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Messages - alenhoff

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The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Custom Paint Job on Harp Cover
« on: February 07, 2019, 09:11:36 PM »
Ever since I got the piano I have been in search for the elusive "suitcase cab, but no piano" for sale. It doesn't help that the suitcase piano went through several iterations itself, narrowing down possible candidates to only a 4-pin model.

Check this out:  An early '70s cab.  The listing says local pickup only in Duluth MN, but these Music Go Round stores generally will ship.


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: New Gibson G201
« on: February 06, 2019, 12:31:45 PM »
>>What is a TV Repair Shop?  >>

Believe it or not, there are several storefront TV repair shops not far from me.  The old guys with headband magnifiers and the tube testers are long gone, but these shops seem to survive by doing factory warranty work on modern TVs.  (I think that mostly means ordering new replacement boards, rather than doing actual troubleshooting or replacing individual components.)

In this post-Radio Shack age, when I have no idea where to buy electronic components without waiting three days for delivery, I have been known to walk into these shops and beg them to sell me a few caps I need for a keyboard repair.


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: New Gibson G201
« on: February 06, 2019, 08:01:16 AM »
A Farfisa pedal will not work unless either the pedal or the organ has been modified.  (My organ has not been modified, since I have a Gibson pedal.)  The link I posted has very specific, step-by-step instructions.  I'm not sure what "extra help" you would be looking for, but if you find that information insufficient, you probably ought to find someone near you who has some general electronics experience. (No "keyboard tech" required for something so simple.  Do you have a TV repair shop near you?)

But the photos make it look like the organ (and possibly the amp) suffered significant damage in shipping. It's quite possible the issues go far beyond the pedal problem -- and beyond what you can hope to fix yourself with a few suggestions from members of this forum. (Especially since you don't seem to have electronics experience.) If you can't find a local tech (or are unwilling to invest the money to pay one for what might be substantial work), you may want to consider your option of returning it.


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: New Gibson G201
« on: February 02, 2019, 03:54:00 PM »
Gibson organs will only make sounds if you have a dedicated volume pedal or make a modification to bypass the pedal.  Details here:


Is Nashville within your driving range?  Murph Wanca of Nashville Pro Hammond can take care of your Wurli. He handles a variety of vintage keys needs for many top Nashville acts.


In the midwest, Max Brink, at Chicago Electric Piano Co., would be a good choice.


For Sale / FS: Baldwin Electric Harpsichord
« on: January 02, 2019, 09:40:37 PM »
A friend is offering this Baldwin electric harpsichord and Baldwin amp, best known for being used by the Beatles ("Because").  I hesitate to call any keyboard  instrument "rare," but these are very hard to find.  I've not seen the instrument that's for sale.  It's in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, just across the river from Detroit.


Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: DIY Sustain Pedal
« on: December 29, 2018, 08:59:02 AM »
I love the wrench options, allowing you to take a workman-like approach to your music. (Perhaps you could create a Fender Rhodes hard hat to put you in a proper playing mood, too.)

>>I'd hate to be in the middle of an intense and amazing solo wherein the pedal is supposed to slip away and ruin everything, but suddenly it stays where it's intended.>>

Good point! 

Thanks for the laughs guys!


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Gibson G-201
« on: December 06, 2018, 11:00:40 AM »
>>Actually I messaged him and he did say it would come with a matching bench.>>

Maybe you found another eBay G101 auction.  I was talking about this one:  The seller acknowledges in the description that the orange and black colors of the bench indicate that it came from a G201.


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Gibson G-201
« on: December 06, 2018, 07:49:39 AM »
I just found it on Reverb.  Nice looking organ!

The pedals aren't easy to find -- and when you do find them, they can be quite pricey.  From a functional standpoint, the bass pedals don't add much, IMHO.  (As I recall, they just duplicated the sounds of the lowest octave of the bottom manual.) But they do look cool!

If it helps, the volume and bass pedals you need are identical to those sold with the Gibson G101 and the Lowrey T2 organ.  The volume pedal may also be the same as the Lowrey T1 pedal, but I can't confirm that.  (You'd probably know that, given your screen name.)  The bass pedals used on the Farfisa Compact series organs and the Lowrey T1 are identical to the G201 pedals except that they use a different connector to the organ.  Finding an original connector would take some sleuthing.

