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Messages - Tim Hodges

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You can leave them on if you want but I always remove the hammer combs so I can check for any cracks / give it a proper clean.

Yep you want to use methylated spirits over in the UK (the purple liquid at the hardware stores) it helps to break down the glue without damaging the hammer. After I've finished rubbing off the felt i like to give the hammers a clean in some soapy water to remove any grime and residue.

Cue comments about how cheap people bought their Rhodes  ;)

Price wise I would try and knock it down to 12400kr on account of the leg needing to be fixed, the hinges being replaced and potentially any other problems you'll encounter when having it serviced. The piano looks in good condition, nice to see it has all the leg braces, legs, original pedal and the lid looks in good shape. One item not pictured is the case lid, does it still have it? 

The height adjustment could well be that the leg coupler plates have been removed so you'll need to account for £20 towards the cost of that.

I prefer the sound of the early to mid 70's pianos and they're more difficult to source around here (at least in my experience.) At some point you may want to lighten the action with a miracle mod but apart from that you should be good.

Hi Jamie,

I'm based in Bristol so not too far.

I'd definitely go with the miracle mod, I recently added it to a customer's 1977 Rhodes and the difference is quite noticeable.


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Rusty Wurlitzer Reeds
« on: October 26, 2018, 02:31:31 AM »
Use evaporust, it’s an excellent solution which removes rust without damaging the item. I use it frequently, my only complaint is that it’s not easy to get in the U.K.

As mentioned before try this. I use it often and can vouch for it's effectiveness. I'll find a rusty reed and do a before and after shortly.

Just re-read your post and you already have the right system.

Dipping them in a low profile tub (like a plastic takeaway tray) with denatured alcohol could work well. Will try it on the next piano.

For anyone else who wants to know:

Over in the UK I use methylated spirits (our version of denatured alcohol) easy to find as it's always dyed purple over here.

I gently remove each hammer from the comb, one octave at a time and sequentially so I can put them back in order. I saturate the felt with an applicator bottle, give it a minute then peel off the felt, add some more leave for 15 seconds then using your finger rub the cam to remove the trace (probably best to buy some disposable gloves so your hands don't smell.) The methylated spirit breaks down the glue, doesn't leave a residue and does not affect the plastic (don't hold back on using more of it.)

It's a time consuming process but worth it if you can split it over time by octave. I tend to avoid doing them all in one as it's quite a boring repetitive task.

After I've removed the felt I usually give the hammer a quick sponge down in the sink to remove any dirt from it (might as well whilst it's out of the comb) let it dry then pop it back in, don't worry about getting the bridle straps wet they dry out fine.

Don't use acetone or naptha, acetone attacks plastic. De-natured alcohol works perfectly on the cams without any issues.

Hi Tim,

Yep it's the same distance so would work.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: CP-70 Power supply
« on: September 20, 2018, 07:17:42 AM »
I'd use one like this:

Mean Well, 15W Plug In Power Supply 18V dc, 830mA Level VI 1 Output, P1J Switched Mode Power Supply

The bonus of this supply is that it accepts voltage from 90v - 260v so can be used internationally without any problems. It outputs 830ma so more than enough for the Yamaha.

The only problem I have with these aftermarket supplies is that the cables are very thin and can be easily damaged. The original supplies had a 5 or 6mm cable to protect them when they were on tour.

Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: CP-70 Power supply
« on: September 20, 2018, 07:06:06 AM »
You want to buy a 18v DC power adaptor with enough current to power the piano.

The CP70b only takes 40ma so go with something higher than that. All the aftermarket supplies I see online use 500ma - 600ma so they provide more than enough power.

Closest thing I can think of is a textured adhesive black vinyl film. Can't vouch for the thickness of this item though:

Yep, I count myself lucky with that Wurlitzer one as CTS over the years seem to have stuck to the same size over time.

Whilst I haven't had a look around for those values I find that if a pot has broken like this I usually open it up and remove the carbon track board and replace it with another of a similar value and size.

Last one I did was for a Wurlitzer 200a, the volume / power switch is a pain to get if you're not in the US.

The resistance track was completely destroyed so instead of purchasing a new one for $25 and then the P&P of $34 I bought a new CTS 10k pot and used that as a donor to put into the original Wurlitzer pot. Total cost £2.50.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: .01uF across mains?
« on: August 23, 2018, 02:57:21 AM »
In your case Steveo it sounded like the ceramic line to ground capacitor failed (either from a overvoltage event like a lightning strike or from general fatigue) and shorted which then transferred the negative lead voltage to the the ground (and any metal components subsequently connected to the ground.)

A modern equivalent of that cap (Y1 / Y2 safety rated and made from metallised paper or film) would instead fail open preventing the current from going to ground but as mentioned any 2 prong power cord Wurlitzer for the sake of safety should really be converted to a grounded cable cord.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: .01uF across mains?
« on: August 22, 2018, 09:14:22 AM »
I came across this thread and thought I might help clear things up.

