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Messages - DocWurly

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1
Ongoing information on finding the date of your Wurlitzer EP can be found on this page:

https://www.drwurly.com

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Dating a Wurlitzer?
« on: April 25, 2021, 10:56:05 AM »
This topic helped to send me down a VERY deep rabbit hole on finding the dates of Wurlitzer Electric Pianos.  Here's an article about it on my website.  I update it from time to time:

https://www.drwurly.com

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 270 line out
« on: April 19, 2021, 07:38:02 AM »
270's don't really sound any better than anything else in the 200A series, and they take up a LOT more space.  Basically, they are a thing to have if you have a lot of space, need a nice piece of furniture to show off, and don't think you'll ever need to bring it anywhere to be serviced.  Otherwise, go with pretty much anything else, which will have a smaller footprint.

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Dating a Wurlitzer
« on: January 16, 2021, 09:22:49 PM »
My article on finding dates in your Wurlitzer is on this page:

https://www.drwurly.com

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 2 Questions about Wurlitzer 206
« on: January 16, 2021, 09:09:39 PM »
The only thing I'd add to what's been said above is that on some 206's, the position of the hole for the pedal cable is drilled a little sloppily, because they weren't thinking anyone was going to convert it later, to accommodate the stop housing of the standard portable pedal.    So the ferule (which you already have) might scrape against the stop housing if the hole is misaligned.

The size of the hole will be right, though.  Buy a pedal from Vintage Vibe and see how it goes.  Worse comes to worst you can fill in the hole and reposition it slightly.  Should be OK, though.

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Dampers and Reed Bar Ringing Noise
« on: January 16, 2021, 09:03:18 PM »
Sometimes after adding a reed bar shield in a 200, you need to slice off and reposition some of the damper pads.  They didn't glue 'em on thinking that anyone was going to add this crazy reed bar shield that hadn't been invented yet.  In general, Model 200's have the pads closer to the pickups than on a 200A (which came with the reed bar shields).  I'm not saying that's the problem, but just make sure none of the pads are catching on the shield (or touching the pickups).

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 140B Vibrato Noise
« on: January 16, 2021, 08:59:11 PM »
Good data!!

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: New (to me) 140A questions
« on: January 16, 2021, 08:55:07 PM »
If the whole upper reed bar is quieter than the bass reed bar, make sure that the treble pickups are in fact transmitting to the amp.  It is conceivable that you are picking up the resonance of those notes through the body into the bass reedbar.  I doubt it, but please make sure:  disconnect one of the wires connecting the reed bars in the middle, and see if the problem is worse or identical.

What's the serial number of that instrument?  I'd love that, and any dates you find inside, for my research: 

https://www.Drwurly.com

You can send me a private message here.

The 140A amp never has the death cap, as far as I know.  Of the 60's models, only the 145/720 tube amp (including any A's or B's) does.

The 140A is a completely different solid state amp from the 140B amp.  You want to look at the schematic for the "140 amp." (not "140B amp")  The 140A amp is a minor revision of the 140 amp--so minor that they didn't bother to make a unique schematic for its updates.  It's the same board, with just a few values changed in some caps and resistors, and a couple (crucial) resistors added.

The famous problem with the run of 140A's and 145A's is that there was a bad batch of reed screw washers partway through the run, and those instruments are prone to washers cracking.  Not all 140A's have this problem;  seems to be the later ones.

Even the instruments without the washer problems are hard to tune. They just aren't easy reed screws.  But it can be done!  I've done it.


10
I used to have this same problem. Wood floor from the 1880's acted like a big resonating soundboard and drove my downstairs neighbors crazy even when I wore headphones. 

I have no solutions, just chiming in that this is a real thing and your neighbors probably aren't crazy to find it annoying.  They are hearing it louder than you are.

Also, hi Ryan!!

11
There are a couple keys stamped '41120619'. The left side area of where the keys sit (balance rail?) is marked 40915, and the right is marked 41007. Also, I still have the Wurlitzer badge from the back and I was able to clean it up just fine, the serial number is 27964.

