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Messages - Electrickey

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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer 200 replacement feet
« on: February 16, 2018, 09:59:08 AM »
The net is weird these days... 8)

Ask them though if they have the adjustable types that screw up and down. You can get two or four I guess of the adjustable and then two of the non adjustable. Up to you.

These are the nylon glides vs the old steel types that scratch floors and rust out.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer 200 replacement feet
« on: February 15, 2018, 02:31:21 PM »
I have all 4 legs to my 200, but one of them is missing the adjustable foot. Does anyone know where to find one, or something that would work as a replacement?

I am after functionality, even if its something a little different than the rest.

If you don't want to go out of the house, Vintage Vibe sells them. 6 bucks a foot.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Tolex colour
« on: February 06, 2018, 03:59:04 PM »
If you must have a need for speed, car wrap is easy to install. 8)

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Customize or bone stock
« on: February 04, 2018, 06:12:28 PM »

I was just guessing it was maintained because it is set up great.  Action and tone is right on.  Can play it lightly and get that perfect chime or dig in and make it dirty.

I think the saving grace is you've found something that inspires in and of itself no matter where it came from originally.

I supplied a 200A to a still world touring known act whose 200A conked out along the tour. Talking with the artist about the supplied Wurli, his comment was he liked the low end octave section of the piano, mentioning that it was not easy for him to find that quality of sound at that spot on the Wurli. Something that touched him as a Wurli player. His 200A was serviced by a well known at present go-to for the stars. And a piano tech I am not by any stretch. In fact my piano keys clack compared to their's ( his band's ) smooth action keys, but it didn't matter to them, him and his tech. As an artist, it was the sound he was after. And after he said what he'd said I knew what he was talking about because when I had acquired the 200A, the low octave sound had stuck out to my ears as well.

Hence it becomes serendipity when an instrument has "that tone." Luck may have something to do with it as it often does.

Now someone else who plays my Wurli might hate it for the clacking, as I do. Would like to get the clack out. I had the Wurli cleaned/serviced a while back when I first got the piano by someone who does not know Wurlis as much as he knows about pianos, having trained in Vienna at Bosendorfer as a piano tech. He came from a piano tech/builder family. What I was concerned about was how easy the reeds might break, so he'd adjusted the action to allow for more aggressive playing. It was his first time to see and work on a Wurli and to his credit he did mention that the clacks should be addressed. Which means he needs to see the piano again.

But I know his servicing had nothing to do with the low octave sound on the Wurli.

It was just something in the way that particular piano was born.

Perhaps the electric piano experts might explain how the low octave "bloom" happens.

When playing an amplified electric piano, you don't notice the clacking as much as you focus on the amplified sound of the instrument.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Customize or bone stock
« on: February 03, 2018, 06:16:22 PM »
it was on tour with the righteous brothers and then stored, so they probably had it optimized.

Agree that using particle board for the baffles seems like a stupid place to cut the corner.  I'm not honestly sure when plywood hit the scene,

 After packing up my 88 stage and moving it, this thing is a breeze.  That 88 stage is A BEAST for one guy to lug around.  I have a hammond m-111 I'm going to separate into 2 parts to make it easier to move, but I'm not too optimistic about it being a one man move even after it is 2 pieces.  That M really has a good sound though, so I think in the long run putting a bit of work into doing it right will pay off.  I can see these m-100 series being worth a bit in a couple decades.  Right now though you can pick them up for free everywhere.  I would HATE to have to replace all the caps on one though, there are a million paper oil caps in those things.  That and I'm not sure if anyone has actually dug into a tonewheel to see how it works, but it is a pretty complex and precise machine.  Pretty cool to watch one operate, horrible to troubleshoot. 

Just because something was on tour with a named group doesn't mean that anything was done to it or if it was even maintained. Many times the gear is beat from travelling.

Alembic was making cabs out of multiply birch in the early 70's.

The Grateful Dead's sound system. All void free birch cabs with JBL's running McIntosh power amps and Alembic preamps.

Separating that model Hammond especially with those spindly legs will cause more problems and connection time vs wheeling it in whole and connecting it. You could make another cab for it altogether and park the original. But once you take things apart and adapt, what are the odds that the time and will to return it back to its original will occur? And will it be fool proof?

You might want to pay some guys to help you move rather than move it all by yourself. Spread the wealth around.

People recap tonewheels all the time. The trick is calibrating the pickups after the recap which not many know how to do properly to get each wheel balanced over the whole board. It's not an easy job. Things get worse than having left well alone. The old factory trained techs know/knew how to do this. And there are techs that have enough experience to know but they may not be in your town.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Customize or bone stock
« on: February 03, 2018, 12:58:25 PM »
The entire suitcase, and the whole top and lid is already pine.

