Author Topic: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?  (Read 1480 times)

Offline GabGarfield

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Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« on: April 01, 2020, 06:48:36 PM »
Dear fellow electric piano lovers,

I need your advice. I have to decide between two Wurlitzer electric pianos I could buy from two different people.

a 140B wurlitzer with a crappy black paint job and a lot of scratches, missing pedal & legs and a not working vibrato for 1400€ (it would also need a step-down transformer to work with EU plugs)

or

a 200A in pretty solid condition with just one reed detuned for 1900€

Those wurlis got really expensive here in europe.

I already read the topic about the comparison of these two.
The 140B seemed to be preferred by some of you.
I love both soundwise and I only want to use it in my studio, so transport (except for once) is not the point.
If I add the extra costs for pedal and legs I would end up getting the 140B for around 200€ less than the 200A.

I will get the chance to try out the 140B next week probably, so do you have any tips on what I should specifically test or check? How could i find out the reason for the vibrato not working?
I was thinking about giving the 140B a nicer paint job if it is technically in good condition. You think it would be possible and worth it? It is pretty damaged but I don't know if its just the paint that goes off or if the wood is damaged. I will see soon.

The 200A seems to be needing less work, but it costs 200€ more and is more common, isnt it?

As you can see there are a lot of questions running through my mind, but maybe you can help me out a little bit.

I attached some photos of both of the models.

Thank you in advance,

Gab

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2020, 10:43:48 PM »
Gab:

Some thoughts:  Many top vintage keys techs prefer the 140B. (I know this because I interviewed several of them about the 140B for a book I co-authored, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music.")  The reasons: The general build quality of the 140B; the beefier action, and what one tech called "its bright and spanky sound."  It also has a beautiful, round, optical vibrato (really it's tremolo), created with a light bulb and a photo cell. Many techs believe it was the best Wurli ever built.  Its downside was on the electronics side.  The amp is an early solid state design and tends to suffer from hiss problems.  You can reduce the hiss by rebuilding it with more modern, low-noise components, but it will still be a little noisy. Or you can solve the problem, at some significant expense, by replacing it with a modern replacement amp, such as one built by RetroLinear.com.

The 140B you're considering looks like its amp has been re-built, so you may find it acceptable as is.  The vibrato problem may simply be a burned out bulb. That bulb can be hard to find. Some techs want to replace them with LEDs, but that may change the character of the effect, which is really one of the highlights of the 140B.  The fact that this piano was re-painted may reflect that it's lived a hard life on the road, so you'll want to see whether it shows signs of extreme wear or abuse.

The 200A, if it's in reasonable shape, should have quieter electronics. Its reeds will impart a slightly more mellow tone.  Its tremolo will be slightly more choppy. Action is a matter of personal taste, but if both pianos were properly regulated, many players would prefer the slightly more substantial 140B feel. But the 200A action is acceptable, too.  And because so many 200A's (and student variations of that model) were sold, replacement parts might be easier to source.

The day I bought my 140B, I put up my 200A for sale, because I knew the 140B would be my Wurli of choice.  But both of my Wurlis were in excellent condition, which made that decision more straightforward.

My advice:  Play the 140B and see whether its feel and tone seem very special to you. If they do, you should consider putting up with its downsides: It will never look original (or fetch a high price if you ever re-sell it) with replacement legs, pedal and paint. It may have other road damage, and depending upon your tolerance for its noisy amp, it will likely cost you money for amp repair or replacement.  In the end, it may turn out to be the more expensive option, especially if you would want a professional paint job done.

But if you don't feel the 140B is a significantly better instrument for you, buying the 200A would likely save you a lot of hassle and expense after your purchase.  Despite all the love for the 140B, the 200A is a great-sounding instrument, and was used on so many classic songs.  It's a great Wurli, too.

I hope that helps.

Alan

Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline GabGarfield

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2020, 03:03:59 AM »
Hey Alan,

Thank you so much for taking your time to write such a detailed opinion. This really helps me out!
I think what matters to me is the feel and the tone. I hope that both are in good shape on the 140B.
I own a Fender Rhodes Mark 1 and a Yamaha CP70, so I think that the slightly heavier action of the 140B would suit me better.

