1948 Rhodes Pre-Piano

This is a vintage 1948 Harold Rhodes Pre-Piano electric piano. This particular example is in intact, original, and unrestored condition: it even has the original tubes, still works, and sounds great! Very few early Pre-Piano units were produced, and obviously many less exist today. Though this clearly belongs in a museum, it works quite well, and sounds unlike any other electric piano I’ve heard. It would make a great conversation piece for any studio or music-making environment, while it is also a really cool usable instrument as well. Having only seen one other online, this is a rather rare opportunity to buy a piece of genuine musical instrument history, so act appropriately, because you might not see another one for quite some time.

This hand-made, incredibly crude, near prototype example is mostly original. While it is missing the original chrome seat and stand apparatus, the piano portion is completely intact and in excellent functional condition. Aside from one tine/tonebar having been broken, it works perfectly and sounds particularly great. Imagine an amplified, though more substantial, Jaymar or Schoenhut toy piano: it sounds kinda like that.

Prior to the Pre-Piano, Rhodes was commissioned to build the Xylette, an acoustic lap piano that was designed for therapeutic use, in addition to being a teaching tool. With the success of the Xylette, Rhodes went on to debut his first electric piano, the Rhodes Pre-Piano, in 1946. The Pre-Piano features an amplifier configured with (1) 7F7, (1) 6V6, and (1) 6X5 tubes through a 1 x 6″ original speaker (473820), and a piezo pickup on the bottom harp.