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Messages - beginnersluke

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1
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Old 200A amplifiers
« on: May 14, 2019, 10:13:41 AM »
It seems the business of replacement amplifiers for the Wurlitzer does pretty well, so my question is:

What do people do with their old amps?

I never see them come up on ebay or craigslist.

I am still working on rebuilding my 206A, but as these projects go, it's cost more than I wanted, and my wife (wisely) insists we should spend money wisely and not spend everything on music equipment (so the kids can go to college in a few years or something).

I'll slowly save and get a Warneck amp in the next few years, but for now would just like to add Vibrato to my current amp. (It sounded okay before really. I'll probably replace the caps and be happy.)

The kit from VV is like $110, which may be a fair price (the LDR alone is $25, even if I got all the other parts from Mouser or Digikey), but that's a lot to invest in an old amp when a new VV amp is $275.

But these old amps that get replaced have to be around somewhere right?

Thanks,

Luke

2
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Location of output jacks on a 200/200A
« on: March 20, 2019, 10:21:32 AM »
I have a quick question for which I couldn't find an answer in other threads, or (surprisingly) an image search on google.

I was curious about the position/placement of the output jacks for the line-out (aux) and headphones. On the retrolinear website, for their amp output board, there's a photo of what seems like an original output plate -- with AUX and PHONES labels.

Where is this on the piano? Is it the bottom left corner (if looking from the top)? That's where my 206A had the headphone jack (photo included for fun). It's both just tight to add a second jack (but could be done, I think), plus I'd like to make it more faithful to original Wurlitzer ideas.

Bottom line: if someone would be kind enough to snap a photo of the inside of a 200A showing the output jacks, I'd be much obliged.

Thanks,

Luke

3
That certainly makes sense and I agree with the principle for sure. Part of the reason I asked is just that I don't have enough experience to know "this is good, but could be much better". In other words, it's fine, but what could I be missing out on. (I was also influenced by the fact that VV sells the whole set.)

To be honest, I've been surprised how good things have looked once taking the thing apart. It's been great fun too (so far, since I haven't broken anything yet. He he!)

I replaced one jack spring (key 64) to see how much more tension the new spring would have compared to the old one. There's a bit of a difference, but it's minimal. I really can't see a wholesale replacement being worth it, because it would be a huge pain as you've said. It does seem like just shrinking/lubricating those action parts is the way to go unless there's a big issue.

Thanks very much for the advice!



4
My new base is slowly taking shape. I need to cut some holes and slots (for the sustain cable, for example), then I'll be ready to glue it up and paint and cover.

5
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of reeds
« on: March 14, 2019, 02:44:55 PM »
Let us know if you try it. You could try it on a spare reed and then expose it to a high concentration of oxygen and see what happens. Are any reeds that spare though? Maybe for science...

6
This is just my opinion (obviously), but as long as the wires into and out of the transformer are in good shape -- and it's good to check -- I don't see much risk at all in leaving it plugged in while switched off. (Though a transformer without load does consume some power, so if you don't come back to it often, unplugging may be a good idea anyway.) I play mine most days and leave it plugged in.

Luke

7
Hey all,

I just began a 206A rebuilding project, which will include some (somewhat common) alterations.

I wanted to ask some questions to get some more experienced views/opinions before I get too far.

First a few words about what I’m doing:

I have a 206A in generally good mechanical shape, but the base had been damaged in a flood (and the piano is not nice enough to try to keep original cosmetically). After giving up on refurbing the base, I’m building a new one out of MDF. I’m putting the speakers on the rear panel (audience facing). I also want to make the piano removable from the base (i.e. convertible).

Here are some questions:

1.   What’s a good paint to use for the bottom of the piano itself (not the base, but the bottom/keybed? (I’ve seen good info about using vinyl dye for the top, but haven’t seen much about the bottom.)

2.   While the thing is totally apart, I was thinking of replacing all of the jack springs and damper grommets. Any reason to not just go ahead and do this on all the keys?

3.   Should I remove all the reeds and polish that rail? (I know it’s generally recommended to not sand/polish the contact point on the reed itself.) I would be doing this to just make the thing as good as I can, not in order to solve some problem I'm faced with.