You said that replacement parts for the 140B are harder to get. Is it some specific parts like for example the light bulb (btw is there any chance to find a decent replacement? what do i search for regarding specs of the bulb?) or is it generally a lot harder to get replacements for the 140B than for the 200A?
If you're speaking of a replacement amp like the one built by retrolinear.com, do you mean the 200A or the 200 by Warneck? Which parts on the 140B would be replaceable by parts of a 200A then? Are the reeds also the same?

Regarding the look: I was honestly thinking about doing it myself with some spray paint and sand paper from the home-improvement center. Do you think that would mess it up? Look is a little secondary if tone and feel are good, but I thought I could give it a try.

Anyway I hope I will not be dissapointed by the condition of the 140B.

Thanks for your advice already!

Gab

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2020, 08:48:22 AM »
 >>I think that the slightly heavier action of the 140B would suit me better.>>

Place the emphasis on "slightly."  It's not a big difference, IMO.  Not at all like some early Rhodes pianos that can be desperately heavy. Unless there's something wrong with that 140B, you should find the action quite pleasant to play.

Regarding parts, Wurlitzer built roughly 10 times as many 200 series pianos as 140Bs.  So, techs tend to have more 200-series parts pianos in their shops from which to grab original parts. Also, if you were manufacturing replica parts for Wurlis, you'd probably want to focus on the bigger market for 200-series parts.  Two main sources for Wurli parts and information in the US would be Vintage Vibe and Retrolinear.  VV has a European distributor; I'm not sure how Retrolinear services European clients.

I believe Retrolinear's 200 replacement amp (the Warneck Research brand is named after Tim Warneck, who owns Retrolinear) is what they recommend for the 140B.  It has been described as a completely new, improved amp design. VV also sells new replacement amps.  At one point, I believe their amps were modern reproductions of the original Wurlitzer design. But this may have changed. If you become interested in a replacement amp, it would be best to directly contact those companies.

Regarding the bulb, first please don't assume that replacing the bulb will solve the vibrato problem. It is just one possibility.  The bulb is an incandescent, Wurlitzer part number 65229. I don't know the specs on the bulb.  Either of the above vendors might be able to give you advice on finding a replacement. VV now sells an LED replacement kit, and the description of it says the originals are no longer available. But I do seem to remember that sometime in the past year or so, they indicated online that they had a few originals available.  The use of an incandescent bulb, whose light has some gradual ramp-up and ramp-down, is part of what gives the 140B tremolo its beauty. I'm not sure how -- or whether -- the VV LED replacement kit mimics that characteristic.

>>Which parts on the 140B would be replaceable by parts of a 200A then? Are the reeds also the same?>>

Your first question is more general than i can answer, although I don't think they have many parts in common.  But while the 200A reeds are very slightly thicker than 200 and 140B reeds, I know that Vintage Vibe sells a replica reed they suggest for all three pianos.  I believe most other vintage keys shops do the same. It should be close enough to work on any of those pianos.

Regarding painting, if you do a careful job of prepping and painting, you can probably do a nice job with a spray can. Here's a thread in which people offer some tips: https://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=6474.msg44453#msg44453

If you care, the original paint is a Zolatone-brand paint, with little balls of color suspended in it. It's beige with tiny white speckles. The company is still in business, zolatone.com. It's very hard to tell from color samples on a monitor, but if you search for color FLX-0008, it looks quite similar to the original 140B color. But maybe you just want to be creative: A bright red might be cool!

One more tip:  The lid of the 140B acts as a hum shield. On the underside, there is a special electrostatic paint.  When you are testing the piano, if you have the seller pull off the lid to let you see the inside (a good idea, just to check for obvious damage), make sure to replace the lid before you play the piano. It will have a very loud hum when the lid is removed.

Good luck!

