Up for sale, a 1961 Fender Rhodes "Pre-CBS" Piano Bass in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. An extremely early and remarkably complete example of the Piano Bass, this Fender Rhodes features square tone bars, Raymac tines, an all wood action assembly with large felt tipped hammers, a Brazilian rosewood namerail and mahogany cheek blocks, and a fiberglass Fiesta Red top, all of which are unique to these early Piano Basses. The combination of rough blonde tolex paired with the Fiesta Red top is easily one of the rarest and most desirable cosmetic combinations for any Rhodes.
A true unicorn in terms of functionality, this piano is ready for stage and studio use with a nigh-immaculate harp, level key caps and quick action. The early Rhodes Piano Basses have a raw and bell-like tone that sets them apart from the later '60s "Sparkle Tops," with more gain when the Volume knob is dimed and a resonance from the early square tone bars that is unmatched. The original key bushings are still nice and tight, moving smoothly and evenly without being sluggish or having any side to side motion. The hammers and damper felts are also still in great shape, showing only minor indentations and performing their functions well. All of the original Raymac tines and square tone bars are present, and the piano is also notable for its very early cast iron frame. The early four digit serial number is hand-stamped into the edge of the frame (and also present on a piece of masking tape on the front edge of the harp).
The original pots and wiring are untouched, with Stackpole pots that date to the 45th week of 1961, original solder joints, original ceramic disc tone caps and cloth wiring. The early style wooden pickup rail has all of the original pickups embedded inside, and all pickups have strong and consistent output. The cream pointer Volume and Bass Boost knobs turn smoothly and top off one of the rarest and best maintained Rhodes Piano Basses on the market.
The "Fender Rhodes" waterslide decal on the Brazilian rosewood namerail and the similar decal on the Fiesta Red top are completely intact and in great shape, especially considering their fragility. The blonde tolex is all original and quite clean, with some requisite scuffs and a few stains where sap from knots in the pine enclosure has come through the tolex over the decades. There is also some localized wear on the lid adjacent to the original molded brown plastic "dogbone" handle. The thick plush orange interior is intact on the lid, and original hardware includes the latches, hinges and sphinx glides (feet). Even the small spring-loaded locking button that secures the back edge of the Fiesta Red top is present.
This Rhodes is a real beauty, extremely rare in any condition and tonally everything a great Rhodes should be.