4.   Take a look at the attached photo of the damper felts. They’re not exactly lined up nicely. The spacing between the damper arms is also a bit uneven. Is this a problem for any reason (is this just how they came out of the factory, or is this some owner’s handiwork on the felts?) Most of the felts themselves look fine (some are a bit off center as they rest on the reed), but I never really experienced any issues with muting when playing. I’m thinking this isn’t something to worry about, but am I wrong?

5.   Any general tips on the convertible base/removable piano setup? I was definitely going to use threaded inserts and some thumb screws for the bottom. I’ll have to see how things look as the base gets built, but I was curious if anyone has some big thing to be on the lookout for.
Thanks a lot,

I'll post some photos soon as this gets going. (I have kids and a job, but I hope to get this done over the next couple of months.)

Luke



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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurly or Wurli? (informal poll)
« on: June 13, 2017, 07:59:01 AM »
Wurli makes more sense (WURLItzer), but I typically see Wurly.

9
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 200 series effects loop
« on: June 13, 2017, 07:57:11 AM »
Thanks. Nice write up. This is exactly along the lines of what I was thinking.

Luke

10
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / 200 series effects loop
« on: June 12, 2017, 12:58:41 PM »
Just a random musing about Wurly modifications. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on this.

I am likely going to buy the Warneck amp for my 206A.

I don't think it's wise to spend money to add vibrato to the existing amp (which would need some other rehabbing like new electrolytics), so I think a new amp is just the smarter route.

However, looking through Vintage Vibe for other parts (the sustain cable is broken), I ran across their preamp and amp PCB.

This gave me the idea of replacing it with the VV amp, and inserting an effects loop between the preamp and main amp boards.

Has anyone tried this or something similar?

Any thoughts or comments welcome. I'm not sure I'll try this, but it seems worth thinking about.

11
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Vintage Gear Parts - Quality
« on: June 12, 2017, 09:20:29 AM »
Cool thanks. Yeah, the difference in price made me weary.

12
First thing I would do in your case is double check the polarity of your electrolytic capacitors.

Do I understand correctly that this noise was not really a problem before (just the AUX thing)?
Is the noise always there or just when you play?

My other "first thing" suggestion was going to be to check all your ground connections, but the fact that it's better on the AUX doesn't point to that. Still worth double checking though, I'd think.

13
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Vintage Gear Parts - Quality
« on: June 09, 2017, 10:24:19 AM »
Does anyone have experience with Vintage Gear (vintagegear.eu) parts?

They are inexpensive compared with Vintage Vibe or Ken Rich. (Pedal, legs, and leg plates for about as much as a KR sustain pedal!)

I just wonder if the quality is worth the savings.

Thanks!

14
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / 720 Reviews - can anyone offer one?
« on: June 09, 2017, 09:44:40 AM »
I'm looking into getting a 720.

Anyone have thoughts or experience with these. They seem pretty rare, but those who have played them seem to take quite a liking to them.

Any info is helpful. I'm trying to decide if I really want to spend the money on this right now, since I can live without it, but I do want it.

Thanks!

15
Question:

When I look at the service manual, it sure looks like the lead (solder) weight pyramid is facing down (toward the floor).



In the 206A I bought on Craigslist the weight faces up on every reed.

This seems curious (and like it would affect voicing quite a bit).

I watched some of the Vintage Vibe restoration videos, and there is seems that some face up (middle range) but some down (bass). I'm not sure that's correct, but that's what it seems like.

Thoughts, comments?

16
I'm looking for legs and a sustain pedal, which would ultimately go to Poland. Vintage Vibe's legs are out of stock, and I ran across the vintagegear.eu.

They sell a set of legs and pedal for 275 euro (about $290 right now). Does anyone have experience with the quality of these?

Thanks!

17
I found a buyer for these. Thanks.

18
As long as you've wired the transformer correctly, that your hot and neutral should be correct. It's a standard cable, so unless those wires were somehow mixed up, it will be right. Of course, if you want to double check, you could do so with an ohmmeter/multimeter.

Sorry, I see that you said that you don't have the power cable. How were you planning on connecting it? You can replace it with a standard computer A/C plug/receptacle. That might be your easiest bet. You could double check with your supplier (since they gave you wiring help already) to determine which is the neutral and which is the hot/live. (Or just look at any documentation supplied with the transformer.) Once you know that, you can work your way back to make sure you connect the prongs correctly.

Generally, the hot/neutral don't matter on the transformer itself, but depending on what else the AC connects to (like the light), it's not a bad idea to trace it correctly.

