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Topics - beginnersluke

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Tuning question. (I'm retuning basically every reed on a Wurlitzer for the first time.)

How closely or accurately do you tune your Wurly?

Do you try (and succeed) in getting it exactly in tune (say less than a cent off), or do you find something like +/- 3 cents totally acceptable?

(I'm tend to be a perfectionist, even when unnecessary, but getting it right on is really time consuming. between 0 and -3 cents has been not too difficult.)

I do know that you should be able to go +/-4 or 5 cents by sliding the reed forward or back, but perhaps because of inexperience this just doesn't work for me. I'm able to get movement of about 15 cents, but absolutely no precision by trying to move it. (If anyone has advice on this, I'm all eyes/ears.)

Anyway, I was just curious what the consensus goal is when tackling this job. (The Boss TU-2 that your guitar player is using is no more accurate than +/-3 cents anyway, right?)



Buying / Kustom 88
« on: December 11, 2019, 02:18:40 PM »
I'm trying to buy a Kustom (or Baldwin) 88.

They pop up now and then on Craigslist, but it's rare.

Does anyone have any insight into where these old beast might be hiding out?

(I think I'll post a WANTED ad on Craigslist. Maybe that will draw someone out.)


Other Keyboards & Software Synths / Weltmeister Claviset 200
« on: June 25, 2019, 02:15:04 AM »
I recently acquired two Weltmeister Claviset 200 electric pianos. It's an East German (communist Germany) electric piano made in the late 60s and 70s.

Both are in good condition, though probably need some work before they can go out gigging or recording. Tuning of a few reeds is definitely in order

I've never seen one of these pianos in person, but they're pretty cool little pianos. I've heard of them as simplified Wurlitzers, but I'd say it's something between a Wurly and a Clavinet.

Does anyone have any service info on these? They seem pretty simple (compared to a Wurly anyway), but if there's some info out there, it's always nice to not reinvent the wheel.

Some interesting notes:

These (at least the version I have) ran on batteries. (If you look at the photo of the inside, you'll see two disconnected wires and 8 screw holes -- these are for 2 battery packs. The other piano has them.)

The case is made of solid wood, which surprised me, but is probably nice for refinishing.

The pedal has a mechanical sustain which lifts the dampers (the long metal pieces you see are the dampers), but also an electrical piece that connects to the piano through a DIN connection. I'll have to investigate what this does.

Anyway, on to some photos:

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / 200A potentiometer taper
« on: May 27, 2019, 08:13:30 AM »
This seems like a thing that would be in the service manual, but I can't find it. I also couldn't find the answer on previous forum topic here.

What's the taper on the volume pot (linear or logarithmic/audio)?
What's the taper on the vibrato pot (linear or logarithmic/audio)?

I feel comfortable with my hypothesis that the volume uses an audio taper, but I'm less sure about the vibrato pot.

Thanks as always!


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?



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.



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.)


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.

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


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.



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?

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

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


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.)



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

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


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.



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?



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.)

As I stated in another post, I am restoring a 206A, but due to the cosmetic condition, I am also customizing and changing it around a bit.

One idea that I would really like to pursue is remounting the base speakers to they face out from the back of the piano (i.e. toward the audience). I would also mount speakers in the piano itself, both for playing the piano when set against the wall (as it will often be), and to make it easier for the player to hear herself while using the audience oriented speakers. (Perhaps I'd include a pot to control the balance when both front and back speakers are on.)

Has anyone here done this sort of conversion? Is there anything I should look out for? It seems fairly simple:

1. Replace the current speaker board with a solid board.
2. Cut matching holes in rear wall of the base.
3. Mount and wire in the speakers.

(If the 4 speakers were wired in a series-parallel configuration the impedance at the amp will always be the same).

Is there some reason I'm missing that this is not a good idea? To me it seems like it would be great.



The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Wurlitzer 206A Base options
« on: December 03, 2016, 10:22:20 AM »
Hello all,

I am new here, and I recently acquired a 206A, an instrument I've wanted for some time. It plays and sounds okay (except a couple of keys that are pretty out of tune, a buzzy amp, and a volume pot badly in need of cleaning), but I'm very excited to restore it and do my very best to get the most out of this thing.

I'd also like it to look nice. The piano itself is in pretty decent shape cosmetically, but the base has some problems. It looks like it may have encountered some moisture in it's time and the vinyl is peeling in spots, but worse, on the back, the particleboard is chipped and swollen.

I haven't seen many threads on the restoration of these bases (since I know many people just chop them anyway). I wanted to ask a couple of questions.

1. Since many of these do get chopped, are there people out there that may have bases in good condition that they're willing to let go of for cheap? (Not necessarily on this board, just in the world.) I asked at my local shop (Austin, TX) that works on these and they could work with me next time they get one in to chop, but they said this doesn't happen often anymore. (The other side of this question is: if people are chopping them, is it a smart to just assume that the base wasn't in great shape in the first place?)

2. What I would ideally like to have is a 206A that's cosmetically original and in good condition. (I'd probably prefer to have the Warneck amp and some new action parts, so I'm not after originality for originality's sake, I just like the look.)  My question is, are there many of these out there that are in good/great cosmetic shape? Am I likely to find one if I just keep my eye on craigslist long enough? Or if what a really great looking one is what I'm after, I just need to get in big time savings mode and get a nicely restored one from Chicago Electric Pianos? (Basically, if I can just get one that won't require so much work to be a nice looking original sometime down the line, I'm happy to just do something crazy with this one and rebuild the base with some new panels and tolex, and dye the top to make it look cool and original.)

3. I obviously haven't had this base apart yet, so I also don't know what I'm getting into. It seems simple (basically a box), but is there some reason I haven't thought of to not even think about restoring the base (whether in original form of a cosmetic reinvention)?

Thanks a lot. This board is really great.


ps I know cosmetics are ultimately a dumb thing to worry about, but I think we all suffer from irrationalities and I'm just aware that this is one of mine. My number one priority is definitely to have it sound great and be fun to play, I just want it to look cool too, however irrational that may be.

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