Alan
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2020, 10:05:45 AM »
The main action difference in a 140 vs a 200 is that the 140 still has the lower capstan (lost motion adjustment) attached to the key, like most pianos do. The 200 series changed the whip (whippen)  so that the lower capstan is mounted upside down on the whip, but this makes the keys lighter. The jacks, hammers, dampers, etc are the same in both, only the keys and whippens are different.
Reeds are different too, but can be interchanged in a pinch. The amps are completely different. The 140 amp is very low wattage. (Solid state version)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 08:19:28 AM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2020, 10:12:07 AM »
Steve:

Just to be clear, are you talking about the 140 or the 140B?  (The original poster is looking at buying a 140B, which is a significantly different instrument than the 140.)

Alan
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline GabGarfield

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2020, 12:52:27 PM »
>>I think that the slightly heavier action of the 140B would suit me better.>>

Place the emphasis on "slightly."  It's not a big difference, IMO.  Not at all like some early Rhodes pianos that can be desperately heavy. Unless there's something wrong with that 140B, you should find the action quite pleasant to play.

Regarding parts, Wurlitzer built roughly 10 times as many 200 series pianos as 140Bs.  So, techs tend to have more 200-series parts pianos in their shops from which to grab original parts. Also, if you were manufacturing replica parts for Wurlis, you'd probably want to focus on the bigger market for 200-series parts.  Two main sources for Wurli parts and information in the US would be Vintage Vibe and Retrolinear.  VV has a European distributor; I'm not sure how Retrolinear services European clients.

I believe Retrolinear's 200 replacement amp (the Warneck Research brand is named after Tim Warneck, who owns Retrolinear) is what they recommend for the 140B.  It has been described as a completely new, improved amp design. VV also sells new replacement amps.  At one point, I believe their amps were modern reproductions of the original Wurlitzer design. But this may have changed. If you become interested in a replacement amp, it would be best to directly contact those companies.

Regarding the bulb, first please don't assume that replacing the bulb will solve the vibrato problem. It is just one possibility.  The bulb is an incandescent, Wurlitzer part number 65229. I don't know the specs on the bulb.  Either of the above vendors might be able to give you advice on finding a replacement. VV now sells an LED replacement kit, and the description of it says the originals are no longer available. But I do seem to remember that sometime in the past year or so, they indicated online that they had a few originals available.  The use of an incandescent bulb, whose light has some gradual ramp-up and ramp-down, is part of what gives the 140B tremolo its beauty. I'm not sure how -- or whether -- the VV LED replacement kit mimics that characteristic.

>>Which parts on the 140B would be replaceable by parts of a 200A then? Are the reeds also the same?>>

Your first question is more general than i can answer, although I don't think they have many parts in common.  But while the 200A reeds are very slightly thicker than 200 and 140B reeds, I know that Vintage Vibe sells a replica reed they suggest for all three pianos.  I believe most other vintage keys shops do the same. It should be close enough to work on any of those pianos.

Regarding painting, if you do a careful job of prepping and painting, you can probably do a nice job with a spray can. Here's a thread in which people offer some tips: https://ep-forum.com/smf/index.php?topic=6474.msg44453#msg44453

If you care, the original paint is a Zolatone-brand paint, with little balls of color suspended in it. It's beige with tiny white speckles. The company is still in business, zolatone.com. It's very hard to tell from color samples on a monitor, but if you search for color FLX-0008, it looks quite similar to the original 140B color. But maybe you just want to be creative: A bright red might be cool!

One more tip:  The lid of the 140B acts as a hum shield. On the underside, there is a special electrostatic paint.  When you are testing the piano, if you have the seller pull off the lid to let you see the inside (a good idea, just to check for obvious damage), make sure to replace the lid before you play the piano. It will have a very loud hum when the lid is removed.

Good luck!

