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Topics - Alan Lenhoff

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / WTB Wurli 140B bench
« on: June 10, 2021, 07:42:38 PM »
Anyone have an original Wurlitzer 140B bench for sale?


I recently bought a copy of an early Mark I owner's manual from eBay.  It's dated September 1970, and may have been used for several years after that.  I couldn't help but notice that while so many people today are trying to lighten the action of early Mark I pianos with bump mods, the owner's manual had a somewhat different focus.

In a section entitled "Touch Adjustment," the booklet offered a tip on how to make the action heavier.

"If you would like your piano action heavier, it can be made 'stiffer' or 'heavier' by obtaining lead weights from any piano supply house and securing them to the back of the keys."

You do occasionally see Mark I's that have been fitted with weights on the keys. But I suspect Vintage Vibe has done a brisk business selling "Miracle Mod" kits to players looking to take their pianos' action in the other direction.


David Robertson (who has posted on this forum as "Ozdoc") and I, both longtime members of this group, have been working for more years than we care to admit on a big, beautifully photographed hardcover book that pays tribute to vintage keyboards.   Electric pianos, Hammonds, combo organs, Mellotrons, Clavinets, Pianets, the Minimoog, and many others.  The book, "Classic Keys: Keyboard sounds that launched rock music," is being released late next month, and is available now for pre-order on Amazon and leading book sites world-wide.

Want a preview?  Check out the book description, sample pages, "famous player" endorsements and other info at  And if you want to keep in touch with the latest on the book, Like us on Facebook, @ClassicKeysBook .

We look forward to hearing your reactions to our labor of love.

Alan (and David)

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.


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:


I have a completely different approach. I have the old version of this passive direct box, which allows you to get from speaker level to line level cleanly, quietly, and without modifying the piano.

I love the archives of this group.  I'd been wanting to run my 140B into an amp, but there is no aux out.  I didn't want to alter the piano, and I wanted to use the headphone jack for the signal since it silences the internal speakers when it's in use.  Using Rob's suggestion (from 5+ years ago) as a starting point, I called Sweetwater and they suggested using this device with the headphone jack: 

It works great. (And if you've never heard your Wurli through a guitar amp, it's a pretty amazing difference in the sound -- very aggressive and metallic-sounding. It's almost like having a different piano. I like both sounds, and it's nice to have a choice.)


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Twin Reverb with a Rhodes for home use
« on: November 22, 2017, 09:40:42 PM »
For years, a recurring topic on this list has been whether a Twin Reverb is too powerful to use at home with a Rhodes, with some folks saying you just can't get a decent tone at home levels.  So here's a contrary point of view:

Today, I found one at a good price and couldn't resist buying it.  Brought it home and thought it sounded wonderful -- clean, bright and full-bodied-- and really helped bring out some extra charm from the Rhodes.  I'm not sure I'd feel the same way if I lived in an apartment with neighbors who didn't appreciate my playing and I had to play it very softly.  But I live in a single family house, and it sounds great in my music room set on about 3.

I wonder whether much of the "you can't get good tone from a Twin at home" comes from guitarists who don't think they have any tone if they're not over-driving an amp. (And over-driving a Twin may well risk your hearing.  Better to add a distortion pedal.) Given the amp's weight and bulk, I'm quite pleased to leave it in my home -- and I won't feel bad that there are 7 volume numbers that I'll never use.

For the record, my new toy is a 1977 Silverface 100 watt version (not the ultralinear 135 watt version), with push/pull master volume.  (I suppose I could use the master volume to get distortion at reasonable volumes, but I prefer a clean Rhodes sound anyway.)

By the way, troubleshooting suggestions would be gratefully accepted for the amp's one issue:  The Vibrato (tremolo) doesn't work. I can hear a little rhythmic clicking, however, that varies in tempo as I turn the speed knob.  And when I turn the depth knob up, it reduces the overall volume of the amp, as if it's shunting the signal to ground. I tried replacing the vibrato tube, which made no difference.