BTW, there's now a Gibson G101 organ on eBay now that's being sold with a black and orange G201 bench.  If you really wanted a G201 bench, maybe you could convince the seller to sell it separately, since it doesn't match the organ he is selling anyway.


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Gibson G-201
« on: December 03, 2018, 07:19:09 AM »
Under the lid, you'll find 12 tone generator cards like these:

The tall cans, each marked for a note, are the tuning coils. Turn on the organ and let it warm up for about 15 minutes. Use an allen wrench through the top of the cans to very slowly and carefully rotate the cores to tune the notes.  (You can damage them with rapid movements.)  Clockwise raises the pitch; counter-clockwise flattens the pitch. When the metal allen wrench is in the coil, it will affect the pitch, so tune them to the pitch you hear AFTER you have removed the wrench.  (This will take some trial and error to get right.)  Each coil will tune all of the notes (on both keyboards) with that name. (In other words, tuning the C coil, will tune all the C's on your organ.) So tuning those 12 coils will tune all the keys on the organ.


For Sale / Re: FS: Kustom Kombo tuck-and-roll combo organ
« on: November 10, 2018, 01:32:40 PM »

For Sale / FS: Kustom Kombo tuck-and-roll combo organ
« on: November 07, 2018, 08:55:50 PM »
A real unique collector's item: A 1967 Kustom Kombo organ. Black tuck-and-roll Naugahyde. Organ is in very nice cosmetic shape, and has a very unique, versatile and full sound for a combo organ. It's playable, but has a short list of small electronic issues, so it can use a trip to a tech.  The organ originally had four 12" speakers in its built-in amp.  It now has replacements (vintage Rolas), and one is missing. A previous owner set it up with half-moon switches (speed and echo) and a Leslie kit, so that it can either be used with a Leslie or through its internal amp.  Because it looks so good, it's a great candidate for restoration.  Must be picked up at my home in southeast Michigan.  Price is highly negotiable.  Let me know if you are interested or have questions.

For reference, here's some info about this organ:


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer 140b
« on: October 31, 2018, 10:06:17 PM »
Prices for many vintage keyboards tend to be erratic, but I'd expect that yours (assuming it's in the US) would fetch maybe $1,100 to $1,500. I'm assuming that "slight hum" isn't too bad, but that at its age, it needs some skilled electronic and mechanical tech work to make it sound and play its best.  You might be at the high end of the range if you are willing to ship it or you live near major music centers  (like NYC, LA).  Figure less than that range if you are in a hurry to sell it, or if you want to sell it locally in an area without a large, active music community. 


>>Doesn't sound very useful to me. >>

Sean, what you've described is exactly what they were trying to achieve -- filtering out the upper harmonics to leave a more pure fundamental bass tone.  Without that, the PB would sound like the lowest 32 notes of a Rhodes 73, rather than like a bass guitar.


Here's a schematic someone posted on  I can't vouch for the accuracy of it.


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Some DIY reflections
« on: August 13, 2018, 04:47:00 PM »
I was listening to some early Ray Charles versions of What'd I Say and I can hear some slightly out of tune notes as well as one or two that are a little dead-sounding.

What a great song! What a great performer!  That said, the piano he plays on that song is just beyond awful.  Some of the buzzy, dead notes sound like he's plucking rubber bands.

It's just a reminder that a great artist can make even the worst instrument sing.


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: 1978 Suitcase Amp Distortion
« on: June 30, 2018, 04:10:48 PM »
Do you have the Janus/Haigler amp in yours? (Identifiable by the bass and treble sliders above the keys.)

If so, there is a common issue that can cause distortion and intermittent issues. There are Molex connectors on the power amp that are held in place by nothing but solder.  Sometimes, re-soldering them (and then securing the connectors in place with a little hot glue to prevent a recurrence) can solve the problem.

Even if this is not your issue, it's well worth doing as preventive maintenance.

Here are two threads to read that will tell you all you need to know about this issue:



Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Wurlitzer 140B
« on: June 14, 2018, 12:45:02 PM »
By the way, Vintage Vibe sells a kit with all the parts you would need:


Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Wurlitzer 140B
« on: June 14, 2018, 12:42:27 PM »
I can't help you track down the issues you mention. (Although I suppose the low volume might have resulted from someone turning down the gain control on the amp.)  But your photos suggest all your components are original, which makes them about 50 years old.  I would suggest a re-build.