Unfortunately there is no way to date it by any of those numbers. For some reason, the ep serial numbers were not tracked by year like the acoustic piano numbers are.... All I can tell you was that model was made from 1962-1967 or 68 like I said before.

This is a digression from the actual topic, and perhaps beating a dead horse, but when I happen across outdated information here, I correct it.

We now know that you can date a piano using precisely these numbers.   The keys stamped "41120619" are YMMDDxxx, and the 5 digit stamp is YMMDD.  So the number on the keys means November 20, 1964.

(140B's were made from late 1964 through September 1968, though 1968's are uncommon.  The earlier 140 was 1962-early 1963, and the 140A was made from 1963 through later 1964.)

The original Wurlitzer paints were Zolatone.  But if you look around, you might see others talk about why they are hard to use for a single job, so finding alternatives is legit.



Here's my page on dating your Wurly:

www.DrWurly.com

12
Is this just more mythology? Or can someone actually document dimensional differences between 200 and 200A reeds?

https://www.vintagevibe.com/blogs/news/wurlitzer-electric-piano-reeds-case-study

This Vintage Vibe article helped me tremendously as I navigated my initial understanding of Wurlitzer reeds.

It is also notable for some confusing and misleading information.  One of the consistently nutty things is the ongoing columns of "thickness" of reeds.  What IS that measurement?  Upper register Wurlitzer reeds have a thick base, which then tapers, either rapidly or gradually, to a significantly lesser thickness.  But this chart seems to be giving us the thicknesses of only the base, which makes the upper reeds appear to be very, very thick.  and they aren't, where it matters.

They seem to be implying that different eras of Wurlitzer reeds changed tongue widths by 1/1000 of an inch.  That is negligible, and I don't think it's accurate--It's more likely the tolerances of the widths were more like 1/300 of an inch, and as dies dulled, they'd change.

They've also never addressed the 140A series, which should be lumped in with the 140B series.

I am very thankful that the page exists.  Just take it with a grain of salt.

Take my page with a grain of salt, too.  I need to change my terminology ("styles" is a silly term), and I may be underrating the 200A reed differences:

https://docwurly.com/wurlitzer-ep-history/wurlitzer-ep-reed-compatibility-history/








13
Hi all!  I just linked two of my extra "placeholder" domain names to specific useful pages on my DocWurly.com site, for easy reference.

DrWurly.com now redirects to the page about finding the production dates of your Wurlitzer Electric Piano.

DrWurli.com redirects to the page describing every single model of Wurly, in an annoying, difficult-to-use, oversized-for-wordpress spreadsheet format.  (Yes, as some point I will figure out what to do about that.)

Both pages are updated frequently, as new data emerges.
Enjoy!

Yours,
Steve Espinola
Flatbush, Brooklyn
DocWurly.com

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: see a wurlitzer 300 here
« on: August 15, 2020, 11:28:02 AM »
This 2007 thread has come back to haunt me, and I just had to set someone straight who was buying one.  Too much heresay, incorrect assumptions.

The 300 WAS made in the early 1970's, in a very small window of time.  Circa 1972-3.  It was the console version of the 201.  Both were made in the same German factory.  They are German variants of the 200 line with unique (Europe-compatible) electronics and speakers.

They are uncommon, but they are out there.

We can NOT assume the era of an instrument based on sequencing the model numbers, or even the suffix letters! If we did, the 726B would be the last Wurly EP made. (And it wasn't. It preceded the non-B 726 and was made in 1966.)

The last-introduced Wurly EP models were the 205(V), the 215(V), and the 200B. All around 1980, perhaps inched back to 1979? Don't quote me on 1979, check the table in the link below.  270 was 1976.

Sorry to be a grouch over a 13 year old thread.  But this sort of thinking still goes on among us over here. Also, I need coffee.

https://docwurly.com/wurlitzer-ep-history/wurlitzer-electric-piano-models-a-list/

PS.  Olivier, i continue to enjoy your beautiful page. It's an inspiration!

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer clank Sound- F21
« on: May 30, 2020, 11:08:17 AM »
Adjusting reed bar won't fix it.

And yes, it's very common in the range F-21 to just below Middle C.  As high as that Bb or B.

