Up for sale, a 1974 Fender Rhodes Stage 88 Mk I electric piano in exceptional condition and in perfect working order. Freshly serviced and studio-worthy, this 88 key Fender Rhodes hails from the golden era of Mk I tone and playability.
The tone and feel of the early Fender Mk I pianos is like nothing that came before or after. The sound is warm, dynamic, and the perfect blend of midrange fullness and top end chime. This piano has been professionally voiced, with smooth transitions from the lower, growly bass octaves to the bell-like notes in the highest registers. The middle octaves are voiced slightly favoring the harmonic overtones, which keeps complex chord voicings clear and balanced. The low end ranges from mellow, round bass notes with a soft touch to the famous Rhodes growl when digging in.
Fresh from Synapse Audio Systems, servicing on this Rhodes includes all new pedestal felts and the "miracle mod" pedestal bump for quick, consistent action. The keys are level, with escapement and strike line ideally set, and all new tonebar grommets have been installed as well. New damper felts and hammer tips have been installed as needed to ensure optimal performance and tonal consistency in all registers.
The action is very smooth, with a quick and responsive feel thanks to the new pedestal felts and bump mod, and the original key bushings are in excellent shape, showing no excessive side to side wiggle. One thing that makes the earliest 88 key Mk I pianos special is the wood/plastic hybrid hammers that were retired by mid '75. These hammers strike with more authority than the later all-plastic style and were a significant upgrade in terms of longevity over the earlier all wood hammers, while still retaining the feel and overall purpose of their predecessors.
The harp itself is quite clean with some light oxidation on the tonebars and frame, retaining the original pickups and tonebars, and the vast majority of the original tines too. The gold Rhodes label is intact, along with the 1973 date stamp in the upper right corner of the harp. The wiring harness is stock as well, with CTS pots that date to early '74. The original aluminum skirted Fender "F" knobs are intact on the control plate, and both the small "Fender Rhodes" logo on the namerail and the "Eighty Eight" raised text on the rounded plastic harp cover are present, along with the larger Rhodes badge on the back of the piano which shows some scuffing.
The piano retains its original smooth black tolex which is remarkably clean, and the curved black plastic harp cover is also original. Stock hardware includes the handles, latches, corners, leg flanges and sphinx glides (feet), all of which show uniform surface patina.
The piano comes complete with its original latching lid, and the chrome-plated legs, crossbars and sustain pedal are all original as well.