29 Jan 2011
RARE VINTAGE Chamberlin rhythmate....for sale!
Rare, vintage drum machine.
Chamberlin Rhythmate model 20. Serial #4151. 14 tape loops, each loop with 3 different prerecorded drum tracks on it. Volume and tempo controls. Power indicator light. Single RCA jack on back. New 9 volt battery and 1 amp fuse included. (Note that this model does not have an internal speaker. Use an RCA to 1/4" plug to play through your guitar amplifier.)
Plywood cabinet finished with wood grain plastic laminate (formica). Painted aluminum face plate. There is a large steel bracket mounted on bottom bearing the Chamberlin manufacturer's plate (this bracket hugs the edge of my kitchen counter nicely, but presumably also functions as a means to hang the unit vertically, face plate up).
Circa mid 1970s (assuming the wiki article below is accurate), but the technology definitely belongs to the 1950s-60s. USA.
According to the wiki article below, fewer than 700 Chamberlins (comprising all models) were made 1951-1981, with fewer than 50 working examples accounted for today.
links for more info:
Here is a good demo video of a similar unit:
Any advice on blocking the motor or otherwise securing the mechanism for shipping is welcome.
When I purchased this Rhythmate the fuse holder cap was absent. I was unable to locate a satisfactory replacement cap so I had a new Radio Shack fuse holder professionally installed. The replacement fuse holder is not markedly different in appearance compared with the original (see various photos of other examples in the links above) and did not require any modification of the face plate.
Otherwise the unit is all original and in generally excellent cosmetic condition. No other replaced, non original or missing parts. No other restorations/modifications/alterations. No signs of abuse.
No chips, cracks, dings, dents, corrosion, significant scratches.
All lettering is intact/legible.
Light, use-related wear, including superficial rubs and scratches to the face plate and scattered, minute edge-nicks to the formica. Nothing significant / conspicuous.
Note: my experience with Chamberlin Rhythmates is limited to this unit.
The unit appears to be fully functional. I was able to play all 42 tracks without difficulty. Levers move easily with no issues. Power indicator lamp works.
As with all vintage mechanical/electro mechanical items I would advise having the unit professionally cleaned, lubricated and adjusted. There is no evidence this unit has ever been serviced. I suspect this device has been sitting unused for some time.
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