How to Date a Rhodes

How can you find the year your Rhodes was manufactured?

How old is my Rhodes? This is one of the more frequently asked questions of our workshop when pianos are brought in for restoration or repair. Luckily, dating a Rhodes is extremely simple and can usually be determined within the precise week that it was ‘born.’ Here’s how you find out:

If you lift up the vinyl lid of your Rhodes you will find that there is a four digit stamp (red, blue, or black depending on the year) that will tell you what week of what year your Rhodes is from. The four digits will read as follows: WWYY (Week, Year).

Here are some examples from our workshop:
40th week of 1972

4072 = 40th week of 1972

0475 = 4th Week of 1975

0475 = 4th Week of 1975

1780 = 17th week of 1980

1780 = 17th week of 1980

2584 = 25th Week of 1984

2584 = 25th Week of 1984

As you can see, the numbering scheme was consistent from the first Mark I in 1969, through the Mark II’s of the early ’80’s and on to the Mark V of 1984. For more information about what makes each year different, check out our previous post, The Ultimate Rhodes Timeline, for more information about the characteristics of each era of production.

Side note: there are some typos from 1975 that will read as 1985. We have seen this a small handful of times and it seems that there was a week or two in 1975 where they were accidentally stamping them as 1985.

 

40 comments

  1. Adriana Santos says:

    Hey. I have a Rhodes Stage piano Mark 1. I want to date it but i am a little confused. Mine has 2377 in the same place as your pics shows, near the box with the serial number which is K610905.
    But on the other wood board it shows 2475.
    So i dont know if it is a 77′ or 75′. Have you seen some like mine?

    Thank you for the attention

    • mbrink says:

      It’s likely a ’77. There is a slightly different numbering scheme for the front rail that I do not recall off the top of my head and was likely stamped when the harp bracket was assembled before completion of the Rhodes.

      If you take a look at our previous post “The Ultimate Fender Rhodes Timeline” you may also find some clues that will narrow it down such as whether or not it has wood/plastic hybrid or all plastic hammer arms. (Wood=’75, plastic is more than likely ’77).

      Hope this helps!

      MB

    • Rob says:

      The large number on the upper part of the “harp” is the piano build start date…the date that they started that particular piano. The number on the bottom part of the “harp” is the finish date…and it’s read a little different. The star date is the week and year ex: 2377, means started the 23rd week of 1977 The lower number is the finish date ex; 2475 is read; first two numbers are the week of the year, third number is the year, and the last number is the day of the week. SO, your piano was finished on the 24th week of 1977, on a Friday (5)
      finished the

  2. Chris Lee says:

    Thanks so much for this simple little guide! I spent a good while going over my Rhodes with a magnifying glass looking for some kind of traditional “dd/mm/yyyy” date printed on there and reading about all the differences between the models so I could ID it and meanwhile RIGHT THERE IN HUGE PRINT (hidden in plain sight) was all the info I needed: 2580! Now I know she was made with love and care sometime between June 16th to 22nd, 1980.
    I wish this page was the first result when you googled “dating a Rhodes” cuz it’s perplexing hard to find that info. Thanks again! =D

  3. Peter Kadar says:

    Hi, the 4 digit number in my Rhodes is 6076. Since there are only 52 weeks in a year, all of the date matching that I have read about seems to not apply to me. I have a Mark I 73. Can you help me?

    • mbrink says:

      It wouldn’t be the first time that we have seen a typo above 52 but usually the year is accurate. If your Rhodes is a “Rhodes” model and has aluminum supports that hold up the harp then it would be consistent with ’76 production.

  4. Billy Claire says:

    My Rhodes has CTS p[ots that date to 9th week of 1975 but the stamped date code has six numbers rather than than four: 010459

    Any idea to date? Maybe April 1, 1975? or…??? thanks, Billy

  5. Alvin Florentino says:

    Hi. My 73-key Rhodes Suitcase was made in the 29th week of 1980 and it has the same printed alphanumeric digits as was in your last 2 photos of pianos made from 1980-84 above: 017249-TBJ. Any idea what those digits represent?

  6. Max says:

    Excellent post! The first time I tried to date the Rhodes sitting at my school she said she just wanted to be friends. Now I know she’s a 4082 and i’m not really interested anymore.

  7. Jax says:

    On the left side of the gold foil sticker on my 1975 Rhodes Seventy-Three, the serial number lists “016.” I can’t make out if there are more numbers, as the finish is really worn.