For Sale / Bargain B-3?
« on: September 21, 2017, 12:56:53 PM »
This is not mine. I don't know the owner, etc.

$3,800 or best offer for a complete B-3, TWO Leslie 145s, cables, moving dollies, padded covers, etc.  It's been for sale for a long time. The price keeps going down and the seller is sounding a bit desperate. Earlier ads had photos, and the rig looked very nice. IIRC, it's a late B-3, which means bright-sounding Mylar caps. Perfect for rock. Located in suburban Detroit.

I would think that someone could offer a bit less, sell the second Leslie, the covers and the dollies, and end up with a nice B-3/Leslie for less than $2,500.  Not bad.

(On the other hand, playing through two Leslies is amazing...)


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Mark I hammer tip heights
« on: September 14, 2017, 10:49:38 AM »
I just noticed that on my 1974 Stage, the soft bass hammer tips on the first two octaves are noticeably shorter than the tips in the rest of the piano. The non-bass tips are all the same height. All the tips on the piano appear to be original square tips.   Out of curiosity, I checked some square tips I had removed from a 1973 student piano, and they were just like my '74 (short bass ones, and the rest are the same taller height).

Then I checked my '72 Piano Bass, and all the tips are the same height.

The conventional wisdom here seems to be that early Mark I's had non-graduated square tips, and later models went to tapered graduated ones.  But my '73 and '74 suggest there was some transition between those designs. The idea certainly makes sense, since the bass tines oscillate in a wider arc, giving the bass hammers a little more clearance from the tines to reduce the chance for doublestrikes. It works for me: Without a bump mod, I can play this piano soft or hard, with excellent dynamic range.

Any comments from those of you who see a lot more of these pianos than I do?  By the way, it looks like the replacement square tips that Retrolinear and Vintage Vibe sell are all of equal height across the keys.


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Strobe tuners
« on: July 12, 2017, 10:21:23 AM »
I've been considering getting a strobe tuner to tune my Rhodes, Wurli and other keyboards.  At first I liked the idea of buying a vintage Peterson, but then realized I could buy a nice Peterson electronic strobe for less than it would cost to have an old one calibrated/refurbished, and the new one would be far more accurate and offer stretch tuning and other features.  Like this one, which Peterson claims is accurate up to 1/10 of a cent:

I'd be interested in comments about this model -- or  general thoughts about using a strobe tuner with EPs.  (I'm really not interested in a phone or computer app.)  One question:  I've read that people generally can't discern a pitch difference of less than about 4-5 cents.  If that's true, is there any reason to tune with something more accurate than my Korg CA-30 electronic tuner?



The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Retro Rentals Rhodes in the spotlight
« on: September 07, 2016, 05:51:51 PM »
Perhaps Ben Bove is too modest to mention this, but the October issue of Keyboard magazine features an interview with singer, songwriter and keyboard player Kandace Springs in which she mentions that on her latest album, she played a Rhodes customized by Ben's Retro Rentals in Los Angeles.  And a photo with the story shows a beautiful red Rhodes, that clearly has some mods.

So, congrats Ben!  (And can you share what the mods are on her Rhodes?)


For Sale / For sale: Vox Continental combo organ
« on: September 04, 2016, 08:31:33 AM »

Italian-built version of the classic Vox Continental.  Fully functional, sounds great -- and really fun to play!  Nice cosmetic shape, but it's not a museum piece.  Willing to negotiate the price for anyone willing to pick it up near Detroit. 

(I put a lot of work into the electronic restoration of this instrument, and do not want it be destroyed in shipping.  And I'm a firm believer in the principle of  "try before you buy.")

Questions?  Send me a personal message...


For the past few years, I've been working with David Robertson ("OZDOC" on this forum) on a coffee table-style book about keyboard instruments from the 1950s through the mid-1980s.  Rhodes, Wurlis, Hammonds, combo organs, Clavinets, Pianets, early synths and other classic instruments.

