The Electric Piano Forum

General => The Wurlitzer Electric Piano => Topic started by: Wowandflutter on December 12, 2020, 06:14:12 PM

Title: Dampers and Reed Bar Ringing Noise
Post by: Wowandflutter on December 12, 2020, 06:14:12 PM

This is my first time posting here, but I've been researching this forum for a couple of months after purchasing a Wurlitzer 200.
Since purchasing the EP I have replaced the amp with a Warneck Research, added reed bar shields, lubed the balance and front rail pins, eased a few keys, reset some letoffs, and tuned/voiced it.
Everything is in much better shape than when I first bought it with a lot of thanks to the very helpful post in this forum.
There is still one problem that i am a bit stumped on.  I'm getting a lot of extraneous ringing from the reed bar after a note is hit and the damper cames back down on the reed. This is with the sustain pedal not depressed and so all the other dampers are down. It seems that the damper on the note being hit is coming back down with enough force to "tap" a ringing sound that gets amplified. I hear it through the speakers and through the aux out via headphones. I have also noticed when I press the sustain pedal I can hear the dampers lifting off the reeds. Kind of like a light strumming of a harp sound.
These sounds are loud enough to be distracting to me.
So I'm wondering if this is inherent to these pianos and I should just live with it or if there is something that can be done to quiet this situation?
I should also mention that when the sustain pedal is pressed while hitting notes there is no annoying ringing sound. So I feel like its the dampers causing the problem.
If anybody has any insight I would very much appreciate it.


Title: Re: Dampers and Reed Bar Ringing Noise
Post by: pianotuner steveo on December 18, 2020, 06:06:07 PM
You can try depressing the pedal and holding it down, then gently squeeze the offending dampers with some needle nose pliers - this will close the 'v' shape then it will open again when you let go. This may help. The felt gets hard from age/dust/dirt, and sometimes this softens them enough to help.

Turn the power off so that you don't short the reed bar with the pliers.

The next step is about as easy, but try this first.

Try it on a few of the worst offenders first.
Title: Re: Dampers and Reed Bar Ringing Noise
Post by: Wowandflutter on December 21, 2020, 11:35:40 PM
Thanks for the tip Steveo.
Unfortunately that didn't do the trick.
I think what I have going on here is a sympathetic resonance in the reed bar picked up primarily by the dampers slamming back down. I also hear the same metallic ringing sound when I tap around inside the piano with the end of my screwdriver, which is sort of a clue. Another point that may or may not help is the pitch of this "after-ring" seems to be the same no matter what note I hit or where I tap to agitate the problem. 
Interestingly, I have isolated it to the bass reed bar. When I disconnect the rca output from just that side the ringing noise is gone. Once the bass reed bar is hooked back up it doesn't matter which note you play (treble side or bass side) there is the constant metallic ringing in the background.
I tried adjusting the regulation of the dampers according to the Wurlitzer service manual, but had no positive results on the after-ring problem.
That said the dampers are doing their job with the regular note playing as they should, it's just the mechanical banging around inside the piano causing resonance.
I tightened and loosened the reed bar screws with no results. I also added some vibration pads (the ones Vintage Vibe sells) to the surface of the reed bar with little to no results.
I could add more vibration pads, but I'm doubtful it will help.
I wonder if adding rubber washers under the reed bar or pickup would help? Obviously, this would mess with the height specs, but maybe removing the plastic shoulder washers then replacing with the rubber washers would be ok?
I'll keep trying things but I wonder if there is some obvious thing I am overlooking to fix this?
Title: Re: Dampers and Reed Bar Ringing Noise
Post by: pianotuner steveo on December 22, 2020, 06:22:22 PM
No, don't add rubber washers. Could it be a broken ground wire?
It sounds almost like a bad cap too...or maybe a bad soldier connection?
Title: Re: Dampers and Reed Bar Ringing Noise
Post by: Wowandflutter on December 23, 2020, 11:29:31 PM
It's not a bad cap or an electrical problem.
When I first got this thing I replaced the amp with a new Warneck Reserch and everything is clean and quiet on that front. It's a persistent metal sound (kind of like a spring reverb) that's the problem. It's kind of like the bass reed bar is microphonic or something. I'm still looking into the dampers because when I depress the sustain pedal the resonation problem goes away. As a long shot I bought new rubber grommets for where the dampers connect to the action. Maybe the original ones have hardened and are transmitting unwanted  vibrations to the pickups.
Title: Re: Dampers and Reed Bar Ringing Noise
Post by: pianotuner steveo on December 24, 2020, 07:36:45 PM
Interesting. Let us know how you make out after changing those. At this point it doesn't sound like it's the dampers themselves.
Title: Re: Dampers and Reed Bar Ringing Noise
Post by: Wowandflutter on January 14, 2021, 06:14:23 PM
I finally got to the bottom of this problem!
The main rod that connects to the dampers needed to be adjusted so that all the dampers push down onto the reeds with a little more force when the sustain pedal is not depressed. That and I added more damping pads onto the bass reed and now everything is much better. There are a few notes that have a tiny after-ring, but I suspect that's probably normal and part of the charm with this instrument.
After adjusting the main damper rod I had to go back and readjust every single individual damper so the notes would play and cut off like they are supposed to.
That wasnt too difficult to do though.

Title: Re: Dampers and Reed Bar Ringing Noise... FIXED! Whoohoo!
Post by: sean on January 15, 2021, 12:49:59 AM

. Awesome.  Congratulations!   ...aaaand that's how they get ya!

Now your respect for the instrument has turned into affection....

That is the one that you will never sell.

Title: Re: Dampers and Reed Bar Ringing Noise
Post by: DocWurly on January 16, 2021, 09:03:18 PM
Sometimes after adding a reed bar shield in a 200, you need to slice off and reposition some of the damper pads.  They didn't glue 'em on thinking that anyone was going to add this crazy reed bar shield that hadn't been invented yet.  In general, Model 200's have the pads closer to the pickups than on a 200A (which came with the reed bar shields).  I'm not saying that's the problem, but just make sure none of the pads are catching on the shield (or touching the pickups).