Got an amp to plug it into and see how it works?
     
  8. dog fart

    dog fart Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina
    The Blues Brothers might not be your thing, but they certainly influenced me as a child watching them on SNL. Watching the band, esp Steve Cropper, made me want to play guitar. And this movie gave a lot of exposure to several forgotten players during the age of "Disco pants and haircuts".

    Now if I can fulfill my lifelong dream of driving through the mall I'll be set :cool:

    Back to the original question. I can't tell you about the value, but honestly if I got that fixed up it wouldn't leave the house. The Mrs must have something to sell.
     
  9. RiverDog

    RiverDog Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    1,515
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    I wish I had the time and money to restore it. Actually I wish I could KEEP IT! :cry:
     
  10. RiverDog

    RiverDog Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    1,515
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    flyingbanana that website is excellent! Looks like I have a 1970 Fender Rhodes Mark I. Thanks for that!
     
  11. RiverDog

    RiverDog Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    1,515
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    I have a couple of guitar amps but I don't know if they would work. I need to do some more investigating. I'm not even sure how to hook it up yet. Looks like it was modified with some type of effects loop.
     
  12. JaysRiff

    JaysRiff Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    411
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    If it's not gonna garner you much cash in the condition it's in maybe just hang on to it until you can afford a restoration, might be a shame to get rid of something that cool for a lousy few hundred. I know sometimes you just need cash bad but gee I've got some sellers remorse on a couple musical items i sold when i was in tight spot a while back.
     
  13. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,679
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Man, you HAVE to keep that baby!!!!

    Along with Hammond B3's these things are some of the classic sounds of 60's and 70's music. You would regret it as soon as you sold it.

    It's in rough condition so you can rest assured that any potential buyer will be knocking the price down for that reason alone. If it's only worth a few hundred dollars as it is then keep it, put it away again until you have some spare cash to clean it up or get any repairs done on it.

    I know that sometimes you feel morally obliged to get rid of somethings when times are tight but, if it belonged to your wife's father then she should have some sort of emotional connection to it as well and may understand the logic in keeping it and getting it overhauled.

    Tell her that, in working order, you can make money with it by playing it at gigs!

    There you are - it's a financial benefit to keep it right now!!!!

    Don't say I'm not thinking of your best interests here!!!!!!!
     
  14. javabirds

    javabirds Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    627
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Location:
    Tennessee
    From what I can see from your pictures, the date code is still there. It is the stamp above where the sticker with the serial # was. I can't read it but the code is week/year. So if it is 3477 it was built the 34th week of '77.
    Another way to tell the age is to look at the hammers. Are they all plastic or plastic with wooden heads? Wooden heads were on older pianos and were replaced with all plastic hammers in the mid seventies.

    Suitcase pianos included an combo amp that was necessary to power the preamp. Your piano has been modified with an aftermarket cheek block (on the left side) that probably powers the preamp so you can use it without the amp. Im guessing that you don't have that... One problem is that the preamp unit has been removed entirely. So really, you have a suitcase piano that has been converted to a stage piano.

    These are great and really don't take much $$$ to restore. Mostly just time and sweat. One problem is that they are often pulled together out of parts from donor pianos so it is hard to tell what is original. In your case, you might be able to get $300 out of it. But with some investigation, sweat equity you could double that. Unless you are choosing between feeding your family and keeping the Rhodes, don't sell it. Fix it and enjoy the hound out of it. Everything you need to know can be found online. I've got two that I picked up in about that condition and I've restored one. It is awesome! Just awesome. Seriously.

    Watch the documentary "down the Rhodes" and if you can give it away after that...
     
  15. JeffBeck

    JeffBeck TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    93
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Location:
    Western Kentucky
    Just listen to the into to Queen's "You're My Best Friend," then decide if you want to get rid of it.
     
  16. javabirds

    javabirds Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    627
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Or "Riders on the Storm"
     
  17. johnboy99

    johnboy99 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    183
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Location:
    florida
    A friend of mine bought one off craigslist a few months ago in excellent shape with no mods for about $400. Maybe that was a steal, but it had been listed for a few weeks before he bought it, so I wouldn't guess that you could get more than a couple hundred and it might not be a fast sell.
     
  18. stevens

    stevens TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    58
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Location:
    United States
    I know the feeling, if I had one I would be fighting to keep it. Its vintage keys at your fingertips. Throw a good distortion pedal in front of it and you got yourself a awesome piece of r&b goodness.
     
  19. javabirds

    javabirds Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    627
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Mine sounds unbelievable with a Presonus Tube Pre and an old cool cat chorus pedal.
     
  20. benderb9

    benderb9 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,084
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Location:
    St Petersburg,FL
    Fender Rhodes pianos are the sound of Ray Charles...he called it The Executioner. Check out the last two songs on Aretha Franklins Spirit in the Dark (live) album, wow!
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.