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1960’s Rhapsodic Chord Organ found

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    1960’s Rhapsodic Chord Organ found

    Hello,

    I’m a new member here. Thanks for having me.

    I found an electronic chord organ on the sidewalk decided to bring it home (I’m a drummer). After plugging it in, it works well with the exception of a couple key rods that are bent, and so there is always air moving through. I’ve dismantled it for cleaning and confirmed that a few of the plastic keys are broken underneath where they slide onto a shaft. I’m fixing them now.

    Anyways, this thing is ugly, cosmetically, but very well made. It’s missing it’s badge and front grill but there is an imprint for where they used to be attached. The imprint reads “Rhapsodic”. The reeds are all metal and I’m impressed by the quality. It also runs really quiet when turned on.

    There are no other labels aside from some serial numbers stamped into the wood and some ink stamps in Chinese characters. I believe it dates to the 60’s based on some of the numbers I see. Any other knowledge on this thing would be great. Do we know the manufacturer? It has metal brackets for legs too and a leather strap to help pull off the bottom panel.

    I’m planning on sanding it down and refinishing/painting it. Making a new front grill and replacing the plastic power knob with a nicer one. Then reassembling it and playing it

    attached are are some pics of it disassembled. I’m sorry I didn’t think to take one of it all put together.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I replied to another post (the only post I could find on the internet mentioning “Rhapsodic” chord organs) but figured I would get a faster response with a new thread.

    Cheers,
    Christopher
    Attached Files

    #2
    Hi Christopher and welcome to the mob!

    Interesting piece you rescued - something of a cross between an accordion and a pump organ, with a bit of electrics thrown in to boot. I am not sure exactly where (on which Forum) this one belongs as it is not truly a pump organ, nor is it electronic proper but for sure our Moderators will direct it to where it will get the most attention, if necessary.

    Meanwhile, have fun restoring this beauty! I cannot offer any worthwhile advice on the innards of the beast but I would advise to go easy on the "sanding it down" The case may have been made from compressed wood veneered over and painted and it may be easy to go right through the veneer. Rather smooth it off with fine steel wool and respray with a good spray paint followed by a layer of clear lacquer. If you don't want shine, use matt paint.

    Luck!
    Nico
    "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

    Comment


    • myorgan
      myorgan commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by Organfella
      I am not sure exactly where (on which Forum) this one belongs as it is not truly a pump organ, nor is it electronic proper
      When an item isn't fish nor fowl, we generally leave it where it will best be advised/viewed. In this case, where one sees reed cell channels in one of the photos, I think we can leave it here.

      Welcome cdemeo!

      Michael

    #3
    Thank you Nico! I thought I had put it in the proper place but it was late at night and so I wasn’t paying very close attention. Hopefully the moderators move this post to where it belongs. I think the only electronics is for the fan/motor. It’s housed in a very well made internal wooden box. All of the buttons and keys use metal reeds but no electronics.

    And thank you for the advice on refinishing. I wish I could find the metal logo/emblem but it doesn’t seem that Rhapsodic was a well known brand like Magnus.

    Best,
    Christopher

    Comment


      #4
      I was able to find a copy of a newspaper in Canada from April, 1963. Some store was having a sale and listed that they had 4 Rhapsodic Chord organs on sale. “Original price $139.99. Sale price $79.99.”

      I’m assuming these were mainly sold in Canada since the other member’s post had a Canadian shop tag on it.

      Comment


      • Organfella
        Organfella commented
        Editing a comment
        A lot of money back then! This item is worth restoring since it appears to be of a limited manufacture. In any event something that old still working is always worth restoring. The innards will probably not give you much problem getting to work properly, the main things likely to be worn, corroded or even broken would be the pallet springs but what the heck, when the case is nicely sprayed again it will at the very least serve as a conversation piece that makes beautiful music.
        Nico

      #5
      The springs are surprisingly in good condition. There’s plenty of action on the keys. Only one or two of the key rods were bent out of shape leaving the mutes permanently in the off position, which causes sound to continuously play. They were easy to bend back into shape.

      I’m hoping to sand/spray it this weekend and reassemble it.

      Thanks again for for your I out and advice.

      Comment

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