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1971 Fender Rhodes Mk I Vintage Electric Piano Suitcase 73 Top, Stage Conversion w/ Raymac Tines


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Up for sale, a 1971 Fender Rhodes Mk I Suitcase 73 top in excellent condition and in perfect working order, fully serviced by David Ell, The Rhodes Man. This piano has been converted to "Stage" specifications with the addition of all the associated hardware (legs, flanges, braces, and a sustain pedal).

This early Mk I piano retains all of its original Raymac tines, highly coveted for their bright, bell-like sound that contrasts notably with the much more common Rhodes tine design introduced very soon after this piano's production. In addition to being one of the last Rhodes with Raymacs, it's also an early example with neoprene (rubber) hammer tips, striking with more authority than the earlier felt-tipped hammers.

Benefitting from previous servicing by David Ell, and recently tuned/voiced, this piano has quick action, exquisite clarity across all octaves, and a balanced, dynamic quality. And while the original preamp is no longer present, an active preamp (9v powered) has been substituted, retaining the functionality of a Suitcase-style preamp in a much more convenient package.

The piano action is smooth and responsive, and the original key bushings are in great shape. The damper felts show only minimal wear, and similarly, the neoprene hammer tips are also in great shape, mounted on early examples of Rhodes' hybrid wood/plastic hammers. David Ell's "Rhodes Man" badge is present on the harp, and the original date stamp from the 1st week of 1971 is also intact. The pristine gold foil Rhodes label has also been retained. The namerail features the original "Fender Rhodes" faceplate for the upgraded active preamp, and the small "Fender Rhodes" and "Seventy Three" badges are also original. A large reissue "Fender Rhodes" badge is also included, to be mounted on the back at the next owner's discretion.

Cosmetically, this is a very well-kept piano. The original smooth black tolex is intact with some minor scuffs on the exterior and one reglued small tear on the right hand side. Original hardware includes corners and handle caps, with a quartet of more robust modern Rhodes latches. As this piano was originally the top half of the Suitcase model, leg flanges have been added, along with modern legs, braces and a sustain pedal, courtesy of Vintage Vibe.