Several years ago, I re-built mine, mostly following this plan from Vintage Vibe.  I replaced all the electrolytic caps (including the filter caps in the cans), the small transistors (look for extra low-noise ones) and the power resistors. I don't believe I changed the power transistors.  The before/after difference was dramatic.  People say the 140B amp is inherently noisy, but mine sounds great, and ought to be reliable for years.

The 140B is a great Wurli. It deserves an amp working at its best.


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Tuning one note
« on: June 12, 2018, 10:03:02 PM »
So, should I loosen it and slide it slightly backwards?

Yes! Always try the easiest (and most easily reversible) solution first. Moving the reed forward or back is how Wurlitzer taught its techs to make small tuning adjustments. Don't pull out a file or soldering iron unless you can't change the pitch enough by moving the reed. (And if you do need to remove or add solder, it's critical to retain the proper pyramid shape of the solder.)


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Duo end blocks
« on: May 28, 2018, 08:58:29 PM »
You might want to contact Peter Hayes, who occasionally posts to this list. Peter does a lot of Clavinet restoration at Electronic Edge in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  He might be able to restore or replace your blocks,  or share a restoration technique.


Great that your tech was able to cure the tremolo tick. I'm still attempting to address that issue on my old Twin. I'm about to change the tube ground and hopefully that will solve it.

Check the link in one of the previous posts in this thread to see the Fender Service Bulletin on this issue, which suggested adding a cap in the vibrato circuit and re-dressing some leads.


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Gibson key problem
« on: May 16, 2018, 07:23:15 AM »
I'd like to get back to making them, just need to think of an interesting angle that's actually doable...hopefully soon now that Gibson's back up to snuff.

I'll look forward to seeing them.


My only slight gripe about the tremolo is that I think it is a bit too fast for what I want to hear with the Rhodes. (I generally have the speed set near its slowest setting.)  I know there are ways to modify this, too, but I've decided that it's probably good enough as is.

I changed my mind, and made the mod.  With help from an electronics forum, I learned there are three caps in series in the Twin's tremolo circuit: A 0.02 uf, and a pair of 0.01uf caps.  I changed the value of the two 0.01 caps to 0.02 and it slows the tremolo to a far more useful range.  The lowest speed is now, for lack of a better description, like a slow heartbeat.  And the fast speed is still a blur.  (Just to make sure that the mod would be apparent to a new buyer if I ever sell it, I added the additional capacitance by paralleling additional caps, rather than swapping out the original caps.

I highly recommend this mod to owners of Twins and other Fender amps that share this tremolo circuit. And a reminder to all:  Make sure you discharge the filter caps before working on a tube amp!


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Gibson key problem
« on: May 15, 2018, 12:57:49 PM »
Good work! That's great to hear!  It's hard to diagnose problems over the Internet, but sometimes we get lucky.  And now you know a little more about how your organ works.

(By the way, are you the same Chris who has some very nice Vox and Gibson Doors covers on YouTube?)


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Re: Gibson key problem
« on: May 09, 2018, 06:04:44 PM »

The first step is to rule out a mechanical issue.

I'm not sure from your description whether you got into the key contacts, but that's where I'd start.  Take off the long flat aluminum panel on the underside of the organ and take a look at what's happening when you press the B key and adjacent keys. When you strike a note, the key sends a plastic pusher down toward the key contact, pushing it into making contact with the busbar that actuates the tone.  I'm wondering whether the B pusher might be higher above the contact than those on other notes. If so, you may not be hearing the tone until the key has been depressed to the bottom of its travel. The plastic pusher is screwed on, and its height can be adjusted by rotating it. Does that make a difference?

If not, try cleaning the B contact and the busbar with contact cleaner or isopropyl alcohol (90% or higher solution).  If that doesn't do it, look to see whether the contact might be bent, and doesn't make good contact with the busbar when the note is depressed.


Thank you.


Yes, the information is still useful.  Does yours have the large Gibson badge on the "audience side" of the drop-down panel?


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