Alan

Hey Alan,
thank you again, your answers exceed my expectations by far.
I am really digging all your tips, and I was even thinking about maybe some different paint job than the original. If so, I will also definetly consider a nice red :D

I think first of all I will have to check the feel and tone and the humming of the piano.
If it is too much and i still like the feel and tone I will have to consider an amp replacement and I will contact Retrolinear or ask EP-Service (who are the european distributors for VV) if this would also suit a 140B: https://www.ep-service.nl/wurlitzer-200-amp-vv

In terms of the lightbulb I think I have to check if I can see a light underneath the little cap where it's located. I don't know if it is supposed to be flashing the whole time or only when the vibrato knob is turned up. I hope I can find out what is wrong with the vibrato.

I didn't want you to be able to tell me excactly what parts are the same as the 200, I was just wondering if the parts that may break would be as easy to get as for the 200A. I already looked up and found some reeds for the 140B on EP-Service. Are there other parts that are likely to break after a while? I would like to have this thing working as long as possible.

Since I don't have a Replica Sustain Pedal yet I will not be able to test the functionality of the pedal but since its only mechanical I assume there can't be that much going wrong.

We will see, I will keep you updated.

Thanks a lot!

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2020, 02:47:51 PM »
Glad to help!

Regarding paint, one advantage of the original Zolatone paint was that it was textured, so it would help conceal scuffs and imperfections in the cabinet.  So, if I were re-painting one, I'd look for a textured spray paint, like this: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Rust-Oleum-Stops-Rust-Satin-Desert-Bisque-Textured-Spray-Paint-Actual-Net-Contents-12-oz/3728827  The satin finish of that paint would also help conceal small flaws from an "amateur" paint job.

>>I think I have to check if I can see a light underneath the little cap where it's located. I don't know if it is supposed to be flashing the whole time or only when the vibrato knob is turned up. >>

I would check mine, but the lid fits so tightly that every time I remove it, I seem to scratch the paint on the cabinet a little. I don't open it unless I have to.

>>I already looked up and found some reeds for the 140B on EP-Service. Are there other parts that are likely to break after a while? >>

That's a better question for someone who makes their living repairing Wurlis.  But I've had my 140B for maybe 7 years, and other than re-building the amp, I've not replaced any parts.  Since you have a source for reeds, I would not hesitate to buy the 140B over concerns about part replacement.  While 140B's are less common than 200-series Wurlis, they aren't rare. So, you might need to search a bit, but you ought to be able to find parts.  And, unlike on a Rhodes, where hammer tips, grommets and felts may need periodic replacement, I can't think of any similar "consummables" on the 140B.  Just hope that the previous owner didn't grossly abuse it!

Yes, please let us know how this works out for you.

Alan


Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2020, 07:52:16 AM »
Alan, both actions are the same.  (140 and 140B)

The action in my 140B was better than any of the 3, 200 series pianos that
I own, but like you said, the difference is minor. I was always led to believe that the major difference in the 140B was the amp is different than the 140. I've owned 2 140B's, but I've never touched a 140.

I just verified this in my 720/140/145 service manual. The action is the same (as I described above) in all of these pianos. It was a major improvement over the previous models, but for some unknown reason, they made the whippen change in the 200 series, which imho was a mistake. The capstan in the key makes the key heavier, which means it is less likely to "stick" when the pedal is depressed.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2020, 06:00:53 AM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2020, 08:07:47 AM »
Also- to Gab,
Don't be too concerned with action parts breaking in a Wurli. It is very rare. If you ever do break a part, wood can usually be repaired, or someone here will likely have access to the part you need. In my 40 years in business as a piano tech, I must say that it is very rare to have to replace wooden piano parts unless the piano is more than 80 years old (acoustic) and I don't think I have ever had to replace a Wurli action part.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline GabGarfield

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2020, 11:22:22 AM »
Hey Steve,

Thank you for your advice, too.
From what you both write it seems like the 140B generally is a good choice. I will have to check the general condition of course. Tomorrow in the evening I will get to see the piano the first time.

One last question about the pedal (which i have to order first): The Mechanism is the same on the 140 as the 200, so the Pedals would be interchangeable, right? Does the mechanism itself work somehow similar to a rhodes (with a metal bar or something that presses the dampers up/down) so that i could quickly test it with just sticking something into the whole and seeing if i get sustain? Or could I break something? Or do you think the mechanism is sturdy enough so that I shouldn't worry that the pedal wouldn't work if I get a replica?

