Ace Tone Rhythm Ace FR-1 drum machine from the late 60s for sale in good condition and working order.
We love our vintage beat boxes, but we’ve got a particular soft spot for this one as it is the model J.J. Cale used on his debut (and big office favourite) “Naturally” – good article here about early beatboxes, Sly Stone, and J.J. Cale from Wax Poetics.
Ace Tone was started by Ikutaro Kakehashi who went on to found the Roland Corporation. The build quality and attention to detail is generally great – these machines were built to last.
This unit is working well apart from a couple of buttons which are not functioning perfectly: the bass drum cut out button is a bit sticky, but the one you will notice is the Start/Stop button which does not engage consistently, however because this unit has a footswitch with it (not original but it works well) this can be used to start and stop the machine without any difficulty.
Condition is good; we like these versions with the brown wood and dark grey tolex. It has some scuffs and dings to the finish but nothing major and a couple of marks on some buttons; the leather handle is worn but still does the job; it will look great in a studio set up. Click on the photos to zoom in and see more detailed shots.
See below for a quick demo we made with various pieces of Ace Tone gear including another FR-1.
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