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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: December 10, 2018, 10:30:28 PM »
I'm in West Stockbridge MA, on the NY border

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: December 10, 2018, 02:41:36 PM »
I got the amp back, under $300 in work done. Nice shiny new IEC socket. I'm thinking seriously of selling the instrument. There are still some distorted and loud sounding reeds which annoy me, the damper work I did was good but not perfect (some notes aren't damping and I can't figure out why--I've fiddled with springs, lubricated, even contemplated putting small weights on the offending dampers.) I'm getting tired of the project and I think I need to move on.

With the original cost, repair on the amp, reeds, dampers and miscellaneous parts I'm still under $1000 into it. Do you think I can get that much for it?


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: October 21, 2018, 05:58:04 PM »
The amp is in the shop now and I don't expect to see it again for six weeks. Now, I'm thinking about the speaker. Re-cone or replace? I've re-coned before and it turned out well. How odd of a duck is this speaker? Was it a standard sort of speaker of its day?

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: October 18, 2018, 09:57:32 PM »
That's good advice, and I'll keep it in mind. The amp goes in tomorrow for 3 prong upgrade and electrolytic caps replacement (and whatever the tech deems necessary.) I'm not entirely sure I'll keep this instrument, but I want to get it in pretty good shape for the next curator. The amp repair might turn the sound of this thing into something I can't part with--who knows?



The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: September 04, 2018, 02:54:22 PM »
The damper job continues, slowly. I'm in the treble range now, but it's going to be on hold for a week--vacation.
There are two Allen bolts holding down the left end of the plate that the sustain block is mounted on. There are maybe five holes where bolts could go, and I'm thinking of adding another one or two. The sustain of some treble notes was improved by putting in a bolt nearby those reeds. Matching the size and thread shouldn't be hard, although I doubt I'll find Allen head bolts to match.

One note is playing softly, and it appears that reed is too short. It probably will get replaced unless there is some slack available in the front to back adjustment. I have to go back and retune some spots which aren't sounding so great, and that's going to be yet more struggles with the dampers. Whatever...the overall, vibe is getting progressively groovier with each improvement.

The sustain pedal is pretty noisy at times. The spring makes noise if I press the pedal at just the
wrong angle. Maybe something is worn to the point of being sloppy. Gotta investigate that too.

No shortage of things to do. I'll post pics once all the dampers are in place.


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: August 28, 2018, 07:06:24 PM »
Hi Steveo

The dremel was used to slightly decrease the length of the replacement reed, like by 1/32 in. It really seems to be working fine now.

In all the on/off cycles and countless reed adjustments, it now seems to me that the amplifier is not as loud as it had been. I've replaced all the tubes and I'm wondering if there is a point in the audio chain that might need some attention. I guess some kind of partial short might be within the realm of possibilities.

What a project....set the reed so it doesn't short out or buzz, check its tuning. Tune as needed, repeat, repeat, repeat... Check with the piano amp on just to be sure all is well. Then re-install the damper and check if the damper really damps. Troubleshoot if it doesn't.

And, a couple of reeds are noticeably softer in volume. Maybe I can live with that and just play those notes louder. Unfortunately, probably not.


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: August 25, 2018, 05:49:51 PM »
 Why Dremel a reed? I'm not certain what number it was, but the reed I needed was not available a Vintage Vibe. The next lower note was available. That reed was about 1/32 longer than the reed it was replacing and needed to be made shorter. The Dremel ground it beautifully and easily. The reed sounds fine.

Those wooden lift dowels...I'm being really careful with them. One or two are split and missing much of the upper slotted section, so there's nothing there for me to fix with glue. They can be manipulated and I'll figure something out. For a real classy restoration job, I'd prefer to have the parts intact or re-made. I guess that's for the next owner to tackle...unless I find a 700 being parted out somewhere.

I'm up to key 38 on the damper job, and the treble dampers are coming up soon. Stay tuned.



The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: August 24, 2018, 06:55:46 PM »
Thanks guys,

The damper replacement is going very slowly. The "damper lever lift dowels" are proving to be problematic. There are more than a few split already by past adjusters--I'm thinking about re-manufacturing some of them out of dowels. I'm switching out some of them from the top octave where they really serve no purpose other than to make the action feel consistent. 3D printing could probably do a great job in fabricating them. Wish I had easy access to that sort of thing. It's really nice when they work--the damper-ing sound is a big part of the Wurli vibe.

So, I'm rebuilding the instrument note by note, and taking a step backwards here and there to correct tuning issues. Dampers are a lot easier to work on from left to right with nothing in the way on the right side of the damper. Removing and replacing a damper in the middle of a bunch is not pleasant.