Thank you so much for your advice already, I'm really super excited about tomorrow and I will keep you posted.
If I'll take it and I'll paint it, red will probably be my choice ;)

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2020, 12:09:38 PM »
Per the Vintage Vibe website, the replica 200-style sustain pedal they make will work on any Wurli except the model 112, which has a side-mounted sustain pedal.  So that should be fine.  The Wurli sustain pedal is connected to the sustain mechanism by a cable (rather than a rod) enclosed in a housing  (very similar to a bicycle brake or shifter cable and housing).  At the top, it has a knurled connector that hand screws into threads in a hole in the bottom of the case.  Pressing the pedal pulls on the damper mechanism, and the dampers lift off the reeds. 

You can see the damper mechanism in this photo:  https://www.tropicalfishvintage.com/blog/2019/6/3/popping-and-crackling-sounds-in-wurlitzer-electronic-pianos-is-it-the-amp-or-is-it-the-reeds . See the rod in the center of the piano (with the compressed spring). Just below the spring is the threaded fitting that the pedal attaches to.  I'm not sure what model this photo shows but the 140B's should be functionally similar.  You could take a look and see if you can find all the similar parts in the photo, make sure there is a threaded fitting in the hole in the underside of the case, and play with the rod to see if it lifts the dampers when the rod is pushed down.

But this mechanism is solidly built, and not something that people would have any reason to alter.  It's not something that would be likely to fail, in my opinion.  When you get your pedal, if the dampers don't lift properly, relax:  This video shows you how to make adjustments.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZI5Gke6LzXA

And if you paint your piano red -- and you want to get really fancy -- you can buy red bike cable housing.  ;-)


Alan
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline cinnanon

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2020, 06:55:06 PM »
Steveo, the keysticks are longer in the 720 consoles than the portables. Other than that, identical.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2020, 06:49:47 AM »
 I briefly owned a 720 (a flip) and I do not remember the keysticks being longer, but they could have been. There is no mention of this in the service manual unless I missed it.

The 700 keysticks were not longer than the 120 keysticks. They were 100% identical except the cabinets.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 08:22:48 AM by pianotuner steveo »
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2020, 06:51:19 AM »
I would love to see a side by side photo of 140 keysticks vs. 720 keysticks. Does anyone here own both models?
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline GabGarfield

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2020, 08:06:31 PM »
Hey Guys,

Today I got to play the Wurli 140B and I immediately fell in love with it.
The tone is great, it has very little noise and the mechanics seem to be in a good condition, it felt pretty good.
So I decided to take it home.

So after I got home i found out, that the external amp-out suddenly made some loud crackling noises when I plugged in a cable. Shorty after there was no more signal coming from the external amp out. The crackling was gone, too, but there was still sound from the speaker and the phones out.
Is the internal speaker supposed to shut off as soon as you plug in a cable to the external amp out? If so, that would mean that there could be a cold solder joint...or could it be something mechanical in the jack plug maybe?

It may sound stupid but as I wanted to check out the amp board, I couldn't get it out of the wurli. It gets stuck in between the woodblock holding the lid and the dampers. Is there a special trick? Or do I really have to disassembly the whole damper mechanism or even the harp to get to the amp?

Thank you again guys!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2020, 04:18:04 AM by GabGarfield »

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2020, 07:29:09 PM »
Congratulations!  You own a great EP!

>>i found out, that the external amp-out suddenly made some loud crackling noises when I plugged in a cable.>>

Are you trying to run the piano into an external amp? There is no aux out on a stock 140B.  The output on the back is for adding an external speaker. The one near the volume and vibrato controls is a headphone out.  With some electronic knowledge that's beyond my pay grade, you could convert the speaker out to an aux out.  My solution is to use the headphone jack, and use this handy little device to modify the signal before it goes to the amp:  https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ProRMP  . This is likely a more expensive solution, but I didn't want to alter my stock piano. (And when you use the headphone jack, it is designed turn off the internal speaker. If you heard crackling noises, try cleaning the jack.) I don't recall whether the external speaker jack is switched to turn off the internal speaker when it is in use.