To add to the vintage feel of the book, we'd like to include a collage of photos of bands from that era that used keyboards.  I'm wondering whether some of you might be willing to search through old photo albums and send me some scans. I'm looking for photos that show you playing any keyboard instrument of 1950s through the mid-1980s. They can be on stage or practicing in your garage. (You get extra credit if you're wearing clothes you'd be embarrassed to wear today: Bell bottom pants, Spandex, Paul Revere and the Raiders-style Colonial uniforms, etc.)

The only rule is that you must own the rights to the photos and be willing to grant us permission to publish them. (No photos taken by newspapers, for example, since it might be impossible for us to chase down permission to publish them.)

I can't answer many questions about this project until it's closer to publication.  But it will be a carefully researched, beautifully illustrated, large format book, and I think you would be pleased to have your band photo included.  You can send your photos to me at alan.lenhoff AT GmailDOTcom.


Alan Lenhoff

For Sale / Bargain alert: Suitcase Rhodes -- $220 OBO
« on: January 30, 2016, 10:30:49 AM »

Posted this morning on the Detroit Craigslist.  Mark I Suitcase with Haigler amp. Looks nice!  $220 OBO! 

(I don't know the seller or the instrument.)


For Sale / Free Wurli 112? -- Detroit
« on: December 29, 2015, 07:39:39 AM »
I don't know the instrument or the seller, but have a look:

The ad claims to be offering these items free: a Wurli 112 with legs, and what appears to be a Hammond M2 (The Green Onions organ, less percussion) and a Hammond L100 (think Keith Emerson and a bunch of knives).

Too good to be true?


For Sale / '79 Mark I Stage 73 for sale -- Michigan
« on: November 09, 2015, 04:59:54 PM »
Really nice Mark I Stage, with the light, fast action of the factory-bump era.  Original Tolex is virtually perfect. New corners and handles. With legs, lid, pedal, rod and a like-new vinyl slipcover.  Tuned, voiced, grommets replaced. Hammers and damper felts are original and fine.  Original logos intact and in excellent shape. Some scratches on harp cover. A complete, good-looking, ready-to-play instrument. 

For pick up only in southeast Michigan. $1,200.

Interested?  Send me a PM.


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Early Mark I rear logos
« on: October 08, 2015, 12:23:30 PM »
I recently bought a 1974 Mark I Stage.  On the back, there's a large Fender Rhodes logo. (Or, at least most of a logo.) It's entirely black, with no sign of any chrome plating on it.  I've seen photos of other pianos of that era that whose rear logos also appear to be black only.

I'd think these originally had (not very durable) chrome plating.  (The logo is practically invisible without it.) Can anyone confirm this?  I'd like to find a replacement FR logo, and I've only seen ones with chrome plating.



Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Fuzzy Suitcase distortion
« on: December 11, 2014, 07:29:43 PM »
My "new" Mark II Suitcase (Haigler/Janus 100W amp) intermittently has a kind of fuzzy, trailing distortion on the left channel,especially when I hit a bunch of keys fairly hard.

I don't hear it through headphones.  Have I just ruled out everything upstream of the speakers (and the speaker wiring)?


For Sale / $350 Stage 73 -- Michigan
« on: December 11, 2014, 12:19:55 PM »

$350 for a nice looking Stage, with legs, braces, sustain pedal. 

I don't know the seller or the instrument.


For Sale / Mark I Stage deal
« on: August 30, 2014, 09:11:04 PM »

Mark I Stage, described as "brand new condition" for $500, near Cleveland, Ohio. 

(I don't know the seller or the piano.)


For Sale / Wurli 200A near Detroit
« on: January 04, 2014, 04:11:32 PM »
Really nice shape -- ready to play. Fully functional, nice action.  Very quiet amp. With sustain pedal, legs and music stand.  I've done lots of maintenance on it. Hoping to avoid the need to ship it.  (It's worth the drive to pick it up!)

$1,100. Send me a PM if you're interested.


Buying / WTB: RMI Electrapiano pedal, music rack
« on: December 16, 2013, 08:11:04 AM »
I'm looking to buy a dual volume/sustain pedal for an RMI Electrapiano.  I'm also looking for a music rack that goes with an RMI 386X Electrapiano.