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200's and 200A's were designed for increased portability.  And indeed, most of us can pick up either of those and walk with them, at least from a car trunk to a nearby destination room, maybe taking one break along the way.

They achieved this with the plastic top, getting rid of the leg-carrying lid, and by reducing the vertical and depth dimensions.  And THIS was done by redesigning the damper action to remove 5 or 6 inches from the back; and by changing the design of how and where the keys engaged with the action, as well.  This certainly changed the feel of the action, and to my mind it was made a bit less responsive, for the sake of that compromise.

That said, if I was buying a Wurly that I intended to tour with, I would take a 200 or 200A over a 140B in a heartbeat.  If not, I would probably enjoy a 140B more.... and even more than that, a console 720A (later, 1965 design) or a 720B.

But.... I am enjoying having both.

Steveo, you are correct that the actions between a "pre-A" 140 and 140B are at least interchangeable.  The damper arms are different.  The other crucial difference, beyond the amps as you noted, is that the reeds of a 140 are the same as a 120, from notes 21-64; unique in the bass register (though superficially/visually like a 140B) and the reed screw washers of a 140 are different (thinner, making tuning far more difficult).  But we digress.

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I would love to see a side by side photo of 140 keysticks vs. 720 keysticks. Does anyone here own both models?

I may have a photo of the difference somewhere.  The 720 keysticks are 2 inches longer. (1 inch on each side of the balance point.)

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: 206 Amp Backwards Capacitors?
« on: February 21, 2020, 04:24:30 PM »
The 1973 diagram has a lot of stupid errors in it, yet is the last and most up-to-date diagram.  Basically, when they rotated the amp in the graphic so that it faced the way a user would ACTUALLY look at the thing, they neglected to rotate the polarity of a lot of items in it.  The ones I am aware of are the Diodes:  D2 through D5.  I didn't know about the capacitors, but it would not amaze me.

There is a version of the amp from around 1972 that seems to be a transition from the 1971 to the 1973 amp.  So there are really 5 different periods of 200 amps.  At least.  and that doesn't take into account all the classroom variants.

I am about to do exactly what you are doing.  I have a hunch that the high wattage resistors on these boards dry out, start getting super-hot, and make a lot of noise.  R-14 gets BURNING hot on these things.  That may also be a sign that something else is failing, so we'll see what happens next.

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Later 112's use amps labelled "112A."  That's fine.  Schematic attached.

I'm not a tube amp expert.  I recently toiled a whole lot on a 120 amp.  But there may well be others on this forum who know a lot more about the 112A amp (and tube amps in general).  It's one of the better-designed Wurlitzer tube amps--more sophisticated than the amp in the 120 and 700.

It could easily be a bad solder joint somewhere.  A resistor not doing its job.  I recommend checking your amp against the schematic and measuring the DC voltages at all of the test spots (the voltages in the rectangles).

Are you using all-new tubes?  Do.

Keep checking the whole system with the hum shield in place--without it, you will have a lot more hum.  And what happens when you detach the reed bar from the amp? Same hum, or less?

Voltages in this tube amp can be lethal.  Follow standard electrical safety measures....study up on them if you don't know them.  Never have both hands in the amp, etc.

Steve-o is correct --remove that death cap if it's there.  You should also 3-prong that baby ASAP.

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Dating a Wurlitzer
« on: January 21, 2020, 09:52:04 AM »
?  A 700 should have the exact same damper felts as a 120.  Do you have something other than cut-away damper arms and a sustain brick on the top 11 notes?  This should be a separate thread.  Glad I could help.  Start a new thread and show us more of your instrument, please!

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Dating a Wurlitzer
« on: December 08, 2019, 07:48:08 AM »
600613-C is probably a part number

Are you sure it's 813 and not 831?
"831" means "Better Coil & Transformer", who did a lot of Wurlitzer's transformers.  939 means "the 39th week of 1959."

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Dating a Wurlitzer
« on: November 22, 2019, 03:25:20 PM »
It's possible that "600141" is the part number of that speaker.  It's also possible that "600" is the EIA company code, in which case "141" would mean "41st week of 1961."  Which would be very late indeed for a 120, but possible.   But I suspect that's a part number, as I know of no speaker manufacturer with code "600," and a lot of part numbers associated with this model begin with "600."  You might find some good data underneath that tape on the speaker.