    Does a 3-digit serial number mean anything to anyone? If you think it’s an incomplete number, how would one go about procuring the original serial number? Thanks for any advice.

  8. Bax says:

    Mine is stamped 4373 on the pickup rail and 5079 on the tone bar rail, but it has wood/plastic hybrid hammer arms

    • Bax says:

      What year would that make mine???

    • mbrink says:

      1973 makes the most sense. The alternate 5079 stamp sometimes means that it was made in 1977, based on the third digit, but that does not seem consistent with the hybrid hammers. As long as it is a “Fender Rhodes” rather than “Rhodes” I think it’s fair to say that it is a 1973 piano. If you want to send me pictures I can verify further.

  9. Danny says:

    I picked up a Fender Rhodes Suitcase 73, serial # 55346 that had been sitting a garage for decades. The 4 digit # stamped inside is 0954.
    Really confused about the date!
    Danny

  10. Adam connelly says:

    G’day I have a ’69-74 Mk 1 Stage 88 serial no 49052. The date stamp is illegible, but it does have the hybrid hammers you mention in the ultimate dater page. Is there another way to specifically date it? Photos available. Cheers!

  11. Zorik says:

    Great info on the date. I’ve heard people mention lots #s. I’m fortunate to have a red little sticker on mine that says “Lot No. FF0007 202 classic MOV & STGE”. Anyone know what means and if there are significantly desirable lot #s?

  12. DBan says:

    Awesome post!

    Similar to Danny above, I’m trying to figure this one out – 4-digit stamp reads “0353”. Here’s a pic: http://cl.ly/3R0V2Q0s1r1D

    Any guess on year? Thanks!

    • DBan says:

      Think I found the answer to my own question (hadn’t seen the actual instrument, just photos provided by a seller). Seller found another stamp – 5174.

      Based on what I’ve read above and on some other boards, I can hazard a guess that they started work on this piano in the last 2 weeks of ’74, and potentially completed it in the first few weeks of ’75. Any other opinions appreciated!

    • mbrink says:

      That’s a finishing stamp of 1975.

  13. mmurray says:

    The only stamp on my harp is 4092 which I’m 100% certain how to read. Chris over at Vintage Vibe says 4092 doesn’t sound like a date code and doesn’t tell him anything but fenderrhodes.com says “sometime in 1974, the code was switched to week/year/day, where 1581 is interpreted as 15th week, 1978, 1st day of the work week.” 40th week of 79, 2nd day of the work week would be 9 Oct ’79 if I’m not mistaken. Does this sound right? Is there any other way to confirm?

  14. mmurray says:

    which I’m NOT 100% how to read*

  15. akeller says:

    Hey ‘yall…haven’t seen a Rhodes with this configuration yet…0605?

    Also have a few other stamps on it…G7249-TBJ as well as 508. Lots of numbers!

    Any ideas?

  16. ryan castillo says:

    serial number 34036 the other numbers are faded

    its a fender Rhodes mark 1 stage 73

    between 69 and 74 just not sure what to think about exact dating

  17. max says:

    I just got a mark 2 rhodes with a stamp 1732. Does anyone know what year is it? Thanks

  18. Dan says:

    Hey folks, I believe I have one of the Fender Rhodes – Rhodes transition models. It’s a Rhodes Mark 1 Stage piano. Upper harp appears to read 74 in blue ink but it is very faded. And all I can make out on the lower tone bar is “??52” which leads me to believe it was started in 74 and completed in 75? It has wood hammers with rectangular plastic tips. Serial reads 40333. Is there any other way to date these?any light anyone could shed on this would be greatly appreciated. I’ve learned a ton reading through these articles and comments, thanks guys.

  19. Kenny Bradley says:

    Bought my mark V in 1985. Played in jazz bands, clubs and love the warm sound and action. Am never parting with it. It plays as well as the day I bought it.

  20. nov shemesh says:

    Hi, is there any chance to date the keybored by serial No.?
    I want to buy a seconed hand Mk ii and I dont have the four No.
    This is the serial:
    K777469

    • mbrink says:

      The Mark II would have been made between very late 1979 through 1983. If it has the Mark I era clear tape pickups it is from 1979 or 1980. If it has white tape on the pickups it is from 1980-1983. If there is a brushed aluminum rail it should be from 1979-1982. If it has an all black rail then it is from 1982-1983. Hope this helps!

  21. Michael says:

    I recently acquired a sparkle top 73 key Fender Rhodes with the serial number 73P-1654… When could this model be from? 1965?

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