Tag Archive for Rhodes Tolex

Custom Shop: 1971 Fender Rhodes Suitcase 73

Here is the latest Custom Restore Fender Rhodes from the workshop:

Ira Rhodes With Logo

The most recent Fender Rhodes piano to leave out custom shop is this fully restored 1971 Fender Rhodes Suitcase 73. The piano was restored to the original black tolex with silver grill cloth and upgraded to custom walnut cheek blocks capping off the ends of the keys. The tone bars were also re-plated with a thin layer of the original zinc chromate finish which gives this period of Fender Rhodes iridescent zinc finish. Have a look:

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Another upgrade for this Rhodes is that it features a set of four vintage 12″ Utah speakers. (You may have already noticed the metal dust covers). The speakers belonged to the owner of the Rhodes and were re-coned by our friend Mick at J&J Speaker Repair. The metal dust covers that add a hidden flare to the suitcase–and they sound incredible! 

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…And as always we promise that it sounds even better than it looks!

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Custom Shop: The Lunar Rhodes

Here’s the latest from our Custom Shop: The Lunar Rhodes. Inspired by the white washed look of his Moog Voyager from the limited edition Lunar series, our client wished to recreate the look on his 1972 Fender Rhodes by replacing the cheek blocks and a new ivory tolex finish.

…Here you have it! The Lunar Rhodes:

Lunar Rhodes with Lid

Before we take a closer look at the woodwork let’s take a look at the MiniMoog Lunar Voyager that inspired it all:

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The original plastic cheek blocks are one of our least favorite cosmetic parts of the instrument so we were excited to venture into new territory and replace them with gorgeous new pieces of oak to match the Lunar Moog. Plastic just seems to take away from the more organic nature of a Rhodes and somewhat undermine the craftsmanship that goes into an electro-mechanical instrument. In our opinion, plastic should be used as sparingly as possible on any musical instrument.

In order to achieve the lunar effect we used white washed oak in order to match the pronounced grain and color of the lunar Moog. The wood was then cut down to the exact dimensions of the plastic cheek block then routed with the appropriate edge.

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(–We were lucky enough to work outside on our warehouse’s rear patio on this gorgeous August afternoon.)

And after receiving their white wash finish they were ready to be dropped into the Rhodes:

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Lunar Rhodes Cheek Block

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And we almost forgot to mention the gorgeous ivory tolex that was paired with the lunar cheek blocks…

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Lunar Rhodes with Lid

–More customization on the lid will be done on a future date so stay tuned!