Does that make sense?

19
I have some brand new, unused VV reed bar shields for the 200. If you need some, send me a message. I'd like to get $40 for them. That seems fair, right? (They're $49 at VV.)

Thanks,

Luke


20
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Jig inside wurly: what is it?
« on: March 21, 2017, 11:22:52 AM »
I see! I'll have to look when I get home, but I can imagine how that would work.

Weird.

My guess is it was loose, so someone stuck it under the cover (the bottom screws are missing so it's pretty easy to lift).

Thanks! It's

Luke

21
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Jig inside wurly: what is it?
« on: March 21, 2017, 09:48:44 AM »
Question:

I found this jig inside a Wurlitzer. Any ideas on what it might be for?




Thanks!

22
Let us know how it goes.

One thing I was wondering about was the little power light. I think that runs on A/C (though you could pretty easily convert it). I don't know the specs of the light.

I expect that you'll have no problems though.

23
For Sale / Re: Wurlitzer 206A, Lot of 9 in WV
« on: March 21, 2017, 08:34:49 AM »
Yeah, $5,000 for the lot seems really high. It does look like it's been relisted though.

How often do they come up on sites like this?

I think Steveo is right that people want them chopped, but personally, I love the sound and overall aesthetic of the 206. Not everyone gigs, and the 206 cabinets sound so good for home and studio use. I get sad every time one of these gets chopped.

Thanks,

Luke

24
Has anyone done this?

I'm assuming it's as simple as switching out the transformer. Right?

 (The label on the bottom says 50hz so that shouldn't be an issue. I'm assuming there's just a rectifier right after the transformer anyway, so it shouldn't matter.)

I just wanted to ask and make sure there wasn't some other issue making this complex that I hadn't thought of.

Thanks,

Luke

25
Buying / Looking for Wurlitzer 200 or 200A in DC area
« on: March 17, 2017, 12:50:37 PM »
I'm looking for a Wurlitzer in DC area.

Does anyone know of a shop in/around DC that might have them? Or have any leads on a private sale?

Thanks,

Luke

26
For Sale / Re: Wurlitzer 206A, Lot of 9 in WV
« on: March 17, 2017, 12:47:00 PM »
How much are they selling this lot for? (Not that I have the space, but I love the 206.)

I registered on this site, but it tells me it is a restricted auction.

27
The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Redoing a professionals job 206A
« on: March 14, 2017, 03:07:54 PM »
When I say clean the reeds, I mean with a light oil. Never sand or steel wool the Reed except for the solder blob.

Not even at the base of the read where it contacts the reed bar? I've often seen this sanded with fine grit paper (as well as surface of the reed bar, so that both of these surfaces are nice and clean).

Thanks,

Luke

28
I have seen the dull reed issue discussed with various causes discussed, but I wanted to try to see if we can gather that information in one place.

It would be great to get a consolidated list of causes, how to fix them, and also how to potentially identify if x may be an issue.

(Different things I've read about here and heard about are: action regulation, contact between reed and reed bar, bad hammer, strike line, dead reed. I'm sure there are more.)

29
Another problem I noticed is after aligning the hammers to center of reed, two of the reeds sound dull and don't sustain as long (this wasnt the case before).

I have a general question about this as well. I am doing the same thing as Allen. I noticed that in my piano, quite a few of the hammers are off center. Is that normal / intended? (In other words, did it come like this from the factory because that's what gave the proper balanced sound?) Or is this something I need to fix / adjust?

And the last issue is my amplifier's volume isnt that loud.

I noticed that you mentioned Switched On. They currently have a chopped 206 with the Warneck so you can hear it. "Loud" is obviously subjective, but to me none of these things are all that loud without an external amp. So you can hear one and see if you like it! (Someone may correct me, but I can't see how the grounding wires would affect volume. They are there to ground and eliminate buzz.)

30
From measuring them (they measured somewhere between 16-17 -- I think closer to 16). This may be wrong, but I read in a few places that some of these had 20ohm speakers, which would make sense with that measurement. (Then again, I read that online, so...).  I do know, per the service manual that there were 3 different 8" speakers they used, but it doesn't say much more about them. All that said, it would be fine if they were 22 (the total impedances would be closer, actually); the thing I'd be worried about would be if they measured something like 12).

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