My recollection of removing the amp is a bit foggy, but you don't need to disassemble any other piano assembly to remove it. As I recall, there are 2-3 connectors that need to be removed from the amp, and a few screws that hold the amp to the bottom of the cabinet. At that point, you need to slightly slide the amp back toward the keys so that the fuse holder will clear the cutout where it sticks out of the back of the cabinet before you lift and remove the amp. You may have to tip the amp slightly to get it out, but you don't need to disassemble anything else.

Alan
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
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1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline cinnanon

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2020, 07:29:39 PM »
Steveo I’ll post a picture shortly.

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2020, 10:49:54 AM »
Awesome, thanks Cinnanon.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2020, 12:02:39 AM »
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.)
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 11:09:40 AM by DocWurly »

Offline pianotuner steveo

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2020, 08:17:57 AM »
That is interesting. There is no mention of this in the service manual. When I briefly owned a 720, I thought that it had the best Wurli action that I ever played. This explains why.

 Grand piano keys are much longer than upright piano keys too.
1960 Wurlitzer model 700 EP
1968 Gibson G101 Combo organ
1975 Rhodes Piano Bass
1979 Wurlitzer 206A EP
1980 Wurlitzer 270 Butterfly Grand
2004 Hammond XK3
2009 73A Rhodes Mark 7
2009 Korg SV-1 73
2017 Yamaha P255
2020 Kawai CA99
....and a few guitars...

Offline DocWurly

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2020, 01:21:51 PM »
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.

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2020, 04:44:44 PM »
>>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.>>

Definitely a step forward in portability -- and durability -- for a gigging musician.  But one suspects it would never have happened if it didn't also represent a significant production cost savings to Wurlitzer.  If you take a close look at the 140B's case, lid, music stand and removable key cover, you could make a long list of materials and labor processes that went away when they went to a molded plastic top. But whatever the motivation, it certainly met players' needs, as sales really took off during the 200-series era.

I don't mean to pick on Wurlitzer here.  Other keyboard manufacturers of the era were heavily focused on reducing production costs, too. It was a way to prolong the production and sales of these aging instruments as new competitors were emerging.

>>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.>>

Steve, isn't "having both" usually the best solution to "I'm not sure which to own?"  ;-)

Alan

Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )

Offline jam88

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2020, 07:55:15 PM »
The OP posted this (upper) picture...

For those that might have missed it, sadly, Annie Glenn passed away last week from Covid 19 at the age of 100.
120, 206 Chop, Baldwin, Gulbransen, Nord & Yamaha digitals, Antigua Strat, Selmer Mk VI, 10M Naked Lady, etc...

Offline Alan Lenhoff

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Re: Wurli 140B vs 200A worth their price?
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2020, 08:05:35 PM »
The OP posted this (upper) picture...

For those that might have missed it, sadly, Annie Glenn passed away last week from Covid 19 at the age of 100.

Thanks for pointing that out. I didn't know she was musical, but just read some biographical info that said she turned down an organ scholarship at Julliard at stay with John as WWII was breaking out, and ended up getting a degree from an Ohio college, with a music major.  There is a lot to like about her and her life.

Alan
Co-author, "Classic Keys: Keyboard Sounds That Launched Rock Music"

Learn about the book: http://www.classickeysbook.com/
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClassicKeysBook/

1965 UK Vox Continental;1967 Gibson G101 organ; 1954 Hammond B2; Leslie 21H; Leslie 31H; 1974 Rhodes Mark I Stage 73; 1972 Rhodes Sparkletop Piano Bass; 1978 Hohner Clavinet D6; 1968 Hohner Pianet N II; 1966 Wurlitzer 140B; 1980 Moog Minimoog Model D; 1977 Fender Twin Reverb; Vox AC30CC2X amp.
(See the collection: https://vintagerockkeyboards.com/ )