Category Archives: Musical Instruments

Casio Rapman

Casio Rapman

This 1991 Casio Rapman RAP-1 vintage electronic keyboard has 25 tone presets and 30 rap beats / patterns, along with a rotating "scratch pad" and percussion buttons. It has a mic input, and the Rapman can alter your voice with the "Voice Effector" and "Vocoder", giving your vocals a freaky harmonizer Skinny Puppy vibe. It has a onboard loudspeaker, as well as a 1/8" output for amplification and mixing/recording. It is powered by a fistful of AA batteries or an AC adapter, which was originally included with the Rapman, along with a tiny toy microphone. Fortunately, you can buy these loose without accessories and use your own universal AC adapter and microphone. In fact, we tested ours using a Shure SM-58 and a mono 1/8" adapter tip to connect the 1/4" mic plug. The Casio Rapman measures 20 inches x 8 inches x 2.25 inches. Scroll down for more pictures of the Casio Rapman.

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Japanese Guitars

japanese guitars

Vintage Japanese Guitars from the 1960's-1970's

Growing up in the late '80s as a young teenage musician, my friends and I played on many a Japanese guitar. Sure, we thought Japanese guitars were cool and weird looking, but cost was the true deciding factor. You could pick up a Japanese guitar at any pawn shop in our town for under forty bucks. Harmony, Kay, Teisco, Univox, Silvertone, Lotus, and other names I can't recall were always popping up at practices and jam sessions. Nowadays, Japanese guitars from the 1960's and 1970's are increasingly hard to come across, but we are always on the hunt, and we have found some cool and interesting vintage Japanese guitars, amplifiers, and other stringed instruments from the Far East...

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Vintage Teac Microphone

vintage teac microphone

 

Vintage Teac Microphone MC-105

A truly beautiful piece of vintage electronics, this polished brushed steel Teac MC-105 unidirectional microphone was discovered unused and complete in its original box! The vintage Teac microphone is conveniently equipped with a standard 1/4 inch plug and includes a heavy stand and base. Measuring 6.75 inches in length, the Teac MC-105 microphone works great, sounds great (especially for a small vintage microphone), and would make a interesting alternative vocal mic to that old Shure SM58 in your home recording studio or live gig! All original packaging materials were included with this Teac MC-105 mic, including instructions and a flyer explaining how to switch the mic's impedance. This item sold and was shipped to Denmark! The Teac MC-105 and other vintage Teac microphones pop up for sale on eBay often. Check below to see what's available right now...

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Sony F-96 Microphone

Sony F-96 Microphone

The Sony F-96 microphone was a useful tool for many professional bootleggers taping rock concerts in the 1970s.

If you have heard live bootlegs from the Seventies, chances are you might have heard the Sony F-96 microphone in action.

What makes it so reliable is the dynamic omnidirectional design, ultra-heavy-duty rugged body, and its compact size. The Sony F-96 microphone also looks beautiful and has a good, heavy weight that makes you feel just like an important journalist or interrogator when it’s held in your hand! It has a very cool mod, retro style and a nice and clean off-white cream-color enamel finish with brushed aluminum accent. The Sony F-96 microphone measures 5.75 inches in length and is equipped with a 1/8 inch plug tip that can easily be converted to 1/4 inch jack with an adaptor (only a couple of dollars at any retail store that carries basic electronics). This beautiful, near-mint pair of vintage Sony F-96 microphones appeared to be unused with no scuffs or damage and included their original carrying cases and mic stands. They were tested, worked perfectly and actually sounded great, even good enough for live performances! We have sold this pair, but the Sony F-96 microphone can almost always be found on eBay.

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BONTEMPI CHORD ORGAN KEYBOARDS

bontempi chord organ

Wind Powered Bontempi Chord Organ

This vintage Bontempi B4 electric wind organ keyboard works perfectly, looks barely used and still sounds awesome. A truly analog instrument, the only reason for the electrical cord is to power the fan that makes the keys sing with warm retro goodness. Measuring 25.75 inches x 11.5 inches x 3 inches, it is not a toy-size Bontempi chord organ. It has an easily playable row of keys, large chord buttons, and a sound reminiscent of an accordian. I tested the unit for quite a while, and it is in perfect working order. The B4 is an addictively fun time, and great for all ranges of musical expertise. I know almost nothing about the piano, certainly not chords, and I was playing a great version of the theme from John Carpenter's Starman in a matter of seconds with a little help from the convenient C, G, and F buttons! Cosmetically, this one was in excellent condition with no cracks or structural flaws and no faded or peeling stickers. An external "speaker" hole can be mic'ed for studio or live use. This Bontempi wind organ sold in a week, but they are not too hard to find on eBay.

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TRUETONE SILVERTONE GUITAR

truetone silvertone guitar

This Western Auto vintage Truetone / Silvertone guitar is simply awesome.

The Truetone Rock Star has a classic 1960s Jaguar - inspired body with a cherry & black sunburst finish and swank natural wood grain finish neck. The headstock has an odd, but killer-looking shape, an elaborately cut pick guard and what might be the world's coolest pickup; a chrome-cased body with a shimmery red marblized pickup cover. The guitar is 100% original with no replacement parts. It was rescued a while back and has been meticulously detailed and cleaned. This Truetone guitar is amazing. The sound that comes out is like no other. People who are familiar with Truetone guitars know what I am talking about.
When we first found the guitar in the picture above, it was not in working condition, so we opened it up, and with our trusty soldering gun, got it back up and running perfectly. There was some pitting in the chrome surface of the bridge pieces and a couple of spots of rust after we were done, but mechanics work smoothly.

