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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Some DIY reflections
« Last post by Tonewheel on January 17, 2019, 03:07:29 PM »
Therefore way better than a physician!
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I'm re-opening this topic with a clarification question:

Were Audio Taper potentiometers used in all cases?

Background:
I have owned a number of Rhodes pianos...bought my first one in 1975 (yeah...I'm old) and sold it to buy a DX7 (who figured).
The harps on all of them are very similar and as pointed out, is a reasonably good humbucking design. However, I have always noticed that you can induce hum by proximity of electronics. Wall warts within 3-4 feet of the harp will induce audible hum (I use Voodoo Labs toroid-based power supplies for any DC/AC powered equipment in my studio). I have also noticed that if you turn the volume up loud enough on any Rhodes, you can hear the hiss...which is likely just thermal noise from components. If you setup your harp with the pickups >3-4mm from the tines (I see this all the time), or load the harp with low impedances, it is possible that the volume level required will reproduce some hiss, but no worse than a lot of guitarists rigs that I play with.

I have always set up my Rhodes with close spacing, as 1) I like the crunch and 2) it gives me more volume and a quieter experience. For the last 10 years, I have limited my e-Piano (not including synths) collection to a Fender-Rhodes 1974 Mk 1 Stage 73, set up with ~ 1mm spacing except the bottom two octaves I taper that up to 2mm to give me some "Low Cut" and chill out the bass a bit. I have carefully (with a mototool) flattened the ends of all the tines to get a uniform timbre.

Long ago I stopped using the tone controls, but have a renewed interest in that some of the "Tone Booster" effects boxes I like are overdriven by the output. I have been looking at ideas, but like <pnoboy> I appreciate the elegance of a low shelving filter and high impedances throughout (to keep that 'crystal piano' vibe). I'm planning on building something like that shortly and will post results here, but welcome inputs. I will try to figure a design that keeps the harp loading constant or at least sufficiently high (I'm a EE from way back) that it doesn't color the output other than the shelf and the volume.

Welcome comments and any learnings from  the previous participants over the last 120 days.


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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: First wurli, first post, first problem
« Last post by Electrickey on January 17, 2019, 02:36:18 AM »
I couldn't view any of the dropbox clips. They all 404'd.

Anyway, interesting thread and lots of ifs ands or buts technical mullings.

I decided to let a piano technician fiddle with the Wurli. Too many geometry specs for me to try and get right without years of piano experience.

When one issue gets fixed, another crops up. Did not want to deal with that and end up more problems than before.

As long as the middle of the keyboard gets that Wurli tone, without being expected to play like a Bosendorfer, I'm content.

Hope you come back with some takeaways for us landlubbers who did not sail the 7 seas in a sail boat.  :)
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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Replace Hammer Tips Wurlitzer 200
« Last post by Electrickey on January 17, 2019, 02:06:54 AM »
If the sound and feel are comfortable with the old parts then just go with that. Otherwise the expense and work of changing those parts will undo all the years of the piano settling into a good playing response. Unless you've got a lot of years at your disposal to get the new parts to wear in, I'd just play the thing and make music.

My 200A I had worked on by a trained grand piano tech. He adjusted the action so the keys could be played harder without the reeds getting beat up, but the keys clack a little on the lower end. But when playing the piano, it is amplified and the clacking isn't heard.

Yet this piano is one of those where the lower keys get this warm Wurli sound.

Trade offs on a mechanical device never designed to be perfect in all aspects.

But one can still collect new or used replacement parts while they are still available so that a repair could be made in the future.
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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Wurlitzer 200 vs 200A
« Last post by Electrickey on January 17, 2019, 01:49:56 AM »
Best to scour Youtube clips on the two models and see which one you are more attracted to as far as sound. I've got a 200A but prefer the sound of the 200. But then again I provide backline and riders call for the A version more than not.

If you have the opportunity to demo both, then that will be your guide as far as what speaks to you best.

The amps are different, the speaker mountings on the A are attached to the lid whereas the 200 the speakers are attached to the piano. The sound of the speakers attached to lid is more directed.
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I may be wrong about 1972 being the last year of Forest Green Wurlies.  (someone claimed to have one from 1974.)

I started checking out serial number ranges, year by year, for the 200 and 200A series.  I need more data, but based on date stamps, it looks like they were manufacturing an average of 3000 Wurlies a year in 1968, '69, 70, and '71.  Then, starting in 1972, the number seems to jump to around 10,000 a year being produced (give or take 1000), until around 1980, when the numbers dropped again.

This may not be entirely accurate.  I have no sense of when Musitronic began producing licensed classroom Wurlies, and what that would have done to the numbers.  And there may be gaps in the serial numbers.

But, still, I think I'm on the right track here.  The Logan plant apparently allowed for greater production.











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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Some DIY reflections
« Last post by DocWurly (formerly Paleophone) on January 17, 2019, 01:10:33 AM »
I make house calls.
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Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Rhodes strange sound on attack
« Last post by Jarkko on January 16, 2019, 01:49:52 PM »
Thanks for the reply! The battery should not be the issue but I'll check that out too. The voicing is nothing out of the ordinary: a tiny bit above "optimal" position.

I have been messing around quite a bit with the voicing of that problem tine to cure that weird attack noise but no luck so far. Right now my best quess is that it's an action thing because on some firm strokes the attack is clearer all of a sudden. It's a little buzzling.

I'm a little concerned about that "tinnyness" pnoboy described. I hadn't thought anout that my self except for several problematic notes but now I'm not sure what to expect. I quess it is a little dull sounding overall compared to some nice examples on Youtube. Would be nice to test other amplifiers (mine is Musicman RP 65) and compare.
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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Wurlitzer 200 vs 200A
« Last post by AceFrehley21 on January 16, 2019, 11:33:19 AM »
So I got a questions guys, I’m sure it’s been asked hundreds of times in the past so I apologize if that’s the case, but I want to buy a Wurlitzer, and I was wondering if a 200A is a must over the 200 and if so why? I love Supertramp, the Doors, Steely Dan and many other bands from that era, and I did some research and figured that since the 200a was released in 1975 that Supertramp used a 200 on crime of the century (74’) and the albums before, and Pink Floyd the same with Dark side of the moon(73’). I could be very wrong but basically I just want to know the main differences between the two, and how to know if possible which bands used which ones in their recordings.
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The Wurlitzer Electric Piano / Re: Some DIY reflections
« Last post by Tonewheel on January 15, 2019, 01:25:53 AM »
This is all very helpful. What does the "Doc" stand for?

Dave
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