From a sonics point, they made the other parts out of pine and left the baffle boards particle board, cutting sound quality and costs at the same time.

Getting the working parts to be at their best, the action on the keys, would be a worthwhile effort.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Customize or bone stock
« on: February 03, 2018, 01:23:58 AM »
I own a high end woodworking company

Musician cabinet maker's paradise.

You may as well just make an entire bottom half of the suitcase out of laminated pine and don't even bother covering it.

The tolex is a mask deadening sound not to mention the glue.

Keep your silver piping.

Then you'll start dreaming of the piano case itself out of pine.

What? Tung oil? Poly coated clear?

Rainbow dyed laminate?

How about a cedar piano case with the pine speaker cab?

Kick up the olfactories while you're at it.

Amps, Effects & Recording Techniques / Re: I want this tone !
« on: February 02, 2018, 04:19:19 PM »
Well, this was direct from David Rubinson in a conversation I had with him (who was the producer and actually there on the sessions) so this is the gospel! He and Fred Catero used 2 x RCA tube limiters on the Rhodes suitcase amp direct outs and the Rhodes was setup for very percussive attack and non-linear transient distortion. So yes an amp was involved but it was the Rhodes suitcase amp although Herbie had the speakers uprated to JBL's. The amp and Rhodes was stock as confirmed by Steve Woodyard some years ago. Just to underline this all facts, not supposition!!

Still need to take into consideration how it was mixed after all the processing. Sounds to me the mid to high end was rolled off and tamed. But if JBL's were used, that would've increased the mids, but recording direct did not include the JBL's.

So we're not hearing the speakers and the room sound. And whatever they did to the Rhodes you would have to know the exact tweaks, the model and year of the piano, the limiters, mixer, recorder and outboard effects used. Hence it's not just the piano involved in the end result.

For Sale / Re: Wurlitzer 200A on the bay
« on: February 02, 2018, 03:32:52 PM »
That's like Minimoog price. :o

But who knows, decades from now that may be the price of a 200A.

Touring name bands still ask for the real thing rather than use a synth for a Wurli.

Here for posterity is the eBay ad:

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Customize or bone stock
« on: February 02, 2018, 10:31:59 AM »
With these being 32ohm speakers, is there an upgrade speaker or should I just look for some vintage working fender suitcase speakers?

The other thing I'm going to definitely do is make either a 2 layer opposing grain solid pine baffle or 1/2" baltic birch baffle front and back.  This pressboard baffle is garbage.  Heavy and weak with no redeeming resonant qualities.

The speakers in these pianos were rare 32 ohm Eminence 12 inchers. If the original sound is important to you, get the speakers reconed or rewound. A good speaker reconer can wire 32 ohms. Try to get the proper cone and surround. Save the baskets as that is part of the sound as well.

Replacing at lease the speaker baffles with a multiply birch ply is a good move if the pressboard is starting to turn back into oatmeal. If you want a thinner 1/2" ply then phenolic ply is much denser than a thicker regular multiply birch as the resin used is waterproof and phenolic is almost indestructible, as it is used for boats and cement molds in construction.

This should keep those speakers from vibrating wasting energy doing acoustic work on the cabinet so they can "speak" freely.

The black coating on the face of these is like bowling ball material.

If you can afford it, get the cosmetics done professionally.

After the years go by, you may be able to get something for it if you go to sell it.

Changing parts on anything will change the sound.

One has to decide whether changing the original character of a preamp or amp, even the speakers, the circuit constants (how long the original wires were and their gauges) is something one wants.

A trade-off is losing that "sound" when going after hum and/or upgrading a Wurli for one reason or another.

There is a software called Broken Wurli  by Soniccouture that has sampled a Wurli sound featuring the faults of Wurlis as a positive recording tool including the distortion and the buzzing with a modeled noise output.

That said, would like to hear a clip of the Illdigger mods.

Announcements / Re: New Logo
« on: February 02, 2018, 08:18:20 AM »
i like the lightning zapps.

Amps, Effects & Recording Techniques / Re: Leslie 147 motor bad noise
« on: February 02, 2018, 07:39:44 AM »
I know this is a dated post but for posterity's sake, since the OP stated the noise is still there with the motor isolated, it would be easier to just get another motor off of eBay. They are basically the same unit no matter the Leslie model unless it's the newer models without the motor stack. Or take the motor to a motor repair shop. They should know what is going on with a simple motor with an armature.

Sources For Generic Parts & Maintenance Materials / Re: Lubricants
« on: February 02, 2018, 05:30:52 AM »
Protek is formulated for these pianos, saves the parts from deterioration and lasts a while.

