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They were designed to teach the piano in the classroom.
By connecting the output of a network of student models, the teacher could listen to each student in isolation on the instructor model, and send an audio backing track to them.
Like a piano, it generates sound using keys and hammers, but instead of strings, the hammers strike thin metal tines, which are then amplified via an electromagnetic pickup which is plugged into an external keyboard amplifier and speaker.
The instrument evolved from Rhodes' attempt to manufacture pianos to teach recovering soldiers during World War II under a strict budget, and development continued throughout the 1940s and 1950s.
Although this made production cheaper, it changed the resonance of the instrument slightly.
In 1977 the power amplifier design was changed from an 80 to a 100-watt model.
The instrument's sound has been frequently compared with the Wurlitzer electric piano, which uses a similar technology, but with the hammers striking metal reeds.
The Student and Instructor models were also introduced in the late 1960s.
This piano is serial number 24761, and has a compass of 6ix octaves, Rhodes action, with hammers facing the keyboard, metal bars with resonator bars and coils to turn vibrations into electrical charges, rubber pads on plastic shank hammers, 2 hand stops: tone regulator and volume regulator, wood frame, an imitation leather-covered wood case, and a folding metal base.
The Rhodes piano (also known as the Fender Rhodes piano or simply Fender Rhodes or Rhodes) is an electric piano invented by Harold Rhodes, which became particularly popular throughout the 1970s.
In 1959, Rhodes entered a joint venture with Leo Fender to manufacture the instruments.
Fender, however, disliked the higher tones of the pre-piano, and decided to manufacture a keyboard bass using the bottom 32 notes, known as the "Piano Bass".
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The touch and action of the keyboard is designed to be as close to a piano as possible.