Major Key 54
owner: John R. McLaren

John R. McLaren of Major Key built this Rhodes 54 in late 2000, intended as the prototype for what was to be a new line of electric pianos. The piano is, indeed, a new piano: it is comprised of "65% new parts, 30% new/old stock [leftover from when the factory closed], and 5% whatever [i.e., the Harmonic Clarifier]", according to John. Many of the new parts were manufactured using the original factory tooling, which he had restored. John comments, "it was a strange feeling to fire it all up again after all these years". As for the choice of new cosmetics, it was simply "for fun".

Major Key 54 - Front The Fifty-Four is reborn!!!
The piano has undergone a complete makeover, and now features cream tolex, brown leather handles, a wood-panel namerail and a sparkle flat-top. Notice the "Harold Rhodes" signature on the right-hand side of the namerail. (OK, I know you can't see it, but trust me. It's there!)
Major Key 54 - MKHC-1 The Harmonic Clarifier is built in.
The MKHC-1 is integrated into the namerail. The Process, Lo Contour and Gain knobs are labeled as such.
Major Key 54 - Back Rear view.
A new/old stock Rhodes logo appears on both the back of the piano and the namerail (for posterity).
Major Key 54 - Inside Inside.
The Major Key 54 has all new innards, including a handcrafted pickup rail with gold connectors, newly manufactured tines, and nickel-plated tonebars.
Major Key 54 - Serial Number What's this?
The new 54 also carries a Rhodes serial number, the next in sequence at the time the Rhodes went out of production (again, for posterity).

The Major Key 54 is not available for purchase, although other custom-built pianos may be available in the future. John had considered selling this prototype, but so much work went into it that he couldn't bear to part with it....