Amps, Effects & Recording Techniques / Re: Leslie 147 motor bad noise
« on: February 02, 2018, 05:24:46 AM »
If the motor makes a noise when isolated it needs to be disassembled and overhauled or just get another motor.

There are YouTube clips showing how to take apart this Leslie motor.

Or you can send it off to someone who can rebuild it for you like Rick at TWG if you'd rather not work on it yourself.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Tolex colour
« on: February 02, 2018, 04:24:08 AM »
From a performance point, changing the color of a large instrument places the performer (unless you're a drummer) in a situation to where if you don't play like Corea or Bob James, the audience will only see your bright colored box you happen to be standing/sitting at and not so much you.

Unlike a drummer whose job description is very visual hand gestures in sync with the music with flashy cymbals flying all over the place, fun to watch by itself, unless you a keyboard player dresses up like Liberace, you won't be that much a visual attraction if you don't play burning notes to attract the attention, if even that.

Only your friends and family will be amused when someone asks, "where's Jazzy Massa" and they can say, "see that dayglo green thing?"

If you are a stage performer with pro lights, a white color will change with the lights giving your total appearance a change every few seconds or minutes which then adds to the light show, saving from visual boredom.

The concept of stage dressing is to direct the eye of the viewer, to make them look over here and there and not remember there's that loud colored thing no matter where they look. This is where black works its magic allowing you the performer to stick out when the lights hit you and not making the whole band suffer for the eye magnet on stage.

Any other colors other than black is just personal and ok if you're just jamming in your studio or living room and the resale of the item is not a concern.

Even if playing an avocado green Wurli, or a red or beige, will only mean something to those who know what a Wurli is, and that Wurli had a scant few in those colors.

To the rest of the lay watchers, it will be meaningless if not a distraction.

The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Remove corrosion on metal parts?
« on: February 01, 2018, 07:19:23 PM »
Rust converter unless the rust is caked then start with a scraper and sandpaper, then rust converter.

If heavy pitted rust, a wire brush wheel in a drill. Wear eye protection. Clean all the rust till the metal is grey, then use converter and then paint with epoxy or powder coat.

No... this Wurli is 50Hz 230/240V  set up.
When I asked CEPCo to build/create/restore a 200A for me (from a donor 206A) I also requested the transformer to be as per the power requirements in Australia.   Max at CEPCo just sourced the applicable transformer set up.

Wise move. Tis a scant debate that a 50hz transformer trumps a 60hz in build. According to one source, the reason 60hz was chosen was to be able to make a smaller footprint transformer whereas 50hz are larger or at least they were back when the 60hz spec was created for some countries.

The way the plates on a 60hz are banned together make for a weaker transformer in a 50hz environment. Besides presenting a different sound or reaction of a 60 hz transformer in a 50hz grid situation, the 60hz would be prone to failure over the long haul trying to keep up running at 50hz.

I would reflow the entire underneath of the circuit boards just to be safe. Every solder joint on both the amp  and the preamp.

A good solder iron helps. One that is computer controlled.

I did that to my 200a and the pops and storms stopped. This and making sure all grounds are tight and clean touching clean bare metal.

Of course these are imperfect instruments and we tend to judge them by 21st century standards. We expect everything to be zero noise and since we are so used to that we get alarmed when we listen to older technology thinking there's something wrong with them.

They are the best they could be made back then with all their faults. A lot of great music was made with them and with no complains from the listening audience.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Can I get my 200 to 200A amp clarity?
« on: October 17, 2016, 03:56:23 PM »
I think the 200 tone sounds better than the 200a. More of a classic sound. These pianos differ from each other anyway. If you like the sound of the 200a you might want to get that model.

I was doing back line with Incubus, their 200a blew a regulator chip, so they used mine. The keyboard player remarked how he liked the lower end of my 200a than his. His was retrofitted with midi capability and his keyboard was adjusted better than mine. Just mention this to show that like any other musical instrument they sound different from each other.

I understand there are new approaches to the amps in these instruments, but the classic sound with all the inferior design quirks is part of that sound.

Someone sells a Wurli sound sample called "broken wurli."

Is that a 120 volt 60hz Wurli?

Yeah I tend to agree on the addition of a headset that is a real speaker load.

While waiting for responses to this thread I found this from the  Wurli yahoogroups forum:

>>>Chris Clifton
May 29, 2010

The schematic shows an 8 ohm 5 watt resistor switched into circuit when
headphones are plugged in. Plugging a spare jack plug into the 'phones
socket would be fine. I would also make sure that the ends of the wires
that went to the speakers were insulated and taped up securely where
they cannot accidentally touch any other wiring. In practice, I wouldn't
expect an transistor amplifier of this type to have any problems with an
open circuit load, but if Wurlitzer saw fit to provide a dummy load when
headphones were used and the speakers disconnected, who am I to argue.>>>


I'm not sure why you are asking about a load at the headphone jack. Don't the speakers stay on for monitoring when using the AUX jack? I'm pretty sure they do.

