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History of Rhodes Pickups
Fender RhodesTech Tips

History of Rhodes Pickups

Posted by Vintage Vibe May 24, 2015

1965 -1969 era Pickup 

These pickups were often found with green bobbin wire but were also found with red wire. They were around 4” long and found in Silver Sparkle Top pianos along with early student models and bass pianos. They are usually wired in series together in the piano. It is important to note that the first 13 pickups in a piano bass were often were found with the bobbin upside down and notes were wired underneath as opposed to standard wiring on top. So if you cannot find these in this configuration you can just flip the bobbin on the bracket.

1970-1971 era Pickup

These pickups had a long bracket that measured about 3.5”. These are unique in that they still used the early style bobbin which was bigger and implemented a longer and stronger magnet. The strength of this pickup led to shorter dwell and pitch shifting. These pianos are usually wired in series/parallel configuration. The main obstacle with trying to replace this type of pickup is that for some reason Fender implemented a north facing magnet as opposed to all other years which was south facing. When replacing pickups in this era of piano you must replace with the same era of pickup. If you cannot find this type, you must remove the magnet and pole piece and flip it in order to achieve full fundamental of note.

1972 - 1973 era Pickup

This era changed bobbins and shortened the magnet, yet the overall length was still longer than the late style pickups. These pickups were roughly 3.5" long.

1974 - 1979 era Pickup

This era of pickup was the most common pickup and Rhodes most abundant producing years- The bobbin stayed the same as well as the magnet and pole piece from the earlier 72 era but the bracket shortened with an overall length of 3”.

1980 -1984 era Pickup

This era of pickups are known as the White pickups. They are known as having a high failure rate due to the copper wiring used. Age and moisture are detrimental to this type of pickup. It’s not unheard of to have 10, 20, 30, 40 even more bad pickups in one piano of this era. 1974-79 era pickups are a perfect replacement.

Vintage Vibe Reproduction Pickups

Vintage Vibe Pickups are manufactured to tight tolerances in the USA. Vintage Vibe Pickups are accurate and authentic reproductions made through painstaking reverse engineering of original Rhodes pickups. We have taken steps further by instituting anti-micro-phonic adaptations to the actual bobbin. This precaution ensures dead quiet tone without sympathetic vibrations or micro-phonics. In the end our pickups will blend beautifully with original Rhodes pickups. Bracket and pickup are the same size to allow a perfect fit. 


Click here to purchase vintage and reproduction pickups 

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