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VINTAGE CASIO VL-TONE VL-1 KEYBOARD SYNTHESIZER

casio vl tone vl1 keyboard

The Casio VL-Tone VL-1 was a cutting edge device when it was released in 1980, combining an electronic synthesizer, a sequencer, and a calculator (!). Measuring only 11 3/4 inches x 3 inches x 1 1/8 inches. It is an undisputed classic amongst retro synth keyboards, and includes the wonderfully weird Fantasy voice for authentic '80s sounds. The VL-1 also allows the user to program their own synthesizer sound, and it records and plays back up to 99 notes in real time. Remember that '80s song "Da Da Da"?. It was recorded using the Rock 1 beat and the piano voice on the Casio VL-1! This strange vintage Casio keyboard has since been used by countless musicians in rock, pop, industrial, electronic, experimental, new wave, indie, and alternative music...and for good reason. There is nothing that sounds as unnatural as these voices and beats, and they add a truly unique sound to any genre of music. This VL-1 was well-loved, but is in perfect working condition. The clear display window cover is cracked and chipped along the rear edge, giving it a slightly ugly appearance. The battery cover is also missing (of course). These flaws do not affect the playability and the keyboard is clean and ready to use out of the shipping box. This thing cost $150 bucks when it first hit the market, which is almost $400 in today's money! What a bargain!!!

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VINTAGE CASIO SK-1 SAMPLING KEYBOARD

casio sk-1 keyboard

The vintage Casio SK-1 sampling keyboard is responsible for countless classic old-school rap songs.

Used for decades as the premier lo-fi sampler, the Casio SK-1 is still a versatile (and extremely fun!) musical instrument. It records about 1.5 seconds of audio via the on board sampling mic or two different external input sockets. You can create your own unique synth sounds with 13 different envelope filters. There is also a 1/8" output for recording or amplification. The portamento effect is fun for theremin-style note-bending. Jammed with features, the Casio SK-1 electronic keyboard is guaranteed to provide countless hours of retro fun. The Casio SK-1 is a very popular candidate for circuit-bending, which can result in truly bizarre experimental electronic sounds. If, for some reason, the Casio SK-1 ever gets boring, you can download some info from the web and start tinkering! This Casio SK-1 showed moderate signs of use. There were  some scuffs and blemishes here and there, and one key had a scratch on it, but nothing that really detracted from the overall appearance. All functions worked properly, though sometimes the power switch needed to be wiggled to turn the keyboard off (there are no issues powering on, just turning off). It was meticulously cleaned and was sold ready to use out of the shipping box. No AC adapter was included with this particular unit, but the Casio SK-1 electronic keyboard can be powered by 5 "AA" batteries or with your own universal adapter. It is now making beautiful music in the state of Washington. A generous selection of vintage Casio SK-1 electonic keyboards are always available on eBay.

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FENDER RHODES MARK I 73 VIBRATO RAIL

fender rhodes mark i vibrato preamp

Fender Rhodes Mark I 73 Vibrato Preamp Rail...

This vintage Fender Rhodes Mark I 73 Suitcase Piano preamp panel has controls for vibrato intensity & speed, treble & bass, volume.

It has two accessory effects inputs for fuzz, wah, etc. This Fender Rhodes Mark I rail was originally purchased as a potential makeshift "effects rack" for the electric guitar, but I never figured out how to power it (outside of paying $150 for the original power source box!). It is in excellent cosmetic condition, with only a few small scratches on the left edge of the small brushed aluminum panel. The rail measures 43.25 inches in length. We usually don't sell untested items, but we had no way to try it out. It still sold within a few weeks and will be used to finish a classic Fender Rhodes Mark I 73 in Australia. The legendary Fender Rhodes Mark I piano and accessories are available on eBay.

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THE JAMINATOR 1990 SPEED METAL EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRONIC GUITAR

worlds of wonder jaminator

Worlds of Wonder, founded by ex-Atari employees, released the Jaminator back in 1990, and despite two decades of new technology, it is still the most interesting electronic non-instrument ever devised. Similar to the Tyco Hot Lixx of 1987, the Jaminator electronic guitar plays multiple combinations of wild and crazy riffs depending on the buttons pressed on the neck and body. However, it's more like a Hot Lixx on steroids, with tons more note combinations and opportunities for creativity. The Jaminator is absolutely addicting; you will spend hours perfecting your technique, and that's before you even get to the pre-programmed songs you can Jaminate to! It runs on six "C" batteries or optional AC adapter. There is a 1/8 inch headphone output jack, as well as a weird phone jack for some peripheral device or keyboard. The Jaminator has a nice size and weight, with a real working whammy bar. It accepts standard guitar straps and feels strangely like a professional musical instrument when you have it strung around your neck. This Jaminator was used and is missing the battery cover. If you plan to use batteries, you will need to tape them down because they don't stay in place very well. Otherwise, it is in excellent condtion, very clean with no serious cosmetic flaws. All functions are tested and working perfectly. The Jaminator measures 34 inches in length.

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