Got a replacement reed for my buzzy F today. I'll need to grind it down to correct length; Dremel to the rescue. Hope it sounds mellower than what was there before.

Still, I got as chance to jam out a bit on the lowest 25 notes today and it was very satisfying. I guess I need to go on record as saying this process is slow and painstaking. Today's little jam session suggests that it's worth the trouble.

stay tuned--oh yeah, I put all new tubes in yesterday. No difference in the sound, but at least we're good tube-wise for awhile.

cheers and thanks for your guidance


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: August 22, 2018, 08:52:18 PM »
Hi Paleo

The brass strip is present underneath the sustain block--I'm curious what the remainder of it it supposed to be doing. As you can see in the pic a lot of it sits on top of the sustain block. There are tiny pieces of a band-aid on it I guess to act as an adhesive. I don't imagine this was Wurlitzer factory protocol...? Could you explain a bit more about this brass strip? Is it on later models as well?

An interesting design feature--there are damper mechanisms for the last ten or so notes even though there are no dampers. I guess it has to do with how the action feels with the sustain pedal on or off.

thanks for all your help, and very glad I'm not doing this totally on my own


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: August 21, 2018, 05:37:10 PM »
Hi all,

The project continues. Tuning is pretty good (within 5 cents) although I have at least one reed which is kind of buzzy no matter how it's placed, even in a lower slot. I'm buying a replacement. The damper job has started and is progressing nicely. The old foamy things are pretty stubborn to scrape off.

There's a brass strip in and around the treble sustain block which I'm curious about--pic attached. Any ideas what it is? I was able to remove and replace that block without incident. Having the harp off and action open gave me a chance to Protek lube everything down there, and the damper mechanisms are getting lubed as they go back in. Oh yeah, I did remove all the keys to clean up crud from 1960. Broken reeds, a guitar pick, hair and dirt--no money. Shined up the capstains, cleaned up the balance and front rail pins. There was a missing fly stop cloth (felt) which made one hammer block the reed. Made a substitute from a piece of tuning felt strip.

Last question for now--I'm wanting to hear tremolo but don't want to buy a tremolo amp. Is there a mod for this amp anyone knows about?

thanks all


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: August 10, 2018, 01:48:55 PM »
The ebay capstain tool works great, and I already have a letoff tool for my regular piano regulation which fits and works. I found, after many trips to the back of the piano, that removing the key and making the capstain adjustment from the keyboard side is more efficient for me, even if it requires a few tries.

Update: I've numbered and removed all the damper levers and put them in a box for another day. I took the harp out to get a good look at it and do some tuning. I have a contact mic and a Peterson strobe, a light thumb-nail pluck of the reed seems to generate a clear enough tone for the tuner. I've also set the hammer heights and the action is looking a lot more organized. Not out of the woods yet, though. Two reeds are making that big, loud, bad sound which indicates to me that they're touching somehow. The feeler gauge says there's room on both sides, but that's not what my ears are telling me. I've cleaned up the point of contact over at the screw, and checked closely for obvious debris making trouble. At this point I'm suspecting the very tip, even though I can see light through the gap when it's stationary. I'm going to substitute a reed a few notes away toward the treble side to see if that's noisy too. Whoever tuned this instrument last didn't read the part about "pyramid shape" in the tuning leads. Wow, some interesting work. At least the harp hasn't been modified.

Once the harp is behaving and is acceptably in tune I'll then consider bringing the dampers back into the mix. Oh yeah, I need to set the let-off too--right now only one hammer is blocked against its reed.

In all, it's not going badly. It's slow work, but I guess that's the safest approach. Your input has been and is always appreciated.



The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: August 07, 2018, 04:37:43 PM »
thanks all--just back now from a few days away. The parts should be at the post office tomorrow, so open harp surgery may happen in the next day or two. I'm going to take a few more long looks at the situation before proceeding. The capstain tool should be there too.

ciao for now

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 700 disassembly questions
« on: August 05, 2018, 12:46:26 PM »
Hi pianotuner steveo,

Thanks for the speedy reply and that advice, which makes perfect sense and will be followed precisely. Those big screws were scaring me! Will the reed harp need to come out for the reed replacements and their tuning?


The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / 700 disassembly questions
« on: August 05, 2018, 09:31:27 AM »
Hi all,
Newbie here, first post. I've searched a bit here but thought I might just take the chance and ask about what might be common knowledge. My new project, the 700, needs a complete damper job and a few reeds. It appears to me that the damper assembly can't be removed without first removing the reed harp. There are 2 big screws which are pretty inaccessible with the harp in the way. Is this correct, or am I missing something obviously easy? Those two big slotted screws are going to need a serious sized screwdriver....

I'd appreciate any and all advice with this project. I've already read that this model is among the least fun to work on. Well, I'm committed now.


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