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1966 Fender Rhodes Sparkle Top Vintage Electric Piano, Jordan Preamp, Near Mint w/ Victoria Covers


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Up for sale, a 1966 Fender Rhodes "Sparkle Top" Suitcase 73 in collector-grade condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original TRS cable and pair of Victoria Luggage fitted Fender covers.

From our personal collection here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this is easily the nicest Sparkle Top Rhodes piano to be offered for sale in many years and a one-owner example. Extremely rare in any condition, the Sparkle Top Rhodes pianos are sought after for their sweet, bell-like tone via untapered Raymac tines, square tonebars, and felt teardrop hammers. A classic sound that can be heard on pioneering Rhodes recordings by Miles Davis and Billy Preston (perhaps most notably with the Beatles on "Let it Be"), the Sparkle Top Rhodes sound is unmatched in its uniqueness and rich tonal character. Made in extremely small numbers compared to later Rhodes models, this Sparkle Top is a jaw-droppingly clean example.

The piano retains its original Jordan preamp and corresponding power amp, and the two are tethered by the original gray TRS cable. The power amp is a 50 watt mono design, and via the four original Jensen C12N speakers in the cabinet, the tremolo has a strong, present chop that's dimensional and deep. The active preamp features a Volume knob and stacked Bass/Treble controls in addition to the stacked Tremolo Speed/Intensity knobs. Within the Sparkle Top family, there are both "A" and "B" versions of this piano, this one being a "B" version with 4" green wire pickups, dual harp supports, and a foldable sustain pedal. Unlike the one harp support seen on the earliest Sparkle Tops, the two support design has greater consistency between the two extremities of the harp, assuring that the tines and hammers are properly lined up across all registers.

The harp is exceedingly nice and 100% original, retaining the gold foil Fender Rhodes badge in the lower right corner. The piano action is smooth and responsive, yet it's worth noting that the Sparkle Top action is a bit more deliberate than later Mk I examples. The original key bushings are in great shape, and the original damper felts are intact and still do their job well, showing minimal wear. The stock teardrop hammers are also present and deliver a warm, creamy sound that is distinct from the later neoprene tips on the Mk I pianos. The piano has also been professionally tuned and voiced, making this an ideal choice for a studio or serious gigging musician.

The namerail has a gleaming mirrored chrome shine, retaining the original small Fender Rhodes badge as well as the flawless foil "Pull For Vibrato" sticker. The Seventy Three badge is intact too on the nigh flawless original fiberglass silver sparkle curved harp cover.

Inside the speaker cabinet, the piano boasts its original quad of Jensen C12N 12" ceramic magnet speakers, all with clean black frames, gold foil labels on the magnets, original cones, and date stamps on the edges of the frames from the 11th week of '66. The power supply has been recently gone over by our in-house Service Dept to ensure optimal functionality and a low noise floor.

Cosmetically, you'd be hard pressed to find a nicer Sparkle Top Fender Rhodes anywhere. The original smooth black tolex is intact on both the piano and speaker cabinet, with the original silver sparkle grillcloth retained on both sides of the cabinet as well, showing sparingly little aging. The large Fender Rhodes badge on the cab is fully intact and quite rare, as the placement of this logo meant these were often broken or removed (a reason why all later Rhodes badges are shifted to the upper corners of the cabs). The red felt inside the piano's latching lid is even original, another remarkable feat given the fragility of the material, with one spot of wear through the felt. All original hardware is present including the latches, handles, corners, sphinx glides, and suitcase "legs."

The original pair of black vinyl Victoria Luggage covers are included with "Fender Piano 73" silver silkscreened text. These covers are unique in their sizing and construction for the Sparkle Tops, and both are in great shape, although there are a couple tears and some minor seam separation on the cover for the speaker cabinet.