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Museum : Rocky Mount Instruments (RMI) Room : Series 300 Electra Piano and Harpsichord

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RMI Instruments
Model 100 Rock-si-chord
Model 200 Rock-si-chord
Series 300 Electra Piano and Harpsichord
Series 400 Electra Piano and Harpsichord
Series 600 Electra Piano and Rock-si-chord
Band Organ
Calliope (Model B)
Digital Keyboard 20 (DK-20)
Explorer/Explorer II
Harmonic Synthesizer
Keyboard Computer I (KC-1)
Keyboard Computer II (KC-2)
Lark Combo Organ

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Series 300 Electra Piano and Harpsichord

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. Manufacturer:
Rocky Mount Instruments, Inc.

Series 300 Electra Piano and Harpsichord
300A, 300B, 368, 368X, 68D

Production period:

Quantity produced:

- A Model 300B without the "warbler"

Famous Fingers
Who played this instrument?

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300B Electra Piano
Model 300B (with the "warbler")

Owner: Teddy Darling, Cincinati, Ohio, USA

This instrument was previously owned by the University of Indiana, and an identical model was used by Rick Wakeman. It sat proudly atop his custom Hammond organ. It has piano, harpsichord, and lute tones selectable by tabs, and a "warbler" setting with a rate control. It has also an input jack underneath for another instrument, such as a guitar, but it has just a dry output and is unaffected by the selected piano tones or warbler. For a non-tine based electric piano, it has the best sound and feel I've ever heard. ---Teddy Darling

The Electra Piano models are by far the most recognized instruments of the RMI line. The first models were introduced in the fall of 1967, and the last models ended production in 1980, as the new digital DK-20 model ramped up production. I will attempt to list the different models with their features in a chronological sequence. There will be some overlapping, as models did not change on a calendar basis.

The Model 300 series
Named the Electra Piano and Harpsichord, there were five models produced in this series, with the models having most features in common. All featured a single keyboard with an individual tone generator for each note, a single expression pedal to control volume, and a sustain pedal switch to activate the sustain. The stop board voicing, shown below, was basically the same; any difference will be noted.

Piano Lute
Piano PP Organ Mode
Harpsi Accenter
Harpsi PP

At this point it should be noted that the accenter and the organ mode stops were not musical voices. These stops were designed to be used in conjunction with a voicing stop. The accenter stop added a percussive knock effect to the tone, and the organ mode extended the decay characteristics of whatever musical voice stop was turned on.

  • The 300A
    Introduced in the fall of 1967 it consisted of a 61-note keyboard with an individual tone generator for each note, tuned to an 8-foot pitch. The unit was built into the familiar RMI plywood case style, covered in vinyl, black on the bottom, and blue on the top. The retail price on the instrument was $895. Production on this model ended in 1969 when the model 300B was introduced.

  • The 300B
    Introduced in 1969, this model was an upgrade of the 300A. The tone changer was redesigned to reproduce a truer piano sound, and the organ mode was redesigned to increase the decay time, giving a more realistic organ effect. The only difference in the physical appearance was the unit was covered completely in the black vinyl, instead of the blue and black. There were a number of units produced with an option called the warbler, which was a vibrato effect. The retail price of the unit was $995 with warbler, and $925 without. This model was in production until 1972 when it was replaced by the model 368.

  • The 368
    Introduced in 1972, this model had seven additional keys, extending the lower range of the keyboard. There was also the addition of bass and volume controls added to the front panel. The electronics of the tone generation system was the same as the previous models, but the physical layout was changed to accommodate the additional circuitry. The retail price of the instrument was $1095. The unit was covered in black vinyl. This model was in production until 1974 when it was replaced by the model 368X.

  • The 368X
    Introduced in 1974, this model was identical to the 368 with the exception that the unit was manufactured in a hard shell plastic case. Two colors were available, black or brown. This model was the last mass production model in this series. The retail cost of the instrument was $1195.

  • The 68D
    This model was a touch sensitive version of the 368X. It was a very limited produced model, and was available only by special order from our showroom in Macungie. The unit was available in the brown plastic case. There are no pictures or price guides available on this model, and as I recall, the instrument sold for $1295.

[written by Tom Emerick, Allen Organ Company]

Famous Fingers
Who Played This Instrument?

Tony Banks of Genesis, Rick Wakeman, Sparks

[Let us know if you know who should be on this list.]

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