The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Can you identify this Wurli?
« on: December 14, 2013, 04:26:28 PM »
Saw this in an ad:

The seller identifies it as a Wurli Model 120, but the cabinet style (including its high-profile "forehead") looks more like a 112 to me.  (But the controls in the cheek block rule out a 112.)

The finish may have been owner-added. Another photo shows the finish more clearly.  It's a dark brown woodgrain. It's hard to tell whether it's real wood or something simulated.

Might this be some transitional model between the 112 and the 120?

Any ideas welcomed.


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / So, what is this Rhodes?
« on: October 31, 2013, 12:47:39 PM »

A "Jetson's"-style student Rhodes, chopped and sprayed with sparkle paint?


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Ebay Rhodes Piano Bass scam?
« on: November 29, 2012, 08:50:15 AM »
If you were the "lucky" winner of this piano bass on eBay, you might want to be careful before sending any payment:

The photos are from an auction that was completed roughly 18 months ago by a backline company  located near me. Twice since then, I've seen their photos and descriptions used in cheap Buy-it-Now eBay auctions from non-US sellers with zero feedback.

(In this one, the seller is from Mexico. The eBay site now shows the item location as United States, but my mobile eBay app shows the location as Allen Park, Michigan -- which is where that backline company is based.  Maybe an earlier version of the listing? Maybe the "seller" had second thoughts about copying the entire completed listing.)

I've had great eBay experiences.  But always best to be cautious...


For Sale / Pedestal stand for Rhodes Piano Bass
« on: October 09, 2012, 03:12:59 PM »
I've listed my original pedestal stand for a Rhodes Piano Bass on ebay:

If you're interested, send me a private message.


The archives here are full of posts about people using Elmer's Slide All to lube felts on Rhodes pianos.  Some posters, including some highly experienced techs, have endorsed its use, while others have wondered whether it is safe to use around plastics.

Last night, I made the mistake of spraying some Slide All into the key bushings of my Rhodes bass. Some of it dripped down to several keycaps, where it caused some melting of the plastic. 

(I was able to fully repair the damage with some 0000 steel wool and plastic polish, so at least no permanent harm was caused.  But the damage really surprised me, after reading all the endorsements.)

I've used Slide All on two other Rhodes pianos I've owned, with no problems.  Don't know if I was just more careful in those cases, whether Rhodes keys of some vintages stand up better to the stuff than those built in other years -- or whether the Slide All spray has been reformulated with a new carrier.

But my view is: Why take a chance?  Next time, I'll use nothing but Protek lube or Teflon powder.


Just bought a very nice 1972 Sparkletop Piano Bass. It came with an original Fender stand that I'm thinking of selling.

I know these are pretty hard to find.  Any ideas on what one might be worth?

I'd describe mine as being in fair cosmetic condition, but it would be a good candidate for a like-new restoration with a relatively modest effort/investment. It's totally solid and functional, and has all its parts.  But the wood tray that holds the piano could use re-finishing (although it's mostly covered anyway when the piano bass is in place.) And the steel tubes that hold the tray have a fair amount of paint chipping/scuffing and would benefit from being re-sprayed. 


The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Repairing sparkletop paint
« on: July 14, 2012, 08:59:59 PM »
I've been hoping to find a Rhodes bass at a reasonable price.  (Yeah, it's taking lots of patience, but that's okay.)  Sometimes, I see sparkletop ones that have nicks in the lid (maybe the size of a pea) in which all the sparkle paint is gone. 

Is there a good low cost way to touch up those kinds of spots on a sparkle top?  Or is the only good  solution to find a auto or boat painter to professionally refinish the entire lid?  I wouldn't be looking for perfection -- just something that would look pretty decent.


For Sale / Rhodes case/lid
« on: June 18, 2012, 09:10:19 AM »
Don't know the seller or the item, but posting it since you don't often see these for sale:

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