Thanks Steveo.

Yes the speakers do stay on while using the AUX-out but not while the headphone-out is plugged. Also the volume of the AUX-out's signal at the external amp, follows the volume control on the Wurli.

The reason I ask is because the artist techs plugged the 200A's headphones-out with the dummy 1/4" mono plug and also took a line -out of the AUX-out at the same time. They wanted to kill the on-board 200A speakers so the artist just heard the Wurli through his IEM's and perhaps wouldn't bleed into a mic.

Since I'm not sure how the headphone/aux-out circuit works, I just want to make sure to not blow anything.

I provided a backup Wurli, as their tour 200A blew a regulator chip, or lost output, as we learned after investigating their tour rig. Did the amp lose output or chip blow from plugging the headphone out? They are on a large tour.

Want to make sure with those who know, if this is safe to do, having the headphones dummy plugged while using the aux-out at the same time. What happens to the amp load to the speaker while doing this?

Would like to know about using the AUX out to run thru a PA.

In renting my 200A to a band for concert, they used just a 1/4" mono phone jack with no solder lugs to shunt the 200A's speakers as they sent a line level out of the piano's AUX out. I realize this is common for concert use.

Is this safe to do for the amp's sake to not have a load at the headphone jack or is the AUX out considered a load?

If not, should there be a load resistor on the shorting jack?

Or is everything copacetic?

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: MISSING NOTES IN SUSTAIN 200A
« on: June 10, 2013, 04:26:25 AM »
Thank you Steve and Max for the information and insight. That number's 1 & 2 were also followed, specially the naptha/oil application, the action on the 200A livened up considerably and the missing notes came back.

My technician, not versed on a Wurli, working on mainly acoustic pianos and grands, was directed much better by your help on the intricacies of the 200A's system.

Being too far away from those expert on these units, I had no choice but to source a basic piano tech, a second generation piano tech whose family also hand-built their own pianos.

Although he was trained at the Bosendorfer factory in Austria and Vienna, he was trained to use talcum powder on the moving felt parts. A technique he tried as a preliminary solution before going to the naptha/oil. He did not have Protek either so will source some of that for future. My tech remarked that focusing on the let-off adjustment was also key to his getting closer to fixing the problem.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: MISSING NOTES IN SUSTAIN 200A
« on: June 01, 2013, 07:34:16 PM »
I'm not a piano technician and my piano tech is asking:

Would anyone know adjustment figures for the following, for the 200A in terms of numbers, millimeters or inches?

(1) What is the blow distance from hammer to the reed?

(2) What is the let-off distance of the jack before hitting the reed?

Do these figures exist or is it all eyeball and ballpark? 

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: MISSING NOTES IN SUSTAIN 200A
« on: May 31, 2013, 09:04:23 AM »
Always look for the cheapest/ easiest solutions first.
Determine if the keys are slow to return or if it is the action. It could be as simple as easing key bushings and lubing the balance rail pins.
My next guess would be lubing the action flanges. If it is in a humid room, such as a basement, try using a dehumidifier.

If you can get protek, it is the best lubricant for pianos. The naptha/ mineral oil solution is more readily available, but protek does work better.

Steveo, thanks.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: MISSING NOTES IN SUSTAIN 200A
« on: May 30, 2013, 09:02:37 PM »
It's likely that the fly is not returning to position properly because it's not regulated properly or not able to be regulated properly (without replacing parts).

When the sustain pedal is not held down, the spring at the end of the damper arm can add tension that helps return the fly into place for the next key strike. If there is 1) excessive lost motion, 2) if the flanges are too stiff/tight, 3) or if the jack spring is wearing down then the fly does not return to place and it may be impossible to play with dynamics.

Potential solutions depending on the degree of the problem:

1) Regulate lost motion

2) Treat the flanges with the Napthta/oil solution in the manual

3) Replace the jack springs

...Hopefully a combination of one and two is all it needs.

Thanks, Max. Yes hopefully its adjustment and lubrication. At least you've isolated the area to look at for me.

The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / MISSING NOTES IN SUSTAIN 200A
« on: May 30, 2013, 06:46:54 AM »
What is happening when holding down the sustain pedal on a 200A, the notes randomly disappear when striking a key? The hammers do not hit the reeds consistently.

And, just for the "permanent record" we leave behind here, I'd note that changing the "wrong way" wiring should be done on the power cord -- not by reversing the wires that lead to the power receptacle inside the piano. 

You wouldn't want to surprise the next owner -- or the next tech -- who goes inside your piano by altering its wiring in a non-standard way.

Excellent stance and sentiment!

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