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1977 Rhodes Suitcase 73 Mk I Vintage Electric Piano w/ Janus Preamp, Serviced & Near-Mint


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Up for sale, a 1977 Rhodes Mk I Suitcase 73 electric piano in near-mint condition and perfect working order. Fully serviced, this later iteration of the Mk I features the Janus preamp, freshly tuned and voiced. The piano takes full advantage of the power and clarity of the Janus preamp to deliver smooth transitions from the lower, growly bass octaves to the bell-like notes in the highest registers. The low end ranges from mellow, round bass notes with a soft touch to the famous Rhodes growl when digging in.

The Janus preamp has been fully recapped with a freshly rebuilt vibrato circuit. Controls include Bass/Treble sliders, a Volume knob, and Speed/Intensity controls for the stereo vibrato. The effect is lush and smooth, with a wide range of depths and speeds that fully take advantage of the stereo field. More percussive and punchy than earlier Rhodes vibratos, the Janus vibrato can go from slow and swampy to machine gun fast with the turn of a knob.

The power amp has a strong and even response from both sides of the stereo unit, and the original Schumacher power transformer is intact, dating to the 12th week of '77. Both the preamp and power supply have been serviced, with electrolytic caps replaced as needed. This Rhodes also has a low noise floor, ideal for studio situations. The cabinet retains a quad of original 12" speakers (two facing the performer and two facing the audience). The speakers were manufactured by Utah, with clean Fender foil stickers on the ceramic magnets.

The action is smooth, consistent and springy, with a fast attack that isn't sloppy, and original key bushings that are in excellent shape. The original hammer tips and damper felts show limited wear. The flat key caps that replaced the rounded caps in '74 also have a feel that is much more akin to an acoustic piano, and it's one of the smaller tweaks made by Rhodes that's virtually universally praised by players.

The harp itself is extremely clean, with original pickups, tines, and tonebars and only modest oxidation on the components. The Rhodes stamp on the harp is nice and bold, and the date stamp from the 23rd week of '77 is on the harp's upper right corner. The original knobs are intact on the preamp, and the small "Rhodes" logo on the namerail and two large "Rhodes" badges on the back are intact.

The original smooth black tolex and matching black grillcloth are intact and present extremely well, and this studio-worthy Rhodes shows very limited cosmetic wear. The hardware shows only very light surface patina, and the original latching lid is also present.