I don't know anything about those key codes.  Can you supply a photo of the stamp on the bottom of #57?

A late-period 700 amp is 1200-1, so it's interesting that the amp model here is 1200-2.  That would make sense.  There are slight differences in the wiring of the octals and speakers of the amps in the two models of that era (120 and 700).

I know of a 700 with a spread between amp and body serial number of 1805 numbers.  Amp being the earlier number.  So, yes.  Perhaps your serial number was around 20733?  The latest 120 I know of has a serial number of 22728.  (and there could be later ones.)

It would be great to have good photos of the outside and inside of the amp, and of the instrument as a whole.  Does your reed/input cable have a capacitor and resistor mounted right onto the reedbar?  I would love to see the undersides of the dampers--do they have wodden spacers above the damper felts, on any or all of the keys?

The most surefire way to date this thing, given all the other mysteries, is by looking on the tubes in the amp.  If any of them are the originals, the years and weeks of year will be on those tubes.  The transformer might have a date code on it, too.

You sure you have no serial badge?  It would be on the back of the instrument.

23
Yes, I've experienced that particular transformer going bad more than once.  oy.

Tropical Fish of Tuckahoe, NY are experts on that amp.  Call them.  Lucky you, by the way.  That's a fantastic instrument--one of the best-designed Wurlies ever, as long as the reed screws are good on it.  (and if not, that can be fixed).  What's the serial number?  The later 720A's are actually from the 145B-era (1965).

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Stuck Hammer
« on: November 05, 2019, 10:06:29 PM »
It could be key dip.  The big green felt washer might need a shim under under it.

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: “Tink” sound when hitting key
« on: November 05, 2019, 10:04:57 PM »
I recommend the hammer tips Vintage Vibe sells.  Reasonably priced.  You can heat out the old glue.

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurly 112 Opinons.
« on: October 24, 2019, 05:27:09 PM »
Reeds need to be pointing down in all 1950's models, ESPECIALLY in the 110, 111 and 112.  If you install them with the solder tips pointing up, the tuning becomes impossible: The washers are loose, not connected to the screws, and they wiggle around, which affects the tuning.  The only way to predict the pitch when you tighten the screws is for the tuning to be predicted by the position relative to the reed bar (forwards and back).  I could explain this more easily if I were looking at an actual 112 right now, but you'll have to take my word for it--On these models, because of the way the reeds are ground and their relationship to the washers and reed bar, flipping them is a nightmare with chaotic results.

Of course you have to retune these things, so of course you have to loosen the reed screws.  It's an unavoidably intensive process.  There are things you can do to keep the washers from friction-grabbing the reed screws and pulling them out of center.  Military secrets. They don't involve any permanent changes to any parts.  The reed bar has a grabbing texture to it under the reeds and you do NOT want to sand that away.

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer 700 help
« on: October 18, 2019, 12:36:45 PM »
NICE.

Any insight as to why the spacers would start at that note?  Are they placed differently front to back?  I bet you're right -- it's on purpose.

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer 700 help
« on: August 31, 2019, 06:47:02 PM »
I think the reed bar height is a possible culprit.  And I think it's possible that you've installed the damper pads wrong.  It would be great to see more pix that give more context.  Did VV give you different treble and bass dampers?

There are usually wooden spacers above the felts on the damper arms of a 120 or 700.  If those are missing, the VV dampers might not be long enough.  It's possible that the wooden spacers were only on some instruments -- I'm not sure about this, but I have seen instances were the wood spacers were missing.

What is the serial number of this 700?

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Lacking Sustain in the high end
« on: July 31, 2019, 10:06:34 AM »
Make sure that the upper harp has all 8 white silicone spacers below and above it.  Compare with the lower harp.  I've seen this a couple times as of late.

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurly 112 Opinons.
« on: July 16, 2019, 10:07:07 AM »
You may want to replace the felts before doing the tuning.  It's easy.

The tuning is HARD on these.  Be in touch before you get into it, I have a few pointers for you that could save you days of work.

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