In this thread there are 2 types of capacitors being mentioned:

  • Across the line capacitors (connects between live and neutral)
  • Line to ground capacitors (connects between neutal and ground) - Older capacitors which aren't safety rated are also known as "Death Caps"

For those of you that have a 0.01UF capacitor on the brown terminal tag strip on the amp rail (most likely if you have a 200 series piano) these are known as X capacitors which connect from the live terminal to the neutral terminal. These are used to filter out electromagnetic interference and radio-frequency interference. Only capacitors specifically marked X1 or X2 can be used to bridge across live and neutral terminals, you cannot use any normal capacitor. In the instance that there is an overvoltage event these X1/X2 capacitors are designed to fail safely (open) exactly like a fuse would when subjected to a high voltage. Any standard capacitor which isn't safety rated has the risk failing short and becoming a fire hazard so it's important to use the correct X1/X2 type, I would suggest that if you have one of these originals ceramic caps installed in your piano that it is replaced with a modern X1 / X2 cap.

If you have a capacitor which spans the neutral to ground then this known as a Line to Ground capacitor. Older versions are not safe and are referred to as Death Caps and should be removed as they have the potential to short and shock people (see pianotuner steveo's post.) Since the US now uses grounded 3 pin power cables these capacitors are no longer required. Some people still use non-polarized two prong power cords, my suggestion is that they convert their pianos to use a 3 pin modern cord to prevent any issues. Their modern equivalent of these line to ground capacitors are now known as Y capacitors, these new caps are safety rated and designed to fail open so that in the event of failure they will not shock the user.

Always best to add that if you're uncertain about any of this it's always best to take your amp to a qualified technician rather than attempting it yourself.


Agreed, it's interesting seeing the different viewpoints.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer 200 amplifier noise
« on: August 08, 2018, 06:36:17 AM »
In terms of improving the amp there's a few things that can be done.

1) Begin with adding reed shields, I've always found this to be the biggest improvement of reducing noise
2) Re-dressing the power cables, twisting them to reduce electromagnetic radiation and rather than using foil like others I take an aluminium tube and run it across the back of the amp rail (like in the 200a's)
3) Servicing the amp components

Before any of that is done the best thing to check is whether it's the amp or the reed bar which is causing the bulk of your hum. So with the power off, open up the lid of the Wurlitzer, unplug the reed bar RCA connector from the amp and turn on the power, now you can hear the amp through the speakers without the reed bar connected. If it's still noisy then your amp will need going over.

Just a word of caution, the amp is providing a high voltage to the reed bar through that RCA connector so it's always best to have the amp off if you're connecting / disconnecting that cable.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer 200 amplifier noise
« on: August 08, 2018, 06:18:07 AM »
Hi John,

I restore Wurlitzer's in the SW (based in Bristol) is this by any chance the 200 which was for sale at auction recently?

In fact I just realised that I sent you the hardware screws  :)

Thanks to Peter, he managed to help sort me out with a perfect set of 1973 keys.

Hey Matt,

I see what you mean then :-)

Haven’t tried Avion for their felts, but their take on hammertips looks interesting. Any rubber grommets you need I would recommend Retrolinear / Vintage Vibe.

I’ll have a look at my piano supplier and see if I can get the felts cheaper for you than eBay if that helps your budget might be Monday before I get round to it.

Nice! Where are you located? You’re more than welcome anytime even if it’s just for a chat or some help.


Considering how much it costs to buy the Germanium transistors it's worth just replacing the amp modules instead.

Hi Matt,

Any reason why you need to change all the felts?

I'd definitely buy the damper felt. Front rail and balance rail felts can be purchased from most piano places just need to make sure you buy the right thickness. Same can be said for the pedestal felt which I think is 2.5mm but need to check.

Updated with an online form to capture all the details. If you think something is missing please let me know.


Thanks Jenzz!

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Repair Wurlitzer Speaker
« on: July 27, 2018, 02:27:29 AM »
International postage from USPS is crazy, I try to avoid it now and use couriers.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Foot-switch cable replace
« on: July 08, 2018, 05:36:54 PM »
Yes the standard solder does the trick. Fray the end of the cable then heat the wire up enough so that the solder properly binds inbetween the strands and it will be perfect.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Foot-switch cable replace
« on: July 08, 2018, 10:03:10 AM »
I’ve used bike cables before. Where the cable end has been pre-soldered you may need to file down some of the solder to be able to fit it into the metal housing. The only trouble you may have is that the cable stop you’ve pictured comes under great pressure when the pedal is engaged and may slip down the cable (even though it’s been tightened.)

This is presumably why they also soldered that end too. If you look at soldering throttle cables on YouTube you will see some options on how to do it. Alternatively you could use a reed mold or maybe even a spare detachable hex bit as a mold.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: 1978 Suitcase Amp Distortion
« on: July 02, 2018, 04:27:40 PM »
Mike Borish redesigned the amp modules to run off silicon rather than the Germanium fire prone old ones. Search for Borish Electronics and you’ll find them.

Great, glad to hear it’s getting better.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Rusty Wurlitzer Reeds
« on: June 30, 2018, 11:39:43 AM »
I think you might be able to order it through Amazon with international shipping. I’d avoid using any abrasives as you’re potentially opening it up to more oxidisation (can’t remember if Wurlitzer applied any protective coating in their reeds.)

I’ve got a couple of rusty Fender Rhodes leg flanges i’ve popped into a bucket with some Evaporust. Will post some before and after photos.

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